Tuesday, February 11, 2014

#318 Luis Valbuena

This morning we had one hot corner representative from the Windy City. This evening we go across town to see the other third baseman in Chicago.

#318 Luis Valbuena
First impression of what’s going on: Luis Valbuena is trying to score. It didn't happen enough last season (for my beloved Cubbies, I’m not picking on Luis). I'd like to think Valbuena is flipping off his haters as he jump slides home, thus it’ll get some Unnecessary Censorship status. More on the throwback uniforms in a bit.

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 29: Luis Valbuena #24 of the Chicago Cubs scores on a single by Nate Schierholtz in the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 29, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The Reality of the Photo: Can this really get a Play at the Plate designation since there is no one in the vicinity of the sliding Valbuena? In the uncropped photo, you can see Valbuena is holding his batting gloves and not shoving anything in the Seattle crowd’s collective faces. Also cropped out are third base coach, David Bell and the third base umpire. According to the BOXSCORE, the third base umpire for the game was Mike Winters.

The Cubs pulled one out in extra innings after Kevin Gregg blew the Save in the 9th. Here’s the play by play of the 6th inning.

Looks like Valbuena’s run tied the game at two and the Cubs took the lead on the next batter.

Since Nate Schierholtz advanced to second “on the throw”, I guess there was a play at the plate even though we can’t see it. The throw must have been up the line or cut off.

As for the uniforms, this was a Turn Back the Clock game, so the Cubs wore their 1909 throwbacks. Those with a little bit of baseball history knowledge will note this as the first year of the Cubs World Series drought. The Mariners wore a throwback uniform as well but since they were an expansion team from 1977, they opted to wear a Seattle Turks uniform. The Turks were a Northwestern League (Minors) team in Seattle at that time.

The screen grab above was taken from one of my favorite sites, sportslogos.net. They have a breakdown of each team by what uniform they wore for each game and the team's record while wearing each uniform during the season. I was only interested in this particular game, but I'll definitely go back when I have more time. What a great resource!

On to the back:

Rookie Fact: Luis’ first and only 2-HR game occurred on 6/20/09 at Wrigley Field.

Wait. What? Valbuena wasn’t a rookie with the Cubs, which means….gasp! He was their opponent! I found the BOXSCORE for the game, which also happened to be an extra inning affair. His first home run of the day came in the 5th to double the Indians lead to 2-0.


Later in the 13th, Valbuena tried to put the Cubs away with his second solo home run of the day.

Luckily for the Cubs, it wasn't enough as they managed their own rally against former and future Cub and fan favorite, Kerry Wood.

C’mon, Kerry. A game winning losing wild pitch against your former team? Thanks!

Information I’ll be tracking:

Card Number: #318
Player Name: Luis Valbuena
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Third Base
Game Date: June 29, 2013
Opponent: Seattle Mariners
Stadium: Safeco Field
Division: National League Central
Home/Away: Away
Outcome of the game: 5-3, Cubs over the Mariners, Win for the player depicted
Alternate/Throwback Jersey: Yes, 1909 Chicago Cubs
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Birthdate: 11/30/1985
Birthplace: Venezuela
Cameos by: N/A
Photographer: Otto Greule Jr.
Niche collections this card could fit into: Throwback/Alternate Jersey, Unnecessary Censorship, Play at the Plate, High Socks

My Grade: I may be biased towards the Cubs but I think most collectors would give this card an A. Not only is it a great shot of Valbuena sliding home, but it's a full shot of the throwback uniform. Valbuena is also sporting the high socks in this photo, not something he normally does.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, totally deserves an A. I like most throwback jerseys, this one included.