Saturday, May 4, 2013


Voting on the latest "Gems of Junk Wax" region closes tonight!

Hit those polls!

In the past few years, it seems like "photobombing" has become all the rage.

In reality, though, the practice isn't really anything new. For as long as there have been cameras, there have been people turning otherwise-normal photos into disasters.

Now, in case you're not up to date with the "hip" new talk of my generation (in which case I wouldn't blame you), here's what the official "photobombing" definition, courtesy of what people my age like to call the "urban dictionary"...

Photobomb (verb) -- An otherwise normal photo that has been ruined or spoiled by someone who was not supposed to be in the photograph.

After doing a little research, I've found that the concept of "photobombing" is a fairly common one. While probably not intentional on the part of card companies, they can make for some downright laughable cardboard.

Kirk Gibson's 1991 UD issue is one of the best (or worst?) examples I've come across. From the looks of it, Upper Deck captured quite an intense play at second, one that exemplifies "Gibby" and his all-out style of play.

In the end, though, all the collector got to see was a oddly-framed shot of an umpire's backside.

As far as photography goes, minor league cards aren't much of a goldmine in the first place.

Especially when brands like Just choose to devote just a quarter of the card to, you know, the actual photo.

And, in the case of current White Sox infielder Jeff Keppinger, half of that space was occupied by some other guy's butt.

He just couldn't catch a break.

A look into the history of "photobombing" on cardboard shows that it's not a new fad, by any means.

It's been a part of the hobby since the vintage days of Topps.

Of all the Bobby Murcer photos Topps could've chosen in 1977, they went with this one. Why they did such a thing will always remain a mystery to me.

Thanks to his unintentional "photobomb", former Cardinal catcher Joe Ferguson feels like the main attraction on this piece. Mr. Murcer seems like a mere shadow in the distance.

Still, it's not nearly as bad as...

...this peculiar piece.

In a way, Upper Deck pulled off a "reverse photobomb" here.

Without looking at the name on the bottom, most collectors would probably assume this is a Matt Garza card. And rightfully so, I might add.

But, as it happens, a quick peek at the checklist shows that this is indeed a Vladimir Guerrero issue. While I've debated placing it with my other Rays cards of Matt Garza in the past, this one currently resides with all my Angel pieces of Mr. Guerrero.

In many ways, it feels like Vlad is "photobombing" his own card.

I didn't even know that was possible.

At this point, my "photobomb" research is in its preliminary stages.

I still have yet to dig through a lot of my collection.

Still, as of right now, this is probably my favorite "photobomb" candidate.

On the surface, it looks to be a nice, peaceful National Anthem shot of then-Expos shortstop Orlando Cabrera.

Yet, if you look deeper into the background, you'll probably notice the devilish face of (who I assume is) an Expos coach. If I had to guess, I'd say the photographer caught him in a post-yawn state.

I had this card for a few years before I noticed its "photobomb" qualities. I'm quite surprised it took that long to notice.

Now, whenever I look at this piece, it's the first thing I see.

As is the power of a successful "photobomb".


gcrl said...

2012 topps torii hunter has a nice hank conger photobomb.

night owl said...

"Photobombs" all over 1973 Topps. Steve Garvey is the ultimate.

hiflew said...

Don't forget the horrible Lance Berkman/Mike Hampton card from 2010 Topps. I know it is a team card, but that has to be the ultimate in unwanted guests in a card photo.