As you have seen in my blog over the past five years, most of the custom cards I create are in classic baseball and football card formats, featuring players who could have been -- but weren't -- included in those card sets.
I recently departed from that convention with a card that is pure fantasy.
Some time ago I discovered a photograph of Ty Cobb wearing sunglasses. It looks to me like Cobb was later in his career when that portrait was made. It seems a shame that the image never appeared on a contemporary Cobb card.
Normally I would have attempted to match that photo with a card format from the mid-1920s, but Cobb was included in all of the important card sets back then, at least those that I could think of.
So I went totally out of the box and created a fantasy card of Ty Cobb in a Tiger tobacco set.
Non-sports card collectors may know that Tiger tobacco (a Lorillard brand) actually did issue cards, but they were 1880s actress series. I used an original Lorillard Tiger card as a template for my fantasy, right down to trying to visually replicate the pebbled-texture surface on front and the contact tobacco stains on back. I made my card is the same 2-1/4" x 3-1/2" size as the 1880s Tiger card.
The opportunity to put a great Ty Cobb photo on a "Tiger" card proved irresistible and you can see the result here.
There are probably some anachronisms on my card's back. While I don't attribute a date to my fantasy Cobb card, the picture of an aging Cobb would suggest 1920s. I really don't know what a 2-oz. package of scrap sold for in the '20s; my card says a nickel. Since the use of cards as premiums had become obsolete by the 1920s, I also don't know if the law required printing the name of the issuing factory, but I put it on my card.