Thursday, March 15, 2012

More fun with photoshop

Ever since photoshopping became commonplace, Topps has been going to town, putting players into their new team's uniforms, putting fences in front of bat boys on team cards, removing umpires out of photographs, you know, basically playing God with photographs.

You would think I would have a huge issue with this given that my job includes discussions about The Journalistic Integrity of Photographs. And it's true, I actually have a difficult time with certain Topps photoshopping, mostly erasing people from the photo or moving an entire crowd of fans into a different stadium.

But I don't have an issue with altering the uniforms. Topps has been doing this for decades -- back when it was called airbrushing -- and it doesn't bother me, probably because I've been seeing it since I was 9. Even though I mentioned in the last post the photos that were photoshopped from the cards out of my blaster of Opening Day, it was only for informational purposes. It wasn't because I had an issue with it.

All of those cases involved a player who had changed teams in the offseason. Topps photoshopped the player into his new team's uniform. Nothing earthshaking. It's been done numerous times.

But the Ricky Nolasco card that you see here  made me pause. That's because I know Ricky Nolasco (not true), I'm good friends with Ricky Nolasco (also not true), and that's not the Marlins uniform that Ricky Nolasco is wearing on his Topps base card.

See the two cards side-by-side:

The Opening Day card on the left features Nolasco photoshopped into the new Marlins uniforms. The regular Topps card on the right has the new Marlins logo in the corner, but Nolasco's featured uniform is now considered "old school."

Here is another example. Topps placed Anibal Sanchez in his new Marlins uniform for the Opening Day card on the left. That tired, old jersey with the turquoise outline is on the base card at right.

Topps even changed the color border for the Opening Day Marlins cards. The border is blue instead of turquoise. The same thing for the card backs. OD Marlins backs are blue, not turquoise like the backs of Topps base Marlins.

Topps even went as far as changing the photo for Hanley Ramirez's Opening Day card. This is the Topps base card.

And here is Ramirez's photoshopped Opening Day card.

My guess is that Topps completely changed the photo because photoshopping all of the players in the background of the regular Topps Ramirez card would be too difficult/work-intensive/it's quitting time.

I just think it's amusing that Topps went through THAT amount of trouble to make sure that, in the Opening Day set, the Marlins were wearing the uniforms that they had yet to wear. They actually switched photos to get gosh darn "Miami" on the uniform.

Kind of neat, I guess. But not really necessary.

I just keep wondering what would happen if we pulled that kind of stunt at the newspaper. I can think of at least four or five people who wouldn't have jobs anymore.


  1. They often do this for Opening Day - thus the players look like they would on opening day. Of course, since they release the set in February and not near opening day, they are often obsolete by then. I know, go figure, Topps screw up their own concept, who woulda thunk it?

  2. I know they do it for players who have changed teams. I don't remember them photoshopping uniforms just because a team changed its uniform style in the offseason.

    Not that I'm an avid follower of Opening Day.

  3. They photoshopped the Blue Jays into their new "old school" uniforms as well. The Opening Day Jose Bautista has him airbrushed into a white '90s Jays uni.

  4. I just don't understand... why put so much effort into OD?

  5. Hey, if you're a Marlins fan, you might actually have a reason to be interested in Opening Day this year.

    I guess all the effort for Opening Day this year went into digitally manipulating photos, and that's why we have boring inserts this year.

  6. The Nolasco photoshop isn't too bad but the Hanley looks awful!

  7. If I were a Marlins fan, I would love this. It'd give me all the more reason to pick up Opening Day.

  8. Here's what I don't understand, and maybe you make a post out of it. If Topps is the only company who can use MLB Logo's, why not just wait until you get an actual spring training photo and put it in the first release after that? Nobody is going to beat you to the punch, they can't. And wouldn't that just build the anticipation more of getting the original card. Can you imagine the anticipation of the first Pujols or Reyes cards in their new uniforms if people had to wait until April or May before they could get them.

    Maybe I'm missing something, maybe I'm not. Who knows?