(KSDK Sports) - Did you collect baseball cards when you were a kid? If so, you may remember that some cards featured a photo of a player in action while other's featured a photo of a player posing or holding a bat or glove, or doing some version of their batting stance. Those photos were taken during what is affectionately known as MLB photo day.
"Major League Baseball photo day. Each major league team has a designated day where every player and coach goes through the assembly line of photographers," said professional sports photographer Scott Rovak.
Photos: Click here to see the official team pictures
"You have wire services, you have the teams, websites, Major League Baseball, and each player goes through and gets a head shot done, so then all those entities will be able to use those shots throughout the year," said Rovak.
The photo is taken in a portrait setting with lights and backgrounds all set up around the Spring Training Complex. On average there are between six and ten separate set ups, that each player and coach visits.
"Sometimes there is a bit of an action pose, sort of like the old baseball card type of shots," said Rovak.
Nowadays, most baseball card photos are done in studio. Not like the old days where a player's actual play on the field, might be immortalized in a fast-paced shot that ends up in a pack of cards. Today Topps Baseball Cards was in Jupiter, but the contraction of that business has meant fewer and fewer actual card companies take their own photos.
The actual photo taking part of the day is fairly robotic. Players begin in a line and move station to station, but not all players' sessions take the same amount of time, so the inadvertent log jam does sometimes occur. But Rovak says today's session went very smooth. "One of our best ever."
As for smiling. That doesn't always happen either.
"Some of the guys have no problem with it. Adron Chambers is a character. He loves to smile. David Freese really seems to enjoy the pictures so he is always ready to work with me. Some guys really like seeing the pictures on the jumbotron or Game Day Magazine.
Other guys just don't want to smile. They just want to stand there have their picture taken and move on to the next set. "
Rovak says the not-smiling isn't always what you think. "Some guys really just want a tough looking picture."