12 July 2009

'lurker' nolan ryan makes the call

1971 topps was a breakthrough set in terms of using game action photography. sometimes, though, the picture encompassed more than was necessary and made it difficult to figure out who the featured player actually was. at first glance, i felt that way about bud harrelson's 1971 topps card.

that's bud way on the left putting the tag on the runner. the picture is cropped strangely, in my opinion, and includes 4 players and an umpire. i always thought that a better shot would have been to crop nolan ryan out of the picture and get closer to the action at second base.

anyway, with nolan ryan lurking on the mound, the mets in home whites, and what i believe to be an astros player sliding (i thought it might be a giants player, but the 1970 giants didn't appear to wear patches on their left sleeves - the astros wore an 'astrodome' logo patch), i believe this action comes from the may 30, 1970 game. ryan was on the mound, harrelson was at short, and that would be ken boswell backing up the play at second. the umpire was ken burkhart (thanks baseball reference)!

while it looks like ryan is calling the runner out, there were no tag plays at second base that day other than the two astros stolen base attempts, both of which were successful - joe morgan in the 6th, and jimmy wynn in the 8th. so, by leaving ryan in the picture, topps reminds us all that only the umpire gets to make the call on the field.

here's to you, foreground lurker!

No comments: