A quick study of Red Sox rosters will reveal that 84 position players suited up between 1975 and 1986, not 83. Mystery player number 84 was career minor leaguer John Lickert. Lickert was the Red Sox 13th round pick of the 1978 amateur draft and if not for a late inning defensive switch by manager Ralph Houk his name would have never appeared on a major league roster.
The day was Saturday September 19, 1981 and 32,620 of Fenway's faithful witnessed an 8 to 5 Red Sox victory over the dreaded Yankees. What many in attendance may not have noticed was John Lickert behind the dish receiving pitches from John Tudor and Mark Clear. During his two and a half inning major league career Lickert recorded one putout but not a single plate appearance. Therein lies the rub. Since Lickert did not make it into the batter's box, he will not make it into my count of bats needed to complete my collection.
Sorry John Lickert, we hardly knew you.
Friday, February 19, 2016
Like many men I am a sucker for sports memorabilia fueled nostalgia. It would not be a stretch to say that I have been bitten by the collecting bug and chasing down relics from the past seems like a perfectly logical pursuit to me. Whether it stems from my desire to cobble together the memories I shared with my grandfather or is the result of some yet unnamed disorder, I plan to collect a game used bat for every Red Sox position player from 1975 to 1986. Those seasons bookend the summers I spent with my grandfather and were dramatic, often lamented heart breakers for long suffering Red Sox fans.
And so begins my quest ... for 83 bats.