Tuesday, March 10, 2009

old timers

I remembered a while ago seeing a link to a collection of portraits of baseball stars made around the turn of the century, many of which were used as models for early trading cards. Via (the now defunct?) Information Basement, here's the photos.

click for a larger image. For the original search, which allows you to get much larger individual photos, click here.

Looking through the photos I can't help but think that everyone single one of these players could kick the shit out of any current major league player. Look at the expressions - It's like they were told to look tough. Also, on the whole, with one or two exceptions they are all extremely unattractive. I can imagine for some folks a couple may fall into that "ugly/sexy" category, but not many.

Now it's possible that one hundred years ago the median level of attractiveness was substantially lower, but I kind of doubt it. Not to really pick on dead people, but look at "Grant" from Philadelphia.

Maybe it's just the lens or the angle of the photo, but he looks like a freak of nature. It also appears that a teammate may be making fun of him behind his back. Probably because of his ears or that dumb look on his face.

In addition to Matthewson (the lone smiler) the other attractive exception has got to be Orval Overall (what a name!) from the Chicago Cubs.

Here's his portrait next to his trading card. To be honest I don't think the illustration even does him justice - he looks like a real life Paul Newman in the photo. But he also looks tough as shit. I may start telling people that he was my great-grandfather.

1 comment:

  1. "Not to really pick on dead people"