#CardCorner: 1973 Topps Ramon Hernandez
Hall of Fame staffers are also baseball fans and love to share their stories. Here is a fan's perspective from Cooperstown.
At first glance, the presence of red, white, and blue bunting on Ramon Hernandez’ 1973 Topps card indicates that this photograph was taken during the World Series, possibly the 1971 Fall Classic when the Pittsburgh Pirates played the Baltimore Orioles. But a closer examination negates that possibility. The stadium’s upper deck does not resemble either Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, or Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, the two venues of the ‘71 World Series.
So maybe it was from Opening Day in 1972. A check of the schedule that year shows the Pirates playing at Shea Stadium in New York City. That background does not look like the old ballyard in Queens, either.
That leaves open the possibility that the picture was taken at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida, where the Pirates have held spring training since the 1960s. I’m not sure why a spring training site like McKechnie Field would have featured the colorful bunting, but I suppose it’s possible that’s how the park was decorated in the spring of 1972, as an acknowledgment of the Pirates winning the World Series the previous fall.
Whatever the occasion, spring training or not, this game was obviously serious business for Ramon Hernandez. Although his picture is being taken by a Topps photographer, Hernandez has chosen not to look at him, but rather to the left of the camera. Unsmiling, he looks stern and staid, perhaps even somber. For Hernandez, this is business as usual, serious business, and not an occasion for joking or merriment. That’s just the way Hernandez was.