Thursday, June 25, 2020

Lean on Me

Sometimes card sets, subsets, or inserts have a purposeful theme, often given a label such as Diamond Kings or All-Stars. I think that sometimes, however, there are themes that are more subtle, probably the product of a variety of factors. One factor that seems to me to be most influential is the photographer. In some cases, an action shot is just an action shot and a posed shot is just a posed shot. But in other instances, the photographer probably directs a player to take a certain pose. We know this is true of sets such as the early Studio offerings. Furthermore, some photographers looking for candid shots of players might be able to catch the player at a particular moment that they feel fits a certain look they are going for.

I think something like this was at work with 1983 Fleer. I found this like I find most other quirky things that I find about sets, by flipping through a stack of cards. I think in this case, three cards in a row seemed to be leaning toward a similar theme. Literally leaning. I went through the card stack again to see how many of the cards featured a player leaning on something. There were quite a few. Seemingly more than most sets, though I'm not THAT bored to do such research. But I thought I'd share my findings in the off chance that more than three people in the world care about such a thing. The cards seemed to fit into one of three categories (from least to most prevalent):

Leaning on one's leg

Leaning on a bat (yes, there's some overlap with leg leaning, but that's just how it's going to be)

Leaning on a railing

Some final stats for consideration because, why not:

Happiest Group (by %):
Leg Leaners: 2 of 3
Railing Leaners: 4 of 8
Bat Leaners: 2 of 5 (although Mickey Hatcher is probably the happiest of all the players)

Leaning Representation by League:
AL: 13 (Remember, the Brewers were in the AL in 1983)
NL: 3

Leaning by Position:
Catchers: 4
Outfield: 4
First Base: 3
Not Represented: Third Base

Leaning by Name:
Bob: 2
11 others: Tied with 1

Ok, I'll stop now. Keep your feet on the ground and keep leanin' for the stars!


  1. Lean-tos! I gotta get copies of Berra and Romero. Great shots! And who doesn't love a "Wockenfuss?" I have it cuz he's collectible on name alone!

    1. I'd be more than happy to send them to you, gratis, since they'll otherwise just sit in a box of other random 83 Fleer cards. Shoot me your address if interested!

  2. I sure miss when baseball cards really represented baseball, you know how there's a lot of down time and it's not ACTION ALL THE TIME like most sets only show these days.

    That Wockenfuss is the card that Wockenfuss was looking at in one of the photos that ran with the story on him I did last fall.

  3. I'm pretty sure my love for sports stems from statistical breakdowns... so kudos to you for creating these statistical splits.

    I know that Bill Withers song should be stuck in my head, but I actually have Lean Back (by Terror Squad) and the 1981 Donruss Yogi Berra on my mind.

  4. Got the cards you sent me. Thanks.