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.