It’s been months since I’ve done a baseball post so Opening Day seemed like the perfect opportunity. (I had originally planned a larger one on an oddball set from the seventies I found at a flea market this past fall but, as usual, time got in the way and it’s been delayed.) The Red Sox, who have been in a free fall on and off the field since August 2011, won down in the Bronx.
I’ve been neglecting the baseball sets I’ve been working on for a while for hockey and international stuff. Jeff from Cardboard Catastrophes and I traded some Loblaws/NHL Action stickers and 2009 Obak cards and he was kind enough to throw in this Yaz card from Topps’s iconic 1971 set. It’s not exactly NRMT but I love it and it looks great in my vintage Red Sox binder next to all the cards I inherited from my dad. If I had a bigger budget, this would be a set I’d love to start collecting. I love the modern, minimal design.
Everyone loves to place the underrated tag on players not named Mantle or Williams but I don’t think Yaz gets enough love. Looking at the back of the card, he was only halfway done with his career but still had 1,703 hits and 242 homers. He still had twelve years left in his career. He played until 1983 and had intended to play one final season in 1984 but tired in the last few months. He still holds the record for most games played for a single club.
It’s been years since I’ve gotten lost in a baseball season. As recently as 2007 I knew every player on every team and memorized starting rotations and batting orders. Last season, I probably watched twenty total regular season games, all involving the Red Sox unless you count the last three innings of Matt Cain’s perfect game. Hopefully, the Red Sox are able to recapture some of the magic from 2003, 2004, and 2007 and keep things interesting.