8.30.2013

Tom Banks, 1977 Topps (Football Friday No. 171)


Name: Tom Banks
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Center
Value of card: One voided check from Tom's bank
Key 1977 stat: Four families of birds nested in his beard and mane
The legend behind this Tom Banks card: It was May 1977, and the Topps photography staff was scrambling. With its annual set due out in less than a month, the quality control team had realized there was no card for St. Louis Cardinals all-pro center Tom Banks. Apparently, the only photos Topps had of Banks featured quarterback Jim Hart's hands nestled comfortably against the center's nether regions. Rather than ruin Topps' reputation for high-quality, kid-friendly photography, an executive decision was made: The staff's best airbrush artist melded a photo of Santa Claus' torso with a grainy shot purportedly showing bigfoot's head, and then placed the creation on a slate gray background. Crisis averted      chalk up another victory for Topps.
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