Vintage Baseball Cards

Every year, four of my favorite things align: coaching baseball, baseball cards from my childhood (and before), research on baseball, and my son. It’s not much more than a production design challenge, but I try to recreate each card using only CMYK and halftones—even adding dust and scratches to the “digital plates” to try and replicate an authentic looking card.

With each card I get to research the history of the team’s logo, the fields they played on, and even how the photography for that year’s cards were obtained. Then I simply photograph my son in the back yard and try to match that with the other images I’ve resourced.

  • Design
  • Research
  • Photography
  • Production
Denton Blue Jays

I started with a 1963 Topps design. The Blue Jays weren’t around in ’63, so I improvised with the Polo Grounds in the background. I added the “Rookie All-Star” badge to the left when the original cards had them replacing the black and white photos in the circle.

Denton Blue Jays

After finishing the above card, I felt odd about the inconsistencies and decided to do a more accurate version from a more recent year. This card is 1985 Topps. The Blue Jays actually won their first AL East Championship that year. They played in Exhibition Stadium, however I had trouble finding good field level photos of it. Also, many of the photographs from that year’s Topps set appear to be from Spring Training, so in the background is Grant Field in Dunedin, Florida where the Blue Jays held Spring Training. Also, 1985 was the peak of my childhood card collecting so it has some sentimental value, despite all the players tied to steroids.

Denton Tigers

This one is a 1954 Topps baseball card design. It uses the alternative Tigers logo from that era in the upper right corner, and until I can convince our league to get retro wool uniforms, Cy will sport the modern version.

Denton Red Sox

Based on the 1960 Topps baseball card design, this card for Cyrus features Fenway park over his shoulder and the Red Sox logo used from 1950-59 (and included in 1960 cards as they were based on the 1959 season).