Wednesday, March 19, 2014

AIRBRUSHING AND JUMPING THE GUN: 1977 #409 PETE BROBERG

As we've seen in the past on this blog, Major League baseball's expansion in 1977 caused a few missteps by Topps, who were trying to fill their 1977 set with some players to represent the two new franchises: the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays.
Because of this, Topps ended up having a few players who never actually ended up playing for the team they were portrayed as members of, and were given funny, if not wretched airbrush jobs to have them in "uniform" on the card.
Well here's another one of those very cards: Pete Broberg and his 1977 slab of cardboard.
Take a look:


The airbrushing here is pretty funny, almost a color-in-the-lines type thing going on on his uniform collar, while the cap has the hilarious two-dimensional feel so many other airbrush jobs of the '70's had.
The fact that the Seattle logo is also a bit off-center on the cap makes it all a good laugher.
As if that stuff doesn't make the card stand out a little bit, the simple fact that Broberg never actually played for the Mariners makes it worth a quick profile here.
As with other expansion draft players, many were drafted solely to use as trade bait right before the 1977 season started, Broberg being one of them.
Drafted by Seattle from the Milwaukee Brewers as the 35th pick of the draft in November 1976, he was soon traded by Seattle to the Chicago Cubs in April of '77  for a player to be named later, that player being pitcher Jim Todd.
Gotta say though, Broberg did have a bit of a Hollywood mystique to him in this photo. It's almost like a head-shot for some actor, no?
Broberg's best season during his eight-year career would have to be 1975, when he posted a 14-15 record to go along with a 4.13 E.R.A and two shutouts over 32 starts for the Brewers.
His final Major League season, 1978 for the Oakland A's would be his only other double-digit win season, when he went 10-12 with a 4.62 earned run average.
After that, at the ripe-old-age of 28, he was done, never to appear in another Major League game.

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