|1869 Peck & Snyder Red Stockings|
Some of the earliest documented baseball cards are actually just team photos, usually tied to a sponsor or business of some sort. While technology has improved in photography and printing, the same arrangement that existed between teams and sponsors in the 1880s is still alive and well today in the form of team pictures as stadium giveaways and newspaper premiums. In fact, this is usually the only way team pictures are made available in the present. And don't think it's just a baseball thing, pretty much every pro and college team sport issues team pictures in some format.
As a collectible, they are often overlooked for reasons of storage. In most cases over the last 30 years, team pictures are large. Usually 11" x 14" or bigger. In some cases, they are more posters than what one might think of a simply a "photo". My collection of team photos is only about two years old, but quickly grew to include 20 or so items, ranging from large postcards to posters. Below are what I have and what I'm hunting for each of my player collections.
Naturally, having played the longest, Winfield has the most team pictures available, especially given that the San Diego Padres started issuing team photos, sponsored by the San Diego Union-Evening Tribube, back in their minor league days as far back as 1964, and continuing with various sponsors through 1995. As a result, Winfield's entire time as a Padre is covered. These were generally large photos, measuring 14"x11".
1973 San Diego Padres
(this should have the blue banner at the bottom, but it was trimmed off my copy)
1974 San Diego Padres
1975 San Diego Padres
1976 San Diego Padres
1977 San Diego Padres
1978 San Diego Padres
(I have this one, but it is in pieces, so I'm looking for an intact copy)
1979 San Diego Padres
1980 San Diego Padres
(pretty sure this was taken in front of the Hilton out on Harbor Island Dr.)
The only form I can find the 1980's & early 1990's New York Yankees team photos are in the form of these stadium giveaway mugs. You can see several of them here:
New York Yankees Fan Day mug SGA Collection 1977 - 1995
1990 California Angels
1991 California Angels
1992 Toronto Blue Jays - sponsored by MCI
1992 Toronto Blue Jays - issued by The Postcard Factory
1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays / Maxwell House 5" x 7"
1992 Norman James 1992 World Champions Toronto Blue Jays Poster
1995 Cleveland Indians Photo File
I don't know whether or not there was any kind of official team picture issued for the '95 Indians, but I did finally land this Photo File collage of the team. I suppose it will have to do.
Given the Yankees lack of traditionally issued team pictures, most of what I've found for Bam Bam have been minor league team pictures. These are typically stadium giveaway items from the first couple of months into a season.
1987 Prince William Yankees
In the case of the 1990 Columbus Clippers, the team photo was combined with one of their yearly baseball card sets.
In 1992, the Columbus Clippers issued several posters featuring the team in the throwback uniforms of previous teams to play in Columbus. Each poster contained a photo of the 1992 team along with a few historical photos of players from the earlier team.
1992 Columbus Buckeyes poster
1992 Columbus Senators poster
1992 Columbus Red Birds poster
1992 Columbus Jets poster
1992 Columbus Clippers poster
1993 Columbus Clippers poster
2005 Indianapolis Indians - Team Picture Night, 29 April 2005
2006 Indianapolis Indians - Team Picture Night, 21 April 2006, sponsored by Pepsi & BAND-AID, first 4,000 fans.
2007 Indianapolis Indians - Team Picture Night, 20 April 2007, first 4,000 fans.
2008 Indianapolis Indians
2012 San Francisco Giants - 18" x 12"
Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes
Despite playing pretty much the whole season with the Tucson Toros in 1990, Rhodes did not make the team picture that season.
1991 Tucson Toros - Sponsored by Hinckley & Schmitt.
1993 Omaha Royals
1993 Cincinnati Reds - The Reds issued these team photos consistently (and with the same basic design) from at least 1967-1998. The photos were usually given away with a sponsor's coupon attached. The design changed in 2000.
1997 Seattle Mariners - This poster was sponsored by the Seattle Times & J.C. Penney .
1999 Texas Rangers - This poster was sponsored by AT&T.
1982 Seattle Mariners - 8" x 10"
1983 Seattle Mariners - sponsored by Showbiz Pizza
1984 Seattle Mariners - 14" x 8.5" poster
1991 Oakland Athletics - poster sponsored by Kodak
2014 Oakland Athletics 1989 World Champions 25th Anniversary
1990 Portland Beavers
1991 Portland Beavers
1987 Modesto A's - 10.75" x 8.25"
1985 Modesto A's
1987 Huntsville Stars
The highlight is that Walt Weiss is making a face at the camera dead center in the second row.