Here's another one of those players that got a card one year for NO apparent reason, yet was omitted from another set after substantial playing time the year before: infielder Don Mason of the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres.
First up, he was brought to my attention when I spotted his (badly airbrushed) 1971 Topps card, which when considering he only appeared in 46 games and 41 plate appearances in 1970 with the Giants, leaves you wondering why he even got a card in the first place.
His numbers from 1970 are both sparse and dreadful: 36 at-bats, five hits, a .139 average and one run batted in with zero extra base hits.
Take a look at the original 1971 Topps card (more on this at the end of the post):
So while I was looking at his career stats in regards to the 1971 card I noticed that the guy had decent playing time in 1969 yet was left out of the 1970 Topps set.
In 1969 Mason played in 104 games with 292 plate appearances, hitting .228 with 57 hits, 13 runs batted in and 43 runs scored. He even managed to knock four doubles and two triples. So why no card for him the following year?
That lead me to design the "missing" card for him, and got me searching for a decent picture of him as a San Francisco Giant.
Take a look:
Luckily, not only did I find this shot, but I also came across a nice photo of him as a San Diego Padre, and with that bad airbrushing job of him for the 1971 card, I decided to re-do it with the better picture.
I never redesign a card of a non-star, but I couldn't resist since it all kind of fell into my lap.
Here's my redesign of the 1971 card, with the photo of him in a Padre uniform:
Mason's career lasted eight years, from 1966 to 1973 playing for the two teams shown above.
But it was really only in the 1969 and 1971 seasons that he saw any substantial playing time.
His last season of big league action, 1973, saw him tally eight at-bats in eight games for San Diego before he was out of the Majors for good.