Monday, January 17, 2011

I Never Noticed That...And Some Detective Work, Too

This happens to me often, and I love it.

You have had a card for a while and have looked at it dozens of times. And then the next time you're looking at it, you see something you never noticed before.

Does that happen to you, too??

I had one of those moments with this card.

Cuno Barragan. I've had this 1962 card for over three years now and have looked at it many, many times. The card was one of Five Random Cubs Cards in this post.

But when looking it over last week, I noticed something new. And no, its not that his last name is misspelled. The card has "BarragOn" instead of "BarragAn." I already knew about that goof.

Look at the wall over Cuno's shoulders. The wall must be metal and it is full of dings; round dings let behind by balls smacking the wall. And now every time I look at the card, those dings really stick out at me. How could I have missed them?

Now that I've noticed the dings, I've been trying to identify the ballpark. The picture had to be taken in 1961, since that was the only season Barragan was with the Cubs before the card was issued. There were eight NL teams that season. Since he's in his road uniform, we can eliminate Wrigley Field. That leaves seven other possibilities.

Sportsman Park, St. Louis: Eliminated because as far at the Cubs are concerned, Topps never took any pictures in St. Louis.

Forbes Field, Pittsburgh and Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia: Eliminated, the Cubs didn't play in either of these cities when Barragan was with the team.

Crosley Field, Cincinnati: Eliminated; had red seats, not gray

Los Angeles Coliseum: Eliminated because of the green wall

Milwaukee County Stadium: Eliminated: had chain link fence, not a wall, and red seats, not gray.

So that leaves us with....Candlestick Park

These two cards may also help. The seats in the background on both pictures seems to be the same gray as on the Barragan card. The park in both pictures have uncovered, wrap around bleachers in the background. In the Banks card we have light towers. The early version of Candlestick had gray seats, wrap around bleachers, and outfield light towers.

I think its pretty safe to say the Banks and Altman cards were taken at Candlestick. And in the past few seasons prior to 1961, Topps did take photos at the Giants first SF park, Seals Stadium. But back to the Barragan card. Cuno came to the Cubs in September and the Cubs did have a road trip there in the 15th - 17th. So I can be fairly sure that the dinged up wall is at Candlestick Park.

But then again, why would it be so dinged up like that, since Candlestick was brand new in 1961?

Any other detectives out there have a guess?


  1. Nice work. I can't be of help as to the dings, but I like them.

  2. Going to guess that most if not all of the Cubs pictures for the '62 Topps cards were taken at Candlestick. I know Ron Santo's (#170) was because you can see the Giant jersey's behind him in the batting cage.

    And somewhere upstairs I have that Cuno Barragon card, I will have to find it. :-)

  3. Those dings are one of the reason for the signs you used to see at ballparks that said 'No Pepper Games'. The dings came from guys playing pepper around the backstop and balls hitting the backstop and dinging it up. You don't see those signs too often anymore since most walls are padded and you don't have to worry about dings. Some parks still have the signs because they worry about a ball going into the stands and hitting a fan as well.