Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Barney Sterling

The 2011 release of Bowman Sterling came out in late December and featured Darwin Barney on two cards. He wasn't a part of the base set; instead his cards are relics. I picked up both for the Barney player collection.

This is the relic refractor. There is a blue pinstripe at the left edge and dirt all over. His jersey in the picture is filthy, too. Darwin likes to get dirty.

This is the second card, a nice dual relic with the Cubs double play combination for years to come, Castro and Barney.

One more thing today: the post title actually has a double meaning. Long-time Cubs fans might recognize the name Barney Sterling. He was the team photographer from the '60s through the early '80s.

Here is the team directory from the 1979 Roster Book, which lists Sterling as the "Cinema and Still Photographer."

Sterling's name also came up when Theo Epstein was hired. Last October Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander wrote a piece about a press conference that Dallas Green held soon after he was hired by the Cubs thirty years earlier. It's pretty funny:

Ponder this, Theo.

Back in 1982, the Cubs were announcing their new season’s motto — “BUILDING A NEW TRADITION’’ — at a press conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Dallas Green had been with the Cubs as president only a few months, but the new slogan was his way of thumbing his nose at the Cubs’ losing ways.

As the lights dimmed for an inspiring video presentation, marketing assistant Buck Peden got his tie caught in the screen which was lowering from the ceiling. The film that came on was nothing but un-reviewed spring training footage of pitcher Fergie Jenkins making endless pickoff moves to first base.

As new PR man Bob Ibach saw with horror what was unfolding, Cubs cinematographer Barney Sterling keeled over with a stroke. The camera toppled sideways and the film kept displaying images on the wall. In the back of the room, the real Fergie Jenkins was partway through changing from street clothes into the new Cubs uniform, pants on the floor, and chaos reigned.

Ibach remembers that he couldn’t let go of the spring-loaded screen or Peden would be strangled, and that through all of it Green stood in the back of the room, stunned.

Classic Cubs!

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