Thursday, June 25, 2009

Awesome night card, pt. 40

I am almost certain I will not be able to post again until sometime Friday, so I better write something now. Also, I'll be announcing the winner of "the completely random multiple choice guessing game" contest on the weekend, so get in your guesses (and I do mean guesses) on the previous post.

OK, the card featured above actually isn't awesome at all. From my perspective, it is "the saddest night card of all-time." This is a card of the key moment of Game 5 of the 1974 World Series. In fact it was the key play in the entire Series.

In 1974, baseball received a glimpse of the future with the first All-California World Series, Oakland vs. Los Angeles. The two-time World Series champions vs. the young upstarts. This was before I started following baseball, but if I was of "baseball-watching age," this would have been a big moment for me.

Oakland won the Series in 5 games for its third straight championship. The clincher was a solo home run by Joe Rudi in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the game tied 2-2, play was delayed because fans in the left-field stands were attempting to pelt Dodgers left fielder Bill Buckner with garbage. During those five minutes, reliever Mike Marshall didn't throw a single warm-up pitch.

Rudi, therefore, guessed Marshall's first pitch would be a fastball. He guessed correctly. And the ball rocketed accordingly into the left field seats. The A's won the game 3-2, and the Series.

And this is the point in which I'd like to direct your attention to the player watching Rudi round third base on his home run trip. It's none other than my favorite player of all-time, Ron Cey. And I ask you: how many cards have been produced in which a player is featured enduring one of his lowest moments of his baseball playing career?

Think about it. Baseball cards are all about accentuating the positive. Occasionally, you see a player striking out on a card, or fouling off a ball or looking awkward or goofy. But I don't think there is a card of Mitch Williams getting whiplash as he watches Joe Carter's game-winning home run in the 1993 World Series (I don't know, maybe there is).

So, although Cey didn't throw the home run pitch, he's going down with the ship on this play. And he's probably not feeling too good at the moment the photo was taken.

I've never considered this a "Ron Cey" card, but maybe I should now, just for the significance of his appearance on this night card.

1 comment:

  1. That is a great night card from a classic set. My compliments--it's hard to post something that is detrimental to a favorite team or player.