Monday, September 24, 2012

The Cardboard At-Bat – Manny Ramirez ‘shop Job Revealed!

I grew up a fan of the Oakland Athletics. I took BART to many games and one day hope to take my daughter to a game (when the stadium and its immediate environ do not elicit the worst connotations of a concrete jungle.

Thankfully, we live near Sacramento and were ever too happy to hear the Manny Ramirez would be joining the River Cats before he got called up to the A’s.

In the meantime I was busting packs of Topps 2012 Series 2 and stumbled upon the oddity that is Manny Ramirez #393 in Series 2:

The card must have been Photoshopped, right? Topps doesn’t seem nimble enough to have such a great action shot of a player like this from Spring Training. Intrigued, I did some serious sleuthing.

First, the A’s never used grey jerseys in Spring Training (I checked, they only played with green jerseys). Even if they had played with grey jerseys occasionally during Spring Training, Manny only played in one away game, on March 3, and they wore green jerseys.

Second, the colors on the jersey just seem a bit off. I’m pretty sure 99% of the general card collecting community would not notice, but the yellow border seemed too small and the green was just a bit wrong. Take a look at the jerseys in this picture of Josh Donaldson and Cliff Pennington and compare it with the Manny picture:

Nothing about the picture seemed right. I started noticing little things in the background, like maybe a brick façade and the oddly orange hue of the spectators. Brick façade, orange hue…brick façade…orange hue…Oakland…it didn’t make sense. Until I thought about the other side of the Bay…AT&T Park and the SF Giants.

Could it be? Manny played for the Dodgers for a while so he must have played at AT&T wearing an away uniform. But would Topps do something that simple, just swap out the logos on the uniform and change some color schemes. Surely they have their own photographer, so we would never know where the photo came from, right?

It took about two minutes of searching, and I found the source for the Topps 2012 #393 Manny Ramirez (Oakland A’s) -  a picture of Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers taken during a Dodgers vs. Giants game on June 28, 2010, taken by Jed Jacobsohn of Getty Images:

Now I feel like I need to become Manny Ramirez Topps 2012 #393 SuperCollector. I secretly hope that I will  get bipped with these cards forevermore.

For your viewing pleasure, here's a side-by-side of the original and the 'shopped pictures:

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