Tuesday, June 14, 2016

One Set, 25 Years of Minor League Greatness!

Tonight I've got a great minor league card set to share with you.  During the 1997 season, the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA franchise for the Boston Red Sox) had fans vote on the 30 best players in the franchise's history.  The players who made the cut were all included on the checklist for a card set commemorating the first 25 years of PawSox baseball.

The result is one of the most star-studded minor league sets I've ever encountered.  You've got HOFers, local fan favorites, controversial names and personalities, and just about everything in between covered in this release.

The design is nothing special per se, just a purple border, darker at the top fading lighter towards the bottom, where you see the Pawtucket Red Sox 25th Anniversary All-Star designation.  Within the confines of the photograph you get a very basic player name and position bar, and a small PawSox 25th Anniversary logo above it.

What makes this set such a winner though in my opinion is that every card features an authentic photograph taken during the player's time with the team.  The resultant mix of uniforms and era fashion trends (see striped shirt above) makes for a really interesting set.

The backs aren't nearly as aesthetically pleasing, though I think they do a half-way decent job for being limited to black and white print.  You get the player's stats from just the time they were with Pawtucket, which is kind of interesting to see, and the write-ups are actually done quite well.  You'll notice there's no numbering at all, which is a minor pet peeve of mine as you'll find slightly different variations of the checklist online.

Just know that there are 31 cards in total, the 30 players voted in by the fans plus this checklist/header card.  Here you get a much better look at the PawSox 25th Anniversary logo that appears on each card.

Since this set is all about the great photographs and star-studded checklist I've actually got all 30 cards here for your viewing pleasure.  I won't provide too much commentary since the scans will make this post long enough as it is...enjoy!

My personal favorite, which is why I led the post off with it.  The photograph just perfectly captures hanging around after a minor league game to get autographs.  I also think it's really cool that Fidrych spent time with fans like this after his minor league starts, even though he'd already tasted big league success many years earlier.  If this photo isn't staged, and I have no reason to believe it is, then it seems like a good visual representation of an athlete not letting prior success go to his head.  Either way, what an awesome card.

There you have it, my personal favorite minor league team set, at least at this point in my collecting journey.  If you'd like to pick one of these up for yourself you can do so from the PawSox online store for just $6 (fair warning that shipping is ridiculously high though at $11).


Tony Burbs said...

That's a truly awesome set! I'm ebarrassed to admit that I didn't know The Bird had spent time in the Red Sox organization. Really cool how his photo shows why he was such a fan favorite.

JediJeff said...

Wow - Joe Morgan looks a LOT different then his days with the Big Red Machine.

Anonymous said...

Great set! I don't know what weirds me out more, Don Aase without a mustache, or Orioles HOFer Brady Anderson in a Paw Sox uniform (he said, knowing full well that Brady came up with the Red Sox and was traded in 1988).

Nick said...

Wow, that Fidrych is incredible! (And he's signing autographs!) I never knew there was a card produced of him in Pawtucket.

Mark Hoyle said...

I love this set. I remember watching Rice ,Lynn,Cooper and Burleson playing at McCoy . Great atmosphere for a game. I was at the Fydrich game when he made his comeback. The place was absolutely packed that night.

John Hazen said...

Holy crap, like a who's who of 80's Red sox players. Nice.

defgav said...

Great set! All minor league teams who've been around for a while should put out something similar to this.

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