Friday, December 4, 2009

Airbrushed Fridays: 1981 Topps #473

Hey, it's still Friday in my time zone. Unbeknownst to me at the time, 1981 Topps was the first set I ever saw as a kid, although I did not start collecting cards until I bought my first pack of 1986 Topps. I somehow acquired and held onto a Robin Yount card from this set for years and years. I think I pulled it from a cereal box and for a long time didn't realize it was part of a regular set.

Jose Cardenal was an outfielder who played primarily in the '60s and '70s. He was actually out of the league in 1981 making this appearance his last on a regular Topps card as far as I know.

Why did Topps airbrush Jose's photo? With just 61 plate appearances in 25 games, Cardenal (a former Cardinal, oddly enough) did not have a lot of service time with Kansas City and therefore had few opportunities to be shot in Royal blue.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Aside from the fact that Jose looks like he could not be any less thrilled by having his picture taken, this one just strikes me as weird. His cap is extremely wide (though not as wide as his hair!) and just does not look anything like a Royals baseball cap from this era. And check out his shirt - is that even a baseball shirt? It looks like some sort of work shirt, but I suppose it could be a Mets jacket of some sort. Uniforms aren't really my thing. I'll leave that to the experts.


  1. Wow, I never realized that photo was airbrushed. I wasn't very observant back then.

  2. That looks very much like the late 70s facade of Shea Stadium behind him, so I wouldn't be surprised if they airbrushed a KC logo over a Mets one.


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