Friday, February 3, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 1974 Topps #287

How strange is it that a Topps baseball card featuring, kind of, a fringe member of the St. Louis Cardinals is suddenly national news. And by national news, I don't mean the front page of Schumaker is being brought back for the 2012 incarnation of the Cards as a backup outfielder, although I don't think any Cardinals fan believes for a second that his days at the keystone position are a thing of the past.

Clay Kirby was a right-handed starting pitcher for all eight of his big league seasons, putting up respectable numbers despite suffering through a 20-loss season as a rookie. His life was cut tragically short at the age of 43 when he died from a heart attack.

Why did Topps airbrush Clay's photo? I'm starting to feel like the entire 1974 Topps set might be airbrushed. Kudos (whatever those things are) to Topps for attempting to get everyone in this set into their current team's digs, but even today there is no great way of accomplishing this feat when a set is released before a season actually starts. Kirby was traded in the offseason by the Padres to the Reds for the legendary Bobby Tolan and Dave Tomlin.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? There's not a ton to complain about here. It feels like Clay's hat is unusually large, but you never know what's going on behind that cap there. He might have had a slight Conehead affliction. Aside from the fact that the airbrusher may have run out of red paint a bit too soon, this one doesn't look so bad.

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.


Comments are highly encouraged, but then again, so is eating your fruits and vegetables.