Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Red Sox, Hockey & Football Cards - Thank you Jeff!

Continuing through the pile of incoming trade packages sitting on my card desk, today I've got a really spectacular one to show off from my hobby friend Jeff S.  Jeff doesn't have a blog or anything that I can link to, but over the years he has sent me a few different packages and he certainly never disappoints!

This particular group came in a nice stuffed bubble mailer, and featured a ton of new cardboard for my ever-growing Red Sox collection, like this super thick and serial numbered Adrian Gonzalez Triple Threads card.  I'm not one who buys too much unopened wax in general, and I certainly don't spring for the high end stuff, so I really appreciate getting singles like this on the secondary market or via trade.

A couple of new Bowman Gold parallels, from the 2013 set.  This Jon Lester is cool...

...but this Brock Holt rookie card is even nicer!  I've got his rookie from the 2013 Topps flagship set, but he's with the Pirates on that one, nice to land a rookie card that depicts him with Boston.

Jamie Callahan is playing high-A ball at this point according to my 20 seconds of web research.  He's still just 20 years old, so who knows how high up the ladder he'll make it...

Had this been a standard 1989 Topps card it would have been tossed immediately into my dupes box (if not the trash can!), but this is actually the Tiffany version!

Jeff sent quite a few '89 Tiffany cards in fact.

Nice to get both the base and All-Star subset card of Mike Greenwell in one fell swoop.

What a great addition to this trade package.  Jeff literally doubled the amount of Topps Tiffany cards in my collection with these five.

From there we move back into the '70s with a few cards from the 1978 Topps release.  This Don Zimmer is definitely my favorite, he's just one of those baseball lifers that I've always had a soft spot for.

Holy airbrushing!  Even Mike's face looks kind of painted here.

Count me among those who miss seeing the team checklist and coach/manager cards in the Topps flagship sets every year.

This Fleer Jim Rice is actually a Glossy parallel, almost like Fleer's response to Topps Tiffany.

Same with this one.  I had a couple of Fleer Glossy cards from the '88 set, but these are my first from '89.

Here's one of those Bowman hometown parallels of slugger Mike Napoli.  From there, let's move onto some great minor league cardboard!

I'm a total sucker for minor league releases, and it never ceases to amaze me the sheer number of sets that were put out, especially in the '80s and '90s.

I'd never even heard of this Best New Britain Red Sox set before, but I really like the cards.  I love all of the advertisements plastering the outfield wall, a sure sign of a minor league ballpark.

This one is actually an error, as the subject's name is Todd Pratt, no S.  Todd was an outstanding defensive catcher but had trouble handling the bat, and as such never made the Red Sox big league roster.  He would debut with the Phillies in 1992 though, which amazingly was the start of a 14-year MLB career as a backup catcher that saw him play with Philadelphia, Chicago (Cubs), New York (Mets), and Atlanta.

The New Britain Red Sox cards weren't the only minor league releases that Jeff included this go-round, he also hooked me up with a nice stack of 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues:

Brian Johnson made a single start for Boston last season, taking a loss after giving up 4 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work.  He's been a middle of the road starter for AAA Pawtucket this season, so I'm not sure if we'll see him again anytime soon.  Even that assessment is being kind, as the Sox farm system is really struggling when it comes to good starting pitching.

There are quite a few folks who are high on Sam Travis and feel like he could be part of the long-term plans for the big league club.  He certainly started catching fire recently, belting 3 home runs just this past weekend for AAA Pawtucket.

I'm not sure what Deven Marrero's future holds, but he's barely batting above the Mendoza Line in AAA, and the Red Sox shouldn't have a need at shortstop for many years with the young and talented Xander Bogaerts holding down that position.  The future does not look too bright for Deven.

Manuel Margot was shipped to San Diego in the Craig Kimbrel trade this past off-season.  His numbers in AAA are decent too, I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the Padres' lineup before the season is over.

Asuaje was part of the Kimbrel trade as well, and has been faring even better than Manuel Margot in the Padres minor league organization.  He's swatting .321 with 4 HR and 18 RBI in 35 AAA games so far this year.  Boston may regret trading him away if he can keep producing like that.

Jacob is putting up some half-way decent numbers so far in 2016, but he's 24 years old and still playing A-ball, so I think the chances of seeing him in a Boston uniform any time soon are slim.

Jordan Betts was demoted from AA Portland after batting just a hair above .150 through his first dozen games or so this year, yikes!

Here's another Sam Travis, this one being a "Road to the Show" insert.  I like the concept of this insert set quite a bit, cool idea of a graphical representation of a player's rise through the minors.

Last minor league card for today, the Blue parallel of the Jordan Betts card you saw above.  That was certainly a healthy addition to my minor league Sox collection!

Back to the big leagues now, Jeff hit me up with two of the final cards I was missing towards my 2015 Archives team set.  A nice portrait of a smiling Mookie Betts...

...and a new card of reliever Matt Barnes.  I think I only have two more cards to track down from this one now, if you don't count those ridiculously rare short prints (of which the Red Sox have three, ugh).

Another nice Mooke Betts here, from the Glove Stories insert set out of 2015 Gypsy Queen.  I like this concept for an insert set, and they chose a nice photo of Betts about to snare one in the outfield.

Here's the last baseball card of the package, a brand spankin' new Heritage Clubhouse Collection game-used card of starter Rick Porcello.  He seems to have corrected things a bit after a shaky season last year and is currently 6-1 with an ERA just a hair about 3.00.  He's been one of the more reliable starters on the club so far in 2016.

It wasn't all baseball in this particular trade package though, as Jeff tossed in a handful of hockey cards that I certainly appreciate as well.  From the 2012-13 ITG Between the Pipes set we've got PK's little brother.  Malcolm didn't make any appearances for the Bruins this year, but maybe he should have been given a shot with the way Rask played at times.

From the same set, here's a nice look at Byron Dafoe's mask.  I think I'd dub this one the "honeycomb" set.  This next card features a much more recognizable goalie helmet, at least to this hockey fan:

I always loved Peter Sidorkiewicz's goofy Cooper helmet and cage.  I'm surprised he was included in this release, but certainly happy that he was!  Now, if only Upper Deck would release a nice certified, on-card autograph of him as a Whaler.  Hey, a guy can dream right?

I also got a nice pair of HOF Bruins courtesy of 2014-15 Upper Deck Artifacts...

Rounding out the hockey cards we've got a '78-79 Topps Ron Grahame, one I was missing from my hand-collated build of this set!

Finally, Jeff was even kind enough to include a couple of football cards this time around.  While I'm not a football collector strictly speaking, I am an NFL fan, and a Patriots fan.  Getting a couple of cards of the team's top receiving targets was pretty cool, and these will find a nice home in my miscellaneous binder.

Jeff, thanks as always for thinking of me.  Every single card in this post was new to my collection, and the few you sent that weren't will find good homes with other collectors anyway.  I'm not sure I have any Upper Deck Canvas left to send you, but I'll do my best to find something to repay your kindness soon!


Casey Brough said...

Going to see top prospect Benintendi tonight. Will try to grab an autograph for you at some point!

Hackenbush said...

Can't remember knowing that Tommy Helms played for the Sox. (Looked him up--end of career played 21 games in 1977, was released in March 1978 and retired.) Fooled Topps.

Mark Kaz said...

Wow, what a haul! Love that Pratt minor league issue. Great!!

Marc said...

A nice group of cards to say the least. Loved Zimmer back in the day. Granted it didn't last long but, Pedro vs Zimmer is one of my all time favorites.

Bulldog said...

Sweet cards. I'm a big Red Sox guy so I'm loving them. Nice haul and good on ya. Great post.

GCA said...

I second the motion to bring back regular team cards and managers. Not to mention league leaders with portraits. Do they even still take team photos any more? Currently, team cards, leaders, highlights, WS & DS cards, and celebrations are all the same. You can't tell them apart at a glance. Ugh...

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