Friday, October 4, 2013

5 Cards challenge #3

This 5 cards, 1 buck pack seemed like a no-brainer at first. I pulled the outstanding horizontal card from sorta the end of Series 2 - #660 - Miguel Cabrera. Kinda a hero number card I guess, though Hyun-Jin Ryu at #661 is actually the last card in the series, due to the no #7 of course.

It would be fun to write about Cabrera and his heroic card. Easy too. Too easy. But I pulled 3 Pitcher cards as well. I'm supposed to challenge myself with this little blogging exercise, ¿Si? No? Heck, it's my blog and I'll blog how I want to. I decided to pick from only the Pitchers.

I have previously called out Topps for their lazy Pitcher cards in 2013. Enough with the zoomed-in torso shots already! Let us see the ball diamond some. Blogging all the Sea Turtles would be a serious challenge, wading through all of those. Update is probably about to shortly dump scores more on us when the middle relievers all finally get their 2013 baseball cards, now that the season is over for most of them.

But this card grew on me quickly. It is of course, due to the lines. X! I like X. Draws you in from the edges. Then bangs the subject into the action. This pitch is going to make the hitter look like a fool.

Which it better, with that possibly lurking runner on 2nd base mirroring Turner's silhouette there - a 2nd set of interesting lines. Is the lurker in grey, or white? Base-runner, or fielder? A mystery.

And unlike many an action shot which captures the player's uniform billowing out until they look like a football player, Turner's uni stays cool, as if it doesn't want to interrupt the perfect pitching motion seemingly under way here.

But back to the X. Yumm. At first I thought the Marlins stadium had something going on to create that certain blurry background imagery. It immediately brought to mind one of my favorite cards from 2012 Update, Nate Eovaldi's. I'll show you that card some future day and ooohhh and ahh and bloggle all over that one then. Then I thought, no, just coincidence, as Turner is wearing the road uni, with his team's city on it. Wait. Road whites?

So I had to ask the Google what was going on. Leave it to the Marlins to make a home uniform that looks like a road uniform....not to mention using black uniforms in one of the warmest cities in MLB. At least their players seem to get some good baseball cards.

Anyhow, the stadium lines in the background set it all up. Then the flow of the pitcher's arms keep it going, common enough on all the pitcher torso cards. But the icing on the cake is the eyes. Right on the line. And no Pitcher Face. Calm. Cool. Turner is no fireballing gunslinger, but I wouldn't want him shooting at me in the OK Corral either.

I also like the back of this card, where Topps informs me "In 2012, 21-year-old Jacob was the youngest pitcher ever to win a game in both current Leagues in the same season. (Back in 1887, Cannonball Titcomb did it in the NL and the American Association.)"

You can't beat a card that namedrops 'ole (young?) Cannoball, now can you. Well, if you bother to read the backs at least.

The final item pushing this card onto my really-like-it list is where Turner sits in the Major Leagues. As a former #1 draft pick for the Tigers, he has had plenty of cards already, with a pretty early Rookie Card complete with the official RC logo. At 20 years old on that 2011 card, it makes me wonder if we have had a teen-aged MLB, true Topps Rookie Card yet? (And how long till we have a pre-teen Bowman card? Can't have too many prospect cards can we?)

But that is not my final intriguing pondering over this card. With such a young starting pitcher, it is of course too early to tell what kind of career he might have. But Turner went to the Marlins (along with a catching prospect Rob Brantly, also in Series 2) from Detroit, my team. The Tigers got a brilliant half-season rental on Anibal Sanchez, and a season-and-a-half from veteran 2nd Baseman Omar Infante, who just had the best season of his career and will have a lot of value on the Free Agent market this winter.

There is a lot of history between the Marlins and Tigers of course. Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski used to be the GM in Miami. Jim Leyland managed in both cities with Dombrowski in the Front Office. Then there is a previous famous trade where the Tigers landed card #660 this year, in exchange for a couple #1 draft picks. (Cabrera for Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller, amongst others).  How does he do it? Ownership changes make the Miami<>Detroit connection more coincidental than it appears on the surface. And the Cabrera trade will remain a bigger blockbuster due to the short contract terms left for Sanchez and Infante, for starters.

Perhaps unless Turner really blossoms on an apparently very promising young Marlins rotation. His 2013 Topps baseball card certainly bodes well for that, much more so than so many middling pitchers in all sets of baseball cards. This is just another one of those good baseball cards that never fail to famously remind me that in baseball, there's always next year. Especially for the Marlins.

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