Sunday, October 31, 2021

2020 Bowman Platinum Break

It has been so long on some of these things that I really do not remember them well.  I remember this was a break of some type, but I cannot remember what type of pack or box this was.  I only pulled a single Red Sox card and it was a base veteran player.   

Bowman Platinum is still focused on rookies and prospects, much like other Bowman products, so it was a little disappointing to not pull a Red Sox prospect card, but I am always happy to pull any Red Sox cards from packs.  And so we have Chris Sale, who finally made it back to the Red Sox from Tommy John surgery.  He pitched for the first time since 2019.  It was not always pretty, and he really struggled toward the end of the season, but hopefully he will build on it to return to form next season.

R.I.P. Jerry Remy


Sad news today as it was reported early this morning that longtime fan favorite broadcaster and player Jerry Remy has passed away.  He had been battling cancer for several years.  Remy was a Red Sox player from 1978 to 1984, and was an All Star in 1978.  He was the color commentator for Red Sox broadcasts since 2001.  Remy was massively popular with the Red Sox fanbase and was elected honorary President of Red Sox Nation.  Red Sox broadcasts will not be the same without him.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Topps Color Parallels


My next package to show off contained a couple of the retail-only parallels from 2019 Topps.  The yellow cards are exclusive to Walmart, while the purples were exclusive to Meijer, a store I do not have anywhere close to me.  So obviously these are difficult to come by for me.  So we have Mookie Betts and Rick Porcello here.  

I still pick up the occasional Mookie Betts card these days.  Tough not to, as he was simply one of the best players to wear a Red Sox uniform in my lifetime.  It is a shame he is no longer on the team, but it is time to move on, while recognizing his importance to the team's recent history.  

And then there is Porcello.  I have mentioned before that Porcello seems underrepresented in my collection.  I need to work on that.  Porcello is still the most recent Red Sox pitcher to win the Cy Young Award.  It may not have been the most deserving choice, though the field was wide open in 2016, but it is the way it is.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Boston Purple Sox


The next package is a pair of Topps Heritage Chrome Purple Refractors.  Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury came up around the same time period, with Pedroia making his debut late in the 2006 season and Ellsbury late in the 2007 season.  They were both big parts of the 2007 and 2013 World Championship teams.  

Pedroia will be remembered for spending his entire career with the Red Sox.  He will be a borderline Hall of Famer, with late career injuries being the only thing that could potentially keep him out.  Pedroia won the Rookie of the Year and the MVP in consecutive seasons, and was a four-time All Star, winning four Gold Glove Awards and a Silver Slugger.  He could have done more had he not been injured, but he was a terrific player who made the most of his abilities.

Ellsbury was known for his speed.  He broke the team's single-season stolen base record by swiping 70 bases in 2009.  He led the league in stolen bases three times.  He had a massive 2011 season which marked his only All Star appearance as well as his only Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards.  That season, he became the Red Sox first 30/30 man and finished second in the MVP vote.  Unfortunately, Ellsbury will not be remembered quite as fondly as Pedroia because he jumped over to the Yankees the first time he was a free agent.  His career also ended prematurely due to injuries.  

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Wantlist-Heavy Package

As I said recently, it is time to get caught up again.  I have a couple of jury trials in the next few weeks, so do not be too surprised if I do not post often right away.

Let's get moving:

This package contained a lot of mid 2000's cards as well as a bunch of stuff from the '80's/'90's.  How else to explain the random appearance of Jody Reed?  I am more surprised that there were still Jody Reed cards I needed.  I was a pretty big fan of Reed in the early days.  The other cards in the first scan are superstar players like Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

I still consider trying to find all of the Generation Now cards of Jonathan Papelbon.  Then I decide that is just way too many Jonathan Papelbon cards.  Here are a couple more.  David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia also make appearances in this scan.

And here we have a bunch of Nomar Garciaparra cards, along with Carlton Fisk, Bobby Doerr, Kevin Youkilis and two players who never actually played for the Red Sox.  Edwin Almonte and Ian Bladergroen managed to have quite a few cards, despite never playing for Boston.  Almonte's Major League career consisted of just 12 games for the Mets in 2003.  Bladergroen, who was acquired in a deal from the Mets for Doug Mientkiewicz in 2005, never played in the Majors at all.

Finally, we return to the '80's for a couple of oddball cards of Bruce Hurst and Mike Greenwell, then close out with Nomar and Big Papi.  This was a nice mix of players.  Definitely star-heavy, but some surprise players as well.  All of the cards though, had been on my wantlist.  

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Well That Sucked

I will get around to posting my usual recap of the season at some point.  Right now I am very disappointed in the finish.  The Red Sox looked like a team of destiny less than a week ago.  Since that time though, the offense completely shut down.  This has been the trend with the team all year long.  They were maddeningly inconsistent.  They could look great, then suddenly look like a team that was completely lost on the field.  

The one thing to remember though is that this team was not even supposed to get this far.  This looked like a rebuilding season at the outset.  The "experts" predicted a fourth place finish and that did not seem out of line.  Chris Sale was still recovering from Tommy John surgery and, other than Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, the team did not have many star players.  A number of players were signed as stop-gaps, like Hunter Renfroe, Enrique Hernandez, Garrett Richards, Matt Andriese, Marwin Gonzalez and others.  Some of those players were terrific, others were decidedly not.  And yet, the team was in first place at the All Star Break.  They slumped badly down the stretch, but managed to put enough together to win the top Wild Card spot on the last day of the season, finishing with the same record as the Yankees, the team many picked to win the division.  Boston got the top spot and home field advantage in the Wild Card Game because they won 10 out of 19 games against the Yankees.

They were not expected to beat the Yankees.  And yet, they did.  They then played the Rays, a team they struggled against.  They were not expected to beat them.  And yet, they did.  So they drew the Astros in the ALCS, a team that blew them out more times then not.  Obviously they were not expected to beat them.  But after the first three games, they looked like they were in good shape.  Unfortunately, things turned quickly and they looked like a team that did not deserve to be there in the last three games.  It is what it is.

This team will be remembered as a surprise team that made it much further than anyone thought they would.  They certainly surprised me.  But it is perfectly okay to still be saddened and disappointed by what happened at the end, especially so soon.  In a few days, I will better be able to reflect on all of the great things that happened this season.  It is just too soon right now.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Trade Package

I am going to work on catching up here eventually.  I have a LONG way to go.  Unfortunately, part of that is due to trying to get my scanner working again.  That does not seem to be happening though, so I am having to use my phone, which is not ideal.

Anyway, this is a trade package I received over a year ago at this time.

Here we have several current stars, along with Red Sox legends Carl Yastrzemski and David Ortiz.  The big card here though is the Topps Now Road to Summer Camp Rafael Devers card.  Is Devers or Bogaerts the current best player on the team?  I would argue Devers is the best hitter, but Bogaerts is the better player overall.

And this is a bunch of random 2020 Topps cards I needed for the team set, at the time.  The flagship set generally does a decent job of getting the non-stars included.  Nathan Eovaldi is probably a star now, but was not as high profile at the time.  Darwinzon Hernandez is the somewhat out-of-leftfield pick here.  Hernandez has done a decent job at times in the bullpen.  He strikes out a lot of batters, but also walks too many hitters.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Your 1981 Red Sox Pt. 20: Tom Poquette

In this series, I will look at each player who played in 1981, the year I was born. Because, why not?

Tom Poquette was primarily a fourth outfielder throughout his career, splitting time between the corner spots with the occasional stint in center as well.  Poquette came up through the Royals system and had a couple of decent seasons early on in his career.  In his first full season, Poquette hit .302/.361/.430 with 18 doubles, ten triples and two home runs.  The next season he hit .292/.337/.412, but that was the last season he played in more than 100 games.  

Poquette was traded to the Red Sox in June of 1979 for George "Boomer" Scott, who was nearing the end of his career.  Poquette was terrific in his first season in Boston, playing in 63 games, primarily in center field, and hitting .331/.365/.429 with nine doubles, two home runs and 23 RBIs.  Unfortunately, he was injured and missed the entire 1980 season.

That brings us to 1981.  Poquette played sparingly for the Red Sox, making it into just three games as a defensive replacement and had just two at-bats.  He did not have a hit.  In June, Poquette was placed on waivers and claimed by the Rangers.  He played in 30 games with Texas, but hit just .156.  He returned to Kansas City the next season, but still did not play well and his career as a player was over.  

Poquette's contributions to the 1981 Red Sox team were basically non-existent.  He had a nice 1979 season with them though.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

A Large Package of Randomness

I do not have a really good intro here.  This is a decent-sized package with a variety of recent cards, a lot of them are unreasonably shiny or chrome.  

So a fair amount of cards of young players here, or rather, cards of players when they were young, such as the prospect cards of Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi.  I always enjoy the Talent Pipeline inserts from Bowman every year.  This one features Bobby Dalbec, who has enjoyed a monstrous second half in Boston this year, Bryan Mata, who has emerged as Boston's top pitching prospect and the stalled Josh Ockimey.  Michael Kopech also makes an appearance.  Kopech has been huge in the White Sox bullpen this year.

Here we have a number of Mookie Betts cards.  I still get them occasionally.  My favorite card here though is the Nickname Greats card of Dwight Evans.  Maybe one of these years he will get into the Hall of Fame.  We also have Jonathan Papelbon's brother Josh, who never made the Majors.

Again, here we have a bunch of early cards of players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz.  My favorite card here though is the immortal Devern Hansack.  Hansack never pitched much for Boston, but I always liked the guy.  He threw a rain-shortened no-hitter on the last day of the season in 2006 against the Orioles.

And finally, we close things out with a Carlton Fisk card.  I love getting Fisk cards.