02 November 2008

let's turn two - front and back bonus

i love baseball reference. it will be a bigger help to me down the road when i can't remember who steve garvey was or why i have hundreds of his cards. for now, though, it helps me piece together the story of geronimo pena and his 1994 upper deck collector's choice card.

first, the front. he's on brett butler's back. was this really a double play turn? is it spring training? that doesn't look like the wall of dodger stadium, and butler's wearing the home whites.

now let's take a look at the back. ok - here is a real double play turn. but roger mcdowell? at least we can see the banner on the outfield wall more clearly. this really is dodger stadium. i know from personal experience that the dodgers would post large, white banners on the outfield wall comemmorating their world championships on opening day, at least back in the early to mid 90s.

a quick check of baseball reference tells me that the dodgers' home opener in 1993 was against the cardinals. tuesday, april 13. furthermore, in the 1st, butler singled and was out on the front end of a jody reed (boo) double play 4-6-3. pena was playing second, though. let's dig deeper.

in the third, roger mcdowell, in early relief of kevin gross, singled. butler came up and hit a grounder to third, resulting in a 5-4 putout of mcdowell as butler beat the relay throw to first. that's the back! then, with one out and butler on first, jody reed (boo) grounded in to the textbook 6-4-3 despite what appears to be brett butler's best attempt to break it up. that's the front!

so there you have it. two double plays - one successful and one thwarted - immortalized on one card.

as a side note, the losing pitcher that day was pedro martinez. pedro, of course, would be traded once the dodgers realized they would need a new second baseman after jody reed turned down $7.8M over three years only to wind up playing for the minimum in milwaukee.

jody reed. (boo).


tastelikedirt said...

Nice work.

--David said...

That really is excellent research. It cool to see where the images come onto the cards.