Monday, September 24, 2018

Tour Swag, Part 2

It took some time, but I'm finally ready to show off all the Red Sox goodness I got from Chris of The Collector. Not nearly as much time as Chris put into his Sports Card Tour, but time nonetheless. You may recall I showed off one of the prizes last month, and teased this box full of cardboard happiness:

In all, Chris sent me 416 cards. These cards represented 108 different sets (base and insert) and 160 different players. That a lot of Red Sox cards! Obviously, there's no way I can highlight all of these cards, so I'm just going to throw some facts and numbers your way, and then highlight a few favorites from each decade.

Oldest Card

1968 Topps #106 Dalton Jones

You can't go wrong with vintage! I have a small number of the canvas set, and this is my first Red Sox player from that set.

Newest Card

2018 Topps #211 Boston B-Boys (CL)

Aw yeah, the Killer B's - Betts, Bradley, and Benintendi. As they approach the team record of 105 wins this year, I wonder if they regret retiring their "Win. Dance. Repeat." dances after every win, or glad they don't have to come up with so much new material.

Most Represented Players

1991 Studio #11 Wade Boggs
19 cards
1993 Ultra #152 Mike Greenwell
15 cards
1992 Studio #132 Roger Clemens
12 cards

Whenever there's a random lot of cards, chances are Hall of Fame level players from the junk wax age will get a lion's share of the representation. Boggs and Clemens were two of the biggest stars of that time, so there's no surprises here. That Greenwell edged Clemens was unexpected however.

Most Represented Sets

1990 Donruss #633 Oil Can Boyd
32 cards
1991 Donruss #138 Dennis Lamp
30 cards
1992 Topps #182 Jeff Reardon
19 cards

You just knew it would be sets from the junk wax era, didn't you? Donruss's borders from 1988-1991 were something else. You either love them or hate them. Personally, I like them in the "so bad they're good" kind of way.

Now I'll show off 3 favorites from each decade. (I'm excluding the 60's since I showed off the one card from that decade already.) It was tough narrowing it down!

1970 - 1979

1974 Topps #523 Cecil Cooper
1975 Topps #489 Cecil Cooper
1975 Topps #537 Tommy Harper

Cooper gets double exposure because he had two great looking cards back-to-back! First is that awesome batting cage action, followed by a big, bright smile. Harper gets the final nod for being the first real base stealing threat Boston ever had! The 1975 cards also have the distinction of being the first birth year cards ever in my collection! It's weird, I had every other base set from the 70's represented, but never acquired any from '75 during my collecting heyday!

1980 - 1989

1986 Topps #349 Mark Clear
1989 Donruss All-Stars #7 Wade Boggs
1989 Topps Traded #29T Nick Esasky

Quiz time: Which of these 3 has never represented the Red Sox at an All-Star game? I'll give you a hint: the answer is not Wade Boggs. Give up? Trick question - All 3 of them did! Mark Clear was an All-Star in 1982, when he won 14 games and saved 14 more. Nick Esasky spent just one year with Boston, but put up big numbers to earn an All-Star nod in 1989. I couldn't find any info on Boggs...

1990 - 1999

1993 Donruss #487 John Marzano
1993 Ultra - Dennis Eckersley Career Highlights #5 "Eckspeak"
1998 Fleer Tradition #542 Jason Varitek

A fantastic action shot by long time Red Sox catcher John Marzano. Any photo with a cloud of dust is going to be good. The Eckersley card stands out because it focuses on his unusual vocabulary. The now widely used term "walk-off" - you can thank Eck for that one! Of course I had to choose a rookie card of the last Boston Captain!

2000 - 2009

2002 Fleer Maximum #23 Pedro Martinez
2007 Upper Deck #586 J.D. Drew
2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces #14 David Ortiz

 Although the design elements are weird on the Fleer Maximum set, I really like the red border and how it made the Red Sox cards pop. I think Drew's Spring Training photo is fantastic and well-done, and the UD Masterpiece set makes me think that this is what Topps Gallery really should look like.

2010 - 2018

2012 Topps #170 Jacoby Ellsbury
2015 Topps Archives #86 Mookie Betts
2016 Bowman's Best #19 Xander Bogaerts

Fantastic action shot for Ellsbury, and probably one of the better cards from that 2012 set. Archives did well with this simple head-shot of the future AL MVP, and a great looking card of Bogaerts.

Last time I wondered what percentage of cards would be new to me. I guessed about 50%, and I was fairly close! Out of the 416 cards, I needed 180 of them - 43% new cards! That's a good haul! Thanks again Chris! Unlike these cards, your generosity cannot be measured!


  1. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the cards-even though a majority were junk wax and/or dupes. 43% is a solid number considering these were passed from one Red Sox collector to another. I hope you're right about Mookie, he's the MVP in my completely unbiased opinion..but they'll probably find a way to give it to Trout lol. Can't wait for October & the start of the playoffs!

  2. Every time I stumble across a UD Masterpieces card, I hate the monopoly Topps has just a little more.