Monday, October 12, 2015

Who the Hella is Joe Ciccarella?

Time to showcase the latest batch of nine Red Sox cards that I received courtesy of my friend Mark Kaz of This Way to the Clubhouse...

We'll start off with a name that I confess was new to me (hence the title of the post), Joe Ciccarella.  He was apparently a decent prospect in college, though I think this article goes a bit far mentioning him in the same breath as one Ted Williams.  Joe's interesting in that he grew up playing first base, and didn't start pitching until college, yet would completely convert to a pitching prospect in the Red Sox system.  Unfortunately, he never made it past AAA ball.

I think this card does a good job of illustrating one of the primary reasons that I collect, too.  I love the "meaningless" and obscure little facts and characters from sports history, and many of my cards serve as cardboard reminders of players who might otherwise totally be forgotten.  There's no way I would have done even the 10 minutes of research I did on Joe had I not gotten this card in a trade.

This 2008 Josh Beckett is actually from one of those blister pack team sets that Topps releases every year.  It differs from Josh's standard base card in that it's number BOS14 (whereas his base card is #555 in the Topps set), and also features a more closely cropped version of the same photograph used on the flagship card.

Here's a Red Sox prospect that actually did go on to make the big show.  I had completely forgotten just how long Scott stuck around for until I stumbled across a scan of his 2008 Upper Deck card (with the Reds) while preparing this post.

Around 1996 I started moving away from collecting cards, and by 1997 I was done totally for a good 10 years or so.  Because of that timing, 1996 Donruss is very foreign to me.  I love a design that showcases a nice, full-bleed photograph, but I'm not sure what Donruss was thinking with that difficult-to-read square foil mess.

This, on the other hand, is how you do a minimal, photo-centric design right.  I've been very slowly opening a box of 1995 Upper Deck baseball for over a year now, but I haven't pulled this Aaron Sele yet.  While this type of photograph is certainly more commonplace nowadays, this was fantastic by 1995 standards.

Just my second card from 2003 Leaf.  I've been meaning to put together a small "career retrospective" collection of Damon cards, featuring all of the various teams that he played for over the years.  One of these days...

My third Sun Woo Kim card!

Mark seems to have found a well of these 2001 Topps Home Team Advantage cards.  I have no idea where he's getting them all, but I'm glad he sends me the Red Sox anyway.  I've only got three of these in my collection now, and all three are from Mark!

Closing things out is a very solid card for a confessed parallel junkie like myself, an Ultra Gold Medallion Jason Varitek.  I almost always prefer a catcher card to feature the player in his gear rather than at the plate, and this one is no exception.

Nine more down, tens of thousands to go.  Thanks Mark!


Tony L. said...

Mark is a great guy to trade with. Also, I wish that every time I see Sunny Kim that the song "Sunny came Home" didn't pop into my head.

Mark Kaz said...

You're welcome! Next nine-spot is on its way this week!

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