Friday, December 11, 2009

Airbrushed Fridays: 1989 Topps Traded #79T

My new challenge is to find the last year in which Topps put out an obviously airbrushed card. I think it's going to be tricky, because these things start to become more and more subtle the closer we get to the '90s. I'd say that the airbrusher(s) was just getting better at his or her job, but that's like saying a killer is getting better at cleaning up the crime scene. Well, something like that, anyway.

Roger McDowell was an accomplished short reliever for the Mets of the late '80s, but perhaps was best known for his clubhouse hijinks. He was a regular on This Week in Baseball (back when it was good) and also usually found a way to do something wacky on camera during the national game of the week whenever his team was playing. He took over for Leo Mazzone (the guy that rocks back and forth in the dugout) as Braves pitching coach a few years back.

Why did Topps airbrush Roger's photo? McDowell was a key component in the trade that brought Lenny Dykstra to Philadelphia for Juan Samuel. Dykstra became a cult hero in Philly and later helped bring a title to the team in 1993, while Samuel was anything but in New York. The trade went down in June, so it was probably a little too close to Topps' deadline. My memory is pretty fuzzy, but I actually think this traded set came out much earlier than ones in years past, perhaps trying to capitalize on the sales of the 1988 Traded set.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Like I was saying, it's getting a little more subtle. But the P, man. It's all wrong. This one might be a little more obvious if you were holding the card in your hand. But as someone who was subjected to a lot of Phillies logos growing up, I can tell right away that this isn't right. The Portland Beavers were the Phillies AAA affiliates for a healthy chunk of the '80s and adopted both the P logo and an upside-down P that turned into a lower case 'b'. In fact, it's sad to say, but Juan Samuel was one of the most popular Beavers of all-time.


Ken said...

Yeah, the P looks like a snail that didn't quite get away.

Dinged Corners said...

Fantastic post. That P. Yikes.

We did not find any Stadium Club cards for ye, and out of a stack of T206 today, not one stinkin' Card card. :(

Word verification: mette. As in, the New York Mettes Need a New General Managerre.