Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weird-Ass Team Shots

About a hundred years ago, there was a real fashion for some rather strange team portraits. In these, the heads of individual players were cut out and then pasted onto some background. Here’s what a standard one of these “floating head” portraits looked like:


And here’s how a more creative one might appear:


And a really weird one:


Do check out Mr. Ford, in the lower left corner. Looks like he has a thing for Mr. Priest.

Not sure what was behind these. Who knows, maybe the X-ACTO knife had just been invented.

For some reason, a good fifty years later in the 1970s, this particular fashion came roaring back. And for some inexplicable reason, this fashion caught on overwhelmingly with Chicago teams.

Here, for example is the 76 White Sox team:


I really like the two in the upper left hand corner. That’s Cy Acosta in the corner. And the balloon head next to him is none other than Dick Allen. 

I also like the two in the lower left hand corner. It looks like Wilbur Wood’s head is half the size of Ron Santo’s.

For some reason, though, this look was most popular with the Cubs. Here’s their 1971 card:


Once again, I get a real kick out of the different size heads. Compare, for example, Ernie Banks and Don Kessinger, in the top right.

One thing I like about this one is the signatures. It gives you some idea who these guys actually are (though they are pretty tiny).

And the '72:


... which appears to be using the same head shots from 1971. Cheap bastards!

Here’s the ‘74 card:


This one’s got signatures, and numbers too, but they’re just too damn small to make anything out.

And here’s the ‘76:


Second row, fourth guy from the right and third row, second guy from the left might be the same guy.

Here’s the one from 1977:


A little crowded, huh? Great combo of different hair styles and facial hair though. In particular, I love the afros on Jose Cardenal and the dude in the top left (would love to know who he is). And is that Rick Reuschel over on the left with the glasses?

And, yes, these things did indeed continue into the '80s. I'll spare you though.