Wednesday, August 3, 2022

1979 Tony McLaughlin's Early Red Sox Favorites Baseball #5, John (Johnny) Gooch

It took me several years to track down today's oddball #5, thanks on one hand to its small-scale production and on the other to its niche appeal among Red Sox collectors and those who like "Tools of Ignorance" (catching equipment) on their cards.

Self-published in 1979 by Maine collector Tony McLaughlin, this 25-card set features some Red Sox players and locations otherwise tough to find on cardboard. In true 1970s oddball fashion, card size is a bit larger (2-5/8" by 3-3/4") and printed on thick card stock, making it a tight fit for 9-count pages.

Gooch himself appeared on a handful of cards during his career and some retro sets afterward. lacks this 1979 set listing as of 2022, so we can bump Johnny up to 10 known cards.

Early Red Sox Favorites cards carry a brief description, card number and circled TM logo on the reverse. While "favorite" seems a polite stretch for Gooch's single season and 37 games, its full checklist features confirmed Boston stars like Jimmy (Jimmie) Foxx, Lefty Grove, and Joe Cronin.
  1. New Fenway Park Just Being Completed
  2. Mrs. Tom Yawkey & Mrs. Eddie Collins
  3. Tom Oliver, Earl Webb, Jack Rothrock (Red Sox Outfielders, 1932)
  4. Red Sox Ace Pitchers (John Marcum, Wes Ferell, Lefty Grove, Fritz Ostermueller)
  5. John Gooch (Red Sox catcher, 1933)
  6. Red Sox recruits with Joe Cronin at Sarasota, Florida
  7. Danny MacFayden (1926-1932)
  8. Dale Alexander (1933)
  9. Robert (Fatsy) Fothergill (1933)
  10. Red Sox Sunday morning workout, Sarasota, Florida
  11. Jimmy Foxx signs ball for Mrs. Tom Yawkey
  12. Lefty Grove receiving key for new car, gift of Boston fans
  13. "Fireball" Lefty Grove (1934-1941)
  14. Jack Rothrock ... practicing base stealing with infielder Urbane Pickering
  15. Tom Daly, Al Schact & Herb Pennock (circa 1934)
  16. Heinie Manush & Eddie Collins
  17. Tris Speaker (1922)
  18. Home Run Star Jimmy Foxx (1936)
  19. Smead Jolley (1933)
  20. Hal Trosky, Cleveland Indians first baseman & James E. Foxx, Boston first baseman (1936)
  21. Harold "Muddy" Ruel, catcher & Wilcy "Fireman" Moore, pitcher (1931)
  22. Bob Quinn & Shano Collins (ca.1932)
  23. Tom Oliver, outfielder (1930-1933)
  24. Red Sox coaches Joe Cronin & Herb Pennock looking over pitcher Buetter
  25. Jimmy Foxx says "Nix" to chef at Sarasota, Florida 
Value: You can find scans and expensive singles ($6+) on This is a rare occasion where I recommend buying the whole thing for a low price (like this eBay listing) or hunting oddball boxes at shows. Most people interested in this Boston baseball era will want more than a single type card.

Fakes / reprints: While it's possible Tony himself reprinted the original set, I doubt reprints or fakes exist.