Doug McWilliams’ photographs for Topps have become part of history at the Hall of Fame
Millions of those cards have been lost to bicycle spokes, flipping games and ultimately the trash can. But the pictures remain. Those images, many of which are preserved in Cooperstown and can be found in the Museum's Shoebox Treasures exhibit, are McWilliams’ impressive legacy.
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The Museum in Cooperstown features more than 50,000 square feet of exhibits devoted to the National Pastime.
Asked for his favorite card in which he provided the image, McWilliams doesn’t hesitate to mention the 1989 Topps Harold Reynolds (No. 580).
“Harold was a wonderful friendly person. He took time to talk with me, and I think it shows in his expression,” McWilliams said. “I generally like a card because it is a good image or it has a good memory for me with the player. The Harold Reynolds card fits both those categories.”
McWilliams also is sure to mention another favorite: The 1975 Topps Herb Washington (No. 407). “He was the first player who agreed to go out on the field – leading off first base for a stealing pose – mainly because no one was working out before the game.”
Others baseball cards McWilliams said he was proud to have provided the image for include, in no particular order: 1974 Topps Bert Campaneris (No. 155); 1975 Topps Gaylord Perry (No. 530); 1976 Topps Hank Aaron (No. 550); 1981 Topps Rollie Fingers (No. 229); 1982 Topps Joe Morgan (No. 754); 1982 Topps Bert Campaneris (No. 772); 1976 Topps Mickey Rivers (No. 85); 1976 Topps Dave Winfield (No. 160); 1976 Topps Robin Yount (No. 316); 1993 Bowman Dennis Eckersley (No. 485); 1993 Stadium Club (Topps) Andre Dawson (No. 810); 1987 Topps Rich Gossage (No. 380); 1975 Topps Harmon Killebrew (No. 640).
Looking back on his many successful years behind a camera viewfinder, McWilliams commented on the historic importance of his baseball images.
“Ozzie Sweet was a sports photographer that I admired and tried to emulate his technique,” McWilliams said. “I believe I succeeded maybe a dozen times, where if someone saw one of those images that I made they would say, ‘Ozzie Sweet shot that,’ even though I did it.”
Bill Francis is the senior research and writing specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum