1983-84 O-Pee-Chee card #226 – Mel Bridgman
Many times after a player got traded, O-Pee-Chee would retouch a player’s photo, “changing” his uniform to that of his new team. Bridgman was traded from the Calgary Flames to the New Jersey Devils, and O-Pee-Chee responded in kind, altering the photograph.
The awful airbrushing alone could have merited this mention as “Card of the Week” – especially that steel-lunchbox-of-a-helmet that looks about three sizes too big for Bridgman’s head.
What really drew me to this card, though, was Bridgman’s pissed off demeanor, as he angrily – and toothlessly – scowls at us, as if to say (in a crotchety old man voice) “Hey yah kids! Get off muh property or I’ll shoot yahs!” Bridgman looks like an ornery old coot that should be hunting reptiles in one of those made-for-TV Sci-Fi Channel B-movies like Mega Snake or Lake Placid 2. Hell, that thing on Bridgman’s head could be some sort of steel “bite-proof” alligator-hunting helmet.
It’s a shame, though, that the O-Pee-Chee touchup artist did not bother to “airbrush in” Bridgman’s missing teeth.
Perhaps he’s mad because getting traded cut his honeymoon short.