Thursday, February 26, 2015

Another Trade with the Other Brad

I made a trade with Brad of Brad's Blog after he posted about some Toys R Us parallels he received.  He pulled one Red Sox card, and even though the player was not a great one, or even a player I like that much, it is still a Red Sox card.  Knowing Brad is a Ryan Howard fan and I had one that I thought he would likely not have, I made the deal.  Brad threw in some extras as well:
1.  2015 Topps Toys R Us Purple Edward Mujica.  Mujica followed the patterns of Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, and Mark Melancon as a closer that Boston acquired that did not fare too well in his initial season with the team.  He started to come around in the second half and could be a major contributor to the bullpen this season.

2.  1996 Pinnacle Roger Clemens.  This is one of those cards that I did not even know I didn't have.  I don't keep extremely detailed records of cards that I have and cards that I need.  So it is not real easy for me to find out.  Oh well, another Rocket for the collection.

3.  2012 Topps Chrome Xfractor Adrian Gonzalez.  I still like Adrian even though he basically complained his way out of town.

Thanks Brad!

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Buyback and a Couple Prospects

Two packages were in the mail today.  One was expected, the other was not:
The first two cards came as a bit of a shock.  They were throw-ins, along with a pile of about 20 other Bowman Draft singles, in a package of stuff that will be shown in a later post on my Sandy Alomar Jr. blog.  Pretty decent players too.  Jake Cosart is the younger brother of Jared and is a pretty decent pitching prospect in his own right.  Of course Blake Swihart was Boston's #1 prospect, until today anyway, with the news that Boston outbid the Yankees for Yoan Moncada.  We should see Swihart later this year.

The last card was a trade that I was very happy with, for one of this year's buybacks.  It is an older one too, from 1967.  Joe Foy was a valuable cog in the lineup for the Impossible Dream Red Sox.  He hit 16 home runs that season, yet was largely overlooked due to the presence of Carl Yastrzemski, Rico Petrocelli, Jim Lonborg, and others.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

One-Year Wonder Pt. 22: Todd Walker

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.
Second base had been a position with a lot of turmoil in the 90's and early 2000's for the Red Sox.  Jody Reed started the decade as a capable regular, but Boston had trouble finding consistency after he was selected in the expansion draft.  Scott Fletcher had a very good season in 1993 highlighted by impressive defense but he faltered in 1994.  Luis Alicea took over in 1995 and turned in average offensive and defensive numbers.  1996 saw Boston run their team like a fantasy team, bringing in offense-first players at several positions, one of which was second base with Wil Cordero.  His defense was so bad though he was moved to left field where he could not hurt the team as much.  Then Boston went through a bunch of players over the next few years at the position.  Jeff Frye, Mike Benjamin, and Lou Merloni all proved to be better off as utility players than everyday second basemen.  John Valentin was moved to second to accommodate Nomar Garciaparra, then moved to third after Tim Naehring went down, which was much more successful.  Donnie Sadler was unable to translate his minor league success into the Majors.  Mark Lemke suffered a concussion and could not hit.  Jose Offerman then had an All Star season in 1999 but later on proved to be a very expensive bust.  Mike Lansing was acquired solely for Boston to be able to get Rolando Arrojo and played like a throw-in, albeit a $7 million one.  Chris Stynes could not stay healthy and finally Rey Sanchez was a very good defensive player, but a complete zero at the plate.  Which brings us to 2003 and Todd Walker.  He would not be a long-term solution either.

2003 was the first season under Theo Epstein as general manager.  He brought a Moneyball-esque philosophy to building his team.  Walker had the ability to get on base, even though he was largely considered a bust after being the eighth overall pick in the 1994 draft.  He did not get along well with managers or players and he did not hit nearly as well as he was expected.  Nevertheless, Walker was a decent buy-low candidate for the Red Sox vacant second base position.  All he cost were two failed prospects in their own right, Josh Thigpen and Tony Blanco.  Only Blanco made the Majors, and he did not live up to expectations.

Walker came in and performed as advertized.  He was often the #2 hitter on the team and provided some decent offense without providing much on defense.  He finished the season at .283/.333/.428 with 13 home runs and 85 RBIs.  The Red Sox were an offensive juggernaut that season and having a second baseman hitting like that was a big reason why.

Walker really impressed in the postseason, hitting five home runs, including a controversial home run against the Yankees in the ALCS.  It was certainly not Walker's fault that the Red Sox were not able to beat the Yankees in the ALCS as he hit .370/.414/.704 with two home runs, a triple, and two RBIs.
After the season, Walker was allowed to leave as a free agent and Mark Bellhorn replaced him.  Bellhorn was basically the same player as Walker, but slightly better in all categories. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Red Sox with No Cards Pt. 12: Andrew Miller

In this series I take a look at players who played for the Boston Red Sox but, for some reason, never had a card produced of them with the team.
Now that his time with Boston is officially over, it is time to lament the fact that Andrew Miller never made it onto a card in a Red Sox uniform.  Miller was a major part of the Red Sox bullpen for a few years, yet for some reason Topps never picked up on it.

Miller was a former first-round draft pick (6th overall) by the Detroit Tigers and was a major part of the trade with the Marlins that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit.  He was traded to Boston after the 2010 season for Dustin Richardson.  In 2011, he was brought up to be a starter, but struggled, going 6-3 but with a 5.54 ERA.  He was then groomed to be a bullpen arm, where he would flourish.

In 2012, Miller was 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA in 53 appearances.  He struck out 51 in 40.1 innings as a LOOGY.  In 2013, Miller was having a strong season, but injuries derailed his season and he only made it into 37 games, but he had a 2.64 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 30.2 innings.  2014 was his breakout season as he became a major part of the Red Sox bullpen.  He was 3-5 with a 2.34 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 42.1 innings when he was traded to the Orioles for top prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. 

All told, Miller spent parts of four seasons as a dominant lefty out of Boston's bullpen.  He pitched in 157 games with a 3.79 ERA in 178.1 innings with 218 strikeouts.  Yet he never received a single card to commemorate his time in Boston.  In 2013, Topps Update included cards of Andrew Bailey, Daniel Bard, and Drake Britton.  Bailey pitched in 30 games but was mostly unimpressive.  Britton made it into just 18 games.  Bard pitched in just two games with a 9.00 ERA.  Topps could have easily replaced any of the three, particularly Bard, with Miller.  

One-Card Mailday

I received this today:
You can't really tell from the scan, but that is the Top 5 Refractor mini from 2014 Bowman.  Bowman did the mini refractors for the Top 5 prospects from each team again in 2014.  Cecchini was #3.  I still need the other four, which are all on my wantlist, but it was nice to get the first one, finally.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Some Gypsy Queen and A&G Needs

I don't know why it has taken so long to finally start knocking some of these cards off of my wantlist.  It seemed like last year nobody ever wanted to trade on the forums.  It was frustrating.  But now for some reason I have been finding myself adding a bunch of the cards that I couldn't last year.

Today, I knocked the rest of the non-SP base cards from Gypsy Queen and a few A&G cards off of my wantlist:
I really like the photo on the Bogaerts card.  Gypsy Queen is not really known for terrific photography, but that Bogaerts is awesome.  The Gomes is a pretty decent shot too.  Player selection is important to me as a team collector, which is why I love the fact that Nava has been getting into more and more sets in 2014.  He may not show up as much in 2015 thanks to a little bit of a decline in 2014 but it is nice to see him frequently.

A&G has been eluding me for some reason.  I did get a few here, but there are still several more.  I like seeing Fisk and Nomar in the set, although the increase in Nomar cards likely means that Jason Varitek's days as my largest Red Sox player in my collection are numbered.  Nomar is a little close for comfort.  Maybe Varitek will make it into Archives this year.  I am not really holding my breath though. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Nachos Grande Group Break Results Are Here

I have not participated in a group break for some time.  It was time to change that with the case break that Nachos Grande was hosting.  A whole jumbo case of 2015 Topps.  This break, unlike some others in the past, was really kind to me.

Up first are some random cards from Topps Chipz, some custom A&Gs, and some 1990 Donruss puzzle pieces:
The Chipz are of Clay Buchholz and Mike Napoli.  The Napoli is some sort of parallel.  I have never had one of these before.  I actually kind of like them.  The Napoli is clearly airbrushed, Boston does not typically wear that bright of blue.

The A&Gs are both custom Munnatawket cards.  I am not sure of the story behind them, but it is a damn good job.  The Pedroia caught me by surprise because it looked so real.  They feel real too.  Of course Mr. Reed there is our own Nachos Grande.  This is an autograph here.  It better be worth something someday.

The last two are puzzle pieces of Yaz from 1990 Donruss.  I need to go through some day and figure out how many of these I have.  Maybe some day I can put this puzzle together.

Those are most of the extras, now let's look at the 2015 Series One team set:
I am very excited about my first Rusney Castillo card.  He is going to be one of the more fascinating players in Boston this year.  A lot of the other players here are rookie cards.  Ranaudo has already been traded to the Rangers for Robbie Ross.  Barnes and Escobar could become fixtures in the bullpen in time.  There is a nice shot of Cespedes here sliding into home.  I am happy he made it into the base set because he has already been traded away.  I already have the Bogaerts but I wanted to show off the entire team set.  Buchholz and Napoli are both mainstays on the team.
I love the action shot of Jackie Bradley Jr.  I love his defense, but he just has not hit in the Majors.  Bryce Brentz is yet another rookie card.  Brentz will not last on the team.  I already had Nava as well.  Pedroia is healthy again this year and should have a nice season.

The team set is kind of underwhelming this year.  Series One usually is.  There are a lot of rookie cards and younger players who likely will not last in Boston.  Pedroia is the only real star here.  The photos are decent, particularly Bradley and Cespedes.

Now for the inserts:
The first three are all parallels.  A Gold Buchholz and two foil cards of Nava and Napoli.  I am not sure of the purpose behind most of the rest of these, but I can't argue with the player selection.  Four Ted Williams cards and a David Ortiz.  I am excited about the Cespedes because there will not be too many more Red Sox cards of him.  Unfortunately I did not get any of the awesome Gallery of Greats cards.  Night Owl got something like four.
Here we have Meb Keflezighi, who won the Boston Marathon and threw out a first pitch.  The Manny is an extra that Chris threw in.

Now we come to the biggest hit of the break for me:
For the first time, a group break landed me a relic.  This is a terrific jersey card of Pedroia.  I almost never get relics out of packs at all, much less group breaks.  This was a very successful break for me.  Thanks Chris!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Some More 2014 Needs Came In

I nailed down another trade for some random 2014 cards that I needed, all of which were on my wantlist:
1.  2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Felix Doubront.  I really liked Doubront going into the 2014 season, but his work ethic left something to be desired.  He had a pretty nice World Series performance in 2013.  Unfortunately he is no longer on the team.

2.  2014 Topps Update All Star Access Koji Uehara.  Nice Koji insert that took some time to track down.

3.  2014 Topps Update Future is Now Mookie Betts.  I now have all three of the Mookies from this insert set.

4.  2014 Topps Update World Series Heroes Pedro Martinez.  I still wish Mike Lowell would have appeared in this set.  Get the Red Sox World Series MVPs together.  Jonathan Papelbon and Pedro Martinez were not MVPs.

5.  2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Manny Ramirez.  Weird to see Manny start to show up in sets again.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hey, A Couple of Wantlist Hits

I have actually been able to eliminate a few cards now and then from the wantlist.  This trade knocked two off, including one from my Top 10:
1.  2014 Topps Opening Day Superstar Celebrations Jonny Gomes.  Gomes had a few walkoff moments in 2013.  My favorite was when he drop-kicked his helmet.  This is from him tucking his helmet under his arm and running it it to home.

2.  2009 Topps Gold Jeff Bailey.  Bailey spent parts of three seasons with the Red Sox and never really did all that much in the Majors.  Prototypical AAAA player.

3.  2005 Diamond Kings Edgar Renteria.  This was on my Top 10 because I hate it when someone sends me the wrong card.  Now it is off.

4.  2003 Upper Deck Victory Trot Nixon.  Shockingly, a Nixon I did not have.  Card #232 of Trot.  Trot was one of my favorite players when he was active, particularly in 2001-2003.  I have a jersey of him from 2001, with the 100th Anniversary patch.  Nice gift from my then-girlfriend.

Not a bad little package.  I love the Superstar Celebrations one.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I Couldn't Wait

I'm weak.  I was at Wal Mart and saw blasters of the new Topps product.  I am already participating in the group break over at Nachos Grande, but I haven't opened anything myself in a while.  I knew there were some retail-only cards, so I talked myself into it.  It actually worked out:
1.  2015 Topps Inspired Play Yoenis Cespedes/Jim Rice.  I know this one is already coming my way, but it is always nice to pull a Red Sox insert from a pack.

2.  2015 Topps Highlight of the Year Nomar Garciaparra.  Same as above.

3.  2015 Topps Robbed Mookie Betts.  This is a retail-only card.  Very happy to pull it.

4.  2015 Topps Xander Bogaerts.  The Future Star subset.

5.  2015 Topps Daniel Nava.

So one card that I know at this time that I will not get a duplicate of when I receive my group break results.  Not too bad, but probably not enough to make up for buying the box.  But then, this happened:
That wasn't coming from the group break.  This is the retail-only, one-per-blaster manufactured medallion card of Dustin Pedroia commemorating his first home run.  I was thrilled to pull this card.  No more flagship blasters for me.  I have all I need with this and the Betts for the retail-only stuff.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

More Stuff Today

Another decent trade package arrived in the mail today, filled with a bunch of inserts and parallels and quite the assortment of players:
1.  2014 Finest Xander Bogaerts.  Looking forward to seeing what he can do over a full season.

2.  2009 Upper Deck Goudey 4-in-1 Josh Beckett w/ some other guys.  I am not sure what made UD put these four together.  Bob Gibson was retired at the time this card was released, so he doesn't fit with the others.  Beckett has never won a Cy Young Award.  Peavy, to that point, had not pitched in the World Series, I guess neither had Lincecum.  I have no idea.

3.  2009 Upper Deck Goudey 4-in-1 Curt Schilling w/ some other guys.  Some of the best pitchers of the late 90's/early 2000's and some great World Series pitchers here.

4.  2014 Bowman Chrome Dual-ing Duos Die Cuts Garin Cecchini/Gavin Cecchini.  The Cecchini brothers.  Garin had some nice moments in Boston last year but does not appear likely to make it in Boston.  He is likely tradebait.  I have no idea what is going on with his brother.

5.  2014 Finest Refractor Dustin Pedroia.  I have the Green Refractor as well.  Nice cards.

6.  2014 Topps Gypsy Queen Mini Black Mike Napoli.  After getting some painful-sounding surgery to help his sleep apnea, Napoli does not appear likely to be ready for Opening Day.

7.  2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini A&G Back Pedro Martinez.  Many more cards to come of Pedro thanks to his Hall of Fame election.

8.  2006 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Mark Loretta.  Loretta was an All Star in his only season with Boston, beating out Robinson Cano in the voting, which looks very strange now.

9.  2014 Donruss Elite Dominator David Ortiz.  The next big milestone for Ortiz in my collection will be to pass Manny Ramirez.  62 cards to go.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Buckets of Parallels

I have been a bit more active on the trading forums recently and I have actually gotten some stuff done.  This trade nailed a whole bunch of parallels from 2014 Topps Update, which was pretty exciting:
1.  2014 Topps Update Target Red Jackie Bradley Jr.  Recently JBJ has announced he will be adopting the Marshawn Lynch style of media interaction.  I really like JBJ, but this probably spells doom for his time in Boston.

2.  2014 Topps Update Target Red Allen Craig.  Craig will likely be traded at some point this season, particularly if he is healthy.

3.  2014 Topps Update Target Red David Ross.  I still love this picture.

4.  2014 Topps Update Mookie Betts RC.  I had the photo variation before, now I have the base card.

5.  2014 Topps Update Target Red Rubby De La Rosa.  Now with the Diamondbacks after being traded in the deal that brought Wade Miley.

6.  2014 Topps Update Target Red Joe Kelly.  Kelly has announced he plans to win the AL Cy Young Award.  I like that confidence, not real likely though.

7.  2014 Topps Update Target Red Yoenis Cespedes.  Already traded to Detroit to bring Rick Porcello over.

8.  2014 Topps Update Target Red Edward Mujica.  Possible closer-in-waiting, or trade bait if Alexi Ogando is healthy.

9.  2014 Topps Update Wal Mart Blue David Ross.
10.  2014 Topps Update Wal Mart Blue Jon Lester AS.  I need the base version and I will have the team set.

11.  2014 Topps Update Wal Mart Blue Brock Holt.  I am a big fan of Brock Star.

12.  2014 Topps Update Target Red Koji Uehara AS.  Hopefully his little misstep last season is over and he will be back to dominating the 9th inning.

13.  2014 Topps Update Gold Allen Craig.

14.  2014 Topps Update Wal Mart Blue Koji Uehara AS.

15.  2014 Topps Update Wal Mart Blue Jonathan Herrera.  The emergence of Holt made his job obsolete last year.

16.  2014 Topps Update Wal Mart Blue Joe Kelly.

17.  2014 Topps Update 1989 Mini David Ortiz.  Big milestone.  That is card #500 of Ortiz, joining Jason Varitek, Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez, and Manny Ramirez as Red Sox players I have 500 or more cards of.

18.  2014 Topps Update Future is Now Mookie Betts.  A cinch to win a starting outfield spot this year.
19.  2014 Topps Update Red Hot Foil Allen Craig.

20.  2014 Topps Update Red Hot Foil Jon Lester AS.

21.  2014 Topps Chrome Update World Series Heroes Refractor Pedro Martinez.  I suspect we will be seeing a lot more Pedro cards this year.

22.  2014 Topps Chrome Update Mookie Betts.  And a lot of Betts cards as well.

And the big card of this trade is a manufactured World Series MVP patch of Manny Ramirez.  I love this card.  Makes me think of the 2004 World Series Championship, a huge time in the life of this Red Sox fan.  Very happy to add this.  I just wish they did one for all World Series MVPs, then there could be a Mike Lowell card as well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Another Zippy Zapping

It happened again.  I reached into my post office box only to find that I have been zapped again.  Zippy Zapped.  Luckily, there is no better way to be zapped than to be Zippy Zapped.  So I pulled out the chunk of cardboard and found a terrific example of why Kenny is one of the most generous members of the blogosphere.  Lots of prospects, some Japanese-only cards, and some other random stuff as well.

1.  2012 Bowman Chrome Refractor Clay Buchholz.  Buch is the only holdover from the 2013 World Series championship rotation.  When he is good, he's very good.  When he is bad, he's very bad.  More often, he is injured.   Hopefully he will be good this season.

2.  2014 Bowman Draft Top Prospects Trey Ball.  Boston's highest draft pick since Trot Nixon.  I think I say that a lot.

3.  2014 Bowman Draft Top Prospects Rafael Devers.  Huge power for a prospect, he could crack the Top 10 prospects in all of baseball by next year.  And he is just 18.

4.  2014 Bowman Draft Draft Picks Michael Chavis.  Boston's first round pick in the 2014 draft.

5.  2014 Bowman Draft Top Prospects Sean Coyle.  He has re-emerged as a potential top prospect but is more likely trade bait.

6.  2010 Sega Card-Gen Marco Scutaro.  I love that Kenny sends translations of these things.  I loved Scutaro when he was in Boston and was surprised when they traded him.

7.  2013 Sega Card-Gen Jacoby Ellsbury.  Traitor bastard.  Just kidding.  I don't really harbor much ill will to him, though I always thought his problem in Boston was being under the microscope.  Which is not helped by going to New York.

8.  2013 Sega Card-Gen Foil Jacoby Ellsbury.  I like these foil cards.  I assume they were pretty rare.

9.  2013 Sega Card-Gen Foil David Ortiz.  That is Ortiz #499.  One more to 500.

10.  2008 Kellogg's Manny Ramirez.  Why don't cereal companies put cards in their boxes anymore?  I would totally start eating cereal again.

11.  2014 Bowman Chrome Draft Top Prospects.  Boston's highest draft pick since Trot Nixon.  I think I say that a lot.

12.  2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Draft Picks Blue Refractor Henry Owens.  Look for him to be a big part of the Red Sox rotation for years to come.  I suspect he will make his debut later this year.

13.  2014 Bowman Chrome Future of the Franchise Blake Swihart.  I got into an argument with a Yankees fan on a forum the other day who thought Swihart would be good, but nothing special.  I think he will be an elite catcher who can hit for power and average, and play great defense.

14.  2014 Bowman Draft Top Prospects Black Blake Swihart.  Kenny has been showing these cards off a little bit on his blog, apparently the black-bordered cards are exclusive to Asia.

15.  2014 Bowman Draft Draft Picks Black Sam Travis.  Boston's fourth round pick of the 2014 draft, he has quite a bit of power.

16.  2014 Bowman Draft Top Prospects Black Rafael Devers.  Awesome, another Devers.  My collection begins.

17.  2014 Bowman Draft Duos Michael Chavis/Michael Kopech.  The first round pick and the first round supplemental pick together.

18.  2014 Bowman Draft Draft Day Michael Chavis.  I like these cards.  The look of excitement on his face is awesome.

Thanks for the cards, Kenny!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Red Sox in Cooperstown Pt. 13: Lefty Grove

Years with Boston:  1934-1941 (105-62, 3.34 ERA, 1,539.2 innings, 743 strikeouts, 447 walks)
Best Year in Boston: 1935 (20-12, 2.70 ERA, 273 innings, 121 strikeouts, 65 walks)
Lefty Grove was widely considered the best pitcher in the game when Tom Yawkey opened his wallet wide to acquire him from Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics.  Technically it was a trade.  Grove, Max Bishop, and Rube Walberg were sent to the Red Sox in exchange for Bob Kline, Rabbit Warstler, and $125,000.00.  It was safe to say that the Red Sox got the better end of this deal as Grove was still a very effective pitcher, despite being in his mid 30's.

1934 was something of a lost season for Grove as he dealt with some injuries and only pitched in 22 games, going 8-8 with a 6.50 ERA.  For that season, it appeared as if the A's were smart to deal Grove.  But then came 1935.  Grove had his best season for his time with the Red Sox, winning 20 games for the eighth time in his career and leading the league in ERA with a 2.70 mark.  It was the sixth time he lead the league in ERA.  He was also named to his second All Star team and garnered some MVP consideration.

Grove continued to pitch at a high level for the next four years.  He was named to the All Star team each of the next four seasons and lead the league in ERA three times, while compiling an impressive record each season.  He never again won 20 games, but he came close.  He was the undisputed ace of the Red Sox staff despite nearing 40 years old.

As Grove continued to age, his eyesight started to cause some issues.  He began to decline in 1940, only finishing with a record of 7-6 with a 3.99 ERA.  The next season he continued to decline.  He held on just long enough to win the 300th game of his career and retired shortly thereafter.

Grove sports a Red Sox cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.  It is not entirely unwarranted, but he was a better pitcher for the A's.  It is likely that Grove was angry with Connie Mack and the A's and chose to represent the Red Sox on his plaque. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Unknown Heroes Pt. 38: Steve Lyons

There are three reasons that Steve Lyons gets Unknown Hero status here.
1.  His nickname was "Psycho".  Lyons was known for his hard-nosed style of play and willingness to get his uniform dirty.  In cities like Chicago and Boston, where he spent most of his career, that style of play is incredibly popular.  Lyons was also known for his occasional mental lapses, such as the time he accidentally pulled his pants down.  At first base.  On a nationally-televised game.  Admittedly that occurred during his time with the White Sox, but it still counts.
2.  His versatility.  Lyons was the first super-sub I was aware of.  I have always liked these types of players.  Jeff Frye and Brock Holt have been a couple of others that I have liked.  In his career, Lyons appeared at every position.  Yes, even pitcher and catcher.  He pitched an inning for the Red Sox in 1991, giving up two hits, but no runs, and even picking up a strikeout.  He appeared at every position in 1991 for the Red Sox except catcher.  But he did catch an inning in 1993.  He initially came up as an outfielder and third-basemen but proved to be very versatile early on.  It was this versatility that kept him in the Majors as long as he did.
3.  He had four stints with the Red Sox.  Lyons came up in 1985 with the Red Sox and played in 133 games after being drafted in the first round by Boston (19th overall) in 1981.  Then in late June, 1986, he was traded to the White Sox for future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver.   Not many players can say they were traded straight-up for a Hall of Famer.  He played the next few seasons with the White Sox before being released in April 1991.  He signed with the Red Sox, a decision which he explained by saying "I find that every five years, a man has to change his Sox."  He left for the Atlanta Braves in 1992, but was released and picked up by the Expos.  He played in 27 games with those two teams before being released again and picked up by the Red Sox, for whom he finished the year.  Then in 1993, he again left to join the Cubs.  He did not appear in a Major League game for them however, before being released and re-joining the Red Sox once more.  I can think of several players who had two stints with Boston.  If I thought hard about it, maybe even a player with three stints.  But Lyons is the only player I can think of who had four stints with Boston.
You may have noticed I did not discuss Lyons's stats.  He was not much of a hitter.  His value came almost entirely from his versatility.  But there is a reason they are "Unknown Heroes".