1981 Coke & A Smile: 2 Photos, 1 Team… 1 Photo, 2 Teams

As I’d mentioned in my two previous “1981 Coke & A Smile” posts (link and link), I recently got a bunch of 1981 Topps/Coca-Cola cards shipped to me from COMC.  I’ve been chasing down those where the photo has some sort of significant (or at least interesting) difference.

I’m going to start off this time with a card that should’ve been in the last post (“Different Image, Same Team“) but I was thrown off by this player having a card in 1981 Topps Traded.

Tony Scott’s base card shows him with the Cardinals.

His 1981 Coke card also shows him with the Cardinals, but uses a different photo.

Then – and this is what screwed me up a bit – on June 7th he was traded to the Astros for Joaquin Andujar, and that got an update (and an airbrushing – and apparently a haircut) for Tony in 1981 Topps Traded

Let’s move on to a situation that’s the complete opposite: For the Coke card Topps took the same photo and airbrushed the picture to reflect the player changing teams.

Darrell Porter, a four-time All-Star, had become a free agent and moved across Missouri from the Kansas City Royals to the St. Louis Cardinals. Here’s his original Topps card:

Here’s the updated Coke card (note that the cropping is slightly different as well):

Here’s Porter’s card from 1981 Topps Traded… Looks like Porter got an update to his glasses as well.

Another free agent catcher whose portrait was airbrushed was Jim Essian. He played just 27 games for the Chisox in 1981 and then was traded to Seattle after the season.

Here’s the Coke card… I’m amused at the attempt at the leisure suit uniform that the White Sox were wearing at the time… but on the other hand, they did a pretty nice job on the helmet and note that on the right side there’s a shadow falling on the collar and also a shadow caused by the collar.  The artist could easily have just made the collar the same color.

And finally, the Traded card where Essian is wearing a windbreaker under his jersey.

This is neither here nor there… and I generally love anything to do with the 1970s… but man, those White Sox jerseys were just awful.

I’ve got two more players to feature, and they are similar in that both of those Coke cards share a photo with the 1981 Topps Album Stickers set.

In December, 1980, the Angels traded Carney Lansford, Mark Clear and Rick Miller to the Red Sox for Rick Burleson and Butch Hobson.  The Angels didn’t have a Coke set, so no Coke for Burleson and Hobson.  Clear and Miller didn’t make the cut for the Red Sox set, but Carney Lansford did get the update treatment.

Here’s the original base card:

And the Coke card…

The same photo used for the Coke card was also used in the 1981 Topps Album Sticker set, but with different airbrushing (look at the helmet logo and the collar):

And finally, the card from 1981 Topps Traded

One last one… Ron LeFlore signed with the White Sox as a free agent in November, 1980.

Here’s the original card:

His Coke card, with a similar attempt at the floppy Chisox collar:

His 1981 Topps Album Sticker… Which I believe uses the same photo as the Coke card but in this case is *not* airbrushed, even though he changed teams before Carney Lansford (Faaaaaaascinating).

And finally the 1981 Topps Update card

I’ve got one more post in this series, and I’ll try not to let it sit for too long after this one.  (Would I do that?  NAH…)

5 thoughts on “1981 Coke & A Smile: 2 Photos, 1 Team… 1 Photo, 2 Teams

  1. That LeFlore trio is especially fascinating considering they used the same non-airbrushed photo on the Topps sticker. Weird. (And I completely agree with you about those Sox uniforms…not the greatest.)

  2. Pingback: 1981 Coke & A Smile: Wrapping Things Up | The Shlabotnik Report

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