Saturday, April 27, 2024

More Topps Wong Parallels

1.  The first card is the Golden Mirror parallel.  Every card in the set has a Golden Mirror parallel that features a different photo on the front.  This takes the place of the limited photo variations.  

2.  This is the Purple parallel, a retail-only parallel.

3.  This is the 2022 Black parallel.  I was a little surprised I did not have this already.  I missed on an auction for it at one point, then a new auction came up the next day.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Minis and More

Up today are a couple more TCDB trades.  Just some randomness for the day.

The first deal featured a number of A&G minis: 

Of particular interest in this scan is the Xander Bogaerts blue parallel from Topps UK.  I don't think there is a Topps UK set any more, but I suppose I could be wrong.  I like the green parallel of Alex Verdugo from last year's Archives set.  The Ted Williams is from the Chrome A&G set.

This package was primarily some random base cards I needed to complete team sets.  The Nomar Garciaparra was an All Star subset card.  Derek Lowe came from 2003 Topps Opening Day.  

So, not the most exciting of mailday posts, but I need to get caught up.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A Bunch of Wong Parallels

Connor Wong had a big game today.  He had four hits in four at-bats with two home runs and three RBIs.  We will see if he gets a Topps Now card tomorrow.

Anyway, here are a bunch of the 2024 Topps parallels.  The first one is the True Photo variation.  These are not serial-numbered, so I am not sure how rare they are.  The second is the Holiday Rabbits parallel, serial-numbered to 50.  The third is the Independence Day, serial-numbered to 76.  And the fourth is the black parallel, numbered to 73.  

Sunday, April 21, 2024

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

Today's post is some rando stuff that I've gotten in recently, along with a blaster break.

Up first is a two-card TCDB trade with some boxed oddball cards from the 1980's:

1.  Wade Boggs.  Unfortunately, I was not collecting at the height of the oddball craze in the 1980's when you could walk into Rite-Aid and pick up a special box of cards.  So, I still have to work to find some of these things.  

2.  Mike Greenwell.  Greenwell was once one of the brightest young stars in the game and looked like a superstar for years to come.  After 1988 though he just sort of settled into being a good, occasionally very good, player.  He still hit .303 for his career, which is often overlooked.

Up next is a blaster of 2024 Topps:

1.  Masataka Yoshida.  Yoshida started off the season a little slowly, but has started getting it going in recent days.  

2.  Ceddanne Rafaela.  Rafaela signed an extension shockingly.  His defense has been terrific, but there have been some growing pains offensively.  He's a bit of a free swinger, which is a bit problematic.  We will see where that leads.  He will likely settle in at shortstop for this season.

3.  Kenley Jansen.  He has had a couple of rough outings but seems to be stabilizing.  I still think he is going to get traded.

1.  Keith Foulke.  This was a one-card deal that got me a jersey relic of Boston's closer for the 2004 season.  That season he was 5-3 with a 2.17 ERA, 79 strikeouts against 15 walks in 83 innings, and saving 32 games.  Unfortunately, he was never again a reliable closer, but he made a big impact in 2004.

1.  Trevor Story.  Unfortunately, one of my big predictions for the year will not come true.  Story suffered a season-ending shoulder injury a couple weeks ago.  I really thought he was going to be healthy this season and turn in a 20/20, Gold Glove season.

2.  Manny Ramirez.  Ramirez is still playing professional baseball in Asia and just hit a home run the other day.  He says he is not officially retired.

3.  Bobby Dalbec.  One of my more negative predictions was that Dalbec would be released by the Red Sox.  That hasn't happened yet, but considering he has just one hit in 32 plate appearances with 18 strikeouts, it probably is not far off.

4.  J.D. Martinez.  Martinez had a bounceback season last year with the Dodgers but has yet to play for the Mets this season.

5.  Alex Verdugo.  I expect his tenure with the Yankees to be short.  I just do not see him enjoying the much more strict clubhouse culture of the Yankees.  He's not playing great right now either.

Friday, April 19, 2024

R.I.P. Dave McCarty


McCarty was a member of the 2004 World Champion Red Sox, hitting .258/.327/.404 with four home runs in 89 games as a bench player and even had a 2.45 ERA in 3.2 innings with four strikeouts.  He was a top prospect for the Twins in the early 1990's but just never seemed to find his way into regular playing time.  He also played with the Giants, Mariners, Royals, Devil Rays and A's.  He spent his last three seasons with the Red Sox from 2003 to 2005.  I always liked McCarty and he was a subject of my Unknown Heroes series.  

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Wong Update

The next couple of packages were a couple of the 2024 Topps parallel cards.  This is the Orange Crackle Foil and the Aqua parallels.  Wong has started the year off fairly well.  As of today, he is hitting .342/.333/.605 with three home runs and eight RBIs.  For awhile there it looked like Reese McGuire was going to overtake Wong for playing time, but that has changed this week.  Wong had a really bad game defensively last week, but seems to have come back around.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mailday Madness (Yet Again)

I am way behind.  I have a long way to catch up.  I have spent a bunch of time lately getting all of my Red Sox cards into binders, something I have been neglecting for about the last three years or so.  But recently, my parents gave me the card collections of my brothers (who did not want them) and I picked up three binders that I could use for my cards.  So, here we are.  This is two of the recent TCDB packages.

1.  Ellis Burks.  Burks is one of those players that has much better numbers than I remember.  For his career, he hit .291/.363/.510 with 352 home runs, 1,206 RBIs and 2,107 hits.  Those are some very impressive career numbers.

2.  Dwight Evans.  A lot of Evans's numbers are even better than those of Burks.  He hit .272/.370/.470 with 385 home runs, 1,384 RBIs and 2,446 hits.  Given that he played in a much weaker offensive time period and has eight Gold Gloves to his name makes him a good candidate for the Hall of Fame.

3.  Coco Crisp.  I remember when Boston acquired Crisp, he looked like a younger version of Johnny Damon.  Injuries slowed him down in 2006 and he was basically an average player in his three years in Boston.  Good, but not what he was expected to be.

4.  Alexi Ogando.  Here's a guy that people probably forget spent time in Boston.  He was 3-1 with a 3.99 ERA as a reliever with the Red Sox in 2015.

5.  David Price.  Price's contract is probably largely a bust, but he was a massive part of their 2018 World Championship.  I still believe he should have been the World Series MVP, going 2-0 in three games with a 1.98 ERA, ten strikeouts and six walks in 14 innings pitched.

6.  Garrett Whitlock.  Whitlock is still Boston's greatest acquisition in the Rule 5 Draft even though he has been mostly inconsistent since his amazing season in 2021.  He is a part of the rotation this season and has been pretty good until an injury last night.

7.  David Ortiz.  This is a shot of Ortiz delivering his terrific speech after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, an event that solidified Ortiz as a folk hero.  This was one of his greatest moments.

8.  Caleb Hamilton.  Yeah, this card features several other players, but Hamilton is the only one I care about.  This was a short print from last year's Heritage.  Hamilton played in five games in 2023 for Boston and was hitless (though he did walk once) in six plate appearances.

1.  Jon Lester.  Lester will be on the Hall of Fame ballot for 2027.  He has an interesting case, enhanced by postseason success and intriguing storylines such as his cancer fight and helping the Cubs win their first World Series in over a century.

2.  Chris Sale.  Sale's Red Sox stint started off so well, but he has been absolutely wrecked by injuries since 2018.  

3.  David Price.

4.  Xander Bogaerts.  Padres fans are already complaining about Bogaerts.  It's going to be a difficult contract for him to live up to.  

5.  J.D. Martinez.  Martinez is going to be with the Mets this season, but has yet to play a game for them.

6.   Jeff McNeely.  I remember when McNeely was a major Red Sox prospect.  He was going to be the fastest player on the team since Tommy Harper.  Well, he was fast, stealing six bases in just 21 Major League games.  I don't really know why he never got another shot.  He hit .297/.409/.378 in his only shot with Boston, but he had a rough year in the minors in 1994 and then was traded to the Cardinals in the Luis Alicea deal and never made it back.

7.  Julio Lugo.  Lugo was another fast Red Sox player.  He led the team with 33 stolen bases in 2007, but a 65 OPS+ and being an adventure on defense caused the team to look for other options at shortstop.

8.  Adrian Gonzalez.  Gonzalez was definitely the offensive force Boston wanted when they finally acquired him, hitting .338/.410/.548 with 27 home runs, 117 RBIs and a league-leading 213 hits.  But he was not the clubhouse leader he was expected to be and caused some issues that led to him being packaged in the giant Dodgers deal in 2012.  

Friday, April 12, 2024

Zippy-Zapped with a TTM Auto

I am way behind again.  I haven't been posting much because work is busy.  I will try to eventually catch back up.

Up first is a Zippy-Zapping:

This is a TTM auto of former Red Sox prospect Cole Brannen.  Brannen was Boston's second-round pick in the 2017 draft, the one in which current starter Tanner Houck was the team's first-round choice.  Brannen made it to High-A ball, but never hit higher than .231 and never developed any power.  It just did not work out for him and he was released in Spring of 2022.

Thanks for the card Kenny!

Monday, April 1, 2024

Red Sox Opening Day Lineup 2024

I do this occasionally.  Actually, I'm not even sure if I can say that.  I know I have done it before.  Maybe a couple times.  Anyway, here is the Red Sox Opening Day Roster for 2024 along with some predictions.  A lot of my predictions are somewhat positive.  I really do think this team has some good, young talent.  This is a year to determine what it is that they have and supplement it going forward.  I do not think this team will contend, but they will win some games.  I do think they will be active during the trading period, hopefully bringing in young pitching.  

2024 Prediction: Abreu will turn out to be the best player Boston got in the Christian Vazquez deal, becoming the regular right-fielder by mid-season.

2024 Prediction:  Anderson will not even be with this team by May 1.  He will only have a couple of mop-up appearances and a bloated ERA.

2024 Prediction:  Bello will make big strides toward becoming a potential ace and win 15 games.   

2024 Prediction:  Campbell will turn out to be the best under-the-radar pick-up for the team in 2024 and be a valuable member of the bullpen.

2024 Prediction:  Casas will have his first season with 30 home runs.

2024 Prediction:  Crawford will become Boston's #2 pitcher, finishing with 12 wins and an ERA below 3.50.

2024 Prediction:  This year is the end of the road for Dalbec in Boston, and possibly very early.

2024 Prediction:  Ho-hum, just another 30 homer/100 RBI season for Devers.  

2024 Prediction:  Duran will steal the second-most bags in a single season in Red Sox history.  The number to beat is 54.

2024 Prediction:  Houck will be the closer by the end of the season.

2024 Prediction:  Jansen will be traded at the Trading Deadline, but will be an All Star before he goes.

2024 Prediction:  Martin has another ridiculously good season and actually gets his first card since 2020.

2024 Prediction:  McGuire's numbers continue to slide and he is released by the end of the season.

2024 Prediction:  O'Neill has a renaissance season in 2024, but is traded at the deadline.

2024 Prediction:  Pivetta has another solid season, but is also traded at the deadline.

2024 Prediction:  Rafaela contends for the A.L. Rookie of the Year and wins a Gold Glove in his rookie season.

2024 Prediction:  Reyes will be a valuable utility infielder.

2024 Prediction:  Rodriguez will be the first player to be dropped from the roster and Brennan Bernardino will be brought back.

2024 Prediction:  Slaten, a Rule 5 pick, will stay on the roster all season and gradually work into more of a trustworthy arm out of the bullpen.

2024 Prediction:  Story has a 20/20 season and wins a Gold Glove.

2024 Prediction:  Valdez hits well, but his defensive problems make it impossible to keep him on the roster and he is eventually traded.

2024 Prediction:  Weissert becomes a fan favorite and makes the Verdugo trade worthwhile.

2024 Prediction:  Whitlock solidifies his place in the rotation and wins 12 games.

2024 Prediction:  Winckowski becomes one of the team's setup men with another strong season.

2024 Prediction:  Wong is an All Star in 2024.

2024 Prediction:  Yoshida contends for the batting title in 2024.