The First SP78 Photograph

As surprising as this may sound, I played nearly 12 years of my SP78 Replay baseball season before finally deciding to take a photograph of the game itself. The very first in-game photo was taken on June 23rd, 1992, during a trip my friend Steve P and I took to San Luis Obispo, a small college town located on the central coast of California; the self-portrait below took place that night in the room of the Motel 6 where we were staying.


It was the only SP78 game played during our trip, and this was the only photo taken of the game. What’s strange is, Steve didn’t take part in the festivities, either as an opposing manager or as a spectator; you can’t tell from the photo, but he’s fast asleep in the other bed, to the right of the camera frame, where he’s missing out on a May 26, 1978 match-up between the Reds and Padres, won by the Reds 5-3 in 11 innings.

And if you’re wondering what that large, white something is that’s blocking a good portion of the photo, it’s the top edge of the television where my camera was perched, high up on the adjacent wall. In the days before digital cameras and their small viewscreens, I had to trust what I saw through the viewfinder; thus, I ended up with a photo that wasn’t quite as unobstructed as I’d hoped. And since I was shooting with film, I didn’t have the option to take thousands of photos on a media card, so I only took this one shot, and hoped the image would come out okay.

Now, I have a digital camera and a cell phone for my SP78 picture-taking needs, and within the coming months I’ll be adding the dozens upon dozens of game-related photos I’ve taken over the years to the site, which you’ll be able to find by clicking the Photo Gallery dropdown at the top of the main page. Until then, enjoy this shot of me in my 29-year-old prime, leading my favorite team to victory while wearing a Cubs cap and enjoying an ice-cold can of vending machine Pepsi.

14 responses to “The First SP78 Photograph

  1. Pure awesome.

  2. You forgot to mention your OP shorts and the pull tab on the Pepsi can!

    • What I was going to mention, but then chose not to, was that I was wearing a Pacific Eyes and T’s tank top with a sunglasses-wearing shark on it!

  3. Thought maybe two Hang Ten feet with the K-Swiss sneakers.

    • Man oh man, I used to love Hang Ten shirts back in my school days. And I did once own a pair of white K-Swiss, but I thought they were heavier than normal tennis shoes, so I never bought another pair. And I’m trying to remember what brand those grayish shorts were; I do remember that they were way comfortable, and that I wore them all the time. (I just posted a second photo in the Photo Gallery,and I’m wearing ’em in that one as well).

  4. I miss the early 90’s, man. I’d live in San Luis Obispo if I could!

    • I miss the early- and late-70s, the early- and late-80s, and the early- and late-90s as well! And I think I’d move to SLO right this very second if I had the chance; for some reason, I picture it as not having changed much at all after all these years (though Hudson’s is gone, sadly).

      • But the Fremont, Woodstock Pizza, Boo Boo and Mee Heng Low are all still there. And as of last year the Hudson’s location was empty, so maybe we go get it started up again? Maybe it’s added as a playoff or World Series venue?

      • Not a bad idea…I’d say something in SLO needs to be a postseason venue. As for the vacant Hudson’s, we could incorporate different facets of the many memorable restaurants we’ve been to into the decor, menu, and logo. The Kewpee doll should be in our logo, Wrigley Field hot dogs and Yesterday’s “mystery pound” burgers should be part of the menu, and the interior of the place should be made to look like Tambor’s. And also, all tables should be small, and located next to busy doorways.

  5. Just looked at the picture with you in the 90s baggy shirt. Looks like a character on Seinfeld! With Spring cleaning complete you may try to find some of those 90s shirts at the Goodyear Goodwill.

    • I actually really liked that shirt…and yes, this time frame coincided with my Seinfeld-watching years, so it makes sense that I would dress like the characters on that show. I’ll have to check the Peoria Goodwill for 90s gear and stock up!

  6. Robert Merino

    Very nice to see this photo, Todd! It reminds me of trips to Southern California in the ’80s. My grandparents used to live in Los Osos. I, too, have strong associations of SPB and SLO.

    • I love SLO, and I remember Los Osos from my visits to Morro Bay. I need to get back and play a few more Statis Pro games there (and see a movie at the Fremont)! Thanks for stopping by, Robert!

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