Thursday, March 12, 2020

2020 Topps Opening Day - The "Walk this Way" Subset

With the postponement of Opening Day I figured the best thing for me to do is share more Dodger cards from Topps 2020 Opening Day Baseball card brand. This time, though I thought I would slow-play this by writing about one specific subset -- the "Walk this Way" set.

These cards appears to highlight walk-off hits, but unfortunately the cards do not specifically say this anywhere. I was hoping the reverse of the cards would have a description of the event being pictured, but all Topps does is use the back design from their flagship cards. That said, it's fair to assume that "walk-offs" are exactly what these cards are meant to highlight.

In this subset there are three Dodgers available to collect -- Max Muncy, Will Smith and Joc Pederson -- and I thought it would be fun to highlight their walk-offs during the 2019 season. As you know, the Dodgers recorded 12 walk-off victories last year - two each by Muncy and Smith, and one by Pederson.

Walk this Way! subset

#WW-2 Max Muncy

Max Muncy recorded two walk-offs in 2019 -- both during the month of August. His first one was against the Padres on August 4th (boxscore) and he won the game by recording a double with two runners on to win the game in the 9th inning, 11-10. You can watch highlights of this game here.

His second walk-off happened a couple week later -- August 21st. On this day he walloped a 0-1 fastball off of Blue Jays lefty Tim Mayza to right-center field to record a walk-off roundtripper to win the game in the 10th inning, 2-1 (boxscore). You can watch highlights of this game here

#WW-6 Will Smith         

Rookie catcher Will Smith also recorded two walk-offs in 2019, and both of them occurred in June. Not only that, both were home runs and his very first happened to be his first Major League home run.

Now that's a way to begin a career.

On June 1st, with the score tied at three against Bryce Harper and his Phillies, Will Smith came up to bat with nobody on and lofted a Hector Neris slider to the left field stands. The Dodgers 4-3 victory (boxscore) would definately prove to be a sign of things to come. You can watch the walk-off here.

His second walk-off hit would happen on June 23rd (boxscore) and it would be the Dodgers third consecutive walk-off -- all of which were hit by rookies Matt Beaty, Alex Verdugo and Will Smith. Smith's homer would come with two on base in the bottom of the ninth inning. You can watch the walk-off here.

#WW-22 Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson's lone walk-off home run might be the best one of all. On April 15th -- Jackie Robinson Day -- Joc Pederson muscled a Raisel Iglesias pitch to right-centerfield to defeat Yasiel Puig and his hapless Reds, 4-3 (boxscore). This was the Dodgers first walk-off of 2019. Go ahead and watch this home run here.

BTW, two of the cards above are available with certified autographs -- Max Muncy and Will Smith. Unfortunately, I have yet to see a Muncy card, but you can see the Will Smith card below.

Walk This Way Autographs

  • #WW-2 Max Muncy -- Not Yet Seen
#WW-6 Will Smith

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