Every once in awhile, the Red Sox pick up a veteran player for a year, or just the stretch run that was a star at one point that I become fascinated with. It's a player that is basically only a role player at that point in their career, but may show flashes of their old brilliance. It's so unusual to see them as a member of the Red Sox, that I try to find as many of their cards as possible. This series will be about some of those players.
John Olerud was kind of a big deal in my house growing up. He was the first baseman for the Blue Jays for his first several seasons. My younger brother was a big Blue Jays fan at the time. Olerud was one of his favorite players and it was his trade to the Mets that started to sour him on baseball. It was a pretty bad trade after all.
Olerud played in 87 games for the Red Sox in 2005. He got quite a bit of time in due to injuries to Kevin Millar, among others, and actually played quite well. Olerud finished the season with a line of .289/.344/.451 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs. Not bad numbers, actually pretty decent. Given that he was 36 at the time, they are actually fairly impressive numbers.
Unfortunately Olerud only made it into the 2005 Topps Update set. He had the parallels of those cards as well. It's a shame there are not more cards of Olerud with the Red Sox.
It was to be Olerud's last season in the Major Leagues. I still think he should have gotten a little more consideration for the Hall of Fame. He may not be quite worthy, but he should not have fallen off the ballot after the first year.