1972 O-Pee-Chee #37 Carl Yastrzemski
1958 Topps #280 Jim Piersall
|Congratulations to the 2004 & 2007 WORLD SERIES Champs! On this page we feature some great Red Sox players who never got to win the big one (a World Series). They went through some heartache
along with their fans. Regardless they provided some great Red Sox moments: Ted Williams batting .406; his home run in his final at-bat at Fenway (Ted's entire career is a highlight!), Dom DiMaggio,
Jimmy Piersall, "The Impossible Dream" team of 1967, Carl Yastrzemski's Triple Crown, Tony C, Luis Tiant, Carlton Fisk's World Series heroics, Freddy Lynn's amazing Rookie of
the Year and AL MVP Award in 1975, Dwight Evans in right field, Jim Rice's 1978 season, the list goes on. Finally the curse was put to rest in 2004. But to me these are the Red Sox
players who we suffered with. Enjoy!
|Well I guess if you are going to start a Red Sox page you ought to start with none other than the great Ted Williams. There is really not enough
space to go into detail about what a great hitter and true American hero Ted Williams was. From ace hitter to ace fighter pilot, back to ace hitter,
back to ace fighter pilot, and then after retirement, ace fisherman. Williams came to the Red Sox in 1939 and never looked back. He hit .327 in
his rookie season, with 44 doubles, 11 triples and 31 HRs and 145 RBIs (led league). And from there he only got BETTER! In only his third big
league season (1941) Ted hit .406 (last player to hit .400) with a .735 slugging percentage, 37 HRs, 135 Runs, and 120 RBIs. Yet do you
think he was voted MVP? Nope. That honor went to Joe DiMaggio who hit in 56 straight games that same year. Williams enlisted in the Marines
as a fighter pilot during World War II and missed 3 prime years in service to his country. When he returned in 1946, Williams continued where
he left off. He batted .342 with 38 HRs, and 123 RBIs! Williams went on to serve in Korea, missing parts of two more seasons but when he
returned he was still thumping the ball. Even late in his career, at the age of 39, he batted nearly .400 (.388) with 38 HRs and 87 RBIs in only
132 games (1957). He even hit a home run in his very last at bat at Fenway in 1960! Considering he missed nearly 5 seasons to the military,
Williams career numbers are staggering:
.344 Avg. 2654 Hits. 525 2B. 521 HR. 1798 Runs. 1839 RBIs. 2019 Walks. 6 Time Batting Champ. 2 time Triple Crown winner (led in
average, HR's, RBI's in same season), 2 Time Most Valuable Player recipient. Annual All-Star selection. Hall Of Fame:1966.
Ted only got to appear in one World Series, against the Cardinals in 1946. His biggest disappointment was not winning a World Series and he
was so disgusted with his performance that he gave his entire World Series check to the clubhouse attendant.
|1954 Bowman #66 Ted Williams
|Jim Rice came up through the Red Sox farm system in 1975 and along with FRED LYNN formed the "Gold Dust Twins,"
a dynamic duo who finished one-two in the Rookie of the Year balloting. Rice had a sensational rookie year, hitting .309
with 22 HRs and 102 Runs Batted In. A broken wrist sidelined Rice for the World Series that year, a very costly injury.
However Jim Rice was not finished. He became one of the most feared hitters in the American League and won the AL
MVP Award in 1978. Rice played his entire career (only 16 seasons) with Boston and finished with a .298 average,
2452 Hits, 382 Home Runs, and 1451 RBIs.
From 1977-1979 you could subscribe to get these large full color cards featuring athletes from all sports. Referred to as
"Sportscaster" cards today, they are very affordable. Included with the baseball issues is this terrific card of Jim Rice
(right). I saw this card on eBay for $2.95. For a Hall of Famer, his cards are generally very inexpensive.
CONGRATULATIONS to Jim Rice being elected to Baseball's Hall Of Fame in 2009! Also his #14 jersey number will be
officially retired by the Red Sox on 7-28-2009!
|CARLTON FISK needs no introduction. A Hall of Fame catcher, he should have played his entire career with Boston. Instead Boston essentially let him go for NOTHING and Fisk went to the
Chicago White Sox as a free agent in 1980. When Fisk and Fred Lynn were both let go after the 1980 season (Lynn was traded to the California Angels), I knew it was the end of that great
Red Sox team. Carlton Fisk was the all-time leader in Home Runs by a catcher until Mike Piazza passed him recently. The Red Sox did do right by retiring Fisk's #27. Now they just need to
retire Dewey's #24 and Rice's #14. I don't think I need to mention Fisk's heroic Home Run that won Game 6 of the 1975 World Series (vs. Cincinnati Reds).
This 1972 Topps #79 Red Sox Rookie Stars (above left) is Fisk's first appearance on a bubble gum card. At one time this card was selling for about $100, but now you can pick up a graded
NM example for $25-$50. Great deal. O-Pee-Chee (Topps counterpart in Canada) also produced a Carlton Fisk rookie. The fronts are identical; however the card stock is different (Topps
has a dark gray background on the back, while OPC has white card stock. Also the O-Pee-Chee cards have printing in English and French on the reverse. Expect to pay a bit more for the
|1972 Topps #70 Red Sox Rookie Stars (Mike Garman, Cecil Cooper, Carlton Fisk) 1972 O-Pee-Chee #79 Red Sox Rookie Stars (Mike Garman, Cecil Cooper, Carlton Fisk)
|TONY C. Tony Congliaro had it all. He was a kid from Massachusetts who slugged his way into the hometown team, the
Boston Red Sox. Conigliaro led the American League in Home Runs in 1965, just his second big-league season. Tony C. was
having a monster season in 1967. He became the youngest player (20 years old) to hit 100 career Home Runs and was on
pace to have his best year yet when he was hit on the left side of his face by a Jack Hamilton fastball. Not only did he miss the
rest of the season (including the 1967 World Series in which he no doubt was missed as the Red Sox lost to the Cards in 7
games), but he missed the entire 1968 season as well. When he came back, he came back strong and managed to have 2
more great years despite recurring eye problems due to the beaning. Conigliaro attempted to come back with the Red Sox in
1975, clubbing a home run on Opening Day. But the damage was done and so was Conigliaro's baseball career. It only got
worse. He had a heart attack in 1982 and died of kidney failure in 1990 at the age of 45. A really heartbreaking story.
Gone but not forgotten...RIP Tony C. Click here for Tony Conigliaro's Obituary courtesy of TheDeadballEra.com.
NEW! For more on Tony C, check out our new Tony C Page!
1969 Topps #330 Tony Conigliaro
FRED LYNN was the reason I became a Red Sox fan. I grew up in Los Angeles and I still am a Dodger fan, but Fred Lynn and his style of play led me to the Red Sox. What a great young team
they had in the mid-seventies. The Red Sox had a superb outfield of Yaz in left, Lynn in center, and Dwight Evans in right. Anchoring the infield was veteran Rico Petrocelli, newcomer Rick Burleson,
second base Denny Doyle, first base Cecil Cooper (Yaz played first also) and Fisk behind the plate. Add Jim Rice, who played both the outfield and DH and you had quite an impressive line-up.
Pitchers included zany left-hander Bill "the Spaceman" Lee who won 17 games twice for Boston, and veteran Luis Tiant who was a delight to watch. It was no wonder the Red Sox got to the World
Series in 1975. Unfortunately that was the only World Series this team would be in. They came within 1 game of going to the ALCS in 1978 and usually came up short to the New York Yankees in
the AL Eastern Division. Keep in mind that back then there was no "Wild Card" and only two divisions in each league. Ah, what could have been. But that 2004 come-from-behind win against the
Yankees in the ALCS more than made up for it. The World Series win over St. Louis was anti-climatic for me, but it was great to see them finally win a World Series (also Chicago in 2005). For
more on Fred Lynn check out our FRED LYNN Page!
|YAZ. You sure can't blame Yaz for the Sox never winning a World Series. Check out these stats for his two World Series (1967, 1975) and one American League Playoffs (1975):
17 Games, 65 AB, 15 Runs, 24 Hits, 3 2B, 4 HRs, 11 RBIs, 9 BB, .369 Avg.
In 1967 Carl Yastrzemski had his best season, winning baseball's Triple Crown (.326 Avg., 44 HRs, 121 RBIs) and almost single-handedly propelling the Sox to the World Series. With a three
team race for the pennant the Red Sox needed to win their last 2 games of the season. What did Yaz do? He went 7 for 8! That is batting .875 folks.The Bosox won both games and with a little help
from Detroit, won the pennant. Jerry West, the Hall of Fame Guard for the Los Angeles Lakers had the nickname "Mr. Clutch." Carl Yastrzemski was every bit "Mr. Clutch" as well. For more on Yaz,
check out our new YAZ page!
Here are two tough Yaz baseball cards to acquire; 1964 Bazooka (above left) and 1964 Topps Stand Ups Carl Yastrzemski (above right). The Bazooka cards were issued on the bottom of Bazooka
Bubble Gum boxes. They were intended to be cut out and collected by kids. Surviving examples that are well cut (or even scarcer in panel or complete box form) can be expensive. The above SGC
graded MINT 9 example had a $400 price tag on eBay. In 1964 Topps produced a set of "Stand Up" cards; these were intended to be punched out and folded to make a display. Yastrzemski's
card was short printed and is one of the most expensive cards in the set (about $400 in NM condition).
1964 Bazooka #16 Carl Yastrzemski 1964 Topps Stand Ups Carl Yastrzemski SP
DWIGHT EVANS, or "Dewey" was a mainstay in right field for the Red Sox from 1973 to 1990. Evans was always a fantastic fielder and he had a cannon for an arm. It took him awhile to get his
hitting stroke going but once he did he kept getting better and better. Dwight Evans was like a fine wine- keeps getting better with age. He finished his career with a respectable .272 batting average,
with 2446 hits, 385 home runs, and 1384 runs batted in. He also won 8 Gold Gloves for his defensive abilities. Dewey got to play in two World Series for Boston (1975, 1986) and hit .300 with
3 HRs and 14 RBIs. Unfortunately the Red Sox came up short in 1975 against The Big Red Machine, and we all know what happened in 1986. Dwight Evans is one of my all-time favorites and a real
class act. Thanks for memories Dewey!
1965 Topps #145 Luis Tiant RC 1975 Topps #430 Luis Tiant
Luis Clemente Tiant y Vega started his career with the Cleveland Indians and he had a
sensational (yet forgotten) 1968 season when he went 21-9 with 19 Complete Games, 264
Strikeouts, and an A.L. leading 1.60 ERA. It is largely forgotten to this day because that year
Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers went 31-6 en route to his Cy Young/MVP season. However,
Tiant was not to be forgotten and he is fondly remembered as a wonderful pitcher for the Boston
Red Sox. Starting in 1972, Tiant won 15, 20, 22, 18, 21 games in consecutive seasons. Of
course 1975 was a magical season for the Bosox, and Tiant delivered in the postseason as
well. He pitched a complete game shutout against the Oakland A's, allowing just 3 hits while
striking out 8. In the World Series against "The Big Red Machine," he won 2 complete game
victories.Tiant finished his career with the California Angels in 1982. He won 229 games,
including 187 complete games, and posted a lifetime 3.30 ERA. Pitchers today would get 10
million a year just for having an ERA in the 3's for one season! Tiant did this throughout his
career! One of the great Cuban players in baseball (& Red Sox) history!
Nowbatting19 Sportscards Presents: "The Curse is OVER!" Bill Buckner Tribute
1987 Topps Tiffany #764 Bill Buckner
Thank goodness the "Curse of the Bambino" has finally been lifted. No more torture for the Red Sox faithful. However, one guy
who I think is owed an apology is Bill Buckner (of 1986 World Series Game #6 infamy). Bucker was the scapegoat of that
Series and yes, the Red Sox were twice 1 strike away from winning the World Series. But it was not Bill Buckner who was
pretending to pitch in that horrific inning. Pitching imposter Calvin Schiraldi is the REAL goat of Game 6. Bob Stanley didn't
help with that wild pitch afterwards, but Schiraldi had no business being out there. He posted 2 losses in that series with a
wonderful 13.50 ERA. Schiraldi accomplished all of this in only 4 innings! So while Buckner did make the error that allowed
the winning run to score, he by no means should have taken the heat he did. It's very similar to Steve Bartman (of Chicago Cubs
infamy), who was simply trying to catch a pop foul. It wasn't Bartman's fault the Cubs lost that game and eventually the series. It
was the Cubs. And same with Buckner. He did not lose that '86 World Series. The BOSTON RED SOX team did. They still had
Game 7 to play and they couldn't get it done.
So I would like to publicly apologize to Bill Buckner and say, "Mr. Bucker, this Red Sox fan is sorry for the
unimaginable #$%@ you had to go through. Billy Buckner was a great hitter during his career, compiling a lifetime
.289 batting average (including a NL Batting Crown in 1979; .324), 2707 hits, 1073 runs, and 1205 RBI's. He should be
remembered for much more than the error in 1986. While I'm at it, Steve Bartman, wherever you are, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!
Trivia Time! Pitcher Atlee Hammaker was infamous for giving up a memorable All-Star Game home run involving a former Red
Sox star; can you name the year and player? Hint: He was my favorite Red Sox player! (scroll down to the bottom of the page for
1960 Fleer All-Time Greats #72 Ted Williams
1969 Topps Super #5 Carl Yastrzemski
Compared to player's today, Ted Williams did not have a whole lot of cards produced of him during his playing days. Today, a player like Barry Bonds probably has well over
1,000 different cards issued during his career from multiple manufacturers. Back in the time of Teddy Ballgame there was usually just one card maker. For instance, off the
top of my head I know that Williams had 3 Play Ball cards from 1939-1941, 1948-49 Leaf, Bowman Gum (1950, '51, '54), and Topps ('54-'58). There were other cards like 2
Exhibit cards, 2 1941 Double Play cards, Red Man Chewing Tobacco, Wilson Franks, but those were not "mainstream" sets and some are, in fact rare. So basically you can
count the number of regular Williams cards on two hands and a couple fingers. While Topps last regular Ted Williams card was in 1958 (1958 Topps #1), Fleer pulled a fast
one and signed Ted to a 3 year contract. Back then there was fierce competition between Bowman and Topps and when Topps bought out Bowman in 1955 they were able to
feature more players in their card sets. Fleer signed an exclusive deal with Williams and in 1959, Frank H. Fleer produced a wonderful card set exclusively devoted to
"Baseball's Greatest" Ted Williams (see below). The next two years saw Fleer produce All-Time Greats sets and included in each one was a Ted Williams card. Topps was
shut out. This 1960 Fleer #72 Ted Williams is the only card in that set that featured an active player, so this would be Williams' last card as an active player. Another
bonus is the price- you can pick up a nice mid-grade example for less than $50! "Splendid" indeed!
1950 Drake's Cookies #33 Dom DiMaggio
The "Little Professor," Dominic DiMaggio was one of the great centerfielders in Red Sox history. He played his entire career with Boston and though overshadowed by Ted Williams
and his brother Joe, Dom made a great career for himself. Dom came up with Boston in 1940 and retired in 1953. His career was further shortened by World War II; DiMaggio spent 3
years in the service. Check this out- if you were to average Dom's stats over a 162 game schedule, he would have averaged 195 hits, 36 doubles, 7 triples, 10 HRs, 72 RBIs, and 87
bases on balls per season, while batting .298. Not too shabby for a guy who was 5'-9" and 168 lbs! Dom DiMaggio was a 7 time All-Star, and finished in the top 7 batters in the AL on
three different occasions (he finished 3rd in 1950 with a nifty .328 batting mark). DiMaggio, like Williams, only got to play in one World Series, a losing effort against St. Louis in 1946.
In 1950, Drakes Bakeries produced these small black & white "TV Baseball Series" baseball cards. Television was in it's infancy and Drakes was innovative in using a "TV" design to
attract customers. Bowman Gum was to use a similar strategy in 1955 with great success. This is a very tough issue. The black borders chip easily and show the tiniest hints of wear so
low grade examples are the norm for this issue. Dom DiMaggio has very few cards, this 1950 Drakes card is one of the scarcest as well as his 1948-49 Leaf short printed card. Dom is
featured in the 1941 Play Ball set, 1941 Double Play, 1948-49 Leaf (rare), and 1952-53 Topps. There are some more obscure issues like Exhibit, Red Man Chewing Tobacco, and maybe
a couple more, but really there are not too many Dom DiMaggio cards available. His 1953 Topps card is his last card.
1968 Topps #156 '67 World Series Game 6 Petrocelli Socks Two Homers (Rico Petrocelli)
1970 Topps #279 Bill Lee (Rookie card)
Where to begin... The name. Bill "The Spaceman" Lee. That is an interesting moniker. But Bill Lee was/is the stuff of legend. A true "flake" and "free spirit" Bill Lee entertained the Red Sox faithful from 1969-1978. I'm not going
to say anything about the marijuana buckwheat pancakes (sounds good to me) or quotes like "Everybody thinks they’re earthlings but in actuality we’re only here for a brief moment, and the cinder that we’re on is moving as
Spaceship Earth, so we’re all space travelers."
You can read Bill's books for insight into the "Spaceman's" world. Actually I think this guy really loves the game of baseball. He won nearly 100 games as a Red Sox (94) while compiling a 3.64 earned run average. Not too bad
for pitching at Fenway. A crafty lefty, Lee won 17 games three seasons in a row (1973-1975) and during that stretch he completed 51 of his starts. That is why pitchers rarely go more than 7 innings nowadays. Lee won only 25
more games after being traded by the Sox to the Expos for Stan Papi in 1977. If Lee were pitching today (or maybe he is) he would undoubtedly be making excess amounts of cash being a winning left hander and he would
undoubtedly still be as entertaining as ever. We love you Bill Lee! Here are some Bill Lee quotes, courtesy of baseball-almanac.com :
"Do they leave it (Fenway's Green Monster) there during the game?"
"Hell, if KY jelly went off the market, the whole California Angels pitching staff would be out of baseball."
"If it had been me out there, I'd had bitten him his ear off. I'd have Van Gogh'ed him." Source: Five Seasons (Roger Angell)
"I'm mad at Hank (Aaron) for deciding to play one more season. I threw him his last home run and thought I'd be remembered forever. Now, I'll have to throw him another."
"I think about the cosmic snowball theory. A few million years from now the sun will burn out and lose its gravitational pull. The earth will turn into a giant snowball and be hurled through space. When that happens it won't matter
if I get this guy out."
"I would change policy, bring back natural grass and nickel beer. Baseball is the belly-button of our society. Straighten out baseball, and you straighten out the rest of the world." Source: Los Angeles Times (February 3, 1977)
"Kids don't learn the fundamentals of baseball at the games anymore."
"Most of the managers are lifetime .220 hitters. For years pitchers have been getting these managers out 75% of the time and that's why they don't like us."
"People are too hung up on winning. I can get off on a really good helmet throw." Source: The Baseball Card Engagement Book (1990)
"That was real baseball. We weren't playing for money. They gave us Mickey Mouse watches that ran backwards."
"The designated gerbil (nickname given to Don Zimmer by Spaceman Lee)."
"The more self-centered and egotistical a guy is, the better ballplayer he's going to be."
"The only rule I got is if you slide, get up." Source: USA Today (October 25, 1989)
"The other day they asked me about mandatory drug testing. I said I believed in drug testing a long time ago. All through the sixties I tested everything."
"There's nothing in the world like the fatalism of the Red Sox fans, which has been bred into them for generations by that little green ballpark, and the wall, and by a team that keeps trying to win by hitting everything out of sight
and just out-bombarding everyone else in the league. All this makes Boston fans a little crazy and I'm sorry for them." Source: Late Innings (Roger Angell)
"You have two hemispheres in your brain - a left and a right side. The left side controls the right side of your body and right controls the left half. It's a fact. Therefore, left-handers are the only people in their right minds." Source:
Sports Illustrated (April 7, 1980)
"You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church."
"You take a team with twenty-five assholes and I'll show you a pennant. I'll show you the New York Yankees."
Rico Petrocelli played his entire career with the Red Sox (1963-1976). Petrocelli, like teamate Carl Yastrzemski never got to win a Championship for Tom Yawkey, though they did reach the
Series in 1975 and 1976. Petrocelli averaged 22 home runs per season with 81 runs batted in (162 game schedule). In 1969 he set an American League HR record for shortstops (40, since
broken by an unnamed punk steroid user on the Yankees) and belted 210 career round trippers in his career. In the 1967 World Series Rico hit 2 HRs in Game 6 (see above 1968 Topps card)
and he batted a cool .308 in the 1975 World Series. A class act, Rico Petrocelli will always be remembered as a true Red Sox and fan favorite.
Trivia Answer: Atlee Hammaker served up the first Grand Slam home run in All-Star Game history to former Red Sox star Fred Lynn (Angels) in the 1983 midsummer classic.
Baseball Card Trivia Answer: Carl Yastrzemski's rookie card is also in the 1960 Topps baseball set (card #148).
|1960 Topps #317 Pumpsie Green
Baseball Card Trivia Question: The 1960 Topps set featured the rookie card of Pumpsie Green, the first African American ballplayer for the Boston Red Sox. Which other notable Red Sox rookie
card appeared in the set? (Scroll to the bottom of this page for answer)
The "Gold Dust" Twins
1975 UPS Wire Photo "Double Trouble" (Fred Lynn and Jim Rice)
You have to understand one thing about the Red Sox teams from 1975-1981, they were pretty darned good. First you had 3 young outfielders who would form a terrific outfield (Jim Rice LF, Fred Lynn CF, Dwight Evans RF)
trio. You had a future Hall of Fame catcher, Carlton Fisk behind the plate. You had a good pitching staff with veteran Luis Tiant leading the way along with lefty Bill Lee. You had established veteran stars Rico Petrocelli and
Carl Yastrzemski, plus a young solid shortstop in Rick Burleson. The future looked bright in Boston. The Red Sox went all the way in 1975, beating the star loaded Oakland A's (who had won the previous 2 World Series in
1973 and '74) and taking the "Big Red Machine" 7 games in the World Series. You would have thought this Red Sox team would go to the Series every year after. But it was not to be. Remember, this was an era without the "Wild
Card;" you won your division or you went home. The New York Yankees had a fine team back in the 1970's and early 1980's. They had Hall Of Famers Reggie Jackson, Jim "Catfish" Hunter and reliever Goose Gossage. You
also had stars like Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Sparky Lyle and Chris Chambliss, plus their fiery manager Billy Martin (who should be in the Hall Of Fame as a manager). They won the American League East from 1976 thru
1978 and went to the World Series all 3 years (winning two Championships). They also went in 1981. The Red Sox usually finished 2nd to the Yankees, but the real heartbreaker was in 1978 when they finished the regular season
tied and played in a 1 game playoff that I don't wish to talk about. If MLB had the "Wild Card" format like they do today, the Red Sox probably would have won a World Series long before 2004 (the Red Sox were a wild card
team that year). Regardless, this was a great Red Sox team. Free agency really killed this team, as it does so often today. The end of that team was the trade of Fred Lynn to the Angels in 1981 and Carlton Fisk going to the White
Sox via free agency. The Red Sox management screwed that up. They mailed their contracts late, ensuring the departure of both key players.
The above 1975 UPC Wire Photo depicts rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. Both had fantastic rookie seasons and became established stars (Rice was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in 2009).
If you enjoyed this Red Sox team page check out our Angels, Cubs, and Dodgers Team pages as well!
One of the best outfielders in Red Sox history (and the Red Sox have a long history of superior fly chasers like Tris Speaker, Dom DiMaggio, Yaz, Dewey, Lynn, etc.) was also one of the great
characters in baseball history. Jimmy Piersall was (maybe still is) a bit of a nut. Piersall was diagnosed as having a bi-polar disorder early in his career, and this was before most folks knew
what a bi-polar disorder is. Everyone thought he was just plain cuckoo. Well Piersall got help and he was still a highly entertaining player & character. During his career Piersall took naps in the
outfield, did calisthenics to distract hitters, ran around the bases backwards (since banned), argued and fought with opposing players and fans who dared invade his territory in the outfield. Piersall
had 6 hits in a 9 inning game and played the outfield like he owned it. He wrote his own story, "Fear Strikes Out," which became a movie starring Anthony Perkins (who threw like a sissy boy),
had at least 7 kids, wrote another book entitled "The Truth Hurts," became a color commentator with Harry Caray for the Chicago White Sox and got fired for calling the Sox owner's wife a
"colossal bore" and player's wives as being "horny broads." Hey the truth hurts! We love Jimmy Piersall! For more on Jim Piersall see our fabulous JIMMY PIERSALL PAGE!
1975 Wire Photo Fred Lynn makes diving catch in the '75 World Series
11/2/75 UPI Wire Photo Red Sox Prize Rookies (Fred Lynn, Jim Rice; check out the cool threads!)
1954 Bowman #66b & #210 Jimmy Piersall (front images are same)
'Get Your Groove On"
|1975 O-Pee-Chee #255 Dwight Evans
1977 Sportscaster #33-10 Jim Rice
1976 Topps Bernie Carbo
Bernie Carbo won the 1970 NL Rookie Of The Year Award for the Cincinnati Reds. But that is not what he is famous for. Bernie Carbo is famous for hitting 2 pinch hit home runs versus the Reds
in the 1975 Fall Classic. The two pinch hit blasts tied a World Series record set by the Dodgers Jim Essegian in the '59 World Series. One of Carbo's HRs tied Game 6 in the 8th inning and set
up Carlton Fisk's famous game winning HR in the bottom of the 12th. Everyone remembers Fisk's HRs but probably only Red Sox fans remember Bernie Carbo's HR. Luckily we have baseball cards
to remind us and here is a great shot of Carbo on this 1976 Topps bubble gum card.
10/5/75 UPI Wire Photo AL Playoffs Game 2 Fred Lynn
This is what I remember Fred Lynn for. Running, diving, jumping, crashing and usually making some circus catch. With ESPN nowadays we get a little numb to how great these players are, with over
and over replays. How many times have you seen a Jim Edmunds catch on ESPN? So you think he is the greatest outfielder ever? Granted he made some miracle catches but so did guys like Fred Lynn,
Dwight Evans, Yastrzemski and Jimmy Piersall. I won't even talk about Willie Mays who I think was the greatest ever. Back in the day, you had television but no High Definition Flat Screens, no VCR's to
record yet, no ESPN to replay the catch a million times over, no TEVO. The closest you might see a replay would have been on the weekly television show "This Week In Baseball" hosted by Mel Allen.
Other than memories you had photos, and this wire photo shows Fred Lynn doing what Fred Lynn did. Check out the hard dive on the warning track. This was before the wall was padded as well. Lynn
did not catch this ball but it was attempts like this that helped him win 4 Gold Glove Awards in centerfield while with Boston.
1959 Fleer Ted Williams
As mentioned earlier, Fleer inked Williams to an exclusive deal from 1959-1961 so there are no Topps Ted Williams cards from those years (Williams retired near the end of the 1960 season). Fleer
was so excited about signing Williams they did a complete 80 card set in 1959 and they included a Ted Williams card in both their 1960 and 1961 Baseball Greats series. What's great about the
Fleer Ted Williams cards is that they are generally very affordable. Most of the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams cards list for around $12.50 in ungraded NM condition (there are a few cards that feature
Williams with Jimmie Foxx, Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, etc. and these are a bit more expensive. Also card number 68 "Ted Signs For 1959" was pulled early in production and is a very expensive short
printed card). Most of the above professionally graded cards were recently on eBay for about $14-$35 each, depending on grade and card. Probably the most expensive of the above lot is card
number 2 "Ted's Idol - Babe Ruth," which is pictured at the bottom left corner. It lists for $70 in graded NM condition (PSA Sports Market Report).
1973 Topps Candy Lids Carlton Fisk
You have to give Topps Chewing Gum, Inc. a lot of credit. They produced some classic baseball cards and were always trying new things to generate sales of their bubble gum. In the early
1970's, Topps produced these candy lids, which are much scarcer than the regular Topps cards. The lids featured the stars of the day including this early Carlton Fisk candy lid from 1973.
The 1973 Topps Candy Lids are easier to find than earlier issues. For more on Fisk, check out our Catcher's Page. Also if you are interested in more obscure baseball card issues, please
see our Oddball Page.
1974 Topps Puzzle Carl Yastrzemski
1972 Venezuela League Stickers #65 Dwight Evans
Talk about rare, I recently (April 2010) saw this 1972 Venezuela League Stickers #65 Dwight Evans card on eBay. It sold for $100 ($97.66 + $3 shipping). This card pre-dates
Dewey's 1973 Topps (& O-Pee-Chee) rookie card. Plus it is much more scarce; rare even. This is the first one I've ever seen. So I copied the image and pasted it here so you can also see what
it looks like. Terrific card of a great right fielder and hitter for the Red Sox.
1954 Topps Canadian #1 Ted Williams (Scarce!) 1954 Topps #250 Ted Williams
The 1954 Topps baseball set of 250 cards did not include a Mickey Mantle (under contract with Bowman Gum) or Stan Musial (absent from mainstream card issues from 1954-1957) card, but
they DID sign Ted Williams to his first Topps baseball card contract. To celebrate, Topps gave bubble gum consumers not one, but two Ted Williams cards! Topps gave Ted the honor of the first
and last card of the set. So card #1 features Williams holding the bat against an orange background. The back has his statistics from the previous season (1953). Card #250 has a beautiful
image of Ted against a bright yellow background. The back of this card is also different; it has cartoon highlights of Ted's great career. Both of these cards are expensive, especially in high grades.
However in collector grades you can pick them up for less than $100. You can't go wrong with either one!
P.S. The 1954 Topps Canadian #1 Ted Williams (above left) is much scarcer than it's regular Topps counterpart. While the fronts are similar the main difference is that the Canadian Topps cards
feature a different card stock than the regular Topps. The backs are gray backed while the regular Topps cards have white backs. As you may have figured out, the Topps Canadian cards were
issued in Canada. They are valued at roughly twice the value of a regular Topps card.
1967 Topps #604 Red Sox Team
I have to say that the best fans in baseball are Cubs fans and Red Sox fans. Cubs take first place because they haven't even been to a World Series in over 60 years while at least the Red Sox fans appeared in one now and
then until they finally won in 2004. But if you really think about it, the game has changed so much that actually the Red Sox would not have even been in the World Series that year. Remember we have the "Wild Card" format
now and the Red Sox did not win the A.L. East in '04. The Yankees did. So you really have to sympathize not with the NEW Red Sox fans (who are treated to a contender every year now) but the old Red Sox faithful who lived
and died with the Bosox even in lean times. Many never got to see the Red Sox win a World Series but that doesn't mean they didn't love them any less than a newer Red Sox fan.
In closing I will say that I still have a love for the Red Sox, even though I was born here in California (hey so was Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bill Lee, Dwight Evans, and Fred Lynn grew up here in Los Angeles too, though
he was born in Chicago). But my love for the Red Sox of today, or baseball for that matter, is not the same. The game has changed. Now you have the DH, ridiculously small ballparks to accommodate Home Runs, pitchers
who barely can pitch 5 innings, Wild Cards, PED's (Performance Enhancing Drugs) and just the sickening business side of baseball that really makes me want to puke. There is no way a guy playing ball should be making 20-30
MILLION dollars a year playing a GAME. Our priorities are just screwed up. We have instant celebrities, singers who can't sing, actors who can't act and these clowns are making bank. We even have reality shows where
celebrities are made! Just how f#$%ed up are we nowadays?
We are supposed to be loyal to our teams. But are our teams loyal to us? Your favorite player comes up through the farm system and you cheer and root for them but in just a few years he is gone to some other club for
"greener" pastures. Can you imagine Ted Williams playing for the Yankees? That's what guys like Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, etc. did. And we are supposed to kiss their asses? Not me. To be fair the blame
goes all around. It starts with MLB, the teams, players, and yes the fans. The fans keep shelling out the legal tender and the revenue is obscene. So I guess you can say I am "old school" but like the saying goes "you can't teach
an old dog new tricks (or something like that)." I think this is why I enjoy the older baseball cards so much; it brings back memories of when baseball was a game and not so much a business. Sorry to end this page on kind of a
downer but that is the way I feel about baseball now. I hate to say it, but the Red Sox are just like the Yankees now.
The above 1967 Topps #604 Red Sox Team card is from the "Impossible Dream" pennant winning Bosox team. It was included in the high numbered series and as such is somewhat tough to find (especially in high grades).
The Red Sox won the pennant that year on the shoulder's of a certain Carl Michael Yastrzemski, but it was a team effort as well. You had guys like Jim Longborg, Rico Petrocelli, Tony Conigliaro, Reggie Smith, George Scott
and while they did not have the talent of the Cardinals team that year (Lou Brock, Steve Carlton, Orlando Cepeda, Curt Flood, Bob Gibson, Roger Maris, etc.) they pushed the Series to the full seven games (as they were to do
with the "Big Red Machine" in 1975). This card is a great collectible from that great season.
1959 Fleer Ted Williams Unopened Wax Pack 1970 O-Pee-Chee #10 Carl Yastrzemski
1967 Topps Red Sox Stickers 1974 Topps Deckle Edge Proof #64 Carlton Fisk
1948-49 Leaf All Star Gum #76 Ted Williams (Back view)
Here are a couple of Red Sox items you don't see everyday. As mentioned earlier on this page, Fleer produced a baseball card set devoted exclusively to Ted Williams in 1959. While the cards are not scarce, unopened
wax packs are. Note that the above 1959 Fleer Ted Williams wax pack included bubble gum and 6 cards for 5 cents. Today each 1959 Fleer Ted Williams "common" card lists for $12.50 each in NM condition
(higher if graded by a reputable grading service) so that nickel investment would have given you a minimum of $75 today. Keep in mind there are several cards that list from $20 to $40 each, with one card (#68 Ted Signs
For 1959) listing at $600 (ungraded NM). Vintage unopened wax packs are rare; imagine being a Red Sox fan and seeing packs of cards, ALL TED WILLIAMS, for five cents a pack! I would have spent every penny I had
and I would have ripped open each pack in an instant. That's what kids did back then. The cards were not "worth" anything but they were treasures to be collected and coveted.
Another tough issue is the O-Pee-Chee cards (see 1970 O-Pee-Chee #10 Carl Yastrzemski above right). O-Pee-Chee cards are basically Topps cards printed in Canada. While the fronts look like regular Topps cards,
the backs are usually different (paper stock, color, and beginning in 1970 the cards were printed in English and French. The O-Pee-Chee cards are much tougher here in the U.S. than the regular Topps cards, so there is
usually a premium attached to the O-Pee-Chee cards. To me these cards are very undervalued.
|1974 Red Sox Official Yearbook
Can you identify the player's in the above 1974 Red Sox Yearbook? The cover shows a terrific action shot of a home plate collision involving the two best A.L. catchers of the era, Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson.
While I am sure there was a mutual respect for each other's talents, there was no love lost among Red Sox and Yankees players in the 1970's. In fact, they hated each other. Today's players are not as much into the rivalry as
much as the fans are. Yankees and Red Sox fans hate each other. Same with the Dodgers and Giants. But the players are all millionaires today and play for the highest bidder once they become free agents. In other words
players don't stick around as much as before free agency. So everybody is pretty much buddy buddy now. That is why the All Star Game sucks now. Same with the World Series. It used to be about pride, about beating either
the other team or league. You rarely see that today. I miss it. And I still hate the Yankees! That being said, I should also say that while I still have a place in my heart for the Red Sox, they are not the same either. They used to
be underdogs. And the Yankees would usually win the Eastern Division. There was no "Wild Card" format. You won your Division or you went home. So that is why you will not see "modern" Red Sox players or cards here.
This site is about how the game used to be and the cards of our favorite heroes who usually stuck around a team for quite awhile. Just look at some of the players on this page; Williams, Piersall, Yaz, Tony C, Rico, Fisk,
Dewey, Rice, and many others. They spent either their entire career with Boston or good parts of their careers with the Red Sox. To me the 1970's Red Sox teams were the best Red Sox teams EVER in spite of the fact that they
never won a World Series. If there would have been a Wild Card format back then the Red Sox would have been to more World Series than just 1975, and even then they took the Big Red Machine to to task in 7 Games.
1975 SSPC (Sport Star Publishing Company)
A terrific and affordable 1975 Red Sox collectible(s) are the 1975 SSPC cards. These beautiful full color cards are reminiscent of the 1953 Bowman Color cards, which simply featured a
color photograph of the player. No team logos, facsimile autographs, brand name, glitz or glamour. The cards are simply beautiful. Featured among the (24) Red Sox players are Carl
Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Luis Tiant, Bill Lee, Rico Petrocelli, Cecil Cooper, Dwight Evans, and "rookie" cards of both Fred Lynn and Jim Rice ("The Gold Dust Twins") and shortstop Rick
Burleson. The best part? They are cheap! I picked up this entire Red Sox team set for $3. Compared to the Topps cards from 1975, this is a definite BARGAIN! For example, just the 1975
Topps Carl Yastrzemski card (#280) alone lists for $10 in NM condition, Rice's rookie (#616 Rookie Outfielders) lists for $20, and Lynn (#622 Rookie Outfielders) lists for $8. That is $38
for just 3 cards. I got the entire 1975 Red Sox team for just three bucks! If that isn't a bargain, I don't know what is.
Because of legal entanglements (most likely with Topps Chewing Gum Company) this was the only major set produced by SSPC. SSPC did produce some smaller issues. Of special note is the
1978 Red Sox "All Star Gallery" team magazines which included 27 cards. The cards were intended to be hand cut from the magazine. A card of Ted Williams (who served as a special Red
Sox hitting instructor) and also an early Dennis Eckersley card were included in the team set. You can still find the complete team magazines on eBay for $20 or less.
1975 SSPC Red Sox team set (24 cards)
1965 Topps #74 Red Sox Rookie Stars (Rico Petrocelli, Jerry Stephenson)
Rico Petrocelli played shortstop and third base for Boston from 1963 to 1976. He played his entire career with them and like Yastrzemski, came close both in 1967 and 1975 to winning a
Championship. Rico averaged 22 HRs and 81 RBIs per season (162 game schedule average) which were pretty impressive for infielders back then. In 1969 Rico belted 40 HRs for Boston, which
was then an American League record for shortstops (later broken by "A-Roid," I mean Alex Rodriguez of the bleeping Yankees). Adrian Beltre just signed a 6-year $96 MILLION dollar contract and
he has been nowhere near as consistent as Rico Petrocelli was. The most Petrocelli ever made in a season? $90,000. I'd take Rico any day over Adrian "have a career year the last year of my
contract" Beltre. Petrocelli belted 210 HRs with 773 RBIs for Boston over his career. He was a 2-time All Star and would have been a yearly selection if not for a certain Brooks Robinson.
Sept. 29, 2011. Ok, the Red Sox blew a 9-game lead and ended up losing the "Wild Card" spot to Tamba Bay. So I am reading the day after that the Red Sox suffered a defeat likened to the Sox of "old." Really?
Whoever writes such rubbish needs to go back to school. There is NO comparison. First the Red Sox, or Tampa should not even be in the Playoffs if not for Bud Selig's Wild Card contrived "Wild Card" format. In my
opinion, if you don't win your division you shouldn't be given a free ride to the playoffs. It's that simple. The Red Sox of yesteryear did not get another chance if they didn't win the pennant or division. They went home.
Why was the 1967 season so magical? Because they were 100-1 UNDERDOGS. 1975? Great veterans, promising rookies, winning the AL East and beating the Oakland A's dynasty in the AL Playoffs. They lost in 7 games
to the favored "Big Red Machine" but with Fisk's walk-off HR in Game 6 they didn't really seem like "losers." 1978? Great team but they blew a lead and had to face their nemesis, the New York Yankees in a one game
playoff to determine the pennant winner. That was heartbreak. I won't go into details because the pain is still there. 1986? "Shoulda," "woulda," ah nuts they blew that one big time after the ANGELS couldn't get 1 strike to
win the ALCS. The Red Sox came to within 1 strike of FINALLY winning a World Series and blew it. Now that is heartache and you older Red Sox fans know what I am talking about. The 2004 Red Sox should never have
been in the World Series if not for the "Wild Card." But they staged a remarkable comeback down 3 games to the Yankees. Now that was sweet. Because it was the Yankees. Winning the Series was just icing on the
cake. But the monkey was off their back. 3 years later Boston wins the Series AGAIN (Wild Card). There is just no comparison to the 2011 Red Sox and the "old" Red Sox teams. The way they played towards the end of
the season was flat out embarrassing to those who watched. I watched a game late in the season against the Yankees and the Yanks scored 2 runs in the first inning without hitting the ball past the infield! It looked like the
"Bad News Bears" to me. The 2011 Red Sox should issue an apology to Red Sox fans for their performance (with the exception of Jacoby Elsbury who had a fantastic MVP type season). Instead they are going home to
their million dollar mansions and watch the playoffs from their private home theaters. Do you really have any sympathy for them? I don't.
Now if you are a Red Sox fan and want to know what it was like to be a pre-2004 Red Sox fan, try rooting for the Chicago Cubs. For the rest of your lifetime. Then you might get an idea of what true suffering is all about.
In fact the Cubs are even worse off because they can't even GET to a World Series (1945 and counting), let alone win one (1908 and counting). So try rooting for the Cubbies or an underdog team with an anemic payroll
(the Red Sox are right up there with the Yankees in that department) and see how much you can take. Otherwise, shuddup your trap and have a Sam Adams.
| 1977 O-Pee-Chee #37 Carl Yastrzemski