Line Out – Runners Do Not Advance

My last few weeks have felt like the George Scott card from the 1968 Topps game insert:  Line out – Runners do not advance.
1968 Topps Game George Scott
No, no, that’s not quite right… George looks too happy about things.

Do we have another bad result from the game where the player looks a bit more…

…I dunno…

…Worn out?
1968 Topps Game Jim Wynn

Yeah… That’s better.  Thank you, Jim Wynn.

My posts have been sporadic lately partly because I haven’t had a whole lot of free time, and partly because my top blogging priority is a long-term project that hasn’t yet resulted in any posts… Our crack team of custom card designers and manufacturers have been spending every available moment trying to get the 2015 TSR custom set ready and out into the virtual stores by Opening Day.

As a result, whenever I try to finish and publish one of the many drafts I have, I just…
1968 Topps Game Mike McCormick
…Strike out.

And all that is on top of other tasks that eat into my hobby time, like organizing and removing the unholy mess of cards that have taken over the dining room table. Mrs. Shlabotnik has been patient thus far, but it’s best not to push those limits.

So… Apologies for my general absence from the Blogosphere of late. After the new set goes live, I hope that will change for the better.
1968 Topps Game Claude Osteen
Sorry, I can’t think of any way to work a double play into this post.

The Unfortunate Boomer And Other Hostess Airbrushings

In a post last week I was singing the praises of the airbrushing job done on this 1977 O-Pee-Chee card:
1977 OPC George Scott

Yesterday I was poking through my folders of scans and I ran across the “What could’ve been” example in my Hostess folder.  As good as the airbrushing on that OPC was, that’s how… um… not good the airbrushing on this 1977 Hostess was:

1977 Hostess George Scott

Same year, same traded player, very different results.

…And if you were wondering why I’m featuring this card now instead of a few days ago when I featured the OPC card, I’ll just say “That’s part of the stream-of-consciousnness fun you get with The Shlabotnik Report!”

….Which sounds better than “I’m somewhat disorganized and always writing posts at the last minute!”

To continue the theme of “Airbrushings one might not include in one’s portfolio”, let’s move on to this 1975 Tug McGraw.  The logo isn’t bad, but the perspective is wrong, the shade of red is wrong, the lack of pinstripes is wrong…

1975 Hostess Tug McGraw

The Mets traded Tug to the Phillies in December, 1974 for… you know what, we’re not going to talk about that right now… (Full disclosure:  I’m a Mets fan)

Continuing with 1975, here’s another one where the logo seems to “float” over the cap…

1975 Hostess Bobby Murcer

As an up-and-coming young player, Murcer had been touted as the “Next Mickey Mantle”, and while he was a fine player, nobody should be labeled as the “Next” anybody.  The Yankees traded Murcer to the Giants for Bobby Bonds in October, 1974.

On this 1978 Hostess card, Bruce Bochte has the look of a man who knows his uniform is going to be poorly airbrushed…

1978 Hostess Bruce Bochte

No trades were involved this time, Bochte had signed with the Mariners as a free agent.

Contrast And Compare: 1977 OPC/Topps George Scott And Cecil Cooper

Of all the photo differences between 1977 Topps and O-Pee-Chee baseball, this is one of my favorites just because of the attention to detail by the airbrush artist.

First we have the Topps George Scott.  “Boomer” came up with the Red Sox but was part of a 10-player trade after the 1971 season.  Scott would play with the Brewers from 1972 to 1976
1977 Topps George Scott

In December, 1976, George Scott and Bernie Carbo were traded to the Red Sox for Cecil Cooper. I think everybody should take a moment to appreciate this impressive airbrush job.
1977 OPC George Scott
Not only does the Red Sox logo actually look like a Red Sox logo, but the artist attempted to duplicate the glare on the helmet and – this is the part that really gets me – also the reflection of the logo on the brim of the helmet. That is the kind of detail you don’t often see on Topps airbrushings.

I should also mention that a powder-blue Brewers road jersey was converted to a white Red Sox home jersey. Despite everything going on, it doesn’t scream “AIRBRUSHING!!!!”

..and as long as I’m pointing out every little detail, the signature on the Brewers card is laid out vertically (first over last name), while the Red Sox card signature is horizontal.

Ah, the heck with it, as long as I’m at it, I may as well share the other end of this deal. Here’s Cecil Cooper with the Red Sox…
1977 Topps Cecil Cooper

…and here he is airbrushed as a Brewer. Not as good of a job, but still nothing to be ashamed of.
1977 OPC Cecil Cooper

This trade worked out better for the Brewers, as Cecil Cooper would play 11 years for the Brew Crew, make the All-Star team five times, win three Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves, and twice lead the AL in RBI.