Friday, June 12, 2009

Card Spotlight: 6-12-09

2009 Topps #625 - Jim Thome

The cards of my youth were mostly posed shots in weird places. Sometimes the background looked like a local park. Sometimes it looked like a county fair. Other times the scene looked reminiscent of snapping a picture of a friend in the batting cages.

It was about the time that I grew out of adolescence that the cards would undergo a transformation. Gone were the posed shots and here comes the ACTION! There are sets from the early nineties that feature nothing but action shots.

It became mind numbing the way card after card would feature someone leaping, someone throwing, someone swinging, someone sliding, someone tagging or someone holding on to a ball for dear life.

Sure the quality of the cards became better. More focus was put on photography. Occasionally, some minion at a card company would come up with a design that would compliment the photography well. Most of the time, the design aspect was left in a state of decay. It's still that way today, in some instances.

In the flagship sets from each company, there is usually a good mix of the action shots and the still shots. On a rare occasion, I'll spot a posed shot that will really take me back to the sets of yesterday.

I haven't gotten around to purchasing many packs of the series two sets from Upper Deck or Topps this year. They are still fairly new and my local store has only recently started to stock them. Before I bought my first 2009 series two packs, I received a package in the mail from a friend. In that package were a few series two White Sox cards mixed in with some other White Sox cards.

Something about the photography struck me in the Topps series two cards. Sure, there were the same standard shots, but a few cards had unique aspects to the photo that made me pause. The first card was the Paul Konerko card. In the photo, he and A.J. Pierzynski appear to mirror each other's movements as Paul Konerko throws the ball, across a very green field, to hopefully an awaiting pitcher at first base.

It is a testament of beauty, but another card made my jaw drop; Jim Thome. Clearly, the shot is posed, but the symmetry of the card was undeniably gorgeous. The blue sky, with nary a wisp of cloud cover. The gentle giant smirk on Thome's face. The leafy green tree. The smattering of people gathered in the stands. Even the canopy above the portion of the stands screams summer.

The picture reminds me of a simpler time before million dollar salaries and court battles. It hearkens back to the days when Pete Rose wore a crew cut. When ballplayers were heroes and they took a winter job to keep their family afloat. There is a reason why Thome is known by the nickname "Gentleman Jim" and it is all evident in this card.


GOGOSOX60 said...

I picked up a bunch of 2009 series 2 Topps WSOX cards last weekend and picked up extras of the Thome card. I call this pure Topps "sugar"...these are the cards that Topps would get you hooked on and always wanted more just like that!!

--David said...

Amen, brother!!

JD's Daddy said...

I am just getting started in the hobby, but have found some White Sox cards if you are interested including a Juan Uribe Topps Heritage 09, Thome Upper Deck 09, Bobby Jenks Topps 07, amongst others. Interested?

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