|1992 Topps Mike Felder, 1992 Upper Deck Mike Felder|
|1992 Score Mike Felder|
The bat head is a little higher on this one (the ball just came off of it), so I think this is the first shot of the three (followed by Upper Deck then Topps). Score, UD, and Topps all with the same picture? Did this guy only have one at-bat in 1991 and they were desperate for a picture? No...he actually had 348 at-bats that year.
SOOOO.....if all three of these companies are using this shot, it has to be somewhat important, right? Why else would everyone be so transfixed by a bunt???? Let's dig into it. I will admit that I had never heard much about Mike Felder before, so this is all just some internet research. First, the Giants are wearing throwback uniforms in 1991....that narrows it down somewhat. This site tells me that they did their first big throwback event vs. the Cubs on June 23, 1991. Starting there, we need to see if Mike Felder got into that game. Using this page on Retrosheet, we see that indeed he DID have one at-bat as a Pinch Hitter. So what?
Let me set the stage....Cubs lead 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth. Dave Smith is on the mound.
- Willie McGee singles to lead it off (tying run on base).
JackWill Clark TRIPLES to score McGee (winning run on 3rd, no out).
- The Cubs decide their only hope is force-outs, so they issue two intentional walks -- one to Matt Williams and one to Mark Leonard -- to load the bases with no outs.
- Robby Thompson (the oldest-looking young man ever -- he really used to creep me out back in 1987) is hitting next...he grounds to Shawon Dunston at SS...who goes home with the throw to force-out Clark. All runners advance...bases still loaded, tie-game, 1 out.
So what do the Giants do? SQUEEZE PLAY!!! Felder's superb bunting technique (see above) puts the ball in play, Matt Williams comes down the line to score and win the game. Mystery solved!
All the photographers must have been raving to the photo editors about this play. It's not every day you get to see a walk-off bunt.