Tuesday, October 1, 2013

AP Laser Wire Photos

These photos were sent by a reader, who I assume worked at an AP affiliated Newspaper at some point, or knew someone who did.  Forgive me if this explanation is way off base, but to the best of my understanding, these "Laser Wire Photo's" were used by the AP in the late 80's and early 90's before the days of the internet.  An AP photographer would scan (I assume) his original photo, then wire them to all the appropriate outlets.  These outlets had special printers just for the purpose of getting these photos, which then could be published in their respective newspapers.  The stock isn't much thicker than a magazine page, and the photos are glossy, but they're much sturdier than a magazine page.  I'm sure they would rip easily, but would require more force than say turning a page too quickly.  I've read they are considered "original" photos for whatever that's worth, and typically for these sports ones there tended to be around 50 copies, depending on how many papers were on the list for a given topic.  I'd wager Presidential Inauguration photos and things of that nature went out to a lot more papers than Expos spring training game photos.

So here are the first group of photos sent from the reader in Branton, Ontario:

 April 19, 1989: Easily the least Wallach centric photo of the bunch. Tom Foley didn't hit many home runs, and he's definitely one the core Expos from my peak period of following them.  Foley hit .229 with 7 home runs in 1989.  The Expos beat the Cubs 3-2 in this game.

 April 25, 1989: Maybe it's petty to still hold grudges 24 years later against players who were probably ok guys, but I still really don't like Chris Sabo.  I take a lot of satisfaction in seeing this photo of Sabo being tagged out.  The Reds won this game 6-1, but Wallach did his part going 3 for 4 with a home run and a double.

April 29, 1989: I can't find the stat, but I'm pretty sure Tom Glavine gave up more home runs to Tim Wallach than any other player.  Or maybe it was that Wallach hit more home runs off of Glavine than any other pitcher.  In any event, this picture shows Wallach after homering off of Glavine.  The Expos won this game against the Braves 9-7, Wallach went 2 for 4 with the homer.

May 2, 1989:  Another picture of Wallach tagging out Chris Sabo.  I'm going to go ahead and speculate this happened all the time, due in large part to Sabo being intimidated by a third baseman much better than he was.  The Expos won this game 6-4,  rookie pitcher Randy Johnson went 7 strong innings for the Expos, but it was Tim Burke in relief who picked up the win.

May 20, 1989: This is a pretty cool shot of Orel Hershiser running the bases.  I like seeing pitchers acting like real baseball players.  Orel also beat out the Expos Dennis Martinez on the mound winning a pitcher's dual 3-2.

June 19, 1989: This is one of the better action shots in the group.  There are a few of these photos that feature Gregg Jefferies getting tagged out.  I'm not entirely sure what was going on here.  It looks like a rundown situation, but I can't tell for sure how far from the bag they are, or why Wallach would be coming from that angle.  (I dug deep in the boxscore for an answer, it says  Jefferies out at 3B/C-P-SS-3B-2B-SS-3B)


  1. You're right that he hit more HR against Glavine than any other pitcher. He got Glavine for 5 and Steve Carlton and Brian Fisher for 4 each. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/event_hr.cgi?id=wallati01&t=b

    However, Mike Piazza, Gary Sheffield, and Jimmy Rollins all hit 6 against Glavine. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/event_hr.cgi?id=glavito02&t=p

  2. Thank you for clearing that up. *

    *Wallach probably hit more off of Glavine while Glavine was in his prime than any other player.