March 2, 2017
EMPORIA, Kan. — The 2017 season is just beginning, and one of the great traditions in college baseball is media guides. If you have seen one, you’ve seen 10,000 of them.
Unless you have ever had the distinct pleasure of viewing Emporia State’s remarkable media guide that was distributed just prior to the 1980 season some 37 years ago.
The cover of this media guide had an incredible black and white photo which took weeks of planning that showcased an amazing hitting team that was returning.
Paul Kincaid, director of information services at Emporia State, developed “The Hit Men” idea which was different from any press guide we had ever seen before or after.
The entire idea was not to portray this elite hitting team on a beautiful campus. The coach wasn’t shown on the field. Instead, a plan was put into place to showcase Emporia State’s six best hitters on a cover shot that featured a 1920s and 1930s gangster slant.
And they pulled it off to perfection as it captured the feeling Chicago mob boss Al Capone was nearby in his 1928 Cadillac Town Sedan which was made famous in several movies. Or others mob notables such as “Machine Gun” Kelly or John Dillinger.
The six top returning Emporia State hitters were dressed in gangster-style clothes, and they were positioned around an old Chrysler.
Four of the six appear to be standing guard as the other two load trophies into the car’s trunk.
If you look closely, you can see the subtle details: a puff of smoke coming from a bat in the foreground (burning cigars taped on the back of the bat); a box of baseballs; toothpicks in the players’ mouths; and a rose in the lapel.
Inside the press guide, the three coaches, trainer and 28 players are shown individually in gangster style clothing.
All 32 are in appropriate poses: pointing a bat at the camera; pulling on a batting glove; tipping a hat; tossing a coin in the air; etc.
To read more of this story, purchase the Feb. 24, 2017 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Details on how the idea came about and how the shot was made along with the typeface used is explained.