Saturday, March 16, 2019

Grapefruit Game 22 - 2019 Topps Bryce Harper Art Card #A

Phillies 3, Blue Jays 2
Spring Training Game 22 - Friday Afternoon, March 15th in Clearwater
Record - 11-8-3

One Sentence Summary:  Nick Pivetta pitched well, but Phillies fans everywhere held their breath after Bryce Harper was drilled with a pitch and limped off the field.

What It Means:  X-rays on Harper's ankle were negative and he's day to day.  He'll most likely miss playing time this weekend, which means he'll have even less time to prepare prior to opening day in less than 2 weeks.  Harper is hitless in five spring at-bats.

What Happened:  Down 2-1 in the bottom of the 9th, Nick Williams doubled home Shane Robinson to tie up the game and Gift Ngoepe walked with the bases loaded to win it.  Williams is hitting .324 so far this spring.  Pivetta pitched five innings, allowing a home run to Freddy Galvis and striking out two.  He's penciled in as the team's third starter to begin the season, behind Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta.

Featured Card:  I'm considering this to be Harper's first official Phillies card, made available for purchase on Friday, March 1st.  This is card "A" featuring him in a photoshopped Phillies road uniform, and there's also a card "B" that uses the same photo but has a different background and features his career statistics in the design.  Harper has since appeared on two more Topps Now cards, bringing his official Phillies baseball card tally to 4.  That number will grow exponentially in the coming months.

Total print runs were 1,839 for the "A" card and 1,348 for the "B" card.  Given how quickly these cards were made available, I have to imagine prototype cards exist with Harper appearing in Giants, Padres, Dodgers or Yankees uniforms.

Camp Head Count:  49 - 1 = 48.  Following the game, third baseman Mitch Walding was optioned to the IronPigs.

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