Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Ivy Collection - 2013 Topps #296 Didi Gregorius

I recently launched a new series I'm calling The Ivy Collection. I probably have hundreds, if not thousands of Cubs cards that feature ivy in the background, but this separate collection will focus more on visiting teams. You can find a link to the cards I already have in my collection in the right hand side bar under the Niches heading. If you come across any I don’t have, I’d love to add them to my collection.

For the past few years, Topps has used Getty Images as a source for their photographs, making today's card a lot easier to place than the older cards I've already showcased. Rather than jump right into Getty though, I decided to try to find the game using context clues first.

From the front, we know that the Reds played the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The ivy is green and full. As a Cubs fan, I know that's Darwin Barney sliding in to break up the double play.

We can also see from the back that Gregorius played in 129 minor league games in 2012, not leaving much room for time in the Majors. The last sentence in the blurb also mentions him being a September call up.

My first stop is over at his Baseball-Reference page.

From there, I see that he played in just eight games in 2012.

And luckily for me, just one of those eight games came against the Cubs and at Wrigley. The next step was to find when Barney got on base.

Darwin Barney grounded out in the 1st, 3rd and 5th before finally reaching on a single in the 7th. But as you can see by the inning summary above, he made it to third base on a single by Anthony Rizzo. Not a potential double play ball.

In the 9th, Barney followed up a David DeJesus single with another of his own. This time however, Rizzo grounded to second baseman Henry Rodriguez (not the former Cubs outfielder nor the former Cubs pitcher with the same name) who fed the ball to Gregorius to force Barney out at second. Rizzo was safe at first, thus no double play.

Maybe that's why Jeff of 2x3 Heroes sent me this card. He knew it didn't belong in his double play collection. Or it was a duplicate. Potayto. Pototto.

One more thing I wondered though, was if Gregorius even made an attempt at Rizzo. I would think that the fact that Gregorius still had the ball in hand and Barney is already underneath him, he would have just eaten it. Usually, the runner is still a few feet away from the bag when the relay is made.

Let's take a look at the original Getty Image.

See? Barney is already at the base and Gregorius still has the ball. Unless Barney was already on the move, which is possible with a first and third, no outs situation, there's probably no shot at Rizzo.

Anthony Rizzo isn't a Rickey Henderson type guy on the base paths, but he's no Cecil Fielder either.

But as you can see by the picture above from later in the sequence, Gregorius did make the throw. I guess since they were sacrificing the run anyway, he may as well try to turn two.

Well I didn't stop there, I found the video too. I tried to embed it, but it wasn't working so here's the link via

Sorry if an ad comes up, nothing I could do there. That was closer than it should have been at first. Just saying.

Thanks again, Jeff for the card!

No comments:

Post a Comment