Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Close but No Cigar (2014 Donruss)

The title is not a reflection on the product itself, but rather, my attempt to ID the original source photos like I did for Cubs cards last season and am doing for the entire 2014 Topps set on my other blog. I guess I should have said "spoiler alert" or something to that effect.

First up, we have Anthony Rizzo.

One of the stars of the team, Rizzo has over 1200 photos in Getty Images from 2013. Because he's wearing the home ponstripes, I can throw “Wrigley” into the search and we cut that number in half. But after sifting through those, no such luck.

I decided to try another trusty photo site, AP Images. They had just under 500 images of Rizzo from 2013 and an even more manageable 132 when I added “Wrigley” to the search.

Below are two photos from that group that have the same background fans as those on the card. So I’m pretty sure I nailed the game, and maybe even the same at bat. Because we all know over the course of a game, fans get up and move around.

We've got the fan in the floppy hat behind Rizzo that is obscured by the AP watermarks on the photos. The guy directly above him with the sunglasses. And the female fan in the red shirt right at Rizzo's eyeline among others.

As the title says, close, but no cigar. My guess is that the photo on the card was the third in a sequence of quick shots. Now that I had the game date, I went back to Getty and redid my search. However, all of the Rizzo photos from that day were taken from the third base side.

With less commentary on the process, I experienced similar results with Travis Wood.

Here’s a pretty close one. But unless they added some bushiness to Wood's beard while Photoshopping out the logos, this is not a match.

Here's the right amount of beard, but not the right pose.

While it’s a little hard to tell because the background is much blurrier than the Rizzo, I think this is probably a game day match based on this fan:

Hardly conclusive, but I think I'm right.

And finally we have Starlin Castro.

As best I can tell, this one is a match. Success!

Had I found the original source photos for all of them, they would have gotten their own posts. But now, this post has gotten long enough so I won't be breaking any of them down. Maybe I'll do the Castro another day since I did find a match.

Until I got to the Castro, I was starting to wonder if maybe Donruss paid for exclusivity and the original source photos were pulled from the site. Now I don't know what to think. I also wonder if Topps has the same "rights" to Getty images as they do MLB logos or if Donruss wanted to reduce the likelihood of using the same photo and went with another photo agency.

All of these AP photos (and I'm assuming the photos for the cards I did not find) were taken by the same guy, David Durochik, a Chicago based photographer. I’m sure like any other job it has its tough times, but aside from playing for the Cubs, being a game day photographer ranks right up there for me as a dream job. And to have some of your work end up on a baseball card? Awesome.

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