Tuesday, May 15, 2012

’53 Bowmans (Lame Yet Odd)

I’m honestly not sure I consider these real baseball cards.  On one side, all you’ve got is a photo.  There’s nothing to identify the player, not even a scrawled signature.  On the other side, you’ve got a little blurb and a handful of statistics.

These remind me of the incredibly lame card sets before the ‘50s.  I’m talking Goudey, Double Play, Signal Oil, Tip Top Bread, and Swell Sports Thrills (and I’m not making any of these up, by the way).  They looked like they were clipped out of the newspaper and glued to some piece of cardboard.

There was something about those ’53 Bowmans though.  Something unusual.  Something different.  Something just plain downright weird.  I think it might have been the photographer.  Here, let me show you what I mean …

Let’s start out with a nice shot of the Florida sky.  I like it.  Makes the guy look really tiny.  That way, I haven’t a clue who this actually might be [it’s some dude named Bob Feller, by the way].

Okay, this is good.  Most of the shot is taken up by sky.  And I like how you’ve got the guy, whoever he might be [Howard Fox], off center like that.  Nice touch. (More Howie here and here.)

Even better.  Lots of sky, and the guy [Ted Gray] is practically almost out of the picture.  I like those nice tight crops.  Why put the subject in the middle of the frame when you can just cut off some bits of his anatomy?  (More Ted right here.)

Great!  It’s good to know we can do the same for batters too.  I especially like how you’ve been able to crop off bits of this dude [Don Mueller] on both the left and the right.

Not bad.  I like how we’ve still got plenty of sky, and the guy [Vic Wertz] is definitely a little askew.  I’m a little worried, though, about the camera angle.  Did you have to kneel to get this shot?  I’m not sure that’s the effect we’re after here.

Hmm.  Same camera angle.  I’m assuming you’re doing this on purpose now.  But, you know, I’m really not sure what’re you trying to do here.  [Bubba Church]

Oh geez.  I get it.  You’re trying to be creative, aren’t you?  Is that it?  Sigh …  [Jim Dyck]

Yeah, I get it.  More creativity, huh?  It’s like the ball is coming right at me!  I’m supposing you’re handing out 3D glasses with this one, right?  [Vic Raschi]  (It was a popular pose for Vic, by the way.)

You’re kidding me, right?  Do you think this guy [Minnie Minoso] – or any self-respecting baseball player for that matter –  would ever strike a pose like this in real life?  What did you threaten him with to get this shot? (More Minnie right aqui.)

Good Lord, man!  This is a Hall of Famer here [Pee Wee Reese].  Getting him to do something like this is just plain demeaning (not to mention the guy on the ground).  Do you have naked pictures of these guys in the showers?  What’s the deal here? (And here's another Pee Wee.)

Have you no shame?  Getting Whitey Ford to talk to his baseball like he was Mark Fydrich is just plain wrong.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say it was just plain un-American.  Think it’s okay to mock our National Pastime, do you?  Are you some kind of commie, or what? (And another Whitey.)

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