Category Archives: baseball

CSI: Duryea, PA [2019 Topps Stadium Club]

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.

Visible clues:
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

Advertisements

What’s With The Homers?

Currently the Twins have the best record in baseball, and are on a record pace for HR in a season. How are they doing it? Beats me! Is it MLB’s first “millennial” manager, Rocco Baldelli, or their pitching coach Wes Johnson who came directly to the Twins from college ball? Is it the handful of offseason signings, including Jonathan Schoop, CJ Cron, Martín Pérez, Nelson Cruz, and Marwin Gonzalez? I’m sure it’s a combination of these and other things contributing to their success, and as Twins fans we’re hanging on for the ride.

Below are some GU and AU of Twins off the current roster (with Brad Radke as an added bonus) and some of their prospects, including first cards for me of Trevor Larnach and Brusdar Graterol.


clockwise, from top left: 2017 Topps Update 30th Anniversary #87A-ERS Eddie Rosario (auto); 2019 Topps Tier One Prime Performers #PPA-ERO Eddie Rosario [084/299] (auto); 2018 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection #CCR-MS Miguel Sano (jersey); 2018 Bowman Best #B18-FR Fernando Romero (auto); 2018 Bowman Chrome Prospects #CPA-ZL Zack Littell (auto); 2018 Topps Archives Fan Favorites #FFA-BR Brad Radke (auto); 2018 Topps Chrome #RA-FR Fernando Romero (auto); 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter #MFR-MS Miguel Sano (jersey)

Continue reading

Holiday Goodies

When the holidays come around, it means Black Friday sale from COMC, trades generated from The Bench, hitting eBay for reasonable value, and all of this means more to display here.

Among several of the AU and GU collected, there is included:

  • new Twins AU to the list: Al Worthington, Bill Plies, LaMonte Wade, Ryan Jeffers, Blayne Enlow
  • the 71st and 72nd unique Glen Perkins AU card (the Twin with the highest total in my collection)
  • another Killebrew AU as well as a couple reprint AU of Twins players of long ago
  • a printing plate and another letter manu-patch

And there are still others in the pipeline.

goodies1
clockwise, from top left: 2017 Topps Heritage Real Ones #ROA-AW Al Worthington (auto); 2014 Topps Heritage Real One #ROA-BP Bill Plies (auto); 1999 Upper Deck Retro Inkredible #HK Harmon Killebrew (auto); 2014 Topps Opening Day #ODA-GP Glen Perkins (auto); 2007 Upper Deck Exquisite Rookie Signatures Common Numbers #CN-LC Alexi Casilla w/LaRoche [20/25] (dual auto); 2013 Bowman Platinum Prospects Ice #BP-NR Nate Roberts [05/10] (auto); 2007 Topps Co-Signers Hyper Silver Red #117 Glen Perkins [72/75] (auto); 2014 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects printing plate Magenta #CDP93 Michael Cederoth [1/1] (plate)

Continue reading

CSI: Duryea, PA [2018 Topps series 1]

Topps has been a disappointment regarding quality in-game action photos of Twins players in which the exact play captured by the photo can actually be identified. We’ve had lots of great baseball card photos in the past to work with (we’ve been doing this for over seven years!), but not recently.

On a whim, I chose a card of Brian Dozier from 2018 Topps series 1; while it does I nice job of capturing a play in the field, I didn’t harbor hope that the gang at WGOM could uniquely identify it:

2018 Topps #130 Brian Dozier

Remarkably, they did it again.

First off, the visible clues:
1) It’s a day game.
2) With this being Series 1, the photo is most certainly from a 2017 game.
2) A play at third, quite possibly a triple given the arm covering and helmet.
3) Most likely Target Field, given the home white uniform and the location of the distance marker on the outfield wall.

A lot of the discussion centered around the visiting team’s uniform, particularly the dark top and the single stripe on the gray pants:
– there are several teams who have a uniform variant that at least somewhat resembles that of the baseball card: Indians, Mariners, Padres, Brewers, etc.
– Dozier runs the bases with helmet and arm protection, at least some of the time, so he isn’t necessarily advancing to third base on his own at bat.

Given the above and some digging through Baseball Reference website, it was determined that this play was the sixth pitch in the bottom of the first of this game against the Mariners on June 15th. Dozier opened the home half of the first inning with a double to right, and the play captured here was his advance to third on a wild pitch to Eduardo Escobar, Kyle Seager being the third baseman in the photo. Escobar subsequently homered, so he could have taken it easy on second base and avoided the faceplant (see photos below).

The Twins won the game 6-2 on a well-pitched outing from Jose Berrios, and Dozier went 1-for-3 with a BB and HBP, scoring once. Chris Gimenez homered twice in this game, which is much rarer than games in which he ended up pitching.

Well done, everyone! And two bonus screencaptures of the play:

A Note From Management

In my pursuit of certified Twins baseball card autographs, every now and then I find non-player cards (TC the mascot, scout Mark Wilson) and even less frequently, ones that are reasonably priced. Recently I found two, and along with a card of prospect Brent Rooker that now makes 224 different Twins players people.


clockwise, from top left: 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-TK Tom Kelly (auto); 2018 Bowman High Tek Prospects #PHT-BR Brent Rooker (auto); 2008 Upper Deck UD Premier Red #154 Joe Mauer [24/25] (auto); 2012 Topps Update General Managers #AGM-TR Terry Ryan (auto)

And, as always, a few other pick-ups:


clockwise, from top left: 2009 Upper Deck Ballpark Collection Six Swatch Memorabilia #305 Joe Mauer w/Posada,Rodriguez,Johnson,Santana,Woods [225/300] (jersey); 2018 Allen & Ginter #MA-FJ Felix Jorge (auto); 2018 Topps Chrome #FA-FJ Felix Jorge (auto); 2017 Topps Update Commemorative Medallion #MVPR-RCA Rod Carew

An Order of Nachos, Please

I’ve been very remiss when it comes to revisiting some of the gang of card collecting bloggers, and decided to remedy that a bit. I noticed that there were a few Twins I needed on the trade page at Nachos Grande, and interrupted Chris’ Gint-a-Cuffs posts to put together a trade with him. It had been over five years since our last trade (?!) which does not really seem possible.

You can tell that someone went to a lot of work looking through their cards by the variety of cards in the trade, and besides the handful of Twins A&G minis from his trade page, here are some examples of what else he found:


clockwise, from top left: 2018 Panini Donruss Signature Series #SS-MG Mitch Garver; 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen Missing Blackplate #88 Byron Buxton; 2016 Topps Allen & Ginter #348 Trevor Plouffe; 2009 Topps Target Retro #212 Denard Span; 2003 Topps Heritage #293 Cristan Guzman; 2003 Fleer Box Score #121 Lew Ford; 2017 Topps Rediscover Topps Silver 1993 Topps #363 John Smiley; 2016 Topps Allen & Ginter #78 Jose Berrios; 2016 Topps Allen & Ginter #74 Brian Dozier

Meanwhile, I took his wantlist webpage and visited the friendly neighborhood LCS to roust up some cards he was looking for — scavenger hunt! It was good to get back to my roots, so to speak, and flip a trade with a blogger instead of off of a board like The Bench. Thanks for the swap, Chris!

————————————-

And as usual, a few more additional pickups:


clockwise, from top left: 2015 Topps Chrome Refractor Purple #AR-TM Trevor May [147/250] (auto); 2008 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Sweet Swatch Dual Memorabilia #DHM Justin Morneau w/Hafner (dual jersey); 2003 Donruss Team Heroes #290 Michael Cuddyer (auto); 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings Materials Framed Red B&W #132 Lew Ford [63/100] (jersey/bat)

When It Was A Game

As stated in my last post, one of my baseball card collecting goals is to try and get one (certified) autographed Twins card of as many Twins ballplayers that I can. Since then, I now have an additional 221st different ballplayer.

Earl Battey is one of the autograph cards I’d been watching for for a while now. He does not have many certified AU cards, and most of those are the “cut auto” type, where his signature on a previous item (letter, contract, check, etc) is cut to size and embedded into a baseball card. The one I finally nabbed was one of these:


2006 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts When It Was a Game #WGC-EB Earl Battey [16/25] (auto)

And here are a few other pick ups from the last few days:


clockwise, from top left: 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter Full-Size #FSRB-MS Miguel Sano (jersey); 2018 Topps Archives Signatures #313 Max Kepler [10/86] (uncirculated auto); 2005 Upper Deck Ultimate Dual Materials #UD-ME Joe Mauer w/Estrada [07/15] (dual jersey); 2011 Topps Triple Threads Relics Sepia “AL MVP ’09 .365 28 96” #TTR-TTR-68 Joe Mauer [02/27] (jersey)