Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cobb-Williams paired on '60-style custom

For some time now I've had several pictures in my files of Ty Cobb in his later years interacting with players of the 1950s. I figured that someday they would be the basis for a custom multi-player feature card.

Two of my photos show Cobb with Ted Williams. My initial thought was to create a card in the format of the 1959 Fleer Baseball's Greatest Ted Williams set.

I spent most of a day the other weekend trying to make that work. I discovered I couldn't get the "look" right. There is a flat or pastel quality to the colorized photos on the '59 Fleer cards that I couldn't faithfully duplicate.

As I was despairing of ever finishing a Cobb-Williams card, I realized that once colorized the photo would work well as the basis of a 1960-style Topps card. So I went with that. I had to rule out doing the custom in the style of 1958 or 1959 Topps multi-player cards as they were all horizontal format and I didn't want to "waste" too much of the original picture's detail.

I believe from what I read in a contemporary issue of The Sporting News that the photo of Cobb and Williams was probably taken on March 17, 1960, at Scottsdale, Ariz., at the city's second annual old-timers baseball brunch, where Cobb, then 73, spoke. The players then motored in antique autos to watch the Giants beat the Red Sox 4-3.

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