Monday, August 31, 2015

El Guapo & Friends

The latest batch of 9 Red Sox from my friend Mark Kaz arrived last week, let's take a look!

The highlight of the delivery for me was this Upper Deck MVP Rich Garces.  I think most Red Sox fans figured this guy was a scrap heap pick-up when the Sox signed him prior to the 1996 season, but he actually turned into a very reliable bullpen guy for a good stretch of years there. 

As famous for his "figure" as for his pitching ability, he was never the same guy after losing some weight at the request of the team, and pitched his final MLB inning in 2002.  Somehow this is my very first Garces card despite closing in on 5,000 unique Sox cards at this point!

Here's a nice pre-caveman Johnny Damon from 2003 Topps Opening Day.  I think I've stated this before, but Mark does an awesome job of sending me new cards that are from my collecting "dead zone" (1997 to 2006 or so).  I don't seem to find cards from this era all too often, so it's nice that someone is looking out for those years for me.

Here's a nice 1995 Upper Deck John Valentin that I've yet to pull from the retail box I've slowly been busting my way through (and I mean slowly; have had it nearly a year now and have ripped maybe half of the packs).

I got a kick out of Tim Wakefield's full name (Timothy Stephen Wakefield) being used for the facsimile signature on this 2006 Bowman release.  Does Tim always sign this way?  Seems unlikely to me, but he's one guy I do not have a certified autograph of to compare against...

Prior to receiving this package, I had exactly one card from 2005 Donruss Studio, and it was also Curt Schilling (not this exact card, but an insert).

Jose Vaquedano came tantalizingly close to making the Major Leagues, getting as high as AAA Pawtucket, but has been out of pro ball for over 5 years now.

Jason Bay had a season and a half of really productive baseball with Boston before moving on to the Mets.  When he finished up with Boston in 2009 he looked like one of the best hitters in the game, but he deteriorated rather quickly with New York and was out of baseball after his age 34 season.

Derek Lowe is also retired now.  Man, this PWE is making me feel old!

I'll close out with the most obscure card in the package, but one I really appreciate.  I've recently been starting to tally how many of the all-time Red Sox players I have cards for.  Until this PWE arrived, Kevin Tolar was missing from that list, now I can cross him off!  With just 6 career games in a Red Sox uniform this is the definition of obscure!

Mark, thanks for another awesome batch o' Sox!  Got a return package sent off late last week, hope you enjoy it!

3 comments:

Matthew Scott said...

It was sad to see injuries derail Bay's career with the Mets. He is one of my all time favorites.

shlabotnikreport said...

Joe looked up from his computer and, addressing the empty room said, "Hmmmm... 1997 to 2006, you say?" before jotting down a note to himself...

CardinalsFan16 said...

I have some Red Sox from your dead zone I could trade for Cardinals. Drop me an email if you want to work out a trade.

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