Friday, December 7, 2012
1975 was my birth year. It used to make me feel relatively young to say that, but now it makes me feel like I should be reaching for my cane as I say it, talking about the days of yore and such. Well, my memories of 1975 are pretty nonexistent, but we have baseball cards that live on and document the days of a bygone era.
Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Ron Hunt was a two-time All-Star infielder who primarily played second base. He spent his 12 seasons in the bigs with 5 different franchises, never sticking around for more than 4 years. Hunt's two All-Star appearances came early in his career as a member of the Mets. He also had a rather unique skill as the predecessor to Don Baylor and, later, Craig Biggio, as baseball's Hit By Pitch king.
Why does this card exist? Hunt spent his twilight years with the Expos. In the final month of the 1974 season, Montreal waived Hunt; he was subsequently picked up by his hometown St. Louis Cardinals. Topps evidently couldn't make it down to the ballpark for any of his 28 plate appearances with the Cards that season, resulting in a ridiculously off-kilter airbrush job on his cap logo. Hunt came to spring training the following season, but did not make the club and opted to retire.
Airbrushed Fridays is a weekly feature as the name seems to imply. If you know of a card with an altered photograph that you'd like to see featured, please contact me. You probably won't win anything other than a hyperlink and a VHS copy of Independence Day, but you never know!