You may not know Jerry Wachter, but you know his...


April 21, 1994

You may not know Jerry Wachter, but you know his photographs. His sports shots appear in national magazines and on trading cards. Recently, the Baltimore-based photographer talked about the art of taking pictures for baseball cards with The Sun's Peter Schmuck.

Q: On the face of it, you'd think that shooting baseball card photos would be easy. The players get a share of the licensing money, so they all cooperate, right?

A: Most of them are great, but there are a few guys out there who refuse to pose. Dan Gladden would never come out for the spring photo day. Rickey Henderson wouldn't either. Danny Jackson, he was real tough this year. Now, even some of the minor-leaguers are getting kind of cocky. They'll tell you, "I don't want Topps to shoot my picture. I want to sign an exclusive contract."

Q: Have you been refused by any Orioles?

A: Jeffrey Hammonds wouldn't pose this year. He was on the Olympic team and Topps did a special set and paid the Olympic Committee, but the Olympic Committee didn't give any of the money to the players. He's upset. It wasn't our fault, but he doesn't want to pose. I'll have to get an action shot of him.

Q: There have to be some guys who try to make your job harder in more subtle ways. Remember the Bill Ripken card that had an obscenity printed on the end of the bat? Don't you have to watch out for the guys who might try to make their card a collector's item?

A: That's not really a problem. We go down to a photo day in spring training, and we're there with guys from all the other companies. The players come out in their white [home] uniforms and pose for everybody. You can't look for that kind of thing, because when we are shooting, there are just too many guys to do.

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