Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Photography 101

I used to do a little photography.  Nothing big.  Had a totally manual camera, took a lot of black and white shots (usually of artsy things nobody else would ever even think to take photos of), took a couple of courses at the local community college...  I eventually moved on to other hobbies, but I did manage to learn a few things about composition, lighting, depth of field … that sort of thing.

So, I’m assuming the guys who took these photos might have been exposed to some of those same basic ideas also.  But ... then again ... maybe not. 

Honestly, some of these photos look like they might have been taken by fans.  They look like they’d be more in place in an old photo album with shots of birthday parties, Christmases, and first communions.   All they need is the Rambler or Nash parked in the background, at least one person with their eyes closed (see Eyes Wide Shut), and a light pole coming straight out of Uncle Ernie’s head.


It’s called centering.  It’s a pretty simple idea.  Not sure why it was so hard to accomplish on this card.

Fred’s career was pretty nondescript.  Four years, 5.08 ERA, six wins …  Comparable players include Leon Pettitt, Emilio Palermo, and Buster Ross.  Yup, those guys.

Hey, nice signature.  No more coffee for you, Fred.


No, Del, over here! A little to your left. No, your left, my right.

Del Rice has been here before, looking a little ... er ... well ... drugged. I didn't mention it in that post, but Del played over three decades, from 1946 to 1961. Over those 17 years, he was a one-time All Star and also caught a no-hitter. He was also in the World Series twice, posting a pretty decent .333 average over 15 at bats. 


It's like an exercise in negative space.

Ty Cline was not Ty Cobb. He was up for 12 years, getting over 300 at bats only once. And two of those seasons were below the Mendoza line. Ty was, however, an All-American at Clemson.

By the way, this Ty is actually a Tyrone.


And here’s a nice picture of the sky.  Oh, wait a minute.  There’s something down there at the bottom.  It looks like a guy of some sort.  Oh hey, it’s Eddie Robinson.  Hi, Eddie!

You already know Eddie Robinson, right?  In addition to his being a baseball lifer, he was also one of the genuine minor stars of the ‘50s.  Over 13 years in the bigs, he hit 20 or more homers four times, cracked 100 RBIs three times, and made the All Star team four times.


More centering issues.  And how did they get the sky to match Tommy’s eyes?

Not everyone knows there’s a lot more to this guy than getting his elbow whittled on.  Would you believe he was in the majors for 26 years?  That he was twelve wins short of 300?  That he came in second for the Cy Young award twice?  That he won 20 three times?  That he was 6-3 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in the post-season?  Comparable pitchers include Robin Roberts, Fergie Jenkins, Bert Blyleven, Early Wynn, and Don Sutton – all in the Hall.


More spacious skies.  And don’t those skies do a real nice job emphasizing Johnny’s knob-like head?

Johnny Temple was the Reds starting second baseman for most of the ‘50s.  He was a four-time All Star and finished his career with more walks than strikeouts.

Life after baseball was not so kind to Johnny … bankruptcy, alcoholism, fired from a state job for embezzlement, and arrested for grand larceny.  Sounds like he was able to turn things around at the end though.

Some centering issues, plus I really like the way the fence is going right through Joe’s head.  I just keep thinking Steve Martin.

Everyone knows Joe Nuxhall was the youngest player in the majors, at 15.  You might not know, however, that he was a major leaguer for 16 seasons and a Reds announcer for 40!  Talk about a baseball lifer.

See!  I swear, I cannot tell these guys apart.


Sam Jones was famous for inventing the baseball bonnet.  Somehow or other, though, it never quite caught on.

I introduced you to Sam and his eye-popping stats back in one of my ugly posts.  Some other interesting things about him:

  • He was part of the first all African-American battery in AL history
  • He was the first African-American to throw a no-hitter
  • He was traded for both Ralph Kiner and Bill White

Also, what particular atmospheric conditions make the sky turn green?  I do realize he was playing in Detroit when this card was issued, but still ...

* author has this card

1 comment:

  1. Tommy John won 124 games before his surgery, and 164 games after.