Saturday, January 24, 2009

What happened on the card - Yankee edition

In terms of figuring out what happened when a photo was taken, no sets were better than 1997 and 1998 Upper Deck. In all the 1997 and some of the 1998 cards, there was a caption describing what was going on when the picture was taken. For example, Dwight Gooden's 1997 card features the celebration from his no-hitter. As it was a night game, it's unlikely Upper Deck photographers were there; the company probably bought a file photo.
Paul O'Neill's card is a bit more cryptic. It features him with bat in hand and says "posing for a baseball card photo, 6-1-96". O'Neill seems too intense to really be paying attention to the photographer; more likely he's taking practice swings in the on-deck circle. Both O'Neill and the Yankees had a good day that afternoon, was O'Neill was one for three with two walks, two runs scored and two RBI, as the Yankees won in Oakland 6-3.

The next year, Upper Deck didn't put captions on the cards, but they did commemorate many of the interleague games, as 1997 was the first year of that particular experiment. One of the cards featured Pedro Martinez's five-hit complete-game throttling of the Yankees, back when he was a Montreal Expo.

Like the 2008 Stadium Club Joba Chamberlain featured on a recent Dinged Corners post, this card commemorates a game I actually went to. While this card accurately displays Pedro's dominance on this day, it doesn't capture the ugly mood at Yankee Stadium, where there were many fights in the stands between frustrated Yankee fans and Pedro supporters waving Dominican flags. The ugly mood extended beneath the stands, as unbeknownst to the fans, David Wells got in a fight with George Steinbrenner in the clubhouse after being taken out of the game.

Does anyone else know of a card that features an image from a game they actually attended?

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