Sunday, October 5, 2008
Dave Schmidt, 1988 Donruss #371
As I was leafing through some of my 1980s cards tonight, looking for inspiration, I came across veteran swingman Dave Schmidt at the top point of his delivery, chest thrust out, calling full attention toward his belt. But as you might notice, there's no belt to be found, just a cartoonish tri-color striped elastic waistband with a button front. Of all of the aesthetic atrocities committed by baseball teams during the Polyester Era (the descendant of the Wool Era), this is the worst. There is something professional and elegant about baseball players clad in belts, but there's nothing of that to be found in the above photo. From 1971 to 1988, Oriole players and coaches toiled on the diamond and in the dugout and bullpen while giving the appearance of grown men in pajamas. If you ask me, it's not mere coincidence that the Birds nearly went from worst to first in 1989 after ditching the formless neapolitan stripes and returning to those stately black belts.