Friday, January 8, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 1979 Topps #603

I've probably told this story a few times, but I have an established cutoff line as far as what I consider "vintage" and therefore not collect-able in my budget and that cutoff is 1979 Topps. I was 3 years old when this set came out and basically can't recall anything but one or two memories from the '70s. The first baseball card I ever owned came out of a cereal box in 1981 and the first time I ever laid eyes on a pack was in 1986. However, at some point when I was still relatively young, a friend of my father's handed me a large paper bag full of baseball cards, all from the 1979 Topps set. I've never really had more than a handful of cards from any season prior, so that is where the cutoff lies for me.

Rudy May was nicknamed "The Dude" according to his Wikipedia entry and apparently the inspiration for the character from dude film The Big Lebowski. He had a remarkable 1980 season with the Yankees where he led the league in ERA, made starts in 17 of his 41 appearances and also finished 13 games.

Why did Topps airbrush Rudy's photo? I can't make any excuse for Topps this time. Rudy spent the entire 1978 season with Montreal. Perhaps the oil crisis made travel to such extravagant foreign lands such as Canada an impossible task.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Rudy's hat is really misshapen, particularly on the top left. The logo actually looks okay, but it just seems like they got carried away with the top of the thing. His jersey, the photo of which conveniently eliminates about 90 percent of, looks rather hand-drawn especially where the faint appearance of a button shows up.

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