Saturday, March 4, 2017

Head in the clouds

I wondered a few things about 2017 Heritage in last night's post: Why is Oakland's team listed as "Athletics" when they were listed as "A's" in 1968 Topps? Why is there so much space above the players' heads in the league leader cards? Why are so many players posed as if they just launched a 600-foot home run?

I don't know if I can get answers for all of those, and I may have guessed the right answer for one or two already. But research always sheds at least a little bit of light on many questions, so I applied a small amount of research to one of my wonderings:

What is with all the clouds and bright blue sky?

In acquiring just 70 cards from the set, I pulled at least 15 sky-blue-wispy-cloud backgrounds.

That seems like quite a bit for such a small sampling.

How about two more?

So with so many I wondered whether '68 Topps also featured many "it's a beautiful day to play baseball" cards. I also wondered darker thoughts -- like Topps was photoshopping gorgeous sky patterns in the background.

So I went to the few 1968s I own. I didn't find much.

The Jim Brewer is the only one that kind of matches the 2017 Heritage skies. The Swoboda is rather clouded over.

So, I decided to check out images of the '68 set online.

What I found was, yes, there are a whole bunch of photos with the sky in the background. Since there are so many head shots in the '68 set and photographers shot from an upward angle, there is lots of blue in the background.

And specifically, I found these cards that showcase sky and puffy clouds:

So, yeah, blue sky and clouds was a thing in 1968 Topps.

The backgrounds aren't as true blue as the Heritage backgrounds and the clouds hardly as light and airy, so I don't know whether that's the benefit of modern day photography or whether there's some photoshopping happening. Or maybe there's a big-time Bob Ross fan in Topps' art department. They certainly are happy little clouds.

I don't know.

But at least I know a little more about this totally meaningless subject than I did before.

Researching is the best.


  1. I noticed that as well, and while there are a few nice sunset backgrounds there are like..hundreds with a blue sky. Have to assume its some sort of green screen trick, unless it's all photoshop - which would be disappointing.

    Not a lot of night cards in this set, I'm sorry to say.

  2. i'll go with a little photo shopping since the clouds behind mchugh, vizcaino and teheran are the same.

  3. I am surprised they didn't make a night sky short print...

  4. I'll bet that Topps' outsourced the photoshop work to the same folks that always overdue the photos realtors use on websites when listing a house,

  5. Nice research. If they're gonna use a bunch of staged, upper body shots of players... than I actually prefer the powder blue sky with puffy clouds in the background.

  6. Well, like I said in the tweet I sent you about this..
    It's either they got a good deal on blue sky/fluffy cloud backgrounds or the airbrusher went insane..

  7. I'm pretty sure that Zach Britton Is a chem-trail parallel.