One very large package and one one-card package arrived in my mailbox Friday. The large package was a big trade that I made that knocked off a ton of cards from my new Ultra Tradelist. And a lot of those cards were vintage Topps cards, big plus.
But first, the higher-end cards:
1. Xander Bogaerts. This was the one-card package. The X-Man is now six cards off the pace of both Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. to be the first to 100. Bogaerts has been coming on strong lately, but he is at 91 whereas the other two are both at 97.
2. Jimmy Piersall. This was almost an afterthought to the huge trade below, but I am glad I held out to get this. I love the old Red Sox logo and Piersall was an entertaining player and a terrific defensive outfielder.
4. Jermaine Van Buren. Van Buren was one of those players that I really liked, somewhat irrationally. His ERA was an unsightly 11.77 and he walked almost twice as many hitters as he struck out, but I still liked him.
5. Jonathan Papelbon. Boston's all-time saves leader with 219, far and away higher than #2 Bob Stanley.
6. Jon Lester. Lester was one of the greatest southpaws Boston has ever had. I am reading the Terry Francona book right now and Francona thought of Lester as almost another son. It's a shame his Red Sox career ended the way it did. They should never have traded him, but they basically got Rick Porcello as a direct result of trading him, so it evened out.
7. Don Zimmer/Team. I used to try to identify everyone on each team card to figure into my player counts. I don't do that anymore. Too difficult. But this one does count as a Zimmer card.
8. Mike Torrez. Unfortunately Torrez is remembered best for giving up the Bucky Dent home run in the one game playoff in 1978. That's a shame because Torrez had some decent seasons with Boston.
9. Jerry Remy. Remy really should show up in one of the Topps Archives Fan Favorites sets. Get on that Topps.
10. Tom Poquette. I was shocked that this is just my second Poquette card. Granted, he doesn't have that many, but I have not gotten a Poquette card since the first one I got back in the second or third year I was collecting.
11. Fred Lynn. Lynn won the batting title in 1979, which was an incredible season, even better than the year he won the Rookie of the Year and MVP. It is about time a Red Sox player won the batting title again. Bill Mueller was the last one in 2003. I'm thinking Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, or Xander Bogaerts are contenders.
13. Joel Finch/Mike O'Berry/Chuck Rainey. Ah Future Stars cards. Joel Finch pitched in 15 games in the Majors and was 0-3 with a 4.87 ERA. O'Berry was never more than a backup in seven seasons in the Majors, with six different teams. Rainey came closest to being a star with a couple of 8-win seasons with the Red Sox and was 14-13 one year with the Cubs. Yep, very prophetic Topps.
14. Jim Dwyer. Dwyer played for 18 years in the season but only appeared in more than 100 games in a season four times.
15. Tom Burgmeier. I did a post about Burgmeier recently. He was an All Star in 1980 as Boston's closer.
16. Jack Brohamer. Brohamer was a backup infielder in the late 1970's. And with this card, I am down to needing just two cards for the 1980 Topps team set.
17. Don Zimmer. I really liked these manager cards. I also like getting cards of The Gerbil, even though he was not the best manager for the Red Sox and caused a lot of dissension which led to the losses of Bill Lee, Bernie Carbo, Ferguson Jenkins, and others.
18. Jim Willoughby. How is it possible to be 3-12 in relief when you have a 2.82 ERA as Willoughby did in 1976?
19. Team Card. I may consider doing something with the team cards and listing the players that appear in bubbles like on this card.
20. Bob Montgomery. I was not born yet when Montgomery was playing but I suspect I would have liked him as much as I liked Doug Mirabelli. He was a similar player. A backup catcher with some power.
22. Dick Drago. Drago was a pretty good reliever that had two stints with the Red Sox and an awesome last name.
23. Denny Doyle. He made a couple of critical errors in the 1975 World Series, but he was a pretty good hitter and solidified second base for Boston. And with that card, I need five more 1978 Topps cards.
24. Carl Yastrzemski. I liked this All Star design. I have had the Rico Petrocelli for quite some time.
25. Lee Stange. You can always tell when a player was new to a team because they would appear hatless on a Topps card. But Stange pitched in 28 games for Boston the year before this card, granted he came in midseason, but you would think Topps could get a picture of him in a Red Sox uniform.
26. Jose Santiago. Boston's #2 starter in the Impossible Dream season. Santiago's biggest moment was hitting a home run in his first World Series at-bat. Dustin Pedroia later matched the feat.
27. Mike Ryan. Apparently there is a variation of this card, one which does not have a dot above the "i" in his signature. This is the dot version.
28. Joe Foy. Airbrushed hat for some reason. Foy never played for any team before Boston.
29. Hank Fischer. Fischer had some decent numbers in short work with Boston. He was 3-5 with a 2.65 ERA and 44 strikeouts versus 19 walks in 57.2 innings.
31. Darrell Brandon. Nicknamed "Bucky", Brandon was a talented pitcher who could never put things together. He was 8-8 with a 3.31 ERA in his rookie season in 1966, but it was all downhill from there.
32. Vic Wertz. Wertz hit the famous fly ball that Willie Mays tracked down and caught over his shoulder in the World Series. But he was a pretty good hitter. His best year in Boston was 1960 when he hit .282 with 19 home runs and 103 RBIs.
33. Mike Fornieles. Fornieles was a pretty good reliever before relievers were crucial to a team's success. His best year was 1960 when he was 10-5 with a 2.64 ERA.
34. Jerry Casale. He looked promising in his rookie season in 1959 when he was 13-8 with a 4.31 ERA. He also hit three home runs. But he never came close to those numbers again. This is a frequent problem with Boston pitching.
35. Pete Daley. Boston's backup catcher to Sammy White in the late 1950's had some power, but could never unseat White, who was a good hitter and a great defensive catcher.
36. Billy Klaus. Klaus had a decent season in his first year with Boston, hitting .283 and walking more than he struck out. He was a pretty decent, underrated player who finished second in the Rookie of the Year vote that year.
37. Frank Sullivan. The ace of the Red Sox staff in the late 1950's was a two-time All Star and led the league in wins and innings pitched in 1955.
So I am very close to the team set in 1980 and 1978, and made some big progress in 1967. The cards from 1970, 1960, and 1958 helped, but I am still a ways away.