Friday, May 27, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 1978 Topps #415

Catcher collisions are in the news right now as Gerald Dempsey Posey was taken out in the wee hours of the morning yesterday and is likely done for the season. What better time is there to bring back our first two-time Airbrushed Fridays featured player who happens to know a thing or two about this very subject?

Ray Fosse was a two-time All-Star, two-time World Series winner and two-time Gold Glove Award winning catcher who was famously blown up by Pete Rose in the 1970 ASG. Fosse's offensive production declined for five consecutive seasons following The Collision, although he would go on to win his second Gold Glove and make his second All-Star appearance in 1971. Fosse played with Cleveland, Oakland, Cleveland again and Seattle before making his final stop and first in the National League as depicted on this very card.

Why did Topps airbrush Ray's photo? Fosse signed on the last day of 1977 with Milwaukee and did not appear in a Brewers uniform before the 1978 set was released. According to Wikipedia, he "tripped in a hole while running down the first base line, and suffered injuries to his right leg" during spring training that season, which makes me wonder if '70s spring training baseball was similar to Mutant League Football in that players would occasionally fall victim to land mines and large craters in their normal everyday gameplay.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? The cap is airbrushed, of course. What I'm really concerned about is that Ray is wearing something that is dangerously close to a smoking jacket. He's looking very contemplative, as if he never believed his career would ever take him to the National League.

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.


Anonymous said...

Um, the Brewers were in the AL at that time. They faced the Cards in the 82 WS.

madding said...

I should know! I was sort of rooting for the Brewers that year, too. (Yikes.)

Anonymous said...

Compared to some of the hatchet jobs I've seen from Topps in the 1970s... this is actually damn good airbrush work.