Sunday, August 9, 2015

ANOTHER HEAD-SCRATCHER: 1973 STEVE DUNNING

Let's take a look at another classic from the Topps 1970's family: a 1973 card of former pitcher Steve Dunning.


Beyond the painfully obvious airbrushing of the cap (love the crazy shadowing on the "C" logo), many of us are left wondering as to exactly what uniform he is wearing on the card.
I've read a few places that think it can be an older Cleveland Indians home jersey, with "Indians" across the chest, while I've also read that it could be a minor league uni form their Portland Beavers Triple-A franchise.
I'll be honest, the very little we do see of the letters look like neither the end of the word "Indians" OR even the end of the words "Portland" or "Beavers".
Anyone know for sure what uni Dunning is wearing here?
You have to wonder why Topps didn't just leave a photo of Dunning unaltered for the card since he pitched for Cleveland for three years up to this point.
Granted the Indians did switch over to that cap from a dark blue one the previous year, so it was a dramatic change in attire for the Tribe.
But nevertheless….
And speaking of Dunning, seems he has TWO "missing" cards that I need to tackle in the future, a 1974 card with him as a Texas Ranger, and a 1977 edition with him as a Montreal Expo player.
I'm having no luck tracking down an image of either options. Any help?

10 comments:

  1. I went to baseball-reference.com, expecting to come up with alternatives, something along the lines of "Oh, well, Dunning pitched for Metropolis in 1970 and maybe that's what it says on the jersey"... only Steve Dunning got drafted in 1970 and went straight to Cleveland. He also pitched in Cleveland in 1971. In 1972 he split time between Cleveland and Portland. If it were a 1973 spring training photo, then why would it be airbrushed?

    My guess is that it's a Cleveland home jersey, and because of the wrinkles and folds in the jersey, it just doesn't look like "INDIANS". Manager Ken Aspromonte's 1972 card shows him wearing a similar uniform, and his 1973 card has pinstripes and an airbrushed cap.

    FWIW, Jack Heidemann's 1973 card also falls into the "I've been in the Indians organization, have navy pinstripes and a airbrushed cap" club.

    Several others appear to be in a similar situation on their 1973 cards, but Rusty Torres, Jerry Kenney and Charlie Spikes had been traded from the Yankees during the offseason.

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    Replies
    1. As an aside take a look at the Indians team card from 1973. The caps and lettering look airbrushed red and it looks like some of their faces were touched up too.

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  2. Very in depth sleuthing by shlabotnikreport! I love this forum!!

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  3. I have a B&W image of Dunning with the Expos I can send you - I think I still have your e-mail. I'd be curious to see an image of him with the A's in 1977 - his 1978 Topps card is one of the more awful paint jobs you're apt to find which, when combined with the somnambulant look on his face, makes for one of the weirder cards of the '70s.

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  4. Sent you the Dunning Expos image as well as a image I found on Google of him with the Rangers - sadly, both are B&W.

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  5. The Indians Wore that Red Cap with the Blue C that is Outlined in White Starting in 1965 Thru 1969 Seasons, as for the Uniform..Who Knows. Thanks.

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  6. http://bidami.com/Auctions/AuctionItem?AuctionId=36233&t=&p=0

    Take a look at the link. I think Dunnings uni is a 1971 like the one on the link. The letters are blocky like on the card.

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  7. I think it's an Indians jersey. Topps just airbrushed the cap from navy (used pre-1972) to red as they did for a few Indians players in the '73 set where they couldn't get a 1972 photo.

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  8. This is definitely an Indians jersey....here is a Steve Mingori picture that confirms this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1971-Topps-Baseball-Color-Negative-Steve-Mingori-INDIANS-/201406713109?hash=item2ee4c68d15

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  9. What was wrong with leaving Dunning and Heidemann in the old black caps?

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