|2001 Stadium Club #107 Jose Valentin|
I assume this photo is from the 2000 season. I also assume it's a stolen base we're seeing. In 2000 Jose tied his best base-stealing season, with a blazing 19 stolen bases. And I think it's a safe assumption, but this looks like a road uniform, although the shadows make it tricky to tell white from gray. That means it's from one of 9 games in which Jose stole at least 1 base on the road: Toronto (2 in one game), Minnesota (2 again), Oakland, New York (2 games), Anaheim, Texas, Tampa Bay, Baltimore. That's about as much as I can divine from this image alone, although some other shots of road-gray White Sox from the set could provide additional clues.
I'm bored with this analysis. The mustache is too much for me. In this shot, he kind of reminds me of Keith Hernandez, actually.
Keith left the Cardinals before I knew much about baseball, but wore my favorite number, 37. The move to the Mets was probably a good one for him, since Al Hrabosky and Mike Shannon have been dominating our former-player-broadcaster positions for quite some time.
But back to Mr. Valentin. He also played for the Mets, although considerably later than Mr. Hernandez. He played all 7 games of the 2006 NLCS against the Cardinals at 2B. He hit .250 with a .333 OBP, not horrible for a second baseman, but the Cardinals pulled it out in game 7 when Adam Wainwright struck out Carlos Beltran looking (sorry Carlos, I know you're one of the good guys now).
Based on the angle of that base, and the angle he appears to be looking, I think he's looking at the ballboy - or ballgirl, we're equal opportunity here at Tenets of Wilson - in left field foul territory. I'm not sure why, maybe for some sort of complicated hidden ball trick. Those are very rarely pulled off on offense, and even more rarely with help from the opposing team's employees. Ah, so that's it, the left field ballboy is a plant! Jose's just waiting for him to whack the 3B on the head with those tiny stools they sit on so he can advance. My statistical sources say he neither stole third nor got ejected in those 9 games, so the plan must have been interrupted. There can only be one rational conclusion reached from this. The game was in Texas, and this guy saved the day for the Rangers:
|2011 Topps Opening Day - Mascots #M-23 Rangers Captain|
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