Sunday, August 4, 2019

AIRBRUSHING THROUGH THE 1970s- 1973 GARY GENTRY

Today we take a look at the airbrushed image used for the 1973 Gary Gentry card after the former pitcher found himself traded from the New York Mets to the Atlanta Braves in November of 1972:


Gentry, a mainstay of the Mets starting rotation since the 1969 World Champion team, was traded to Atlanta with Danny Frisella for Felix Milan and George Stone on November 3rd of 1972.
That forced Topps to get to work on an airbrushed image, shown here, to reflect his new digs.
Sadly for the Braves, Gentry’s best days were behind him, as he’d never win more than four games in a season over the next three years before retiring after 1975.
With the Mets between 1969 and 1972, he averaged about 10 wins and 200 innings pitched, tossing eight shutouts while completing 22 games, good numbers for a guy who was in a rotation with the likes of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Jon Matlack.
After just seven appearances in 1975, which saw him go 1-1 with a 4.95 ERA over 20 innings pitched, he called it a career, finishing up with a record of 46-49, with a 3.56 ERA over 157 appearances and 902.2 innings pitched.

6 comments:

  1. For those of you who might remember, there used to be a kids' magazine called Dynamite, published by Scholastic, I think. They had an issue back in the early 1970s where they interviewed Sy Berger and talked about how cards were made, etc. Anyway, in the article they gave away some of Topps' production "secrets" - they showed this Gentry card and asked "why would a guy playing for the Braves be wearing Mets pinstripes??", and they told kids the "magic" was that the Braves hat was airbrushed in - to elementary school kids at that time, that was some pretty heavy stuff! They also featured the Ken McMullen card from the 1973 set and blew the lid of Topps' mad skills at using images of guys looking up to hide the fronts of their caps in order to do some more team-change hocus pocus. I need to go find that issue on e-bay.

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    1. I remember this article! Now, in hindsight, I realize why they used that particular card to highlight their airbrushing "skills" - it was one of the few that actually looked like a real photograph. I originally misunderstood in the article though, as I assumed the artists were painting the entire cap on the player; in other words, the original player photo was actually capless. I wasn't a very smart kid (Sounds like the beginning of a Rodney Dangerfield joke) :-)

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  2. Actually, in terms of airbrushing, it is not that bad considering some of the others from '73. Gentry's career was ruined by multiple arm injuries.

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  3. It's been covered here ad nauseum, but the '73 set seems to be the worst of the worst for airbrushing. That's what makes it so cool!

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    1. Agreed, it is the quirkiest set of all time...only the 1971 set comes close.

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  4. I still have that Dynamite Magazine!!!

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