Monday, February 25, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2010 Topps #161 Denard Span

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, February 25, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2010 Topps #161.
  • Player Name, position, team: Denard Span, outfielder, Minnesota Twins.
  • Major League Debut: April 6, 2008.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2009 stats (Twins): 145 G, 578 AB, 97 R, 180 H, 16 2B, 10 3B, 8 HR, 68 RBI, 23 SB, .415 SLG, 70 BB, 89 SO, .807 OPS, .311 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Twins #1st, June 2002. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 6. This is his third Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "'He's really turning into a great player,' hails teammate Scott Baker of Denard. 'He's patient...he can hit the ball when we've got guys on base. and he plays great defense. There's not a lot he can't do.'"
  • Commentary: Nothing like celebrating being the sole licensee of MLB Properties than to use the team logos prominently in the design of your baseball cards. Topps caught the wave and rode it back to become the sole manufacturer of MLB baseball cards (as you can see, I do not count those other companies...because they are not allowed to use the team logos...they have the feel of those late 80's - early 90's cards that came with pizza or some other kind of food). I was curious as to whether or not I could figure out what game the picture on the card was taken. The only clues I have is that the Twins were playing in Kansas City (I've seen Royals cards with similar backgrounds wearing their home jerseys) and that, based on the scoreboard, Arizona was playing at Houston, with #52 starting for the D-Backs. After careful research, the game depicted took place on August 23, 2009. How do I figure? Jon Garland (#52 for Arizona) was the starting pitcher that day against Houston, and by the time the picture was taken, Jeff Fulchino of the Astros (#39 in 2009) was on the mound. Fulchino was the fourth pitcher Houston used that day, coming in to start the 7th inning of that ball game (he stayed for 2/3'rds of the eighth). Fulchino was also the only pitcher with a number beginning with "3" used by the Astros that day. This would lead me to believe that the play on the card could have occurred in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Span caught a Alberto Callaspo flyball in centerfield. When he returned the ball to the infield, the picture was taken. Now that we've solved when the picture was taken, let's talk about the player. Because of the MLB Properties Rookie Card rule, Keiunta Denard Span's "Official" rookie cards came in 2008. But do you know what year and what product his first "REAL" rookie cards are from? You would have to go all the way back to the 2002 Topps 206 set (card #421) to find his first Topps card. That's six years before his first eponymous card. After six years in the Twins' farm system, Span was called up in 2008 as an injury replacement for Michael Cuddyer. In his rookie year, Span hit a high .294 with 6 home runs, 47 rbi's, and stole 18 bases. He was named to the 2008 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. After a fantastic 2009 campaign, where he led the American League in triples (10), including hitting a career high .312 (as of the end of the 2012 campaign), his 2010 was a bit of a letdown. Although he had 51 more at bats from 2009 to 2010 (578 to 629), he had 14 fewer hits (180 to 166), leading to a "disappointing" .264 average. In 2011, Span was limited to 70 games thanks in part to suffering from concussion-like symptoms during a game against the Indians that knocked him out for more than a month. After returning to the Twins lineup in August, but nine games later, was put back on the DL due to a shoulder injury that put him on the shelf through the middle of September. After the 2012 season, Span was traded to the Washington Nationals. He finished his five year run with the Twins with a .284 average, 23 home runs, 230 rbi's, 90 stolen bases, and an OPS of .746. He comes into the 2013 campaign as the Nationals' starting centerfielder, moving NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper to left field and keeping Jayson Werth in right. With a potent lineup behind him, it is hoped that Denard Span will have a great 2013 campaign.
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 20 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1980 Topps #225. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love when it's possible to "date stamp" a photo. Good detective work!