Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Red Sox With No Cards: 1994

In this series I take a look at players who played for the Boston Red Sox but, for some reason, never had a Major League card produced of them with the team.

We are skipping 1993 since there were no players that played for the Red Sox that did not have at least one card made, including Ernie Riles, Jeff Richardson, and Jim Byrd, who each only had one card.  The strike season of 1994 produced a few though and there would be a number almost every year after that as card companies produced progressively smaller sets and skipped the players that only had a handful of games.

Todd Frohwirth was a side-arming middle reliever and Boston always seems to get screwed out of getting cards of side-armers.  I may only be basing that on Frohwirth and Chad Bradford, but still.  Frohwirth pitched in 22 games with the Red Sox in 1994, going 0-3 with a scary 10.80 ERA and 13 strikeouts versus 17 walks.  He had previously been a pretty decent middle reliever with the Orioles, particularly in 1991 when he was 7-3 with a 1.87 ERA in 51 games.  Frohwirth does have a minor league card with the Pawtucket Red Sox, but nothing with the Major League club.

Litton was a pretty versatile role player while with the Giants and Mariners before joining Boston in 1994.  He only made it into 11 games with the Red Sox and only picked up two hits and an RBI in 21 games.  But he appeared at second base in four games, three games at first base, two games at third base, and one at designated hitter.  Litton's Major League career was over after 1994.  Like Frohwirth, Litton has a minor league card with Pawtucket from the same set.

Another player whose versatility helped him make it to the Major Leagues, Royer had previously appeared in Major League games with the Cardinals after being one of the players involved in the deal that brought Willie McGee to Oakland in the 1990 season.  Felix Jose was the major piece that moved to St. Louis in that trade.  Royer could play both corner infield spots.  Royer was placed on waivers in July and was picked up by the Red Sox.  He appeared in just four games with the Red Sox and only had one hit and one RBI while appearing in three games at third and one at first.

Tomberlin was in only his second Major League season in 1994.  He made it into 18 games, mostly as an outfielder, and managed to hit a home run pinch-hitting for Luis Ortiz against the Royals.  He also picked up a triple and a stolen base but only had a slash line of .194/.310/.333.  He had his greatest success with Boston though on the pitching mound.  He pitched the last two innings in a game that Boston was losing 21-2 to the Twins and actually managed to keep the Twins from scoring any more runs while only giving up a hit and a walk.  He recorded one strikeout.  That should have been worth a card.  Tomberlin did appear in the same minor league set as Frohwirth and Litton.  Tomberlin went on to play for the Athletics, Mets, and Tigers, but only had a couple of team issued cards and one Pacific card for those teams, despite actually playing in 147 games over the next four years.

Another waiver wire pickup early in the season, Trlicek had appeared in 41 games for the Dodgers in 1993, but was squeezed out of the bullpen picture in 1994.  Trlicek appeared in 12 under-whelming games for the Red Sox in 1994.  He was 1-1 with an 8.06 ERA, but the real trouble was with his control.  He only struck out seven batters compared to 16 walks in 22.1 innings.  Trlicek would not have any Major League cards released after his 1994 Dodgers cards and certainly none with the Red Sox, but he would appear in 32 more Major League games over the next few seasons, including a return to the Red Sox in 1997.

If I had to pick just one of these players that it is most disappointing to not see commemorated on cardboard, it would have to be Andy Tomberlin.  None of the players performed particularly well, and as much as I like the idea of a nice side-arm action shot of Todd Frohwirth, I think having a card showing Tomberlin pitching would be pretty cool.


  1. I love the idea for this series - you'd think in the overproduction era with all those companies and all those sets being pumped out that more ground would be covered, right?

  2. Vaguely remember all these guys. I know I saw Tomberlin play a few times in Pawtucket

  3. I'm just as disappointed as you when I need a card of a Red Sox player for my collection and one was never made of them in a Sox uniform. Great concept for a blog series. Keep it up!