Sans moustache. Oscar predictor.
Who is he? John Axford is a reliever who came to big league prominence in an unlikely way. While was drafted twice, he came to his first MLB contract as a free agent and was given up on by two organizations before finding his place. In 2011, he tied for the NL lead in saves as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. And he sported some interesting facial hair. Also, he's Canadian.
How did he get here? Axford had a rough couple of seasons in Milwaukee following his stellar 2011 and was dealt to the Cardinals at the trade deadline in 2013. He seemed to have turned things around in his brief time in The Birds on the Bat, which he parlayed into a new contract with Cleveland. He's bounced around since and heads into the new season on a two year deal with the Athletics.
Repeat offender? No
Other versions of this card: None, but here's the source photo. Which makes me angry. Because as far as I know, there are no John Axford Cardinals cards and there never will be.
Airbrushed Score: 6
Comments: If you want to realize how terrible the photo situation has become with the flagship Topps sets, here's a good example. Look at how bright and crisp this original photo is. And look at what they did with the card after all of the cropping and processing. Horrible. This would have made a great horizontal card.