Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Child's Play

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I've always been a little creeped out by the photos of big leaguer's as kids on baseball cards.  I get the point.  Hey, look kids, you could be a big leaguer some day too.  These stars are just like you.

What I really see?  Look, these guys looked just as idiotic in their little league photo as I did. 

Clearly athletic photogenicism has no correlation to actual baseball talent.

For example, this photo of Andy Van Slyke looks like it would be better suited for an episode of Unsolved Mysteries than a baseball card.  It's a bit scary, really.

At least with this Willie Stargell photo, Topps opted to go with a teenage Stargell.  I like this look a lot more, since it shows the progression from (presumably) high school prospect to power hitting superstar.  It's fun to look at photos of players from their minor league days and compare their body types and overall look to their days as a superstar.  It's amazing to see how much some players change over the years, even without steroids.

But Topps just wouldn't give it a rest with the creepy kid pictures.

And just to rub it in, they included three Pirates in 2010's When they Were Young insert set.  For those of you counting at home, that may be more Pirate cards than have been in Topps Flagship insert sets since 1993 combined.

I wish I were being hyperbolic, but I'm not.

Apparently Charlie Morton preferred the Blue Jays as a wee tike.  Given the way the Jays have played this year, he may have changed his mind.

Daniel McCutchen looks like he was wearing about as much advertising as a European soccer club on this little league photo (though the field looks nice).
And last but not least, in the "did he really want this photo on a nationally released baseball card?" category, Ryan Doumit.  I must admit this is probably the most innocent of the kiddie photos.  Still, it makes me cringe a little bit to see these in my collection.

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