Friday, October 20, 2023

Somehow, I Have Fallen Behind

And it is time to catch up.

Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Autographs Platinum Toile Cream/Blue Refractor.  Autographed card numbered to 99.  I actually kind of like this one because the border matches the ink color.

Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Dustin Pedroia.  I know, it's weird that it's not a Connor Wong card.  This was a freebie with the card above.  I certainly will not turn it down.  Pedroia is one of the players Wong recently surpassed in my collection.  Which seems crazy.

Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Rose Gold Refractor.  Serial-numbered to 75.  It is getting harder and harder to find cards from this set that I still need. 

Panini Chronicles Contenders Optic Hyper.  Serial-numbered to 299.  Suddenly a couple of these parallels popped up recently that I still needed.

Bowman Platinum.  This is a 1/1.  See the small stamp in the bottom right corner?  Nice to add another 1/1 to the collection.  It won't be the last one.

Topps Update Vintage Stock.  Serial-numbered to 99.  This is the first parallel from Topps Update I have picked up.  Nice photo too.  And a bunch of new parallels to chase down.

Panini Chronicles Contenders Optic Green.  Serial-numbered to 75.  This is the other parallel of this card I recently picked up.  This would have been on my Top 10 list that I sketched out, but never quite made official.

Topps Gypsy Queen Missing Nameplate.  This one took a weirdly long time to get for some reason.  It didn't seem to be exceptionally rare, it just took awhile to find.

Topps Update Green Foil.  Serial-numbered to 499.  My second parallel from the Topps Update set. 

That's it for now, but a whole bunch of cards have shown up recently that I have gotten.  There is going to be a lot more cards soon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Topps Now: September 24, 2023

Joining the long list of players whose first card this year was from Topps Now is Wilyer Abreu.  Abreu, along with Enmanuel Valdez, was acquired from the Astros last year in the deadline deal that sent Christian Vazquez out of town.  That deal may look REALLY good next year if Boston keeps both players this offseason.  Both players can absolutely rake.

Abreu was called up late in the season and actually looks like the better long-term option.  Abreu hit his first Major League home run on September 24, his third Major League game.  Boston won 17-1, beating those same Astros.  The home run was one of his four hits on the day.  He also hit a double and drove in four runs.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Wong Update With Some Rarities

This will be a shorter one today, but there are some nice ones to show off.

Panini Prizm Rookie Autographs Black Finite Prizm.  Autographed card serial-numbered 1/1.  This is my eighth Wong 1/1 and my fourth autographed 1/1.  

Topps Chrome Sapphire Gold.  Serial-numbered to 50.  For a long time I could not find any of the Sapphire parallels.  This is now my second one, joining the Orange.  These are such nice cards.

Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Platinum Toile White/Green Refractor.  Serial-numbered to 99.  This set has started to slow down for me.  Mostly really rare cards left to get.  Just in time for Wong's appearance in Topps Update.

Panini Immaculate Jumbo Batting Glove Grand Logo.  Serial-numbered to 10, this is a card featuring the logo from Wong's batting gloves.  This card is THICK.  One of the more interesting relics in my entire collection.

That's it for today.  There are a few more coming, but things have definitely slowed down.

Friday, October 6, 2023

2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th Pt. 9: Ted Williams


NAME: Ted Williams

POSITION: Left field

WHY IS HE HERE?:  Because if he wasn't, it would be a terribly incomplete set.  Williams is THE franchise player.  Two-time MVP, two-time Triple Crown winner, the last hitter to bat .400.  He is quite possibly the greatest hitter who ever lived.  Also, his career OBP is .482, best in history, and mind-boggling to think that for his entire career, he got on base nearly half the time.

WOULD I PUT HIM IN IN 2001?:  I would be stupid not to.


WOULD I PUT HIM IN NOW?:  Again, it would be stupid not to.

ANY BETTER CHOICES NOW?:  I think the only player who comes close to this standard is David Ortiz, who was nowhere near the hitter that Williams was (and Ortiz was a fantastic hitter), but whose status as face of the team is similar.  Ortiz led the team to three World Championships, the one thing Williams could not do.  He's not a better choice, but he would be here.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

The Worst Red Sox Team of All Time Pt. 26: Hank Patterson

Failure is often even more fascinating than success. I am definitely intrigued by the 1932 Boston Red Sox, the worst Red Sox team of all time. The team finished with a record of 43-111, for a winning percentage of .279 and very little went right.

Once again, my general malaise with this series is threatening to overcome me.  We again have an ultra-obscure player with very little information.  

Hank Patterson was with the Red Sox (and in the Majors for that matter) for just one game.  He played catcher for two innings, not making any noteworthy plays and making it to the plate just once.  That game was the second game of a double-header against Washington.  Bennie Tate started the game and Patterson came in late.  He did not get a hit in his one at-bat, but I cannot determine what happened in it.  And that's it for Hank Patterson.  I have no information about whether he played in the minors anywhere, but I assume he did.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Your 1981 Red Sox Pt. 33: Carl Yastrzemski

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

This is it, the final post in this series.  I started it clear back in 2016.  I never do these types of series very quickly, but that seems absurd.  

We are on Carl Yastrzemski, and honestly, I do not have much to say.  You don't run a blog about the Red Sox without touching on a player who spent 23 seasons there at least a few times.  

So, I will just talk about 1981.  

1981 was probably Yaz's worst season in the Majors.  He was mostly just hanging on by this point in his career and was 41 years old.  He spent most of the season alternating between first base and designated hitter along with another aging future Hall of Famer, Tony Perez.  He played in 91 games, the fewest of his career, though part of that had to do with the strike.

Yaz had the lowest slash numbers of his career, hitting just .246/.338/.355 for OPS+ of 96, only the second time he was a below-average player.  His power numbers were also way down, with just 14 doubles, seven home runs and 53 RBIs.  Only the RBI number was not the lowest of his career.   It was a rough season for the former superstar.  

After a year like that, it was kind of surprising that he came back in 1982, and even more surprising that he put up decent numbers.  He looked pretty much done in 1981.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Donruss Blaster Break

What?  A post without Connor Wong cards?  Perish the thought!  

I decided to grab a blaster of Donruss, since there were still a number of cards I needed and I had not opened any packs on my own for several months.  I got two Red Sox cards:


1.  Pedro Martinez.  What is there left to say about Pedro?  One of the greatest pitchers I have ever seen.  I often say that Pedro from 1999 to 2000 was the greatest pitcher I have ever seen.

2.  Marcelo Mayer.  This is the Purple parallel.  Mayer had a bit of a rough season this year, primarily due to a shoulder injury.  He is going to slip on some prospect lists as a result.  He may even end up second on Boston's top prospect lists with the ascension of Roman Anthony this year.  Which reminds me, I need some Roman Anthony cards.

Monday, October 2, 2023

The End of a Wong Season

I am writing this on the evening of the final game of the season.  I will have my entire breakdown of the season in my annual Season in Review post some time after the awards are handed out, so I will not get too much into it until then.  Connor Wong has obviously been the biggest development in my collection this season.  I came into the year with him at just four cards, and finished with him in the top ten of all players in my collection and well ahead among current players.  During that time, probably 95% of the cards I have added to my Red Sox collection have been Wong.  Here are some more cards of him, just to keep going.

Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Orange Refractor.  Serial-numbered to 25.  I thought I was getting a bunch of parallels from this set coming up.  There is one less than I thought though.  I recently purchased a card listed as Fuchsia Atomic Refractor numbered to 100.  I already had the Red Atomic Refractor, which was also numbered to 100.  I determined these cards are actually very likely the same.  It's not the first time there were redundant listings in my quest.  The Aqua Mini Diamonds and Aqua Speckle refractors from Topps Chrome and the Carolina Blue and Navy Prizm and Carolina Blue Prizm from Panini Prizm also seem to be the same cards.

Topps Mini Pink.  Serial-numbered to 25.  This is actually my first Topps Mini card of Wong.  I do not even have the base card yet.  

Panini Select Green.  Serial-numbered to just five.  I was a little surprised by how rare this one was.

Bowman Sterling Blue Refractor.  I talked before about possibly putting together a top ten most wanted list.  Well, I did recently.  This card was on it.  I am going to wait until I complete the list before replacing cards.  I made some big strides pretty quickly.  But, there are some very rare cards on it still.

Topps Blue Star.  Serial-numbered to 299.  This card was weirdly hard to find for what should have been a pretty common parallel.  I had seen it a couple times, but always for way more than I wanted to spend.

Panini Prizm Giraffe.  This card was high on my top ten most wanted list.  It is not serial-numbered, but is apparently a case hit.  Super rare.  Not many people knew it though when it popped up for auction because I got it for less than my lunch cost today.  I love this card.

Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Rose Gold Mini Diamond Refractor.  Serial-numbered to 75.

Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Black Refractor.  Serial-numbered to ten.

Topps Chrome Ben Baller Blue Refractor.  Serial-numbered to 75.  This is another one that took awhile to get because prices did not seem commensurate with the rarity of the card.

Panini Diamond Kings Artist's Proof Silver.  Serial-numbered to 25.  This is the third card from my top ten list that I picked up.  

Panini Chronicles Contenders Optic Purple Mojo.  Serial-numbered to 99.  I always like grabbing parallels from this set.  There is one on my want list, but this is not it.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

R.I.P. Tim Wakefield

This one has hit me pretty hard.  Wakefield spent 17 seasons with the Red Sox, from the time I was 14 years old to 30.  That is a significant chunk of my lifetime that I was following and rooting for him.  He was a part of the very first postseason team I watched (I started watching baseball in 1991).  He gave up the home run that ended the 2003 season, which I never blamed him for.  He was so instrumental in the team's run that season and had been critical pushing the team as far as it got.  He was of course a part of the 2004 World Championship team, starting the first game of the World Series.  He was still around for the 2007 season, even though he did not pitch in the Series.  Wakefield always did absolutely everything asked of him.  He was a consummate professional and terrific teammate.  He was primarily a starting pitcher, but spent significant chunks of time as a reliever and was even a closer for a period, notching 15 saves in 1999.  He made just one All Star team, but won 200 career games, 186 with Boston (which is third in team history).  He won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2010.  Wakefield was a great pitcher, and it seems, an even better human being.  My heart goes out to his family and friends.  He will be missed.