Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Phantom Strikes Back

If you've been a long time reader of the blog, or just like going through the archives for kicks, you may recall this Card Spotlight about the 1972 Topps Rich Robertson card.

Rich Robertson was purchased by the White Sox, from the Giants, on February 7, 1972. On March 19, 1972, just a month and a half later, Rich was returned to the Giants. On March 27, 1972, Robertson was released by the Giants.

He never played a game for the White Sox, other than possibly a few Spring Training exhibitions. At some point in 1972, Rich is picked up by Atlanta and played one season, sporting an atrocious 7-11 record, with 20 games started. There are no records of Robertson playing after that.

The most striking detail about this Topps card, after the fact that he never played for the Sox, is the absolutely horrid airbrush job the Topps artists did painting the White Sox uniform on Robertson. Nothing about the hat or the undershirt looks even remotely real.

Now that this image is ingrained in your brain, I'd like to show you something far worse.
This is the 1972 Venezuelan sticker of Rich Robertson. The same badly doctored picture is used as on the Topps card. This time, the image is washed out so that everything appears as a watercolor portrait. Instead of just the hat and undershirt appearing cartoonish, the face and background also appears washed and colored. It takes the attention off the hat and undershirt and puts it back on the subject, who looks like they should be in an ancient holiday animated special. Hmmm.... maybe that's actually an improvement.


Anonymous said...

I guess it must have been tough. The Giants obviously didn't want him, and he wasn't good enough to break into a scuffling (except for Wood) Sox staff.

But I wouldn't call his 7-11 record at Richmond atrocious. His ERA was 3.18, and the team was mediocre to bad (65-78). They could NOT score runs - Tony LaRussa was their best hitter.

Steve Gierman said...

Yeah, the atrocious comment was a little harsh because the ERA is a HUGE improvement over the previous year. On the other hand, 18 decisions out of 21 appearances (20 starts) does hold a certain accountability to the win/loss record. But if Tony LaRussa is your best hitter, you are in trouble. LOL

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