Friday, April 28, 2017

Awww, Snap

It's amazing how much communication has changed over the last 10 years.  It wasn't that long ago that electronic mail was revolutionary, the internet was seen by some as a fad, we still employed the regular, hand-written letter on a daily basis, and wall-mounted telephones were the norm.  Then, phones evolved to shed their shackling wires and slowly, but surely, evolved into tiny, highly powerful computers.  Nowadays, it's to the point that cellphones have become an almost essential piece of our daily lives.  It's incredible to think about the fact that we have the ability to look up almost any bit of known information in the collective human existence on a device that rests comfortably in our pants pocket.

...and what do we do with this extremely valuable and, until recently, inconceivable bit of futuristic technology?  We take pictures of ourselves making funny faces and send them to our friends.

Snapchat has climbed up the social media ranks over the past few years as a way to quickly share photographs with a sampling of your closest friends and family, much the same way your grandmother loves to do with her collection of dusty albums every time someone comes to visit.  The beauty of this application is that unlike those embarrassing snapshots of a toddler-version of you running around in the buff, Snapchat photos "disappear" (nothing put to the internet ever truly disappears, keep that in mind kiddies) just a few moments after being shared.  Poof!

This defining characteristic has lead to the app to become a medium for taking goofy selfies with funny faces and purposely ugly mugs (and naked pix, but we won't talk about that here).  Accordingly, Snapchat began to offer special filters through their application with which to make photographs even sillier.  These filters add special, cartoonish effects into any picture or video with a face present.

Surely you've seen some of these before, like the almost ubiquitous "dog ears" filter, or the care-free hippie flower crown... oh, look, I just so happen to have a new Snap from my good friend, Harry Bright:

Well, let's see what Mr. Bright sent my way, shall we?

Oh look - Harry Bright just so happens to be modeling that previously mentioned flower crown.  You see, Topps cards in the mid-60's were notorious for their hat-less shots, used for when players were traded mid-season.  I bet you that Harry thought that a flower crown might spice up the shot a little bit, in lieu of a traditional baseball cap.

I spend my free time like that aforementioned figurative grandmother, collecting old photographs into a binder, except that my photographs are that of baseball players and are printed out on cardboard; many of these cards feature head-shots that would adapt perfectly to the Snapchat application. Naturally, on a particularly boring day, I decided to see what a few more baseball cards might have looked like had we had the Snapchat filter technology available to us, back in the day.

This is a normal thought process, right?

Billy Cowan sure looks surprised by this amazing technology, just look at his wide-eyed expression!  We've totally and completely blown the poor outfielder's mind - hopefully his ability to track fly balls won't be affected by this development.

Speaking of eyes, like many a ballplayer on a quick photo shoot, Wes Covington was forced to look directly into the sun for his 1966 Topps issue.  I've decided to rectify this uncomfortable situation with a sweet pair of shades, which come with an easier on the eyes, sepia tone.  Now, he doesn't have to squint while he's being photographed and he looks like one foxy, cool dude.  It's a win-win.

Jimmie Foxx is also one foxy dude, now quite literally.  I wonder if he ever gazed into a mirror and wondered what he'd look like if he truly lived up to his surname?

Sticking with the animal theme, Rabbit Maranville earned his nickname due to his speed and small stature, not because he actually had furry, gray ears.  He may have worn glasses as well, but I highly doubt they were those 60's-styled frames that, for whatever reason, come with the bunny ears filter.

As one of the most famed clown princes in baseball history, I have a feeling that Rabbit wouldn't mind posing for some funny pictures.  It wouldn't be the first time, after all:

Those beards, sported with an unidentified teammate, would make for an excellent Snapchat filter themselves... hmmm.... anyway....

They called Mr. Bransfield here Kitty, way back when.  Now he's one of the biggest and fastest kitties around, a cheetah!  However, as a catcher during the Deadball Era, I doubt he truly had the blinding speed worthy of a cheetah.  Perhaps this filter would have been more worthy of Lou Brock or Tony Campana... oh well.

Finally, Grover LowderMILK seemed like the perfect candidate to become a cow.  Not to mention the fact that the simulated grassy field in the background of his card seemed like the perfect pasture to host his little cattle friend.

As you can see, this post has devolved into "udder" madness.  I'll stop "milking it" and call it quits here.

To conclude, if you thought Pacific cards from the mid-to-late 90's, Panini's version of Triple Play, or Metal Universe cards were super weird, just imagine if we had a Snapchat filter line of baseball cards.  Honestly, that might be a kind of fun insert set for something like Bunt... it might catch the attention of the kids we all acknowledge should be the heart of our hobby.  Am I completely crazy here?

We have the power of ultimate knowledge in our hands at all times and we use it to make ourselves look like cows... as Jim Morrison once famously mused, "people are strange..."

(Seeing as Jim liked to expose himself, I wonder if he'd like Snapchat?)


  1. Cowan remind me of the judge from Roger Rabbit

  2. That Lowdermilk one is the stuff of nightmares, and the Billy Cowan one freaks me out.

    I was sitting in class the other week, and a question about a historical fact came up. There were 25 people sitting there in front of internet-enabled computers, offering speculation as to the year in which a particular event occurred. I did what I normally do and Googled it. Like you said, we have access to all of that information, and we don't make use of it nearly enough. One day my coworkers will figure out how to use the internet to find things, and I will no longer be the guy with the magic ability to answer questions.

  3. Silly stuff! Reminds me of when I was little and would put stickers on my commons.

  4. Jimmie was a handsome man but now he's pretty too. Not sure how to feel about this.

  5. Finally, a use for snapchat I can appreciate.

  6. Great stuff. The Foxx is a bit disturbing, but maybe that's what you were going for.

  7. Thank you for bringing me up to speed about this snapchat my students keep speaking of. That Foxx is fantastic!

  8. I was late to the Snapchat party and this post, but thankfully nothing on the internet ever goes away and I was able to enjoy this post. Thanks for the laughs. I loved some of the filters used.