Friday, August 5, 2011

Airbrushed Fridays: 2007 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH323

Where did this baseball season go? Where did this year go? As it stands now after last night's Fish Disposal, the Cards have completed 112 games with 50 remaining. I'm afraid that if I sleep in a little too long once or twice that it's going to be October all of a sudden. Summer (all 82 degrees of it) finally took hold here in Portland in these past couple of weeks and the lawns have finally turned white, but I'm already fearful of the imminent doom of crisp clear nights. This is about the time of year where I need to stop taking baseball for granted, no matter how frustrating the team I root for can be.

Jorge Cantu is a journeyman first baseman who most recently appeared in the majors with the Padres. He struggled with San Diego this season and was released last month. Just prior to the recent trade deadline, he signed a minor league deal with Colorado.

Why did Topps airbrush Jorge's photo? Cantu spent his first few seasons with Tampa Bay, following up a breakout 2005 season with a disappointing 2006 and 2007. The Reds made their own trade deadline deal for Cantu in 2007, not long before the Updates & Highlights set was born.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? From the short sleeves to the striping running down his pants, Cantu looks more Devil Ray than Red even if you look at the card up close. The helmet is weird, as well. I am not positive, but I think that Cincinnati used nothing but solid red batting helmets at this point. And wait... there's more. Cantu's nameplate is goofy, especially the 'C'. And last, but certainly not least, Jorge wore #15 for the Reds instead of the #3 he donned in Tampa. You see, there was a certain veteran in that clubhouse who had a preference for that particular uniform number. His name was Ken Griffey, Jr. Perhaps you have heard of him?

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. Last week's offer still stands, by the way.

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