30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sports + Photography = One Helluva Hobby

Collecting sports memorabilia isn't my only interest. I'm a huge admirer of photography. When I was a child, I used to love going into the local poster store at the mall and flipping through Ansel Adam's prints... especially his Yosemite collection.

In college, I took a photography class... but learning about aperture, shutter speed, and developing photos didn't hold my attention.

Nope... I'm one of those people who just enjoy admiring other peoples' art... but from time to time, I'll snap a few pictures of my own... without any regards to light metering or ISO speed.

In fact here are a couple of photos I shot yesterday on my phone...

One of the things about living in California is... it's hard to screw up a photo of its beautiful coast and sunset.

So what's better than collecting sports memorabilia and admiring beautiful photography? The answer is... combining the two.

Last week, I came across this gorgeous photograph of Ernie Banks and knew instantly that I had to own it. I love how it captures Banks at the tail end of his swing... probably watching one of his 512 round trippers sailing over the wall. But it's the subtle things like the positioning of the catcher, the dust hovering over home plate, and the blue tint of the fans that make this photo special. Plus... the beautiful signature done in blue paint pen on the dark background is nothing short of perfection.

Honestly, this photo could have been of a minor league player... and I would have considered adding it to my collection. But the fact that it was Ernie Banks... arguably one of the greatest players in the history of the Chicago Cubs franchise... definitely sealed the deal.

Here's a look at Bank's career accomplishments:

14x MLB All-Star
2x NL MVP (1958 & 1959)
Gold Glove Award Winner (1960)
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award Winner (1967)
Baseball HOF (1977)
Cubs Jersey #14 Retired (1982)
512 Career Home Runs
1,636 Career RBI's

All of this was accomplished during his nineteen years in Chicago, which is why he's nicknamed "Mr. Cub".

By the way... if you haven't checked out Insider Sports Deals, I encourage you to head over there. Every day, they have a new deal, which tend to be hit or miss... but every now and then, they hit a home run. The Banks photo was one of them.

I picked up this autographed 8x10 for $29.88.

The only downside to the whole purchase was the cost of shipping: $10.81. I picked up several other autographs (including an extra Banks for a friend) to make the shipping charge worthwhile. But... I'll save those for another day.

Here is today's question of the day...

What are some of your favorite photographs?

In terms of sports, there are two that stand out: Willie May's over the shoulder catch at the Polo Grounds and Jackie Robinson stealing home at Ebbets Field.

Outside of sports, here are a few of my personal favorites:

I just noticed that all of my favorite photos were taken before I was even born. But I guess that's why I enjoy them so much... they capture a piece of the past.

Okay... time to share yours.

Happy Tuesday everyone... only two more days until Turkey Day. Sayonara.

Nablo WriMo Daily Total: 533 Words
November Total: 5,856 Words


  1. It's really hard to pick a fave photo. I just saw a list for the 75 best LIFE photos this morning. It's a fantastic gallery to flip through:


  2. My favorite pictures would definitely have to be ones that I've taken.

    As far as pictures that other people might be familiar with, I think my all-time favorite baseball card photo would have to be 1991 Topps Roger Clemens. That set has a lot of great photos in it. You don't see anything like that these days. With 16 sets a year, there's no time to get creative with pictures.

    Other than that, it's really tough to pick out any favorites. Both Rock and Sports photography are favorites of mine. It takes a lot of talent (and usually special credentials) to get great pictures when things are moving so fast.

  3. here you go Fuji...

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I don't have the photo handy, but a photographer I know captured Tiger Woods' reaction after he sand a putt on 18 to tie for the US Open lead in 2008. He was in perfect position and Tiger turned right in his direction. He has told me that it was the shot of his career.

  5. Fuji you've heard about shutter speed, ISO & aperture, that means you know how to take a picture, and it's digital now.

    As you may know i'm a photographer.

    I like Ansel Adams too, But love the work of Henri Cartier Bresson, the field of photography i'd like to do is travel/sports! If you want any info on photography just email me, you should have my new email address!

  6. Someone game me this one clipped from a 1960s(?) SI mag, and it's a classic:


  7. spankee - those photos are awesome... thanks for sharing that gallery.

    mr. travers - i know exactly which clemens you're talking about... it's the one where he's standing in front of the scoreboard, right? awesome card!

    dawgbones - loved seeing all of your dogs in the post you wrote up. i'm a huge fan of dogs myself.

    the lost collector - now you've got me curious... let me know if you come across that photo... i'd love to see it.

    martyn - thanks for the offer... be careful... i might just end up taking you up on that.

    i had never heard of mr. bresson, but i did a google image searched and checked his stuff out. impressive... and very artistic. do you know if his photos were staged? or was he just there at the right moment?

    mmmrhubarb - love that old school baseball feel to your picture... first thing i noticed was his stirrups... the kind i wore in little league. second thing... what's up with that bat?

    btw... did you figure out who the player is?

  8. That's the great thing about photography, only the photographer knows if it's staged, I'm guessing not, as he only wanted to show life as it was! he coined the phrase the decisive moment!

    If you want to understand I have a lot of handouts about photography.

    You can get good shots with a compact but if you'd like to take shots like Ansel Adams a SLR camera is your best bet!

  9. Wow!!! The photos of the coast you took on your phone are really great.Spent a week in the Bay area in 2007 and can agree totally about the wonderful coastline. My favorite photographer is my sister, she is not a pro but man she can take some amazing pictures.I have three of her Yosemite pictures on the wall at home and some of her English lakes pictures kept at my parents house.

  10. martyn - my friend and i are debating on taking another photography class. i told her i'd do it, if it was affordable.

    i bought a slr camera a while back and have only used it a few times. i guess it's more motivation to get off my butt and refresh my memory on all of those fancy photography terms.

    btw... thanks for offering up the handouts. sadly... i'm not big on reading... except certain chapter books and of course cardboard blogs.

    hairylemon - thanks for the compliment... you guys have a bunch of beautiful coastlines yourself (never been there, but have seen them on tv... lol). one of these days, i'd love to go out there and see some of those english lakes you mentioned.

  11. ha ha -- Fuji, that's a fungo bat!

    Couple favorites that I took:



  12. as a redskin fan (been a long time since they have been any good), I like the John Riggins pic I have on my home page:



  13. i decided to play too. you can check out a couple of my personal shots over at my blog...


    thanks for the idea, and thanks in advance for stopping by my place.

  14. mmmrhubarb - lol... that fly looks like he's looking right at you. definitely cool photos.

    thanks for sharing the fungo bat... looks like i need to do some research ;-)

    markz - riggins was a beast... nice photo!

    stealing home - love those photos... especially the hot scooter chick and the secret beach shot.