Monday, April 11, 2016

Tons of New Stuff and Some Babe Ruth Cards

I know these are not the most exciting of post types, but I try to make them somewhat interesting with a little bit of information about the players.  Nevertheless, I get a lot of mail, and a lot of cards to show off.
1.  Pablo Sandoval.  As of the time that I am writing this, there are rumors about the Padres being interested in him and scouting him.  It is possible, though unlikely that he will be traded before this post actually gets published.

2.  Pablo Sandoval.

3.  Xander Bogaerts.  Boston's shortstop finished second in the AL batting race last year.  If he can add some more power this year, he will be one of the best shortstops in the game.  He already kind of is.

4.  Blake Swihart.  It was not really noticed last year, but Swihart really hit well after getting acclimated to the league.  He could be a terrific offensive catcher.

5.  Andrew Benintendi.  He could actually be in the Major Leagues by the end of this season.  He has been a terrific find in the draft.

6.  Andrew Benintendi.

7.  Mookie Betts.  Yes, that's Mookie.  This is the Donruss version of a press proof this year.  It is serial-numbered 1/5.  A very rare card of a very good player.  I love this card.

8.  Wade Miley.  Miley was dependable, but not particularly impressive last year.  I did like how quickly he pitched.  Games actually finished in a reasonable amount of time.

9.  Ted Williams.  This card celebrates The Splendid Splinter's incredible record of reaching base in 84 consecutive games.  That is more than half of the season now, and when he did it, they only played 154 games a season.  One of my favorite stats is Williams's CAREER on-base percentage of .482.  For his career, he got on base nearly half the time.  That is amazing.
10.  David Ortiz.  I really want to see Ortiz retire with his fourth World Championship.  The only other Red Sox player who was a part of four World Championships was Hall of Famer Harry Hooper (Heinie Wagner was on the team for four championships, but only played in one World Series).

11.  Rusney Castillo.  Castillo's defense has never been in dispute.  If he can figure out how to hit well enough to stay in the lineup, Boston will have an amazing defensive outfield.

12.  Yoenis Cespedes.  This is an odd insert set by Donruss.  This is from this year's set, and Cespedes spent last year with the Tigers and Mets.  All of the players are featured with past teams.  The other Red Sox cards are Jon Lester and Adrian Gonzalez.

13.  Bryce Brentz.  Brentz was actually decent for the short amount of time he played in the Majors.  Unfortunately he has been passed on the depth charts, and at 27, he is not getting any younger.

14.  Pedro Martinez.  Boston's most recent Hall of Famer.  Another of my favorite stats is that Martinez's 2000 ERA was 1.74.  The runner-up that year was Roger Clemens with 3.70, that's right, nearly two runs higher.  Pedro was not human.

15.  Brian Johnson.  Johnson was a supplemental first round pick in the 2012 draft.  Deven Marrero was Boston's first pick.  Both players made short appearances in Boston last year.  Johnson so far has one game in the Majors.

16.  Hideki Okajima.  I never understood how Okajima was able to get balls into the strike zone.  He would turn his head down after every pitch.  He was a lot of fun to watch though.

17.  Koji Uehara.  Koji will be a setup man this year.  With Boston's revamped bullpen, he shouldn't be overworked.  So he could put up a nice season.

18.  Shane Victorino.  I was recently looking at some old articles on Bleacher Report.  There was one called something like each team's worst offseason acquisition for the 2013 season.  Victorino was the pick for Boston, which I found amusing since he then put up a 6 WAR season and won the Gold Glove.
19.  David Ortiz.

20.  Josh Reddick.  I mentioned before how much I love this insert set.  This card is the best example of why.  I never really got a ton of cards of Reddick when he was with Boston, mostly because there were not very many around.  Reddick did not become a regular player until after he was traded, but I always liked the player.  He did have one great moment with Boston when he had a walkoff hit against Mariano Rivera.

21.  Rusney Castillo.

22.  Pablo Sandoval.  This is my third Sandoval of the post.  This is one of the High Tek patterns.  I am trying to get one each of each available Red Sox card.

23.  Johnny Damon.  The long hair and beard will always be in my mind when I think of Johnny Damon.  

24.  Carl Crawford.  I am not really sure what this card is, but it looked pretty interesting, it shows Crawford bunting, and I always liked Crawford, even though he was terrible in Boston.

25.  Jeremy Hermida.  Hermida had a couple of decent seasons but had yet to reach his potential when he was traded to Boston.  Unfortunately, things did not work out well for him in Boston.  He hit only .203/.257/.348 with five home runs and 27 RBIs in 52 games.  That was not what Boston was hoping for when they acquired him.

26.  Edward Mujica.  Mujica was another player who did not work out as Boston had hoped.  He was brought in to be a good bullpen arm and delivered a 3.90 ERA in 64 games in 2014.  He did pick up eight saves, but he was mostly underwhelming.

27.  Orlando Cepeda/Carl Yastrzemski.  Yes, this is a dual game-used card of the two 1967 MVPs.  Cepeda spent one year with Boston in 1973 and was one of the first designated hitters in history.  This is the first game-used card I was aware of for Cepeda with the Red Sox.  He does not really have many cards with Boston at all, just his 1974 Topps card, an Archives reprint, and a 1974 Kellogg's card that I am aware of.  I am not meaning to slight Yaz on this card, but Cepeda is the major reason I picked this up.  It is so rare to see cards of him with the Red Sox.

For the last scan of this post, I am showing off some results from a box of the Babe Ruth Collection set from Leaf this year.  They did a Pete Rose set before.  This year they are celebrating Ruth.  I would love to see them do a Ted Williams set next.  Here are the only cards that I felt were Red Sox cards:
There were a few cards that were questionable, but I think they were most likely Yankees cards.  There were not nearly as many Red Sox cards as I thought there would be.  With an 80 card set and two 10 card inserts, I figured ten cards would be reasonable.  Nope, just five.  Even one of the inserts which discussed his career ERA clearly showed him with the Yankees, I could tell because of the uniform number.  Boston did not have uniform numbers when Ruth played for them.  I bought the box on the off chance that I might pull a relic.  I did not.  Oh well.  At least the box was cheap and it was a fun rip.


  1. I honestly had no idea that Cepeda played for Boston - you learn something new everyday, huh?

    That Babe Ruth set looks kind of nice for an unlicensed product. It's a shame they went overboard with the Yanks though; but, I guess I'm not terribly surprised. I wonder if they included his last year with the Braves or his coaching stint in Brooklyn at all.

  2. There are a couple of cards with the Braves as I recall. Nothing for his coaching stint with the Dodgers though.