Aparicio came to Boston before the 1971 season for second baseman Mike Andrews and infielder Luis Alvarado. Andrews had some nice years for Boston, and would have one more good year in 1971 before fading away. Alvarado never did much of anything. 1971 was a down year for Aparicio and was actually worse than replacement level according to Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement (-0.5 WAR). He’d rebound in 1972 to be a league average shortstop (2.0 WAR). But 1973 was a nice final season for the future Hall of Fame shortstop.
In 1973, Aparicio hit only .271/.324/.309 with the bat, which wasn’t too good, but he did walk more than he struck out and added 13 stolen bases. He was only caught once, too. During the season he passed the 500 SB milestone to finish with 506 steals. Besides his value on the base paths, Aparicio was worth a whopping 11 runs above average according to TotalZone. That was after being “worth” -8 runs in 1971 and -4 runs in 1972. In his career, Aparicio would be worth 149 runs above average over 18 seasons. He was definitely not an overrated defender and won nine Gold Gloves in his career as an elite defender.
Luis Aparicio’s original 1973 Topps card is hardly a pricey one. You can find one graded PSA 8 for under $10 and one in PSA 9 for around $20 to $25. There are only 8 PSA 10 1973 Topps Aparicio cards, and those can fetch several hundred dollars. Aparicio would also have a 1974 Topps card.that are actually similarly priced, with only 4 PSA 10 copies currently graded. Luis Aparicio’s later cards with the Red Sox aren’t super expensive, but since he’s a Hall of Famer who made a living with his speed and glove, he’s worth adding to any vintage baseball card collection.