I certainly have grown as a collector and sports fan in general. As I've stated previously, there was a time when I wouldn't have given this card a second thought after flipping past it once. I mean, it's a Red Sox card after all. Fortunately, when I flipped to this card today, I stopped and took it all in for a few minutes. Then I researched when the pic was taken and under what circumstances. Now, I'm sure there are a bunch of you out there that could tell me that info off the top of your head, but I couldn't pinpoint it. Here's what I found out, for those that don't already know.
This photo was taken on 9/21/15, nine days after Ortiz joined the 500 HR Club while on the road. The BoSox held a pre-game ceremony to honor his achievement. Now, this is a great card! Iconic player? check. Significant baseball moment? Check. Captures the emotion of said moment? Check! At this point, I think I like this card even better than the Bautista bat flip that everyone has gone bananas over so far this collecting year. True, the design elements take away from the photo slightly, but not as much as the butcher, crop job Topps did(as usual). What do I mean? I'm glad you asked.
Here is the Original version of the photo from MLB. Had Topps cropped a little less, the '500' in the outfield would be clearly visible and the '500s' on the facades near his left wrist and forearm wouldn't be so obscured by the 'mist' design element. It's a small grievance, but a really great card could have been even better. Topps is gonna have to step up their game for this guy's sunset card in 2017 Topps if they expect to match this one.
Tune in tomorrow if you have any interest in seeing how the rest of the blaster looked. Thanks for reading.