Friday, December 10, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 2002 Topps Total #14

I'll preface this by saying that I believe I have shown this card on this blog before, and perhaps even provided some commentary about it. This card was my primary inspiration towards bringing a few of the more modern baseball card photo disasters into the mix. Enjoy?

Tino Martinez was an all-star first baseman and foundation piece of the Yankees World Series dynasty clubs of the late 1990s. He had replaced a premiere player in Don Mattingly, one of the few great stars in an otherwise forgettable era for the Yanks, after rising to prominence and notoriety with Seattle.

Why did Topps airbrush Tino's photo? The Yankees saw fit to make an offseason upgrade at first base, or as much as you can attempt to over a star who just hit 34 HRs and drove in 113. They brought in Jason Giambi from the A's, who was one year removed from an MVP award. I have no idea when the 2002 Topps Total set might have been produced, but I'll guess it was early on in the year. Tino would not prove to be very successful or popular in St. Louis, but he did do well to bridge the gap at 1B between Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Oh, where do I start? The helmet is really weird. It's got a shiny metallic look to it, but it's mostly the lighting that makes it look like it isn't a Cardinals helmet. The biggest gaffe is the uniform. There's no name on the back, which is a St. Louis no-no, and there is something extremely weird going on with the uniform number. I don't even know how to describe it... it's just that there's a weird split there between the numbers and it just plain looks wrong. Topps did get the actual uniform number correct (he wore 24 with New York) but that's about it.

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.

No comments: