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: