I was bored one day and was browsing COMC's vintage cards and kept coming across pre-Topps Bowman cards for really cheap. We are talking $1.50 apiece. You cannot beat those prices. So I went off the deep end a little bit and went for a bunch of old vintage and some more modern cards as well.
1. Matt Batts. Batts was mostly a backup catcher in the 1940's/early 1950's. He primarily backed up Birdie Tebbetts but he could hit a little bit, with a Red Sox slash line of .272/.345/.403.
2. Lou Clinton. The 1963 Fleer set is an awesome vintage set. This is my second card from the set, joining Bill Monbouquette and leaving only Carl Yastrzemski for me to chase. Clinton had a very good 1962 season, hitting 18 home runs. The next season, his home runs were up but his other numbers were down, and he never came close to that level of success again after that.
3. Clyde Vollmer. Vollmer was a mediocre outfielder for most of his career until 1951 with Boston when his bat ignited. He had never hit more than 14 home runs in a season before 1951, but in just the month of July that year, he hit 13 home runs and finished with 22 on the year.
4. Vern Stephens. I have written about Stephens before. He was a rare power-hitting shortstop from the 1940's/1950's who led the league in RBIs three times in his career and home runs once. Stephens was a seven-time All Star and finished in the Top 10 in the MVP vote six times. And yet, he has never really been considered for the Hall of Fame. How is that possible?
5. Xander Bogaerts. As I am writing this, Bogaerts has not really produced much this year. Hopefully, by the time this gets published, that will change.
6. Xander Bogaerts.
7. Mookie Betts. Mookie homered on Opening Day. It is the second time in as many times that he has appeared on Opening Day that he has homered. I am writing this on the second day of the season.
8. Johnny Pesky. I am pretty positive that the picture on this card was taken when Pesky was the team's manager in the early 1960's. He looks a little aged in this photo.
9. Elston Howard. Howard was the first black player to play for the Yankees and won the AL MVP in 1963. He was well past his prime and did not hit well after he was acquired by the Red Sox, but he did have some big moments in the Impossible Dream season.
10. Mookie Betts.
11. Carl Yastrzemski/Chuck Schilling. I always wanted this card mostly because it is such a bizarre pairing of players. This is a 1964 card and by this point, Schilling was a pretty poor hitter. In 1963, he hit just .234 with eight home runs. Yaz was also not much of a power threat yet, hitting just 14 home runs, though he did hit .321 to lead the league. If Topps wanted power hitters on this card, the list of players with more home runs than both includes Dick Stuart, Lou Clinton, Eddie Bressoud, Gary Geiger, and Frank Malzone, any of whom would have been better choices than Schilling.
12. Blake Swihart. Swihart has yet to get a base hit as of the time that I am writing this. That had better change in a hurry.
13. Ken Brett/Gerry Moses. Ken Brett is the older brother of Royals Hall of Famer George Brett. Ken is mostly notable for being the youngest pitcher to appear in a World Series game. He appeared mostly in relief for Boston. Gerry Moses is one of the more obscure players to be named an All Star. I am not quite sure how that happened.
14. Daisuke Matsuzaka. I had not seen this card, or the regular Bowman card before. I really like the shot. Now that some time has passed, I am able to reflect more on Matsuzaka's good seasons in 2007 and 2008 than the rest of his time in Boston, which let's face it, was a complete disappointment.
15. Xander Bogaerts.
16. Dave Sisler. Sisler is the son of Browns Hall of Famer George Sisler, a terrific hitter in his time. Dave Sisler was a decent, but not terrific pitcher.
17. Willie Tasby. This is likely the only Red Sox card of Tasby who spent just part of the 1960 season with the Red Sox and then was gone. He was lost in the expansion draft to Washington. This is my first Post card from the early 1960's sets.
18. Tom Brewer. Brewer was a pretty good pitcher with the Red Sox in the 1950's, one of the few good pitchers the team was able to develop during the time period. He had a very good 1956 season, going 19-9 and being named to the All Star team.
20. Bernie Carbo. Carbo is one of the heroes of the 1975 World Series for the Red Sox. Carbo hit two home runs as a pinch hitter, including one three-run shot that tied Game 6 and made it possible for Carlton Fisk to hit his iconic game-winning home run.
21. Drake Britton. Britton pitched in 18 games with the Red Sox in 2013 and looked like a possibility to be on the postseason roster at one point. He then pitched in seven more games in 2014 and has not been in the big leagues since.
22. Billy Consolo. In the 1950's teams did not have the same minor league organization that teams have today. There was also no draft, so players were signed by scouts and often given large bonuses to induce them to sign. These "bonus babies" were required to be kept on the Major League roster for a year or two right away instead of being sent to the minor leagues, which stunted a lot of their developments. Consolo was one such "bonus baby" and was never able to develop into the player that the team thought he would.
23. Chuck Schilling. Schilling was not actually an All Star in 1961, but he did finish third in the Rookie of the Year vote. His teammate Don Schwall won the award that year. Schilling was a good-fielding second-baseman, but was never much with the bat.
24. Dick Radatz. The Monster was an imposing reliever for four seasons in the 1960's for Boston. He was as dominant as any relief pitcher has been in that time period.
25. Mike Lowell. It is hard to imagine, but Mike Lowell was essentially a throw-in when Boston acquired Josh Beckett. Lowell was a very good, hard-working veteran player and had a terrific season in 2007 when Boston won the World Series.
26. Xander Bogaerts.