Friday, March 25, 2011


Here's the player who scored the final run in the history of the Washington Senators before the franchise moved to Texas:

Card #111 -- Dave Nelson, Texas Rangers

This picture has been roundly criticized, since having two opposing players more prominent than the person named on the card is not usually a good thing. However, it helps determine when the play took place.

First of all, the picture was obviously taken in 1972 (since there were no Rangers in '71) at Oakland. Dave Hamilton is pitching. There were three players who wore uniform number 11 in 1972. However, Dwain Anderson and Marty Martinez can be ruled out since the second baseman lacks sufficient melanin in his skin to be either of those players. That leaves Ted Kubiak, who actually began the season as a teammate of Nelson in Texas. Kubiak played against the Rangers at home six times in 1972.

That brings us to July 30, 1972. It was the second game of a doubleheader between the two teams and only 10 days after Kubiak was traded (which explains why he was looking down...he was probably asking Nelson how he was doing without being obvious about it). Nelson led off and went 3-for-5 in the game, and this picture was taken during one of two hits. In both cases, he managed to steal second base afterward. In the first, he lined a single to center and then stole second before scoring on a Ted Ford double. In the seventh, Nelson lined a single to left, scoring the go-ahead run. He then stole second, and scored on an Elliott Maddox triple. That hit by Maddox ended Hamilton's night. The Rangers ended up winning both ends of the doubleheader.

Either way, Dave Nelson has just stolen second and is safe. In all, he stole 51 bases in 1972, good enough for second place in the American League. He was also caught stealing 17 times that year, which was the most in the league. In 1973, he played in his only All-Star game. Although the card shows him as a third baseman, he switched to second base that season.


  1. Awesome, awesome card. One of the best in the set.

  2. I've always liked this card. It's neat to now know that the picture was taken the day after I was born.

  3. I believe this card was the first one I saw when I open my first pack of the 1973 set.