This may sound a little cheesy, but I have fond memories of watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and going on field trips with him to various factories. And later on, LeVar Burton on Reading Rainbow would sometimes do the same thing. So yeah, I'm the kind of guy that will sometimes watch the behind the scenes vignettes on DVDs that are longer than the movies themselves.
And what does any of that have to do with this blog? I have no inside information on how Topps chooses their pictures, but the whole point of this blog is to take the picture to find out the bigger story.
I do have a template made of the basics I want every post to cover, such the as the date, location and opponent for the game. And this where I can get a little nerdy. I love spreadsheets and databases and keeping track of stuff. I'll be honest, I haven't put much work into this blog yet. I've found a bunch of source photos while I wait for the cards to come to my area but I haven't done any research into the games yet.
While I have my template, I also developing a checklist of things to look for so I don't miss anything. My question to you, is there anything you want to know? For example, I'd be curious to know if any of the photos used came from the same game? Same series?
I'll be keeping track of which stadiums the photos are taken at. Wrigley's ivy showing up on other team's cards is a small, but growing mini collection for me.
Day games vs. night games.
Cameos. Who is that blurry second baseman behind the shortstop turning the double play? Or the blurry first baseman behind the pitcher? Or the guy colliding with the catcher at the plate or breaking up the double play.
Horizontal cards. Another niche collection of mine.
Home jerseys vs. away jerseys vs. throwbacks.
I'll be tallying the number of photos used by the photographers. Is one a clear favorite or go-to for Topps?
I know many of you have mini collections of bunters, pitchers batting, double plays and plays at the plate so I'll be tracking things like that too. Eye black. Stirrups. Umpires.
Of course, I'll be looking for any Photoshopped jersey changes, but that will probably be more of a Series 2 and Update concern.
While this stuff won't necessarily appear in the everyday posts, I do hope to make a statistical analysis post after I finish posting Series 1, 2 and Update and again as a whole set.
Throw some things out there and I'll keep track, no matter how minute. Bat boys in the background? You got it.
And if you made it through all the nerdy stuff, here's a behind the scenes look at how baseballs are made: