Saturday, March 10, 2012

C.S.I. Cardboard - 1974 Topps Fran Healy

This is my second attempt to take a card and try to find out what game the picture was taken at.  The first was last year with a 1994 Topps George Brett which you can read about here.  I decided to give it another shot when I received a trade package from Anthony at Get The Bat Off Your Shoulder and it included several Royals including the subject of this version of C.S.I. Cardboard, a 1974 Topps Fran Healy.

The Clues
First, we have the subject of the card, Kansas City Royals catcher, Fran Healy.  The second clue, and this is what originally caught my eye, was the play at the plate with #15 sliding into home.  White uniform, black or "midnight blue" letters (but no visible pinstripes?), #15, sideburns.....none other than the legendary Thurman Munson.  It appears that Munson is scoring a run as Healy is preparing to catch the throw.  Because of the Royals powder blues and the Yankees home whites, we can assume the game was played in New York.  Night game???   Hard to say, photography is not what it is today so we will have to go with the four things we "know":

     1.  Fran Healy was catching for the Royals.
     2.  Thurman Munson was playing for the Yankees.
     3.  Thurman Munson scored a run.
     4.  Game played at Yankee Stadium.

The Story
The Royals played the Yankees six times in New York during the 1973 season.  The Yankees scored a run in all six games.  Healy and Munson both appeared in three of those games, but Munson only scored a run in one of them.  Three scoring opportunities appear in the box score.  

The first was in the bottom of the 2nd after Munson reached on a fielder's choice when he grounded to Freddie Patek who threw to Cookie Rojas for a force out at second base.  Munson would move to second on an error by Patek during Gene Michael's at bat.  He would then move to third on a grounder to second by Horace Clarke.  Munson then scored on a single to left by Matty Alou.  It is doubtful that Munson would have had to slide trying to score from third on a single to left. (Not that it couldn't have happened.)

The second opportunity was in the bottom of the 4th when Munson tripled off Royals starter Dick Drago.  The next batter, Michael, lined to the second basemen for the second out of the inning and then Clarke singled to left scoring Munson.  Again, doubtful that Munson would have needed to slide on a single to left.

Munson's third and final scoring opportunity would come in the bottom of the 5th when he drew a walk off Royals reliever Steve Mingori (which was the other 74 Topps card Anthony sent...hmm!) moving Johnny Callison to second.  Michael was next and hit a double to left field (and I will assume to left-center here because of the angle of Healy in comparison to Munson sliding) scoring Callison and Munson.  This play is most likely the play pictured on the card.  Munson scoring from 1st on a double would have likely resulted in a somewhat close play at the plate, enough for Munson to have gotten dirty.  

The Yankees would go on to win that game 10-3.  Healy, the card's subject, would go 2 for 3 in the game with one RBI.  Munson, would end up going 3 for 3 with 2 runs scored and a walk.  He would raise his average to .294 with this perfect day.  Munson would be an All-Star during the 1973 season while also winning his first gold glove.

The Day
July 12, 1973 - Bottom of the 5th Inning

Case Closed!

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