Thursday, October 24, 2019

Baseball card story from Morris Fostoff

Morris Fostoff owned an accounting and insurance business in Commack, NY for over 25 years before retiring and moving to Florida in the late 1980s, where he took up photography. He was a baseball fan and player for decades (he played with and against major leaguers during World War II). In 1989 he got work photographing spring training games for the Yankees, Mets, Braves and Expos, eventually leading to work for Fleer and Baseball America, among others. He has only recently retired from photography, and at the age of 94 is still publishing books of his photographs. Photos from the Fields of the Mets and Yanks was released last year, joining 2015's Birth of a Dynasty: Atlanta Braves of the 1990s. He kindly shared with me this great baseball card story.

"I have one that is a classic and well known, what happened to me many years ago. I was shooting photo day for the Orioles and Billy Ripken appears before me and immediately shows me the back of his bat knob. Then he starts yelling, "Look, you see there is only my number there." I knew nothing about what happened the previous year and I thought he was nuts. What happened was, some player pranked him by writing in bold letters, f--k you. It caused havoc in the card industry."

Thanks! And for those who might be interested,in 2010 I interviewed Steve Babineau, who took that famous photograph of Ripken.


  1. Great story. Thanks for providing the link to the Babineau interview, too. What a cool window into the world of a 1980s baseball card photographer.

  2. It'd be cool to get Ripken, Babineau, and Fostoff to sign a copy of this famous error card.

  3. I would love to hear more of this guy's stories, maybe you can try to pry a little bit more out of him :)