Tuesday, June 25, 2013

THE GHOST OF GEORGE HENDRICK: 1972

For years I have been mystified by George Hendrick's 1972 rookie card. The ghostly airbrush job they did on it confused me to no end. 
Years later I figured Topps went ahead and airbrushed his uniform because they didn't have an image of him up in the "big leagues", but I couldn't understand why they apparently went ahead and continued the airbrushing on his face.
To make it all even more interesting, they also used a photo which had someone else on it, albeit obscured a bit, but now had to airbrush THIS player as well.
Was this a situation like the 1978 Greg Minton or Mike Paxton cards, where Topps didn't have a color shot of the player so they ended up using a black-and-white image?
If this was the case, why the strange, almost albino-like coloration of his face? It's like they lightened up his eyebrows and messed with his eyelashes too. Anyone out there have an answer to this one? Would love to hear it!
The airbrushing made the already NEON Oakland A's uniform burst out even more with all its psychedelic beauty!
Anyway, because of this "paint job", I DID always like this card. It was so weird and "otherworldly" to me and I'd always think of it when the topic of "odd cards" came up.
I remember I found this card at a flea market in Brooklyn, where you went through boxes of cards this guy had on these fold-out tables. It was $1.00 for 22 cards! This was around 1981. I walked away with about 400 cards, and had to explain to my dad why I was carrying this big box when I went back to meet my him after wandering around the market wondering where I was. I also remember how pissed he was that I managed to spend $20, all of my money, on something as ridiculous as "old cards".
Nevertheless I was flush with my "unbelievable find" (hey, I was 11 years old) and was on cloud nine all the way back home to Bensonhurst, staring at these "old" players and cards I never saw before.
Ah, those were the days!

2 comments:

  1. Is this the "Rick Jones/Greg Minton" effect? Colorizing a black and white photo?

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  2. You were about six years too late. In 1975, I bought the complete set of 1972 Topps baseball for 30 dollars. I had a summer job that year as a 13 year old and went on a shopping spree. Bought the 1968, 69 and 70 sets for 40 dollars each, the 72 set for 30 and the 73 and 74 sets for 20 dollars, LOL. I was dumb and didn’t buy the 71 set because I had so many cards from that year already, just buying them at the corner store, and figured I could fill in the rest buying them individually, but never did. 45 years later I’m still about 100 cards short on my 1971 set.

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