Thursday, April 22, 2010

Erik Estrada Material Swatch Card

I heard the cries: ''someone call the cops because Martin Brodeur just stole himself another Vezina nomination!''

Well, here he is, and not just any cop - a member of TV's CHiPs (which was the acronym for ''California Highway Patrol'', by the way), Officer Francis ("Frank") "Ponch" Poncherello, or as he is known in real life, Erik Estrada.

CHiPs was really Estrada's biggest role, and he played in all six seasons of the show's run, although a contractual dispute kept him off the first seven episodes of the fifth season. His regular partner, Larry Wilcox (Officer Jonathan A. Baker) played in the first five seasons. Estrada didn't know how to ride motorcycles before getting the gig, so he had to enter an extensive eight-week program to learn before shooting started; most of the time, Wilcox and Estrada actually rode the bikes themselves and performed the smaller stunts. And throughout the course of the series, they never took their handguns out.

After CHiPs, Estrada worked mainly in Spanish telenovelas (those cheap Spanish-language soap operas) and appeared in many a Reality TV show; he also does voice work in cartoons, namely Sealab 2021. He can also be seen in videos for Bad Religion, Eminem and Butthole Surfers.

In addition to all that, he is always involved in charitable work, as can attest this segment of his Wikipedia page.

This card (#TS-EE), from the 2008 Donruss Americana II set, by the company now known as Donruss Playoff LP (TV Stars materials sub-set) features a square swatch of material guaranteed to have been worn by Mr. Estrada. Look at it, look at its colour: it's pretty obvious it's from a CHiPs uniform, too. It is numbered 467/500.

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