Topps had high hopes for Josh Vitters going into 2013. He had an autograph card in Opening Day and was one of the three Cubs featured in the Spring Fever promotion which included a base card and another autograph. He also had Million Dollar Chase autograph, as well as a wrapper redemption autograph. Whew! I wouldn't even doubt that I'm even missing a few more.
I think I was putting this one off, waiting for Vitters to make his 2013 Cubs debut. That never happened, so here we are. Aside from that, the card itself is pretty good. Tight, well cropped shot. You got some eyeblack and an interesting, though not completely embarrassing tongue biting facial expression.
|Photo by Brian D. Kersey (courtesy of Getty Images)|
In the top of the second, Vitters started a double play off the bat of Hunter Pence but threw to second, so not that play. Joaquin Arias led off the seventh inning with a groundout to Vitters. And in the bottom of the 8th, with runners on first and third with 1 out, Hunter Pence hit a weak ground ball to third base again and was out at first.
Based on the sequence of photos also available from that game, I'm going to say this is the Arias ground ball from the 7th inning. Another photo shows Vitters on the infield grass throwing the ball to first base, something more indicative of a weak ground ball. And you'll notice the Getty Image numbers is several hundred numbers higher leading me to believe it came later in the game.
|Same photographer, different location.|
The Cubs would win 6-4 for their 51st win of the season.
The back of the card shows a lot of minor league experience for Vitters. You can see why he got the call with the numbers he put up in Iowa in 2012, but unfortunately, it didn't quite translate to the Major League level. We'll see what 2014 brings the Cubs at third base. Maybe Vitters will get his 100th career at-bat.
It had to be hard for the guys at Topps to pick Career Chase stats for guys with a just a handful of games worth of experience. I don't think Tris Speaker has anything to worry about with his doubles record.