Friday, August 12, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 1976 Topps #63

Why oh why must the Cardinals struggle so much against the Brewers? After last night's win, the Cards are now 11-21 at home versus Milwaukee since 2008. The two teams have two more series to play against each other before the season is out, three at home and three on the road. I'm just hoping the Cards can make up some ground against other teams, starting tonight with the Rockies.

Bobby Darwin was a converted pitcher turned outfielder, who logged seven seasons in the majors in the '70s after a single appearance on the mound in 1962 with the Angels. He resurfaced in Minnesota as a Twins everyday outfielder, showing some pop and leading the league in strikeouts for three years running. We're not talking Mark Reynolds or Adam Dunn pop, unfortunately.

Why did Topps airbrush Bobby's photo? Darwin saw his playing time cut in 1975 as he struggled, and he was eventually shipped to the Brewers in a midseason deal. The reduced playing time caused him to lose out on his change to lead the league in Ks for a fourth straight year. You would think, however, that 55 games in Milwaukee would have provided ample opportunity to get a photo with his new team.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Someone wanted to make Bobby's cap so blue that they got some of it on his shoulder, too. There's little blue airbrush particles everywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if somehow some of it got on the person who first pulled this card from a pack.

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:

John Bateman said...

The story behind this card appeared in Baseball Card Magazine in the mid 1980s.

There is an unairbrushed proof of an action shot of Darwin in a Brewer uniform but the picture had his face contorted in a strange way that Topps must have thought going with an airbrushed was the better way.

A picture of the proof card appeared in the magazine