Do you think baseball card companies ever consider recreating images from a player’s past for use in their sets?

Like, did Donruss ever try to capture Jack Howell surrounded by nothing but the sandy desolation of infield dirt, to simulate the climes near his birthplace of Tucson, Arizona?

Or did Fleer try to get Bert Blyleven to pose in front of a windmill to pay homage to his Netherlands roots?

I don’t know. I don’t recall either of those scenarios ever coming to fruition in a real issue.

What I do know is that the 1974 Topps Dave Concepcion card is probably the lushest hunk of cardboard to ever emerge from a wax pack.


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There on card #435, we see the Reds’ budding shortstop legend crouched way down — almost lying down — to scoop a ball off the Wrigley Field grass. Behind him, the thick outfield grass stretches all the way to the ivy-covered walls, which eat up the real estate above and behind Concepcion.

The camera angle is low enough that just a tiny strip of infield dirt keeps Davey from being completely swallowed by the greenery.

And all of this just might be about as close to home as Concepcion could find in a Big League park, aside from maybe the waterfall in Kansas City’s Royals Stadium

See, Concepcion hales from Ocumare de la Costa, Venezuela — the country is one of the greenest you’ll find on Earth and, though Davey’s hometown is known for its beaches, thick mountain forests lead into the interior of the nation.

So, a strip of sandy land with an impossibly rich and lush backdrop?

Yep, that sounds familiar.

It sounds like a Topps masterpiece.

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1971 Topps #14 Dave Concepcion Cincinnati Reds RC Rookie PSA 9 NONE HIGHER

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1977 Topps #560 Dave Concepcion Cincinnati Reds PSA 9 MINT

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