Saturday, May 16, 2015

Take me out to the ballgame


This is one of those "stadium scenes" inserts in this year's Opening Day set. Cards On Cards sent it to me and I'm glad it's mine, because I take what I can get when it comes to the Dodger Stadium experience.

The Stadium Scenes set is a bit of a disappointment for me, mostly because most of the 17 cards in the set don't really show much of the stadium. It's a lot of players signing autographs and mascots. But I just want to see the ballpark. (Please note the rare appearance of foil in an Opening Day set on these cards).

This particular photo, while showing the instantly recognizable center field Dodgers sign as you approach the ballpark (it's actually the other side of the scoreboard, I believe), doesn't give me any appreciation for what I think is still one of the most beautiful parks in Major League Baseball.

This picture is taken from the parking lot, where you see light poles, an imposing length of fence, and --- weee! -- a Time Warner sign to remind all Dodger fans living in Los Angeles of the cable company fiasco that's preventing them from seeing their team's games on TV. All that's missing is a "Keep Out" sign.

I look at this photo and I feel like a little kid who is straining over a wall to get a look at what's inside the stadium.

I admit these are my feelings only and I feel that way because I've never been to Dodger Stadium. I want to see the fan's perspective when they are sitting in the stands looking out on the field.

But cards are woefully inadequate when it comes to stadium views.

For a long time, baseball cards ignored stadiums completely. If you wanted a look at the stadium you had to stare at the background. The players were the stars of cardboard. But the baseball experience is important to fans these days and there just aren't enough pictures of the Dodger Stadium experience on cardboard.


Until five or six years ago, stadium pictures in a baseball set were non-existent. That's why the 2010 Upper Deck's Ballparks subset is so praised. However, this Dodger Stadium picture gives me the same feeling as the Opening Day Scenes card. I'm on the outside looking in. At least there are palm trees.



The other Dodger Stadium cards in my collection feature the overhead look, which is great for getting the entire ballpark in your sights. I'm told that when fans enter Dodger Stadium behind home plate they are greeted with a gloriously panoramic view of the ballpark. Maybe this is that look or maybe it's only the look if you were sitting in one of those spiffy luxury boxes.



Beautiful shot. The team sets are the place to go for stadium cards, and I need to get more serious about collecting team sets (the Dodgers sets aren't exactly hanging at my nearby Target). However, unless I'm passing over L.A. in a blimp, I will never see this in real life.



More pictures from the air and it's hologrammy as well. This has always been a cool card, partly because they handed this out to fans at a game.


There is the back. A nice "stadium scene" reproduced with some watercolor effect.



Here is a "ground's eye" view of the stadium. A little distant, but it's a good look and, of course, there is a greater objective with this card.


OK, here is more what I have in mind! This gives a fan's perspective on a much older photo. You get an idea of the timeless quality of Dodger Stadium.

That's the limit of what I have in my collection on Dodger Stadium.

Let's move on to some other cards that Kerry sent:


He sent two other Opening Day Dodgers. This one is the same as the base card.


This is probably what we're going to get in Series 2 of the base set, Rollins photoshopped into his Dodger uniform.


Here is what photoshopping looked like in 2006. Guh!



Look! It's my first 2015 Gypsy Queen card and it's a mini of the guy who got 4 strikeouts in one inning during his season debut last night. You don't have to be afraid to send me GQ Dodgers, really.



Kerry also sent random filler cards, which are appreciated as long as they're not early '90s Donruss. Believe it or not, I needed that '87 Ozzie Smith.

I also need to get another card of a fan's look from the seats at Dodger Stadium. I'm sure frequent Dodger Stadium visitors like gcrl and All Trade Bait All the Time have all kinds of pictures that they could turn into their own custom cards.

But I'm just a little ol' fan on the east coast with no photoshop skills.

I'll wait patiently.

7 comments:

  1. I've never been there either, but I gotta say, that card at the top is one lousy job. It's a crappy photo that shows nothing of the ballpark experience. I've seen better views of Dodger Stadium on random player cards. The Heritage cards at the bottom of the post are much better.

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  2. I've been to Dodger Stadium twice - once for a game and then a few years later for a tour. The inner workings of the ballpark show their age - I hate that I can't walk around the entire stadium (outfield is isolated, at least when I was there to see a game). But that OPC shot really is what you see from the home plate gate and it's quite amazing. Maybe one of the best entries to a ballpark ever.

    I love ballpark cards, and the OPC and '10 UD sets are parts of my collection. I wish they'd show up a little more frequently. In fact, instead of one of the meaningless insert sets Topps throws in to its flagship issue, they could have a set with one card for every MLB ballpark ever. A nice historical set that I'm sure would be very popular with collectors. I would definitely finish that set! NPB card sets here in Japan almost never show the stadiums, and even an updated current ballpark set is way overdue.

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  3. Ryan, you can now walk around the stadium. The new ownership made that possible with the stadium upgrades prior to the 2014 season.

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  4. That's great. I knew they were renovating it but since I've been in Japan for the past three-plus years I've never bothered to find out. There are still plenty of stadiums in Japan that don't let you walk all the way around.

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  5. Old Milwaukee County Stadium had that same thing -- where you couldn't walk to the outfield from the grandstands and vice versa. I never understood that, though.

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  6. I'm headed down to Dodger Stadium this summer. I'll make sure to take plenty of photos in your honor.

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  7. One of the "Stadium Scenes" cards I've pulled (twice for some reason?) is just a photo of the back of the Tigers mascot, which is ridiculous. I would suggest that maybe Topps recently had some photography privileges revoked, but don't they get most of their photos from Getty these days?

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