One Man's Thoughts on Sports Card Collecting

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Common Cards, Uncommon Photography - Play At The Plate Edition

Over the years it has become a cliche that "the triple is the most exciting play in baseball."

Now don't get me wrong, triples are a lot of fun to watch - the initial excitement of the hit, watching the runner turn on that extra gear rounding second, the building tension of "will he make it??"  But to me, there was always a much more obvious candidate for baseball's most exciting play....

I speak of course of the play at the plate!

To me the play at the plate has all the virtues of a triple, as you can see the play developing, but then you also get the added excitement that scoring a run is on the line, plus you have the potential for a bone-jarring collision with the catcher.  In my opinion it's no contest which is "most exciting."

And now, here's a selection of cards that capture baseball's moment of truth - the play at the plate~!

1998 Pinnacle #77 - Ray Durham

Looks like Ray really brought the wood on this collision.  I love that the photographer also managed to catch both helmets flying through the air.

1995 UD Collector's Choice #55 - Sid Bream



Easily one of baseball's most famous plays at the plate, who can forget Sid Bream chugging around third and just barely beating Barry Bonds' throw to win Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS??


1999 Stadium Club #292 - Phil Nevin

From the photographer's perspective, the beauty of the play at the plate....

1999 Stadium Club #127 - Brady Anderson

....is that it can count as a photo for more than one player!

2012 Topps Chrome #29 - Carl Crawford

Crawford getting some air, while Salvador Perez is not having a very good day.

1998 Fleer #396 - Scott Servais

I love this shot.  Classic gear, old school mask, the eyes laser-focused on the ball even with a runner bearing down on him - to me it captures the essence of "catcher."

1993 Upper Deck #219 - Gary Carter

The victorious catcher and the vanquished baserunner! This card is a two-fer, as the back captures the moment before with Gary blocking the plate:


1996 UD Collector's Choice #304 - Kirt Manwaring

"Eeeeeek!!!"

1994 Topps #370 - Benny Santiago

A beautiful picture of Tim Teufel getting around Santiago's swipe tag.

1993 Topps #721 - Rick Wilkins

And last but not least, a great full-extension diving effort.  Love the way the mask is just starting to come off in this shot.

Until next time, may all your throws to the plate be right on target!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Progress On An Old Favorite

Last week I finally got around to updating my needs list to include some insert sets I've had my eye on.  It also prompted me to go search eBay to scratch a few cards off my checklist for one of my all-time favorite sets - the 1993 Score Select Chase Stars.

As luck would have it I managed to snag 4 cards from the same seller, so with combined shipping I got these for just $10:

396 career HRs, not too shabby

Career .312 batting average

Fuck this guy.  No really, fuck him.

One of my favorite baseball names, and a 5-time Gold Glover
As I've written before, these cards look so much better than their scan gives credit for.  I think these may be the first cards to use the Dufex technology, and I find them mesmerizing to look at.  I try not to overuse this, but this really is a set where if there is a player you like on the list, you MUST pick up a copy.

With the addition of these four I now need only 5 more to complete the 24-card set (I have a Griffey, but I want a second one to keep with this set).  Unfortunately there are a few expensive ones remaining with Griffey, Maddux (usually around $10) and Ripken (usually $15-$20).

But they will be mine.  Oh yes, they WILL be mine.

1993 Score Select Chase Stars Checklist
1 Fred McGriff
2 Ryne Sandberg
3 Ozzie Smith
4 Gary Sheffield
5 Darren Daulton
6 Andy Van Slyke
7 Barry Bonds
8 Tony Gwynn
9 Greg Maddux
10 Tom Glavine
11 John Franco
12 Lee Smith
13 Cecil Fielder
14 Roberto Alomar
15 Cal Ripken, Jr.
16 Edgar Martinez
17 Ivan Rodriguez
18 Kirby Puckett
19 Ken Griffey, Jr.
20 Joe Carter
21 Roger Clemens
22 Dave Fleming
23 Paul Molitor
24 Dennis Eckersley