Thursday, December 18, 2008

36 Years of Red Sox Baseball Cards

One of the many ways I fuel my Red Sox obsession is through baseball cards. I love flipping through them. It reminds me of players I might have forgotten. It takes me back in time to a player’s early years. It brings up players I wish we still had, or I’m glad we got rid of. So, I thought the lull of the winter was a great time to dip into the Red Sox baseball card past. I’m going to look over the last 36 years of Red Sox baseball cards. I’ll pick out one card from each year to discuss briefly. If you’re a fellow card collector, hopefully it will remind you of some of your favorites as well. If you’re not a collector, hopefully you won’t think the exercise is a waste of space. There won’t be any set criteria for picking out the cards. I won’t own most of them. They won’t all be of star players. They won’t all be the most valuable cards of the year. They’ll just be the ones I most felt like talking about. I’m also not going to go in order, just to mix it up a little. So, here we go.

2006 Fleer Jon Lester
Mr. Lester has had quite a year the last twelve months or so. He went from World Series winner to effective trade bait. From promising youngster, to playoff ace. I bet this off-season, not many people would trade him for Johan Santana even up…let alone in a package. This card is one of Lester’s rookie cards. It’s a classic card with an attractive design. It doesn’t have the flash or the flair of other products from 2006, but I like it. The rookie logo on the card reminds everyone that at this point, Lester was just a hot-shot prospect looking for a way to get into the rotation. My how things change.

1990 Score Mo Vaughn
I loved Mo Vaughn. I loved the way he looked at the plate. I thought his stance was so intimidating hunched ever so slightly. He would glare out at the pitcher through one eye and almost dare him to throw a pitch. This is one of Big Mo’s rookie cards, coming from a “Draft Picks” subset. Card companies realized that people wanted the first cards they could get of their favorite players. Including a subset of draft picks allowed cards to be produced as soon as a player was in an organization. The only problem with the subset is that they were usually of players you hadn’t heard of yet. When this card was pulled out of a pack, Mo was still a year away from his Red Sox debut. Once he started playing for the Sox, though, I was sure to grab up a handful of these cards.

1975 Topps Tim McCarver
I like the 1975 Topps baseball card set a lot. I’d love to be able to build the entire set someday. The colors on the cards are a lot of fun. I’ll take the bright borders over a blander scheme any day. I also like the set because the player selection crosses generations. The set is old enough to have cards of Hank Aaron and Bob Gibson, but recent enough to have Nolan Ryan and George Brett. They have managers when they were players such as Bobby Valentine and Mike Hargrove. And, there’s cards of announcers like Tim McCarver. I don’t like McCarver as a broadcaster. He actually makes me turn the volume of the TV off during games. But, there he is on this card displaying himself as a member of the Boston Red Sox. McCarver appeared in 12 games for the Sox in 1975 before being shipped away. If it weren’t for this card, I might never have known that.

More to come...

No comments:

Post a Comment

What people are reading this week