Contrast & Compare: The *Interesting* Airbrushing of Manny Sanguillen, 1977 Topps vs. 1977 O-Pee-Chee

About a week ago, this card was featured on the excellent “When Topps Had (Base) Balls” blog…
1977 Topps Manny Sanguillen
The gist of the post is that the Topps airbrush artist did a notably bad job in painting an A’s uniform on the former Pirate Manny Sanguillen.

What he may not have known is that the 1977 O-Pee-Chee Sanguillen card features a different photo of Manny, also handpainted in a manner that could also be described as “a doozy”.

1977 OPC Manny Sanguillen

While neither one can be considered a first-rate example of airbrushing, I think that OPC job is bad enough to make me wonder why they thought it was an improvement over the Topps card (OPC went to press after Topps, so they were able to change things up in this set).

Which do you think is the worse of these two airbrushing jobs?  Topps or OPC?

The Kid And The Pirates (Three 1976 Kellogg’s Cards)

Not a lot to say about today’s cards, other than they’re from the 1976 Kellogg’s set, and the players were chosen by Kellogg’s based on their 1975 season.

In 1975, Manny Sanguillen was an All-Star and hit a career-high .328.
1976 Kelloggs Manny Sanguillen

In 1975, Jerry Reuss was also an All-Star and had 18 wins and 6 shutouts, both were career high marks he’d match – but not surpass – in later years.
1976 Kelloggs Jerry Reuss

In 1975, Gary Carter wa– OMG, LOOK AT HOW YOUNG GARY CARTER IS!!!!
1976 Kelloggs Gary Carter
“The Kid” truly is a kid on this card.

In 1975, the 21-year-old Carter was (surprise surprise) an All-Star, and finished second in the NL Rookie Of The Year voting to John “The Count” Montefusco. He also was more of a right fielder than a catcher, having played 66 games behind the plate and 92 out in right.

I Don’t Normally Do Things Like This, But……… 1,000th Post! Yay!

Holidays and blog anniversaries come and go with little mention from me, but there’s something about the odometer rolling over that makes me want to do something special!

Something like…




Oh, bloody hell.

What can I do that’s special?

Wait a minute… there is something I can share that’s truly one of a kind…

Back when I was a kid, I wanted to be the guy who worked for Topps and painted the new caps on guys who had been traded.  I loved baseball cards, I had a modicum of artistic talent, what better way to put those together into a career?

At some point I decided to give it a try myself… Only I didn’t have any idea of what they used to do this.  I went ahead and used what I had at hand:  The paint brushes and Testors paint we used for painting our model cars.  My canvas would be some doubles I had laying around.

The results were… Interesting.

Brushed 1974 Bill Robinson

Bill Robinson got traded from the Phillies to the Pirates before the 1975 season;  I don’t know if my artwork was necessarily done before there were any other cards that showed Bill Robinson as a Pirate, but I certainly gave it a try.  It’s a shame that the scan doesn’t do justice to my (*ahem*) interesting brushwork.

Some months before Robinson moved to Pittsburgh, a Chicago Legend got traded to the A’s.  Again, I made an attempt to update a card I had.

Brushed 1974 Billy Williams

The card already came with a yellow background, so maybe I shouldn’t have given him a yellow jersey… But I will point out that I sweated the details on this one and painted in Williams’ stirrups and sleeves.

This next card is kind of sloppy, but it shows that I wasn’t afraid to go rogue…

Brushed 1976 Ed Halicki

I clearly wanted to practice painting a guy into a yellow-paneled Brewers cap (which I always liked for some reason), but the thing is that Ed Halicki never pitched for the Brewers.  Maybe I had to make do with the cards I had on hand.

This next cards is fairly easy to put a date to… Manny Sanguillen was sent from the Bucs to the A’s in November, 1976, and then back to the Pirates in April, 1978.  This next card was clearly made in between those two dates:

Brushed 1974 Manny Sanguillen

My updating Joe Rudi into a Angels uniform is one of the worst attempts I made, but I give myself bonus points for painting the whole jersey white and trying to do the numbers.
Brushed 1974 Joe Rudi

This is another card that was probably attempted in 1977 (Rudi’s first year with the Angels).  In case you’re wondering what the deal is with that weird marking which runs from his face into the corner of the photo… that’s a printing flaw, and most likely the reason why I chose this card for my experimentation.

The last card I’m going to share with you is one where I’m not sure what I was doing… Maybe just cleaning excess paint off my brush. It made me laugh, though…
Brushed 1975 Reggie Jackson
It shows that my dislike for Reggie Jackson clearly goes back many years.

So there we have it, post # 1000.  I still enjoy the blogosphere, I’ve got hundreds of scanned images and many, many pages of blogging ideas, so I promise you I’m not going anywhere anytime soon… not unless all of you leave first, and then it all becomes fairly pointless.  It sounds trite, but it’s all of you who keep this fun for me, and I appreciate all the feedback I’ve received over the past 3+ years.

1978 Hostess Manny Sanguillén

I’d learned something new about Manny Sanguillén the moment I Googled him; I hadn’t been aware that there’s an accent on the ‘e’, and I’ve been mispronouncing his name for 35 years. It’s not like I’m alone in this, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard his name pronounced with the accent on the last syllable.  I will try to be better in the future about getting the Latino names right.  Please feel free to chastise me if I don’t.
Manny would’ve been a career Pirate if not for the one year he spent in Oakland. Actually, by the time this Hostess card hit the shelves, he was already back in Pittsburgh.  For someone who’d only played for two teams,  he had an interesting career path.  After the 1976 season, he was traded to Oakland for manager Chuck Tanner.  He played the one season with the A’s, then was traded back to Pittsburgh for Miguel Dilone, Elias Sosa and Mike Edwards.  After five more seasons with the Pirates, he was traded along with Bert Blyleven to Cleveland for four players, and then Sanguillén was released before Spring Training.

Manny was an All-Star in 1971, 1972 and 1975 and was on the World Champions Pirates teams of 1971 and 1979.  He also caught a no-hitter pitched by Bob Moose in 1969, against the “Miracle Mets”.

After Roberto Clemente’s death following the 1972 season, Sanguillén was put into Clemente’s spot in right field, but he didn’t adjust to the outfield and was moved back behind the plate.

Sanguillén currently runs Manny’s BBQ, a concession stand out past the centerfield fence in PNC Park.