Thursday, December 31, 2015

Huge COMC Order

Oh wow.  I did it again.  I picked up a lot of cards off of COMC recently.  Mostly, my intention was to fill in some holes for autos and relics, but I ended up doing a lot more than that.
I like the Greenwell because of the head-warmer.  The Koji Uehara is one of my favorite cards of this entire purchase.  Koji autos are not real easy to come by and I love the fact that he adds his uniform number to the autograph.  Andre Dawson and Rickey Henderson both appear a lot in this order.  As does Mookie Betts.  This is my first Daniel Nava autograph.  Even though he is no longer with Boston, he will always be a favorite because of his inspiring rise to the Major Leagues.
Here we have a Mookie Betts jersey, my first Yoenis Cespedes relic, a Hanley Ramirez jersey, and a Mookie Betts dual relic.  We also have a neat die cut Victorino, a Scott Cooper insert that eluded me for a long time, one of the Babe Ruth Story cards, my first Red Sox one, and some more stuff.
Here we have the first autographs in my collection of Joe Kelly and Junichi Tazawa, though not my last for either player.  Tazawa is one of those players that simply does not get enough cards.  He has been a huge part of the Red Sox bullpen for years now.  The Babe Ruth card came from a boxed set of collectibles that I used to see a lot as a kid, but for some reason never picked up.
Another Junichi Tazawa here.  Eduardo Rodriguez is poised to break out next season.  And a couple more Rickey Henderson cards make their appearance.

Here we have a jersey card of Shane Victorino, an autograph of Bill Buckner, and my first Rick Porcello autograph.  I really like these throwback uniform photo variations like this Hanley Ramirez.  A number of these sneak into this purchase.
My first autograph card of Eduardo Rodriguez was very affordable.  Three new Babe Ruth cards make an appearance, as well as a Dustin Pedroia jersey card and a nice shot of Hanley Ramirez at the Green Monster.
Here we have more autographs of Ellis Burks, Joe Kelly, and Dustin Pedroia as well as more Rickey Hendersons and another Babe Ruth.  The Greenwell is very interesting because the black background is heat-activated, and it shows a variety of colors as well as the Green Monster.
And finally we have the 2014 Archives Fan Favorite autograph of Mike Greenwell, the second year in a row he was in that set.  I love the Mo Vaughn Hall or Nother due to the acetate stock.  And we have more Andre Dawsons and Rickey Hendersons.

So that is one big purchase.  A ton of nice, new cards were added to the collection.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Some Random Ebay Purchases

I had some Ebay Bucks to spend, so I went a bit wild picking up random single cards that I really liked.
Roger Clemens had a lot of nice-looking cards released this year, including these two die-cuts.  He has also publicly stated that if he were to get into the Hall of Fame, he would want a Red Sox cap on his plaque which is different than some previous statements when he preferred to wear a Yankees cap.  Pedro Martinez is showing up a bit more often now that he is a Hall of Famer.  I went a little Brock Holt crazy recently.
Here is another relic of Bogaerts, two more inserts of Clemens, and a Brock Holt.  There is going to be an avalanche of Eduardo Rodriguez cards coming next year.  He is a very good, young pitcher.  Ryan Hanigan makes his first appearance in my collection and he apparently owns the 2014 Westminster dog show winner, which impressed my wife immensely.  I love this last Clemens insert, a big heavy, metal card.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

R.I.P. Frank Malzone

It has been a rough week.  First Dave Henderson dies, now Frank Malzone.  I did a post some time ago about Malzone being a somewhat forgotten star.  He was one of the better players on the Red Sox teams of the 1950's.  He won three Gold Glove Awards in the first three years the award was given.  He was also a six-time All Star.  He should have won the Rookie of the Year in 1957 as his numbers were significantly better than Tom Tresh's, and he played in more games.  He likely would have had even better career numbers had he started his career at a younger age.  Malzone will be missed.

Triple Threads Lot

I found a reasonably inexpensive Triple Threads lot on Ebay that included a number of relics and autographs, so I had to pick it up.
There are a couple of base/parallels that are not as exciting of David Ortiz and Ted Williams, but I would not expect to add high-end cards of them and keep it cheap.  The real exciting cards are the bat/auto of Christian Vazquez, my first high-end card of him, and the auto/jersey of Rusney Castillo, my first autograph of him.  Rounding things out are relics of Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, and Pablo Sandoval, 75% of the starting infield.  I don't have many relics of Bogaerts or Sandoval yet.  I do expect the number of Bogaerts relics to rise after the great season he had.

Monday, December 28, 2015

R.I.P. Hendu

Dave Henderson passed away yesterday just weeks after receiving a kidney transplant.  I remember him mostly for his time with the Oakland Athletics as I was too young to remember his brief time in Boston, but he made a big impact.  He was acquired in a midseason trade with the Mariners in 1986 along with Spike Owen for a collection of players including Rey Quinones, none of whom did much for Seattle.  Henderson hit poorly during the regular season but he came up big in the postseason.  IN Game 5 of the ALCS with the Red Sox down 5-4 in the 9th, he came off the bench to pinch-hit for the aging Tony Armas and delivered a two-run home run.  He eventually drove in the winning run in the 11th inning with a sacrifice fly.  Boston went on to the World Series and Henderson hit two more home runs there.  In 1987 with an emerging Ellis Burks and Mike Greenwell, Henderson was expendable and was traded to the Giants for Randy Kutcher.  He then went on to his greatest career success with the Athletics.

More Autos and Relics

Here are a few more random autograph and relic cards that I had to add:
The two Blake Swihart cards came together and were shockingly cheap given that Swihart is a highly-regarded young player on a popular team.  But no complaints, I now have my first Swihart auto.  I can not believe I never had this Jason Varitek jersey card.  Sure it came out at a time when my focus on him was waning, but still.  I was definitely aware of it, I just never went to get it.  Finally, we have an All Star relic of Brock Holt.  I expect this to be his only All Star appearance.  It is not too often a utility player gets to go to the All Star game.  So I am picking up as much stuff as I can find of him.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

More Pack Breaks

Okay, I had to do it again.  I wanted to try out some more Update and then also realized that I was missing a bunch of Topps Series 2.  So I got some more stuff.
The Update blaster was a pretty big success.  It gave me a nice Ted Williams insert and the photo variation of Mookie Betts.  Betts is becoming a common player for me to pull in packs.  It also got me Jean Machi and Carlos Peguero, two players I do not expect to see again in sets.  Peguero in particular only played in about four games.  I have no idea why he merited inclusion in this set, but no complaints.  I love seeing random players like that.  Machi was being groomed to be a future closer after Koji Uehara went down with an injury, but he was not very consistent and was non-tendered after the season.  The Series 2 blaster gave me another Mookie, another Williams insert, and Joe Kelly.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Some Random Autos and Refractors, With My First Mookie Auto

I have not been buying a ton of relics and autographs lately, but decided to go on a bit of a binge.  I generally like to have one auto or relic of each player available.  I had a couple of Mookie Betts relics but I had yet to add an autograph.  Mookie is probably one of my current favorite players so I had to change this.  I also found a cheap lot of 2015 Chrome cards which had a couple of autographs as well.
Mookie is definitely the highlight here.  I am concerned that his autos are going to become too expensive to be able to pick up occasionally, since he is a very good young player and very popular.  I love the Swihart card, which is numbered to just 99.  Barnes has a chance to get a full-time job in the bullpen.  Finally, we have autographs of Bryce Brentz and Edwin Escobar, neither of whom is likely to make much of an impact at the Major League level.  Brentz has some power and could be a fourth outfielder.  Escobar was acquired from the Giants for Jake Peavy and could be bullpen depth.  Neither will be stars, but I have autographs of them both now.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Update and High Numbers Pack Breaks

I have not been buying a ton of packs these days.  It's kind of expensive and I rarely get what I really want that way.  Nevertheless, occasionally I get the urge to break some wax. 

I bought two blasters of the Heritage and flagship update sets.  I am always excited about Update sets because they tend to include some completely random players, and I love getting cards of lesser-known players.
Heritage did not have a ton of Red Sox in the set and I am confused by Victorino's inclusion since he was traded to the Angels for Josh Rutledge before the trading deadline.  I do like this Triad card which is actually an insert, though a very low-end one.  Blake Swihart is one of my favorite young players and I am looking forward to seeing him develop.  I also love the Update sets for the All Star cards.  Brock Holt was Boston's only All Star and he had a nice moment when he stole a base in the game.  Alexi Ogando is one of those lesser-known players that I was most excited to see in Update.  And then we have another trio card of the same three sluggers.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Some COMC Buys

Every once in awhile, a Sandy Alomar Jr. card pops up on COMC that I need.  Since it is kind of pointless to pay $3.00 to ship one card, I like to throw in a few Red Sox.  I don't remember which Alomar card I bought when I went a little Rusney/Mookie crazy, but here are the cards:
I really like that Rated Rookie card because it is a die-cut.  I am thrilled that Diamond Kings made a comeback, but I wish Panini would get an MLB license again.  Obviously Rusney Castillo was a pretty big target with this buy.  He has not really fulfilled his promise yet, but he should get regular playing time in 2016.
Three more Mookies show up here, including a nice Gypsy Queen insert showcasing his impressive defensive work.  There are also a couple of cards of The Panda, who was pretty disappointing in 2015.  Hopefully he will be back to hitting well in 2016.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

That Mark Hoyle is Very Generous

The most recent stack of vintage cards came from Mark several months ago but it was right around the time I took a bit of a hiatus.  I am sorry, I should have posted about it sooner.  Here it is:
These are Milton Bradley cards and they were released from 1969-1972.  Unfortunately there is no copyright date on any of them so Harry sent me all the ones from players that played for the Red Sox during that time period.  All of the logos are air-brushed away so you cannot tell which teams these guys were with at the time of these pictures.  Some of them are pretty obviously not Red Sox caps, such as the one on Tommy Harper.  But with no team designations, no copyright dates, and no logos, they could represent any team.  So here they are.

There are some interesting players here.  Harper had the Red Sox record for stolen bases in a season when he stole 54 in 1973.  He kept that record until Jacoby Ellsbury stole 70 in 2009.  Danny Cater was acquired in a trade with the Yankees for Sparky Lyle.  That one came back to bite Boston.  Ray Culp was the best pitcher Boston had for a few years.  Luis Aparicio is a Hall of Famer, though not for his time with Boston.  And Rico Petrocelli held the AL record for home runs as a shortstop for a few decades when he hit 40 in 1970.

Thanks Mark!  Sorry about the delay in the post.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Archives Group Break

I participated in the Archives group break with Nachos Grande a long time ago.  Sorry it has taken quite awhile to get the scans up.  I am generally pleased with the results.

Up first were the random cards and Chris added one of those weird Upper Deck fan packs.  I had one or two of these before so there were some duplicates.  Here are the new ones:
The Legendary Cuts Joe Cronin has silver foil instead of the gold foil found on the pack cards and the Masterpieces David Ortiz is a glossy card.  The others are just on thinner stock and are not noticeably different right off the bat.

And now for the break:
I love the addition of Brock Holt in the set, especially since he was Boston's lone All Star this season.  Eckersley, Fisk, Williams, and Nomar all make appearances, along with rookie cards of Bryce Brentz and Matt Barnes,
Here we have the rest of the base cards.  After the seasons Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts had, we will be seeing a lot of cards of them in the future.
Here are the inserts and parallels.  I would have liked one of the rare short prints like Rick Ferrell, Bobby Doerr, or Rusney Castillo, but three silver parallels and four inserts are nothing to sneeze at.  Hopefully Pablo Sandoval has a better season next year.  I like him a lot but he was not good in 2015.  I am looking forward to the Rusney Castillo/Mookie Betts/Jackie Bradley Jr. outfield.  Teams will have to hit home runs to get a hit to the outfield.

Thanks for the break, Chris.  Sorry I was late in posting.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I'm Back After a Long Hiatus

I grew tired of blogging for a long time and so I took a break.  It took longer than I expected, but I am going to try to work back into things.

These cards were picked up in June with my birthday gift card.  My birthday was actually in May, but it took awhile to decide to get anything.
There is some decent stuff here.  A nice Rusney Castillo rookie card and a David Ortiz insert, but otherwise it is nothing terribly exciting.

I will be moving slowly to get caught up.  There are some pretty nice cards to show off in the days ahead.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Another Zippy Zapping

I love finding unexpected packages in the mail.  Kenny is one of the most generous people out there and I am always very excited to see a package from him. 

He definitely did not disappoint here:
One of the best things about his packages are the Sega Card Gen cards from Japan.  And this time, he included two, Kevin Youkilis and Victor Martinez, two players Boston could use right now.  The Michael Kopech autograph was completely surprising and extremely generous, especially since Kopech is a Top 10 prospect and only 19 years old.  Kenny also usually includes a bunch of Bowman stuff.  The Mookie Betts is definitely appreciated.  Finally, Kenny typically includes some vintage and this Dalton Jones card from the Impossible Dream season.
And here we have some more Bowman cards, including an Asian only card of Sean Coyle, and two nice inserts of Coyle and Rusney Castillo who appears to be here to stay.

The final three cards will not be making my Red Sox collection.  The Fisk cards are both duplicates but I felt like I had to show them off because of their condition.  I bet that 1978 has some stories.  Finally, the Hideki Okajima card is just interesting because it is my first Japanese card.  I really liked Hideki Okajima when he pitched for Boston.  I loved his pitching motion which would result in him not even looking after he threw a pitch.  It was amazing he had any control at all.

So another successful Zippy Zapping.  Thanks Kenny!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Few Random Pack Pickups

I bought a couple of $10.00 hanger packs the other day from Wal Mart.  Bowman and Gypsy Queen still contain quite a few cards that I have not gotten for my Red Sox collection.  Unfortunately I did not make much of a dent here:
Of the three of these, the Devers card is the most interesting.  Devers is one of Boston's top prospects and has a ton of power for a minor leaguer.  The other two cards are just base cards of Napoli and Ortiz.  So there is still a long ways to go to get the team sets for these two sets.  In addition, I do not have any inserts or parallels from the sets.

Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 Topps Factory Set Red Sox Team Set

Mark Hoyle came through yet again and sent me the 2015 Topps Factory Team Set recently.  The set included 17 cards, many of which were of players that have yet to appear in a lot of sets for the Red Sox.  Here they are:
1.  Pablo Sandoval.  Sandoval was the acquisition I was most excited about.  He has had a nice season so far.

2.  Wade Miley.  After a few really rough starts, Miley has seemingly turned a corner.  What I like best about him is how fast he pitches, unlike Clay Buchholz who can be maddening.

3.  Christian Vazquez.  Unfortunately Vazquez is out for the season.  Blake Swihart has stepped in and has played okay, but his hitting has yet to come around.

4.  Rusney Castillo.  He was just called up over the weekend, and will likely be sticking around.

5.  Koji Uehara.  Koji has been Koji this year so far, which is great.

6.  Clay Buchholz.  After a terrific first game, Buchholz has been wildly inconsistent.

7.  David Ortiz.  The home runs are there so far this year, but his average is way down.

8.  Junichi Tazawa.  Tazawa does not appear in a lot of sets, so it is great to see him show up in this.  Hopefully he will also be in the regular set.  He has been showing up in some higher-end sets recently with autographs.

9.  Hanley Ramirez.  Ramirez has been the team leader in home runs this year.  He was doing great until he had a little bit of an injury.  Hopefully he will get back to knocking balls out of the park soon.
10.  Mookie Betts.  Betts has been kind of inconsistent this year as well.  He has hit for some power and stolen some bases, but the batting average is not there.

11.  Mike Napoli.  After a slow start, Napoli has exploded recently, hitting four home runs over the weekend against the Angels, the team that never really gave him a chance.

12.  Joe Kelly.  Kelly seems to let a rough inning completely ruin each game he pitches.  He has been a little frustrating.

13.  Dustin Pedroia.  Pedroia has been having a fairly typical season for him, with quite a bit more power.

14.  Justin Masterson.  Like Ramirez, Masterson was a young player when he was originally traded away from Boston.  Unlike Ramirez, Masterson's homecoming has not been nearly as positive.

15.  Xander Bogaerts.  His hitting has come around and he is starting to look like the star he was supposed to be.

16.  Rick Porcello.  Porcello has been the best starter for the Red Sox so far this year, but that is not really saying all that much.

17.  Matt Barnes.  Other than a rough night Friday, Barnes has been pretty decent out of the pen.  I am not sure if his future is in the bullpen or the starting rotation, but it has been good to see the Red Sox develop a decent pitcher again.

Thanks for the set Mark!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Waiting 'Til Next Year

With the way Boston has been playing lately, that probably could stand for an indictment on their chances this season.  But no, this is actually a trade post.  Tom from Waiting 'til Next Year contacted me about setting up a trade.  It has been a little bit since I have gotten a trade worked out, so I quickly agreed.  A few days later, a large brick of cards descended upon my mailbox and some nice stuff came out of the brick.
1.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Defining Moments Curt Schilling.  I loved Hometown Heroes.  I wish Panini would have done it again, but I guess it is hard to do a team-centric set without an MLB License.  This is one of the inserts I still needed, and of course this card is referring to the "bloody sock" games in the 2004 postseason.

2.  2015 Bowman Anthony Ranaudo.  Ranaudo is already gone, traded to the Rangers for Robbie Ross.

3.  2015 Bowman Chrome Prospects Henry Owens.  Owens is Boston's top pitching prospect.  Hopefully he can step in at some point and stop some of the bleeding the pitching staff is experiencing.

4.  1987 Fleer Baseball's All Stars Roger Clemens.  One of the Fleer box set cards I still needed.  I had most of the cards from this set, the Clemens was the last I needed.

5.  2013 Panini Prizm Draft Picks Blue Mookie Betts.  Easily my favorite card from this package, this is a low-numbered card of one of my favorite current players.  Betts is struggling a little bit but is starting to show some signs of getting back on track.

6.  2013 Panini Prizm Draft Picks Ryan Boldt.  This card baffles me.  Boldt did not sign with Boston after being drafted.  He is in fact one of the best players on the Nebraska Cornhusker baseball team of which I am very familiar.  So it was very surprising to see this card. 

7.  2015 Bowman Top 100 Eduardo Rodriguez.  Rodriguez was acquired in the trade last year with the Orioles for Andrew Miller.  Rodriguez is another top pitching prospect that we may be seeing soon in Boston.  He could make the trade last year look very bad for Baltimore in light of Miller leaving as a free agent.

Thanks Tom.  I will get your package out next week some time.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Small Trade and Some New Bowman

It's been rather frustrating watching the Red Sox lately.  So I have not been really excited about adding cards of late.  Saturday I received a trade package in the mail as well as a couple of cards in some Bowman packs.  Here they are:
1.  2015 Donruss 1981 David Ortiz.  This is a nice way of getting around the lack of an MLB license.  The card actually looks pretty damn good.

2.  2015 Donruss All Time Diamond Kings Carl Yastrzemski.  Yaz had a Diamond King card in 1983 while he was still an active player.

3.  2015 Topps Opening Day Superstar Celebrations Mike Napoli.  I always like these inserts.  Not sure Napoli qualifies as a superstar, but whatever.

4.  2015 Bowman Prospects Trey Ball.  Ball has been a little slow to get going in his professional career, but he is young yet.  With the rate Bowman is releasing cards of him though, I will probably have about 50 before he makes the Majors.

5.  2015 Bowman Prospects Carlos Asuaje.  With the emergence of Brock Holt as a super-utility player, Boston has been seeking more versatile players.  Asuaje fits the bill.

So that's it for the weekend pickups.  Got plenty of Bowman to trade for Red Sox cards.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Rare High-End Purchase

I don't usually buy much from the higher-end sets.  I don't have an LCS nearby so I am resigned to buying retail.  I also typically don't buy many singles from the set unless something really jumps out at me.  That something is typically due to a unique player option or combination.  I always check out the upcoming checklists to determine if something appeals to me.  Earlier this year, I looked at the Topps Museum checklist and found one card that really grabbed my attention.  I determined if I could find it, I would go for it.  Here it is:
This card represents my first game-used pieces of four current Red Sox.  Two of whom are expected to be stars.  We have a terrific-looking three colored piece of rising star Mookie Betts.  A red piece of role player Allen Craig.  A white piece of Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo.  And a white piece of valuable bench player Daniel Nava.  What a great-looking card.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gypsy Queen Hanger Box

I bought one of the hanger boxes of Gypsy Queen today at Wal Mart.  Not much in the way of Red Sox cards, but I did get this one:
Nice retail-only parallel of Mike Napoli here.  I actually kind of like this action shot too.  Unfortunately that was it for Red Sox and there was not really anything super exciting elsewhere in the box.  Oh well.  Can't win them all.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hey, Some More Varitek Cards

I have actually been picking up a few Varitek cards here and there lately and today, they all came in.
Most of these are cards that I had no idea that I still needed.  Others are cards that I simply did not know existed.  You see Varitek has not been a major focus since about 2009.  It was at that time that I moved in with my girlfriend (later my wife), and money was not as plentiful as it had been when I was single.  It was nice to add a bunch of cards to my Varitek collection today.  And yes there is a David Ortiz jersey there too, but Varitek was definitely the focus.

The two relic cards came from a frequent trade partner on one of the forums that also collects Varitek.
1.  2009 Upper Deck UD Game Jersey.  You can't really tell but there is only one relic piece there.  I know it threw me.

2.  2009 Sweet Spot Sweet Swatch Dual Memorabilia.  Here is the dual Tek/Ortiz card.  I love the camouflage chest protector.

The remaining cards came from COMC.  An Alomar card I needed popped up so I decided to make my shipping worthwhile and pick up a few cheap Variteks.
3.  2010 Topps Copper.  These cards were only available as part of a factory set bought from Wal Mart.  Five of these parallels would be inserted into each set.

4.  2009 Upper Deck Icons Icons.  I had the memorabilia card but had no idea there were non-game-used versions.

5.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes State.  You can't even tell there is no MLB license on this card.  That's awesome.  I really wish Panini had released more than one Hometown Heroes set.

6.  2009 Upper Deck Icons Icons Green.  This is another one that I had no idea existed.

So, six new cards brings me to 883 Jason Varitek cards.  Second only to Sandy Alomar Jr.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It Made It (From Baseball Dad)

Awhile ago I made a trade with the Indians collector Baseball Dad.  After a mixup with addresses I received my card:
This is my first relic card of Xander Bogaerts.  He has been playing fairly well so far this year until today when he had to go for an MRI on his knee.  Nevertheless, I am very pleased with this card.  Hopefully there will be many more Bogaerts relics to the collection.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

More Donruss Pack Breaks

Here is the Studio insert of The Panda:
I pulled this one out of another hanger pack of Donruss.  The Studio inserts just don't have the same feel of the Studio base cards from way back when, I think.  Still a nice-looking insert though.  I have done fairly well out of packs of 2015 Donruss.  Unfortunately, I was supposed to be getting this card in a single card trade, making that trade kind of worthless.  Oh well, plenty of other Red Sox collectors out there.  Maybe someone will get the Panda.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I'm Starting to Really Like 2015 Donruss

I recently worked out a trade for these:
Despite the lack of logos and the fact that the same picture was used for both cards, these are just terrific-looking inserts.  The Preferred card looks like Donruss Preferred from the mid 1990's.  This is a parallel too and numbered to just 199.  I am very much looking forward to having Rusney Castillo in the same lineup as Mookie Betts.

If anyone out there reading this has cards of Rusney Castillo and/or Mookie Betts, please contact me to work out a trade.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Donruss Pack Breaks

I bought a couple of hanger packs of Donruss yesterday.  My local Wal Mart finally got them in and I have been going through pack withdrawal.  So, decent showing here: four Red Sox, though all are base cards.
I am particularly happy about the Panda card.  This is only my second, of what I hope to be many, card of Sandoval.  Oddly, one of the advantages of not being able to show team logos is that you don't have to airbrush photos to make it look like the player's new team.  Sandoval is clearly in a Giants uniform here with the logo removed.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Couple of PWEs from Mark Hoyle

The always generous Mark Hoyle sent me a couple of PWE's with some Red Sox oddballs in them.  Some pretty decent harder to find stuff all the way around.

The first PWE had the complete 1981 Coca Cola team set in it.  Unfortunately this was a set I previously owned.  Not a problem though, I always appreciate cards.

The second PWE had what I assume to be the complete team set of Broder cards from 1987.  It is tough to tell the year because there are no dates or copyrights on any of the cards.  Just a photo and a name.
So here we have Marty Barrett, Steve Curry, Jody Reed, Bob Stanley, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Jim Rice, Ellis Burks, Al Nipper, and Don Baylor.

The only way I was able to figure out the year on this set was due to one of the duplicates, Dave Henderson.  These pictures were clearly taken during Spring Training in most cases and Henderson only spent one Spring Training with Boston, 1987.  It is interesting to note that Curry, Reed, Burks, and some of the other duplicate players had yet to make their Major League debuts at the time.

Thanks Mark!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Red Sox Tek? Sure

As some of you know, one of my major collecting focuses right now is to compile the entire 1998 Topps Tek run for my single player collection, Sandy Alomar, Jr.  I had always kind of wanted to do that for a Red Sox player but never really got around to it.  I thought that it would be an interesting focus when I started that collection back up again.  Well I still want to add Red Sox as well.  So when I saw a Mo Vaughn Tek Diffractor for sale on Beckett for a couple of bucks, I jumped on it.  Well here it is:
Now, the first thing I noticed is that this is definitely not a Diffractor.  So that was annoying.  However, I did not have a single Mo Vaughn Tek card.  So, whatever.  As a Red Sox fan growing up in the early to mid 1990's, Mo Vaughn was my favorite player.  I was even more devastated when Mo Vaughn left Boston than I was when Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Mike Greenwell left.  This is because Vaughn made his Major League debut in 1991, the year I started collecting.  I watched Vaughn make his way from hyped prospect to solid regular to team leader to superstar.  Then, he was gone.  Sure Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez had both arrived, but it stung to lose Vaughn.  One of the things I have been doing a lot lately is picking up inserts and interesting cards of Vaughn.  This just adds to that.  Who knows, maybe after I get my Sandy Alomar complete run, I will turn to Mo Vaughn.  But then, do I really want that kind of aggravation?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Have Joined the T206 Club

I saw this on Ebay for $10.00.  Yes, $10.00.
Yes, it is in terrible shape.  Yes, it is Tubby Spencer, who played all of 28 games with the Red Sox.  But I always wanted a T206 and I could not pass up an opportunity to add one for less than my lunch cost me today.  The fact that it was a catcher is that much better for me.  Now my two oldest cards are both catchers with Spencer joining my 1940 Play Ball Moe Berg card.

Here is the back:
So now I finally have my first T206.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Greatest Triple Relic Ever

Probably not, but this thing is amazing.  Here it is:
We have three Red Sox players from the early 1940's here.  Jimmie Foxx is obviously a Hall of Famer, better known for his time with the Philadelphia Athletics, though he does wear a Red Sox cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.  He did have a monster season in 1938 for Boston.  This is my second Red Sox relic for Foxx.  Ted Williams is the greatest hitter who ever lived and the greatest Red Sox player of all time.  This is my fifth Red Sox relic for Williams.  Dom DiMaggio lived in the shadow of his more famous brother Joe but was a very good player himself.  He has a Hall of Fame case that is mostly clouded by his service time in WWII.  This is my second Red Sox relic for DiMaggio.

Any one of these players would be exciting enough on their own.  Having all three on one card is amazing.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Finally, a Decent Forum Trade

I have noticed that the forums are getting harder and harder to get anything done.  People are getting more and more particular about what they are looking for.  I just generally grab whatever Red Sox I need and don't really care about what I am giving up.  But some people are not as easy-going as I am.  This one was though and I picked up some very interesting cards:
Here we have a couple of nice Mookie Betts cards, easily one of my favorite players coming into this season, and it has been announced that he will be the team's starting center fielder and leadoff hitter.  The Dwight Evans is kind of a nice parallel.  The Ortiz is one of the Heritage retail-only chrome refractor cards.  Finally, the Cy Young is my favorite.  This is from the 2005 Topps Tribute set, a T205 card.  The Babe Ruth from the same set is in my Top 10 Most Wanted.  Some nice cards all around.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Package from The Junior Junkie

I was the beneficiary of one of The Junior Junkie's acts of kindness.  He gave me a Tek pattern I needed for my Sandy Alomar Jr. collection and then he hit a bunch of Red Sox I did not have as well.  A terrific package all around.
1.  2015 Topps Foil Dustin Pedroia.  Hopefully Pedroia is healthy this season.  A healthy Pedroia is a terrific player.

2.  2015 Topps Foil Anthony Ranaudo.  Ranaudo has been traded to Texas for Robbie Ross.

3.  2015 Topps Career Best Anthony Ranaudo Autograph.  What a terrible-looking signature for Ranaudo.  You can barely tell what this says at all.

4.  1985 Topps Rubdown Bill Buckner.  Kind of a weird item here.  It also features appearances from Mike Schmidt, Ryne Sandberg, and Tim Raines.  Buckner was once a big star.  Strange.

5.  2008 Upper Deck Goudey Green Clay Buchholz.  Buchholz has been named Boston's opening day starter.  Hopefully he is good this year.  He is on my fantasy team.

6.  2012 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor Josh Beckett.  Hard to believe Josh Beckett is retired.  Damn injuries.  I will always remember his terrific 2007 season.

7.  2005 Bowman's Best Blue Matt Van Der Bosch.  Van Der Bosch never made it.  He didn't even get to wear a uniform on this card. 

Thanks for the terrific package!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Varitek Printing Plate

I have not been getting too many Varitek cards lately, though he was once the major focus of my collection.  Obviously the fact that he is now retired is a major reason for that.  But recently I was randomly checking out some Ebay auctions and I found this card and had to try for it:
This is the yellow printing plate from 2008 Topps of Varitek.  I have a number of printing plates already of Varitek.  I don't think I am being arrogant when I say that I may have the premier Varitek collection of anyone.  My bat barrel, four MLB logos, and two button cards are proof enough of that.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

2015 Heritage Group Break Results

After my pretty good luck with the 2015 Topps Series One break with Nachos Grande,  I decided to bite the bullet on his Heritage break.  The results were not overly impressive, other than the sheer number of cards I received.  Probably the last group break for me for a little while.
1.  Carlos Rivero/Dan Butler.  Neither of these guys are likely to appear in Boston this year.  Butler was traded to Washington.  Rivero was a minor league free agent.  Between them, they played 11 games for Boston.  It is kind of neat to have an actual Major League card of them though since I value player selection above all else.

2.  Daniel Nava.  I love getting cards of Nava.  He just does not get enough.

3.  Mike Napoli.  And Mike Napoli's beard.

4.  Mookie Betts.  Betts has been terrific this spring.  He could be headed for a big year.  

5.  Christian Vazquez.  I'm very happy to see him get a card.  Terrific defensive catcher.

6.  Rusney Castillo/Anthony Ranaudo.  Ranaudo is gone, but Castillo will be another interesting young player to watch.

7.  Joe Kelly.  Love the glasses Joe.

8.  Clay Buchholz.  I think Buchholz could surprise people this year.  It was not that long ago that he was completely dominating.

9.  Team card.  Celebrating last place.  Alright!

10.  Rick Porcello.  Hopefully he will continue to build on his success from last season.

11.  Allen Craig.  One of my biggest surprises of Spring is that he is still with the team.

12.  Brock Holt.  Like Nava, I just love getting cards of Holt.  Overlooked player.

13.  Wade Miley.  Another new addition to Boston this year.

14.  Matt Barnes/Edwin Escobar.  I expect both of these pitchers to be helpful out of the bullpen or rotation this year.

15.  Koji Uehara.  With some rest, hopefully Koji is ready for the season.

16.  Will Middlebrooks.  Topps must have missed that he was traded.  Also, had a brutal year.  Probably not deserving of a card this year.

17.  Garin Cecchini.  Probably tradebait at this point.

18.  Pablo Sandoval.  I am most excited about seeing Panda in Boston this year. 

19.  John Farrell.  The only set that still produces manager cards.  This is why I am hoping Sandy Alomar Jr. gets a managerial position soon.

20.  Bryce Brentz.  I don't care about the other guy.

21.  Hanley Ramirez SP.  Hopefully playing in the outfield will cut down on the injuries.  Ramirez can be a beast when healthy.

22.  Xander Bogaerts SP.  It was a tough year last year, but he is just 22.

23.  David Ortiz SP.  Showing no signs of slowing down yet...

24.  Dustin Pedroia SP.  If he can stay healthy, he should have a good year.

25.  Dustin Pedroia Chrome.  Nice parallel here of the Boston veteran.

26.  Rusney Castillo/Anthony Ranaudo Chrome Purple Refractor.  Easily the best card of the break for me here.  Nice to get a decent parallel of Castillo.  Ranaudo is gone as I mentioned earlier.  Castillo is the big draw here.

Thanks Chris!