Sunday, November 2, 2014

#32 Bob Bailey of the LA Dodgers/ and the dreaded blurred photo.

Up next is another member of the '67 Dodgers, Bob Bailey. I'm sorry to say this but the image of the card is the one I have in the set and the picture is as bad as it looks. I can't stand cards with blurred images on them. I don't know what causes them. I imagine every X amount seconds or even minutes, the Topps printing machine burps a bit and the little glitch shows itself on the printing sheet like this. And what do you get? A card with a flaw on it.

Other flaws are cards miscut so bad that top 3/4" inch is missing and is replaced with the bottom 3/4" inch of a completely different card on the bottom. Other flaws are wax pack stains on the back. but because these card backs are bright, the stains don't show.

Printing flaws, miscuts and stains are not to be confused with errors in design. An error would be the Dodgers lettering being printed in white until a quality control man caught it, corrected it, then have the corrected version printed in bulk. The value of one or the other version increases dramatically depending on the number of mistakes (or corrections) made.

As for Bob Bailey, He was utility player and judging from the back of this card, he was a major minor league prospect when the Pirates picked him up in 1961. The give away is the $135,000 bonus he received to sign with the team. The term for these players are 'bonus babies'.

His batting average was decent in Pittsburgh. He suffered a dropoff in LA and was left unprotected in the '69 expansion draft. The draft made him a charter member of the Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals).

Bailey found success and more regular playing time for the Expos. He also became a bit of a power hitter.He hit 104 home runs over a 5 year span up there. His batting average improved back to a respectable high .200's area.

After Montreal, he went to the Reds and was on their '76 World Series winning team though he didn't appear in the Series and spent the final season and half of his career up in Boston. He retired after '78 and went into managing but only in the minor leagues

He also shares the same birthday as my father. 10/13/42.

As for the card, I think I made it clear why I don't like it. The image is wrecked. This is one card I'd like to replace in the set with a better image. The signature makes me wonder if it's genuine too. Some wonder if Topps used real signatures on the front of their cards. Not many players give those out readily and the lesser known players as Bailey was still at this stage of career are even harder to find.

The photo itself is of Bailey while with the Pirates. The trace of yellow and black lining on the front is the give away. I assume that's the lighting fixtures of old Forbes Field out of focus in the background but that really could be anywhere. There wasn't stands beyond the outfield walls from left to halfway between center and right field, There were more prominent trees beyond the walls at some point but that too may have changed toward the mid 60's (and not long before the team's relocation).

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