Billy Parker was a second baseman who logged 278 plate appearances over three seasons with the California Angels. He was taken by the Yankees in a Rule V draft where he spent three additional seasons at their AAA level before concluding his career.
Art Kusnyer was a backup catcher who played in parts of 6 MLB seasons with 3 teams, spending most of his time with the Angels. He hit just .176 in his career with an unsightly .461 OPS. He later became a coach for Tony La Russa during his time with the White Sox and A's.
Tom Silverio was an outfielder who had a few cups of coffee in three separate seasons with the Angels, logging just 32 plate appearances in 31 games. He had an 8 year minor league career that was apparently cut short by today's standards at the age of 26 and was a productive hitter throughout.
Why did Topps airbrush these photos? There's a common theme here, of course, and it's that these players probably didn't make enough appearances in the majors for Topps to get a decent photo of them in their proper team's gear. It should be noted, however, that all of these players played for the Angels at some point in the previous season (1971) so they must have come to spring training with California as well.
What's wrong with this picture, anyway? If you assume for a moment that Billy Parker's photo is the only one that isn't actually airbrushed (certainly possible), his cap provides a stark contrast to Kusnyer's and Silverio's. They glow. And the little halos look more like tiny footballs for some reason.
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.