Saturday, September 13, 2014


Man have I been sitting on this card for a while!
An absolute gem of an airbrush disaster if there ever was one: the 1973 Topps Rich McKinney card. Take a look:

Where do we begin?!
First off, poor McKinney! As I profiled a while ago, his 1972 card was also a bad airbrush job, showing him as a New York Yankee with his cap poorly executed, with his last-name clearly running across the back of his jersey (something a Yankee jersey has NEVER had). 
It was clearly McKinney in a White Sox uniform, and slapped together for his '72 issued card.
Now here we have something that tops it, a terrible neon disaster of a paint job trying to show him in an Oakland A's uniform, with a hilariously done two-dimensional looking paint job!
Just look at the cap! Look at the black stroke around his body against the background! Awesome, just awesome.
I love the almost crayon-fill yellow striping on the jersey, and that wisp of hair that looks like it's coming out of his cap on the back.
Definitely one of Topps worst (and for us, best) airbrush jobs of the period.
McKinney didn't play much for a few years after 1973, totaling only 13 games for the A's combined in 1974 and 1975.
He was out of Major League ball for 1976, but did come back and play in just over half a season's worth of games in 1977, getting into 86 games for Oakland before calling it a career. 
As a matter of fact I want to create a "missing" 1978 card for him since he had decent playing time the previous year, but I just cannot find a usable image of him in an Oakland uniform anywhere.
If anyone has one, please send it along so we can fill in this "missing" part of 1970's Topps cards!


  1. I remember getting that card as a kid. I guess back then I was a little more tolerant of these goofy "uniforms" or really didn't understand why they did it. Maybe their feeble attempts reminded me of my own artwork at the time so it was familiar looking, lol.

    I never understood why the OPC brand could use an old team photo on a new team border and mark the picture as "traded on .....: That seems like a much simpler way of doing it.

    And with all of your skills Gio, I am sure you could take any old photo and photoshop a 1978 that Rich McKinney would be proud of. Or you can get out your crayons and watercolors and give it shot. I know you can do it!

  2. Tony... Hilarious! Giovanni... The airbrush jobs of the 1970's Topps Baseball cards are absolutely awesome! It looks like some of the hats are made of felt material.

  3. the other bad point is they airbrushed the 1971 vest version of the A's uniform and this is the 1973 set. the A's had already switched to the pullover uni in 72.

  4. Classically bad. I went deep to find the other and here's the link for those who have not seen it:

    The 72t Yankee one is remarkable. The name on the back? Outrageously bad. I wonder if they meant to crop that closer, cause they just left the jersey alone. Wacky Topps.

  5. Here's a pic of McKinney you can try to use for a '78 card at this link:

  6. What's with the vested uniform, the A's got rid of those things by then! It would have saved them so much green ink.



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