#50 - 1975 Topps Mini Dwight Evans
Most collectors agree that 1975 Topps Minis are some of the greatest minis of all time. I don't have as many as I should, maybe a dozen or so, but this one is great. I have around 40 Evans cards, and this is actually my second favorite. My favorite will be appearing later in this post.
#49 - 2012 Topps Red Sox Team Set Dustin Pedroia
If you're a Red Sox fan, it's hard not to like Dustin Pedroia. It's also hard to describe him without using a million cliches, but he seems to be genuine and just enjoy playing hard. He's going to be around for many years to come thanks to the deal he signed this season. I knew I wanted him on the list and this card has the best photo of any of my Pedroia cards. I chose the Red Sox team set version because of the Fenway Park 100th Anniversary foil stamp.
#48 - 1964 Topps Johnny Pesky
1964 Topps is one of my favorite '60s sets. I've never bothered actually ranking them, but I think if I did '64 Topps would take home the silver medal (with '60 Topps being my favorite and '65 Topps slating in just behind '64). This one is really a shining example of 1964 Topps done right. I sort of regret that I didn't rank it higher actually.
#47 - 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Jon Lester Auto/Relic #'d/50
This one makes the list because of what's written in the upper right corner. The Red Sox have won two championships in my lifetime, and it's not an impossibility that they'll be the only two I ever see. This card commemorates Lester winning the World Series clinching game in 2007 at Coors Field against the Rockies.
#46 - 1960 Topps Billy Jurges
An all-around fantastic card. True, mine's got a big crease through the middle and some paper loss, but I don't think it detracts all that much from the visual appeal. Maybe I'll upgrade it someday, but I'm in no rush.
#45 - 1982 Fleer Dennis Eckersley
I know there are much nicer Eckersley Red Sox cards out there, but this is the best one I've got so far. It's a decent pitching shot, even if it is '82 Fleer quality with a bunch of blurry Red Sox fans mulling about in the background. Actually, I can't believe I ranked this one so high. Can I start over again?
#44 - 2009 Topps Updates & Highlights Tim Wakefield All-Star
I always liked this card for what it represents. Tim Wakefield was pretty much the consummate teammate for so many years with the Red Sox. He would start or pitch out of the pen, didn't matter. He'd stay out there and eat innings during a blowout, no questions asked. Finally, in 2009, after so many long years, he was named an All-Star, at age 42! With all the players who don't seem to give a damn about being named an All-Star, it was refreshing to see a selection that actually meant something.
#43 - 1975 Topps Luis Tiant
I can't imagine there would be many collectors out there who'd disagree with this choice. An iconic card from an iconic set. I don't think there's one thing I'd change about this Tiant if I could.
#42 - 1952 Bowman Fred Hatfield
This one may seem a bit high on the list, but there's a reason. This is the third vintage card I ever received in my life, probably as an 8 year old or somewhere thereabouts. I know it's not worth much, but to me this was one of the most valuable cards in existence for many years. Besides, it really is a nice looking piece of cardboard. Now you see why the early '50s Bowman sets have always been favorites of mine.
#41 - 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces Carlton Fisk Green Linen Parallel
Masterpieces was such a great set when it was done right. I would say this card, depicting one of the franchise's infamous moments on cardboard, is an example of that. Cards like this make me miss Upper Deck.
#40 - 1969 Topps Jim Lonborg
This one was selected almost purely for the great photo. Also interesting that some dummy at PSA spelled his last name Longborg.
#39 - 1952 Topps Maurice McDermott
I admit I felt sort of obligated to select this card. 1952 Topps is such an iconic set, and this is the only '52 Topps Red Sox card I own. When I someday track down a Gus Niarhos from this set, Maurice here will be off this list faster than you can say Topps.
#38 - 1982 Squirt Jerry Remy
This card came from an oddball lot that I won on eBay a few months ago now, and it sure is bright. I wanted to include Jerry Remy in the countdown because of his fantastic broadcasting work for the team. I've spent countless hours of my life listening to Remy and counterpart Don Orsillo call the Sox games nightly. Jerry's become sort of a local legend in Boston now, and even has his own small restaurant chain.
#37 - 1991 Topps Wade Boggs
1991 Topps was a fantastic set for Red Sox fans. Wade here is actually the first of three cards from the set to make the countdown. This has got to be one of the nicest patches of sky ever featured on a trading card.
#36 - 1971 Topps Carl Yastrzemski
It's appropriate that Yaz would follow Boggs on the countdown, as I think they are featured on the most cards in the countdown of any individual player (6 for Boggs, 5 for Yastrzemski). The '71 Topps Yaz is a beauty, man do these cards look nice in relatively good condition.
#35 - 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces '2004 World Series Champions'
Here's another one from the first Masterpieces set that seems like an easy choice. There are some franchises that still don't know how it feels to win it all, and I can still remember where I was when the Red Sox finally did so in 2004. Even Manny Ramirez being front and center isn't enough to ruin this card.
#34 - 1969 Topps Dick Williams
An interesting guy, with a long, storied baseball past. Coach of the 'Impossible Dream' 1967 Red Sox team. Plus, check out this card back:
#33 - 1988 Topps Mike Greenwell
This one was featured here quite recently, as it was the inspiration behind Greenwell's 2013 Topps Archives card. 1988 Topps at its finest.
#32 - 2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Fergie Jenkins Ultimate Team Materials Patch #'d/25
I'm not huge on super short prints or patch cards, or anything like that, but when I won this one in a group break hosted by Saints of the Cheap Seats years ago it was still a relatively new concept to me, and I thought the card was really unique. Wow, that was over 4 years ago now. Sometimes I forget how long I've been at this.
#31 - 1952 Bowman Johnny Pesky
Another 2013 pickup. I know I'm very biased towards '50s Bowman, but this is my countdown. This isn't the last '52 Bowman you'll see on the list, either. Just warning you.
#30 - 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights Jon Lester Highlights
Wow, a 2008 Topps card that actually looks nice. They do exist! Like I said previously, if you throw a no-hitter you make the countdown. A great capturing the moment card.
#29 - 1991 Topps Dwight Evans
I've made it no secret that I love a good horizontal card, and this is one of my favorites from any set. Really good perspective here. This is the second of three 1991 cards, the last one will be in the final batch of 25. I bet you already know which card it is. Shouldn't be hard to guess.
#28 - 1966 Topps Rico Petrocelli
A solid, reliable fielder with good pop in his bat, Rico played his entire MLB career with Boston. He was a two-time All-Star and is a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.
#27 - 1995 Upper Deck Minors Nomar Garciaparra
It was practically impossible to be a young, impressionable Red Sox fan in the '90s without getting caught up in the Nomar hysteria. He was my absolute favorite Red Sox player for a few years there. I have a lot of fond memories of watching him play (usually on TV), such as his two-grand-slam, 10 RBI game against Seattle in 1999.
#26 - 1967 Topps Carl Yastrzemski
Closing things out today we've got another Yastrzemski card. This one gets extra points given the significance of the year 1967 in the team's history. It's not my favorite Yaz card though, that will be coming in the final installment of the countdown this weekend...