Thursday, January 10, 2013

Updating my '55-style Stanford cards

While watching the Wisconsin-Stanford Rose Bowl game, I became finally inspired to rehabilitate the two Stanford cards I had created in my nearly decade-long project of updating the 1955 Topps All-American football card set.

Among the earlier cards in that project were those of John Elway and Jim Plunkett.

These customs were created when my computer graphics skills were even less sophisticated than they are today. I don't remember where I got the Plunkett photo, but even after lightening the facial features, I always thought it was too dark. The Elway photo came from the cover of a 1982 Sports Illustrated and thus was somewhat grainy and not particularly well composed for a football card.

I was able to find much better photos in just a short time spent google-searching images for the Hall of Fame quarterbacks. I think I've upgraded these two cards considerably with the picture changes.

You've probably noticed that I used two different school logos on my Stanford cards. When Plunkett was attending, the team was still known as the Indians. By the time Elway got there, the nickname had been changed to the Cardinal and the goofy tree figure had become on their unofficial mascots.

Apropos of nothing, I once "met" Jim Plunkett. I didn't get in a word, but he said, "Excuse me," as he touched me on the shoulder on his way to the beach. The encounter came in February, 1981, while I was attending a coin show in Hawaii. The old Saturday afternoon TV competition series, Superstars, I think it was called, was filming on the beach at my hotel, and Plunkett had to make his way through a crowd of spectators to get to his event.

When I felt the tap on my shoulder, I turned around and saw this huge, chiseled bronze man in a swimming suit. I'm six feet tall (or I was back then) and Plunkett is listed at 6'3", but he looked a lot larger up close.

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