27 January 2013

going oppo

here's the 9th installment in the countdown to spring training.  i'm using the 1979 post raisin bran steve garvey's baseball tips cards as a weekly windown to baseball.  this week, the garv waxes poetic about one of his favorite pastimes - hitting to the opposite field.
the cartoon sketch doesn't seem to match the text - that front foot looks like it is pointed directly up the middle.  anyway, i took a look through some of my collection to see if i could find examples of guys hitting to the opposite field.  i found tom candiotti possibly doing it on his 1995 ud collector's choice card
although he might have just swung late.  todd benzinger looks to be flailing at the outside pitch on his 1992 topps traded card
but john lindsey seems to have the 'inside-out' part of the swing down on his 2011 bowman card
here's a nice example of moving the runner over by going the opposite way, assuming the batter was right-handed.  it's bobby higginson's 2003 topps card
in which he is advancing to third base on a grounder to the second baseman.  i really like this card - it reminds me a bit of the 1995 topps raul mondesi card which is one of my all-time faves.

speaking of mondesi, the back of his 1996 pinnacle zenith card gives us a lesson in the opposite of going the opposite way
only 10% of mondy's hits in 1995 were to right field, and none of his home runs went that direction.  contrast that with mike piazza
who hit about one-third of his base hits to right, including the same number of home runs that he pulled to left.  that's some opposite field prowess right there.

i'll finish up with a 2012 topps gypsy queen matt kemp mini, upon which the bison is tracking a ball that he has just sent to the opposite field
only about 3 weeks left until spring training starts!

1 comment:

Fuji said...

Kudos to Zenith for those informative card backs... I would have loved them in the 80's when I was researching players on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, by the time 1996 rolled around, I was much more into how much a card was worth... compared to the information on the card.