Sunday, 8 March 2009

Testing the Power of the Internet

On many occasions I have seen the power of the Internet come to life when a blogger is stumped as to the identity of certain players in the background of cards, what set a card belongs to, or various other obscure minutiae that is part of the allure of baseball and baseball card collecting. Invariably another reader is able to fill in the missing information just because the internet has such far reaching exposure to so many people with the same interests but different backgrounds.

Let's test the power of the Internet. Below is a 1991 Topps Rickey Henderson card #391. I have determined that he sliding back into first base. It isn't second base because I am assuming you would be able to see home plate in the background from that angle if Rickey was at second. If it was third base, you should see the outfield in the background and that isn't the case either. What I am trying to figure out is who is applying the tag during the pick-off attempt? My guess is Frank Thomas. He had just started playing first base for Chicago in 1990, which would make him one of 13 American League candidates since I can assume Rickey is not being tagged by Mark McGwire, his Oakland teammate. The black armband is something I kind of remember Frank Thomas wearing and that would be the right color to be a White Sox. The size of the biceps and the color of the skin look right too. I don't think he looks like Cecil Fielder or Fred McGriff, but I can't tell for sure.

OK, Internet, do your thing. Who is the first baseman in this picture? If we have a winner, there may be a prize which I have yet to determine, but stay tuned... Bonus points if you can convince me as to where this game is being played.


  1. Looks to me like Rickey is wearing Rickey's home uniform (since it says "Athletics" instead of "Oakland"), so I'll say it's in Oakland. It's also a day game.

    The other player has a first baseman's mitt and a black cap. That would narrow it to the White Sox, Tigers, possibly the Orioles, Red Sox or Yankees. It just doesn't look the right shade for the latter 3.

    The White Sox played 6 games in Oakland in 1990. All except September 19 were either at night or had a white 1B (Kittle or Lyons). On 9/19, Rickey would have been held on in the 1st and 6th innings.

    If that's a Tiger hat, it had to be Fielder on 9/22/90 in the 5th inning (the only time he would have been held on in a day game).

    I think it's Thomas on 9/19.

  2. Wow, that only took 3 hours. And not only do we have a likely I.D., we may have the exact game in which this picture was taken. Perhaps by the lack of dirt on Rickey's uniform we might assume the first inning? We may already have a winner, though...