03 January 2011

phil nevin assaults a lurker

phil nevin is launching a forearm shiv to a (not really lurking) dodgers' second baseman mark grudzielanek on his 2003 topps stadium club card.
i do believe this move would result in a hefty fine from roger goodell were nevin to try it these days.  let's try to figure out what exactly has happened here, shall we?

[edit - i originally mistook this card for a 2000 topps stadium club card, not a 2003.  ignore the following commentary as it is highly unlikely topps would have gone in the way back machine for a photo in 2003]

nevin played (as a pinch runner) against the dodgers at dodger stadium on june 22, 1999.  grudz didn't play.  nevin faced the dodgers two days later but didn't reach base.  the g-man didn't play that day anyway.  fast forward to september, and the pads were back in la for a three game set.  september 24 was a friday night game, and nevin didn't reach first until the 9th inning.  he didn't advance beyond first base, and grudzy was playing short that day.  on saturday, nevin singled once and was erased on a double play, short to first.  grudzielanek was playing short that day, but the photo on the card looks more like a collision between first and second, and besides, grudz is still holding the ball.  looks like the sunday series finale will tell the tale. however, on september 26, phil nevin struck out 3 times and didn't reach base, while grudzielanek played short.  looks like this is a photo from 2000, which sorta makes sense given stadium club's late season release.

problem is, nevin played in 6 road games in 2000 against the dodgers.  even though grudzielanek was at second base for all of them, each game was played at night.  so maybe it's a spring training game at chavez ravine?

i took a look at the padres at dodgers game logs from 2002 in which grudzielanek was on the field and found nothing that indicated a tag out of nevin.  and, the idea that the photo comes from the year the card was issued doesn't fly because grudz was on the cubs in '03.  the mystery continues.

here's to you, mark grudzielanek - lurker of unknown circumstance!


Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

Wow, you did some solid research on this one. Nothing like spring training basepath collisions to get the blood pumping!

Play at the Plate said...

NOW I'm curious. I love researching plays like that, mostly on plays at the plate.