Wednesday, August 5, 2015

10 phenomenally frightful photoshopped Dodgers

Almost a month ago, I wrote a post chronicling 10 awesomely awful airbrushed Dodgers. At the end I promised a similar rundown for our modern world, namely 10 photoshop disasters in Dodger garb.

Photoshop is an interesting weapon. It can perform wondrous miracles and hilarious comedy, but too often it falls into the wrong hands and produces crimes against photography ... and hilarious comedy.

It is very easy to play God with photoshop and we've seen alarming sights on cards such as the lower left foot of an umpire abandoned next to Manny Ramirez:

But mostly, photoshopping is used on cards to update players into the uniforms of their new team, just like Topps did in the old days with airbrushing.

Most of the time, a photoshopped picture on a card doesn't look as comically awful as an airbrushed picture. But there are still some beauties from recent years.

I can't tell you when photoshopping first started with cards, it was probably during the time when I wasn't collecting. I do know the first time I noticed it though. It was with the Nomar Garciaparra 2006 Opening Day card that is at the top of this post. In the first year of my return to collecting modern cards, I looked at that card and knew something wasn't right. And all I had to do was go to my collection of flagship cards from that year for confirmation.

This is a tried-and-true Opening Day practice that's revived every year, but at the time it was a new concept to me and pretty jarring. (P.S. photoshopping the uniform of the person in the dugout, too, is a nice touch).

As the years have gone on, I've more or less come to terms with photoshopping on cards, and the art of photoshopping has gotten better over the years. But they can't hide their earlier creations. I have the evidence, and I'm going to show it here now.

Here we go: 10 Phenomenally Frightful Photoshopped Dodgers.

10. Scott Proctor, 2007 Topps Updates & Highlights

Proctor was sent from the Yankees to the Dodgers at the trade deadline on July 31, 2007. That didn't leave Topps with any time for an updated photo of Proctor in the traded set.

Photoshopping tells: The blue color is off on the cap and the undershirt. The "Los Angeles" script practically glows.

9. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2012 Topps Heritage

Hairston signed as a free agent with the Dodgers in the offseason of 2011 after playing with the Nationals and then the Brewers that season.

Photoshopping tells: Hairston may as well still be wearing a Brewers cap here; it's barely blue.

8. Greg Maddux, 2009 Topps

Maddux was traded from the Padres to the Dodgers on Aug. 19, 2008 to set up Maddux's second stint with the Dodgers (he also played for L.A. in 2006). This isn't the worst photoshopping example, but it annoys me because other card companies (*ahem* Upper Deck) were featuring Maddux in a real, live Dodgers jersey.

Photoshopping tells: I don't know what it is about Dodger blue, but photoshoppers can't get it right. It's off on the cap, and the red uniform number is almost radioactive.

7. Zack Greinke, 2013 Topps

Greinke signed as a free agent with the Dodgers on Dec. 10, 2012. Even though Topps waited until Series 2 to feature Greinke's card, it's still off. I love 2013 Topps, but this is one of the low points for me.

Photoshopping tells: The "Los Angeles" script looks too small, especially in relation to Greinke's uniform number.

6. Scott Podsednik, 2010 Topps Update

The Dodgers picked up Podsednik from the Royals in July of 2010 for a couple of minor leaguers. I'm assuming that it's easier to photoshop players whose new team wears the same color as his old team. But not easy enough, I guess.

Photoshopping tells: For whatever reason, the artist had to squeeze in the Dodgers' red uniform number on Podsednik's jersey. And not just one number, but two. It doesn't look right and is too bright. The blue in the cap is too light again.

5. Octavio Dotel, 2010 Topps Update

Dotel came to the Dodgers in an infamous deadline deal trade in July 2010 in which they gave up two young players/prospects (James McDonald and Andrew Lambo) to the Pirates for a situational reliever. The Dodgers were the 9th of the 13 teams for which Dotel played.

Photoshopping tells: That looming, monstrous "2" on the back of Dotel's uniform looks like it's about to consume his whole uniform, Dotel himself and the card.

4. Juan Pierre, 2007 Topps

Pierre was a Dodgers free agent, signing in late November 2006. Too late to get Pierre into an actual Dodgers uniform.

Photoshopping tells: Pierre played for the Cubs in 2006. Can't you tell? The Dodgers restrict their blue jersey wearing to spring training (thank goodness), and even when they do wear them, there's no white piping down the center.

But I do have to admit all that blue looks great with a blue refractor.

3. Nomar Garciaparra, 2006 Topps Finest

Speaking of blue photoshopping on blue refractors: Garciaparra was signed as a free agent in December 2005, forcing Topps into this ugliness.

Photoshopping tells: Garciaparra also came from the Cubs and he's definitely wearing a Cubs jersey there. The Dodgers' script looks like its ironed on.

2. Nomar Garciaparra, 2006 Bazooka

I don't remember the specifics, but Garciaparra and Topps did not see eye-to-eye at this time. You could find Garciaparra in a Dodger uni in Upper Deck/Fleer products but not in Topps products, such as Bazooka.

Photoshopping tells: Boy, did Topps ever pay for this contract impasse. Not only does the Los Angeles script look ironed on like on the last card, but so does the "L.A." on his cap.

1. Greg Maddux, 2006 Topps Updates and Highlights

Another Cubs-to-Dodgers move. (No wonder the Dodgers never won anything during the 2000s!) The Cubs traded Maddux to L.A. in late July 2006 for Cesar Izturis.

Photoshopping tells: All of the things that I wrote about the Garciaparra (and Pierre) cards apply here, except also HE'S WEARING PINSTRIPE PANTS.

The day the Dodgers are known for wearing pinstripes is the day I pick a new favorite team.

You may have noticed that a lot of these are from a certain period, around 2006-10. As the years have gone on, the photoshopping continues, but it's not nearly as apparent. I think the artists are getting more skilled.

Maybe because there's a bunch of bloggers to keep them in line.


  1. To me, the dead giveaway on the Dotel is the fact that the shopper make the back uniform number red. Or left it from the previous uniform, which isn't possible considering where he came from in the trade.

  2. Ugh, I loathe photoshopped cards. To me they are not worth the cardstock they are printed on. I first noticed them in the NBA in 1999-00 I believe, definitely 2000-01, so I'd say 2000 is right around the starting point. Some of them are so bad, they use designs and colors never actually worn by the tea at any time, ever.

    1. worn by the team, of course. I doubt tea wears any jerseys at all.

  3. The phantom umpire foot is hilarious.

  4. Wait! How is this card not #1!!!!! Let alone not on the list!

    1. Yeah, that's very terrible, as I said, but I was kind of going with traditional team updating. If I had thought of it, I would have put the Koufax card with the Ramirez Bowman card.

  5. The Bowman line, these days, are almost 100% photoshopped. They're photoshopped from minor league and college and high school unis, which makes it a tad more difficult to track down the originals, but they are photoshopped nonetheless. I blame MLB and their licensing rules for it, though. Before that, Bowman gave you mostly spring training shots of players (in the proper unis) on the cusp of making it. Now its all guys in their first and second year in photoshopped unis. Thumb through about 100 or so current Bowman cards and you're find yourself with new respect for Panini.

  6. What I remember seeing a lot of is two different cards using the same photo but in different uniforms, like the Topps/Opening Day you showed. But it's been a few years since the last time a saw a pair like that.

  7. Ignorance is bliss. There's a part of me that wishes I could identify photoshopping and airbrushing as much as you (and all of the others with trained eyes). I'll often look at a card and think... something doesn't look right. But I never truly know if it's been edited. In the end... I guess it's a blessing, since I don't let it bother me too much. In fact... I actually think the Manny card is a pretty sweet card. I wonder how many other cards feature floating umpire body parts.