Friday, July 8, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 1974 Topps #611

A long long time ago, in a land not far away from where the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play now was a team known as the California Angels. They played in a place called Anaheim Stadium, which sounds remarkably similar to the current team's venue, Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Legend has it that there may have also briefly been a team known as the Anaheim Angels who played in a similar area, although they may have been a fictional team developed by Walt Disney Co.

Rick Stelmaszek was a catcher who spent parts of three major league seasons with four teams. He's perhaps best known for being the longest tenured (and still active) coach in Minnesota Twins history, serving currently as the bullpen coach.

Why did Topps airbrush Rick's photo? Stelmaszek (just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?) spent parts of just 22 games on the field in an Angels uniform after being acquired in May 1973 in a five-player deal with the Rangers.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Rick's cap isn't quite a magic hat, but it looks like it's disappearing into the clouds. The top of the halo on the logo should loop around the top of the 'A' but it is drawn to stay behind it here for some reason. Side note: doesn't he just look like a coach already at this point?

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:

Johngy said...

Of course, I had to chime in on Stelmaszek. I have covered his career at length on my site.
His 1975 card features him airbrushed into a Cubs uniform.
Stelmaszek is the 3rd all-time longest tenured coach with one team, behind Nick Altrock and Manny Mota. Mota is one year ahead of him and still actively coaching.