Saturday, June 21, 2014

Oddball Mailday and Some Topps Series 2

I love getting oddballs.  There is just something that draws me to the cards that are not in the mainstream.  My music tastes are the same, being a metal-head.  I love food issues most of all.  I mostly missed the days where there were cards in a bunch of food products, I had the occasional Tombstone or cereal card.  But those days were mostly over by the time I was collecting.

Recently I found a member on the forums who had recently bought a huge box of oddball cards.  I asked for a list of Red Sox (and Sandy Alomars) and picked and chose what I wanted.  He had a bunch of the Pepsi cards from 1990 and 1991 which are Red Sox-only sets that I have been chasing for awhile.  They are hard to find and the Carlos Quintana was my #2 most sought after card.  Here we go:
1.  1991 Pepsi Danny Darwin.  I have mentioned before that Darwin had an incredible, underrated season in 1993.  He had the best year on the team that year, a year in which Boston had Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Andre Dawson, and John Valentin.

2.  1991 Pepsi Ellis Burks.  Burks was an early favorite after his big 1990 season, but he was disappointing in 1991 and 1992.

3.  1991 Pepsi Jack Clark.  Clark was signed in 1991 to be a big power hitter for the Red Sox as a right-handed power bat.  He did lead the team in home runs and RBIs that year but his numbers were not what was expected and he was terrible in 1992.

4.  1991 Pepsi Carlos Quintana.  And I need a new card on my Top 10.  I love the action shot here too.  Quintana was a favorite of mine early on.

5.  1991 Pepsi Jeff Reardon.  One of the earliest Red Sox career highlights I remember was Jeff Reardon setting the saves record in 1991 when he saved his 342nd game, passing Rollie Fingers.  He did not hold the record long and he has passed by a number of people since then, so many that 342 looks quaint now, but it was a pretty big deal at the time.

6.  1991 Pepsi Jody Reed.  A great action shot of a pretty decent player.  Reed was another underrated, valuable performer in the early 1990's.

7.  1991 Pepsi Luis Rivera.  I have no idea how Rivera kept his job for so long.  He was the starting shortstop for four seasons.  He could not hit, despite having a little bit of power, and he wasn't an elite fielder.  The best I can figure is that Boston could not bring in anyone to replace him.

8.  1991 Pepsi Matt Young.  This was a huge free agent bust for Boston.  He even pitched a no hitter and lost, though it was later ruled not a no hitter because he did not go the full nine innings.

9.  1991 AAMER Sports Rookie Sensation Phil Plantier.  I have no idea what this card is.  Plantier was one of the single most-hyped players I remember in those days.  Unfortunately he did not develop in Boston then was traded in a horrible trade to the Padres for Jose Melendez where he did have a good year in 1993.
10.  2004 MLB Showdown Manny Ramirez.  I don't really get a lot of Manny cards these days.  I have a ton of them already and I am a bit disappointed with the PED issue.  But I feel like he was never really a big focus anyway.  I just never really responded well to him for some reason.

11.  2004 MLB Showdown Trot Nixon.  Nixon honestly did not live up to what he was supposed to be, but he was still a very good player for a few years.  Injuries and the inability to hit left-handers did him in.  But it was his gritty style of play caught on for years.

12.  2004 MLB Showdown Byung-Hyun Kim.  I liked his delivery more than him.  Kim kind of struggled a bit during his time with Boston and then was traded to Colorado for Charles Johnson who was promptly released.

13.  2004 MLB Showdown Johnny Damon.  At one point there was some talk about Damon being a borderline Hall of Famer.  I really do not see it.  He had some nice years, but I don't think he was ever one of the best players in the league.

14.  1990 Pepsi Lee Smith.  Smith was the first reliever to pass Jeff Reardon, and they were once teammates for a little while.  His record stood for a little while.

15.  1990 Pepsi Rich Gedman.  Gedman's time in Boston in 1990 was also limited as he had been injury-plagued and bad for a few years and had been replaced by Tony Pena with the former first round draft pick John Marzano also ready.

16.  1990 Fleer Box Bottom Mike Greenwell.  Gator was another favorite player early on.  His great 1988 season was unfortunately overshadowed by Jose Canseco's 40/40 season.

17.  1982 Brigham's Coca Cola Dwight Evans.  I still think Evans belongs in the Hall of Fame.  I can't believe he was not even on the Veteran's Ballot last year.

18.  1982 Brigham's Coca Cola Jim Rice.  The last player to make it into the Hall of Fame with the Red Sox, he will likely be joined by Pedro Martinez next year.
19.  1982 Brigham's Coca Cola Reid Nichols.  Nichols was a decent fourth outfielder for a few years.  Yep, that's exciting.

20.  1982 Brigham's Coca Cola Steve Crawford.  Crawford was a decent reliever for a few years.

21.  1982 Brigham's Coca Cola Bob Stanley.  In 1983, Stanley set a Red Sox record with 33 saves which lasted until Reardon saved 40 in 1991.

22.  1982 Brigham's Coca Cola Mark Clear.  Clear was another good reliever who paired with Stanley to have great seasons in 1982.

23.  1982 Brigham's Coca Cola Mike Torrez.  Torrez gave up the infamous homer to Bucky Bleepin' Dent in the 1978 one-game playoff.  He was never quite as good after that.

24.  1989 Score Superstars Ellis Burks.  I think this was a boxed set only release.  I could be wrong.

25.  1988 Drake's Big Hitters Dwight Evans.  I don't even know what Drake's was.  It may have been a regional thing we did not get in Nebraska.  But I have a bunch of the cards.

26.  1986 Drake's Big Hitters Bill Buckner.  Unfortunately Buckner is more remembered for his error than for his quality career.  In 1985 he hit .299 with 16 home runs and 110 RBIs for instance.

27.  1986 Drake's Big Hitters Dwight Evans.  Another Dewey card.
28.  1986 Drake's Big Hitters Jim Rice.  And another Rice.

29.  1989 J.J. Nissen Mike Greenwell.  I have no idea where this card came from either.

Finally, I bought my first blaster of 2014 Topps Series 2.  I got a few new Red Sox, but I have continued to be unlucky with inserts and parallels.  Just some base cards.

30.  2014 Topps Stephen Drew.  Nice to see an actual shot of Drew in a non-photoshopped Red Sox uniform.

31.  2014 Topps Ryan Dempster.  Dempster decided to take this year off for reasons I am not clear on.

32.  2014 Topps Daniel Nava.  Nice photo.  Nava is unfortunately not having a good year.  The part of Daniel Nava 2013 is currently being played by Brock Holt.


  1. I think my favorite is the J.J. Nissen card of Mike Greenwell. Definitely has that 80s non-licensed vibe that I dig.

  2. JJ a local bread company. I recently picked up some complete sox sets of the Pepsi,coke and drakes cards