Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Man Down!

I know that this is a picture of Brian Downing's follow through. It almost looks like he's trying to down a football or praying to the baseball gods in some bizarre ritual.

What exactly was going on in this photograph? Was this a home run or a high towering pop up? Did Brian swing and miss... badly? Did he think that placing one knee on the ground would stop the play? We may never know.

Judging by the way Brian looks in the photo, I'd say it was likely the he popped the ball up and out of play. No one teaches swings like that anymore. Yet, Brian was in the majors for close to two decades. This is a guy who was 1 for 1 in his 1979 All-Star Game appearance, which was his only trip to the mid-season classic.

Brian was on his way out when this photo was taken. He still hit a respectable .278 in 1991, in 123 games. It was probably swings like this that limited his playing time to nineteen years, which is nothing to sneeze at.

The Rangers would be Brian's last stop in the majors. He is probably best known for being an Angel, but he also put in five years with the White Sox at the beginning of his career. I'm happy that someone captured this image on a card. If it didn't exist, who would believe that Brian Downing dragged his right knee on the ground during his swing?


capewood said...

Could he actually be in the on-deck circle doing some sort of wierd stretching exercise? Whatever, he probably took a lot of ribbing back in the clubhouse for this pose.

White Sox Cards said...

I didn't even think of that. I don't think they teach that stretching exercise in the clubhouse though.

Laurens said...

I saw Brian Downing in 2007 and that was one of the cards I had for him to get autographed. He pointed to the specific card among some others and was annoyed at the picture. He wanted me to get the card out of his face.

White Sox Cards said...

Great story laurens! Thanks for sharing! :)