Thursday, May 6, 2010

Topps' 1971 White Sox Airbrush Fail

Welcome to today's edition of Wrigley Comiskey US Cellular Wax.

In yesterday's post, I touched on the fact that by series six of the 1971 set, Topps was changing logos on the hats instead of just removing them.

Four of the cards that got changed were cards of White Sox players. As good as the Cubs were during this era, the White Sox were just as bad. In fact, there were rumors that the team would move to Milwaukee, though when the Pilots became the Brewers in 1970, relocation talk died down. Because the team was struggling, it makes sense that there was a lot of player movement. Hence, many Sox players in 1971 series six.

So the Topps' artists got to work, using their newfangled color logo changing technique.

On Vicente Romo's card, they just changed the hat color.

But as you can see on these cards of Lee Maye, Don O'Riley, and John Purdin, they added the Sox logo too. Well, they tried to add the logo!

Just one problem, Topps. During the off season, the Sox changed uniform colors. They switched from royal blue to red. So in 1971, the White Sox were wearing red, including red socks. (Maybe someone can explain to me why the White Sox wore red socks. Wasn't a team in Boston supposed to wear red socks?? Well, maybe my Cubs bias is showing here, but I could never figure that one out!)

In fact, Topps even had one card in series six that shows the red uniform, manager Chuck Tanner's card. Did anyone at Topps notice that when they put series six together there were White Sox with two different hat colors? And what did Topps' artists think? I wonder if there was any talk about redoing the card with red, or if they just said, "Oh well."

Apparently they said, "Oh well," because we were left with this failure of bad logos in the wrong color.

And what about the Cubs in series six? There were four of them.

All four are shown in their actual Cubs uniform!


  1. I think the airbrush artists took a look at what they did to O'Riley and decided to make Romo logo-less.

  2. Logo-less would have been the way to go. The logos they came up with are pretty nasty looking.