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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Story behind the most memorable CMC set photo: Paul Noce

Part 1: The Deal | Part 2: Most Exciting 
Part 3: Right There | Part 4: Card Story

It was picture day in May 1990 and Paul Noce had an idea.

After a decade in the game, Noce had had standard baseball cards, the ones with the standard poses.

But he'd seen a friend's card, which definitely wasn't a standard pose, and he knew his photo for the 1990 Nashville Sounds didn't have to be standard.

"I got tired of doing those and I was like 'hey, let me do this one,' " Noce recalled to The Greatest 21 Days recently.

Noce relayed the story behind his unusual CMC card recently as part of a larger interview about his career. Noce played in two major league seasons, most of that time coming in 1987 with the Cubs. His professional playing career, though, spanned 11 seasons.

Noce spoke with The Greatest 21 Days as head baseball coach for the Hillsdale College Chargers in Hillsdale, Mich. Read the Paul Noce interview.

At the photo day, the photographer wasn't so sure about Noce's idea, Noce recalled. He'd take the picture, but he'd have to take a standard one, too. Noce agreed.

Noce's photo came first. His idea was to attach a baseball to his pants, through the ball's stitches. With the ball in place, he'd act like he'd just been hit on his backside.

"I got hit by a pitch a lot," Noce said. "So I was like, 'this'll be fitting.' "

Another player, Keith Comstock, a friend whom Noce had played with at AAA Calgary, had taken a similar photo in 1989, with Las Vegas. On Comstock's card, though, Comstock was getting hit in another part of his pants, making that card one of the more infamous cards to be made.

As it turned out, this photo of Noce ended up on his 1990 CMC card, making it the most memorable photograph from the set.

On that 1990 photo day, Noce had the ball in place, and posed like he was being hit. The photographer snapped the picture.

"After he took it," Noce recalled, "I said, 'see you later.' and I walked to the clubhouse."

Noce knew, had he stayed for the second photo, they would have used the second one. So the cameraman took the first picture, "and I just took off."

They had no choice to use it then, if Noce was going to be included in the set.

"I like that one," Noce said with a laugh, "that's my favorite." (Go to Part 1)

Be sure to read Part 1: Paul Noce, The Deal

Part 1: The Deal | Part 2: Most Exciting 
Part 3: Right There | Part 4: Card Story


  1. Awesome story! Comstock also attached the card to his uniform for his shot.

  2. Hahaha... When I was a kid, this card made me laugh so hard, I took the bad end of a trade, just to get it.

    Here I am 22 years later, Googling it.
    So glad you posted this story!