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Mystery Photo #5
2006-08-15 09:36
by Score Bard

Our fifth mystery photo comes courtesy of Jon Weisman. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help figure out the who/when/where of the photo.

Click on the image for a larger view.

Note: I'm running low on photos. If you have any old MLB photos that might suit this game, please send 'em in to mystery At humbug .com.

Comments (93)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-15 09:39:51
1.   Bob Timmermann
The Tigers! Again!
2006-08-15 09:46:31
2.   ChuckM
That's gotta be Toronto they're playing against-you can tell by the numbers that are split in half by white...
2006-08-15 09:47:18
3.   Ravenscar
And even if blurry, those wacky old white-front helmets. You beat me to it!
2006-08-15 09:57:41
4.   Humma Kavula
Does anybody else think that the second base umpire is signalling an out -- that this is either a double play or a just-missed double play?
2006-08-15 10:08:08
5.   Score Bard
4 Yes, which makes me think that #28 on the Tigers is a pitcher, not a first baseman.
2006-08-15 10:09:49
6.   Humma Kavula
5 Adding to that, the only infielder for Detroit I could find in the last 20 years that wore #28 is Greg Norton.

Please excuse the way that sentence is written. In short -- it's gotta be a pitcher. Maybe Danny Patterson.

2006-08-15 10:12:33
7.   Humma Kavula
Of course, "Patterson" looks like it's way too long for the name on the back of the uni.

Jerry Ujdur wore #28 for the Tigers in the early 80s.

2006-08-15 10:14:40
8.   DXMachina
6 Yeah, Norton's the only guy listed as a 1B for Detroit since 1977. and he's right-handed.

I agree, it has to be a pitcher.

2006-08-15 10:15:36
9.   DXMachina
Ujdur is also right-handed.
2006-08-15 10:16:10
10.   jkrometis
Ujdur was right-handed, so it's not him. Patterson, too. The Blue Jays are at home, as indicated by the field surface & the uniforms.
2006-08-15 10:16:56
11.   jkrometis
whoops, sorry...
2006-08-15 10:17:33
12.   Humma Kavula
Jim Crawford was a lefty and wore #28.
2006-08-15 10:18:18
13.   vockins
If he's a pitcher, why does he have a batting glove?
2006-08-15 10:18:50
14.   DXMachina
12 Yes, but was SkyDome open yet when Crawford was with the Tigers?
2006-08-15 10:19:29
15.   jkrometis
Random question, just 'cause I'm wondering: Where is third base??
2006-08-15 10:19:38
16.   DXMachina
13 Good catch!
2006-08-15 10:21:01
17.   DXMachina
15 It was a cost saving move back when the Canadian dollar was really low versus US.
2006-08-15 10:22:02
18.   jkrometis
...and the pitcher's mound? It almost looks like we're looking from third base into left field, but I have no idea why the players would be doing what they're doing in that case...
2006-08-15 10:25:20
19.   Humma Kavula
Is there any chance that the number is 26 and not 28?
2006-08-15 10:26:35
20.   DXMachina
It's definitely first base. You can see the running lane. Also, the only guy who would overrun third in that manner is Jimmy Piersall, and he never played for the Jays.
2006-08-15 10:26:40
21.   jkrometis
Oh, and if it's at third, then why would a lefty (i.e. not at SS or 3B) be covering the bag?
2006-08-15 10:28:24
22.   jkrometis
I can't see how it could be 26 & not 28...
2006-08-15 10:28:52
23.   Jerry
I think it's third base. Or maybe the photo's been flipped backwards?
2006-08-15 10:29:28
24.   mehmattski
It doesn't have to be SkyDome, as Exhibition Field also had an artificial surface:

2006-08-15 10:30:35
25.   DXMachina
It is interesting that the field of view has managed to avoid every other Tiger fielder. Likely a groundball to the right side, so the shortstop is covering the bag.
2006-08-15 10:33:32
26.   Score Bard
Skydome opened in 1989.

The Blue Jays changed their uniform in 1997.

So this is between 1989-1996.

2006-08-15 10:34:25
27.   Score Bard
If the photo were flipped backward, the 3 in the corner would be reversed.
2006-08-15 10:34:55
28.   jkrometis
DXMachina's right - it has to be first due to the marking on the baseline. But I still can't figure out how third or the mound aren't in the picture. You can see the edge of the dirt around second base. Draw a line from that, parallel to the first baseline, and it seems like third has to be in the field of view somewhere. Perhaps it's been photoshopped? ;-) (See Ken's post on Catfish Stew yesterday)

For reference, here's a photo of SkyDome.

mehmattski - that pic appears to be of SkyDome...

2006-08-15 10:35:32
29.   jkrometis
Whoops - here's a photo of SkyDome:
2006-08-15 10:39:25
30.   DXMachina
Yup, definitely the Dome. I think that the reason you don't see third (or the mound) is just that a telephoto lens was used, so the field of view is just narrow to show them.
2006-08-15 10:39:45
31.   Shaun P
So, what Toronto first base coach wore #25 between 1989 and 1996?
2006-08-15 10:39:51
32.   Jerry
Well, if it's third base, that outfield wall seems very low, and the distance marker (starting with a 3) seems oddly placed. Maybe it is first--but that doesn't explain the mysterious disappearance of third base and the mound.
2006-08-15 10:42:36
33.   jkrometis
Is there a good reference somewhere for uniform numbers?
2006-08-15 10:43:20
34.   Sam DC
Can't you just see the beginnings of the mound in the middle left?
2006-08-15 10:43:59
35.   jkrometis
The Detroit player's uniform looks too dark to be from 1992-1994:
2006-08-15 10:44:55
36.   DXMachina
There's another AL team that wears black and orange. It could be Jim Traber of the Orioles, who played 69 games at 1B for them in 1989.
2006-08-15 10:45:03
37.   jkrometis
Sam DC - Maybe, and I'll buy DXMachina's argument about a lens skewing things a bit...
2006-08-15 10:46:16
38.   jkrometis
Good call! I'm from Baltimore and I totally forgot that. Stupid me! Or maybe it's Bob's fault, or ESPN's fault for finally covering them & getting them in our mind...
2006-08-15 10:47:13
39.   jkrometis
Totally wild-ass guess - it's the series at the end of the year where the upstart Orioles' dream season ended...
2006-08-15 10:50:36
40.   jkrometis
The batter running up the first baseline is right-handed (helmet & batting glove)
2006-08-15 10:51:41
41.   Sam DC
Is that bunting hanging down over on the third base foul line, or a person falling out of the stands, or . . .
2006-08-15 10:53:56
42.   DXMachina
I think the coach is Mike Squires, who was a coach for the Jays in '89, and wore #25 as a player.
2006-08-15 10:54:39
43.   Score Bard
41 I think that's the ball(boy/girl/dude), sitting on a stool.
2006-08-15 10:55:44
44.   mehmattski
42 Damn, I was looking that up as you posted it.
2006-08-15 10:56:06
45.   Shaun P
The Blue Jays had a player wearing Number 25 every year except 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1996.

Since it has to be SkyDome, this is either 1989, 1990, or 1996.

Blue Jays coaches in 1989:
John McLaren, Mike Squires, John Sullivan, Al Widmar

Blue Jays coaches in 1990:
Galen Cisco, John McLaren, Mike Squires, John Sullivan, Gene Tenace, Hector Torres

Blue Jays coaches in 1996:
Alfredo Griffin, Garth Iorg, Nick Leyva, Mel Queen, Gene Tenace, Willie Upshaw

Did any of these guys wear 25 as players?

2006-08-15 10:59:16
46.   jkrometis
My WAG was wrong - Traber didn't play 1st during that final series. They also played at SkyDome July 4-6.
2006-08-15 10:59:16
47.   mehmattski
The next guy to play 1B for the Orioles and wear #28 was Jack Voight, for 5 games (26 TC) in 1993. But by then Squires was no longer the first base coach.
2006-08-15 10:59:36
48.   Shaun P
42 Thanks for answering my question, DXMachina!

In '89/'90, the Tigers road uniform spelled out Detroit in block letters, so I think 36 is right - that's an Orioles pitcher.

2006-08-15 11:05:41
49.   Cliff Corcoran
The Blue Jays stopped wearing the white front panels full time in 1993 and at all in 1994, so this is no later than 1993 and likely 1992 or before. They did not wear belts before 1989. Likewise, that Baltimore road uniform was new for 1989 so this is likely between 1989 and 1992, but could be 1993.
2006-08-15 11:07:11
50.   Shaun P
46 I think it is Traber. If that's true, and it is a double play, it must have been July 4, 1989 or July 6, 1989 . . . no double plays on the 5th . . .
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-15 11:07:33
51.   DXMachina
I think it's this game, on 7/6/89:

It's one of two possible plays:

BLUE JAYS 6TH: Brenly forced Lee (first to shortstop);

BLUE JAYS 8TH: Lee grounded into a double play (second to shortstop to first)
[Borders out at second];

So, is he safe, or is he out? Is it Bob Brenly or Manny Lee?

2006-08-15 11:08:58
52.   Cliff Corcoran
The O's wore All-Star game patches on their left sleaves in 1993, so it's not 1993.

1989-1992 is our range.

2006-08-15 11:09:00
53.   DXMachina
50 The reason I didn't go with the 7/4 game is because I think the reason the SS isn't in the picture is because he's covering the bag.
2006-08-15 11:09:25
54.   mehmattski
I still like the double-play idea, that the second base ump is signaling that an out had just been made at second. In that case, from July 4-6, 1989 the Orioles played at SkyDome in Toronto. Traber didn't play first in the second game, so here are the two double plays that occured in those games:

July 4, 7th Inning:
George Bell grounded into a double play (shortstop to second to first) [Gruber out at
second]; 0 R, 2 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Orioles 3, Blue Jays 0.

July 6, 8th Inning:
Manuel Lee grounded into a double play (second to shortstop to first)
[Borders out at second]; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Orioles 1, Blue
Jays 4.

2006-08-15 11:10:04
55.   mehmattski
50 There was a double play on the fifth, but Traber wasn't playing first base.
2006-08-15 11:10:18
56.   DXMachina
51 Now that I think about it, if it's the first play I listed, then Traber didn't get back to the bag in time.
2006-08-15 11:10:45
57.   Cliff Corcoran
51 Okay, a bit late. I'd say Brenley, I think I see a white man's moustache on the runner. Of course I had no idea Brenley ever played for the Jays.
2006-08-15 11:12:33
58.   Shaun P
55 Thanks for the correction.

So, if it is a double play, its George Bell or Manny Lee. Bell was a righty hitter, Lee was a switch hitter - so the helmet and the batting glove don't help distinguish . . .

2006-08-15 11:12:46
59.   mehmattski
I could be wrong, but it appears that the runner in the photo is of Caucasian decent. In which case, it probably isn't Manuel Lee:

2006-08-15 11:13:07
60.   DXMachina
57 Do you doubt Retrosheet's accuracy in this matter? :)

Anyway, I'm pretty sure now that it's Manny Lee.

2006-08-15 11:14:33
61.   Cliff Corcoran
By the way, the solution to the Balt v. Detroit thing is the stripes on the uniform. The Tigers had three solid stripes, orange, white, navy. The Orioles have what you see above a big black stripe with smaller orange ones on either side.
2006-08-15 11:16:05
62.   Padgett
Just to summarize the evidence:

This is Skydome. These shots of Exhibition Stadium just don't quite fit with what we can see of the left field wall:

According to this, the Jays started wearing an all-blue cap in 1994, so this seems to limit it to 1989-93:

If the comment above about Jays #25 is right, then this has to be either 1989 or 1990. Plus, I think we're on the right track with the O's, not Tigers:

This Tigers site shows no player wearing #25 in either of those years:

So, if it's Orioles-Jays, the only lefty firstbasemen to play at Skydome during those seasons were Jim Traber and David Segui. Although Segui wore more than one uniform number with Baltimore, I can't find one of him with #28:

That leaves us with Traber, and the games mentioned above.

2006-08-15 11:16:52
63.   Shaun P
60 But mehmattski is right, Lee isn't of Caucasian descent - but neither is Bell.
2006-08-15 11:17:38
64.   Cliff Corcoran
60 I really doubt it's Lee. He was dark skinned and wore two white batting gloves in 1989. This guy appears to be white or at least light skinned and is wearing one blue batting glove.

Here's Lee:

2006-08-15 11:18:48
65.   Cliff Corcoran
Why did we rule out Brely 51 again? I think it's him.
2006-08-15 11:19:30
66.   mehmattski
58 If the double play occured on 7/6/89, then the Oriole's pitcher in the 8th inning was Mike Smith, a right handed pitcher... which means that Lee would have been batting left handed, with a helmet that has a right-side ear flap. I'm still leaning towards George Bell... the ball could have been up the middle to the shortstop in the DP, meaning that he wouldn't be in the picture.
2006-08-15 11:21:05
67.   Shaun P
65 I think Cliff is right - that's definitely a Caucasian male, and it sure looks like there's a mustache on him. Unless there's another grounder that the shortstop fielded, its Brenly.
2006-08-15 11:21:52
68.   Score Bard
67 Plus, the runner looks safe.
2006-08-15 11:22:43
69.   DXMachina
65 The only reason I'm doubting it's Brenly is because then the play they're attempting is a 3-6-3, and they didn't carry it off, so I'm wondering if it's because Traber didn't get back to the bag on the play, which would contradict what we're seeing. Unless Brenly is a lot faster than I remember.
2006-08-15 11:24:34
70.   Score Bard
69 It coulda been one of them astroturf choppers that just took too long to come down.
2006-08-15 11:25:30
71.   Padgett
BB-ref lists Lee at 5-9, 161; Brenly is much bigger at 6-2, 210. The runner looks far too big to be the smaller Lee.
2006-08-15 11:26:10
72.   Cliff Corcoran
69 How do you know the SS (or 2B) didn't struggle to get the ball out of his glove, or drop the ball and pick it up and then fire to first? There are no errors on missed DPs that turn into FCs, so it wouldn't show up in the box score.
2006-08-15 11:27:02
73.   mehmattski
63 Yeah, i should have checked Bell as well as Lee.

I don't see any other potential force plays on July 4 or July 6. That would mean that Traber tried to turn a 3-6-3, but that the speedy (?!?) Brenly beat the throw, and the O's pitcher (Jeff Ballard) didn't get over.

2006-08-15 11:27:19
74.   Cliff Corcoran
71 Yes, but Traber isn't listed as being Cecil Fielder-sized and he sure looks it from that angle. Still, since I think it's Brenly, I'll say, "yeah!"
2006-08-15 11:27:29
75.   DXMachina
70 Yeah, it coulda, and 66 would have Manny batting from the left, so I'm ready to swing back into the Brenly camp.
2006-08-15 11:30:30
76.   Cliff Corcoran
So who's the 1B coach and who's the ump?
2006-08-15 11:31:12
77.   DXMachina
74 not Cecil Fielder sized, but Kruk-like, if I recall correctly.
2006-08-15 11:33:37
78.   mehmattski
76 1B Coach is Mike Squires, as discussed in 42 and 45. The second base ump on July 6, 1989 was Greg Kosc. (Assuming, once again, that retrosheet lists them HP, 1B, 2B, 3B)

Whoa. Wasn't Greg Kosc in the Mystery Photo #3 as well???

2006-08-15 11:33:52
79.   DXMachina
The umps are listed as Dale Ford, John Hirschbeck, Greg Kosc, and Larry Barnett. I'm thinking it looks like Kosc.
2006-08-15 11:34:38
80.   Shaun P
76 I think DXMachina has the coach pegged as Mike Squires 42.
2006-08-15 11:34:43
81.   Cliff Corcoran
Can I just say that my first response to seeing this photo was "why are the Blue Jays paying the Yomiyuri Giants in the Tokyo Dome, and why are the Giants in their away unis?"
2006-08-15 11:35:49
82.   Cliff Corcoran
Cool, so someone sum this all up, give us the game situation, score, inning, the four visible participants, etc.
2006-08-15 11:39:30
83.   mehmattski
Thursday, July 6, 1989

Baltimore Orioles visiting the Toronto Blue Jays at the SkyDome.

Sixth Inning, One out, Manny Lee on first base. Bob Brenly at the plate. Jeff Ballard pitching. Brenly hits a ground ball to the right side. Lee forced out at second, return throw is not in time.

Picture shows:
Toronto DH Bob Brenly
Toronto 1B Coach Mike Squires
Baltimore 1B Jim Traber
2B Umpire Greg Kosc
A fraction of the 46,629 fans in attendance.

2006-08-15 11:39:44
84.   Michael G
I think DXMachina got it with this play on 7/6/89:
BLUE JAYS 6TH: Brenly forced Lee (first to shortstop);

The runner looks Caucasian, safe, right handed.
The 1st baseman (Traber) looks a bit off balance as if he couldn't get back to form after launching a throw to second then hustling to the bag. He was stretching forward but the throw was to his left. This play has 3-6-3 written all over it. Brenly safe at 1st.

2006-08-15 11:40:34
85.   mehmattski
83 Damn, forgot the score:
Baltimore 1
Toronto 4
2006-08-15 11:43:24
86.   Cliff Corcoran
83 Awesome. I think this one had the least info of all and we still got it. I love this game.

Hey, Jon, can you confirm or deny our answer?

2006-08-15 11:57:52
87.   Sam DC
Over at Dodger Thoughts, Jon reports that he can't access these comments right now. So the suspense'll have to be killing you for a while I guess.
2006-08-15 12:16:20
88.   mehmattski
Jon just posted this at Dodger thoughts:

"Okay, please relay this to the Humbug Mystery Photo people.

Shortly after graduating from college in 1989, I embarked upon a mini-ballpark tour with my family. The first stop was in Yankee Stadium for a July 4 day game, the only game I've ever seen there. We sat high behind home plate, and did not stay for the Beach Boys concert afterward.

We then went up to Toronto, and sat low down along the right-field line, where I took the picture you see above. I have another shot at home that has part of the scoreboard, but I think I confirm the accuracy of your guess. I'm just amazed by the confidence about whether the batter/runner had a mustache.

Our trip then brought us to Fenway Park to see the Sox (against the Yankees, I believe) and finally to Wrigley to see the Dodgers play the Cubs. It was my second trip to Fenway and first and only trip to Wrigley."

2006-08-15 12:16:53
89.   Sam DC
I see my work here is done.
2006-08-15 12:35:30
90.   Sam DC
My work wasn't done -- he also says:

"Oh, and also tell them - good job! (Despite Timmermann's initial misdirection ...)"

2006-08-15 12:40:29
91.   mehmattski
1 90I think Timmerman was just trying to mess everyone up. Right, Bob?
2006-08-15 13:20:33
92.   Bob Timmermann
I am the Great Dissembler.
2006-08-15 13:21:33
93.   jkrometis
Jon's comment about the type of camera he used (in response to comments 16-37 about the absence of 3rd base & the pitcher's mound):

It was an everyday Minolta something or other. I'm not any kind of real photographer. I think it was just the weird angle of where I was sitting. I think the mound and third base are just out of frame on the left.

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