Monday, June 17, 2013

1959 Taylor, Nitschke, Version 2.0

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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