Sunday, May 26, 2019

Bowman and Big League Breaks

This is the last catch-up post for now.  I bought two jumbo packs of Bowman and a blaster of Big League.  Here are the Red Sox:
As you can obviously tell, there are no Bowman cards.  I did not pull a single Red Sox card from the Bowman packs.  It is made-up for somewhat in the Big League pulls with four Red Sox, though three of those all came in one pack.  So, it was a little frustrating.  That being said, I absolutely love the Mitch Moreland Nicknames card here.  Exactly the kind of card I love pulling.  An insert of a player without a lot of cards.  With the two Mookie cards, he is now at 200 cards in my collection.  An impressive feat. 

Here is the team breakdown:
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 10
ATLANTA BRAVES: 8
CINCINNATI REDS: 7
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 7
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 7
MINNESOTA TWINS: 6
COLORADO ROCKIES: 5
MIAMI MARLINS: 5
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 5
BOSTON RED SOX: 4
DETROIT TIGERS: 4
HOUSTON ASTROS: 4
NEW YORK YANKEES: 4
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 4
CHICAGO CUBS: 3
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 3
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 3
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 3
SEATTLE MARINERS: 3
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 3
WASHINGTON NATIONALS: 3
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 2
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 2
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 2
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 2
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 2
NEW YORK METS: 2
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 2
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 1
TEXAS RANGERS: 1

The Padres had a huge breakthrough, mostly on the strength of a very strong Bowman showing.  They do have a ton of prospects, so that was not terribly shocking.  Boston finished in the middle of the pack.  Not a great showing, but much better than I thought after the awful Bowman break.

Here are the updated totals:
ATLANTA BRAVES: 46
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 40
BOSTON RED SOX: 36
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 34
HOUSTON ASTROS: 34
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 29
NEW YORK YANKEES: 28
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 28
CHICAGO CUBS: 27
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 27
NEW YORK METS: 26
WASHINGTON NATIONALS/MONTREAL EXPOS: 25 (24 Nationals/1 Expo)
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 24
COLORADO ROCKIES: 24
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 24
CINCINNATI REDS: 22
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 22
MIAMI MARLINS: 22
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 22
MINNESOTA TWINS: 22
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 22
SEATTLE MARINERS: 22
TEXAS RANGERS: 22
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 21
DETROIT TIGERS: 21
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 20
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 20
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 18
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 17
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 13
OTHER: 2

I don't understand this Braves thing.  What the hell is going on?  Boston stays in third, but loses ground to the Angels.  The Padres made a huge leap out of the cellar, leaving the poor Giants in the dust.  

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Lin Card #100...and More

I finally made some more progress toward my Tzu-Wei Lin collection.  This is card #100, and it is a pretty exciting one for the milestone:
Nice 1/1 and my first Lin printing plate.  I was thrilled to add this card, particularly as it was a bit of a bidding war.

And here are cards 101 and 102:
Here we have the Panini Chronicles Purple parallel, which is numbered out of 99.  This was one of the last parallels I needed from that set.  And then this is the base version of the Legacy of Baseball autograph.  Cards are getting hard to find, unless I want to add a bunch of the Rize cards.  These may be the last Lin cards for awhile.

And last, but certainly not least, card #103:
This is actually the mini Red Refractor, serial-numbered to 10.  So, this has been some legitimate progress toward the Bowman Chrome rainbow.

I am concerned about Lin's future with Boston, particularly in light of Michael Chavis's emergence as a potential star.  Chavis will likely take the bulk of the at-bats at second going forward, with Dustin Pedroia attempting to come back.  Lin suffered a rather poorly-timed injury.  I doubt he will be back in the Majors right away when he comes back.  Hopefully he will find some roster space later this season and stick around for awhile.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Gypsy Queen and Donruss Breaks

One of these days I will get caught back up.

A few weeks ago, I bought a blaster of Donruss and two jumbo hanger packs of Gypsy Queen.  The Gypsy Queen breaks consisted of a lot of duplicates, because, well...Topps.  I'm still hoping to pull a Brock Holt Highlights card.  No luck so far.

Here are the Red Sox:
For simplicity sake, I included the duplicates of J.D. Martinez.  I LOVE the JBJ picture.  I remember that play pretty well last season.  He is having a terrible season at the plate so far this year, but this is a reminder of how much fun he is to watch in the field.  

As for the Donruss cards, Sale and Benintendi are the base versions and Devers is the variation.  

So, no truly exciting pulls for the Red Sox.  The JBJ is a parallel, but not a particularly rare one.

Here are the team-by-team totals for pulls:
HOUSTON ASTROS: 8
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 8
NEW YORK METS: 8
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 8
ATLANTA BRAVES: 7
BOSTON RED SOX: 7
COLORADO ROCKIES: 6
MIAMI MARLINS: 6
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 6
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 5
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 5
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 5
WASHINGTON NATIONALS: 5
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 4
CINCINNATI REDS: 4
DETROIT TIGERS: 4
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 4
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 4
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 4
TEXAS RANGERS: 4
MINNESOTA TWINS: 3
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 3
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 3
CHICAGO CUBS: 2
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 2
NEW YORK YANKEES: 2
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 2
SEATTLE MARINERS: 2
OTHER: 2
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 1
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 1

The Red Sox tie for second.  I counted duplicates because it was easier.  The Yankees and Dodgers surprisingly did pretty terribly.

Here is the updated list:
ATLANTA BRAVES: 38
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 33
BOSTON RED SOX: 32
HOUSTON ASTROS: 30
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 27
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 25
CHICAGO CUBS: 24
NEW YORK METS: 24
NEW YORK YANKEES: 24
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 24
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 23
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 23
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 22
WASHINGTON NATIONALS/MONTREAL EXPOS: 22 (21 Nationals/1 Expo)
TEXAS RANGERS: 21
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 20
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 20
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 19
COLORADO ROCKIES: 19
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 19
SEATTLE MARINERS: 19
DETROIT TIGERS: 17
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 17
MIAMI MARLINS: 17
MINNESOTA TWINS: 16
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 15
CINCINNATI REDS: 15
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 15
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 11
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 10
OTHER: 2

The Braves are pulling away with things.  Boston is in third and the Yankees have fallen off the pace a little.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019 Factory Team Set

Mark Hoyle was extremely generous recently and sent me one of the packaged factory team sets.  I try to get these every year, but there are a few I am missing.

Here is this year's team:

Probably the biggest surprise from a player selection standpoint is Topps using both primary catchers.  Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez are here.  Typically with just 15-20 cards, they don't use two spots for catchers.  Leon and Vazquez played in close to the same number of games though, so I guess it makes sense.  Another interesting note is the near total lack of relievers.  Matt Barnes is the relief pitcher here.  A card of Ryan Brasier would have been welcomed. 

Thanks Harry!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Small COMC Order

A few weeks ago, I came across a card that I needed for my non-Red Sox player collection.  You can see it on the Sandy Alomar Jr. blog.  The card was on COMC which kind of has outrageous shipping cost if you are only ordering one card.  So, I decided to add a couple of Red Sox cards to make it a little more bearable.
Up first is a 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter Signature Framed Autograph card of reliever Matt Barnes.  Barnes came into the season as the favorite to win the closer's role available after Craig Kimbrel was not re-signed.  Despite some excellent numbers, Barnes has not been the closer most of the time.  He has just two saves, second on the team behind Ryan Brasier's six.  But Barnes has a 2.08 ERA and an astounding 26 strikeouts in just 13 innings.
Up next is just an MLB Showdown card of current Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who played with the Red Sox from 2003 through 2006 and was on the 2004 World Series roster.  Kapler was a nice player as a backup outfielder, but he was expected to be so much more when he was coming up with the Tigers and then Rangers.  I always liked MLB Showdown for their outstanding player selection.  Kapler is  good example as he had very few cards when he was playing for Boston.

That's it for now.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

2019 Donruss Hanger Pack

I have been gone awhile.  I know.  It happens.  Things get busy at work, and I don't have time to always scan things.  So, I will work on catching back up.  I have several posts to do.  I have not been buying a lot of cards lately, so there will not be a ton, but I will get there.

Up first is a 2019 Donruss Hanger Pack.  I was looking forward to this set, though I don't really know why. 

Up first are the Red Sox.  And there are three of them:
Well, that pretty much covered the top superstars on the team.  Chris Sale has struggled quite a bit early this season.  J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts are doing about what we expected from them.  Nothing terribly exciting here, until you do a little digging.  I do believe that there are variations of all three cards.  And both Sale and Martinez are the variations.  I doubt there is a price jump on any of them, but that is sort of exciting.  I guess.

Okay, now for the team-by-team breakdown.

HOUSTON ASTROS: 5
ATLANTA BRAVES: 3
BOSTON RED SOX: 3
CHICAGO CUBS: 3
COLORADO ROCKIES: 3
MIAMI MARLINS: 3
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 3
TEXAS RANGERS: 3
CINCINNATI REDS: 2
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 2
DETROIT TIGERS: 2
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 2
NEW YORK METS: 2
NEW YORK YANKEES: 2
PITTSBUGH PIRATES: 2
SEATTLE MARINERS: 2
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 2
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 1
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 1
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 1
MINNESOTA TWINS: 1
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 1
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 1
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 1
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 0
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 0
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 0
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 0
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 0
WASHINGTON NATIONALS: 0

Odd how close every team is.  The Astros stand out with five cards.  Seven teams, including the Red Sox, had three cards.  Nine teams had two cards.  Seven teams had one.  And six teams had no cards. 

Update on the year:

ATLANTA BRAVES: 31
BOSTON RED SOX: 25
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 25
CHICAGO CUBS: 22
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 22
HOUSTON ASTROS: 22
NEW YORK YANKEES: 22
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 22
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 20
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 18
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 17
SEATTLE MARINERS: 17
TEXAS RANGERS: 17
WASHINGTON NATIONALS/MONTREAL EXPOS: 17 (16 Nationals/1 Expo)
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 16
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 16
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 16
NEW YORK METS: 16
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 15
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 15
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 14
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 13
COLORADO ROCKIES: 13
DETROIT TIGERS: 13
MINNESOTA TWINS: 13
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 12
CINCINNATI REDS: 11
MIAMI MARLINS: 11
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 10
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 7

The Braves retain the lead.  The Red Sox are now tied for second.  Getting better.  The team is too now.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Opening Day and Heritage Pack Breaks

I was bored the other day and was itching to open up some packs.  I am still looking for Donruss.  For some reason the Walmart near me does not seem to be getting it in.  That's unfortunate.  If anyone has any versions of the Brock Holt Highlights card, I really want that one.

Well onto the breaks.  First up was two jumbo packs of Opening Day.  Those resulted in three Red Sox cards, including two parallels:
Now, I am not a big collector of the mascot cards or ballpark cards.  I keep them in my collection when I get them, but I do not go out of my way to get them.  Porcello was the only base card I received.  I really like this Pedro Martinez insert showing him hoisting the 2004 World Championship trophy.

Up next was a hanger pack of Heritage:
Once again, three (actually four but one was a double) Red Sox cards.  It included this cool insert of Yaz and Mookie Betts.  It also included a World Series Highlight card of Steve Pearce and a League Leaders card with J.D. Martinez on it.

The highlight of the day though was this:
I have been pretty lucky with packs this year.  This is the third auto or relic I have pulled and I really have not been buying much.  And they have all been pretty good too.  An Albert Pujols relic, the Bud Selig rare auto that I recently traded, and now this.  Once again, I am holding out for something decent for my Red Sox collection, but it is available.

Here is the team-by-team breakdown from the breaks:
BOSTON RED SOX: 7
ATLANTA BRAVES: 6
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 5
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 5
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 4
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 4
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 4
NEW YORK METS: 4
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 4
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 3
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 3
HOUSTON ASTROS: 3
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 3
MIAMI MARLINS: 3
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 3
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 3
TEXAS RANGERS: 3
WASHINGTON NATIONALS: 3
CHICAGO CUBS: 2
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 2
MINNESOTA TWINS: 2
NEW YORK YANKEES: 2
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 2
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 2
CINCINNATI REDS: 1
DETROIT TIGERS: 1
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 1
SEATTLE MARINERS: 1
COLORADO ROCKIES: 0
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 0

The Red Sox came out on top for the second time in a row.  That is nice to see after having so many struggles with Topps Series 1.

Here is the updated team-by-team breakdown for the year:
ATLANTA BRAVES: 28
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 24
BOSTON RED SOX: 22
NEW YORK YANKEES: 20
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 20
CHICAGO CUBS: 19
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 19
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 18
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 18
HOUSTON ASTROS: 17
WASHINGTON NATIONALS/MONTREAL EXPOS: 17 (16 Nationals/1 Expo)
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 16
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 16
SEATTLE MARINERS: 15
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 15
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 15
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 14
NEW YORK METS: 14
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 14
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 14
TEXAS RANGERS: 14
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 12
MINNESOTA TWINS: 12
DETROIT TIGERS: 11
COLORADO ROCKIES: 10
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 10
CINCINNATI REDS: 9
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 9
MIAMI MARLINS: 8
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 7
With two straight strong showings, the Red Sox have vaulted their way into third place.  The Braves are just insane this year.  The Padres will likely make up ground once Manny Machado cards find their way into packs.  I always seem to pull a bunch of cards of him.  

Friday, March 22, 2019

And Here it Is

As promised, this is the monster.  I traded my Bud Selig autograph I pulled from Heritage awhile ago for all of the cards yesterday and this one.  This is an amazing autographed patch card of David Price, who I still think should have been the World Series MVP last season.  Price made me a huge fan with his postseason performance.  I love this card.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Monster at the End

Here we have Part 1 of a two-part trade.  The monster is coming in Part 2 tomorrow.  Part 1 is a whole bunch of wantlist hits, including a bunch of prospects, at least some of whom may never end up playing for the Red Sox.

Here is the first scan:
Of particular note in this scan is three of the Red Sox' top five prospects.  I expect Michael Chavis to be called up to Boston at some point during the season.  Bobby Dalbec is probably another year away with the possibility of getting the call late in the season.  Jay Groome needs to start showing some results after being a potential #1 overall pick a few years back.
Here we have a number of pitching prospects who could make appearances in Boston at some point during the season, including Darwinzon Hernandez, Tanner Houck, Durbin Feltman, Bryan Mata and Mike Shawaryn.  Triston Casas was Boston's first-round pick last year.
And here we have Josh Ockimey and some other prospects.  We also have a Hall of Famer and a couple of current stars.
And here is the last scan for now.  Just wait until tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Throwback to 1954

Just a one-card post today.  This is a trade I did on the forums recently:
This is one of those Throwback Thursday cards.  It is always nice to find someone trading these because you have to buy them from Topps in sets of five and they cost $20 each.  This is a 1954 Topps design with hopeful 2019 breakout Rafael Devers. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Topps Now Postseason Auto

I have done four autograph team sets for Topps Now.  The first two times, I received Chris Sale autos, which I am happy about, but I would have liked someone else the second time through.  Then I got a Brock Holt auto from the World Championship set.  This set had three auto possibilities: Sale, Andrew Benintendi and David Price.  Honestly, I wanted Price. 

And I got...
Yep, my first David Price auto.  Though not my last.  Wait until you see something coming in the next few days.  I am thrilled with this card.  Price was electrifying later in the postseason last year.  I hope he keeps it up this season.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Finally

I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to get this.  I placed an order for the autograph version of the Red Sox postseason Topps Now set back in early October.  I got the World Championship set back in like December, but still had not received this one until last week.  So here is the basic set, and I will get to the autograph card tomorrow:
No real huge surprises with the player selection there.  Brock Holt and Ian Kinsler are mildly surprising, though I am thrilled both were there.  Kinsler will go down as a one-year wonder and Holt is a big fan favorite.
And here are the rest.  I am a little surprised at Nunez being there.  I feel it may have made a little more sense to get a bullpen guy or two in the set.  Someone like Matt Barnes, or even better, Ryan Brasier would have been welcome additions.  I'm just glad the set finally arrived.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Zippy-Zapped from the Land of the Rising Sun

In the midst of the big flooding I received a package from the great Kenny, the Zippy-Zapper himself.  This one was full of a bunch of new stuff for me, including a few wantlist hits.  Just a terrific package.
The first three cards include a failed prospect in Lars Anderson (who has remained in the public eye with some truly funny musings on baseball for various sites), a refractor of Adrian Gonzalez, and a minor league card of an even bigger bust in Kolbrin Vitek, one of the worst first-round picks Boston has made in a long time.  The rest of the cards are the truly interesting part of the package.  You might notice the colors seem just a little bit off.  I did, and came across quite the shock after turning them over.  This is the back of the Pedro card:
Yes, all of the rest of the cards, and the first three in the next scan, are Topps cards from Japan.  Specifically listed as Kanebo cards.  I think these are my first Kanebo cards in my Red Sox collection.  That is what makes the Zippy Zappings so great is finding stuff like that in them that can only be found in Japan.
Here are the rest of the cards.  Among the highlights are minor league cards of Xander Bogaerts, Travis Shaw (who has turned into a nice player for the Brewers), Will Middlebrooks and Anthony Ranaudo.  And then there is Henry Owens who has washed out as well.

Thanks a lot for the package Kenny!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Time to Catch Up

In the last few weeks, I have had a three-day trial, argued in front of the Nebraska Court of Appeals, drafted my fantasy team, and then escaped the flooding that has affected the entire Northeastern corner of Nebraska.  Yes, I'm safe, and so are my cards.  And so now, it is time to play catch-up again.  Here is a package I received earlier in the week.

This was the main card in the package and the only one I expected:
This is card #99 in my Tzu-Wei Lin collection.  This is the Gold version of the Legacy of Baseball autograph set that is still the only card he has in 2019.  I was hoping he was going to be in Heritage, but that did not work out.  I figured he would not be in Donruss, which I still need to find.

Then there were a bunch of extra Bowman's Best singles from last year and lo and behold two of them were Red Sox.  Since I did not have any of the Bowman's Best cards from last year, that's two new Red Sox cards.  Awesome.
We have Andrew Benintendi, who I still have issues recognizing without his long hair, and J.D. Martinez.  So two good ones.  I will have a few more posts coming up very soon.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

2019 Heritage Blaster

I was looking forward to new releases.  Pulling Red Sox out of Topps Series 1 was like pulling teeth.  I do not really know why.  So I got frustrated after a little while and decided to stop buying.  So when Heritage dropped, I decided to jump on it.  I was a little disappointed by the checklist.  Heritage has usually been my go-to set for good player collection.  This year it seems a little too into the stars on the team.  The only non-stars on the checklist are Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt, Christian Vazquez, Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Steve Pearce.  No Sandy Leon.  No Matt Barnes.  No Ryan Brasier.  No Nathan Eovaldi.  And perhaps most importantly, no Tzu-Wei Lin.

Well, this break worked out pretty well for the Red Sox.  Here is the new damage:
Well it certainly helps that there were a bunch of World Series and postseason highlights cards.  I pulled three Red Sox that way.  I also pulled a base Mookie, an insert Mookie, and the short-printed Xander Bogaerts.  Not too shabby. 

Here is the tradebait:
A Chrome Refractor of new Phillie Jean Segura, a couple of short-prints, a cloth Kershaw, and a Nolan Ryan insert.

Then there was this:
Yep, a Bud Selig autograph.  I don't know if anyone has interest in it, but I am definitely willing to move it for a Red Sox auto.  It is apparently pretty rare though, so come strong.

Here is the breakdown by team for pulls:
BOSTON RED SOX: 6
ATLANTA BRAVES: 4
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 4
NEW YORK YANKEES: 4
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 4
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 4
WASHINGTON NATIONALS: 4
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 3
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 3
NEW YORK METS: 3
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 3
SEATTLE MARINERS: 3
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 3
TEXAS RANGERS: 3
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 3
CHICAGO CUBS: 2
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 2
CINCINNATI REDS: 2
COLORADO ROCKIES: 2
HOUSTON ASTROS: 2
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 2
MINNESOTA TWINS: 2
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 1
DETROIT TIGERS: 1
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 1
MIAMI MARLINS: 1
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 1
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 1
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 0
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 0

So, Boston wins this time.  Like I said, the postseason highlights definitely helped.  Here is the updated yearly totals:

ATLANTA BRAVES: 22
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 20
NEW YORK YANKEES: 18
CHICAGO CUBS: 17
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 16
BOSTON RED SOX: 15
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 14
HOUSTON ASTROS: 14
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 14
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 14
SEATTLE MARINERS: 14
WASHINGTON NATIONALS/MONTREAL EXPOS: 14 (13 Nationals/1 Expo)
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 13
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 13
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 13
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 12
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 12
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 11
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 11
TEXAS RANGERS: 11
COLORADO ROCKIES: 10
DETROIT TIGERS: 10
MINNESOTA TWINS: 10
NEW YORK METS: 10
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 9
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 8
CINCINNATI REDS: 8
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 7
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 6
MIAMI MARLINS: 5

The Red Sox move up quite a bit but are still well behind the leading team, which is oddly the Braves right now.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Trade With a Dodgers Fan

I have not been posting lately.  I apologize.  Things have been busy at work.  Working on a trial right now and going to be arguing in front of the state Court of Appeals in less than two weeks.  I have not been buying a lot of cards lately either and even fewer trades.  It has been a bit frustrating.  So that is why it came as such a nice surprise when Jason contacted me to set up a trade.  Jason is a Dodgers fan and is getting back into collecting after several years' absence.  As such it was fairly easy to hook him up with some Dodgers cards and he had a few of my 2019 Red Sox wantlist needs.

Here is what he sent:
Here we have a nice assortment of stuff, including a few inserts.  I love the 150 Years inserts.  This one celebrates Pedro Martinez's 2000 season.  It is nice to be able to say that I got to experience that season unfolding.  He truly was a marvel.  I like the 150 Years stamped cards too.  David Price is a player that I intend to pick up more cards of this year.  I was blown away by his postseason performance.  I hope he keeps it up.
And here is the rest of the stuff.  These are several base cards that I needed to complete my base team set.  I still have a few more out there to get, but Jason certainly helped where buying packs was simply not working out for me any more.  We have another nice World Series highlight card from new fan favorite Steve Pearce as well as base cards from Bogaerts, Moreland and Devers.

Thanks a ton for the trade, Jason!  Hope to deal with you again.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Trade with ARPSmith

Recently Adam, from the terrific ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession, contacted me on one of my posts complaining about the crappy breaks from 2019 Topps.  He wanted a few cards from my tradebait and offered up some random Red Sox cards from my wantlist.  I could not turn that down.  I was not sure what he would send, so the package was a nice surprise:
1.  2018 Topps Holiday J.D. Martinez.  It is kind of weird to see cards depicting Martinez in the field.  He was born to be a DH.

2.  2018 Topps Holiday Xander Bogaerts.  Bogaerts may be entering his final season in Boston.  I hope that is not true, but I guess I am preparing.

3.  2018 Topps Fire Fired Up Andrew Benintendi.  I hope to see Benny take the next step to stardom this season.  He has been damn good so far, but he could be the next Red Sox superstar.

4.  2018 Topps Holiday Craig Kimbrel.  Kimbrel is still out there trying to get a new contract.  I do not see Boston bringing him back, which would be a shame, but the team needs to find some way to re-sign its upcoming free agent stars like Betts, Sale and Bogaerts.

5.  2018 Topps Holiday Ian Kinsler.  This is probably the card I was happiest about.  Kinsler is destined to be a one-year wonder.

6.  2018 Topps Gallery Mookie Betts.  If the Red Sox can only sign one of their young stars to a long-term contract, I really want it to be Betts.  He has Franchise Player written all over him.

7.  2019 Topps 1984 Pedro Martinez.  I always liked the 1984 design.  It is one of my favorites from the 80's.

8.  2018 Topps Fire Pedro Martinez.  Martinez is working with Eduardo Rodriguez this Spring.  Hopefully that will pay big dividends for E-Rod.

9.  2017 Topps Update MVP Award Winner Roger Clemens.  Clemens won the AL MVP in 1986, still the only Red Sox pitcher to win the award.

Thanks for the trade Adam!

Friday, February 15, 2019

All-Time One-Year Wonder: Left-Handed Starting Pitcher

I'm going to do something a little different with the One-Year Wonder posts. I have decided to go position-by-position and see if I can determine who the best player at each position would be who only spent one year with the Red Sox. This requires a lot of time and research. I am not naming every single player who spent just one season with the Red Sox at each position, but just the better-known players. At the end of the post, I will pick the single best player for each position.

LEFT-HANDED STARTING PITCHER
HARRY HARPER - 1920
Harper spent ten years pitching in the Majors, the first seven of which were with the Washington Senators alongside the great Walter Johnson.  Harper notched double digits in wins three times with a career high of 14 in 1916 when he also pitched to a 2.45 ERA and struck out a career high 149.  After he led the league in losses with 21 (winning just six games) in 1919, Harper was traded to the Red Sox along with Eddie Foster and Mike Menosky for Braggo Roth and Red Shannon.  Foster was past his prime but Harper and Menosky were still in their mid 20's at the time of the trade and Menosky would have a few useful seasons in him.  Harper though failed to turn around his fortunes for Boston in 1920 and finished the season 5-14 with a 3.04 ERA.  He struck out 71 and walked 66 in 162.2 innings.  After the season, he became part of the pipeline of talent going from Boston to New York when he was sent along with Wally Schang, Mike McNally and future Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt in exchange for Del Pratt, Muddy Ruel, Hank Thormahlen and Sammy Vick.  If not for Hoyt, this would have been one of the better trades for Boston as both Ruel and Pratt were still good players.  Schang still had some good years left, but McNally and Harper never did much.  Harper in particular pitched in eight games for New York.  He was basically done.  

FRED HEIMACH - 1926
Another fairly obscure, but long-tenured southpaw to pitch for Boston in the Roaring '20's, Heimach was a versatile pitcher who was used as a starter and a reliever throughout his career.  He spent his first six seasons with the Philadelphia A's.  He won a career high 14 games for Philadelphia in 1924, but lost 12 games and had a less-than-impressive 4.73 ERA.  In 1926, after starting the season 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 13 games, mostly as a reliever, Heimach was sent to the Red Sox along with Baby Doll Jacobson and Slim Harriss for Boston ace Howard Ehmke.  Starved for starting rotation help, Heimach spent most of his time in Boston in the rotation, pitching in 20 games with 13 of them being starts.  He was just 2-9 though with an ugly 5.65 ERA and a thoroughly awful 17 strikeouts versus 42 walks in 102 innings.  Jacobson was the top player Boston received in that deal, by far.  After the season, Heimach was traded to the minors for Fred Hofmann and Pee Wee Wanninger.  Heimach later found himself pitching for the Yankees for a couple of seasons and then with the Dodgers for four years.

LLOYD BROWN - 1933
While pitching for the Washington Senators, Brown won 15 or more games three seasons in a row from 1930 through 1932.  He came up with Brooklyn in 1925 but was banished to the minors for a couple of seasons before re-emerging with Washington in 1928.  He regularly notched over 200 innings during his string of success.  After the 1932 season, Brown was sent along with Carl Reynolds and $20,000.00 to the St. Louis Browns for a package headlined by former Senator great and future Hall of Famer Goose Goslin.  Brown made it into just eight games with his new team and had an ugly 1-6 record with a 7.15 ERA before he was on the move again for more financial help for the ailing Browns franchise.  This time, the Red Sox, newly flush with cash thanks to the deep pockets of new owner Tom Yawkey, purchased both Brown and future Hall of Fame catcher Rick Ferrell.  The deal was more about Ferrell than Brown though Brown made it into 33 games with Boston and had a 8-11 record and a 4.02 ERA.  Coupled with his time in St. Louis, Brown once again surpassed the 200 innings mark in 1933.  After the season, Brown was traded to the Indians for Bill Cissell and pitched a few more seasons in Cleveland before hanging it up.

JOHNNY SCHMITZ - 1956
During a 13-year Major League career, Schmitz was a two-time All Star for the Cubs in 1946 and 1948, sandwiched around a season in which he led the league in losses (18).  Schmitz pitched with the Cubs for eight years before bouncing around for the rest of his career.  He pitched for the Senators, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Reds and Orioles.  Schmitz was part of a group of players traded from Washington to Boston after the 1955 season.  Schmitz ended up being the least important of the four players Boston received behind Mickey Vernon, Tom Umphlett and Bob Porterfield.  The Red Sox gave up Dick Brodowski and Karl Olson in the deal.  Schmitz made it into just two games, pitching four scoreless innings with Boston before being sold to the Orioles.  He did not do much more for Baltimore before hanging it up after the season.

DEAN STONE - 1957
During a terrific rookie season with the Washington Senators, Stone was 12-10 with a 3.22 ERA and made an All Star appearance in 1954.  He looked like a young star.  Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.  Stone never returned to the All Star game.  He had a couple more mediocre seasons with Washington before being traded early in 1957 season to Boston along with Bob Chakales for Milt Bolling, Faye Throneberry and Russ Kemmerer.  Stone finished out the season with the Red Sox, going 1-3 with a 5.08 ERA.  He struck out 32 and walked 35 in 51.1 innings.  Unfortunately his time in Boston was cut short due to injuries.  He missed the entire 1958 season.  Boston traded him to the Cardinals for Nelson Chittum during the 1959 season.  Technically he was on the team for more than just one season, but he only appeared in games during the 1957 season.  He managed to have a decent stint as a reliever before his career was officially over after 1963.  

BILLY HOEFT - 1959
Hoeft was yet another former All Star who spent just a short amount of time pitching for the Boston Red Sox.  He came up with the Detroit Tigers in the early 1950's, gradually improving until he made the All Star team in 1955 by going 16-7 with a 2.99 ERA, 133 strikeouts versus 75 walks in 220 innings and leading the league with seven shutouts.  He garnered some down-ballot MVP consideration that season.  The next season he was a 20 game winner for the only time in his career, but suffered an ERA decline.  Unfortunately, he was never again the same pitcher.  After a couple of mediocre seasons, he was traded to the Red Sox early in the 1959 season for Ted Lepcio and Dave Sisler.  He spent just over a month in Boston, going 0-3 with a 5.60 ERA striking out and walking eight in just over 17 innings.  He was traded for the next pitcher in this post in June.  Hoeft stuck around for several more seasons, mostly pitching in relief for the Orioles, Giants, Braves and Cubs.  

JACK HARSHMAN
In a one-for-one southpaw-for-southpaw deal, the Red Sox acquired Harshman in the deal for Billy Hoeft from the Orioles.  Harshman looked like a rising star earlier in the decade with the White Sox himself.  In his first three full seasons with Chicago, he was 40-26 with a 3.13 ERA and 393 strikeouts in 583 innings.  He had a rough season in 1957 and moved on to Baltimore with whom he was 12-15, but with a nice 2.89 ERA.  In 1959, he started the season in Baltimore before being traded to the Red Sox for Hoeft.  He pitched in eight games for Boston and was 2-3 with a 6.57 ERA.  He struck out 14 and walked ten in 24.2 innings.  The Red Sox exposed him to waivers a month later and Cleveland picked him up, where he improved dramatically.  He spent the next season in Cleveland and then was out of the Majors for good.

ED CONNOLLY - 1964
Connolly definitely did not have a long career, pitching in just 42 games in the Majors over two seasons, but a second-generation Red Sox gets some notice.  His father, also Ed Connolly, spent four seasons as a backup catcher for Boston from 1929 through 1932.  Connolly Jr. was only in Boston for 1964.  He put in a fair amount of work that season, throwing 80.2 innings in 27 games, but finishing with a bad 4-11 record and a 4.91 ERA.  Connolly struck out 73 but walked 64.  He spent the next couple of seasons in the minors before re-emerging with Cleveland in 1967.  His numbers did not improve and he never made it back to the Majors.

BILLY ROHR - 1967
In his Major League debut, Rohr recorded 26 outs before giving up a hit.  On a two-strike count, future teammate Elston Howard, then of the Yankees, laced a single breaking up Rohr's no-hit bid.  He recorded the final out without incident, finishing up one of the most electrifying debuts in Red Sox history.  Unfortunately, that was the best moment in what would be a short Major League career.  Rohr went 2-3 with a 5.10 ERA in his rookie season with the Red Sox.  He struck out 16 and walked 22 in 42.1 innings.  Just prior to the 1968 season, his contract was sold to the Indians for whom he was 1-0 with a 6.87 ERA.  He bounced around the minors for a couple of seasons after that, but that was it for his Major League career.  He exploded onto the scene and flamed out just as quickly.

FRANK TANANA - 1981
A flame-throwing southpaw in the same Angels rotation as Nolan Ryan in the mid-1970's, Tanana struck out over 200 batters three seasons in a row, peaking with a league-leading 269 in 1975.  He was a three-time All Star who also led the league in ERA in 1977 (2.54) and won 15 or more games four times.  He finished in the top five for the Cy Young Award twice.  Tanana unfortunately started having arm trouble in 1978 as a result of heavy early use.  By the time the Red Sox acquired him prior to the 1981 season, he was a shadow of his former self.  It hurt even more due to the fact that he was the primary return in the trade that sent Red Sox fan favorite Fred Lynn to the West Coast.  In his only season in Boston, Tanana finished 4-10 with a 4.01 ERA.  He struck out just 78 batters while walking 43 in 141.1 innings.  After the season, he signed as a free agent with the Rangers, led the league in losses with 18 in 1982, but slowly resurrected his career with Texas and Detroit as a junk-tossing, crafty southpaw.  He finished his 21 year career with a 240-236 record, a 3.66 ERA, and 2,773 strikeouts.  

CHRIS NABHOLZ - 1994
At one time, Nabholz was one of the top pitching prospects in the game.  In his rookie season with the Expos, Nabholz was 6-2 with a 2.83 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched.  He continued to put up decent numbers for the next couple of seasons in Montreal, but was never able to make the next step.  His best season was 1992 when he was 11-12 with a 3.32 ERA and 130 strikeouts versus 74 walks in 195 innings.  After a down season in 1993, Nabholz was traded to the Indians.  The Red Sox acquired him in early July of 1994 to help solidify the rotation, along with Steve Farr, in exchange for closer Jeff Russell.  Nabholz made eight starts before the season ended early due to the players' strike and was 3-4 with a 6.64 ERA.  He struck out 23, but walked 29 in 42 innings.  After the season, he left Boston to join the Cubs as a free agent who tried (and failed) to make a reliever out of him.  That was it for his career.

ZANE SMITH - 1995
Smith was a crafty, efficient southpaw who spent time with the Braves, Expos and Pirates from 1984 through 1994.  He won double digits three times, including a high of 16 wins in 1991 with the NL East-winning Pirates.  He was a dependable pitcher who could start or relieve.  He had an incredible stint as a reliever for the Expos in 1989 when he turned in a 1.50 ERA over 31 games.  The Red Sox acquired him as a free agent, but he had a rough season.  He started 21 out of 24 games and was 8-8 with a 5.61 ERA.  He struck out 47 and walked 23 in 110.2 innings.  It was the worst season of his career.  He returned to Pittsburgh for one more season in 1996, but retired after the season.  His 100-115 record is deceptive as Smith spent a lot of time with very bad teams.   

JAMIE MOYER - 1996
No one could have predicted that when the 33-year-old Moyer was traded by the Red Sox during the 1996 season that he would go on to pitch another 15 seasons.  Moyer came up in 1986 with the Cubs and three seasons there as a decent, but hard-luck pitcher who had a nice 3.48 ERA in 1988, but lost 15 games for the second season in a row.  He went on to pitch for the Rangers and Cardinals but was relegated to the minors in 1992.  He returned to the Majors in 1993 and had a couple of nice seasons with the Orioles before the Red Sox signed him as a free agent for the 1996 season.  Moyer was in the midst of a pretty good season with the Red Sox and was 7-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 23 games.  He started ten of them and had 90 innings pitched, striking out 50 and walking 27.  The Red Sox though started very poorly and were mostly out of the race and saw a chance to acquire a decent young player for the eventual free agent.  Moyer was shipped to Seattle in exchange for Darren Bragg, who was a good defensive outfielder but was limited offensively.  Moyer though completely resurrected his career and went on to win 145 games with the Mariners.  He also pitched for the Phillies, Orioles, Blue Jays and Rockies before finally retiring after the 2012 season.  Bragg was out of the Majors after the 2004 season despite being seven years younger.  Moyer's final numbers include a record of 269-209 with a 4.25 ERA and 2,441 strikeouts.

KENT MERCKER - 1999
Known mostly for his two no-hitters as a member of the Braves (one of which was a combined no-hitter with Alejandro Peña and Mark Wohlers), Mercker actually had two stints with the Red Sox organization, though he never actually pitched with Boston in the second stint.  Mercker was primarily used as a relief pitcher early in his career before becoming a starter in 1994.  It was after all, difficult to crack the Braves rotation in the early 1990's.  After 1995, Mercker began to bounce around a little bit.  After starting out the 1999 season with the Cardinals, Mercker was traded to Boston late in the season.  He made it into just five games, starting all of them, but was 2-0 with a 3.51 ERA and 17 strikeouts and 13 walks in 25.2 innings.  He made three starts in the postseason, taking a loss in a game in the ALCS against the Yankees.  After a stop with the Angels in 2000, Mercker returned to the Red Sox in 2001, but failed to make it into a game.  He went on to pitch a few more seasons with the Rockies, Reds, Braves and Cubs.  

JEFF FASSERO - 2000
With the Expos and Mariners, Fassero had been a reliable number two starter.  He notched double digit win totals five times, including in 1993 when he split time as a reliever and a starter, and in 1997 led the AL in games started.  Once becoming a starter, Fassero regularly threw over 200 innings and had a sub-4.00 ERA.  After a rough 1999 season split between the Mariners and Rangers, the Red Sox took a flyer on him hoping for a bounceback season.  Instead, Fassero was mostly mediocre, when he was healthy.  He made just 23 starts and added an additional 15 games out of the bullpen and finished with an 8-8 record and a 4.78 ERA.  He struck out 97 and walked 50 in 130 innings.  After the 2000 season, Fassero hung around the Majors for a few more years with the Cubs, Cardinals, Rockies, Diamondbacks and Giants, but he never regained the ability that made him an effective starting pitcher in the mid 1990's.

DARREN OLIVER - 2002
Oliver, who made it onto the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot somehow, spent a large chunk of his career with the Texas Rangers, making three stints with them.  He had been reasonably effective as a starting pitcher in the mid-90's, winning ten or more games four times.  He had a rough 2001 season with Texas though as he was 11-11 with a 6.02 ERA.  The Rangers and Red Sox exchanged bad contracts swapping Oliver for Carl Everett.  While Everett fit in well with Texas, Oliver had some issues in Boston.  He made it into just 14 games, starting nine of them and was 4-5 with a 4.66 ERA.  He struck out 32 and walked 27 in 58 innings.  He did have some success against the Yankees, but he was released by the Red Sox in July.  After the season, Oliver moved on to the Rockies, Marlins, Astros, Mets, Angels, Rangers and Blue Jays, resurrecting his career as a lefty option out of the bullpen.  

ERIK BEDARD - 2011
At the 2011 trading deadline, the Red Sox were in first place but needed some rotation help.  They acquired one of the best arms available by sending multiple prospects to the Mariners for Bedard.  Bedard came up with the Orioles and turned into a very good starting pitcher, striking out 221 batters in a 2007 season in which he went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA.  Unfortunately, injuries limited his effectiveness the next few seasons.  When 2011 came around, Bedard was 4-7, but with a 3.45 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 91.1 innings.  But Bedard was not able to keep going at that rate upon joining the Red Sox rotation.  He started eight games, and was 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA.  He did strike out 38 in 38 innings, while walking 18.  The Red Sox fell out of first and eventually missed the postseason and the rotation was a big reason why.  Bedard pitched the next three seasons with one season each in Pittsburgh, Houston and Tampa Bay.  

WADE MILEY - 2015
The only pitcher here who is actually still active, so you never know, Miley could end up back in Boston some day.  Miley came up with the Diamondbacks and was an All Star and finished second in the Rookie of the Year race to Bryce Harper in 2012.  He struggled to match that season for the next couple of years.  Before the 2015 season, Miley was traded to the Red Sox for former prospects Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa.  Miley was part of a rotation filled with inning-eating, non-flashy starters for the 2015 season.  He delivered about what was expected of him, leading the team in wins (11-11) and innings pitched (193.2).  He struck out 147 and walked 64.  His ERA was 4.46.  After the season, Boston traded Miley to Seattle for Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.  In 2018, he had a very good season with Milwaukee and will be with Houston in 2019.  

THE BEST ONE-YEAR LEFT-HANDED STARTING PITCHER
Yeesh.  Pickings were very slim this time.  Very few southpaw starters put together successful seasons.  Kent Mercker probably had the best numbers, but he pitched in just five games, and I would prefer someone who made it an entire season.  That is also part of the reason why Jamie Moyer did not get it, though the other reason was due to being a reliever for a hefty chunk of his sole season in Boston.  So we were down to Harry Harper and Wade Miley, with Jeff Fassero being dropped.  They had identical WAR values in their one season and neither had very good records due to playing for losing teams, though Miley's was quite a bit better.  Harper had a significantly better ERA, and led his team in that category.  Miley led his team in wins and innings pitched and was second in strikeouts, out-doing Harper in that category by 80.  So it is pretty close and almost a toss-up.  I'm going to give it to Miley though because of the significantly better strikeout-to-walk ratio, WHIP, and record, and because I actually got to watch Miley.  So there it is.  Not an overly exciting choice, but it is what it is.