Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Anatomy of a Baseball Card: Jose Cruz 1982 Fleer

Blurry and off-center. 

I complain about photos used on new baseball cards as much as I complain about the designs themselves. I should probably complain more. There's something really sterile and soulless in the photo selection process these days. Topps gets everything from Getty Images. We get it. Getty has an amazing library of perfect images for perfectly cropped cards spit out of fancy computer applications.

A little part of my childhood was ruined when I learned that Topps (and others) probably don't send their own photographers to games anymore. This practice likely ended decades ago. Printing flaws aside, I like to think that whoever shot Jose Cruz circa 1981 was having a bad day. This was as good as it was gonna get. It would be nice if the focus was a little sharper, or if we could see both of Jose's feet, but this is going to have to do it.

On second thought, maybe the photographer was actually having a great day. He could have been four beers and a couple of hot dogs into this game before he realized he didn't have a picture of the Astros star outfielder yet. Baseball is fun.


  1. It probably shouldn't bother me, but I have been annoyed ever since I found out Topps gets its photos from Getty Images. The photo on the card shouldn't be available anywhere else.

  2. Yep yep.

    I think I read an interview with an old Fleer photographer where he said a lot of the crappy images were the result of the company cutting corners in the production process (Much to the photographers' chagrin). So, like, this original photo might actually be nice and crisp, but they just jacked it up while putting it on a card.

  3. night owl - I think that's exactly what I don't like. It pretty much invalidates any sort of feeling of uniqueness you have with a "collectible" trading card.


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