Frustrated with how slowly things have been going with my wantlist, I took to COMC to make some progress. Almost every card in this post was on my Wantlist. Beware, this post is very scan-heavy.
2. Pablo Sandoval. Next season will determine whether his contract will ever end up paying off. After a horrible first season in 2015, Sandoval went on the shelf with an injury early in 2016. He will be given the opportunity to win back third base as Travis Shaw did not exactly blow anyone away.
3. Josh Beckett. Beckett was seemingly only good every other year in Boston. Still, I will always remember his 2007 season in which he finished second in the Cy Young vote, won 20 games to lead the league, and won the ALCS MVP. Beckett was a huge part of the 2007 World Championship team.
4. David Ortiz. I am going to miss Ortiz. It will be very interesting to see what Boston ends up doing to replace his production.
5. Hideki Okajima. These cards were initially only available through a mystery redemption card. Okajima was the first one available as he made his Major League debut earliest in the 2007 season. After struggling somewhat early, Okajima became nearly unhittable and won the Final Vote for the 2007 All Star Game.
6. Roger Clemens. It was well-noted at the time, but due to having to move DH Jose Canseco into the field and losing the designated hitter for the day, Roger Clemens was forced to bat for himself on May 23, 1996. He singled in his only plate appearance. This photo is not from that moment.
7. Nomar Garciaparra. This finishes off the 2014 High Tek set for me. Nomar's biggest individual game came on May 10, 1999 when he hit three home runs, two of which were grand slams, and drove in 10 runs.
8. Daisuke Matsuzaka/Hideki Okajima. Matsuzaka and Okajima both had their rookie seasons in 2007 with the Red Sox and both made huge impacts. Matsuzaka won 15 games and struck out more than 200 batters and Okajima solidified the bullpen.
9. George Scott. Scott came up as a third-baseman but settled in at first and was one of the best defensive first-basemen in the game. He won eight Gold Gloves during his career, including three with the Red Sox.
11. Tony Pena. He was past his prime by the time he came to Boston, but Pena was Boston's best defensive catcher in many years. He won a Gold Glove in 1991 for the Red Sox.
12. David Ortiz. This is from the Hall Worthy insert set and it will be interesting to see what happens when Ortiz is eligible for the Hall.
13. Carlton Fisk. I have said it before and I will say it again, this has to be one of the most oft-pictured moments in baseball history. I will have to go through my collection some day and find how many cards I have of Fisk's Game 6 home run in the 1975 World Series.
14. Edwin Escobar. After being selected by the Diamondbacks off waivers from the Red Sox in 2016, Escobar's Red Sox career is at an end. It consisted of just two innings in two games and a 4.50 ERA.
15. Dustin Pedroia. Among his career numbers to this point, Pedroia has a .301 batting average, 133 home runs, 134 stolen bases, 1,683 hits, and 662 RBIs. He is on track for a Hall of Fame career.
16. Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez played a competent first base, but outside of signing Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista, I think his best position next season would be to take over DH from David Ortiz.
17. Josh Reddick. Boston has a poor track record of trading for closers. They always seem to give up a young player that turns into a very good player. Reddick was one of those, particularly during his first season in Oakland. Andrew Bailey, who Boston acquired, spent two injury-plagued, ineffective seasons in Boston.
18. Leo Kiely. The southpaw Kiely found a role primarily in Boston's bullpen. In 1958, he was 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA exclusively out of the bullpen in 47 games. Though saves were not an official statistic at the time, he was credited with 12 later on.
20. Ryan LaMarre. This is a short print card. LaMarre is a candidate for a One-Card Wonder post. He played in just six games this season with no hits in six plate appearances. He better luck pitching, giving up just two hits and no runs in an inning. I am shocked he has a card.
21. Shane Victorino. Victorino produced some of my favorite memories of the 2013 season, including hitting a grand slam home run in the ALCS against the Tigers and a bases-loaded double in the final game of the World Series. He also won a Gold Glove that season.
22. Dustin Pedroia.
23. Rick Porcello. As much as I enjoy watching the World Series, I am anxious for it to be over so that the awards will be issued. Porcello is a candidate for Cy Young.
24. Blake Swihart. After an impressive rookie season, hopes were high for Swihart in 2016. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his season. He is in a competition with Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon for the catcher position next season.
25. Rusney Castillo. It is decision time for Castillo. Will he ever be able to be a Major Leaguer, or is just a bust? He needs to step up next Spring.
26. Blake Swihart.
27. Daisuke Matsuzaka. This, and the next four cards, were from the 2010 Red Sox factory complete set bonus pack. It leaves me with three more years to find.
29. John Lackey. Lackey's turn-around during his stint with Boston gives me hope for players like Pablo Sandoval. Lackey was terrible in his first two Red Sox seasons, then injured all year in 2012. Then, he was terrific in 2013 and helped Boston win the World Championship.
30. Victor Martinez. Martinez put together a 25-game hitting streak shortly after being acquired by Boston for Justin Masterson. He was terrific in 2010, his only full season with the Red Sox, hitting 20 home runs and being named an All Star.
31. Dustin Pedroia.
32. Jon Lester. Lester's fantastic Red Sox career included a no-hitter over the Royals, winning the clinching game of the 2007 World Series, and having a great 2013 postseason.
33. Jamie Brown. I have always wanted this card but kept getting outbid on it back when it came out. I recently decided to look for it again. Brown's entire Major League career consists of four games and 7.2 innings during the 2004 season with the Red Sox.
34. Bryce Brentz. Brentz has played parts of two seasons with the Red Sox so far, including a 25 game stint this season that included his first Major League home run.
35. George Kottaras. Kottaras was originally acquired by the Red Sox from the Padres for David Wells. He started the 2009 season as the team's backup catcher and hit his first Major League home run, but was eventually pushed aside when Victor Martinez was acquired and Jason Varitek became the backup.
36. Pablo Sandoval. I used to love the Triumvirate inserts from Stadium Club. I am happy they are back, but I would have preferred a picture that was not used a hundred times for Sandoval.
38. Rusney Castillo.
39. Jim Busby. Busby was only a Red Sox for 61 games over the course of two partial seasons. He hit .225/.266/.333 with just one home run. He was primarily known for his defense in the outfield.
40. Rusney Castillo.
41. Daisuke Matsuzaka.
42. Willy Mota. Mota never made it to the Majors, though not for a lack of trying. After several seasons of not being able to make it as a hitter, he turned to pitching for two seasons. He never made it past High-A.
43. Brandon Workman. Workman made his Major League debut in 2013 and pitched well enough to make it onto the postseason roster. He was 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA in three games in relief in the World Series. The next season he was 1-10 as a starter before requiring Tommy John surgery. He has not yet made it back to the Majors. This is his only rookie card.
44. Jose Malave. Once a highly-touted hitting prospect, Malave never had much success in the Majors. I actually saw him years later playing for an independent league team.
45. Grady Little. Little is somewhat unfairly maligned due to not removing Pedro Martinez from Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS when he was obviously tiring. He was fired, largely for that reason, though his teams were very successful, winning 188 games in his two seasons as manager.
47. Carlton Fisk.
48. Jon Lester.
49. Jackie Bradley Jr. I hope Boston holds onto JBJ after a breakout season in which he hit 26 home runs and had a 29-game hitting streak, but he is probably the most likely player to be traded if a top-flight starting pitcher is dangled. The White Sox wanted him for Chris Sale, along with other players.
50. Bronson Arroyo. I really liked Arroyo and was very disappointed when Boston traded him. They acquired Wily Mo Pena in exchange, and he had merely a decent 2006 season and was awful in 2007. Arroyo meanwhile turned into a reliable starting pitcher for many years.
51. Rusney Castillo.
52. Dustin Pedroia.
53. Sonny Siebert. Siebert was Boston's best starting pitcher in 1971 when he was named to the All Star team and was 16-10 with a 2.91 ERA and 131 strikeouts versus 60 walks in 235.1 innings. I love these old Kellogg's cards.
54. Bob Zupcic. Zupcic hit just three home runs in 1992, but knew how to pick his spots. Two of them were grand slams. On June 30, 1992, his grand slam was a walkoff winner. His other grand slam put Boston ahead in the eighth inning of the game.
56. Carl Yastrzemski.
57. Ed Sadowski. Sadowski was one of three brothers to make the Major Leagues. His brother Bob played briefly for Boston in 1966. Ed hit .215 with three home runs in 38 games for Boston before being taken by the Angels in the expansion draft.
58. Lefty Grove. Another Kellogg's card. I have been chasing this one for a long time. Grove is more well-known for his time with the Athletics, but he wears a Red Sox cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.
59. Fred Lynn. Among Lynn's greatest moments as a Red Sox was the game on June 18, 1975 when he hit three home runs and drove in 10 runs.
60. Matt Barnes. Barnes was the 19th overall pick of the 2011 draft by the Red Sox. Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, and Jackie Bradley Jr. were also first round picks that year by the Red Sox. All four have made it to the Majors.
61. Koji Uehara. Koji is Boston's biggest free agent coming into this offseason. It would be nice to bring him back as he really solidified the bullpen when he returned from his injury.
62. Manuel Margot. Margot was traded to San Diego in the Craig Kimbrel trade and made his Major League debut with the Padres late in 2016.
63. Rusney Castillo.
65. Dustin Pedroia.
66. Clay Buchholz. Buchholz pitched a no-hitter in just his second Major League game. He has had an up-and-down career with moments of brilliance since then. He has been an All Star twice.
67. Anderson Espinoza. Another young player that Boston has traded to the Yankees. The Red Sox got Drew Pomeranz in return. I was a little disappointed with this trade.
68. Jim Lonborg. Lonborg was Boston's first ever Cy Young Award winner in 1967. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his career afterwards. He was apparently trying to meet a famous actress on the ski slopes when he had an accident and seriously injured his knee. That would not happen in today's game.
69. Josh Beckett. Beckett was the Red Sox first pitcher to hit a home run since the designated hitter rule took effect. He hit two home runs for Boston.
70. Wade Boggs. I was heartbroken when Boggs left Boston to sign with the Yankees. My dislike of the Yankees was not fully realized yet, but it wasn't long. They took my favorite player, even though I realize now that Boston did not do a lot to keep him around.
71. Frank Malzone. Malzone may have had a Hall of Fame career had he started earlier. He should have won the Rookie of the Year in 1957. There is really no excuse for Tom Tresh winning it over Malzone, he played fewer games and had lesser numbers almost across the board. His batting average was just five points higher.
72. Jackie Jensen. Jensen won the AL MVP in 1958 when he hit .286/.396/.535 with 35 home runs and a league-leading 122 RBIs.
74. David Ortiz.
75. Marty Keough. Keough's best season in Boston was 1959 when he hit .243/.320/.418 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs. He was traded in 1960 in a deal that brought Russ Nixon and Carroll Hardy to Boston.
76. Rafael Devers. Devers is Boston's top power-hitting prospect. He hit 11 home runs this year in the minors after a very slow start to the season. At just 19 years old and already in High-A ball, he has a very bright future.
77. Clay Buchholz.
78. David Ortiz.
79. Garin Cecchini. Once one of Boston's top prospects, Cecchini never could make the next step into the Majors. He appeared in parts of two seasons in 2014 and 2015. During that time, he did manage to hit a home run and three doubles.
80. David Ortiz.
81. Dustin Pedroia.
83. Jeff Suppan. Suppan was once a highly-touted starting pitching prospect for the Red Sox. After three seasons of not quite living up to his potential, he was left unprotected in the expansion draft and was picked up by Arizona as their second pick. Later, he was re-acquired in a bad trade from the Pirates for Freddy Sanchez. Pitching in Boston simply did not seem to agree with him.
84. Smoky Joe Wood. This is a card based on the Delong Gum set from the early 1930's. Wood was a star pitcher for the Red Sox in the early 1910's, and if injuries had not derailed his career, he would be in the Hall of Fame.
85. Ferguson Jenkins. These SSPC cards display the team on the back and this card and the House both list them as Red Sox. Jenkins was seemingly past his prime when Boston sent Juan Beniquez and Steve Barr to Texas, and he was merely good, not the great pitcher he had been before.
86. Tom House. House had been a very good relief pitcher with the Braves for a few years and Boston acquired him with a plan to improve their bullpen after losing Dick Drago and Diego Segui after 1975. It did not work out that way as House was 2-3 with a 5.61 ERA in 44 games over parts of two seasons.
87. Roger Clemens. This is the Berger's Best insert of Clemens for the 1986 season.
88. Jon Lester.
89. Tony Perez. Perez was 38 when Boston signed him as a free agent, but he still had one good year left as he led Boston in home runs (25) and RBIs (105) while hitting .275. He did manage to hang on through 1982 with Boston and then four more years with the Phillies and Reds.
90. Dustin Pedroia.
92. Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel was an All Star this season, but his control issues caused some problems at times.
93. Michael Chavis. Chavis was Boston's first-round draft pick in 2014. Unfortunately he has not really gotten things going so far in the minors.
94. Pedro Martinez. Martinez likely should have won four Cy Young Awards with the Red Sox. He led the league in ERA and winning percentage in both 2002 and 2003. He also led the league in strikeouts in 2002.
95. Jon Lester.
96. David Ortiz.
97. Scott Cooper. On April 12, 1994, Cooper had the best game of his career as he hit for the cycle and was 5 for 6 with two runs and five RBIs. He had two doubles in the game. The Red Sox beat the Royals 22-11. I was listening to the game on the radio.
98. Kevin Youkilis. For his Red Sox career, Youkilis hit .287/.388/.487 with 133 home runs and 564 RBIs. He was an All Star three times and won a Gold Glove. He finished in the Top 10 in the AL MVP vote twice.
99. Aaron Bates. Bates made it to the Majors for just five games in 2009. He did hit two doubles and drove in two runs and finished with a .364 batting average.
101. Nomar Garciaparra.
102. Blake Swihart.
103. Nomar Garciaparra.
104. Luis Tiant. Tiant won 20 games with Boston three times and was a major part of the 1975 World Series team. That season, he was 18-14 with a 4.02 ERA, but in the World Series he was 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 12 strikeouts.
105. Heath Hembree. This card was the #5 card on my Top 10 Most Wanted list. It is currently the only available card of Hembree, though after the season he had this year, it may not be long before he appears in a Topps flagship set. I thought he would be in Update, but that is not the case. He was 4-1 with a 2.65 ERA and struck out 47 in 51 innings.
106. David Price. A slight disappointment this year, Price still set a record for strikeouts by a Red Sox left-hander.
107. Frank Malzone/Vic Wertz/Jackie Jensen. Malzone and Jensen were covered earlier. Vic Wertz had a big year in 1960, hitting .282 with 19 home runs and 103 RBIs.
108. Roger Clemens.
110. Mookie Betts. As mentioned with Porcello earlier, I am eagerly anticipating the season awards. Mookie could be the MVP of the AL.
111. David Price.
112. Rusney Castillo.
113. Tom Yawkey. Yawkey is in the Hall of Fame, though I am not really sure why. He was the Red Sox owner from 1933 to 1976, but the team never won a World Championship. He did make them competitive again, but only by opening up his considerable pocketbook. Furthermore, there are some indications that he may have been the primary reason Boston did not integrate until 1959.
114. David Ortiz.
115. Blake Swihart.
116. David Price
And we finally get to the end of this post.