In this series, I look at my first team set: 1991 Topps. This was the set I started my baseball card collection with.
If you had asked me back in 1991 who my least favorite player on the Red Sox was, I might have said Luis Rivera. I have no idea where that came from. I was a kid and pretty irrational. He was a fairly weak hitter, but a good fielder and was probably miscast as a regular. In 1990 he hit just .225/.279/.344 for an OPS of .623. Ouch. He became the starting shortstop due to the career-threatening injury to Marty Barrett. Jody Reed moved from shortstop to second base.
As I matured and my irrational dislike of Rivera passed, I looked into his stats a little closer. He did have some pop in his bat, hitting seven home runs in 1990 and eight in 1991. He did not hit a lot, but when he did, he could hit it pretty hard. And of course he was good defensively. Something had to keep him in the lineup. Boston was not able to find a replacement for him until John Valentin.
Of course, least favorite player or not, I still picked up as many Luis Rivera cards as I could. And he did have some nice-looking ones since he was a middle infielder. This one though is a little boring.