Monday, August 29, 2011

A different angle for a card photo

There are a lot of cards out there with very similar photo angles. Most times it a hitter taking a swing or pitcher throwing a pitch. It's not unusual to see a head shot or a standard pose taken during spring training photo day. Once in a while, a different shot appears on a card and really sticks out like a sore thumb. You know the ones - a play at the play or a diving catch, for example. Some shots are good, and others may you think, "they couldn't find a better photo than that?!"

While looking through a stack of Yanks the other night, this card popped out at me. It's different than any other Paul O'Neill card I have. Most of his cards show his sweet lefty swing. A bunch also show him smiling before a game or around the batting cage, which is weird because he never seemed to smile when he played. But this card is different than all the others.

Now, please don't let all of the gold foil from '95 Pinnacle distract you, as it surely may. Upon first glance, I didn't like this card at all. Why would I want to look at a players back? When I was in a school play in second grade, my teacher told me to "never turn your back to the audience." That was my first thought. Then I started looking at the card more closely and it really started to grow on me.

First off, not many cards showcase a full shot of the impressive curly mullet that Paul rocked for his entire career. That alone scores this photo points. Second, it's a great swing follow-through. A lot of players would have brought one hand off the bat by now. Third, it's a cool shot of the MLB 125th Anniversary patch that the players wore in 1994. Lastly, the dirt on Paulie's ass. The man always played hard, and dirt on his uniform is fitting for the type of player he was.

What I'm really saying is that before dismissing a photo, give it a second or third look. Often there's more to it than just your initial reaction. You might be surprised.


  1. As a single card with the image used once, it's cool. But if it shows up more than once, it's just laziness. Like the shots of players signing autographs. One or two cards a year is okay, but if it's all you have, it gets monotonous. I miss those early '80s Fleer shots of worn out players sitting all alone in the dugout. I'd love to see some old guy on his way out on a card like that. It says "I'm old, I'm tired, and it's time for me to retire." But I don't want to see a dozen of them!

  2. Imagine that you're a baseball player, and this is your one and only baseball card. Is it still a cool photo?