Don your detective hats — it’s time to track down the play. Once again Chuck Knoblauch is at the heart of it:
1995 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice #490 Chuck Knoblauch
This game tends to favor the middle infielders, and Chuck is an acrobatic favorite of the card companies. So, we need to know if we can tell which play this was — what do we know from the photo?
1) Day game, so it’s not at the Metrodome
2) Chad Curtis sliding into second; looks to be Pat Meares in the background
3) it’s a 1995 card, so this play was most likely from the 1994 season
WGOM Citizens continue to tackle these puzzles with gusto:
- Curtis was an Angel in ’94, and the Twins played three games in the Big A, in the beginning of June. First two are night games, and neither are good prospects.
- The third of the three games was a getaway day game. Curtis reached second twice: once on a SB, and once on a inning ending force out. Okay, I guess on a 6-4 force play he didn’t technically reach second.
- based on the position of Meares (backing up second instead of backing up the third baseman fielding the ball) and Knoblauch’s positioning, it sure looks more like a high throw on a stealing attempt than a toss from the shortstop.
With one out and a one run lead already in the bottom of the first, Chad Curtis successfully steals second on a high throw from Matt Walbeck. The Twins would mount a futile rally in the 9th but come up short, 5-4, with Jim Deshaies taking the loss.
More detective work! Topps in 2009 sets the scene for us:
2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH126 Matt Tolbert
Matt Tolbert’s card showed up as an afterthought in the Updates & Highlights set; can we identify exactly when this play took place?
Well, here are some clues:
1) Gabe Kapler is barrelling into second
2) appears to be an indoor ballgame, in 2008 or maybe early 2009 since this is from an update set
3) Matt’s probably the shortstop, and it looks like a DP attempt
The guys at WGOM took it and ran. They discovered:
- In 2008, Gabe Kapler was a Brewer and played in uniform #33, so this is definitely an early season 2009 game against the Rays at The Trop.
- Gabe Kapler played in three home games versus the Twins. On May 29, Kapler’s only AB is a walk followed by a caught stealing.
- May 31, Tolbert isn’t in the lineup. That leaves…
- …May 30th, when Tolbert comes in as a replacement at short in the 4th inning. Kapler immediately walks, then is forced out in a 4-5-3. Kapler doesn’t reach base the rest of the game.
The Twins lose 5-2, Francisco Liriano picks up his seventh loss against two wins, and Joe Mauer’s only hit is a double, lowering his BA to a miserable .414 — booooo!
Earlier this week I received an email from Ron at NYBBNUTT’s Baseball Card Trading Page. It’s always a treat to hear from traders I haven’t communicated with for quite a while. Like me, Ron’s also been active on The Bench, but I hadn’t traded with him for 2-½ years. He informed me that he had a package that was on its way to me, and wished me Happy New Year’s.
The package arrived in short order, and in it were a couple dozen Twins from my wantlist. There was a little of everything, so I could appreciate that he’d done some serious digging. They weren’t just base cards; several were parallels (Bowman Gold, Ultra Gold Medallion), and ones that were base cards weren’t the typical flagship sets. For example:
clockwise, from top left: 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks #BDP155 Justin Morneau; 2000 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion #181G Brad Radke; 1996 Pinnacle Aficionado Artist Proof #184 Matt Lawton; 1998 Topps Stars #6 David Ortiz [4835/9799]; 2003 Bowman Gold #265 Jose Morales; 1987 Sportflics #81 Bert Blyleven; 2000 Topps Stars #148 B.J. Garbe; 1999 Upper Deck SPx Bronze #SPX31 Paul Molitor
Wait — let’s look a little closer…
The Aficionado card was an Artist Proof — very nice. Initially I wasn’t impressed with the Sportflics, but casually checked the copyright date on the back…! Sure enough, it was a factory set card and had a 1987 copyright, instead of the 1986 copyright that the typical 1987 Sportflics cards will sport. I don’t know that they’re worth any more, or even if people (other than me) are looking for them, but I’ve known about them for almost 25 years and this is the first I’ve seen.
So, what to send back in return? Well, I know he collects Topps, but he slyly seems to be leaving it up to me what the contents of the package might look like. To quote SNL, “Oh, I’ll play your game, you rogue!” That post title might be a hint.
Throughout this past year I’ve scoured trade bait posts, The Bench, my LCS, and eBay for reasonably priced Twins AU/GU, and Glen Perkins has extended his commanding card count lead to 46 unique autographed cards in my collection (would have been 47 if some sellers knew at least the basics of how to properly ship cards ) — here are the latest pickups:
clockwise, from top: 2005 Topps Traded & Rookies Signature Moves #SM-GP Glen Perkins [245/275] (auto); 2007 Topps Co-Signers Silver Red #117 Glen Perkins [102/175] (auto); 2009 Upper Deck Inkredible #INK-PE Glen Perkins (auto); 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts Autofacts #AU-GP Glen Perkins (auto); 2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Rookie Signatures #119 Glen Perkins [004/299] (auto); 2007 Topps Co-Signers Red #117 Glen Perkins [171/275] (auto); 2007 Topps Co-Signers Blue #117 Glen Perkins [160/225] (auto)
And here are some nice Twins GU plus a first-time Twins autograph for Luis Tiant:
clockwise, from top left: 2013 Topps Five Star #FSBA-PMO Paul Molitor [282/386] (auto); 2005 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Lasting Legends #LL-RC Rod Carew (jersey); 2005 Donruss Signature Series Silver #70 Kent Hrbek (auto); 2005 Upper Deck Artifacts AL Artifacts #AL-KH Kent Hrbek [175/325] (jersey); 2013 Topps Update All-Star Stitches #ASR-JMA Joe Mauer (jersey); 2005 Upper Deck Classics Classic Moments #CM-JM Jack Morris (jersey); 2007 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Masterful Material #MM-KP Kirby Puckett (jersey); 2005 Upper Deck Ultimate Signature Signature Decades #SD-LT Luis Tiant (auto)
Hope your 2014 collecting year is a great one!
I’m not a fan of shotgun trades, as I have quite a slew of Twins dupes piled around here gathering dust. When Kevin The Diamond King contacted me, though, he had two cards in mind to trade — a couple of this year’s Heritage Real Ones autograph cards. Thankfully he identified several cards from my trade bait page that I could send in return. I was surprised to find the other cards below also in the package (as well as several more); turns out Kevin is like me in that we believe cards don’t travel well in small numbers
clockwise, from top left: 2013 Topps Heritage Real One #DOA-BD Bill Dailey (auto); 2013 Topps Heritage Real One #DOA-BF Bill Fisher (auto); 1993 Topps Stadium Club 1st Day Issue #10 Gary Wayne; 2003 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection #92 Michael Nakamura [361/625]; 2005 Upper Deck First Pitch #325 Johan Santana / Joe Mauer; 2006 Upper Deck Gold #695 Tony Bautista [218/299]; 2000 Pacific Omega Gold #82 Jacque Jones [116/120]
Thanks for creating this great trade, TDK!
Not long ago, Kyle from Nolan’s Dugout reached out to me regarding a trade, followed by some serious searching through our respective trade piles. When the smoke cleared, we each had ~30 cards for each other, and put some good hurt on our wantlists. Here’s a good example of the type of cards that crossed paths in the mail:
clockwise, from top left: 1997 Donruss Press Proof Silver #148 Greg Myers; 1998 Pacific Invincible #45 Marty Cordova; 2000 Bowman Retro #257 Matt LeCroy; 1998 Pinnacle Inside #29 Chuck Knoblauch; 1996 Upper Deck #109 Paul Molitor; 1996 Flair Gold #121 Brad Radke
Thanks for taking the time to dig through your dugout, Kyle! Let’s do it again sometime.
‘Tis the time of year for Black Friday as well, and so I made my annual online pilgrimage to COMC
. I selected 77 Twins cards, satisfying these criteria:
- AU: 23 (1st’s: Scott Aldred, Erik Bennett, Travis Bowyer, Matthew Fox)
- GU: 2
- Lewwwww Ford!: 3 (1 AU, 2 GU)
- vintage: 2 (’63, ’67)
- oddball: 6 (’74 stamps, ’76 O-Pee-Chee, ’79 comic, ’82 sticker, ’90 O-Pee-Chee)
- s#’d: 14
- parallels: 23
- Pucketts: 12 (4 proofs, 1 1st day)
- UD Documentary Gold: 5
clockwise, from top left: 2005 Donruss Signature Series Silver #67 Travis Bowyer (auto); 2004 Upper Deck SP Prospects #314 Matthew Fox [308/600] (auto); 1996 Donruss Leaf Signature Extended Erik Bennett (auto); 2005 Donruss Classics Team Colors #TC-23 Lew Ford [045/100] (bat/jersey); 2005 Donruss Leaf Century Post Marks Silver #198 Jacque Jones [032/100] (auto); 2004 Fleer National Pastime Signature Swings #SSA-LF Lew Ford [024/183] (auto); 2005 Donruss Leaf Century Position #71 Lew Ford [171/250] (jersey); 1996 Donruss Leaf Signature Extended Scott Aldred (auto)
Back in June, David K held one of his incredible autographed card giveaways. Just as incredible…I was the winner! Here was the prize:
2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Black Autographs #47 Ken Griffey Jr. [07/25]
I decided that my goal would be to sell it and use the proceeds to acquire one or more autograph cards of the Twins players I didn’t currently have yet. My LCS owner posted on eBay for a few months, but only with so-so inquiries. Eventually, he worked out a good deal with one of his in-store customers — one that included cards and cash. The cards in the deal were these below:
clockwise, from top left: 2013 Topps Triple Threads Unity Relic Sepia #TTUFR-PM2 Paul Molitor [24/27] (bat); 2013 Topps Tier One Double Relic #TODR-JM Joe Mauer [05/50] (jersey); 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter #AGR-JM Justin Morneau (bat); 2013 Topps Update All-Star Stitches #ASR-GP Glen Perkins (jersey)
Aren’t those borderless high end Topps GU a treat? I already had the A&G Morneau, so that went to my trade bait page.
With the cash from the deal, I purchased these four beauties, all my first AU cards for these players:
clockwise, from top left: 2013 Topps Tribute #TA-PM Paul Molitor [19/99] (auto); 2013 Bowman Platinum Prospects Green #BPAP-MS Miguel Sano [205/399] (auto); 2005 Donruss Greats #5 Bert Blyleven (auto); 2007 Upper Deck Spectrum Shining Star #SS-JM Joe Mauer [30/99] (auto)
We have a winner!
The other day gcrl (no, not the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory) tried to slip a cold trade past my outer defenses, but I thwarted him from unwittingly adding to my piles of Twins dupes sprawled across my work desk. Undaunted, he hit my wantlists with a package of cards that I happily added to my inventory. And in exchange for Dodgers cards, even! Besides almost all the Twins base from this year’s Topps Updates, here are a few of the other goodies:
clockwise, from top left: 2013 Topps Opening Day Superstar Celebrations #SC18 Josh Willingham; 2005 Donruss Prime Patches All-Star Materials #ASM-1 Johan Santana [190/277] (jersey); 2004 Upper Deck Timeless Teams #6 Jim Kaat; 1999 Pacific Omega #142 Cristian Guzman / Jacque Jones; 2001 Pacific Private Stock #68 Jacque Jones; 2001 Donruss Classics #70 Jacque Jones; 2002 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia #81 Jacque Jones; 1998 Topps National Pastime #173 Ron Coomer
Lotsa Jacques there, gcrl — thanks again for the swap!
And a few GU acquired through trade and purchase:
clockwise, from top left: 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Black #101 Joe Mauer [077/125] (jersey); 2012 Topps Update All-Star Stitches #AS-JM Joe Mauer (jersey); 2013 Topps Update League Leader Commemorative Pins #LLP-RC Rod Carew; 2009 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Destination Stardom #DSM-DS Denard Span (jersey); 2001 Topps Fusion Feature #F16 Matt Lawton (bat); 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts Divisional Artifacts Limited #DA-MO Justin Morneau [072/130] (jersey); 2009 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Destination Stardom #DSM-JM Joe Mauer (jersey); 2007 Upper Deck Spectrum Swatches Gold #SSW-FL Francisco Liriano [19/75] (jersey)