Thursday, March 7, 2013

2013 Topps NL RBI Leaders - feat. Alfonso Soriano

As I've done previously, I'm taking a closer look at the 2013 Topps Cubs team set card by card.

As the title says, today's topic is the NL RBI Leaders, card #272.

At first glance, this card makes me cringe. The National League RBI leaders are from two of the worst teams in baseball last year and one who got out of a PED suspension on a technicality? Yikes. But Alfonso Soriano is on the card, so into the Cubs collection it goes.

This was one of the tougher original photos to find. Soriano has a very consistent follow through and this particular photo is pretty tighly cropped. Didn't give me much to go on other than looking through all of the 2012 photos of Soriano on Getty's website. 

Photo by Brian Kersey (courtesy of Getty Images)
Despite several similar photos, the final giveaway was the orange blob right behind Soriano's helmet. The caption states this photo depicts an RBI single on August 31, 2012 against the San Francisco Giants.

According to the Baseball-Reference boxscore, Joe Mather led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk. Josh Vitters and Anthony Rizzo both struck out swinging and Joe Mather stole second base. Soriano hit a line drive on a 2-2 pitch to left field. Mather scored and Soriano advanced to second on the throw.

Soriano would also later hit a home run in a 2-4, 3 RBI day in the Cubs 6-4 victory.

Nothing much to say about the back of the card as it is just a list of the top 10. Although it is interesting to note that the top 4 guys did not make the playoffs.

Baseball-reference is full of interesting facts. Here is a little breakdown of most (but not all) of the guys Soriano drove in:
Self - 32 times (home runs, obviously)
David DeJesus - 15
Anthony Rizzo - 14 
Starlin Castro - 13
Darwin Barney -12
Bryan LaHair - 5
Luis Valbuena - 4
Tony Campana - 4

I guess if the team doesn't get guys on base for you, you have to do it yourself, hence doubling up the next two guys with his home runs.


  1. Great post, great card. Didn't think I'd live to see the day when a Petco Padre would lead the league in RBIs.

  2. That is so cool that you found the actual game picture.