Monday, January 14, 2013

Looking Back: 2012 Topps

After having spent the better part of the last two days sick in bed, I will admit cards haven't crossed my mind all that much. I thought I had a great idea for a blog post, but then again, it may have just been a Nyquil-infused dream...

Feeling somewhat better this afternoon, I took out my 2012 Topps set, and actually looked at each individual card. It came to me that I've spent most of my time worrying about the little number in the upper corner on the back of the card, or which pocket on what page in the binder the card is going into, rather than just taking the card for what it is.

Those of you who built the set no doubt are aware of the great action shots Topps used for the 2012 edition. I don't know if I could choose just one card as my favorite, but these three cards stood out for me:

The Captain
I should disclose that Derek Jeter is my favorite MLB player, but I wouldn't have chosen this card if it weren't for the photo. Jeter has taken some heat during his career as being an average shortstop at best, but one of the most indelible images to me is that of Jeter deep in the hole at short, ranging to his right, gloving the ball, and throwing across the diamond to get the runner.

As good as Gold

From my Little League through American Legion playing days, I was a catcher. Although Dale Murphy was my favorite player growing up, I always had a soft spot for guys like Carlton Fisk, Ivan Rodriguez, Jody Davis, Bruce Benedict, and Benito Santiago. In fact, Santiago was the reason I wore #9, and I begged my coaches to get me a uniform with 09 on the back just like Benny. But I digress...

For my money, Yadier Molina is the best catcher in the majors. Strong throwing arm, excellent blocking of balls in the dirt, great game-calling skills, and perhaps the quickest pop time in MLB. Five Gold Gloves helps cement his ability as well.

I think what catches my attention most on this card is the gold-colored Rawlings tags on Yadi's chest protector and mitt. Not only do you see Molina getting ready to ditch the mask in order to make the play, you also see the Rawlings  mark of excellence, proof of being the gold standard when it comes to catching.

 
He is....safe!
The last card I chose features Nationals P Tom Gorzelanny in collision at home plate with the Atlanta's Brian McCann. I have seen a few cards feature home plate collisions in the past, but I don't recall any of them featuring a pitcher.

Seeing the ball in front of McCann made me think the Gorzelanny was safe, but I had to do some extra research to see exactly what happened. Thanks to baseball-reference.com and the Four-Letter Network's recap of the game, it turns out Gorzelanny was indeed safe, but twisted his right ankle in the collision, scoring from 1st on a triple. That's great hustle!

I am very much looking forward to the 2013 releases and hoping that there are some great moments captured on cardboard.

Until next time,

Ryan

2 comments:

  1. All of these are among my favorites from 2012 as well, especially the Gorzelanny. I'd always assumed he was safe on the play as well, but it's good to get confirmation.

    Nice post!

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  2. I had always wondered about the Gorzelanny play as well. Good to know. I wrote a post of my favorites from 2012 Topps as well, and that one was up there.

    I feel like I've come across other bloggers who were catchers in their playing days - I wonder how many are out there? I was a converted catcher when I was 8 or 9, which I hated at first, but after a few games, I was hooked, and played it all the way til high school. But I fancied myself a shortstop before that, so I always wore #8, after Cal Ripken.

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