Friday, January 28, 2011

If Clemente had a '55 Bowman

From my earlier postings, you know that 1955 Bowman was one of my favorite baseball card sets as a child, and has remained so for the past half-century.

Vintage card collectors also known that because Topps and Bowman were in the end game of their 1950s "card wars", each company's sets was lacking more than a few of the stars and the top rookies of the day.

One of the key players that Bowman missed in 1955 -- and given his lack of major league experience or meaningful stats in Organized Baseball -- was Roberto Clemente.

I've always had it in the bacl of my mind that someday I would like to add a 1955 Bowman-style card to my portfolio of custom creations.

That opportunity presented itself recently when one of my regular searches of baseball photos available on eBay turned up an image of Clemente I hadn't encountered before.

It was a black-and-white picture of Clemente swinging a bat. More importantly, it pictured the young Buc in the sleeved jersey that the Pirates wore prior to the 1957 season. Naturally, I'd have preferred working with a color photo, but colorizing the picture was not too difficult.

Lately I've been working with the "blur" too in my Photoshop Elements graphic design package. I used it on the photo to blend in the yellow outlines of the jersey letters, and then to blend the player photo into the background.

For the background of my '55B Clemente, I went with card No. 147 from the original Bowman set, Sam Mele. Besides having a good view of the iconic backdrop of Shibe Park so familiar to 1955 Bowman fans, I liked the American flag waving in the skyline.

Keep watching this space, as I am in the groove as far as my custom card creations, and I have a long list of projects to work through.

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