Friday, November 20, 2009

Airbrushed Fridays: 1988 Topps UK Mini #13

In a Cardinals lineup constructed almost entirely with speed, Jack Clark was the anomaly. He was The Natural. His bat had lightning in it. Okay, maybe he didn't even bat lefty, but I'm pretty sure he knocked out stadium lights with his home run shots on a regular basis. Actually, for his time, Clark was a pretty solid power hitter, but relative to his light-hitting but fleet-footed teammates he was basically Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols all wrapped up in one. Clark led his Cardinals to two pennants in his three seasons.

Jack Clark ended up signing with my second favorite team in 1988 after sour contract negotiations and really was never the same. For some reason I had trouble rooting for him even though I could easily root for Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield and even Willie Randolph.

Why did Topps airbrush Jack's photo? I suppose a lot of this was covered in the Steve Sax post, but to be brief, at the time it was rare to actually see a player in his new uniform the season in which he joined the team without some sort of manipulation.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Jack himself doesn't even understand what is going on with this picture, as is evident by his facial expression. It starts with the very crudely drawn NY logo on the cap and ends somewhere below his neck with the navy-ish non-descript t-shirt that he appears to be wearing that changes colors like an early Hypercolor prototype.

I happen to love the cartoon on the back.

1 comment:

PatsCards said...

Too bad they didn't airbrush out the unibrow he seems to have going.