As you can see, this card has a little surface wear. I like it, though; the tiny white divots that mottle Mike Cuellar's photograph make it look more like an oil painting on a bright canvas; it could have been crafted by one of the Old Masters. Cuellar was an Old Master himself at this moment in time; at thirty-nine years old he was the fifth-oldest player in the American League. 1976 had been his eighth season with the Orioles and his fourteenth overall. But the end was near. His won-lost record was an atrocious 4-13, his first sub-.500 win percentage in an O's uniform. He deserved every loss, as his 4.96 ERA was his highest ever for a full season. As Earl Weaver remarked, "I gave Mike Cuellar more chances than my first wife."
Cuellar would run out of chances the following winter. The Orioles released him four days before Christmas. By the time this card came out, the Cuban lefty would be attempting to prolong his career as a California Angel. Though he had climbed the ranks to become the AL's oldest active player, it was a short-lived reign. He was torched in his only two appearances for the halos to the tune of an 18.90 ERA, and his career ended with his release on May 16.
Nevertheless, when taken as a whole, the career of Mike Cuellar truly was a work of art.