Friday, November 5, 2010

Awesome Play at the Plate Shot

Here's a great "play at the plate" picture:

Card #574 -- Bob Didier, Atlanta Braves

Cleon Jones has slid into home with his left foot over Bob Didier's shoulder ("spikes up" they used to call that), Didier has applied a tag and is waiting for the umpire to make his call. The dust is still in the air, and Met catcher Jerry Grote can be seen in the background with his shin guards on, in case he needs to take his position.

Bob Didier only played 22 games in 1972, none of which were against the Mets. Since Cleon Jones is wearing home threads, we know the picture was taken at Shea Stadium. That takes us to a game on July 4, 1971. In the bottom of the fourth, Jones hit a single to center. He went to second base when the next batter (Ken Boswell) hit a slow grounder to Braves pitcher Phil Niekro, who threw to first for the forceout. Bob Aspromonte followed and lined a single to right. Jones ran home from second as Mike Lum fired the ball to Didier.

He was called out. The inning was over, so Grote (who had been standing in the on-deck circle) didn't need to remove his gear.

Bob Didier was a talented catcher who was good at catching the knuckleball. In Atlanta, that made him a favorite receiver for both Phil Niekro and Hoyt Wilhelm. However, injuries affected him after his superb rookie campaign in 1969 and he was finished with Atlanta after 1972. They traded him to Detroit during the '73 season. After 7 games with the Tigers in '73 and 6 with the Red Sox in '74, he was finished with his major league career.

1 comment: