Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Let's revisit that crazy 1973 Topps set for another card that makes me laugh every time I see it: #656 John Ellis.
Actually, it IS one of the better "action" shots when you think about it. Ellis seems to be pissed off at the ump for what I'm assuming was a play at first base, NOT home plate as the card position of "catcher" would lead you to believe.
To top it off it looks like the ump may be one of the all-time classics in the game Ron Luciano, making this even more of a classic card for having the flamboyant ump as part of the action as well.
But getting back to Ellis, take a look at that uniform! The airbrushing job Topps did made the thing look like something a weekend softball warrior would suit up in rather than a Major League player.
From what I've gathered, the picture was actually taken in 1971 when Ellis was on the New York Yankees.
How do I know this? Ellis never played first base as a Yankee against the Oakland A's in 1972. He only manned first for eight games that year, and none against the A's. But he did in 1971.
So Topps, for some reason, went ahead and used an "older" image for Ellis for the 1973 card which already had him correctly "shown" as a Cleveland Indian.
But too bad the airbrushing was more of a cover-up job than anything else. Better yet, scratch "too bad". I'm glad they did this since I've always liked this card for it's zaniness.
I love how the "artist" did actually spend a little time on it by attempting to get Cleveland's piping down on the grey Yankee road jersey.
Problem is the colors are a bit BRIGHT and neon-like, giving it that cheap amateur feel that we've all seen (and worn) at some point in our lives in schoolyard-leagues, little league, etc.
The black sleeves, the duller grey pants not matching the "bluer" grey jersey, the absence of any team logos or names, it all makes for a "generic" look as if the card was "unofficial" like those Fleer football cards we'd get in the late 70's/early 80's that looked awful.
However, like I've said many times before: "you gotta love it!"
You just don't see these types of cards anymore.

Ellis stating his case with what seems to be Ump Luciano in 1971.

1 comment:

  1. I also like that airbrushed sliver of hat for the player standing next to Ellis



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