Sunday, June 14, 2009

I went out baseball card shopping tonight for the first time in like oh I don’t know 24 years. Anyway I recently got into looking into getting some cards after reading a few cool blogs like Night Owl Cards
I’ve been doing a lot of sports photography lately and I realized that baseball cards would be a cool way to promote myself instead of using stupid business cards. So I went out to Hastings to see what kind of cards I could get on a budget to test the waters. I ended up buying the last 2009 Topps series one box with the Babe on the cover.
I was pretty excited to open the set. I didn’t know what to expect, but seeing a huge piece of Styrofoam in the box didn’t give me much confidence going in.

I’m more geared towards photography so that’s what I’m mainly interested in looking at when I went to get these cards. I have a tendency to look for things like colors, design motifs and the actual photos in the card. So with that in mind, I found that most of the cards were pretty forget full, some were awesome and some were really lame. Starting to feel like 1985 all over again. Alright, let’s start with the worst one:

It’s hard to even notice the cool stuff in this photo because it’s painfully obvious that the crowd behind Matt Stairs is horribly photoshoped in from a day game while the foreground shot of Matt looks to be from a night game. The reason why I say this is because of the greenish color on both his and the catcher’s skin and the shadows on Stairs face look like they were from stadium lighting. Also the crowd looks to be about the same size as the hitter. The cool thing about this photo is the fact that the ball and bat are clearly in frame, sharp and in focus. And hopefully from the caption it’s from the actual hit that they describe in the caption.

This one is a cool in game type of shot. He’s not really doing anything, but the he’s really sharp and in focus and it’s got a cool sort of background blur or Bokeh. I still don’t understand what was so objectionable in the reflection of his glasses that they had to make him look the fly. I guess whatever they did worked, because it brought attention (at least to me) a shot of a guy just standing there.

At first glance this shot seems pretty cool and I guess it in some ways, the guy is off his feet, full extension and he’s got the ball in the glove, but… we can’t see his face. Kind of sucks, but oh well.

This shot of the Orioles Jay Payton is a better example of a cool sports photo. It’s got his face, cool background and the ball nearing the glove all in the same shot. (His sunglasses also look normal)

Everybody knows randy Johnson by now. Even my friend Chris who hates everything sports related would have no trouble recognizing this guy. I was a happy to see him in my set o’cards, and it’s a pretty cool shot but…..I think it might be a little fake, maybe someone out there can confirm for me, but I think the he’s cut out and inserted in front of a different background. The fakeness surrounding his pitching hand, forearm is understandable because there was probably a lot of motion blur in the arm. They were probably trying to sharpen that up and even the ball is blurry, but it’s not even really a ball shape.

I think someone went a little crazy trying to cut out the ball and make it look more in focus/sharper. Also the area surrounding his hair is a little fake looking. It’s really hard sometime to cutout someone’s hair and it looks pretty obvious to me. I seems like there is a white outline around his hair strings. Or whatever you want to call them, maybe Little Hair Units?

This is a typical cool sports shot to me. I don’t understand why more night shots aren’t included in sets. (what the Hell do I know, I just started collecting again, right? Maybe they’re all over the place.) Anyway this Joe Blanton card is cool in that it’s another pitcher action shot just like the Randy Johnson one, except it looks to be pretty much un-molested. He’s got a cool expression on his face (a little less awkward than the Big Unit), but never the less the ball is in the frame. For me motion blur is excusable in this shot especially considering that it’s a night shot. I hate to sound like a photo professor, because I know that it would be hard for me to shoot the same thing any better than the dude (or dudette) that shot this photo. It’s hard to get an acceptable shutter speed to stop motion in night games.

The best card was the one that I was afraid would be the worst. It’s a Legends Chrome Refractor of Nolan Ryan from his days as an Astro. It’s got a cool retro Astro logo in the middle and it looks snazzy. I don’t think the scan of it does it justice though, and I think it would be a little nice without so much white at the bottom of the card, but really it looks cool. I can see now why people get addicted to collecting.

Oh. And I forgot. How could I not include a Mickey Mantle card? I’m not much of a Yankee’s fan. I don’t hate them either really, but this one is cool because on the back it mention’s Jim Thorpe and Oklahoma and for a guy from Oklahoma that makes me a little proud.

Oh yeah, and after looking at all these cards I’m almost sure that the Devil Rays, Marlins and Blue Jays are the same team.


Abi said...

You were wrong, hello!

But I have no idea who any of those people are!

Anonymous said...

you said no one gonna read this.but i ><


I enjoyed the breakdown of the photos from your "photographer's" point of view.It allowed me to see some things I would normally overlook.