Thursday, May 11, 2017

1987 Topps Air Brushing

Here's one of my favorite Topps air brushed cards. 1987 #321, Mike Laga.

Maybe the clubhouse guy accidentally put Mike's jersey in with the underwear and it got bleached.

Laga, after 5 unspectacular years with the Tigers (he appeared in 72 games in that time), was a throw-in guy when the Tigers traded Ken Hill to the Cardinals for Mike Heath in September 1986. I don't know when 1987 Topps went to the printer but apparently too soon for them to get a photo of Laga in a Cardinals uni.

So I have a couple of questions:

1. After doing a pretty good job turning his Tigers cap into a Cardinals hat, why did they throw in the towel on the jersey? I mean, here's what this card could have looked like.

2. Laga appeared in 18 games for the Cards in 1986, for a total of 90 games in 6 seasons. His lifetime batting average was hovering around .200. He did have a little pop in is bat, almost 20% of his 84 career hits were home runs, but clearly, he was a marginal player at best. Why did Topps decide to even include him in the 1987 set, especially since they had to doctor a photo?

One more fact about Mike Laga. According to Wikipedia, he is best known for once hitting a foul ball out of Busch Stadium (9/15/86).


Commishbob said...

Topps does some mysterious things.

And doesn't he look a lot like Paul Simon?

night owl said...

This is likely the most mystifying airbrushed card of all-time. So many questions.

Kin said...

I was 8 years old when this card came out and I truly knew then, at that age, that something was terribly wrong with the card. Just brutal.