Friday, August 20, 2010

Cards That Never Were #37

1977 Topps - Bill Melton

Beltin' Bill Melton spent the majority of his career with the Chicago White Sox, but the last two years were spent with the Angels and Indians. In the seventies, Topps had a spotty record with showing players on their correct teams, especially if they changed teams closer to the start of the regular season.

Bill was traded from the Angels to the Indians on December 3, 1976. This should have allowed enough time to airbrush Bill into an Indians hat for his 1977 card, but the only card to feature Melton's magnificent mustache had him on the Angels.

I wrestled with whether to give Bill a 1978 legacy card or an update of his 1977 card. Ultimately, I chose to update his 1977 card because Melton's last Major League game was on August 30, 1977, in Cleveland, against the White Sox. Bill may have been with the Indians in September, but did not make an appearance in any game. He was granted free agency in October 1977.

Without any games past August under his belt, I doubt that Topps would have considered him for the 1978 set just to get him in an Indians uniform. Since Melton was already given an Angels card in the 1976 Topps Traded set, updating the 1977 Topps card made the most sense. Plus there's now a full view of that awesome seventies 'stache, instead of the side view from the original 1977 Topps card.


Johngy said...

How did I miss this piece of awesomeness?

Steve Gierman said...

I'm guessing it had something to do with Joe West. :-)

This card was to be featured on the August 20, 2010 White Sox post-game show, according to Chuck Garfien. That game was postponed late by Joe West, so there was no post-game. The next airing of a possible CSN post-game show was the next night, after the insane late night doubleheader. Apparently, the second game ended too late for a regular post-game show, so this card creation never aired. I paid close attention to each CSN pre and post-game show until the end of the season, but never saw my creation aired.

At least it is here for everyone to enjoy.

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