Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 Topps #36 Miguel Montero

Last week, Albert Almora garnered a Topps Now card from events that occurred during a game I attended. I said in a recap post that as far as I know, I had never been to a game featured on a baseball card. I'm still waiting on delivery of said card, but with all the Cubs games I went to last year (8), I thought it would be fun to look deeper into the Cubs cards from 2016 Topps to see if any of them were from games I attended.

It's been a while since I broke down cards, tracking down the Getty source photo and cross referencing the game date with the box score over at Baseball Reference. In fact, I still have 2013 Topps Update cards in my draft folder from when I was working through that edition before my hiatus, which means I completely missed 2014 and 2015. Not to mention a couple of dozen drafts in my dormant 2014 Topps Blog. Maybe this will renew interest for me over there too, but for now, I'm going to skip ahead directly to 2016.

No spoilers, I'm not looking ahead. I'm just going to start randomly with Series 1 and post these when I get a chance. With a self imposed budget restriction due to my upcoming trip, there won't be too many new additions to my collection in the near future anyway.

The first Cubs card in the set is #36 Miguel Montero.

The first thing I noticed about the card is that Montero is not wearing the home pinstripe uniform. That can really help me narrow down the Getty search when I can add Wrigley to the search terms. Using "Cubs Miguel Montero 2015" generated 393 potential matches. As an example, if I was able to add Wrigley as a search term, that would have whittled it down by about half to 196 matches.

Luckily, I can rule out a ton of photos of Montero in his catcher's gear at first glance and just scan for batting images. Going back just over a year ago, I came across the image.

Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn
Dated June 19, 2015, the caption reads, "Miguel Montero #47 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Minnesota Twins on June 19, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Cubs 7-2."

I've been to Target Field once but that was in 2014 and the Twins played the Chicago White Sox that day. So I can safely rule out having attended this game.

As noted, the Cubs lost to the Twins 7-2. I headed over to Baseball Reference anyway to take a look at the box score. Both Cubs runs came on solo home runs by Anthony Rizzo. This was the first of a 3-game series in Minnesota with the Cubs winning the other two games.

With nothing specific in the caption to go on, I can't narrow it any further than one of Montero's three plate appearances. He singled to the left field, lined out to left field and struck out over the course of seeing 8 total pitches.


  1. Man, the Cubs are losing in current time and on your blog. They need to snap out of it (and get healthy).

    1. Hopefully this skid ends before my trip. I'm undefeated at Wrigley in 3 trips!