"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Show Me Classy, Dave

Growing up in the ’80s, I had a room full of sports posters. Reggie, Dr J, Mike Bossy, and Mean Joe Green were joined over the years by Michael Jordan, Rickey Henderson, and Don Mattingly. It was wall to wall in some areas. But I hated, hated the posed shots. I just wanted in-game action.

Looking back though, those over-the-top poses were hilarious. The one I remember most clearly had Mattingly as a pinstriped hitman:

I recently saw a retrospective at the SI Vault¬†of this style of 80s posters pioneered by John and Tock Costacos. They placed the players in preposterous, larger-than-life scenes. Here’s Dave Winfield’s entry:

I think the Chicago Bears defense in Bermuda shorts is the most priceless misfire. Were you guys into posters?

13 comments

1 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 11, 2011 10:35 am

I wanted the Kenny Easley one. I had a Tony Dorsett and Rickey Henderson I think.

2 NY15_4ever   ~  Jul 11, 2011 11:04 am

I remember when I was growing up Bucky Dent had a really cute poster out there. He was DREAMY!

3 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 11, 2011 11:10 am

All the kids in my neighborhood, Mets and Yankee fans alike, had the Hitman poster except me; I wasn't into sports posters. Actually, most of my wall coverings were either paintings or drawings that I made myself (I was a rather withdrawn kid when not otherwise playing). I think most of the kids considered themselves collectors or budding aficionados; their card collections looked like hedge fund portfolios, and of course the memorabilia was hidden in the back of closets or locked dresser drawers. I was a weird kid, I guess...

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 11, 2011 11:11 am

I used to have the NY Giants "BadFellas" poster in my room and have been hunting for it on eBay ever since

5 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 11, 2011 11:19 am

My roommate junior year had the Hitman poster.

My brother and I had our walls covered with sports posters and SI covers when we shared a room in the late 70s early 80s. All sports were represented, boxing, Olympics, etc. My favorites were my LT poster, and a great John Jefferson poster that I bought at Cosby's at MSG. Problem was, our favorite posters always got ripped when we played puff basketball (full contact, of course)

Slightly off topic: Our closet walls were filled with Wacky Packages stickers. But we both turned out alright.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 11, 2011 11:22 am

oh yeah, I had Harry Carson and Leonard Marshall posters too.

7 rbj   ~  Jul 11, 2011 11:39 am

Never was that into posters. Well, except for that Farrah one.

8 William J.   ~  Jul 11, 2011 12:57 pm

I had the poster too. If my wife didn't veto the idea, I would have worn that suit to my wedding.

As an aside, does anyone remember the 1985 pre-All Star break Daily News backpage with the headline "New York's G-men Get Their Man"? It depicted Gallo images of Gooden and Guidry, who were both having a great first half. I'd love to find a copy. Who knows...maybe someone out there has a copy?

9 YankeeAbby   ~  Jul 11, 2011 1:03 pm

As a 9 or 10 year old, I also remember Burger King having these mini-promo posters with the Yanks from either '77 or '78 hung up on my wall

As a 13-year old girly-girl - I had Bobby Nystrom from the NY Islanders on my wall. In the sunshine, blue jeans on, no shirt, looking all Nordic-godlike...swoon!

Alas, sports gave way to the boy band crush of Duran Duran for a while after that but luckily found my way back from the dark side!

10 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jul 11, 2011 3:37 pm

[9] Very luckily!

11 Boatzilla   ~  Jul 11, 2011 8:40 pm

Uh, my posters were of girls. Farrah Faucet, etc. But I did have a lot of pennants. Yankees, Giants, Raiders, Sooners (my mom was born in Oklahoma and we were big college football fans).

I remember on of my roommates in college had a cool poster of the Giants line-backers during the LT, Harrry Carson era. The headline was something like Big Blue Wrecking Crew.

12 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jul 11, 2011 9:57 pm

[11] Boat, I KNEW you'd be a Farrah guy! Bit before my time though, Pops.

I had a Reggie poster of course, and for some reason a family member gave me a NY Jets "Sack Exchange" poster..which was odd as I was mainly a baseball kid and my dad likes the Giants..

13 joejoejoe   ~  Jul 12, 2011 12:22 am

I had a Reggie poster as a kid that I think was actually a pullout from a magazine. I also had a small Earl Campbell poster where he was in practice gear with a bunch of blood on his thigh pad. I used to take 4 black poster boards and tape them together and then cover them with cut out SI photos that I thought blended together well. I loved sports images as a kid and I guess I still do. I probably made 3 or 4 collages like that before I was a teenager. I used to dream of ordering a bunch of those big SI posters but never did. I guess I liked found photos more.

I'd love to hear the Bronx Banter crew talk about sports photojournalism more. It was a bigger part of sports in the pre-internet, pre-video era.

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