Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Topps Picture Vault, 2012

Darwin Barney's card is pretty cool looking....flying through the air and all.  

I haven't done this with too many Topps cards this year, so I thought I try to figure out exactly when Darwin went airborne.

The card gives a couple clues.  First, the ivy looks to be mostly filled in, meaning a late May date.  Second,  Barney is wearing stirrups, something he didn't do very often.  I need to find a late May day game at Wrigley with Barney wearing stirrups.

I plug all that data into the Wrigley Wax Cubs Super Computer and wait for the answer...

...May 29, 2011, as Barney attempts a steal of second base in the eighth inning.  He was out, but the Cubs won the game, edging the Pirates 3-2.

And if you don't believe me, click here for more proof!

OK, so I didn't really need any help at all to get the game other than Getty Images.

Through the Topps Vault on Ebay you can buy original images that Topps used on vintage baseball cards.  I've got the original from Ken Rudolph's 1973 card.


But for modern cards, you don't need the Topps Vault.  Instead, head over to Getty Images

It seems as if Topps is not using its own photographers any more.


And if I had any doubt as to whether Paul Maholm's card was photoshopped or real,

that doubt is gone!

Ian Stewart...

and Chris Volstad, too...

The Topps photo doctors did a nice job on the Volstad card.  I thought it was real since the pinstripes looked so good.  Now I know why....they just had to change the color of the stripes instead of having to create them.

If you have any doubts about most cards, head over to Getty, do a search for the player (and use the advanced search to narrow down the dates to the 2011 baseball season) and you may find the original.


  1. Weird how they added dirt to Ian Stewart's photoshopped jersey.

  2. really interesting - I might just spend a lot of time on that site!

    I wonder if they added dirt to fix a problem in the photoshopping?

  3. I think Bo is right. The lettering in Colorado is all bunched up but on the Cubs jersey, it's all straightened out. Bet they did that to try to make it more natural.

    As for Volstad, I had similar thoughts about the Rizzo I posted yesterday until I found the Padres throwback photo.

  4. I feel like I just went to school! Great work Paul.

  5. Great stuff!

    The photoshop on Ian Stewart is very interesting; not only did they add fake dirt, but they also had to add sleeves to his jersey.