Thursday, December 22, 2016

Red Sox With No Cards: 2008

Wait a minute.  We skipped 2007?  Yes, yes we did.  Thanks to winning the World Series and getting a bunch of commemorative sets made (including Topps, Upper Deck, and the ever-popular Danbury Mint), every single player that suited up for the Red Sox for even one game that season got a card.  That includes Brenden Donnelly, Bryan Corey, Bobby Kielty, Joel Pineiro, Kevin Cash, and even Royce Clayton.  If only that were the case with the 2013 team that did not receive any commemorative sets.
I had to show off this Clayton card, his only one with Boston.

That brings us to 2008.  The residual effect of the 2007 World Championship was that a lot of players already had cards with the Red Sox.  A number of new players that did not play much somehow managed to get included in sets, so players like Chris Carter, Jonathan Van Every, David Aardsma, Mark Kotsay, Paul Byrd, and others did get included later on.  David Ross made a brief appearance with Boston (8 games) and might have made this list if he were not the primary backup catcher in 2013-2014.  However, two players still never managed to appear on any cards with the Red Sox.

I did recently show a minor league Joe Thurston card, but he never appeared on a card with the Major League team.  Thurston was a speedy infielder who came up through the Dodgers system, but he never seemed to be given much of a chance to stick in the Majors.  He appeared in parts of three seasons with the Dodgers from 2002-2004.  He next made the Majors with the Phillies in 2006 for 18 games and then again made it to the Majors, this time with the Red Sox in 2008.  He played in just four games for Boston with nine plate appearances.  He walked once, but that was all he had to show for his time in Boston.  He played in left field for all of his appearances on the field.  He had a successful season in Pawtucket with a .316/.367/.456 line with 11 home runs and 19 stolen bases.  Thurston did somehow play a full season with the Cardinals in 2009 but batted .225/.316/.330 with little power and speed.  He last appeared in the Majors for one game with the Marlins in 2011.  

2008 was one of two seasons during which Gil Velazquez made an appearance in Boston.  It was also his Major League debut.  Velazquez was drafted by the Mets in the 1998 draft and bounced around a little bit before finally making his debut ten years later.  His 2008 season consisted of just three games and eight plate appearances.  He did notch his first career hit and RBI that season though.  He played both second base and shortstop without committing an error.  He had been decent in Pawtucket, hitting .260/.310/.417 with 10 home runs.  Velazquez would appear briefly in Boston in 2009 then return to the minors for the entire 2010 season.  He made brief appearances in the Majors from 2011 to 2013 with the Angels and Marlins.  Velazquez had a number of minor league cards from his time in Pawtucket, but he has never had a Major League card with any team.  

Honestly, neither of these players is terribly exciting.  They certainly did not do much in Boston.  Velazquez probably had the most success, as he actually picked up a hit and an RBI.  He also generally played better defense, and then he came back the next season.  Coupled with the fact that he has never had a Major League card, I think I would pick him as the player I would most want to have a card.  

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