For years I have been mystified by George Hendrick's 1972 rookie card. The ghostly airbrush job they did on it confused me to no end.
Years later I figured Topps went ahead and airbrushed his uniform because they didn't have an image of him up in the "big leagues", but I couldn't understand why they apparently went ahead and continued the airbrushing on his face.
To make it all even more interesting, they also used a photo which had someone else on it, albeit obscured a bit, but now had to airbrush THIS player as well.
Was this a situation like the 1978 Greg Minton or Mike Paxton cards, where Topps didn't have a color shot of the player so they ended up using a black-and-white image?
If this was the case, why the strange, almost albino-like coloration of his face? It's like they lightened up his eyebrows and messed with his eyelashes too. Anyone out there have an answer to this one? Would love to hear it!
The airbrushing made the already NEON Oakland A's uniform burst out even more with all its psychedelic beauty!
Anyway, because of this "paint job", I DID always like this card. It was so weird and "otherworldly" to me and I'd always think of it when the topic of "odd cards" came up.
I remember I found this card at a flea market in Brooklyn, where you went through boxes of cards this guy had on these fold-out tables. It was $1.00 for 22 cards! This was around 1981. I walked away with about 400 cards, and had to explain to my dad why I was carrying this big box when I went back to meet my him after wandering around the market wondering where I was. I also remember how pissed he was that I managed to spend $20, all of my money, on something as ridiculous as "old cards".
Nevertheless I was flush with my "unbelievable find" (hey, I was 11 years old) and was on cloud nine all the way back home to Bensonhurst, staring at these "old" players and cards I never saw before.
Ah, those were the days!