Today I’d like to focus on a very nice airbrushing job Topps put out there, the 1978 Rich Gossage card, getting him as a New York Yankee after coming over from the Pittsburgh Pirates:
Gossage was a huge pick up for the reliever-rich Yanks, as they already had former Cy Young winner Sparky Lyle, leading to one of my favorite baseball-quips of all-time: “You went from Cy Young to sayonara”, uttered by the jokester Graig Nettles to Lyle, as the writing was on the wall.
By the time the 1979 season opened Lyle was a Texas Ranger, and Gossage was closing in the Bronx straight through the 1983 season, becoming one of the best closers in Yankee history.
As for the card, Topps really did do a nice job getting the uniform as realistic as possible in this action shot, about as smooth a job as I can recollect. It had me fooled as a kid when I ripped the card out of a pack for the first time.
It’s definitely on-par with cards like the 1978 Elliot Maddox or 1976 Nelson Briles cards, even the 1977 Doyle Alexander and 1973 Davey Johnson.