Mike Mandel, Baseball Photographer Trading Card: Ansel Adams, 1975
Mike Mandel, Baseball Photographer Trading Card: Bill Eggleston, 1975
Mike Mandel, Baseball Photographer Trading Card: Harry Callahan, 1975
Mike Mandel, Baseball Photographer Trading Card: Aaron Siskind, 1975
Mike Mandel, Baseball Photographer Trading Card: Minor White, 1975
Mike Mandel: Baseball Photographer Trading Card: Mike Mandel, 1975
In celebration of baseball season being in full swing, here are a few gems from Mike Mandel’s Baseball Photographer Trading Cards project. In 1975 Mandel (also known for his groundbreaking collaboration with Larry Sultan, Evidence) traveled around the United States photographing major figures in the photographic community posed wearing baseball gear. The resulting set of trading cards, complete with the players ‘statistics’ on the back (favorite film, favorite developer, favorite paper etc.) were packaged in sets of ten and included a piece of bubble gum, just like real baseball cards. Intended to be collected and traded between fans, these photographic baseball cards were distributed to museums and galleries across the United States. Since the cards were packaged randomly, the only way to acquire the full set of 135 cards was to trade with other collectors. Originally conceived of as a satire about the commodification of photography by the art world and the mass media, these objects are now themselves quite valuable.