February 09, 2006

Trade Offs

One of my favorite things about Topps back in the Seventies and Eighties was that if a player got traded mid-way through the season, or perhaps right before the cards went to press, then that player’s hat had to be changed, often badly, as is the case of Reid Nichols here in 1986. Nichols was traded by the Red Sox to the White Sox mid way through 1985, probably because he and Dwight Evans looked too much alike. Anyway, why Topps didn’t just issue him in a Red Sox uniform in 1986 and then include him in the Traded set in a White Sox uniform I’ll never understand.

Topps didn’t toy with the collector’s ability to suspend disbelief in the Sixties, they just tried to pick a photo where that player wasn’t wearing something that might identify him with his former team, though sometimes that couldn’t be avoided (see Maury Wills’ card from the 1969 set—he’s still obviously a Pirate, despite the Expos team name emblazoned under his name). Another one of the ways they combated late-season movement was by just removing a logo from the player’s hat (see Ray Culp’s 1969 card).

In the Seventies, Topps did pretty well with the Traded tack-ons in 72, 74 and 1976. Why they didn’t do this every year is a mystery.

3 comments:

TOLAXOR said...

I THINK EITHER MINTON OR BILLIE JEAN KING'S BROTHER FROM 1978 OR 1979 GIANTS WAS THE SAME WAY - I'VE SEEN BETTER AIRBRUSHES ON, WELL....

Anonymous said...

Now I'm not sure if you ever collected football cards, or more specifically football cards from 1998, but an absolutely horrid example of air brushing can be seen on Randy Moss's 1998 Topps Stars RC. This would most definately be my nomination for worst looking card of all time.

Drano said...

Nothing was or is worse than the 76-77 Topps airbrushing, they had to do a lot because of the expansion and it all looks terrible - like neon or something.

I will say one thing, there is some Giants picture in 1977 that they put a whole uniform on - and this was and action shot - and it looks great. It escaped my notice for quite awhile.