Thursday, August 13, 2009

When is this 2009 OPC card? #371 Carlos Lee

First off, this is an interesting photo of Carlos Lee. While it's great to see him about to catch a fly ball, there are two problems: 1) it's a routine fly ball, making it less than totally exciting and 2) his glove is obscuring his face. If it were a more unusual catch, I could forgive the blocked face.

I plan on showing a series of the best and worst cards from this set coming up, and this will be among the worst cards.

Anyway, let's see if we can date the photo.

Here's what we know:

  • That's the left-field scoreboard at Minute Maid Park so this is an Astros home game.
  • Other games that day include the Padres visiting the Marlins, the Mets visiting the Diamondbacks, and the Cubs visiting the Cardinals.
  • The scoreboard at this stadium doesn't just show basic totals, though. It shows full linescores for each game, meaning that, for example, the Padres scored 1 run in the 2nd inning and 1 run in the 3rd inning of their game. This should make it pretty easy to identify the date.
Turns out that the Padres visited the Marlins for just one 3-game serious in 2008. By clicking on the 3 box scores, it's easy to figure out that the day in question was May 4th, 2008, based on this box score. We can also see the NYM/ARI and CHI/STL matchups from that day. Turns out that the Astros hosted the Brewers that day and won in the 12th inning.

Interestingly, Lee was taken out of this game after he made the last out in the 9th inning. I'm not sure why that would happen unless he had a minor injury of some sort. He played in the next series of games so he couldn't have gotten very badly injured, if at all. Checking out the box score, Lee had two outfield assists in the first two innings!

As for outs that Lee recorded in the game, he caught a Ryan Bruan fly ball in the 4th inning and a Prince Fielder fly ball in the 7th inning. This photo has got to be one of those two balls. With a game start time of 1:06 PM central, this photo was taken sometime roughly around 3:00 to 4:00 PM eastern on 5/4/2008.


Carlos Lee =

Carol's eel
Real close


Lee is often overlooked as being one of the best players in the game, but among guys with at least 4500 plate appearances since 2002, he's in the top 15 for OPS+.


  1. Check out the Corey Hart OPC card. His face is TOTALLY obscured by his glove. What a weird shot.

  2. How about Felix Pie? That card is on my worst list.

  3. you have obviously never watched Lee play the outfield for the Astros...there is no such thing as routine.