Yeah, I spent some of my Allen & Ginter hobby box money on actual Allen & Ginter. After all, this yearly project is not about bashing the Allen & Ginter set. In fact, I kind of like the cards. It's more about proving to myself on a yearly basis that a hobby box is just not a good use of funds given my collecting tastes. So, for just $10 shipped I opted for a Red Sox team set instead:
It's been an awful year for the Sox so far. They've been bitten by the injury bug worse than any other team in baseball, and the second baseman has not been exempt from it. Pedroia's missed 18 games this year, mostly due to a couple of thumb injuries. When he has been on the field he's been having a down year as well. He's currently hitting .265, which would be his worst average in any full season with the club. The power numbers are down also, with just 6 HR and 33 RBI in 78 games.
We all know what happened here, another symbol of Boston's struggles over the past year or so Kevin is now with the Chicago White Sox.
Here's one of the few Red Sox players that was actually enjoying a fine season...unfortunately he's now on the DL as well.
Another bright spot, Salty's 18 HR are tops in all of baseball from the catcher's position.
Buchholz has been decent. He's 8-3, however that number is a bit deceptive given his 5.19 ERA. At least he's been able to stay relatively healthy, already making two starts more than he did all of last season.
The lone Red Sox retired star in the set is Yaz. He's appeared in A & G once prior, in the inaugural 2006 set.
Ellsbury missed a solid 3-month stretch after being injured on Opening Day. He's been solid since returning to the lineup a little over a week ago, and just hit his first HR of the season yesterday in a horrendous loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
After a very good 2011 season (other than that little collapse there at the end), Josh is having a rough go of it in 2012. I think the Red Sox would gladly ship him out of town if they could, but I doubt anyone would be willing to pick up his contract given how he's been hurling the ball lately.
The Sox dealt outfielder Josh Reddick to Oakland for Bailey. Andrew was hurt during Spring Training and has yet to throw a single pitch in a Red Sox uniform. Reddick meanwhile has really blossomed after finally getting a full time spot in Oakland. He's crushed 21 HR already in 2012. Seems like the A's got the better of that deal.
There are three Red Sox short prints in the set, the first being Gonzalez. The big story with him was his lack of power through the first half of the 2012 season, however he seems to be coming around now with 3 HR in his last 7 games. Besides, even when he wasn't crushing the ball early in the season he was still driving in runs, so he's currently sitting at a very respectable 58 RBI. Sure, we're not going to see mammoth season totals like last year's .338 / 27HR / 117RBI but this guy can flat out rake the ball, and is going to be a cornerstone of the franchise for years to come.
Jon has had the most painful season of any Red Sox player. He seems to have totally lost all skill and confidence right before the fans' eyes. Just yesterday he allowed a career high 11 runs on 4 HR to the visiting Blue Jays. It seemed like every pitch he threw was crushed not just out of the field of play, but out of the entire ballpark. It's been sad to watch, I hope he can turn it around soon here but I'm not sure that he can.
We finish things off with what has so far been one of the worst contracts ever handed out by the team. The Sox made a huge splash in the 2010 off-season bringing in both Crawford and Gonzalez for the 2011 campaign. While Gonzalez has lived up to the hype though, Crawford has had a tough time. In 130 games last year Carl hit just .255, a career low. After missing the entire first half of the 2012 season, Crawford has made an impact in the 6 games he's played since returning to the team. You have to wonder how long he can stay healthy for. There have been trade rumors surrounding him for a couple of weeks now, we'll see if anything pans out.
The Joy of a Completed Insert Set - 2002 Topps Hobby Masters - Since 2006, in addition to the Topps Flagship base sets, I have been collecting most of the insert sets as well. I little while back I decided to fill som...