St. Louis Cardinals Team Picture 1978 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for December 21, 2017


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I don’t mind Astroturf. I never did. I know that is blasphemous to say, but only if you are looking from the point of view that baseball was perfect and pristine in the post World War II years.

I don’t look at baseball like that. I was introduced to baseball in the 1970’s. Cookie Cutter parks, pull over double knit jerseys and Astroturf were all part of the game.

In fact, as a kid, I thought “Man, I wish the Red Sox played in one of those cool circular stadiums instead of Fenway Park.”

But one thing about this card DID strike me as odd when I saw it for the first time in 1978 and it makes me chuckle now.

I am fine with artificial turf. I draw the line with it being blue. I am not going to get into the whole “is this a blue or gold dress” that went on the internet a few years ago, but look at the turd from the Cardinals team picture.

Intellectually, I know the turf is green and either there was something in the printing or the exposure or the development that changed the image so it looks blue.

Maybe it is Aquamarine, or Teal, or Turquoise. But it sure isn’t the color of grass.

Now that I think of it, I wonder if anyone thought of changing the color of the Astroturf to something else like blue or red. It was the 1970’s. Everything was fair game.

The 1977 Cardinals, shown in this picture, got off to a fast start and were in first place for much of April. A few mediocre months derailed them and even when they won 11 out of 15 in a stretch between late July and early August, they posed no real threat to the Phillies who won the Division handily.

The Cardinals were a team in transition with manager Vern Rapp. They still had Lou Brock on the team, representing the glory days of the 1960’s. And Keith Hernandez, Ken Oberkfell and Bob Forsch, all members of the squad that would win it all in 1982, were on the team as well.

In 1978, the team bottomed out, losing 93 games and costing Rapp his job. But more pieces were being put into place for the eventual champs, including the pick up of George Hendrick.

The 1970’s were not a good time for Cardinal baseball. They never made the post season once after winning 3 pennants and a pair of titles in the 1960’s. Things seemed slightly off for the team.

Maybe it was the blue turf.

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