Here's an example of excellent timing:
On that day at the ballpark, a Topps photographer had the camera aimed at Charlie Moore and clicked the shutter at just the right moment.
The veteran catcher is about to unleash a throw toward what looks like third base. His cage is already off (note the soft baseball cap—old school). Dirt is being kicked up around home plate. The runner must be scurrying to the bag in a panic, knowing a laser beam will be headed toward the third baseman's open glove in an instant.
And for those of you who like a classic powder-blue uniform, you've got that here as well.
As for the man on the card, Charlie Moore was a utility guy of sorts: catcher, outfield, designated hitter. Over his 15-year career he even played a few innings at second and third base, with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage (three chances, three assists).
His best year came in 1983, when playing mostly the outfield he set highs in games played (151), plate appearances (605), and a whole bunch of offensive categories: 150 H, 27 2B, 49 RBI, 11 SB, 55 BB.
But since this particular card features him as a catcher in action, here's one more stat: For his career, Mr. Moore would throw out a total of 272 base runners at a clip of 36%. That total of 272 puts him ahead of names like Todd Hundley, Ron Hassey, and Ozzie Virgil. The percentage puts him ahead of names like Brad Ausmus, Mike Scioscia, and Tony Pena.
Let's get back to that card now. Look at the image once again, but try this:
Take the baseball out of his right hand and replace it with a spear. Take the mitt off his left hand and replace it with a shield.
You'd practically be in ancient Greece.
And there you'd surely see Charlie Moore's pose painted on pottery and set in sculpture.
It's something, isn't it? The field of battle might be different, but Moore is a still a warrior on that card. And if you're the kind of sports fan who keeps a personal Mount Olympus of athletes, then Charlie Moore could be an Olympian in the original sense of the word.
For a timeless pose that reminds us of the feeling of excitement that sport has brought—and will always continue to bring—1986 Topps #137 has a spot in my box of favorite cards.