Friday, December 26, 2008

36 Years of Sox cards (Part II)

As I continue my look back at the last 36 years of Red Sox baseball cards…

1984 Fleer Wade Boggs Batting Champion
This is a fun little card. At first glance, it looks like it’s been badly miscut. The border of the card is only showing on three sides. But, in actuality, this card is a puzzle. Another card in the set is of the batting title runner up, Rod Carew. His card is shifted in the other direction. When the two cards are placed next to each other, they form a single image of Carew sitting next to Boggs. It’s not an earth-shattering concept, but it’s just a little bit of variety to break up the collection.

1995 Upper Deck Andre Dawson
There’s just something about the photo of this card that I like. It’s a perfect pose showing off the classic Boston Red Sox home white uniform. The player pictured isn’t too bad either. Dawson fashioned himself a fine career…although not with the Red Sox. By the time he joined the Sox, Dawson’s best years were left behind on the Olympic Stadium Turf. He was the type of signing that the Sox did a lot of in those years…big names well past their prime. I guess it was supposed to draw fans to the park. Dawson didn’t even play for the Sox in 1995, instead heading to the Florida Marlins. It’s still a nice picture.

2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th Nomar Garciaparra Bat card
As a Red Sox fan, this was my dream set. An entire set of cards was dedicated to the Boston Red Sox. The set included 100 of the Sox players from the previous century. It was a great opportunity for current collectors to grab great Red Sox players from the past without spending a fortune. Players like Ruth, Foxx, and Williams were suddenly on affordable Red Sox cards. In addition to the regular base set, extra insert sets were included featuring autographed cards, cards pith pieces of a game worn jersey in them, or with a piece of a game-used bat in them. What could be better than opening a pack of cards and getting a piece of a Carlton Fisk jersey, or a Dom Dimaggio autograph, or a piece of Nomar bat. While the actual concepts weren’t exactly new, it was the first chance to get all the Red Sox players assembled in one great looking set. These days, it’s hard to open a pack of cards without tripping over a piece of a bat or jersey or stadium seat. But, I still love this card, and the set that contained it.

1979 Topps Carl Yastrzemski
This card has a nice classic old-time design. It doesn’t overwhelm you like the newer cards will with graphics and gold foil. It just shows you the picture, the name, and the team. pitting the team name in a banner was as flashy as cards needed to be in those days. 1979 ended up being a big year for Yaz. In July he notched his 400th career homerun. In September he amassed his 3000th career hit. He became the first American League Player to accomplish both feats. It almost appears that Yaz is looking off into the distance towards those accomplishments on this card.

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