Next on my posts for completing the decade is another top 5 list based on photos from the decade. The last post was action shots, the next one is the best posed shot. Like that list, this listing also goes completely based on the photo itself – not necessarily the player. Of course these are just my favorites – so let me know if you’ve got some others you’d include!
Honorable Mention – 1981 Topps Al Hrabosky, 1983 Topps Steve Balboni, Billy Martin, Dale Murphy, 1984 Topps Kirk Gibson, 1987 Topps Eric Davis, 1989 Topps Julio Franco
It’s saying a lot that the Hrabosky card, with the awesome Fu Man Chu, doesn’t make the top 5. Here’s the cards that edged out the Mad Hungarian. That card is cool enough that I’ll show it here anyways.
5) 1985 Topps #300 – Rod Carew
I’m a big fan of batting cage type photos. Carew’s pose is cool here. Some shots tend to work with the design of a set. This shot wouldn’t work as well with something like 1982 or 1984 Topps where the non-picture part of the card is on the side, or 1986 Topps where the team name is on the top. But it works very well in 1985 Topps. The photo manages to show off so many things:
- Carew’s bat handle,
- Carew holding his helmet,
- the full team name on the front of his jersey,
- the cage,
- the classic Carew afro,
- and a thoughtful (or confused?) look on his face.
4) 1982 Topps #239 – Jon Matlack
As I said a little bit ago when I did the 1982 Topps post – we have found the true originator of the “Discount Double Check”!
3) 1988 Topps #74 – Tommy LaSorda MGR
This is a pretty recognizable card. It captures the essence of a guy who was good for baseball, and is an all-around good guy – Tommy LaSorda. One of the few creative cards in the 1988 set, and one of the few cards I know of that has a golf card in the photo!
2) 1986 Topps #29 – Tony Phillips
Had this photo been in, say, 2006, do you think everything in this picture would have been destined to be cut up and fitted into various baseball cards to be packed out in? You’ve got a game-used: hat, jersey, fielding glove, ball, batting glove, and a bat.
Add to all that, and the look on Phillips face is classic. It almost seems like he was a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar or something! Plus, the green A’s jersey is a cool factor as well.
1) 1980 Topps #400 – George Foster
I love this photo. It looks like he’s not really in the background, kind of like a 1970′s television show opening intro. And it’s a Big Red Machine member. And he’s got bad-ass sideburns. If you’ve ever met Foster in an autograph show – you can just tell he’s a good guy. I don’t think he was viewed that way during his playing days, but out of the 9 Big Red Machine autographs I’ve got, only Sparky seemed even more fun-loving and genuine than George did.