Getting back to baseball cards. I learned a lot about the various players and such by reading the back of the cards. You know - when they used to put real information on the backs. However that was about all I did with them. I never really took the time to look at the cards - especially the front. A lot has changed since my first experience of baseball cards (1990 Donruss & Topps) - not only are the designs better, but so is the cardstock and photography. Photography is what leads me to this post.
Granted I'm not a photographer and really know nothing about it (just look at the photos on my toy reviews at my other blog and you'll know I'm a rookie), but I'm starting to really be drawn in by the awesome photography that can sometimes be found on trading cards. Upper Deck was the first company that I noticed this trend, but Topps seemed to answer the call when they unveiled their Stadium Club line of cards.
I really miss the brand and I'm surprised it has been revived since 2008's curtain call. Topps Prime football cards in 2010 seemed to fill the void, but what about baseball? Since there isn't any modern TSC cards to look at I thought we'd look at some of the cards pulled from 1997 TSC series 2 I featured earlier this month in a group break. Speaking of that break I do have a confession - most of these cards pictured were accidentally left out of each respective team's stack. I'll make sure these find their way into your hands soon. Sorry!
OK, back to the topic at hand. I was so amazed at the photography on these cards I knew I had to share them in a manner better than a simple 'pack break' format. I ended up grouping the cards into different subject groups. "Play at the Plate" - a popular theme containing a play...well at the plate. "Play at the Base" - a play at...well you can guess and "the Crowd". Sometimes we get so caught up in the action of the player that the background image is blurred in our minds. Sometimes however if you can look past the action you can see some great emotion on the faces of the crowd sitting in the stands.
Play at the Plate
Ivan Rodriguez has been captured in a play at the plate quite frequently and this is a great example. Do you think Jose Offerman was safe or out?
Was this a dropped the 3rd strike or a bunt that Chris Hoiles is fielding?
This is my favorite photo of the bunch. Scott Servais looks as if he's getting his head knocked off. I wonder if he held onto the ball during this collision?
Fielding a throw at the plate.
This one focus more on the base runner verses the catcher. Wonder which Pirates catcher that Mark Lemke is about to slide into?
Play at the Base
Great emotion on the face of Ryne Sandberg. Love it!
Not sure if this is a force out or not, but I'd say that runner will be out.
Out? You make the call.
It looks like McRae just slid in underneath Rich Aurillia's glove.
I love this aerial acrobatic shots.
Did Rey Sanchez get the tag down in time?
Vinny Castillia's play at 3rd.
Did Tom Pagnozzi just steal 3rd?
Carlos Delgado stretching for the out...
Roberto Alomar doing his best Superman interpretation.
Great photo getting both the first baseman and the base runner in the shot.
I like photos showing the ball in play.
Look at the dad protecting his son while the woman tries her best not to spill her beer!
I love the lady in the purple shirt's facial expression!
If I had more time I'm sure I could find lots more photos that would fit into these categories, but that will have to wait for another post. I'm starting to see why the guys at Community Gum are so infatuated by the various TSC sets now. Come on Topps - you just gotta bring back the Club!