Friday, May 27, 2016

Jim Brown 1957 Topps-style custom

The 1957 Topps football card set included cards of three of the Top 10 draft picks in the 1957 NFL Draft conducted on Nov. 26, 1956.

The set had cards of No. 1 draft pick Paul Hornung, No. 7 Clarence Peaks and No. 10 Jerry Tubbs. Notably absent was a card for No. 6 selection, Jim Brown.

Along with 2nd round pick Jon Arnett, 4th rounder Ron Kramer, and No. 9 pick Don Bosseler, Brown didn't make his Topps card debut until the 1958 set. (Jim Parker, pick #8, didn't appear until 1959, #3 selection John Brodie didn't debut until 1961 and No. 5 pick, Len Dawson, didn't get a Topps rookie card until the 1964 set.)

My most recent 1950s Topps-style custom card imagines what a 1957 Jim Brown rookie card might have looked like.

Notice that his name appears as "Jimmy" Brown.  Topps used that version on its 1958-62 cards. The gum company did not go with "Jim" until its final Brown card, in the 1963 set.

By contrast, Fleer in 1961, Post in 1962 and Philadelphia 1964-66, all used the "Jim" appellation. 

There were lots of cartoon choices for the back of my 1957 Jim Brown card. Unfortunately, I couldn't use my No. 1 choice, a cartoon figure of a lacrosse player on the back of card #25, Eagles end Thomas Scott. That lacrosse player was white and my photoshop skills are just not sufficient for me to convert that image to a black man without making him look like a character in black-face. 

So I went with cartoons from the backs of '57T card #128 Lennie Moore and #64 Maurice Bassett. Bassett was out of the NFL after the 1956 season, but he is shown with the Cleveland Browns in the '57 set, wearing #32, the number Brown wore during his career in the NFL.

You can order this card. Unless noted, all of my custom cards are available to collectors for $12.50 each, postpaid for one or two cards; $9.95 each for three or more (mix/match). To order, email me at for directions on paying via check/money order, or to my PayPal account.

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