The 1957 Topps, I believe, was the first year that pictures of ballplayers were taken prior, or just after a game. This is a picture of Elmer Valo. Elmer was in his 16th year in the Majors. Thirteen and a half with that other Philly team, the Athletics and 1956 was his first with the Phillies. A good, steady ballplayer with a lifetime batting average of .285 including four seasons of hitting .300 or more.
Every a picture tells a story and that is the with this card. This card is unique in that it's the only one where the player photographed is not looking at the camera, and in Elmer seems totally disinterested. He is at the bat rack carefully checking out the tools of the trade. Why didn't he pose for a picture? Maybe he doesn't have time for that. He's ballplayer not a model, and he has a job to do.
There is much going on in the background. There is the TV camera right near the bat rack, and alongside the camera man. The most intriguing part of the card is the man a few rows up resting his feet on the rail in front of him. Is he a member of the Phillies organization? Does he work for the TV station? Or is he baseball fan who either left work early or decided not to work at all to take in a ball game on a nice Summer's afternoon? Whatever the reason, this is one of my favorite cards.