05 May 2009

did stan williams refuse to remove his cap?

i am guessing that it was standard operating procedure in the '50s, '60s and even the '70s for the topps photographers to ask players to remove their caps for a few shots. this would be in case the players switched teams, and photos of them with their new hats weren't available.

case in point - 1963 topps lee walls.lee has obviously just removed his hat, as you can see the red marks on his forehead. the strange thing here is that he played for the dodgers in 1962. all of 1962. the grey wool jersey he is wearing looks like it could date back to his days with the cubs which would have been 1959 at the latest. even the inset photo looks like it's been altered as the 'la' is pretty large.

now, here's stan williams' 1963 topps card.looks good, right? well, he's listed as a member of the yankees, but there was no effort made to remove the 'la' from his hat. in the inset photo, it kind of looks scratched out, but maybe they tried to get the 'ny' in. who knows. maybe topps didn't have a hatless photo of williams. maybe he refused to remove the hat, for fear of revealing a bad haircut or baldness or dandruff. maybe no one thought he would leave the dodgers after having a couple of decent seasons.

whatever the reason, i'm all for fewer hatless players, and it's miles better than winding up with something like the 1973 topps frank robinson card.

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