Friday, July 15, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 2008 Topps Finest #89

I'm not sure who came up with the hexagonal baseball card design, but I think it needs to be retired immediately.

Troy Glaus was a four-time All-Star third baseman who is best known for being one of centerpieces to the Anaheim Angels successful run to the 2002 World Series. While not officially retired, he has not played this season and has opted to "spend more time with his family", which I believe is agentspeak for "no team offered him a major league contract."

Why did Topps airbrush Troy's photo? After Troy's Angels run was over, he spent a year in Arizona followed by two seasons in Toronto. The Blue Jays and Cardinals hooked up for an increasingly rare "match trade" in which the teams exchanged third basemen straight up. Toronto got Scott Rolen and his perpetually damaged shoulder out of the deal. Oddly enough, the deal just about balanced itself out. The Cards got an extremely productive '08 out of Glaus, who also displayed some surprisingly stellar glove work at the hot corner while Rolen had an anemic '08 at the plate. 2009 saw Rolen rebound with an .846 OPS before he was dealt to Cincinnati while Glaus made just 32 plate appearances in a hobbled state.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? There is no number on the jersey front, which really bugs me. The Cardinals went with this look in the late '90s for a couple of seasons (think McGwire era) and I am annoyed every time I see a Cardinal card or photo where there's no jersey number on the front. It just looks wrong. The Cardinals have a good history of rarely messing with their jerseys, which have essentially been the same since they ditched the polyester and stripes era in the early '90s and returned to the navy blue road caps.

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.

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