Time to take another dive into the ongoing baseball card detective work that I’ve posted on this site. Topps has been sticking the Twins with the standard garden-variety card photos for a while now, but this year’s Stadium Club changes that. Here are two Twins cards where the exact play can be identified.
Card number one has Willians Astudillo making a tag at home against a sliding opponent:
2019 Topps Stadium Club #108 Willians Astudillo
Turns out, it wasn’t even a challenge for MagUidhir at WGOM.
First off, the visible clues:
1) Twins are in away uniforms.
2) Player sliding into home has a name starting with “O” and a uniform number starting with “6”
2) Opponents are wearing blue helmets.
The player is the Royals first baseman Ryan O’Hearn, #66. Willians Astudillo caught a limited number of games in 2018, and only two of them were in KC. This game last year at Kansas City on September 14th featured O’Hearn trying to score in the bottom of the 8th on a double by Jorge Bonifacio to Kevin Grossman, with Jorge Polanco cutting off and throwing home, and he was…out! Here’s the video.
It was a pretty sad ballgame, with the Twins taking a 4-3 lead into the 9th, only to have Trevor Hildenberger give up the one-out tying run and then a grand slam to Salvador Perez.
The second card features Jake Cave reaching over the outfield wall:
2019 Topps Stadium Club Red Autograph #SCA-JCA Jake Cave
This time around Beau nailed the play, and I don’t even know what clues he worked off of.
1) It’s at Target Field.
On the very first pitch of this game against the Orioles on July 6th last year, Tim Beckham lifted a drive to centerfield of Lance Lynn. Video (spoiler alert: he caught it)
The Twins won the game 6-2 on a well-pitched game in which the Twins scored three in the first, Kepler went deep in the fourth, and they never looked back.
Well done, Topps, you really nailed it with Stadium Club this time around. Here are a couple other really fine photos from this year’s set:
2019 Topps Stadium Club #128 Jose Berrios
2019 Topps Stadium Club Red #179 Max Kepler