1986 TOPPS TATTOOS JESSE OROSCO
Topps first introduced wet-application tattoos in 1960 with their Baseball Tattoo Bubble Gum, using crude ink renderings of the stars of the day to wrap a single piece of gum.
Given the method of packaging and the ephemeral nature of the product, these can be hard to find today– a near-mint Mickey Mantle would run you about $300.
Topps returned to the medium in 1964, with roughly the same packaging scheme. They called this iteration Topps Photo Tatoos (sic), and the images were indeed a step up from the previous offering.
The concept popped up again in 1971, but this time the tattoos were issued in packs on sheets that contained 8 to 10 discrete transfer images. The most-valuable sheet today is one that contains pictures of Roberto Clemente and Thurman Munson, which books at $50.
The Topps tattoo machine then entered a period of prolonged dormancy until 1986, when they released the set under consideration this week.
This Jesse Orosco sheet would have to be in the running for runt of the litter, devoid as it is of any real star power (all apologies to Hall-of-Very-Gooder Steve Garvey). But if nothing else, you do have to give the Topps artists some credit for capturing in blue ink the essence of Orosco’s ovoid face and distinctive bowl cut.
And here for your viewing pleasure/revulsion is what the 27-year old tattoo looks like when applied to skin: