Even though I'm baseball fan, I tend to tune out during the playoffs. When your team has not made it to the playoffs in 15 seasons, it can be a little difficulty feeling enthused about the post-season. I can honestly say that this century, the only times I've watched a full playoff series has been when the Red Sox were in the World Series. I have strong ties to New England so at least the Red Sox gave me something to cheer about.
Despite the historical match-up of two teams with the longest World Series droughts, the only game I fully caught was Game 7. I picked the best game to watch. I was rooting for the Indians, marginally, as I can empathize with the agony of Cleveland sports fans. Sure the Cavs won the NBA Championship last season but as a Seattle fan, I know what it's like to have that championship drought.
Since Game 7 was such an incredible game with the Cubs taking an early, significant lead, the Indians making a dramatic comeback, and then the rain delay to make it even more tense, I decided to buy a couple Topps Now cards to remember that game.
(As a side note, I must say that I was more impressed with my Topps Now shipment this time. My two cards came in a hard case, sandwiched between two dummy card pieces, inside a special Topps Now box that was wrapped in bubble wrap, in a bubble mailer. With such a production, any eBay seller probably would have charged $10 for shipping. My shipping was free.
Also, the card stock feels thicker than earlier editions, which gives these ones a nice premium feel.)
A running joke among Mariners fans is that when a player leaves the team, they often go on to perform better than when they were with the team. Initially, Montgomery was placed in the starting rotation with the Mariners. Montgomery had difficulty lasting late into games so for the 2016 he was placed in the bullpen.
I liked this move as it would give the Mariners a relief pitcher who could throw for two to three innings if needed. He could be a solid middle reliever. Montgomery performed a serviceable job for the Mariners so I was a bit disappointed when I found out he was traded to the Cubs.
He didn't turn around and become an ace relief pitcher with the Cubs but he did shine on the biggest stage in the world. Bottom of the 11th, two outs, Game 7 of the World Series, with his team up by 1 run. It only took him two pitches to seal the deal and elevate himself in baseball and Cubs history.
Montgomery never had a card with the Mariners so I really wanted this card as a way to tip my cap to him.
I believe this was the only Indians card to be featured from Game 7, understandably so since they lost. There was not much to celebrate. However, his home run to tie the gaming was remarkable. Not only did it keep the Indians' hopes alive but he hit a TV camera and spun it around! That's what struck me so much about this home run. He hit the TV camera dead to rights.
I love watching the replay from the view of the camera he hit. I'm watching it again now in slow motion replay and it looks as if the camera man was turning the camera away from the ball so as to protect the lens but he ended up turning it right into the ball. It also looks as if the camera man was turning the camera to track the ball because the ball did look like it was veering to the left. Either way, the odds of him hitting it right at the camera is what makes this home run so exciting to me.
These were the only post-season Topps Now cards that appealed to me and I'm glad I have something to remember from watching the game.