It’s been a while for one of these mystery plays; here’s one from a while back in honor of David Ortiz’s retirement:
2003 Upper Deck #114 David Ortiz
Is he out? Safe?? Well, hopefully we can find out by nailing down exactly when this play occurred — what can we tell from the photo?
1) Day game with away uniform — it’s not the Metrodome
2) they’re wearing their long sleeves, so cool weather
3) being it’s a 2003 card, it should be a 2002 ballgame
I originally put this together for the good Citizens at WGOM for pledge week, and (like always) they were very up to the task:
– there was some debate about the visiting team uniform. Initial thoughts were Milwaukee and then Seattle, but with the very short (non-existent?) sleeves, it was suggested it was Cleveland’s pixie vests
– the backdrop (what little is showing, out of focus) is not a bad match for Jacob’s Field
– The first inning of the April 8th game ended with Ortiz trying (and failing) to score from second on a line drive to center of the bat of Dustan Mohr. Einar Diaz applied the tag.
Despite the Twins scoring two in the first, the Indians respond with three in the bottom of the inning, and went on to win 9-5 putting the Twins a game back in the AL Central race. The game was played in front of a full stadium in less than three hours, which was good as the 55° temperature at game time was no doubt falling.
The best part? We even found an image of the play from a different angle. You can see part of Cristian Guzman in the background, who scored just ahead of Ortiz.
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.
Recently over at Dinged Corners I was somewhat incorrectly described as a proponent of Upper Deck’s 2008 Documentary set of cards. While I wouldn’t describe myself at all as a proponent (shoot, I’m sure several of the card fronts have a photo on front of a player who wasn’t even in the featured game!), I am fascinated with the thought of trying to collect all the Twins from the set. There are not only 163 Twins home games, but 163 Twins away games, gold parallels of them, PLUS the Yankees insert game cards vs the Twins. Still, I have to thank the Dinged Corners mention for possibly directing David Bass in my direction.
David not only hit my Documentary set with several cards I didn’t have yet, but even threw in some nice extras, too. I have to compliment him for actually browsing through my want lists! I had a few singles from David’s wantlist, but dropped by the local card shop for some additional 2008 & 2009 UD singles to help out his sets. I only wish I’d known about the extra cards ahead of time — I’m going to have to send a follow-up package some day…
clockwise, from top left: 2008 Upper Deck Documentary #1970 (MIN70) Joe Mauer Game 70; 2008 Upper Deck Documentary #2488 (CLE88) Jhonny Peralta away Game 88; 2006 Fleer Ultra #163 Joe Mauer, odd seeing the mask but no other protection gear; 2008 Upper Deck Timeline Die Cut #201 Nick Blackburn
Even though almost all of the cards David sent were of Twins’ losses, he managed to send my first Gold away game card and my first Mauer photo game card. Still need that first Yankees insert vs Twins card — my luck it would feature Derek Freakin’ Jeter.
While creating an offseason series of posts at WGOM featuring Upper Deck’s 2008 Documentary baseball cards, I decided to try and find additional cards with Twins’ ballgames on them. In my search, I stumbled across Matt F’s Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius blog, and over the course of a week we managed to finagle a trade (and I found a good home for several of my ’71 Topps which were just sitting around in a box in the basement).
Then, Mark over at Baseball Plus had a couple boxes of cards he’d picked up from someone, and in the course of “dumpster diving” through them (which I mentioned in an earlier post), I was able to find several recent cards that I had missed through apathy the last few years.
I think I’ll monitor a few websites to see if there can’t be more trades in the making; in the meantime, you’ll see a “Want List” link at the top of the blog, and I’ve begun a few pages with known cards I’m missing from my Twins collection. It’s going to take me a long time to flesh it out, but that should keep me out of trouble for quite a while…
AJ with a (bad) variation of Tony Pena’s catching stance
first baseman’s glove?! THIS STORY ONLY ENDS ONE WAY