Thursday, May 26, 2016

#26

Wade Boggs had his #26 retired by the Red Sox before tonight's game at Fenway Park.  Ironically, the only new Boggs card I had waiting in the wings in my scans folder was this obscure Legends Variation (can you tell I'm obsessed with these yet) with a photo from his time in Tampa Bay.  This photo may or may not have been taken as Wade rounded the bases after crushing a home run for his 3,000th career hit (I believe it was).

Ah, that's more like it.  Congratulations Wade!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Bevy of Boston Baseball Cards

Time to clear out some room in my scans folder.  I can think of no better way to do so than to show off a pile of Red Sox cards that arrived from all different destinations...

In the lead-off spot I've got this sweet Bowman Chrome Blue Wave Refractor rookie card of the hottest hitter in MLB, Jackie Bradley Jr!  Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard about his impressive hitting streak, which stands at 27 straight games heading into tonight.  It's not like he's squeaking out infield hits either, in the one month since this began he is batting an astounding .411 including 18 extra-base hits and the best OPS in the Majors during that stretch!

How about some printing plates up next?  These have been sitting in my scans folder for at least a couple of years, about time they got posted.  This is the Magenta plate that was used to make the 2011 Bowman's Best Adrian Gonzalez insert.


Here's the card the plate was used for!

Next up is the Yellow plate from 2011 Bowman Chrome...


...and the card it was used to produce!

Finally, a Cyan plate from 2012 Topps Finest.

Turns out I don't have the corresponding card to show for this one though.  These were picked up back in the day when I was chasing as many Adrian Gonzalez Red Sox cards as I could get my hands on.  I've kinda cooled on them over time though, I guess they're neat enough but I don't view them as anything particularly special within my collection.

Travis Shaw has certainly helped Sox fans forget about that awful Pablo Sandoval contract.  This is my only solo card of Shaw's, and came in a trade with Chris of A Blog to Be Named Later.  Chris seems to have fallen off the radar; I hope he's still enjoying collecting and just hasn't found the time to blog.

Here's one that came from the quarter box at my local hobby shop, which I haven't made it to in way too long now.  Must be at least four or five months since I've been able to stop in.  I really need to find a couple of hours to get back there and dig around at some point, but it's easier said than done given my work hours and the shop's hours.

Because I must acquire every colored Red Sox parallel in existence...

Ditto.  Not to mention I'm admittedly a total sucker for Upper Deck Baseball Heroes.

This one is actually a mini, one of the seemingly endless flavors to come out of 2014 Bowman Chrome.  Henry here has made just three starts this year for a combined 12.1 innings pitched.  He hasn't exactly lit it up either, with an ERA north of 5.00 and a WHIP greater than 2.1.

Acetate cards may be one of the few things I enjoy more than colored parallels.  I'm happy to see that High Tek will be returning again in 2016, and I'm hoping Xander Bogaerts or Mookie Betts makes the checklist.

This is by far the best card that came about as a result of Grady Sizemore's 52 games with Boston.  I've posted one or two other variations of it before, now the Purple refractor joins that group!

I wouldn't bother vigorously chasing a team set of these 10th Anniversary black Allen & Ginter "X" cards, but when I find one for around 50 cents like this one was I can't seem to help myself.

Two of my favorite cards in this post would have to be these '72 Kellogg's cards, which are in absolutely mint shape.

Best part is, these are the only two Red Sox in the '72 Kellogg's set, so that is a complete team set right there!

In pretty much my only "retail weakness" moment of 2016 so far, I picked up a $9.99 blaster of Opening Day a few weeks back.  It actually ended up being a very enjoyable break, especially since my lone parallel was this great shot of Sox utility man Brock Holt nabbing a line drive.

Running out of time, so we'll cut it here for today.  This beauty is a card Topps created in the spirit of '53 Bowman and distributed at last year's National.  I've still never been to a National, and I don't recall having seen this card posted elsewhere, so I was pretty excited when I ran across a copy for pocket change on COMC.  A fantastic shot of the Splendid Splinter, for sure!

So there you have it, a few more Red Sox cards off the top of the seemingly endless pile.  Thanks for reading as always!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

One Card Post - My Best Walter Johnson

What:  2011 Topps - #300 - Walter Johnson (Legends Variation)
Where:  eBay
How Much?:  $2.33

Why?
:  I don't have a ton of Walter Johnson cards, and I'm not fortunate enough to own one from his actual playing days.  That makes this my best Walter Johnson card.  Besides, even if I won the lottery someday and picked up a T206, this would still be the best photo of Walter Johnson in  my collection.  So, there's that.


Friday, May 20, 2016

8,826 Suckers...

 ...and I'm one of 'em!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Red Sox, Hockey & Football Cards - Thank you Jeff!

Continuing through the pile of incoming trade packages sitting on my card desk, today I've got a really spectacular one to show off from my hobby friend Jeff S.  Jeff doesn't have a blog or anything that I can link to, but over the years he has sent me a few different packages and he certainly never disappoints!

This particular group came in a nice stuffed bubble mailer, and featured a ton of new cardboard for my ever-growing Red Sox collection, like this super thick and serial numbered Adrian Gonzalez Triple Threads card.  I'm not one who buys too much unopened wax in general, and I certainly don't spring for the high end stuff, so I really appreciate getting singles like this on the secondary market or via trade.

A couple of new Bowman Gold parallels, from the 2013 set.  This Jon Lester is cool...

...but this Brock Holt rookie card is even nicer!  I've got his rookie from the 2013 Topps flagship set, but he's with the Pirates on that one, nice to land a rookie card that depicts him with Boston.

Jamie Callahan is playing high-A ball at this point according to my 20 seconds of web research.  He's still just 20 years old, so who knows how high up the ladder he'll make it...

Had this been a standard 1989 Topps card it would have been tossed immediately into my dupes box (if not the trash can!), but this is actually the Tiffany version!

Jeff sent quite a few '89 Tiffany cards in fact.


Nice to get both the base and All-Star subset card of Mike Greenwell in one fell swoop.

What a great addition to this trade package.  Jeff literally doubled the amount of Topps Tiffany cards in my collection with these five.

From there we move back into the '70s with a few cards from the 1978 Topps release.  This Don Zimmer is definitely my favorite, he's just one of those baseball lifers that I've always had a soft spot for.

Holy airbrushing!  Even Mike's face looks kind of painted here.

Count me among those who miss seeing the team checklist and coach/manager cards in the Topps flagship sets every year.


This Fleer Jim Rice is actually a Glossy parallel, almost like Fleer's response to Topps Tiffany.

Same with this one.  I had a couple of Fleer Glossy cards from the '88 set, but these are my first from '89.

Here's one of those Bowman hometown parallels of slugger Mike Napoli.  From there, let's move onto some great minor league cardboard!

I'm a total sucker for minor league releases, and it never ceases to amaze me the sheer number of sets that were put out, especially in the '80s and '90s.

I'd never even heard of this Best New Britain Red Sox set before, but I really like the cards.  I love all of the advertisements plastering the outfield wall, a sure sign of a minor league ballpark.

This one is actually an error, as the subject's name is Todd Pratt, no S.  Todd was an outstanding defensive catcher but had trouble handling the bat, and as such never made the Red Sox big league roster.  He would debut with the Phillies in 1992 though, which amazingly was the start of a 14-year MLB career as a backup catcher that saw him play with Philadelphia, Chicago (Cubs), New York (Mets), and Atlanta.

The New Britain Red Sox cards weren't the only minor league releases that Jeff included this go-round, he also hooked me up with a nice stack of 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues:

Brian Johnson made a single start for Boston last season, taking a loss after giving up 4 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work.  He's been a middle of the road starter for AAA Pawtucket this season, so I'm not sure if we'll see him again anytime soon.  Even that assessment is being kind, as the Sox farm system is really struggling when it comes to good starting pitching.

There are quite a few folks who are high on Sam Travis and feel like he could be part of the long-term plans for the big league club.  He certainly started catching fire recently, belting 3 home runs just this past weekend for AAA Pawtucket.

I'm not sure what Deven Marrero's future holds, but he's barely batting above the Mendoza Line in AAA, and the Red Sox shouldn't have a need at shortstop for many years with the young and talented Xander Bogaerts holding down that position.  The future does not look too bright for Deven.

Manuel Margot was shipped to San Diego in the Craig Kimbrel trade this past off-season.  His numbers in AAA are decent too, I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the Padres' lineup before the season is over.

Asuaje was part of the Kimbrel trade as well, and has been faring even better than Manuel Margot in the Padres minor league organization.  He's swatting .321 with 4 HR and 18 RBI in 35 AAA games so far this year.  Boston may regret trading him away if he can keep producing like that.

Jacob is putting up some half-way decent numbers so far in 2016, but he's 24 years old and still playing A-ball, so I think the chances of seeing him in a Boston uniform any time soon are slim.

Jordan Betts was demoted from AA Portland after batting just a hair above .150 through his first dozen games or so this year, yikes!

Here's another Sam Travis, this one being a "Road to the Show" insert.  I like the concept of this insert set quite a bit, cool idea of a graphical representation of a player's rise through the minors.

Last minor league card for today, the Blue parallel of the Jordan Betts card you saw above.  That was certainly a healthy addition to my minor league Sox collection!

Back to the big leagues now, Jeff hit me up with two of the final cards I was missing towards my 2015 Archives team set.  A nice portrait of a smiling Mookie Betts...

...and a new card of reliever Matt Barnes.  I think I only have two more cards to track down from this one now, if you don't count those ridiculously rare short prints (of which the Red Sox have three, ugh).

Another nice Mooke Betts here, from the Glove Stories insert set out of 2015 Gypsy Queen.  I like this concept for an insert set, and they chose a nice photo of Betts about to snare one in the outfield.

Here's the last baseball card of the package, a brand spankin' new Heritage Clubhouse Collection game-used card of starter Rick Porcello.  He seems to have corrected things a bit after a shaky season last year and is currently 6-1 with an ERA just a hair about 3.00.  He's been one of the more reliable starters on the club so far in 2016.

It wasn't all baseball in this particular trade package though, as Jeff tossed in a handful of hockey cards that I certainly appreciate as well.  From the 2012-13 ITG Between the Pipes set we've got PK's little brother.  Malcolm didn't make any appearances for the Bruins this year, but maybe he should have been given a shot with the way Rask played at times.

From the same set, here's a nice look at Byron Dafoe's mask.  I think I'd dub this one the "honeycomb" set.  This next card features a much more recognizable goalie helmet, at least to this hockey fan:

I always loved Peter Sidorkiewicz's goofy Cooper helmet and cage.  I'm surprised he was included in this release, but certainly happy that he was!  Now, if only Upper Deck would release a nice certified, on-card autograph of him as a Whaler.  Hey, a guy can dream right?


I also got a nice pair of HOF Bruins courtesy of 2014-15 Upper Deck Artifacts...


Rounding out the hockey cards we've got a '78-79 Topps Ron Grahame, one I was missing from my hand-collated build of this set!

Finally, Jeff was even kind enough to include a couple of football cards this time around.  While I'm not a football collector strictly speaking, I am an NFL fan, and a Patriots fan.  Getting a couple of cards of the team's top receiving targets was pretty cool, and these will find a nice home in my miscellaneous binder.

Jeff, thanks as always for thinking of me.  Every single card in this post was new to my collection, and the few you sent that weren't will find good homes with other collectors anyway.  I'm not sure I have any Upper Deck Canvas left to send you, but I'll do my best to find something to repay your kindness soon!
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