Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lenn Sakata, 1982 Fleer #178

This card is amazingly awkward on so many levels. First is the design itself. Fleer was in their second year of competition with Topps after two decades of other pursuits. As you can see, they were still struggling to find their way. There's something to be said for the less-is-more approach to card art, but in this case the collector is almost lulled to sleep. And lest you think that the medium-zoomed, unfocused photo on this card is an unfortunate abberation, I can assure you that the other 1982 Fleers I have don't look much better; some even look worse. At least Lenn's face is only half in shadow.

So let's focus on the particulars of this card photo. First of all, it appears that the O's are holding open tryouts on a local rec league diamond, what with the hard, mottled infield dirt giving way to the less-than-verdant outfield grass, which is backed by a chain link fence, which sits directly in front of some lovely suburban foliage. Then there's Lenn's fielding technique. If he always threw across the diamond with his wrist crooked at such a weird angle and his left foot pointed inward while his right foot hovered in midair, it's no wonder that Earl Weaver took the plunge and moved young Cal Ripken, Jr. from third base to shortstop.

1 comment:

deal said...

I love this card, I have this one in my collection and consider it the worst looking. The photograph is just so far away and out of focus - it's like the picture was taken from the stands using a disposable camera.