Monday, April 25, 2011

Topps Vault Picture Research - Where Have I Seen That Photo Before?

I recently saw this negative of Brooks and Frank Robinson for auction on ebay from The Topps Vault:

Looking at the picture, I wondered where I had seen this shot before. After thinking about it for awhile, it hit me:

Topps used this picture for its 2005 Brooks Robinson Topps Fan Favorite card by cropping out Frank Robinson.

Digging a little further, I realized that the shot from the Topps Vault appears to have been taken at the same time as this shot that appears in the Sport Magazine photo gallery:

Here is the actual picture as it appeared in Sport Magazine:

This B&W photo appears to have also been taken from another angle at the same time:

Tying this back to Topps, if you look at the Sport Magazine photo, you can see that the dugout in the background is the very same dugout that Brooks and Frank are standing in front of in this other photo that Topps auctioned off a few months ago:

Looking at Frank's undershirt sleeves which extend to about his elbows and at Brooks' sleeves which do not extend all the way to the elbow, it certainly appears these photos were taken the same day. The other thing that appears to be the same in this series of photos are the towels hanging up in the dugout as well as the player sitting on the bench.

Topps got a lot of use out of this particular photo session since another shot appeared on the 1968 Bird Belters card

and yet another shot appeared on the 1967 "The Champs" card (with Hank Bauer joining in):

Not bad getting three different cards out of one photo session. I wonder if Topps has a few more shots from this photo session in their archives since it appears quite a few pictures were taken that day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another Custom Fleer Baseball Sticker From The Phillies Room - Flashback Edition

In case you didn't see Jim's post on The Phillies Room previewing the Brewers v. Phillies series, I have only one word to describe this custom Fleer sticker:


In discussing my appreciation for the great work he is doing with his custom Fleer stickers that he has created to go along with his previews for each Phillies series this season, I asked if he would entertain any special requests, and indicated that I would really enjoy seeing a Seattle Pilots sticker.

Jim really delivered on my request with a great job on this classic cap, complete with the "scrambled eggs" on the brim.

Thanks for the great Pilots sticker Jim!

To see more of Jim's custom work, please visit his fantastic blog The Phillies Room.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wacky Packages Old School Series 2

The 2nd Series of Wacky Packages Old School is out now:

The set is based around package designs from the 1970's - hence the "Old School" name. Just like with the 1st series which was released last year, this set does a great job capturing the packaging from those times, and has come up with some great parodies. One of the things I like about the Old School set is seeing products that I remember as a kid, but have forgotten about until seeing the sticker.

The Old School series is a collector release (as opposed to a mass market release) with a limited production run of only 5,000 boxes. The stickers are only available through the Topps Online Store, and are not sold anywhere else. Here is the link if you are interested in purchasing a box which contains 24 packs:

Here is a look at the complete 33 sticker set:

Packs contain 3 stickers and a checklist card. The checklist is very similar to the checklist cards that came in the 1970s packs:

The checklists are on the back of the puzzle cards. As the Original Series always did, the puzzle features a Topps product:

In this case, the Topps product being spoofed is Big Tooth Gum:

In addition to the 24 packs, in each box there is a large envelope

which contains the following bonus items:

A Wacky Packages Old School sticker and an Old School Series 3 Promo sticker:

2 Artist Concept Cards (there are 2 cards in each envelope with 6 total in the full set):

3 Giant 5x7 Stickers (there are 3 in each envelope with 9 total in the full set)

and 1 Wacky Artist Sketch card:

The majority of the sketch cards are B&W, but there are a few color sketch cards as well:

And finally, there is also a Wacky Packages Old School binder which is available to purchase separately:

It appears there will also be an All New Series 8 set later this year, so we can look forward to more Wacky releases down the road.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Custom Fleer Baseball Stickers from The Phillies Room

Earlier this month I came across a post that caught my eye and brought a big smile to my face - new custom Fleer Baseball stickers!

Jim, from the fantastic blog The Phillies Room, has created custom Fleer Baseball stickers to highlight his posts where he looks at each upcoming series between the Phillies and their next opponent:

Jim's work on customizing the stickers is incredible. I am really looking forward to completing my virtual collection of team stickers as the season goes on.

Even though Fleer is no longer with us, its great to see a "new" series utilizing a classic design. It almost feels like an "update set" to the original 1980 - 1982 sets that featured each team's cap:

Jim's custom work is not limited to stickers however. He does an even more amazing job with his custom cards:

Not only does he utilize classic Topps designs to create new cards that look like they must be from an update set from the particular set he is using for his design, he even customizes the backs in many cases:

He's got the back of this 1977 design down perfectly!

He even has checklists for his cards:

Even if you aren't a Phillies fan, I highly recommend checking out The Phillies Room to see many more examples of Jim's custom cards.

Jim - thanks for letting me share some great examples of your work, and for the excellent job you are doing with your custom cards and Fleer stickers.

Monday, April 11, 2011

1970 All Star Game Program

To finish up my look back at some vintage baseball programs that feature team logos, I'm going to review one of my favorite program covers - the 1970 All Star Game program:

This is the only program cover that I've come across that features all of the team logos from both leagues. As we've seen with some of the other covers I've reviewed, some of them would have all of the teams from either the AL or NL, but this is the only time all the team logos appear together on one cover.

I like the clean white background with all 24 team logos surrounding the Baseball logo (which apparently was used during the 1960s). For the most part, these were the team logos that were being used when I started to follow baseball, so looking at this program with all of these logos takes me back to that era.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Professional Baseball Logo from the 1970 All Star Game AL Media Guide

It seems that for a while from 1969 to at least 1970, the familiar Major League Baseball logo included the notation "Professional" instead of "Major League" Baseball:

I first spotted this logo on a 1969 Padres program last week

and have now found another version on the back of the 1970 American League All Star Game Media Guide:

This gives us two publications from two different years which used the term "Professional" instead of "Major League". If anyone has any information on why "Professional" was used for a period of time instead of "Major League", I'd appreciate hearing from you.

For the 1970 All Star Game Fan Ballot, the MLB logo was used, and the copyright under the logo reads Major League Baseball Properties:

so why the "Professional" logo on the back of the All Star Game Media Guide?

I could see "Professional" being used in the context of covering both Major and Minor League Baseball combined, but the examples of the logo being used are on publications that are specific to the Major Leagues. I'm wondering if Professional and Major League were used interchangeably, or whether there is any significance associated with using one instead of the other.

If the design of the AL Media (Facts and Figures) Guide looks familiar, its because its the same design that was used on the 1969 Royals program

except that in 1970 the Brewers replaced the Pilots and moved the Twins, Yankees, and A's over one hour on the clock dial to keep the teams in alphabetical order by city.