Friday, January 15, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 1988 Topps Traded #93T

I have to admit to being a bit distracted this week. I'm gearing up for, hopefully, the biggest "mail day" in Cards on Cards history. That is, a day where I am planning on getting rid of at least 1000 cards, which will be out the door by Monday afternoon. And who knows... that number could certainly swell before the weekend is out. I also had a rather exhausting work week that will conclude with me basically working a half-day tomorrow and taking in some Blazers basketball either at the Rose Garden itself or somewhere where I feel comfortable yelling at some people who can't hear me. I'm also preparing the contest prizes to go out, which I hope to augment a bit with a trip to either the monthly card show or at least some sort of card shop this weekend. I'm plugging along with the blog, and before I get to watching my Thursday night time-shifted comedy television programs, it's time to present this week's victim.

Ernie Riles was a promising infielder who played for the Milwaukee Brewers before being dealt to San Francisco for Jeffrey "One Flap Down" Leonard in the middle of the 1988 season. He had a promising rookie season, finishing third in AL Rookie of the Year voting but was beset with injuries for much of his career.

Why did Topps airbrush Ernie's photo? Better question, perhaps - why did Topps spell Ernie's name with an extra 'a'? Seriously, folks, this bothered me even when I was a kid. At various points throughout the '80s, all of the card companies spelled Ernie's given name (Ernest) with an unnecessary 'a' at times as well as a shortened version of "Earnie". Occasionally, you'll see a misspelling of someone's name on a baseball card early in their career, but it's not something that you see carried over from year to year usually. But let's see... back to the airbrushing. This is an '80s traded set and Ernie was traded mid-season, so what else should we expect?

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Nevermind the fact that the Giants logo on his cap looks cartoonish. The jersey looks nothing like anything any team would wear, like it's the result of some sort of experiment with charcoal and sidewalk chalk. That's not the worst of it, however. Not leaving well enough alone, the Topps "artist" even went so far as to airbrush Ernie's neck and some of his face! It looks like he has some sort of awful skin condition that you might see on an X-Files episode.


kevincrumbs said...

Not to rain on your parade but is the post office going to be open on Monday? It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

madding said...

My post office is racist, apparently.

(Don't tell anyone, but when I say I'm going to mail stuff out to people on one day, it usually ends up being like two or three days later instead.)