Friday, November 12, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 1978 Topps #584

In honor of Dave Niehaus, I chose a Mariners card this week out of the stack from Smed's Baseball Card Blog. I'm trying to overlook the fact that he just posted a Mike Maroth card. I choose to just pretend I don't know who that is and leave it at that.

John Hale has the shortest Wikipedia entry ever for a former major league baseball player, especially one that played for six seasons. It might have something to do with his lifetime .201 batting average and .612 OPS. Maybe.

Why did Topps airbrush John's photo? Hale was waived by the Dodgers late in the 1977 season and picked up by the Blue Jays, who in turn waived him two weeks later. He then became a Mariner, but never logged a plate appearance for either AL team that season. Topps saw fit to make him a Mariner anyway and put him in the big set, even though he was largely a pinch hitter/fifth outfielder type who only had 407 ABs in 4 seasons up through that point. Do you get some sort of tangible award for winning TOPPS Player of the Month, by the way?

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Everything but John's flesh looks a bit like an illustration from a book I owned as a child. I'm sure there were some tales of serpents and tridents somewhere in my childhood upbringing. By the way, this card brings up an interesting comment for team collectors. I wonder if there are any super hardcore team collectors out there who would consider adding this card to their Dodgers collection based solely on the reason that he was, in all likelihood, wearing a Dodger uniform prior to the doctoring. I bet someone does that. Not me... but please don't talk me into it.

If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here, 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.

1 comment:

CaptKirk42 said...

Nice briefing on this card. I'm sure there are some Dodgers team collectors who collect this card simply for the fact that he used to play on the Dodgers.