Tuesday, June 9, 2009

1976 Topps Action

The photos on these two cards are awesome. The slight fuzziness only accentuates the the sense of motion.

First up: card #10, Lou Brock. Everyone knows Lou is one of the greatest base stealers ever, and this card feeds into everything we already know about his career. Lou's coming off the base (first or second?) and the positioning of his feet suggests this is the split second before he turns toward his destination and takes off in earnest. His arms hang loose and his shoulders are roughly square to the pitcher and the action at home plate but his right foot is already pivoting to the next base. Is he going? Faking? The contrast between Brock, the man trying to hold him on, and the outfielder with his hands on his knees in the background, really gives the card a keen sense of drama. (link to the post at Project Baseball 1976)

Up next, #90 Sal Bando. As with the fielders in the Brock card, here the immobile umpire at the foul line in the background contrasts sharply with Bando going to his left for the grounder. He doesn't have the ball yet, he's going toward the ground but has yet to dive. Again, the card suggests a lot more about the situation than it resolves, and things don't look good for Sal. He's playing in on the grass, so we can guess the hitter has a good bit of speed and was expected to bunt, but obviously that didn't happen. He may have been caught off guard, but Sal's making a somewhat awkward, diving stab at the ball to keep it from getting through the infield. Although we know there's a leftfielder somewhere off to the right, just out of the picture, there's nothing but the ump between the ball and the outfield wall, and the ball looks like it could roll on forever. (Link to Project 1976 Baseball)

1 comment:

  1. The Bando card photo must've been taken during the playoffs since that's the only time MLB has umps in the outfield.

    I have that card and never noticed that before. Thanks for pointing it out. (By the way, the Brock card is one of my all-time favorites).