Friday, October 23, 2009

Airbrushed Fridays: 1976 Topps #641

In one tiny section of one binder that I have lies my cheapie vintage cards. I have a strange organization method that is somewhat based on what I was doing back when I was in high school, so there's a part of me that can't really let go of Beckett's "book price". Don't fret, though, because I mainly only use this to determine how I should protect my cards, rather than what something is worth. Anything "worth" less than $5.00 and made before 1980 ends up in this vintage section. Most of these cards all came from one kid that I knew back in the proverbial day, and this card may have been one of them. It's not all that old, however, and it's in decent shape so I couldn't say with complete certainty that it's part of the small stash of vintage cards I traded for way back when. I also have no idea what I gave up for those vintage cards, but I do remember knowing that, even back in the early '90s, that less than mint old baseball cards were a lot better than anything made in 1991.

Tom Paciorek was a corner outfielder/first basemen who had a pretty lengthy career that belied his difficult to pronounce last name. I only say that it's difficult in that his card was one of the first baseball cards I remember coming out of a 1986 Topps pack. I couldn't honestly tell you how his name is really pronounced even now (I'm guessing puh-SHORE-eck?) He eventually became the Wimpy to Ken Harrelson's Hawk as one half of the most obnoxious TV broadcasting duo with the Chicago White Sox.

Why did Topps airbrush Tom's photo? Well, for starters, he didn't even finish his previous season with the team that he's depicted with on the front of the card. This wasn't common practice for Topps when I started collecting. No matter how early the transaction, I was always used to baseball cards initially showing players playing with the team they were with at the end of the previous season. I imagine that this was different while the Topps cards were released in multiple series formats as later series cards were probably produced later in the year, but I believe the 1976 set came out all at once. Since the Topps set has been released in, essentially, 2 or 3 parts (depending on how you look at it) for quite some time now, seeing players with their new teams is not that uncommon anymore, though they frequently resort to more modern (ahem, Photoshop) tactics to accomplish this.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Unless you're a dedicated Braves fan, I suppose this might not be the most obvious airbrush job around. However, a little inspection should reveal that the Braves lower-case "a" logo looks a bit like it was painted with watercolors. There's also another tell-tale sign: a dark shadowing effect above the top of the cap. And while this may not have anything to do with airbrushing, I am curious about what exactly happened to his ear. It looks like someone took a pink eraser to it.


Anonymous said...

When he played for the Red SOx he was announced as "Pa CHORE eck"

gcrl said...

i never understood why tom paciorek and jimmy wynn were airbrushed into their braves unis and ed goodson was airbrushed into a dodgers uni, while dusty baker and lee lacy were shown with their 1975 teams. i guess it's so that each of them could be included in the traded subset later on. whatever. bad airbrushing abounds in that set.