Friday, June 11, 2010

Leave it to Beaver!

In previous posts, I've shown some quickly done airbrush jobs that were likely rushed due to a trade and lack of a photo from the proper team.Sometimes the airbrushed additions come out looking like cartoons, like poor Steve Dunning here:

Card #53 - Steve Dunning, Cleveland Indians

An airbrushed cap, a minor league uniform top. Since Dunning split the '72 season between the Tribe and their AAA PCL affiliate Portland, all Topps evidently had available at press time was a picture of him pitching for the Beavers. While a trade or being called up from the minors would be a simple reason for airbrushing, Dunning had already appeared in Topps sets in both 1971 and '72 wearing an unaltered Indians uniform. How ironic is it that Topps -- known for recycling their photos from year to year in the 1960s -- couldn't just grab a previous year's photo for Dunning and save their artist for a different challenge?

(Edited to add: Thanks to a comment below by reader Ecloy, it appears that Dunning may actually be wearing a 1971 Tribe home uniform. In a page called Dressed to the Nines, Cleveland's home uniform used INDIANS in black letters in '71 but a blue cap. It appears Topps airbrushed the cap to resemble the new cap the team adopted in '72. Which sinks most of what I've said above.)

They never had a chance to get another picture of him with Cleveland, as Dunning was traded to Texas in May of '73. After spending the next several seasons with four major league clubs and several shuttles between the big leagues and the minors, Dunning wouldn't show up on a Topps baseball card again until 1978, where he was once again airbrushed. However, he never again pitched in the majors after '77.


  1. My guess is that this picture is in an older Indians uniform. They would have had to airbrush the cap since the Indians were using a dark cap with the earlier uniform.

  2. You may be right. Just looked at the following URL:

    The pinstripes with black lettering do look they could have been used in the 1971 Indians home uniforms. I just wish the picture showed whether it said INDIANS on the shirt as opposed to PORTLAND or BEAVERS.

  3. Well, it's certainly bad, but the Bill North card may be worse. A terrible A's hat drawn on and you can clearly see the "Chicago" on his uniform!

  4. Funny you mention Bill North.

    His card will be showing up shortly.