Tuesday, February 14, 2017

1975 Phantom Cub

Were you awake all night wondering about the phantom Cub?  Ok, probably not, but thanks for checking out today's post anyway.

Yesterday I theorized that the picture used on the 1975 Cubs team card was a black and white photo that was colorized by the artists at Topps.

The bright red C, the lack of pinstripes, the odd colored ivy, the blue sky above the wall...all of these are indicators of colorization.

And it is the colorization that led to the phantom Cub.  Before you scroll down any further, look carefully at the picture to see if you can spot the phantom.





If you haven't found him, let me help you out.

And now a close-up...

...of our phantom.  Spooky, isn't it!

So here's what I believe happened.

There are two players above the phantom.  I can't identify the one on the left, but on the right is Burt Hooton.  By an odd coincidence, the dark space from their arms and legs ended up making a shape similar to a baseball hat.  The Topps artist, fooled by the shape, assumed it was a player and painted a red C on the "hat," creating our phantom.

You would think the artist would go back and check his work.  He would have noticed that the players were all neatly lined up in three rows and his extra player wasn't in any row.

But I've learned long ago that checking your work is not the way Topps does things.