Friday, August 20, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 1974 Topps Traded #496T

I had grand plans of starting something new on this blog with my next post before I got to today's Airbrushed Friday feature, but a giant box of cards from faithful reader Scott stood in my way when I got home from work. A full report will come later, of course, but rest assured there is now plenty of material to keep this thing going for quite some time.

Tom Murphy was a right-handed pitcher who began his career as a starter, but spent the majority of it as a reliever, saving 40 games over two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. He first hit the majors in the late '60s and hung around until the '70s were over. Murphy also had the misfortune of being stuck with a 6-17 record in 1971 as a member of the Angels. His ERA that season? 3.77. He also threw 7 complete games and had otherwise very respectable numbers.

Why did Topps airbrush Tom's photo? Murphy spent one season with the Cards and as the text on the back of this card explains, he was dealt to Milwaukee in the offseason prior to 1974. Topps was phasing out releasing their product in series and had begun experimenting with a "Traded Set" concept which became the only place to catch a player in their "new uniform."

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? It's easy just to look at the color, but what in the world is going on with that collar??! It looks like some sort of electric sea creature is about to swallow Murphy's head. It's do distracting that I'm overlooking the "I'm being captured by aliens" look on Murphy's face, the fact that you can see up his nostrils a bit, and that whole jersey thing which is obscured by the very dominant TRADED banner.

Thanks again to Scott for pointing me in the right direction, sometimes literally, with these "great" cards.

(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.)

1 comment:

smedmusic said...

Glad you got them! This is a prime example of the Topps "brim underside" picture. I wonder if they took a shot like that of everyone?