Doppelganger: 1994 Fleer/Score Terry Steinbach

My latest Doppelgangers (two cards from different manufacturers featuring different photos of the same play) come from 1994 Fleer and Score, and involves a play at the plate involving A’s catcher Terry Steinbach and Mariners catcher Bill Haselman.
1994 Fleer - Score Terry Steinbach
Here’s what I believe to be the play pictured: August 4th, 1993, Mariners at Oakland on a Wednesday afternoon. In the top of the 7th, the Mariners are leading 4-2 and Bill Haselman draws a walk off Kelly Downs. Omar Vizquel comes up next, singles up the middle and Haselman moves over to third. Mike Felder came up next, and the runners must’ve been going because Felder hit the ball to A’s 2nd Baseman Brent Gates who threw to Steinbach to get Haselman out at home. Felder got to first on a fielder’s choice, but neither he nor Vizquel would score.

The Mariners would hang on to that lead going into the bottom of the 9th, and starter Tim Leary was cruising along. After Leary gave up a leadoff triple to Ruben Sierra, Dennis Powell was brought in to face Lance Blankenship, walked him, and that was it for Powell. Jeff Nelson comes in, gives up two runs, loads the bases and plunks Mike Bordick to drive in the winning run. Athletics 5, Mariners 4.


My goodness! Where are my manners?

This past Monday I was featured in the latest edition of Nachos Grande’sBetter Know A Blogger” series, and unthinking cad that I was, I forgot to thank him here in my own blog. Thank you, kind sir, for stretching the definition of a “theme week” and allowing me to take part.

And for the record, there’s no truth to the rumor that Nachos Grande is related to Ariana Grande.  That being said, I couldn’t say whether or not he’s got one less problem wit’out cha.

Doppelgangers: 1994 Score/Collector’s Choice Greg Myers

For a while in the 1990’s, I had a sort of sub-collection going of cards that featured the same play but different photos. I didn’t stop collecting these types of cards as much as the supply (or my awareness, anyway) dwindled as the number of sets declined.

I’ve been meaning to share some of these pairs for a year or two; Now’s as good a time as any to start with this lovely pair of Greg Myers cards from 1994 Score and 1994 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice:
1994 Greg Myers Score and Collectors Choice
At first glance, it looks like the same photo, but when you look closer you can see that the photos were taken from slightly different angles… but at the same moment.

Despite the way we’ve been conditioned for the past dozen years, this particular #34 with the Red Sox is NOT David Ortiz… rather it’s 3rd baseman Scott Cooper.

I think I figured out which play is involved. Since two different card companies used similar photos in 1994, I feel comfortable in saying that the photo is from 1993. If one looks at day games involving the Angels in Fenway, and then eliminated games where Greg Myers did not play, Scott Cooper didn’t get on base or scored only on home runs, then that leaves Sunday, May 2nd. In the 3rd inning Cooper is on third, John Valentin on 1st and Tony Pena hits into a 5-2 fielder’s choice. Despite the FC, the Red Sox would go on to score 3 runs that inning and won the game 4-3.

Does anybody know of any other “doppelgangers” like these?
I’ve got a few more pairs to feature, but I’m sure there are more out there than the ones I’ve stumbled across. Please let me know, and I’ll add them to my collection and feature them here.

Rockin’ The Suburbs

Like pretty much everybody else, I was shocked and stunned when the word got out that the Atlanta Braves would be leaving not-yet-legal-drinking-age-if-it-were-a-person Turner Field for a new ballpark constructed specifically for them in Cobb County, north of the city of Atlanta.

2010 Upper Deck #542 - Atlanta Braves BP - Courtesy of COMC.com

2010 Upper Deck #542 – Atlanta Braves BP – Courtesy of COMC.com

From a sheer business standpoint, it’s a no-brainer.  Your lease is coming up, someone’s gonna give you a far better deal, you jump at it.

From a more subjective standpoint, this seems kind of shifty somehow.  Of course, as a Mets fan, I don’t need any encouragement towards thinking that the Braves are pond scum.

I also wonder what this will do to the Braves attendance.  On the website dedicated to this project, they’ve got a “blood spatter” map that shows that the new ballpark is in the heart of Braves country, at least when you consider where the people buying tickets are located… but that’s where the ticket buyers live.  The real question is “Where are they coming from when they go to games?”   How many of them go to weeknight games from work, and how many work in Atlanta?

1994 Score Atlanta Braves Checklist

I know this isn’t Turner Field, but all of my Braves “stadium” cards feature Fulton County Stadium.

As someone who follows minor league baseball in terms of both prospects and the business thereof, the other thing that sprung to  mind is the plight of the AAA Gwinnett Braves.

The Braves talked up a good game when they moved their AAA team to a different Atlanta suburb from the one they’re moving the big team to.  It sounded great on paper… Putting a minor league team into a market where they have an instant fan base.  The Brooklyn Cyclones do great in the Mets’ backyard… The Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Reading Fightin’ Phils do extremely well in the shadow of Philadelphia, as do the Frisco Roughriders in suburban Dallas/Ft. Worth.

But check out the average attendance figures for the G-Braves since they moved to Gwinnett County:

2009:  First season, brand new ballpark, disappointing honeymoon – 5,966 avg. attendance, 12th in the International League, 20th in AAA

2010:  4,818, 13th in the IL, 26th in AAA

2011:  5,095, 12th in the IL, 24th in AAA

2012:  4,680, 12th in the IL, 26th in AAA

2013:  4,762, 13th in the IL, 26th in AAA

…So in 5 seasons in suburban Atlanta, the G-Braves have never averaged 6,000 fans per game, and have never finished higher than 12th in the league in average attendance or 20th in AAA.  I know there are probably several dozen reasons why it doesn’t apply to the Major League club, but it does makes me wonder.

I  do hope that this is a bad move for the Braves, because the fewer chanting, foam tomahawk-waving zombies there are, the better.

At any rate, it’s all good for the Atlanta Braves, because in their new ballpark they’ll be rockin’ the suburbs…

 


A message to readers of The Shlabotnik Report: I’ve noticed that many of the blogrolls show my most recent post as being from this past Friday, but as you may have noticed, that is decidedly not the case.

Please be aware that I publish every day, usually around 7am EST, so if I’m not showing up on the blogroll of your choice, please don’t think that I’ve abandoned you.

Thank you,

Joe S.