Where do we even begin with the fiasco that was the 1971 Jerry Robertson card (#651)?!
I guess we can start with the fact that Topps decided to slap his autograph across his face!
And my guess with that is that Topps didn't want to have any part of his uniform showing since it was obviously outdated, so they cropped it way up CLOSE!
Which leads me to my second point about this debacle: the hilariously sparse airbrushing job they pulled on his cap. Take a look:
|Nothing like a signature across a player's face...|
With Robertson coming off a very brief 1970 season with the Detroit Tigers, I'm sure trying to make a "Tiger" uniform into a New York Met uniform was more than the "artist" at Topps wanted to deal with, so a dramatic zoom and a quick blue paint-job on the cap was all the effort made here.
Man, I can only think of Rodney Dangerfield and "I can't get no respect"!
Lastly, I have to wonder: with all the trouble here going into the card, why did Topps even bother with a player who appeared in only 11 games and 14.2 innings the previous season?
Robertson came up to the Majors with the Montreal Expos during their inaugural season in 1969, getting a full rookie year on the mound, going 5-16 with a 3.96 E.R.A. over the course of 38 games, 27 of which were starts.
The win-loss record was a bit harsh, but the rest of his numbers weren't actually that bad for a rookie on an expansion team.
However things went South for the righty hurler, as he was traded to the Tigers for pitcher Joe Sparma in December, 1969.
After a 4-4 year at Toledo for the Tigers' Triple-A team, he came up and posted the aforementioned numbers for the Tigers mentioned above.
Well, that got him traded over to New York in March of 1971 for former Cy Young winner Dean Chance and Bill Denehy. Pretty interesting seeing he was traded straight up for two pitchers. I wonder what the scouting was all-around for these guys back then?
Anyway, with this trade we had Topps scrambling to insert Robertson in the 1971 set, giving us this (un)funny card.
Robertson never did get into any Major League action for the Mets, as he went 5-3 with six saves in 37 relief appearances at Tidewater (AAA) in 1971.
For some reason he never played professional ball again, calling it a career after the 1971 season at the age of 28.
I found some interesting bits on him regarding his time with the Expos in 1969:
Besides appearing in the very first game in Expos history (1.1 innings against the Mets on April 8th of '69), he was also the victim of terrible run support (as is the case with many young arms during a franchises early beginning).
In his 16 losses that rookie year, Robertson received a TOTAL of 20 runs scored for him by his teammates!
And in seven of those losses his team was shut out.
Talk about your tough luck...