Introducing the Jon Lester Collection

This is part twelve of a twenty-five part series chronicling my budding collections of the 2016 World Series champion Cubs.  Obviously, I’ve already starting showing off some of those cards, but I wanted to offer a formal introduction to the various players.  With my legacy player collections, I’m still going to attempt to show every single card on the blog, but with these new guys I’m taking a different approach as you’ll see here where I lump cards in one scan, and will probably skip many of the more basic cards I get unless I can get a good theme together.

I’ll be honest.  A big reason why I’m focusing on Jon Lester today is so I can get that Sportlots delivery number down in a quick and easy fashion.  Those 200+ cards are waiting for me to pay for shipping and I really don’t want to wait a whole lot longer to meet my goal.  Back-to-back larger posts will certainly help quite a bit in that regard. So, how’s about we take a look at the career of Lester so far.

I started out with a nice array of Lester cards – more than I expected

Jon came into the league in 2006 with the Boston Red Sox in June after being drafted by them in 2002. In that first year, he posted a 7-2 record before being put on the DL in late August.

Takeaways from my Documentary case and a heritage to even out the scan

What started as back pain complaints turned into a diagnosis of anaplastic large cell lymphoma.  Luckily, it was treatable and Lester was pronounced cancer free just a couple months later and he returned to the majors in the middle of 2007.

Side note: As with all players in 2008 Documentary that I collect, I’m tracking their card record to see how well the team fared in the games represented by his picture.  I don’t count the gold parallels.  Lester has 12 cards in the set and I’ve shown one elsewhere before.

Lester Red Sox card record:  4-2

See? I had some good stuff already like inserts, #’d and minis

2007 also saw Jon’s first World Series championship. He pitched and won the clinching game against the Colorado Rockies, completing the four game sweep.  The next year, he kept rolling and pitched his first no-hitter, only allowing two walks and recording 9 strikeouts in the effort)

And, I had a lot of it for Lester for whatever reason.  Must have been a magnet without knowing it

He would stay consistent, if not improving, with Boston and earned his first three All-star appearances in 2010, 2011, and 2014.  Shortly after the 2014 AS game, he was traded to the Oakland A’s with Johnny Gomes for Yoenis Cespedes.

Some of this was from slightly after I started collecting him, but 4 full scans is great

That tenure with Oakland only lasted the one half season and later in 2014, he signed as a free agent with your Chicago Cubs on a six-year deal.  That first year saw him post a 3.34 ERA with over 200 strikeouts, but 2016 would be better.

Last hurrah for Fleer

In that famous 2016 year, my shared namesake would win 19 regular season games (for what that’s worth) and lowered that ERA to a career-low 2.44.  He found himself on another All-Star roster and finished second in the NL Cy Young voting.  And then there was the playoffs.

I should have shown Cubs cards, but I didn’t for whatever reason

He pitched in one game of the NLDS against the Giants, which he won allowing zero runs over 8 innings.  The NLCS gave him two starts. He went 1-0, allowing two runs, nine hits and two walks over 13 innings with 9 Ks and nabbed the title of NLCS MVP.  In the World Series, he pitched three games (two starts and in relief for game 7), had a 1-1 record and struck out 16 over 14.2 innings while giving up 7 runs, 6 earned on the way to the title.

I just think these are cool looking and wanted to show them

Since then, he’s still been solid for the Cubs and 2017 saw him hit his first career home run and notch his 2,000th strikeout, and 2018 was another All-Star year.

At least I included a blue border

In terms of collecting, the team switch and the pretty clear career trajectory means his cards aren’t too expensive.  They are plentiful, though at nearly 1400 total for me to chase.  As of now, I’m doing well at nearly 20%.  Onward and upward!

55 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.

2 comments to Introducing the Jon Lester Collection

  • I miss having Lester on the Red Sox. I hope he has a few more good seasons and gets serious Hall of Fame consideration.

    • Jon

      It’s a shame about his recent injury, but looks to be only a minor set back. I was thinking about adding his HOF chances from baseball-reference. I think unless his final seasons are high caliber, he may not quite make it.

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