Sunday, October 24, 2021

Wantlist-Heavy Package

As I said recently, it is time to get caught up again.  I have a couple of jury trials in the next few weeks, so do not be too surprised if I do not post often right away.

Let's get moving:

This package contained a lot of mid 2000's cards as well as a bunch of stuff from the '80's/'90's.  How else to explain the random appearance of Jody Reed?  I am more surprised that there were still Jody Reed cards I needed.  I was a pretty big fan of Reed in the early days.  The other cards in the first scan are superstar players like Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

I still consider trying to find all of the Generation Now cards of Jonathan Papelbon.  Then I decide that is just way too many Jonathan Papelbon cards.  Here are a couple more.  David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia also make appearances in this scan.

And here we have a bunch of Nomar Garciaparra cards, along with Carlton Fisk, Bobby Doerr, Kevin Youkilis and two players who never actually played for the Red Sox.  Edwin Almonte and Ian Bladergroen managed to have quite a few cards, despite never playing for Boston.  Almonte's Major League career consisted of just 12 games for the Mets in 2003.  Bladergroen, who was acquired in a deal from the Mets for Doug Mientkiewicz in 2005, never played in the Majors at all.

Finally, we return to the '80's for a couple of oddball cards of Bruce Hurst and Mike Greenwell, then close out with Nomar and Big Papi.  This was a nice mix of players.  Definitely star-heavy, but some surprise players as well.  All of the cards though, had been on my wantlist.  

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Well That Sucked

I will get around to posting my usual recap of the season at some point.  Right now I am very disappointed in the finish.  The Red Sox looked like a team of destiny less than a week ago.  Since that time though, the offense completely shut down.  This has been the trend with the team all year long.  They were maddeningly inconsistent.  They could look great, then suddenly look like a team that was completely lost on the field.  

The one thing to remember though is that this team was not even supposed to get this far.  This looked like a rebuilding season at the outset.  The "experts" predicted a fourth place finish and that did not seem out of line.  Chris Sale was still recovering from Tommy John surgery and, other than Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, the team did not have many star players.  A number of players were signed as stop-gaps, like Hunter Renfroe, Enrique Hernandez, Garrett Richards, Matt Andriese, Marwin Gonzalez and others.  Some of those players were terrific, others were decidedly not.  And yet, the team was in first place at the All Star Break.  They slumped badly down the stretch, but managed to put enough together to win the top Wild Card spot on the last day of the season, finishing with the same record as the Yankees, the team many picked to win the division.  Boston got the top spot and home field advantage in the Wild Card Game because they won 10 out of 19 games against the Yankees.

They were not expected to beat the Yankees.  And yet, they did.  They then played the Rays, a team they struggled against.  They were not expected to beat them.  And yet, they did.  So they drew the Astros in the ALCS, a team that blew them out more times then not.  Obviously they were not expected to beat them.  But after the first three games, they looked like they were in good shape.  Unfortunately, things turned quickly and they looked like a team that did not deserve to be there in the last three games.  It is what it is.

This team will be remembered as a surprise team that made it much further than anyone thought they would.  They certainly surprised me.  But it is perfectly okay to still be saddened and disappointed by what happened at the end, especially so soon.  In a few days, I will better be able to reflect on all of the great things that happened this season.  It is just too soon right now.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Trade Package

I am going to work on catching up here eventually.  I have a LONG way to go.  Unfortunately, part of that is due to trying to get my scanner working again.  That does not seem to be happening though, so I am having to use my phone, which is not ideal.

Anyway, this is a trade package I received over a year ago at this time.

Here we have several current stars, along with Red Sox legends Carl Yastrzemski and David Ortiz.  The big card here though is the Topps Now Road to Summer Camp Rafael Devers card.  Is Devers or Bogaerts the current best player on the team?  I would argue Devers is the best hitter, but Bogaerts is the better player overall.

And this is a bunch of random 2020 Topps cards I needed for the team set, at the time.  The flagship set generally does a decent job of getting the non-stars included.  Nathan Eovaldi is probably a star now, but was not as high profile at the time.  Darwinzon Hernandez is the somewhat out-of-leftfield pick here.  Hernandez has done a decent job at times in the bullpen.  He strikes out a lot of batters, but also walks too many hitters.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Your 1981 Red Sox Pt. 20: Tom Poquette

In this series, I will look at each player who played in 1981, the year I was born. Because, why not?

Tom Poquette was primarily a fourth outfielder throughout his career, splitting time between the corner spots with the occasional stint in center as well.  Poquette came up through the Royals system and had a couple of decent seasons early on in his career.  In his first full season, Poquette hit .302/.361/.430 with 18 doubles, ten triples and two home runs.  The next season he hit .292/.337/.412, but that was the last season he played in more than 100 games.  

Poquette was traded to the Red Sox in June of 1979 for George "Boomer" Scott, who was nearing the end of his career.  Poquette was terrific in his first season in Boston, playing in 63 games, primarily in center field, and hitting .331/.365/.429 with nine doubles, two home runs and 23 RBIs.  Unfortunately, he was injured and missed the entire 1980 season.

That brings us to 1981.  Poquette played sparingly for the Red Sox, making it into just three games as a defensive replacement and had just two at-bats.  He did not have a hit.  In June, Poquette was placed on waivers and claimed by the Rangers.  He played in 30 games with Texas, but hit just .156.  He returned to Kansas City the next season, but still did not play well and his career as a player was over.  

Poquette's contributions to the 1981 Red Sox team were basically non-existent.  He had a nice 1979 season with them though.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

A Large Package of Randomness

I do not have a really good intro here.  This is a decent-sized package with a variety of recent cards, a lot of them are unreasonably shiny or chrome.  

So a fair amount of cards of young players here, or rather, cards of players when they were young, such as the prospect cards of Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi.  I always enjoy the Talent Pipeline inserts from Bowman every year.  This one features Bobby Dalbec, who has enjoyed a monstrous second half in Boston this year, Bryan Mata, who has emerged as Boston's top pitching prospect and the stalled Josh Ockimey.  Michael Kopech also makes an appearance.  Kopech has been huge in the White Sox bullpen this year.

Here we have a number of Mookie Betts cards.  I still get them occasionally.  My favorite card here though is the Nickname Greats card of Dwight Evans.  Maybe one of these years he will get into the Hall of Fame.  We also have Jonathan Papelbon's brother Josh, who never made the Majors.

Again, here we have a bunch of early cards of players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz.  My favorite card here though is the immortal Devern Hansack.  Hansack never pitched much for Boston, but I always liked the guy.  He threw a rain-shortened no-hitter on the last day of the season in 2006 against the Orioles.

And finally, we close things out with a Carlton Fisk card.  I love getting Fisk cards.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Mostly Wantlist Hits

I will pre-emptively apologize for the bad scan.  I decided to try to cram all ten cards into one scan.  There is not much exciting here, mostly just base cards with a couple of minor parallels so I will not be spending a lot of time on it. 

First up is some Bowman Platinum cards and the one I want to highlight is David Price.  Price will probably go down as something of a free agent bust, since he was signed to a huge contract for an ace starting pitcher and never really performed anywhere close to that.  But I will prefer to remember him as the one who stepped up huge in the 2018 postseason, particularly the World Series.  I still think he should have been the World Series MVP, or at least co-MVP with Steve Pearce.  

Up next is an A&G mini of Carlton Fisk.  If I had to pick one Hall of Famer whose cards I enjoy getting more than anyone else, it may very well be Fisk.  It's sort of odd I know.  Ted Williams is the greatest Red Sox player of all time.  Carl Yastrzemski spent more time in Boston than anyone, a record unlikely to be broken.  Even Jim Rice was a Red Sox player his whole career.  But there is just something about Fisk that I cannot explain.  Maybe it is the fact that he was a catcher, and I have always liked catchers.

Then we have a few random cards.  I love the picture on the J.D. Martinez Gallery card and obviously the Andrew Benintendi photo is terrific.  I am not sure what happened to Benintendi, since the All Star break in 2018, he has not been the same player.  I am still waiting to see who Boston gets in that deal other than Franchy Cordero.  

That brings me to Dustin Pedroia and what a sad ending to his career.  A few years ago I thought he was a lock for the Hall of Fame as long as he had a few more seasons to compile some numbers.  That unfortunately did not happen and his career effectively ended in 2017.  His numbers still look decent, with a career line of .299/.365/.439 as a second-baseman, but his counting stats really do not come very close, with less than 2,000 hits.  Unfortunately he is probably another Nomar Garciaparra, a player with a very good peak, but not a long enough career to justify making it into Cooperstown.  That's a shame.  

Friday, April 23, 2021

2020 Topps Gallery Blaster Break

I still have no idea why it is SO hard to find any packs anywhere.  I have generally been able to find maybe one blaster of each new product before it is gone.  The Walmart shelves have been empty for weeks now.  I was lucky last Fall to grab one box of Topps Gallery.  Here are the Red Sox: 

Not a lot to show off, but the Xander Bogaerts card is an Artist Proof parallel, so there is that.  Pulling a parallel or insert of a Red Sox player is still fun for me, and for whatever reason, I just do not pull enough Bogaerts cards.  Adding on is a Chris Sale base card.  I like the horizontal shot here, but it would be better if it got the whole arm-span into the shot.  Sale has a unique delivery that is fun to watch, but likely also has an impact on the fact that he had to have Tommy John surgery last year.  He is still working his way back.