Baseball BeatMay 01, 2009
Foto Friday #10: Swing and a Miss
By Rich Lederer

Reader Gilbert Chan submitted the following photo and suggested I use it for a Foto Friday. The batter is plainly obvious. Can you name the catcher, the invisible pitcher, outcome of the at-bat and game, opposition, location, and date?

As always, good luck and have fun.


Here are the links to our previous nine Foto Fridays:

Foto Friday #1: August 18, 2006 (Hank Aaron and Jim Gilliam at McKechnie Field, March or April 1958.)

Foto Friday #2: September 8, 2006 (The Dodgers celebrate clinching the N.L. pennant in 1963.)

Foto Friday #3: November 3, 2006 (Bobby Valentine and Earl Weaver meet with umpires at home plate prior to a game on July 9, 1974.)

Foto Friday #4: February 9, 2007 (Don Drysdale blanks Giants, September 6, 1960.)

Foto Friday #5: April 13, 2007 (Ted Williams at-bat and Roy Campanella behind the plate in a spring training game, circa March 1952-1957.)

Foto Friday #6: July 6, 2007 (The Dodgers and Danny Kaye in the locker room after beating the Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader, the club's 12th consecutive victory, on June 1, 1962.)

Foto Friday #7: August 3, 2007 (Head and shoulder photos of obscure Angels.)

Foto Friday #8: August 22, 2008 (Hank Bauer, Norm Siebern, and Yogi Berra in the visitor's clubhouse in Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Bauer, Siebern, and Berra all hit home runs to lead the Yankees to a 9-4 victory over the Indians on June 17, 1956.)

Foto Friday #9: January 2, 2009 (Bobby Bonds sliding into second base as Jerry Remy applies the tag at Anaheim Stadium on August 10, 1975.)


Mr. October appeared in 5 games at home against Kansas City in 1987. June 22,23 and Sept. 10,11,12. I am going to make a guess, because he is swinging and missing, that this is June 23 vs. Mark Gubicza and his only strike out vs. the Royals at home that year. The catcher that day was Jamie Quirk.

By the way Gubicza threw a three hit shutout for the Royals who won the game 4-0.

Oops. he struck out on Sept. 10 too. Against John Davis in the 8th inning. Catching would have been Jamie Quirk. A's won 3-2. This actually makes more sense as Thursday is a more logical day for a day game. The June game was on a Tuesday. I could not find the time that the game began. If anyone can find out it is probably one these two days.

Well, in the seven home games the A's played versus the Royals, Jamie Quick started five of them, and Larry Owen started two. Jackson did not play in one of Owen's starts, and in the other, Reggie was a pinch hitter in the eighth. Owen had come out of the game in the 7th, and so the only catcher it could possibly be is Jamie Quirk.

This is odd, because by the picture I would have picked the 5'11", 185 lb Owen over the 6'1", 200 lb Quirk. It's too bad retrosheet/baseball-reference doesn't have pitch-by-pitch data for 1987.

The only other possible clues are the shadows on the ground. One would have to look up how the Colliseum is oriented and whether the shadows are more likely to have come from a day game in June or September.

The June 23 game was a Tuesday and the Sept. 10 game was a Thursday beginning a series. Both slots are generally night games. But in both games, Reggie struck out in the bottom of 8th, so there would not have been any shadows.

An early afternoon game would not have produced such long 8th-inning shadows in June, but would have produced such shadows in September. Then again, the game could have been a late afternoon/twilight start in June.

Ah, has dropped the day/night indicators, but still has them. The June 23 game was at night, and the Sept. 10 game was in the day.

Batter: Plainly obvious
Catcher: Mickey Tettleton
Pitcher: John Davis
Outcome of at-bat: Strikeout
Outcome of game: A's 3, Royals 2
Opposition: KC Royals
Date: Sept. 10, 1987
Location: Oakland

Oops. Tettleton was the Oakland catcher. Jamie Quirk had replaced Owen was behind the plate for the Royals, as indicated by mehmattski above.

I don't think Reggie Jackson wore #44 for the A's until 1987, he was #9 before that.

The game is definitely Thursday, September 10, 1987, which was one of two day games the A's played the Royals at home in '87 (see Retrosheet). Jackson didn't play in the other day game. The result was Oakland 3, KC 2, as mentioned above (Oakland won on a bases-loaded walk).

Reggie Jackson pinch hit for Stan Javier in the 8th. A mentioned by wimbo, he faced John Davis, and the catcher was Jamie Quirk, who had replaced the pinch hitter Steve Balboni (who hit a two-run homer for Owen) in the 7th. The location is Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Sept. 10th 1987 Reggie Jackson Struck out. John Davis was pitching to Quirk and the final score was 3-2.

The location was Oakland Alameda Colliseum I think it has some corprate name now.

Thanks to everybody for contributing to Foto Friday #10.

Congrats to wimbo for zeroing in on the A's-Royals in June or September 1987 with a couple of possible dates, including the winner (September 10, 1987).

As Alex noted, the key to unraveling this mystery is the number on the back of Reggie Jackson's jersey. He wore #9 in his first tenure with the A's and #44 in his second (one season only in 1987). In addition, Oakland had sleeveless jerseys until 1972 and stripes on the sleeves from 1973-1975. The club only had green belts in the years of the sleeveless jerseys and went without belts and green and gold stripes around the waistband when it changed to sleeves. (Here is a link to Reggie's uniforms throughout his career.)

The shadows provide evidence of a day game, which is the second key to pinpointing the date. September 10th was the only time when the A's hosted the Royals during the day.

Jackson only batted once that game, ensuring that Jamie Quirk was the catcher and John Davis the pitcher. He pinch hit in the eighth inning and struck out.

As Gilbert pointed out in an email, Reggie had been removed as the regular DH and the first-ballot Hall of Famer never hit another home run after August 17. Gilbert also wonders why he wasn't at work that day, surmising that he was probably "between jobs."