Friday, April 8, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 1974 Topps #289

Continuing with the Dodgers theme of my last post, here's this week's victim of artistry gone awry.

Rick Auerbach was a career reserve infielder who happened to share a last name with one of the most famous coaches of all-time: the NBA's Red Auerbach. The two are not related as far as I can tell. Rick put up a shockingly abysmal .572 career OPS in 11 major league seasons. One can only hope he was really good with the glove or a "good clubhouse guy" or something to that extent.

Why did Topps airbrush Rick's photo? Auerbach was dealt to the Dodgers by Milwaukee in late April 1973 and spent most of the season in AAA. Milwaukee, for some reason, reacquired him in early September of that season only to sell him back to the Dodgers again after the season was over. Having not actually spent a game in a big league Dodgers uniform at the time the set was produced, someone at Topps was called upon to do something "creative".

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Wow, just look at that logo. Does he play for Iowa or something? It looks like it could be an 'IA' on his cap, or perhaps a small 'T' and an upside-down 'V'. I don't know what else to say. Really, I don't.

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.

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