I received a GREAT email recently from blog-reader "RAJ" with some excellent examples of Topps and their airbrushing choices which really left me wondering how many other examples like these exist throughout the 1970's.
I liked the email so much I thought it'd make a perfect post.
Some good stuff here! Thanks Robert!
"Here is a great example of how Topps
would remove certain elements in the background of photos for their
cards using airbrushing when it really didn’t seem to be all that
necessary. On the left we see Mike
Lum batting against the Pirates in Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium
during the 1978 season. On the right is a photo take during that same
game, with no Topps airbrushing applied to it. I’m not sure what was
gained by painstakingly removing the photographers
and their tri-pods.
I guess Topps was wanting a clean background for this card as well as the cards for Johnny Bench and Dave Concepcion (below):
However, they chose to leave
photographers and their equipment in the cards for Ray Knight, Ken
Griffey, and Joe Morgan although they certainly removed portions of a
photographer who was wearing blue jeans
and a red shirt because you can see remnants of him in the Griffey and
In the cards we also see some strange
happenings in the crowd as it appears that there are flesh-colored arms
(or limbs of some sort) next to and below the big fella in blue in the
Lum card. What could they
have done THAT for?
Hope this was of interest to you. It
always fascinated me the airbrushing “hack jobs” that Topps pawned off
on us with some of those horrific baseball hats as well as the terrible
football helmets in the