Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 O-Pee-Chee

The second pack from a blaster.

Mike Gonzalez - Sweet, another closer. And I like this shot. Can someone identify the Phillie in the background, please?
Jeff Clement - Is he posing for a sculptor?
Carlos Delgado--2008 Highlights and Milestones - So a guy goes off for nine RBI in a game, including a slam and a 3-run jack, and you have a picture of him seated on the dirt, with his glove up? In game in which he did not play in the field?
Alex Gordon--Black Border - Pointing the cannon at you.
The back says Alex is "primed to have a breakout year in 2009." I think it's fair to say they missed the mark on that one. He has an OPS+ of 64 in 110 PA. Granted, he missed three months with a hip injury, but still--that is not a breakout. He ain't no fortunate one, no.

Angels Checklist - The stadium view on the front is nice. The checklist on the back shows card number, player, and position. There's no 1B listed. Did they not expect Kendry Morales to show up this year? Or did they just have to have six outfielders make the set? They couldn't do without Reggie Willits?
Rich Aurilia - I'm always impressed by folks who pinpoint a particular game from the photo on a card. This one seems like a challenge.
I'll give mega-double-super sleuthing points to someone who can name the game. Looks like a day game in San Fran in 2008, with Aurilia playing 1B, and making a play in the field that involved an underhand toss. Meanwhile, and this is key, the league scoreboard shows a score of 1 to 1 in the bottom of the 1st inning (I think) for the game in the bottom righthand side of the list. Someone amaze me, and I'll send you a prize package. Perhaps similar to this one that got sent to Zach.

Last but not least, there's this:


Alec said...

I'm going to guess July 5th, 2008 as the game on the Aurilla card. Here's my reasoning:
-He's wearing the blue Stars and Stripes hat, worn only on July 4th weekend and 9/11 in 2008 (story on it here (http://www.uniwatchblog.com/2008/06/23/seeing-stars-and-stripes/) and a pic of the hat here http://mlb.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pMLB2-4837163dt.jpg)
-The card shows the Giants at home, something they were on July 4th weekend but not on 9/11 (this and all the following from baseball-reference.com box scores)
-It can't be 7/4/08 as Aurilia played 3rd that day, and this card has him playing 1st
-Aurilia had several plays at first in the 7/5/08 game
-No games on 7/6/08 had a game be 1-1 at any point in the first
-The Rangers/Orioles game on 7/5/08 was 1-1 at one point in the 1st (inning ended 3-1 BAL, but that had to be 1-1 at a point)

I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think it may be right. If anybody finds a flaw, please let me know. And thanks for the excellent pack breaks!

Brian said...

I'm going with July 6th with the Dodgers playing at the Giants. According the Baseball Almanac website, the score of that game was 1-1 at the end of the first inning. Great question!

Laurens said...

The Phillies guy on the Mike Gonzalez card is probably former third base coach Steve Smith.

It is not likely a player.

Andy said...

If the photo is from last year, then it's definitely Smith. This year's 3rd base coach is Sam Perlozzo.

skoormit said...

@Alec - Nice work. I didn't even notice the blue hat. That is a huge clue. I'll take a closer look at the evidence you provide this evening.

@Brian - I believe the scoreboard we see in the background is the league scoreboard, not the board for the game being played. Anyone more familiar with SF lmk if I'm wrong.

@Laurens, @Andy - TYVM. I'll be doing a future article on coaches in card backgrounds on EX-MT.

skoormit said...

@Alec: I think we might have to consider that the inning displayed on the scoreboard is not a 1. It is rather blurry; even when holding the card I can't be sure it is a 1. That said, I don't think it shows the Bal/Tex game from 7/5/08, because that game started at 7:06 Eastern time, which would be 4:06 Pacific, while the Giants' game started at 6:05. The first inning of the Orioles game would have been long past. Also, looking at the play by play from the Giants game on 7/5, I don't see a play where Aurilia would have been making an underhand toss. On 7/6, though, there are several possible plays that could fit the bill:

Matt Kemp in the 3rd: "Single to 1B (Ground Ball to 2B-1B); Berroa Scores; Stults to 3B"

Delmon Young in the 5th: "Groundout: 1B-P (2B-1B)"

Kemp again in the 7th: "Groundout: 1B-P (2B-1B)"

So to me it looks like the 6th. Also happening that day was a Tigers/Mariners games in Seattle, for which the score was tied at 1 from the top of the 5th until the top of the 15th. The game started at 1:10 Pacific, so any of the above plays could presumably be showing the score. Ideally we could find a Giants fan who could make an educated guess about which game would be shown in the bottom righthand slot of the scoreboard.

Alec said...

Ah, good point...didn't get a chance to examine the box scores that closely. I think you are right though, as that all makes sense, and thanks for the fun challenge!