Friday, December 29, 2023

The Greatest Red Sox Cards Of 2023

I can't believe I've been doing this for 5 years now! I have to admit though that this year was the toughest one yet. For the first time, I didn't have Stadium Club to provide at least a few worthy contenders. I'm hoping it's just a one-time blip, but at least the door was opened for some more variety. That's a good thing, right? So without further ado, here is my expertly chosen list of greatness:

Honorable Mention: 2023 Tops Now

#144 Fair Or Fowl?

This is technically a Red Sox card, at least according to TCDB. Truth be told, if I were to do a list of the worst Red Sox cards of 2023, it would probably win. It's badly cropped, the ducks are just standing still, and it's altogether not that interesting of a card. I like ducks, though, and this is whimsical enough to at least be worthy of a mention.

10. 2023 Topps Update - Action Stars

#AS-14 Rafael Devers

Most of the time, the last spot on this list is tough to choose because they're are so many great contenders. This year it was tough because so few stood out. I'm not overly fond of the "Insert player in front of generic computer generated background" type cards, but this one at least looks cool. Here's hoping Devers launches a lot of "bombs" next year!

9. 2023 Topps

#283 Matt Strahm

When I was in college, I had long glorious hair. Like Strahm, it often flew in my face whenever I did anything active.

8. 2023 Topps Heritage - Then and Now

#TAN-10 Luis Tiant/Nathan Eovaldi

Two Red Sox post-season heroes for the price of one! Just to give you a glimpse of how baseball has changed: The back off this card reveals El Tiante led the AL with 7 shutouts in 1974. In 2022, Eovald also led the AL in shutouts....with 1...a lead he shared with 6 other pitchers...

7. 2023 Topps Holiday

#H8 Masataka Yoshida (SSP, VAR)

Maybe it's the eggnog talking, but I do enjoy these Holiday sets, especially since they've stepped up their game beyond just adding oversized snowflakes. I especially enjoy their short-print, which feature such novelties as candy cane bats and Christmas light necklaces.

6. 2023 Topps Archives

#112 Babe Ruth

I'll say this for Ohtani-mania: It has paved the way for more cards of Babe Ruth as a Red Sox. Of course it would have been nice to show him pitching since he's listed as a pitcher, but seeing a younger, dare I say slimmer Babe on cardboard is always nice.

5. 2023 Bowman - Bowman Spotlights

#BS-7 Triston Casas

In stark contrast to the Devers Action Star card, I love this one for it's sheer simplicity. Take those two logos in the upper corners away, and it'd be perfect. No text, no fancy graphics, just a simple illumination of the player.

4. 2023 Topps - All Aces

#AA-5 Pedro Martinez

If you have any of this insert and have seen it in hand, you know how much better it is than what a screen shows. Pedro was a true Ace, and provided exciting moments in spades!

3. 2023 Topps

#242 Jarren Duran (FS)

Earlier this month, Bob over at The Best Bubble had a post showcasing some great cards of players flying through the air. The illusion of Jarren leaping over his "Future Stars" designation makes this a worthy inclusion to any mini-collection of that ilk!

2. 2023 Topps Living

#629 Jason Varitek

I gotta give artist Angel Aviles credit, this is a great rendering of the former Red Sox captain! The look of determination, the eye black, the shine off his helmet - everything about this card is well done!

1.  2023 Topps Archives

#77 Tris Speaker

I am 48 years old, and for the most part I conduct myself as a mature, responsible adult. However I can't help but snicker like a 12-year-old boy every time I look at this card. Why? Because Topps captured this on cardboard:
Tris Speaker, a Hall of Fame legend, is getting kneed in the groin. There ain't no way around it, knee is right there below the belt. I doubt he's wearing a cup. You can't unsee it now. You're welcome. It brings me way too much joy, and for that I deem it the greatest Red Sox card of 2023!

So there you have it! Do you agree with my rankings? Any cards that I might have missed?

Relive The Greatest Red Sox Cards Of:

2019 *** 2020 *** 2021 *** 2022


  1. I don't know if I could do this for my team this year. With sets delayed, there's not as much to choose from and there are certain team sets that were a bunch of blah this year.

  2. That duck card is very polarizing. On one hand it's so unique. On the other hand... it's proof that card collectors will buy anything.

  3. A disappointing year for cards overall. It was nice to see Topps packs all over the place, but the fact that every non-flagship product was delayed or exclusive was a letdown. You managed to find a couple neat Sox cards here- I really like the Casas and Varitek in particular.

    And I guess I didn't look closely at the Speaker card because I did not notice what was so clearly obvious after your post. Yikes!

  4. Fun post, but yes, the set delays are infuriating. Why are there still delays? Happy New Year!

  5. Fun post. I should have done this with my NY Giants cards

  6. Good #1, its why I always tell my boys and players I coach to wear a cup no matter where you play on the diamond. Was confirmed this season when my 13 year old had a wicked side spin grounder hit him right in the family jewels...

    Have a great 2024!

  7. There's no way that Tris was wearing a cup. And in those days too, he probably took 30 seconds (if even that) to shake it off, and then resumed playing. A kid these days would probably miss a month's worth of games (or more) if they took an unprotected shot like that.