Friday, May 13, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 1988 Topps UK Mini #55

Does anyone else find that they seem to have at least 10 of every card from the 1988 Topps UK Mini set? (And yes, I know that the more appropriate name for this set is actually American Baseball, but I grew up calling these UK minis and I plan it to stay that way.) I don't know if it's just because it's popular repack box fodder (my big, terrible weakness) or if this stuff is just everywhere. It's probably popping up on park benches, street corners, and even bus shelters. I'm wondering when Topps or some other third party will start just mailing these to people, unsolicited, like AOL used to do with their discs.

Dave Parker was a power-hitting outfielder straight out of the Hall of Very Good. He was a seven-time All-Star, two-time batting champ and was crowned the 1978 AL MVP. "The Cobra" went through a mid-career decline due to battling injuries, weight issues and drug abuse which likely affected his Hall of Fame potential. He did rebound to All-Star form and was very productive in the mid-to-late '80s. He won two World Series rings, one with the Reds in 1979 and one with the A's in the fateful earthquake series in 1989.

Why did Topps airbrush Dave's photo? Having seen his defensive skills fade in his late career, Parker was dealt to the league that lets defense slide. Oakland traded Jose Rijo and Tim Birtsas late in 1987 to the Reds for Parker, who would serve as the part-time DH in 1988 before becoming the full time DH the following season.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Aside from Dave's smiling mug and his bat, this picture looks like something you'd see drawn on a 7th grader's Pee Chee folder.

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.

2 comments:

ecloy said...

His helmet has no brim...Topps airbrushed it away...

Laurens said...

It looks like a watermelon on top of his head, way to go Topps.