Tuesday, October 03, 2006

old is new once again

It is difficult to wrap my head around the notion that summer is gone and that the regular baseball season has ended. But I see the trees turning yellow and dropping their leaves, indicating it is time for us to bundle up and prepare for the singing of the plump lady.

Since the playoffs start today, I need to announce my post-season predictions. Bad news for Tigers and Padres fans… I’m picking your teams for the World Series- with Detroit winning in seven games.

I recently picked up a pack of the 2006 Topps “Allen & Ginter” baseball cards. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I opened it, other than I thought it was a neat idea to attempt to recreate some of the magic of the first real baseball cards that were available with tobacco products way back in 1887 (before many of you were born). These cards totally blew my mind!

Although there were only 10 baseball cards included in the 1887 set that also included six other sports, Topps has issued a set of 350 cards (318 ballplayers including reprints of the original 10 cards, 7 non-sport superstars and 25 historical figures including the likes of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne). In addition to the normal “base set,” Topps has also produced a variety of parallel sets including mini cards that mimic of the original cards that measured only 2.75 by 1.5 inches (pictured below).

Not only is the artwork inspiring, but the white backgrounds and non-glossy finishes are ideal for autograph collectors. These gorgeous cards are perfect for baseball fans that have an appreciation for history. Topps hit this one completely out of the park! Although I’ve only opened the single pack, I can already tell that this set is going to compete with my all-time favorite… the 1975 Topps set. I think it would have been an interesting experiment if Topps had slipped a single cigarette into every pack similar to when they used to include “bubble gum.” Of course, maybe that’s one reason I don’t work for Topps.

Oh, so speaking of baseball and history, I was recently honored by being named an associate producer of research for a documentary about the history of baseball in Albuquerque. The production is scheduled for airing on PBS in the summer of 2007-ideally the week of the minor league all-star game that is being held at Isotopes Park. Needless to say, I’m stoked to get to the library and history museum to make the dust fly while working on my contribution. I’m sure to be writing more about that as it happens.

Similarly, I just received confirmation that a number of my still photographs of Isotopes utility infielder Tony Schrager will appear in an independent documentary about minor league baseball. According to Tony Okun, the film’s producer/director, the target date for completion of that project is September 2008. I urge you to bookmark oh! show productions’ website and monitor it for news about the movie.

I won’t include any of those photos here, so you’ll have to watch the movie to see them. However, I can’t help including this photo I snapped of Tony signing autographs for little leaguers prior to an Isotopes game back in August. You can’t make out much of Schrager, but the expression on this kid’s face is fantastic!

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