Monday, April 23, 2012

1973 TOPPS WORLD SERIES GAME No. 2

THE BEAUTY OF BASEBALL.

I LIKE FIELDING STATS AND ALL,
 JUST NOT IN MY BOXSCORE.

THE FRONT PAGE

  • I can't think of a World Series card I like better. What an action shot! I also like the baseball logo.

THE BACK PAGE

  • Box scores are always cool on cards, but I'm not sure why Topps decided it was more important to publish fielding stats at the expense RBI. It's just not right.
  • And when you digest the box, your eyes are drawn to Tony Perez's line; it looks like he had 11 RBI, but that's where Topps decided putouts would be a better stat. Can't understand that. No boxscore I ever saw is laid out this way. Boo, Topps. 

PHOTO PLAY

  • As a fan who loves second-base action photography, this is simply an awesome shot, and the fact the photographer got the relay to first is everything you'd want in a baseball image. And I dig the shadows at first base.
  • The photographer must've taken this photo on an elevated platform of some sort or the stands to get this angle.
  • However, you could say Topps f'ed-up again here by not featuring Joe Rudi on the card. After all, he homered and made a game-saving catch against the left-field wall on a Denis Menke drive in the ninth in the A's' 2-1 victory. Now a card photo of that catch would've been perfect, but I still can't gripe. Yay, Topps. 

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • For those scoring at home, the play occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning, with the Reds down 2-0. Johnny Bench led off with a walk off Catfish Hunter. Tony Perez then grounded to third baseman Sal Bando, who forced Bench at second. Dick Green's throw to Mike Hegan was late, as you could probably guess. Looks like Bench took out Green pretty good. 
  • Played at Riverfront Stadium, Game 2 is notable for another reason: Jackie Robinson made his final public appearance, throwing out the first pitch; he would die nine days later of a heart attack. He made a brief speech, expressing hope a black manager someday would be hired. 
  • Frank Robinson would do what Robinson did 28 years earlier, breaking the (managerial) color barrier with Cleveland in '75.
  • The A's would defeat the Reds in seven games and win their first World Series in 42 years. Of course, this was the beginning of a dynasty, with them winning the next two years.
  • This Series is memorable for me because I vividly remember yapping about it with my Little League teammates the next spring. We tried to recreate Rudi's catch in practice and marveled at Gene Tenace's Game 1 homers. 
  • What I wanted to recreate and discuss more was another play, this one from Game 3. I took great joy ribbing the numerous Reds fans about Bench being struck out on a trick play. With a runner on second in the eighth, the A's up by a run and a full count, Tenace signaled for an intentional walk only to at the last minute crouch back behind the dish, which Rollie Fingers painted with a fastball on the corner for strike three. Even now, I smile recalling it.

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