Friday, November 15, 2013

Airbrushed Fridays: 2013 Topps Opening Day #213

Should we just call it Doctored Fridays?

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? R.A. Dickey's story is well known, but he certainly wasn't until he hit his mid-30s. Dickey was last year's runaway Cy Young Award winner, capping off an amazing three-year run with the Mets for the 38 year old. After floundering as a more conventional pitcher for an entire career, he reinvented himself as a goofy knuckleballer and reaped rewards. He wrote a book about his personal and professional struggles. Not many players can claim being a first time All-Star at age 37, but Dickey can.

Why is this a thing? The Mets were rebuilding and traded off their most popular player at the end of last season. After a rough start (re)adjusting to the American League, Dickey smoothed things out for the second half and captured his first Gold Glove award while playing for the Blue Jays. Even though he enters his age 39 season next year, knucklers have historically been able to pitch well past the expiration date for most ballplayers, so we certainly haven't seen the last of him.

Airbrushed Fridays is a weekly feature as the name seems to imply. If you know of a card with an altered photograph that you'd like to see featured, please contact me. You probably won't win anything but the rotting remains of our jack-o'-lantern, but you never know!

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