Saturday, May 2, 2009

Double standard

In 1989 Score issued this card of Tigers reliever Paul Gibson. When it was released, there was a major to-do about Luis Salazar adjusting his cup in the background, and Score issued another version of the card where his arm is airbrushed. (I couldn't find a picture of the airbrushed version.)

In 1997 SP issued this card of Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera. When it was released, there was no reaction to Mariano Duncan adjusting his cup in the background.

Why the difference? I can think of several reasons:
  • 1989 Score was a mass-produced, widely available set. 1997 SP, at eight cards for $4.39, was not a set intended for the masses. A lot more kids would be looking at the Gibson card, and might think it's OK to fix your pants in public.
  • 1989 was the year the Billy Ripken f*** face card came out, making card companies hyper about that sort of thing. By 1997 such furor had died down.
  • 1989 - Reagan/Bush puritanism. 1997 - Clinton-era permissiveness.

1 comment:

  1. I am amazed there have not been more examples of junk adjusting on ball cards. You remember Mike Hargrove had a routine every pitch of adjusting his batting gloves. For example, Tommy Herr (and his son Aaron, who played for my local minor league team one year) had a routine of adjusting his stuff on every pitch.