Someone takes the actual photo on a baseball card. “Say cheese, smile, turn your head to the right, lift your left leg a bit. Perfect. The look of Walter Johnson. Hold that. Click” Maybe a strange shaped cloud rolls overhead or a rusty bridge in the background is seen and maybe it’s appropriate to include in the shot.
It’s hard to distinguish between intentional and accidental when it comes to meaning and baseball cards. But someone takes the time to arrange the perfect light and setting and what not. None of the cards feature a photographer’s name. There is no byline; just a Topps insignia, but someone travels all over baseball creation and snaps photos.
I’m not a big fan of studio poses or contrived shots on the mound but image seems more important than substance or meaning these days. Or maybe it always was. Maybe it was even more important back in the day with all the jewelry and face paint, masks and what not.
Anyway, I prefer action photos and the multiple meanings we assign them as deluded as they may be. Everyone can enjoy their own delusion. We can share or trade them and all live in one happy deluded baseball card world. And if we agree on the same delusion, maybe it becomes an illusion or a dimension.
I think Topps issues its cards in February. Nowadays the card companies are many and each one launches a new wave of cards on a weekly or maybe monthly or seasonal basis. A baseball season features all kinds of changes; from opening day to the all star break and Word Series.
There are trades and records broken, winning streaks, no hitters, and what not and the baseball card world mirrors these changes or attempts to anyway. The intent in a photo can only be hinted, but there is no judgment, no asterik for those who used steroids or extra star for players who make more media noise.
There’s just a photo and on the back side some bio info and basic stats. The rest is up to the viewer. The 2014 Opening Day Topps card of Yovani Gallardo displays his number 49 in full view. It’s not the first time his number can be clearly seen. The 2011 Topps Sparkle Sp Variation was maybe the best with a star above the Milwaukee insignia and that number 49 easy to see.
Gallardo wears the number to honor former Brewer left hander Teddy Higuera. Both Gallardo and Higuera are from Mexico; two of Milwaukee’s all time greatest pitchers. 2014 may be Gallardo’s last season as a Brewer, so the card takes on additional meaning.
But sentimentals and history aside, there are also the 2014 Topps Opening day cards of Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez. Segura seems to ignore the burden of ribs and joints and gravity. And Gomez laughs in the face of expert advice “nice and easy.” Segura is a swan. Gomez is a pleasant bull. And I’m a baseball card fan with delusions.
The Brewers had an off day Monday and visit Toronto Tuesday afternoon to play the Blue Jays in celebration of Canada Day.
The Brewers are 51-33.