Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Another Prizm Break

Well, at some point I decided to try out another blaster box of Prizm and pulled cards of the two big Red Sox rookies going into the 2021 season.

Up first is a base card of Bobby Dalbec.  Dalbec strikes out a ton, but when he makes contact, it's loud.  He hit 25 home runs as a rookie, and he even hit one in one of the games I saw in person last year.  His 2022 season has been mostly forgettable though and I suspect he's going to fall into the category of guys like Will Middlebrooks and Michael Chavis.  Guys who put up big power numbers right away, but Boston held onto them too long rather than trading at a time when their market was big.

Next is Tanner Houck.  This is a retail-only parallel.  Houck has seemingly settled in this year as the Red Sox closer.  Last year, he was more of an all-purposes pitcher, starting and relieving.  He started 13 games and also notched a save.  Houck is a former first round draft pick.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

2021 Topps Chrome Break

Nothing terribly exciting from this break.  I am pretty sure it was a blaster box.  I pulled just the one base card.  And that base card was Andrew Benintendi, who was traded away just prior to the 2021 season.  I really cannot say that Benintendi was a bust.  The seventh overall pick from the 2015 Draft was great for the first three years of his career, finishing second in the Rookie of the Year vote in 2017.  Then, mysteriously, he declined dramatically.  For his Boston career, he hit .273/.353/.435 with 51 home runs, 119 doubles, 279 runs scored, 260 RBIs and 53 stolen bases.  Decent numbers, but given his decline the last two years, mildly disappointing.

Benintendi was traded to the Royals for Franchy Cordero, Josh Winckowski and three other minor leaguers.  He has since improved somewhat, winning the Gold Glove and improving his batting average, but he is still not close to the player he looked like he would be during the first three seasons of his career. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Project 70: Mookie Betts by Morning Breath

I have a particular affinity for the 1990 Topps design.  So, I did decide to pick up this particular card for that reason.  Also, it was a rare Red Sox card of Mookie Betts.  There were a couple of them in this set as I recall.  Sometimes I wonder if Mookie is going to be remembered more for his time with the Dodgers when all is said and done.  As great as he was in 2020 in the shortened season with the Dodgers and for a couple months this season, he has not come up to the heights that he displayed in his time with Boston.  Time will tell I guess.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

2021 Topps 206 Lot and the Jason Varitek Quest for 1,000: #971

Unfortunately, Topps decided not to bring back Topps Total in 2021.  I always thought the online-only format of the set was kind of a bad idea.  Who wants to buy a $10.00 pack online and get a bunch of middle-relievers and utility players?  I loved the set, don't get me wrong, but I always just bought the singles I wanted.  

With the loss of Topps Total, Topps did an online-only format for Topps 206.  I still just pick up the singles I want.  One wave had several I jumped on:

Jason Varitek:  Of course I had to add this one.  29 cards to go to make my goal.  Unfortunately, it is becoming harder to find them.

Frank Arellanes:  Arellanes is noteworthy because he was in the original T206 set.  It is kind of odd to see such an obscure player in a modern set.  Odd, and awesome.  Arellanes pitched just three seasons in the Majors, all with the Red Sox, from 1908-1910.  He had a great year as a starter and reliever in 1909, pitching in 45 games, starting 28 and finishing a league-leading 15.  He notched eight saves, though it was not an official stat at the time.  He had a 2.18 ERA and a 16-12 record.

Christian Arroyo:  Arroyo has started to get more cards in 2022, but in 2021 he was still pretty rare in sets.  Arroyo had some great moments, including a late pinch-hit grand slam against the Braves.  I thought he would be the primary second-baseman this year, but he is a bit too injury-prone and Boston signed Trevor Story.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Various Topps Now Cards

I keep getting too busy to post here.  I am WAY behind.  Let's do some Topps Now cards, shall we?

August 24, 2021

Hunter Renfroe took over as my All-Time One-Year Right Fielder after a terrific 2021 season in which he hit .259/.315/.501 with 31 home runs and 96 RBIs.  He led the league in assists, but also errors.  Renfroe had a great game on August 24, clubbing two home runs and driving in five runs in a win over the Twins.

July 1, 2021

I picked up a parallel of this card, primarily because I thought this would be Danny Santana's only card with the Red Sox.  It did not end up that way, which I will get to eventually, though no idea when.  Santana did not do much for the Red Sox, but he provided some valuable pinch-running appearances, including in the final game of the ALDS.  Oh yeah, Rafael Devers is on this card too, but there are plenty of Devers cards out there.

August 23, 2021

How about a walk-off grand slam?  Recently re-acquired first-baseman Travis Shaw did just that on August 23, leading to an 8-4 victory over the Rangers.  Shaw came up with the Red Sox and spent the first two seasons of his career with Boston, before being traded to the Brewers, for whom he had some very good seasons.  He was plucked off of waivers by the Red Sox to provide some pop primarily as a pinch hitter, and also to spell Bobby Dalbec on occasion.  This was his first game back with Boston and his biggest moment in his tenure with the Red Sox.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

2021 Panini Prizm Break

The problem with being so far behind on posts is remembering how exactly I got some of these cards.  I am pretty sure I must have opened up some type of packs to get this one, but whether it was a blaster or individual packs or one of those jumbo packs, I cannot remember.  Nothing thrilling here, just a base card, but Rafael Devers is currently my favorite player on the team.  I really hope Boston does not make the same mistake with Devers that they did with Mookie Betts.  The best part about Devers is that he is still just 25 years old.  We may not have seen the best from him yet.   

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

2021 Topps Now Bonus Card

It is sort of hard to remember now, but at the All Star Break in 2021, the Red Sox were riding high.  They finished the first half in first place in the A.L. East.  They were 55-36 at the half, but were just a game-and-a-half ahead of the second place Tampa Bay Rays.  Their placement would not last much longer as the team struggled over the next several weeks, though they would ultimately sneak into one of the Wild Card spots.  

Pictured on this card are, from left to right: Xander Bogaerts, Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez and Bobby Dalbec.