Saturday, October 12, 2013

2013 NLCS Game #1: Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran's performance in game #1 of the NLCS last night was nothing short of spectacular.  Beltran made three key plays to contribute to all three runs in the Cardinals' 13-inning victory over the Dodgers to take the first game of series:
1.  In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Beltran hit a double that bounced off of the outfield wall against Zack Greinke to score two runs for a 2-0 lead.
2.  In the top of the 10th inning, with Dodger runner Mark Ellis on third base, Beltran caught a fly ball in the outfield, and then made a nearly perfect one-hop throw to catcher, Yadier Molina, to get the potential winning Dodger run out at homeplate.  
3.  In the bottom of the 13th inning, Beltran knocked in the winning run to end game one of the NLCS after 4 hours and 47 minutes of playing time.
Carlos Beltran's 2000 Topps #178 sophomore card was produced a full 5 years after his rookie card.  Beltran's 2nd card also represents the first time that both his name and photo matched each other on the same Topps card. 

Carlos Beltran's 1995 Topps Traded #12T/#18T rookie cards, in my opinion, represent one of the worst errors in modern Topps card history (something on the caliber of B.Buckner letting the ball go between his legs in the '86 World Series).  How many players out there have two rookie cards to represent one?  Sure, Ripken had an '82 Topps multi-player true rookie card along with his more popular '82 Topps Traded solo-player rookie card, but Beltran's rookie card is split between his picture on one card with his name on another.  Price guides list card #18T as Beltran's rookie with a greater value, but that's not Beltran photo on the card.  Beltran's picture is shown on card #12T with another players name and data on the back.  I would argue that the card with the correct picture represents Beltran's true rookie, but how can a collector buy one without the other?  These two cards must be purchased together as far as I'm concerned, and the value of Beltran's rookie card can only be represented by the combined value of both cards.  This error is so annoying that I still can't figure out why Topps never corrected it.  Oh well.

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