This has got to be one of the best card photos from 2011 Topps series 1:
2011 Topps #181 Magglio Ordonez
I pulled this from the four rack packs I picked up last weekend. What can we find out about this particular photo?
Well, a three things immediately jumped out at me:
1) it’s at Target Field in Minneapolis
2) it’s a day game
3) it is not Joe Mauer behind the plate
The lack of “knee blocks” behind the catcher’s knees was the giveaway to me that this was a backup catcher. Gardy likes to use a backup on day games following night games, so this is consistent, too.
Well, the gang at WGOM has taken the investigation further. To summarize:
– the Twins played the Tigers in only two day games at Target Field, May 5th and June 30th
– it’s not Jose Morales catching; he uses a hockey-type mask
– it’s not Wilson Ramos catching; he uses an UnderArmor chest protector; here he is on May 5th
– the mystery catcher is Drew Butera! “Butters” caught the June 30th game; here he is that day
– umpire is #52, Bill Welke
– the Twins won by a 5-1 score; Slowey gets his 8th win, and Morneau his 16th HR
Andrew and everyone, you’re dogs with a bone on this one — way to go. And judging from the photo, it looks like Magglio got under it and pulled it to left, which (assuming it’s not a foul ball) means it was his single in the 4th inning. Here’s another photo of that AB (from ESPN):
PS: if you really want to see Mauer on a 2011 Topps card (he’s scheduled for series 2) I suggest this one.