Thursday, March 26, 2015

Red Sox Collection - '87 ProCards Paw Sox Team Set

Recently I picked up a 1987 ProCards Pawtucket Red Sox team set on eBay.  Why?  I guess just because it was a cheap ($1.99 plus a buck for shipping) opportunity to add nearly 30 new cards to my Red Sox collection.  Some players in the set, like John Marzano here, are names I recognized.  Others, not so much.  Nothing too flashy about the design, and the card stock isn't the greatest quality, but oh well, new Sox cards are new Sox cards nonetheless...

Not a whole lot to the backs either.

I scanned in all 27 cards in order, let's see how many made it with the big league club.  We're two-for-two to start here.

A perfect three-for-three here, as Stephen appeared in 3 MLB games during the 1988 season.

The streak continues.  This is pretty much the only card in the set that wasn't taken at nighttime, or at least dusk, and so actually has some background visible.

Before Jon Lester there was John Leister.  If you've never heard of him before it's probably because his MLB experience consists of 10 total appearances spread across two seasons...

Here's a name any Red Sox fan who was collecting during the junk wax era will know.  On a side note, I didn't realize until these arrived at my house that they came from a small hobby shop that I used to frequent as a kid with my dad and brothers (C & S Sports and Hobby in Plainfield, CT).  I had no idea they were the sellers when I picked this up on eBay, small world!

If you're keeping track every player so far advanced past AAA to the Boston Red Sox, at least briefly.

The streak is broken, as I'm fairly certain that Mitchell Johnson never cracked a big league roster at all.

After one miss, right back to a guy who did make it!

LaSchelle Tarver had already seen all the MLB action that he ever would see (13 games with Boston in 1986) before this set was even printed up.

Here's the second guy in the set who, as far as I can tell, never advanced past AAA ball.

We've got a typo here, as the player depicted is Tom Bolton, not Tom Bolten.  Either way, he pitched for Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit and Baltimore before his career was done.

I really have to wonder why the folks at ProCards decided to snap all these photographs under such poor lighting conditions.

Real name?  Anazario.  Born in the Dominican Republic, never reached the show.

Believe it or not this is not Tony's only card.  At a minimum he's featured in the 1989 PawSox team set, not sure if there are others out there.  As usually seems to be the case, Tony does not look like someone you'd want to take fitness advice from.

Mike was never on the roster for the Boston Red Sox, but did get into four games for the Detroit Tigers in 1991.

A little tough to tell in this photo, but Steve stood an astounding 6'8" tall!  Unfortunately his career ERA nearly matches his height (6.75).  Hey, he played in eight Major League games, which is eight more than I'll ever get into!

AAA was the end of the line for Mike Mesh, and he was out of baseball completely by 1989.

Same deal as the last player, never passed AAA and his pro ball career was over in '89.

Now we're on a streak of players who didn't make it, that's three in a row!

Make that four.  A shame too, as Scott put in a lot of time in the minors.  9 seasons of AAA ball alone.

Ed Nottle was a relief pitcher in his younger days.  He got as far as making the Chicago White Sox roster in the early '60s but never appeared in an actual MLB game.  He went on to have a fairly lengthy career managing minor league ballclubs.  He was still involved in the game as recently as 2008, when he managed a pro club in Ottawa!

This is probably the most recognizable card from the set, an early Ellis Burks.  It was the only card I'd seen or heard of before picking up the team set anyway.

Chuck Davis wrapped up his career in 1987, probably not long after these were printed up.  The Pawtucket Red Sox were his final stop in pro ball.

Played a few years in the minors, coached a few years in the minors.  Don't have much else to say, except that the Sox warm-up jacket he's wearing just screams '80s.

6 total plate appearances with Boston!  Reached base twice (hit-by-pitch and a double).

Last but not least, Chris Cannizzaro.  This is actually Chris Cannizzaro Jr.  The elder Cannizzaro was a big league catcher in his time.  His son never advanced past AAA though.

Well, there you have it.  If you made it to the end of the post I commend you, because those were some really obscure names!  No complaints here though, 27 new Sox cards and I got a blog post out of it, all for about the price of a pack of 2015 Topps...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Heritage & Ginter - Collector Favorites

I have a feeling if you polled 100 baseball card collectors on what their favorite set to collect is each year outside of Topps flagship, Heritage and Allen & Ginter would be right near the top of the list.  Well it just so happens that this past week I received packages of both from some kind bloggers.  First up, Zach aka The Underdog Card Collector, sent his second envelope in just the past couple of weeks to Shoebox Legends headquarters.  Inside I found some brand spanking new Heritage, hot off the press!

I watch a lot of Sox games year in and year out, but I don't recognize either of these guys by name without looking them up.

I have not purchased so much as a single pack of 2015 Heritage, so I truly appreciate you sending these along Zach!

Last Heritage card, of an aging closer who apparently already may be injured for Opening Day.  Could be a long season...

Zach sent a handful of other Sox to pad out the envelope.  Most of them were dupes, but this Daniel Bard from 2013 Update was new to me.  The duplicates were decent cards though, and will be put to good use in my next package to Mark Hoyle.  Zach, I'm super behind in trade packages but I've already started pulling Padres for you and have about 25 or so built up so far.  Hope to have a return package in the mail by this weekend.

The other cards I'm showing today arrived from everyone's favorite blogger Night Owl last week.  I shamelessly claimed a stack of Allen & Ginter extras that he offered up a while ago, most of them from the 2013 set.

I didn't get an exact count but I know there were well over 100 cards from the 2013 set, even a few short prints!

It will take me some time to get them all scanned in and inventoried, so for this post I chose just a few favorites, which of course would be the retired stars on the checklist.

That's an odd mustache on Carew to say the least.

Figured this one was appropriate for March!

I found after scanning this one in that my buddy Mark Kaz at This Way to the Clubhouse does not have a copy.  You'll find Doc in your next PWE my friend!

Mark does have Seaver's card though, so this one stays...

Lastly, a 2014 A & G that I actually needed, and a Red Sox card to boot!

Greg, thank you for the awesome boost to my Allen & Ginter collection!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

One Card Post - Batter Bafflers

What:  1959 Topps #346 - Batter Bafflers
Where:  COMC
How Much?:  $1.28

:  A new card for my slowly building 1959 Topps set, and a new card for my Red Sox collection.  The definition of killing two birds with one stone.  Aside from that I absolutely love the combo cards from the '50s and '60s Topps sets.  The card is in great shape too given that it's from the '50s, enough so that I was more than happy with the $1.28 price tag...

Monday, March 23, 2015

My First Group Trade

Recently I participated in my very first "group trade", held by Brian over at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary.  The concept was an interesting one.  Like myself, Brian has some pretty large gaps in his collection between the years 1995 and 2005.  To address this shortcoming he picked up 5 wax boxes from within that time frame and ripped them.  You could get all the cards pulled of a team of your choosing, and in return all you have to do is send Brian a package with some cards from the same era (and probably some Twins!).

What a great concept.  All the excitement of a group break without the buyer's remorse if you don't end up with much.  Brian picked some products that are right up my alley as well, most of them focusing on awesome photography and solid base sets.  I think I did quite well in terms of getting a nice selection from each product.  Here were the cards I was lucky enough to end up with that were new to my Red Sox collection.

What a nice smile from Mike Greenwell.  I can't believe I didn't have a single card (anymore) from this set before this package arrived.

If that last card was an example of a close-up done right, this is certainly one done wrong.  I find it hard to believe that Score didn't have a better photo to go with than this one.  Oh well, as a team collector they can't all be winners.

This one, from The Naturals subset, is much better.

The next product that Brian ripped was 1999 Fleer Ultra.  I've mentioned numerous times that full-bleed sets with great photographs are nearly automatic winners in my book.

This Bret Saberhagen suffers from some sort of printing or stock error.  You can see a straight line going down between the 'e' and 'r' in his last name.  To the right of it, nice and shiny.  To the left, not so much...

Probably my single favorite photograph of all the cards I took home in this trade.  Appropriate for this time of year too, as the photograph was taken at Fort Myers during Spring Training.

The cards I landed from this break leave me just a single shy of a complete team set (#26 Darren Lewis).

I was fortunate enough to end up with a Gold Medallion parallel as well.

Next box was 2003 Stadium Club.

I ended up with all three of the remaining cards I needed for this team set.  I'd call that a success.

Even scored a Royal Gold parallel of Manny Ramirez.  These are super thick.

An insert from Stadium Club as well!

2002 Topps Gallery was the next product opened.  I had no Red Sox at all from this one, so anything that was pulled here was great.  I ended up with four cards featuring paintings of Boston players, some done better than others.  I actually got two of this John Burkett, so Mark Hoyle will be getting one in my next package to him.

My records tell me I'm up to nearly 70 different Nomar Garciaparra Red Sox cards at this point.  With the insane number of cards I've received in trade this past week alone waiting to be scanned and inventoried, I wouldn't be surprised if I topped the century mark very soon.

Probably my favorite painting of the four cards, HOFer Pedro Martinez.

The final box opened for the group trade was 2002 Fleer Greats.  This is a great Tris Speaker card, but it's a bit confusing to say the least.  The bottom says Boston Red Sox, but he's depicted with Cleveland, and the back of the card has Cleveland's logo on it as well?  Since it says Red Sox on the front it counts in my book, but it seems like this one may have slipped past the editors at Fleer.

This is a nice looking set, and again one I didn't have any cards from prior to participating in this.  I like the simplistic design, and the player selection is solid.

Two of the best hitters in Boston history right there...

I ended up with two copies of Jim Rice's card, and again that dupe is headed to Mark.

This insert had to be randomed off between the Red Sox and Reds participants, and apparently luck was on my side.

Being the generous guy that he is, Brian even included some bonus Red Sox content to bolster my collection further.

The Jim Rice and Rich Gedman cards are from the over-sized 1986 Donruss All-Stars set...

...and according to Zistle this may be an insert from the same set?  Not 100% sure on that.

Brian, I love the concept of the group trade and I have to say you did a great job with it.  The box selection was perfect, and I'm very happy with the return.  I finished packing up your cards this evening, and I hope you enjoy the bubble mailer headed your way as much as I enjoyed these!
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