11 August 2013

land of double plays

yes, i know it's late.  but i am sure you are still up after watching the season premiere of 'breaking bad' (or if you are on the west coast you are just about to watch it), right?

now, as you know, i am always looking for cards that feature photos taken in dodger stadium.  as a result, i pay fairly close attention to the backgrounds on cards and so have come to recognize many different stadiums.  one i see quite a bit (and more than one might expect) is the oakland coliseum.  for some reason, quite a few baseball cards feature photos taken there while other 'smaller' markets, such as kansas city or toronto or minnesota, get less card front time.  and, thanks to the likes of miguel tejada, walt weiss and others, there are a number of double play cards that hail from the east bay.

here's a 1998 fleer tradition scott spiezio as if to prove the point.
and a 1998 pacific crown collection spiezio
and a 1998 topps stadium club spiezio
none of which feature the same play.

brent gates is another a's middle infielder that gets a lot of dp time at home.  this is his 1996 donruss card
and his 1996 fleer card
and a 1996 pinnacle mike bordick, too.
visiting teams also make the turn.  here's the back of pat kelly's 1993 score select card
maybe someday i will count the number of dp cards on which jose canseco and mark mcgwire are the lead runner.  here's another new york yankee in billy beane's court - robinson cano on his 2006 upper deck card
on the majority of those cards, you see the retired number jerseys on the outfield wall.  that's reggie jackson's number 9 behind cano, while jim hunter's 27 is behind spiezio, gates, and kelly.  the a's also had a huge american flag on the wall, i believe it was added after 9/11.  you can see the stripes on orlando hudson's 2005 fleer ultra card
let's move out of oakland to one of the locales i mentioned earlier - toronto.  here's the back of terry shumpert's 1992 fleer card
i can't tell if it's shumpert or the shortstop who has made the dp turn.  if it's shumpert, then the runner is pretty slow.  then again, it looks like the runner might be pat borders.  on july 28, 1991, pat borders was on first base when manny lee grounded into the 6-4-3 double play in toronto.  david howard was the shortstop, shumpert the second baseman and warren cromartie (!) was the first baseman on the play.  i think we have a winner.

here's a 1994 upper deck mickey morandini card with a dp turn from san diego
with tony gwynn sliding in.  aside from gwynn's presence, the orange home run line is a dead giveaway for the murph.  aka qualcomm.

here's another hall of famer on the wrong end of a turn at second.  roberto alomar makes a guest appearance on the back of norberto martin's 1995 upper deck collector's choice card
the front of which also shows a dp turn.
last but not least, here is a 1997 pinnacle new (or new pinnacle, depending on how you catalogue this set) card of the brewers' jose valentin
i am not 100% sure, but i choose to believe that this is a broken up double play. it looks like the ball is still in valentin's glove, but the disturbed dirt in the lower left corner of the card gives me hope that there was a hard slide that caused him to go airborne.  maybe, maybe not.  the card stays in the binder, however, until it can be proven to not belong because there just aren't too many of these with photos from milwaukee county stadium.

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