Wednesday, June 28, 2017


With his most recent over his head performance, Red Sox fans with irrational attachments to Travis Shaw have been talking about something a lot lately. 


They regret trading Shaw away. They assume the Red Sox regret trading Shaw away. When Dave Dombrowski doesn't express extreme regret, they assume he's a liar. Because they all regret the trade.

But, what does that really mean?

Apparently, regret is feeling sorrow over something you cannot control. I was actually surprised by the last bit of the definition. Does that mean Dombrowski can't feel regret because he can control it? But anyway, about the trade. Is there sorrow there?

Not for me. 

I don't regret the Red Sox making the trade. I regret Thornburg getting injured, sure. But I don't regret trading away your third option at third base who had only shown flashes of success. I don't regret using that chip to get a lock down reliever, to help solve a problem. The Sox had too many third basemen, and not enough relievers. Making a trade to fix that is a no-brainer.

I might regret the timing of the trade. It was too late. They sold low on Shaw. They should have moved him during the season before he cooled off. But, that's the way it works sometimes.

But the trade was still a good one.

The things that happen after a trade really shouldn't make you question the trade itself. Like the Bagwell trade, for instance. They traded a minor leaguer blocked at two positions by MVPs, All-Stars, or Hall of Famers for a reliever that helped them win the division. How do you regret doing that? Where was Bagwell playing for the Sox? They had Boggs at third, backed up by Scott Cooper. If they moved him to first, they had Mo Vaughn in the way. So, how can you not make that trade? Now, do the Sox regret the fact that Anderson didn't have another year with the Sox like they thought he was going to? Sure. But they can't regret the trade.

I'm not even able to regret not getting more for these players. (was that a double negative?) I'm assuming that the Brewers didn't offer Thornburg and three other players for Shaw, only to have the Red Sox counter with just Thornburg for Shaw and some other players. No. The Sox got what they got because that's all they could get. 

So, you can be annoyed that Thornburg got hut. Just like you can be annoyed that Smith did last year. You can regret the injuries.

I just don't see how you can regret the trades.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #11

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll continue with Challenge #11: One of your favorite cards from the 1970’s.

I’ve talked before about my evolution as a collector. I’ve even highlighted a card in this series that played an important role in that transition. Today I have another milestone card in that transition.

It was around 1986 or 1987 that I was trading cards with a new friend. While looking through his collection, I came across this beauty.

Look at that thing! The old vintage design was fantastic. Jim Rice was pictured wearing that goofy looking pullover uniform. That awesome red hat. There was a Topps rookie cup right there in the corner. I didn’t even care that there was a pinhole in the top of the card. I needed to have it.

Thankfully my friend was willing to part with it. The price? A 1984 Topps Darryl Strawberry. It was a no-brainer.

Of course, in the years to come, that decision looked a little foolish. The Strawberry card soared in value, while I was left with a damaged Jim Rice. While I wasn’t sure I “regretted” the trade, it probably wasn’t my best move.

But, then something happened. Strawberry dropped. His cards are worth a fraction of what they were before. Like a 1/100 type of fraction. I certainly don’t need to have a card like that in my collection.

But, I still have the Jim Rice. It was that realization that (along with the Gonzalez card mentioned earlier) helped push me to team collecting. With the Red Sox I could ride out the highs and lows. I’m always going to love having this Jim Rice. Or a Phil Plantier. I won’t always love having Gonzalez and Strawberry as they experience ups and downs. So, why would I collect them?

Looking back, the only regret is that I probably sold a little low on the Strawberry. But, if I could read the future of the card market perfectly, I would be rich. All that matters is that I was happy that I made the trade at the time, and I’m glad I made it now. I’ll ignore whatever happened in-between.

After all, just look at that card!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Nicolette Peloquin Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Nicolette Peloquin is a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Rhode Island. In addition to following the
Sox, she'll be spending her summer preparing for Miss America in September. Thankfully she was nice enough to take time out of her busy schedule and visit with us to discuss her short time as Miss Rhode Island, Disney Princesses, the Red Sox, and much more. 

So, let's see what happens when Nicolette Peloquin visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss Rhode Island?
Right after I was crowned Miss Rhode Island, I was immediately surrounded my friends, family, and mentors.  After years of competing (this was my third time), I had finally pulled through and brought home the gold for all those people that have been supporting me for YEARS.  There is so much time and energy invested in preparing for a pageant so I was glad I could make them proud! I would be remiss to not mention that I had lots of donuts that night too!!

What lessons from the Miss Rhode Island competition can you bring with you to Miss America?
I now know that I won this year because I was the best version of myself.  I was not worried about being better than the girl next to me.  I was most concerned with being the best version of the person I saw in the mirror.  In preparation for Miss America, it will be important for me to remain true to myself and where I come from while helping people along the way.

Which portion of the Miss America competition are you most excited about?
I am most excited about the interview portion of competition.  I feel as though this portion of competition allows for the judges to see who I truly am!  I have a bubbly, outgoing personality and always try to get the panel of judges laughing.  At Miss Rhode Island, I
Nicolette is flanked
by Carly Fisher (L)
and Alissa Musto (R)
had the judges laughing about a story that involved my late grandfather and it brought me comfort in one of the most important aspects of competition.

Last year your talent was singing while dressed as Rapunzel. What made you switch back to a tumbling routine for this year’s competition?
On the weekend’s, I perform as a Disney Princess where I do magic tricks, balloon animals, sing, and dance.  Considering it was something I practiced almost every weekend for work, I figured why not (and the costume was super cool)!  As I had said before,
when preparing this year for the competition, I wanted to remain true to myself.  My roots lie in all star cheerleading so I knew I needed to go back to a tumbling routine.  I was a competitive cheerleader from a very young age and had the opportunity to represent the United States at the USASF Cheerleading Worlds for a number of years.  I am so incredibly thankful that I have such an extensive background in tumbling, it made the talent portion of competition this year so much more enjoyable!

In addition to Rapunzel, as you mentioned, you’ve performed as Belle and Anna at various events. Which Disney Princess is your favorite? Why?
Being a 90’s baby, I am a huge fan of the classic princesses.  There are some really well developed characters in some of the newer Disney movies but I would still have to go with Belle from “Beauty and the Beast”.  Belle is introverted yet looks for the best in those who aren't necessarily the kindest to her; I think this is a message that should resonate with everyone!

How did you become involved with your platform, “Be the Match: The National Bone Marrow Registry?
I lost both my Nana Nancy and Papa Kenny to cancer.  While my Nana Nancy was undergoing treatment, I had an emergency surgery to remove a golf ball sized lymph node that was potentially Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Luckily, I came out unscathed and had a blood infection.  However, there are so many people who end up being diagnosed with a blood cancer.  When I went back to school (Salve Regina), there was a registry drive for Be the Match and I joined.  Within a few months I was called and told I was a match for a 60 year old stranger.  I knew what I had to do!  On August 9, 2016, the day after my 21st birthday, I donated over 360 million stem cells to a stranger in another country.  Just a few weeks ago, I finally found out that my match is healthy and doing well.  It is an incredible feeling to know I may have lost out on celebrating my birthday, but I was able to buy my match another birthday and more time with her family. If you are interested in joining the registry, click on the link: Use promo code : MISSRI

This is the first Red Sox season in a while without David Ortiz. What’s your favorite Ortiz memory?
My favorite Ortiz memory, by far, is not one that has to do with a fantastic hit.  When he took the microphone at the Red Sox game right after the Boston Marathon Bombing and spoke, what he said showed how resilient and united the city of Boston was, and always will be.  So many people were shocked by the lack of censorship but I respect that it was from the heart and embodied so much of what the city of Boston stands for!

Who is your favorite Red Sox player? Why?

Dustin Pedroia has showed an immense amount of commitment to the Red Sox organization.  So many athletes will bounce around from team to team, but he has stayed true to Boston.  Pedroia has been a consistent asset to the team and a leader.

How do you think the Red Sox will finish the 2017 season? 
Considering the fact that the Sox are tied for first with the Yankees…. let’s be serious.  We know they will end up on top!  New England sports teams are the best.  No need to knock on wood here.  Regardless, I am a proud Sox fan no matter what the outcome is this year!


Fantastic answer! Glad she'll always be a fan of her Sox!

As always, I want to send a huge thank you to Nicolette for taking the time to visit with us. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Another big thanks for supplying the great pictures to go along with the interview. They really make the interview much better than it would be otherwise. The fact that she sent a picture of three Section 36 visitors was just perfection.

If you'd like to keep up with Nicolette during her time as Miss Rhode Island, check out her official Facebook, and Instagram. You can also follow the Miss Rhode Island Organization itself on both Facebook and Instagram. Oh, and if you happen to be looking at some Barbara Gerwitt items over at Island Pursuit, you might recognize one of the models!

And, of course, I want to wish Nicolette luck at the Miss America competition in September! Last year Alissa finished in the top 15 after visiting Section 36. Hopefully Nicolette does at least as well as that.

Thanks again Nicolette, and good luck!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Blog Bat Around: Why Do I Collect Who I Collect?

I’m not sure I’ve ever participated in one of the blog bat arounds before. Not really sure why (or if that’s the case) but I thought I should give it a whirl this time.

P-Town Tom of the wonderful Eamus Catuli blog offered the topic this time: What is the reason for collecting the players you collect?

It was an interesting question, one that I wasn’t sure I had an answer for. I think, like most people, that reason has evolved over time.

When I first started collecting cards there was no real organization involved. I kept my limited inventory sorted by team in the Topps Sports Card locker that my aunt gave me for my birthday.  Eventually the collection outgrew the locker, and moved into boxes sorted by set. But, when I started finding friends who also collected, and who wanted to trade cards, I needed to be better. So, binders were introduced pulling out star players that my friends might want to trade for. While the binders were now sorted by player, I wouldn’t call them player collections quite yet.

The only two players that somewhat stood out at that point were Jim Rice and Pete Rose. Jim Rice was the fading star of the Red Sox, and my favorite player at the time. Pete Rose was an “old time star” who was on his way to breaking the all-time hits record. Plus, he was a player-manager. That was pretty weird, and a unique feature to collect.

But, while those two players had their own pages in the book, so did lots of other players. I didn’t really do a lot to actively collect either one, and don’t actively look for either of their cards today.

Juan Gonzalez was the first player to really change that. I started to actively seek out his cards. He was a hot-shot rookie hitting all those home runs. He also had that fun Donruss error rookie card that looked fun when displayed. It was also during a boom in baseball cards shows. So I had lots of opportunities to easily add to a budding player collection. But, when he started to fade as a player, my desire to collect him faded as well.

He also faded because another player came to take his place. I mentioned that my Phil Plantier collection formed almost by accident. Sure, he was my new favorite player. But, it seemed like I didn’t even have to try to get his cards, Every pack of 1991 Donruss I opened, it seemed, had Phil’s card in it. Again it was the card show era, so hunting down more of his cards was fun and easy. I was getting everything I could find. It’s the first player I’ve mentioned whose player collection still resides separated from the team in its own binder. I’m also still adding to it as I find cards I was never able to track down back in the day.

After Phil left the Red Sox, player collecting hit a bit of a snag. Then, along came Nomar Garciaparra. If you were a Red Sox card collector in 1997 and didn’t have a Nomar player collection, you were doing it wrong. My collection was given one big boost to get it started. I pulled a rare Hideo Nomo card from one of those packs in the late 90’s with the million parallels. Can’t even remember which one at the moment. But, it was about $150 book value. For some reason, I agreed to trade it via the AOL boards for a stack of Nomars. Like 100 or so. Looking back, it was a ridiculous idea to trade one $150 card for 100 $1 cards. But, it worked out for me, and I don’t really regret it. Even if my Nomar player collection has since been resorted into the team binder.

Which leaves Pedro Martinez. He is the only other player with a separate binder housing his collection. (Well, technically he’s in the same binder as Phil Plantier but you get the idea.) The best pitcher in at least a generation was the highlight of the Red Sox at the start of the 21st century. He was something unique and special. Not only do I collect his cards, but he has his own shelf of collectibles. It’s a true player collection, even if it’s not as active as it could be. But after years of saying “Nomar’s my favorite player, unless Pedro’s pitching” or “Manny’s my favorite player, unless Pedro’s pitching” I realized that by saying that I was declaring Pedro as my favorite player. In the years since, his legend has aged like a fine wine. Time and again the Sox would have a star pitcher that would only prove how amazing Pedro was. Beckett’s amazing postseason, Sale’s dominating start? Bah. Pedro had an entire career better than those hot stretches. 

How could I not collect him?

Monday, June 19, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #10

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll continue with Challenge #10: One of your favorite cards from the 1960’s.

OK. This is pathetic. In the last challenge post, I lamented the fact that I only had three cards from the 1960's in my collection. Well, for this challenge I had to choose between two cards.


I have managed to accumulate two cards from the 1960's in my Red Sox collection? What's wrong with me?

Honestly, I sort of understand. For one thing, the Sox in the 60's weren't very good. Not a lot of desire on my part to gobble those cards up. Besides' the Yaz cards are expensive. In my case, that decade is a bit of a tweener. Not old enough to be "cool vintage" like a 1956 Topps. The players are too recent to be legends, but not recent enough to be players I was personally a fan of. When the 70's come around, there are at least players I've seen play. Plus, the cards themselves fall into the same trap. Take this card.

See what I mean? Not old enough to be a great painting from the 50's, but not new enough for a modern action shot from the seventies. Just a bleh mix of poor printing and boring pictures. 

So I forgive myself for not chasing any of these cards down. But, it's still fairly pathetic. Especially since there are several players from the Red Sox Hall of Fame who played in the sixties. Apparently I need to make an effort to gather their cards. I need them to round out my collection.

Because two cards covering ten years is just sad.

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