Friday, July 22, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 1978 Topps #91

While more than 80% of the country is stuck under this unmovable atmospheric dome of intense heat, my hometown is on the outside looking in and is struggling to get its summer underway. We've yet to even sniff 90 degrees, but this weekend is finally looking like a warm one... before it gives way to unseasonably mild temperatures once again. None of this, of course, has anything to do with airbrushing or baseball cards.

Oscar Zamora was a right-handed Cuban relief pitcher that spent three of his four big league seasons with the hapless Cubbies. His work on the mound, especially in his latter two seasons with Chicago, apparently left something to be desired as it inspired a parody song about him.

Why did Topps airbrush Oscar's card? Looking at the back of the card, Zamora has the rare distinction of having spent a full season in the minors the prior season but was still granted a card in the Topps set. Houston signed him as a free agent in the offseason, where he logged 15 innings along with another stint in the minor leagues. Baseball-Reference speaks of a brief comeback four seasons later with a single A club, but that's the last we heard of him.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? I'm sure this was someone's "best work" given some sort of time constraint. I could see someone scratching this one out in about ten minutes or so. There's a freehand look to the Astros logo and some uncertain stripes on his collar. Even Oscar is trying to sell it with the look on his face here, but he's not doing it very well.

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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