In my reading of early 1950s microfilm of The Sporting News I learned a great deal about baseball's first $100,000 bonus baby, Paul Pettit, who signed out of high school with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1950.
Arm injuries early in his career -- some sources say even before he ever pitched an inning in pro ball -- derailed what had been projected to be a great future.
On March 17 on this blog I presented my 1956-Topps style fantasy card of Pettit later in his career as a position player with the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League.
My new 1952 Topps-style custom card imagines what Pettit's Topps rookie card might have looked like.
For as big a splash as Pettit made going from high school superstar to the pro game, there are not all that many photos of him readily available in a Pirates uniform; certainly none in color. I colorized a pitching-pose photo and it seemed to fit in well with the horizontal format used for some Topps cards in 1952.
The stats box on back is not what I would ideally like to have there. Certain pitching statistics such as runs allowed and strikeouts for his three minor league stops were beyond my ability to hunt them down. I would have preferred the stat box to have lines for his 1951 cup of coffee with Piittsburgh and for his cumulative 1950-51 minor league numbers.
As it is, I'm not unhappy with how this custom card -- my 12th in the 1952 Topps style -- turned out.