Iconic Red Sox card: Boggs in '83

April 7th, 2021

As part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Topps baseball cards, we've asked fans (as well as our staff) to submit their all-time favorite baseball cards, and we've broken them down by team. We'll be revealing submissions regularly throughout the season, ranging from the famous to the weird, and everything in between.

To begin the series we'll be looking at one iconic card from each team.

Iconic Red Sox card: Wade Boggs, 1983 Topps

Coming off a strong 1982 rookie season in which he hit .349 over 104 games, Boggs first appeared on baseball cards in ’83, with his rookie cards being included in the Topps, Fleer and Donruss sets.

The Topps version was submitted by Jim Kiniris of Sacramento, Calif.

One of the most valuable cards in a set that also featured rookie cards for future Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Ryne Sandberg, it shows Boggs on base with his hands on his knees awaiting action. Before moving to the hot corner full time in 1983, Boggs split his time between first and third base in ’82, so the card includes both positions.

It also has an inset headshot of the future Hall of Famer in the lower right-hand corner, giving fans a good look at the famous mustache Boggs would sport throughout his career. The inset photo was a stylistic quirk of that year’s set, invoking memories of Topps' 1963 set.

The 1983 season saw Boggs win the first of his five batting titles with a .361 average in 153 games. He also led the Majors in on-base percentage (.444) and finished 12th in the American League MVP Award voting.

Boggs ended up spending 11 years in Boston before signing with the rival Yankees. He ranks second in Red Sox history in career batting average (.338), third in OBP (.428) and fifth in hits (2,098).

Boggs joined the 3,000-hit club with Tampa Bay in 1999, becoming the first player to homer for his 3,000th hit.