In addition to collecting cards of Cubs players, which inspire me to write from time to time, I also collect cards of players from other teams, if the picture on their card (front or back) can be identified as being taken in Wrigley Field. The card scans listed above are some of the cards in this category, and there are three general poses that I have identified:
Pose #1: Pitcher coming to the plate, with an ivy backdrop (See Jones, Wetteland, and Sampen cards above) Let’s face it, some kids grow up wanting to become big league pitchers, and these are three men who were lucky enough to achive this goal. Don’t tell me these wouldn’t make a great photo opportunity for somebody at a fair or an amusement park. Look! It’s the body of a major league pitcher, with the face removed so that I can stick my head through it and have my picture taken. Then I can set it as my cell phone’s wallpaper, or make it my Facebook profile picture, or email it out to everyone I know and wait for their comments! Pretty cool, huh?
Pose #2: Middle infielder turning a double play, and/ or runner sliding into second to break up a double play, with an ivy backdrop (See O’Brien, Ramirez, and Vizcaino cards above) The trouble with these is that it gets hard to tell which player the card is trying to show. Charlie O’Brien, for example, has Shawon Dunston over his left shoulder, and if you think Dunston doesn’t have multiple cards in this pose, well, I just haven’t shown themm to you yet. And the Harry Caray patch that Cubs players wore in 1998 makes a surprise appearance in the Vizcaino card.
Pose #3: Defensive player, with or without shades on, attempting to make a play on the ball, with an ivy backdrop (See Cairo, Dykstra, and Upton cards above) The Cairo and Upton cards, which appear in this year’s Topps sets, also suggest that UnderArmour is getting a little bit of extra bang for their product placement buck.
Perhaps I pay more attention to this because I’m a Cubs fan and collector, and there’s nothing out of the ordinary about seeing so many ivy-themed cards. Maybe other ballparks and stadia have similar backdrops that card manufacturers are drawn to more than others.
Please let me know some of the examples that you’re aware of, to further this discussion about the background optics that card manufacturers may or may not want when they choose player poses. There must be some common settings in other ballparks, as well.