A Scorecard Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Remember. There were no cell phones in 1951.

Remember. There were no cell phones in 1951.

Preamble Cautions

A scorecard picture truly is worth a thousand words and, even though this particular scorecard graphic from the 1951 Texas League season at Buffalo Stadium has been stuck in my head for 65 years, I’ll do my best to keep the written word count well under our Millennial Era A.D.D. intolerance for longevity break-point, but, even as that thought finds expression, my error is visually apparent from the number of characters already used in this first paragraph.

Millennials don’t perceive “word counts” with their eyes. They see only waves of  “TL-DR” (“too long-didn’t read”) black print on the white page. As per the Twitter prescription: 140 characters per “tweet” is the limit, with even fewer characters being better – and the grandchildren thoughts of “LOL” style characterizations in this digital age are also both preferred and much too cool to be missed. With th0se caveats in mind, here we go with our old style English assessment of the picture on the above featured scorecard.

The Image Itself

The whole focus here is upon the lone kid, with lifted eyes and outreaching  arms extending high, preparing for a bare two-handed cup catch of a high foul ball into the stands. The twelve or so fully and partially featured adults around the kid are mostly scattering or cringing in fear of a ball that they know is coming, but cannot all see.

Three of the grown men fans clearly see the ball coming down: one is simply cringing – and losing the wiener from his hot dog in the process. A cigar smoking guy also prepares his hands for a two-fisted cup catch that looks more like a muff-in-the-making.  The man behind our stogie guy, the fellow with the skyward gaping mouth-wide-open look of apprehension has raised his scorecard skyward as his body slinks to his left.

A woman in a green blouse, with green-tinted glasses and a green hat band is covering her ears in front of the wiener-dropping man.

Another summer straw hat man on the front row has taken the ostrich defense upon himself, closing both eyes and then double covering them with both hands. The woman in the yellow blouse and red skirt to his left has simply turned the other way as she also covers her left ear with her left hand as she protects the top of her head with her right hand by holding a scorecard over it. …. Interesting reflex.

In the very front, lower near right,  a bespectacled mustachioed man, wearing a brown fedora, is glancing skyward as he also protects the top of his head with both hands.

On the far left, a head-0ut-0f-the-picture woman in a pink dress, nearer the bottom, and a similarly scattered headless man near the top, in a yellow shirt, both stand out as champions of the “fall away and save your skull” strategy.’

One final other partial reaction is notable in the far top right corner. A blonde woman appears to gazing skyward, while the man sitting to her right is obscured by the “10 cent” scorecard script.

The only oblivious person in the crowd is located in the extreme lower right corner of the picture, immediately under the “HOUSTON BUFFALOS” script. She’s the lady wearing a black and yellow patterned blouse. This fan has to have been the 1951 equivalent of the far more plentiful cell phone fans we see at the ball park in 2016. – She is too busy putting on lipstick to be distressd by the impending descent of a hard-landing baseball in her area. And, even if she does appear to be looking skyward, we think it’s more probable that she’s simply thinking: “I wonder if I left the rest of my make-up supplies in the car?”

The Wholistic Message to Fans in 1951

Few people get mired in the detailed mess we just traveled through in the previous detail section. In spite of all the missing cell phones in the picture we would have seen, had this beautiful artistic rendering been created in 2016, the 1951 message was pretty clear:

“You have to be a kid at heart to enjoy everything that happens at the ballpark!”

The Implicit Message to Fans in 2016

“In this digital apparatus era, can you even be a kid at heart directly with baseball today and also do all the other digital stuff you do with wi-fi at the same time the beautiful game of baseball is alive before your eyes – and unfolding –  in dramatic mystery and graceful, athletic motion?”


 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas


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