Thursday, February 6, 2014

#222 Vernon Wells

Randomizer finally got to the Yankees.

#222 Vernon Wells
First impression of what’s going on: Looks like a home run. Everybody seems pretty excited, including Wells, so maybe it’s a walk off.

I know Jimmy Kimmel does this as a skit on his show sometimes. I’ve heard DJs do it for songs. Now Topps is in on the act doing Unnecessary Censorship. The way Wells’ hand is cropped, you’d think he was flipping the bird. I posted another card earlier in this blog where it was cropped in this manner too, so I guess I’m going to have to go back and put it in the Censorship niche.

Here’s a funnier, video version of what Topps is essentially doing to Wells by cropping his fist:

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 05: Left fielder Vernon Wells #12 of the New York Yankees reacts after hitting a game-winning walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on July 5, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
The Reality of the Photo: So it was a walk off, but just a single. But if that's all you need, I guess you don’t have to swing for the fences. Let’s take a look at the BOXSCORE and see how Vernon Wells got there.

Looks like a tight game, 2-1 heading into the 9th inning. The Orioles brought in their closer, Jim Johnson, but it slowly fell apart after that.

It even made the top five plays of the game, which most walk offs should:

Wells’ previous hit of the game was a two out single where he later scored on a Luis Cruz line drive to left field.

On to the back:

Rookie Fact: Vernon threw out a runner at second base in his second MLB inning.
After this morning’s Rookie Fact debacle, I decided to double check this one too. Wells made his MLB debut on August 30, 1999 as the starting centerfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays.

As the inning recap shows, Todd Walker of the Minnesota Twins hit a line drive single to center to lead off the second inning. It must have been in the gap for him to think about going for two. But Wells got to it and threw Walker out. That has to rank up there as one of the better "Welcome to the Big Leagues" moments.

With 15 seasons in the books, the stats don’t leave room for a blurb on the back of the card. But there’s some red text, meaning Vernon Wells led the league in something! In 2003, Wells led all of Major League Baseball with 215 hits and tied for the American League lead with 49 doubles.

Information I’ll be tracking:

Card Number: #222
Player Name: Vernon Wells
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Outfield
Game Date: July 5, 2013
Opponent: Baltimore Orioles
Stadium: Yankee Stadium
Division: American League East
Home/Away: Home
Outcome of the game: 3-2, Yankees over Orioles, Win for the player depicted
Alternate/Throwback Jersey: No
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Birthdate: 12/8/1978
Birthplace: Louisiana
Cameos by: N/A
Photographer: Andy Marlin
Niche collections this card could fit into: Walk Off, Celebration, Unnecessary Censorship, League Leader in Italics

My Grade: The card had all the trademarks of a top notch card. Celebrating a walk off hit by a former league leader but Topps had to ruin it with its censorship. Overall though it is a pretty decent card so it gets a B+.

1 comment:

  1. How long has Topps been buying images from databases like Getty instead of using their own photographers? That explains why photos are used repeatedly now.