Monday, March 2, 2009
#11: Donald Harris - Star Rookie
This card includes at least three examples of trick photography. First of all, Donald is actually using a 12-inch souvenir bat. American League bylaws state that the hitter may not use use "any stupid-looking two-tone bat" and have particular disdain for "anything purchased at the Fun Zone, located on the concourse outside section 208." Harris is fooling the naked eye by holding his tiny bat closer to the camera than the rest of the foreground, kind of like the way hobbits were filmed in the presence of regular-sized character in The Lord of the Rings.
Donald's left pants leg is masquerading as a stirrup. His specially designed pants fulfill a promise Donald made to his dying grandfather, that if he ever made the big leagues, he would wear his pants high. As the trend started to go out of style in the 1990s, Harris found it necessary to appear to be wearing his cuffs low in order to gain the acceptance of his dugout peers, Steve Buechele in particular. In reality, Donald's uniform lacks stirrups of any kind, and his pants actually extend to the beginning of the toe area on each foot.
Upper Deck had the good grace to airbrush out the "Team Sundial" placard the Rangers vets hung around his neck. For long stretches of time throughout the season, Harris was made to kneel in the same position for hours on end so the team could tell time based on the position of the sun. Judging from the shadow lengths and angles, it looks like this picture was taken at around 2:30 PM.