Friday, June 25, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 1987 Topps #101

Reader Scott has e-mailed me lately with some more suggestions for this feature. I'm starting to think I should just let him take over and write these things. Here's another one from the mailbag and it's a very familiar card to me. I was actually somewhat surprised that I had overlooked Mr. Willis so far. Another recommendation from Scott, incidentally, was Ray Fontenot from this very set. Fontenot was actually the first card I featured here. If I ever get access to a cheap commons box from the late '70s, I may have to actually consider picking up some material to have "in hand" for Airbrushed Fridays.

Carl Wills was a right-handed reliever and occasional spot starter who spent much of his career bouncing up and down between the majors and AAA. He finished off his career with more solid playing time with the Minnesota Twins throughout the first half of the '90s and even made a few appearances with my hometown Portland Beavers who were affiliated with the Twins at the time.

Why did Topps airbrush Carl's photo? Scott writes, "He was on the freakin' Reds at some point from 84-86, yet the airbrusher must have been drunk or huffed the fumes from the Laga airbrush." I couldn't have said it better myself. Willis was in the Reds organization from late in the 1984 season until January of 1988, only leaving for a few months in 1986 when he was a Rule V draft pick of the Angels. He was later returned.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? My own personal theory is that the Laga "artist" (can we come up with a better name for airbrushing wizards?) must have spilled something on Willis's picture that he had to clean up which resulted in this.

Thanks again to Scott and thanks for reading. Erin and I are still deliberating the results of last week's contest. Expect an announcement early next week.

(If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here, please send me an e-mail. If you have a card you would like to nominate for Airbrushed Fridays, please get in touch as well. I will require that I am able to see the card in person, either on loan or as a donation, so that I can examine the card and experience it in all its cruddiness.)


zman40 said...

You should do a write-up on the '89 Topps Jack Clark card. It's a little different and I'd like to see your take on it.

Joe S. said...

The part about spilling something on the picture made me laugh!

I love airbrushed cards, I don't get why people are so against them these days. Sure it's usually sloppily done, but it's almost always hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Pressure! No! Now I'll have to buy more cards!

Seriously, you gotta try to get some 1977 commons. As I said, they had to 'make' the Blue Jays and Mariners cards, but that was the first year of free agency and most of the A's changed teams (amongst others) and the results!

Also, any 'traded' set is good for giggles!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and for some reason Blogger was down when I tried to post my Honeycutt story, so I missed the deadline. And now I can't remember it, and it was similar to another, except I had a gag about how high the lettering was.