I've been making custom baseball and football cards for about 10 years now. (Some day I'll have to try to figure out exactly when I made my first cards.)
Most of my earliest efforts were in the format of the 1955 Topps All-American college football cards, a favorite set from my childhood.
Among the first cards I created in a different format were a trio of 1959 Topps-style Green Bay Packers cards for Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke and and an "All-Star Rookies" card featuring the two together.
I was moved to make those cards by acquiring a 1959 Green Bay Packers program that included black-and-white photos of Taylor and Nitschke in their College All-Star Game uniforms.
Topps had issued a Jim Taylor card in its 1959 set, but it pictured the wrong Jim Taylor. Instead of the Packers fullback, Topps used a photo of a Chicago Cardinals center-linebacker of the same name. That Taylor was out of the NFL by 1959. Topps repeated the wrong-photo fiasco in its 1960 set. They got it right in 1961 and thereafter.
Nitschke was never in Topps' 1959 set. He didn't get on a Topps card until 1963.
When I put together my '59 Packers cards, my computer skills were not what they are today. I think the colorizing went OK, but in picking up the Packers' photos from that program, I also picked up a fairly noticeable dot-pattern from the halftones.
I hadn't yet learned how to use the Gaussian blur filter in Photoshop Elements, so when I printed the cards, the prominent dot pattern on the player photos was distracting.
A few years back I found a better rookie-year photo of Nitschke and created a new version of a '59 style card. Don't you think the All-Star Game portrait of Nitschke looks like Woody Harrelson?
I didn't get around to doing a remake of my '59 Jim Taylor until the other day when a collector requested an example of each of my Green Bay Packers football card creations. Frankly I felt a bit abashed at the contrast in quality between by original '59 Taylor and the other Packers cards I have made since then.
So I determined to reissue my 1959 Taylor.
Surprisingly, early-NFL career photos of Taylor are not all that plentiful. However, I did spot a posed action shot that immediately put me in mind of Lew Carpenter's 1959 Topps card and I knew I had found what I needed.
The photo required colorizing and I dithered a bit about whether to go with the blue-and-gold uniform that Carpenter wears on his '59 card, or the black-and-gold that most of the other Packers are shown wearing.
Figuring that the blue jerseys were obsolete by the time the photos were taken for the 1959 cards, I opted to go with the black.
I'm much more satisfied with this version of a "corrected" 1959-style Jim Taylor card.
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