Monday, January 26, 2009

36 Years of Red Sox Cards (Part VI)

Yet another trip down memory lane…

2002 Topps Chrome Carlos Baerga
Carlos Baerga was a very good player. He was a great offensive second baseman for the Cleveland Indians during the early 90’s. He had a great average, and a little pop in his bat. He was shipped to the Mets in 1996 and, for whatever reason, just fell off the map. By the time he came to the Sox in 2002 he was a banjo-hitting back-up. While his batting stroke may have vanished, his love of the game didn’t. His sunny attitude was a welcome sight on the ball field. He may best be remembered for his hugs. Anytime a Red Sox player did something during the 2002 season, there was Carlos rewarding him with a bear hug. As role players go, Carlos Baerga was a great player to have in Boston.

1983 Topps Wade Boggs
This is another card I always wanted, but never got a hold of. When Boggs was popular, the card was priced out of my range. But, it’s a great card. The 1983 Topps set is pretty important, containing the rookie cards of Wade along with Tony Gwynn and Ryne Sandberg. This is my favorite of Boggs’s rookie cards. There were three choices in 1983, and I think this has the cleanest design. I like the extra head shot on the card too. One of these days I need to hit ebay and pick up a copy of this card.

1996 Topps Stadium Club Roger Clemens
I love the photo on this card. It’s a great shot of the classic Red Sox home uniform. Roger is captured just as he is ready to fire another rocket towards home plate. The photo is cropped just close enough to eliminate anything to detract from the image. This is a picture I would hang on my wall. Of course, in 1996 Clemens was in his last year with the Sox. He finished with a sub-.500 record, and was allowed to drift off to Toronto as a free agent. It would appear that he really was in the twilight of his career.

2004 Topps World Series Champions ALCS Game 4
The Topps Company is no dummy. They knew that the Red Sox finally winning the World Series was a merchandising gold mine. They quickly produced a set highlighting the historic season. It’s actually a really nice set. There’s a card for each of the players that played a pivotal role in the 2004 World Series (with the exception of Varitek, who wasn’t included due to a contract issue). There is also a subset of cards depicting highlights from each of the playoff and World Series games. This card is one of the keys. The whole season may have turned on this swing by David Ortiz. It started the Sox on the winning streak that would close out the season. Since I was at this game, I especially enjoy this card. Any collection of Red Sox cards should include this snapshot of history.

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