Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Custom cards -- two for Troy

I "see" cards. That is, sometimes when I see a photo of a baseball or football player, my mind's eye instantly pulls into focus what that image will look like on a custom card. The year and company that will be the format for such cards is unquestioned.

For college football players, my default is the 1955 All-American style, of which I've now completed more than  140 cards. But sometimes, looking at a college player photo, I see some other format.

Such was the case with an action photo of Troy Polamalu that I found about a year ago. The photo shows Polamalu carrying the ball with a Penn State player in hot pursuit. The photo probably depicts Polamalu's 43-yard touchdown interception in the second quarter of the 2000 Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium, when USC beat Penn State 29-5.

When I saw that photo, I immediately thought "1952 Bowman."  And, a year later, you see the result.

I think I'm improving my Photoshop skills in turning a photo into artwork, so I may be turning out more "art" cards in the future. Baseball card collectors are more likely to recognize the background of this card . . . it's from Mickey Vernon's 1951 Bowman card.

Normally the '52B-style card would have been the only use I made of the Polamalu photo, but the picture seemed to tell such a great story that I decided to go ahead and add a Polamalu card to my "Third Series" update in the 1955 All-American style.

Back in 1955, Topps had only one All-American card that showed more than one player -- the Notre Dame Four Horsemen. That's probably because Topps used only portraits and posed-action photos for the originals. 

This is my sixth multi-player action card. Earlier examples were Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma State), Eric Dickerson (Southern Methodist), Conrad Dobler (Wyoming), Eric Jensen (Iowa), and, Austin Lane (Murray State). I also have a two-player card with Army's Blanchard and Davis, and the "Boulder College" backfield card of the Three Stooges.

I don't currently have any more multi-player football cards on the drawing board, but you never know what the future may bring.

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