Friday, February 12, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 1970 Topps #40

I actually had another card hand-selected and scanned for today's post, but then I started prepping for another post that will hopefully show up sometime this weekend if not later today and found this little gem. As with most catastrophes, the picture is going to say more than anything I could possibly add, so I'll keep it brief.

Dick Allen was a seven-time All-Star corner infielder who was the 1972 A.L. MVP. He spent the majority of his career with the Phillies and spent one season with St. Louis, the team he is supposedly pictured with. Allen is definitely a Hall of Very Good candidate and just a quick glance at his Wikipedia entry reveals that he was involved in a whole mess of interesting history including his inclusion in the trade to St. Louis which involved Curt Flood and led to the advent of free agency.

Why did Topps airbrush Dick's photo? Allen was involved in a very well-publicized trade after being run out of Philly initially, and Topps decided to designate him a Cardinal in the 1970 set. I don't recall off the top of my head if Topps was still issuing their sets in multiple series at this time, but nevertheless his card is a fairly low number, so either way it was issued early in the year before he ever took the field with the Redbirds.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? This is an airbrush job that is analogous to what Upper Deck has done to not infringe on the Topps exclusivity deal with MLB. He is clearly wearing a Phillies jersey, pinstripes and all, with even a little bit of the logo jersey. Someone looked at the "P" on his cap and decided to use... something... (crayon? lipstick? blood?) to rub over the logo and try to make the cap look like some nondescript red cap that any team with a red cap could conceivably wear. Er, I hate to say it, but it didn't work so well.

(Thanks to Phungo for providing this card. If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here - but not this one - 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.)


Dean Family said...

Topps would reuse the photo for the 1972 Dick Allen issue. To be fair, the Phillies and White Sox had very similiar uniforms, but to use the same picture twice in two years? Why would Topps be so lazy?

deal said...

I was hoping this card would make the cut for Airbrush Friday!

Field of Cards said...

I have always loved the details behind the story of Dick Allen. There are so many interesting tidbits.