Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Today we look at a unique situation where one player was royally shafted by TOPPS on two occasions with terrible photos for his baseball card: Tommy Agee in 1971 and 1973.
Take a look at the cards here:

Quick! Pick out Agee here!

A little easier here, but come on! Really Topps?
Wow. I was always struck by the odd cropping on a lot of Topps early-70's horizontal cards. On BOTH of these, they easily could have just made the card a portrait design, which would have allowed them to crop, and FOCUS more on the player that was supposed to be portrayed.
Especially the 1973 card: why the need to also include the two other Astros, as well as the umpire?
It would have been such an easy fix I was tempted to make it here to illustrate the point. But for this series I already said I'll refrain from a "do-over". I'll keep those for the star cards.
Anyway, as I stated in an earlier post: the 1973, and to a lesser extent the 1971 set, were rife with terrible photography, and I'd really love to know what was up with Topps' decision making.
I'm sure there's a reason why they stunk it up with the photo-quality. At least I'd like to THINK so.
Anyone out there have an answer? I'd love to hear it.


  1. Look at the 1973 Agee card. It's a total paint job. He's with the Mets when the photo is taken. I'm pretty sure that's Bud Harrelson in the foreground and I'm guessing Ron Swoboda coming in from RF.

    1. Yeah I realized that later on. Isn't it hilarious that Topps felt it worthwhile to use a multi-player photos, and have to airbrush everyone, instead of just using some posed shot of the player?
      I mean, I appreciate the effort, but sometimes I fail to see the reward.
      I think you're right, that's Harrelson and Swoboda in the shot! Too funny...

    2. I know this is way after the post but the other two Mets are actually Ken Boswell and Rusty Staub. So Rusty DID unintentionally have a card in the '73 set.

  2. 3 airbrushes for the price of one, wonder if the ump was airbrushed too?

  3. Really dig those 1973 action airbrushes, the Bill Hands card was one of my favorites

  4. I actually love the quirky nature of the 1973 set's photography. For me, the Agee card is a classic!

  5. Well, on the 1971 card, you do get one Hall of Farmer, since that's Joe Morgan playing second base. Also interesting trivia on both cards: every player played for the Astros. On the 71 card you have Morgan & Denis Menke actually playing for you Astros, and Agee, of course. On the 73 card you have Agee, Staub, who played for the Astros before coming to the Mets, and Boswell who played for the after leaving the Mets.



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