Friday, May 25, 2018

Bogaerts Tracker 2018 - Into 57th Place!

As a project I dubbed "Bogaerts Tracker 2018", I decided that this year I'd track Xander Bogaerts' career hit count as the season progressed and put up a post any time he surpassed a new name on the Red Sox all-time hit leaders list.  As my favorite current player, I've got a good number of nice Bogaerts cards built up in reserve, and I figure this will be a good excuse to show some of them off on the blog.

Well, Xander got off to a hot start in 2018, as evidenced by the Topps NOW card above (the only one I've purchased so far this year).  He spent some time on the DL a few weeks into the season though, and he's been good but not great since returning.

In any event, this past Wednesday Xander clubbed a double to break open a tie game in the top of the 9th in Tampa Bay.  The run he drove in would prove to be the game winner, but even more significantly the double was his 722nd hit in a Red Sox uniform.  That's good enough for Xander to slide into 57th place on the Red Sox all-time hit list.  Who was it that he surpassed?

A name you may not be all that familiar with, Vern Stephens!  Vern was also a shortstop, and like Bogaerts he swung a good stick, especially for that position.  He regularly finished in the top 20 in league batting average throughout the '40s, and even cracked the top 10 a few times.  He was only with Boston for five seasons between 1948 and 1952, but that was enough time for him to amass 721 hits with the club.

This post also gives me a good excuse to show off Vern's "rookie card" above.  He actually began his career all the way back in 1941 with the St. Louis Browns, but due to the lack of sets released in that decade this is actually his RC strictly speaking.  I landed this one many months (maybe even years) ago now, just never had a chance/cause to show it off.  Beautiful card, I love the '49 Bowmans.

As promised, I'm going to show a nice new Bogaerts card each time he surpasses a new name on the list.  Since this is the first post though, I've actually got two cards queued up, and they should be enough to make any Red Sox or Bogaerts collectors "green with envy" (sorry that was a terrible pun):

The first one is a Green parallel of Xander's rookie from the 2014 Bowman Chrome Mini release.  Since I showed Vern Stephens' RC it only seemed appropriate to choose one of Xander's for the post as well.  I picked this up for $5.99 plus a couple bucks shipping just about two years ago now.  As Bogaerts rookies go this one is actually pretty rare, being serial-numbered to just /15.

Because it pairs so well with the last one, here's a much more recent pick-up, a retail green parallel of Xander's flagship Topps rookie!  This is actually the latest addition to my Bogaerts collection, having arrived in the mail only a week or two ago now.  I literally sought this card out for years, as I'm attempting to get as many different parallels/versions of his Topps RC as I can get my hands on.  I was psyched to be the lone bidder on a copy that popped up recently on eBay, even though it set me back about twice what the above Bowman mini card did.  I don't know what the print run was on these parallels, or if that's even known by Topps, but I do know from experience that they are pretty darn rare.

At current pace, Bogaerts should be able to jump up another couple of spots in the coming weeks, so I'm sure I'll be showing more Xander cardboard soon.  Thanks for stopping by as always!

1 comment:

Matt said...

Great cards! It'll be fun to watch Xander climb the ranks!

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