Monday, November 1, 2010
Here's the first Trades card of the set. "TRADED" What a mark to have on a baseball card. "Robby" goes from the Phils to the Braves. The Trades set had a different format from the regular cards. A new photo was issued, showing the player with his new team, but rather than re-hash the players stats on the back - because he already had a card in the set - Topps decided to do a mock newspaper story giving tidbits of the trade and other info. But, as far as I can tell, all the Trades photos except one were airbrush jobs because Topps didn't yet have a current photo of the player on their new team. (Another reader commented to me that Bob Locker's card used a two year old photo when he was with the A's, and was traded back to them, so Topps used the filed shoot.) Topps took photos of players each year to include in the following year's set. Most were taken during the season at a ballpark, while some were taken during spring training. So if a player were traded in the off season, there would be no way for Topps to get a new photo of the player donning his new threads.
This was a separate set issued later in the year, but I don't know when. There have been several players so far that were traded during spring training that didn't have cards in the Trades set. I don't know what the cut off point was for being included in the Trades set, but at December 3, Craig got into the set. I'll have to keep track of this somehow. Maybe a new "page" at the top could show trade dates vs. getting into the Trades set.
Ballpark background: This photo was taken in Candlestick Park. You can see the VIP box at the top of the park next to his left ear. Craig was in a Phillies uniform, and it was airbrushed with Braves colors. His red-collared powder blue zip jacket was painted black and white, and his Phils hat was given two colors, blue on the edge of the bill, and white on the hat. The artists (ahem!) missed the blue on the side panel of the Braves two-tone hat at the seam, and the white is taken all the way to the left side of the hat outline. Topps seemed to take a good number of photos looking up from under a player's hat. These are the easiest airbrush jobs. Under the bill of his hat next to his forehead you can see an inverted number "18," which was his uniform number with Philly. Groovy sunglasses on both cards, Craig!