Wednesday, March 27, 2013

1992 Donruss Delino DeShields

On Sunday, I pulled a 1992 Donruss Delino DeShields card in my repack box and mentioned trying to find the details behind the photo. Generally, I save my investigations for Cubs cards but I'm making an exception for this one because DeShields was a future Cub and the play looked interesting. I thought this would be easier than it was but am confident in my final answer.

By the uniforms, I can tell this is a Expos @ Braves game, presumably from 1991. The sliding Brave is pitcher Tom Glavine, which helps considerably. Had it been a position player, they are more likely to have played in multiple games in a series. I figured Glavine played in less games against the Expos than DeShields played against the Braves so I started with Glavine.

Sure enough, Glavine played in only three games against the Expos in 1991 but only one in Atlanta. Unfortunately (for my investigation anyway), on June 9, 1991, Glavine reached base three times that day. He singled to open up the bottom of the 2nd inning. Otis Nixon promptly grounded into a 4-3 double play. Winner? Maybe.

But then, Glavine reached base on an error by DeShields in the 5th which moved Rafael Belliard to second. According to the boxscore, Nixon then singled to shortstop and Belliard was thrown out at home. Must have been a ball hit deep into the hole or up the middle to get credit for a single. But then why did Belliard try to score from second on an infield hit? Either way, no play at second so this was not the play on the card.

Finally, Glavine again reached base on an error in the bottom of the 7th. This time, he was laying down a sacrifice bunt to move Belliard to second when Expos first baseman, Larry Walker threw the ball away and both runners were safe. With one out, Otis Nixon then grounded to third base where there was a force out at second. There is no mention of a relay to first for an attempted double play, but Nixon was safe at first. With one out, I can't imagine them not attempting the double play so this one is a definite possibility as well.

I double checked Glavine's batting history as well to make sure he wasn't used as a pinch hitter or pinch runner in any of the other games but didn't see anything.

Here is why I think this is the first play and not the last. Spike Owen. Yep, the Expos shortstop on the ground behind Glavine. In the first play, the ball was hit to DeShields at second base. I assume Owen was running over to cover the bag but DeShields took the play for himself to turn two.

In the last play, the ball was hit to the third baseman. On balls hit the left side of the infield, the second baseman covers the bag on a double play so DeShields would be there and Owen would have been out of the picture, probably backing up or covering third, especially with a runner moving from second to third.

That's my official interpretation of the boxscore and card. Can anyone find a fault in my logic?

1 comment:

  1. Nope, I think your covered your bases. Well done!