Fun Cards Submission: 1973 Topps Sonny Ruberto
Sonny Ruberto played a grand total of 21 major league games, 19 of those as a member of the San Diego Padres in their inaugural season in 1969. In 1972 he appeared in two games for the Cincinnati Reds, but failed to collect a hit (though he did reach base once when he was hit by a pitch). Not surprisingly, Ruberto was not included in the 1973 Topps set. TWJ reader Patrick decided that Ruberto deserved to be immortalized on the 1973 design, and sent over this gem, complete with early 70s style airbrushing.
After doing a little more digging, Patrick discovered a photo of Ruberto actually wearing a Reds uniform and decided to update his card with a legitimate photograph. Behold…
Why the discrepancy with the uniform number, you wonder? Evidently the bottom photograph was taken during spring training at some point during Ruberto’s tenure with the Reds, while Patrick decided to use the actual number Ruberto wore during his two-game stint with the big leaguers in 1972 on the airbrushed version.
Thanks to Patrick’s submission, I learned a little bit about the little-known Ruberto, who served as a minor league manager and coach in the Cardinals system for several years. I also discovered another website that features homemade trading cards: Bobw’s Custom Baseball Cards. Bobw prints his creations and attempts to get them autographed, and had a success with Ruberto back in March 2011.
Thanks again for your contributions, Patrick, and for helping me learn more about the overlooked role players of the past!