Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Topps Jeff Baker

I don’t know why this card intrigues me but it does.

2012 Topps Jeff Baker Bearded Guy

My first thought when I saw the iconic Wrigley Field marquee on the card was one of my favorite blogs, Wrigley Wax, which uses a personalized version of it as the header. As he does with all his new team sets, a few days later Paul posted his write up about the 2012 Series 2 Cubs team set. Knowing of his periodical use of Photoshop to correct Topps mistakes, I left a comment suggesting he make a few alterations to include replacing the marquee with the one from his header photo. You can see his modified version here.

Normally, with a guy like Jeff Baker, this card probably would have been scanned, logged, put in the binder and forgotten about. I took my kids to a Nationals-Cubs game in 2010 and Baker turned down my kids’ autograph requests in a very similar situation to the one in the picture. Suffice to say, I'm not his biggest fan. It’s his prerogative not to sign, but it’s my prerogative to not care if he's one of the casualties of the impending dismantling and rebuild of the team.

But Jeff Baker isn't what I focused on with this card. As I mentioned yesterday, in my Sandberg Sunday post, I've been giving cards a deeper look and trying to learn more about them. Unfortunately, this card asks more questions than it answers.

Who is the bearded guy? Does he know he's on a card?

Did he sign a standard $75 contract with Topps for the use of his likeness that thetoppsvault sells on ebay like the players?

What is he getting autographed? Surely he's not getting signatures on the back of a marquee sign??

A little more research turned up this photo through Getty Images:

Unless he is just using the sign for support, it does appear he’s getting the back of the marquee signed. While the caption given by Getty does not give the name of this bearded fellow, it does mention it was Opening Day against the Pirates on April 1, 2011.

Ah, such optimism for the fan with his sign. As we all know, last year was not the year. And it doesn't look too promising this year either.


  1. Nice find at Getty! I'll bet he tried to get all the players to sign the back. Would be a pretty cool piece to have. But I'd still like to know who the bearded man is!

    1. I agree it would be a cool piece but...why the back?!?!

      I bet a blue or silver Sharpie would really pop against that red on the front. Or even blue in the white lettering depending on their size.

  2. - go forward to the 2nd picture