21 October 2012

double plays are more prevalent than i originally thought

i have been going through my collection to pull all of the double play cards so that they are all in one place.  i have a fairly sizable double play binder these days, and it keeps growing as i encounter more and more cards showing the turn at second base.

i think i have mentioned before that i used to play second (and a little bit of shortstop) back in my playing days, and there is nothing better (defensively) than making that turn.  actually, my favorite defensive play was when, as the shortstop, there would be a runner on first with a ball hit up the middle so that i could go left, field the ball, and slide my foot alongside the bag and avoid the sliding runner with ease as my momentum carried me towards first.  loved that play.  kind of like the play luis aparicio is making on this 2010 topps heritage insert card.
except i rarely, if ever, jumped.

barry larkin jumped on this play

captured nicely on a 2004 playoff honors card.  still, it would have been better had they not cropped jack cust in half.

this bobby crosby card from 2005 fleer ultra
is pretty nice.  it might make the 'greatest double play card of all-time' tournament, coming sometime in 2013!

anyway, when i started collecting cards that showed the dp turn, i didn't realize how common they were.  probably because they were pretty rare when i first started collecting (the 1978 topps felix millan card was the first one i saw), and even though it wasn't until 1985 or so when i first really started to be adept at turning two, there were still only a few cards that i knew of.  these days there are a ton, and i like it.

here's a 2006 topps turkey red card dedicated to the art of breaking up the double play.
i will admit that i looked more like tadahito iguchi than luis aparicio after a double play turn.

i also have the red edition of the card.
by the way, if this depicts the play from the third inning of game 1 of the 2005 world series, then ausmus was successful in breaking up the play.

here are a few other dp cards that aren't so great.  like this 2008 topps mark grudzielanek card
random legs weaken double play cards.

this 2010 topps alcides escobar
would be better if the 2010 topps design were better.  think 2011 topps update dee gordon, even though that card isn't completely clean either.

speaking of 2011 topps, the design gets in the way on this darwin barney card
but not quite as badly as 2010 topps.

ditto for 2012 topps, as seen on this stephen drew gold sparkle card
although that is much better than dustin pedroia's card from the set (this one is his opening day card)
sure, he's airborne, but the ghost arm of some yankee detracts from the card's appeal, in my opinion.  or maybe it's just pedroia.  anyway, if you have a double play card (or several), send them my way!  i'll make room!

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