Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I certainly collected my fair share of hilarious baseball card photos. All those mustaches, blue uniforms, weird hats, and funky locks are half the reason I’ve kept them around all these years.
The other day I found some of my old football cards, and they all seem to have less-than-ideal photos as well. Like the baseball cards, the photos all seem to be casual snapshots from games and practices.
Today’s cards all have perfect photos, and I imagine designers have quite a library to choose from. But not back in the day. Nope, they were just looking for a semi-decent photo that showed the player’s face and number. Whatever was found first, worked.
That’s how I imagine poor Arthur Whittington ended up huffing and puffing for his 1981 Topps Football Card. Instead of busting through the seam on a 3rd and 3, the Raider’s running back was featured sucking oxygen on a hot Oakland afternoon.
Do you think he cared? I mean, today’s players flip out if their Madden player rating dips below 90…can you imagine what would happen if their card hit the shelves with something like this? Publicists would get eaten for breakfast!