Friday, May 6, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 2007 Topps #529

Is anyone reading this blog yet? PunkRockPaint has joined their crew and has been posting some gems. This, in particular, is amazing.

Chris Snelling was an oft-injured outfielder and former hitting prospect who was perhaps best known for playing with the Australia national team. He came up with the Mariners, who seemed to be overly fascinated with him despite never materializing as a legitimate major league talent.

Why did Topps airbrush Chris's photo? Snelling was traded to the Nationals after the 2006 season. He didn't play a lot, and for all I know he was too injured in spring training to be captured in action. Guys like Snelling don't get the studio red velvet treatment that seemingly every member of the Red Sox roster got in the 2007 Topps set.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Well, my first reaction is that it just looks weird. I usually focus on the visual, so I thought I'd take a different approach and offer some analytical evidence this time instead. Can we first agree that the dugout in the background is a Tampa Bay Devil Rays dugout. Even though the backdrop is blurry, the player over Snelling's right shoulder looks like he's wearing the Devil Rays jersey that the team wore until 2008. Snelling's Nats did not play Tampa Bay in 2007. In fact, Snelling himself barely lasted a month before he was shipped off to Oakland. Put Snelling back in a Seattle jersey, and you can see that even in his limited time, he did play in a series at Tropicana Field after September call-ups in 2006. He started in RF in the Friday (night) game of the series, and also started the Sunday day game. This has more of a look of a night card to me (although I'll leave that to the expert), so I'm just going to claim that this photo was taken during this game.

Okay, fine, it looks weird. It's also pretty convenient that both the Nats and the M's had the circular sleeve logo on the same sleeves of their respective jerseys. Maybe I should have left it at that.

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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