Way to Photo Edit, Upper Deck
September 9th, 2010 by slangon

One of the many things I enjoy thinking about when looking at my baseball cards (Yes, I do often look at them. I don’t just file them away into books and boxes and let them collect dust and appreciate in value.) is trying to picture what the player on the card thinks when they see the final card. I guess it’s the same as anyone looking at photographs of themselves and either being happy that it turned out to be a good shot, or embarrassed by how jacked up they look.

A lot of times I’ll look at a card that has a particularly awesome action shot and I’ll imagine that the player is pretty impressed with himself and glad that that particular moment in his career was captured for posterity.¬†One card that comes to mind is this 1982 Topps Mookie Wilson.

Another reaction I always envision is if a player looks particularly bad-ass on their card. Although I am not lucky enough to actually own this card, the first one that pops into my head in this category is Eddie Murray’s 1978 Topps card.

Samuel L. Jackson got nothing on Steady Eddie.

As fun as it is to picture players positive reactions to their baseball cards, the real fun comes from picturing their reaction when a particularly lame, ugly or outright strange photograph of them ends up being enshrined on cardboard. It seems to me that the early years of Upper Deck’s run at baseball cards is a prime source for this sort of thing.

Let’s look at Mr. Murrays 1992 Upper Deck offering as a good example.

The front is actually not too bad. Of course this being toward the twightlight of Eddie’s career he’s a little thicker about the middle and sporting a very strange looking uniform, but he still presents a certain degree of bad-ass-ness, albeit not quite on par with his 1978 card. The real problem is with the back.


Really, Upper Deck? That’s the best picture of this fading future Hall of Famer that you could find? One of him booting a ball ala Bill Buckner? That’s the best you could do? That’s pathetic.

They didn’t reserve their poor photo editing for future Hall of Famers either. No sir. They filled the backs of their cards with pictures of guys who apparently just struck out.

Or who are sashaying back into first in a not very flattering manner.

Or guys who are doing some pre-game conditioning while dressed in some very unflattering outfit.

Or who are about to smack someone with a bat.

Or a guy who just happens to look like an all-around douche.

Oh, and it wasn’t just the Mets that they got. They got guys in the middle of practicing their rock moves.

Or dressing up like the Prince of Persia.

Or chasing after a ball that they should have caught.

Or looking back incredulously at the ump after failing to tag out a runner.

Or doing whatever the hell this is.

It got so bad that the poor choices of photos even spilled over onto the front of the card ever now and again.

I guess that “P” in the bottom left corner indicates that Todd is the Practice Ball Boy.

Now I’m not saying that Topps (or any other card company for that matter) doesn’t have their fair share of bad pictures on their cards. I’m just saying that thanks to Upper Deck, the early 90’s might very well be the Golden Age of Crappy Baseball Card Photography.

3 Responses to “Way to Photo Edit, Upper Deck”

  1. I like interesting “behind the scenes” shots like the Stottlemyre and the “prince of persia.” The Hojo not so much.

  2. Howitt’s saying “Hook ’em horns!”, odd for someone from Cal State Fullerton.

  3. I think I just saw too much of Howard’s johnson there on the back of his card.

Leave a Reply