Earlier today, Brady of LobShots fame tweeted a picture of some baseball cards he dug up out of his garage. The first one that caught my eye was my favorite Steve Garvey card. I'm not the biggest Garvey fan in the world, but I love this particular card of him because it features a cameo by one of my favorite players ever, fellow West Virginian John Kruk.
@LobShots I love the Kruk cameo in Garvey's Fleer Limited card.— Joe Lies (@TheThinGwynn) July 26, 2014
He then pondered aloud whether the catcher pictured was Gary Carter before catching himself a minute later, correctly recalling that Carter had moved on to the Mets by that point. This got me wondering who the catcher on the card really was, so I pulled up Garvey's game logs from 1986 and started digging. Narrowing it down to 1986 was the easiest part; the card is a 1987 issue, so the photograph had to be from 1986 or earlier. While the Padres began wearing those uniforms in 1985, Kruk didn't debut until '86.
From there it was as easy as scanning for home games against Montreal and looking for ones he homered in. He had two games in which he homered at home against the Expos, but the first one is out because Kruk didn't play at all in San Diego's 3-2 loss on May 16. That means the photograph had to have been taken following his third-inning three-run shot off of "El Presidente" Dennis Martinez on August 21, 1986.
I got so sidetracked that I almost forgot what I was trying to figure out in the first place. The catcher in the picture is Dann Bilardello, who incidentally went on to finish his career by hitting .121 in 17 games with the '92 Padres.