Thursday, January 9, 2014

1979 - Baseball Card Update Project

For the third consecutive season starting with the 1977 season I will be doing card updates for our ARAIG replay.  As we all know the original cards will encompass approximately 60% of the set.  This update will include:
  1. Players who didn't card
  2. Players who were traded mid season or after the originals were created
  3. Players who's original card received a horrible airbrush treatment or the player has no cap
  4. Players who received a horizontal card, which doesn't show well in game
This is a collaborative effort.  Without the help of my elves (since I have a beard, I can be Santa) I could never have put the card set together.  Anthony Y, Scott, Jim R and Jeff D helped me acquire 70% of the missing photos.  I found around 10% and the other 20% will come from you, the ARAIG managers. Chad did a great job downloading the original set for me to sift through to see who would be a keeper and who needed to be replaced or dropped completely.

This is destined to once again be a true labor of love.

The type of work involved can be as simple as adding a photo, name and player position and saving.  That typically takes about 2 minutes a card.  The more complex cards can take 10-20 minutes depending on what type of work is needed.  Colorizing a B&W photo can take 20+ minutes.  Airbrushing out logos and changing colors of caps and jerseys can take just as long, sometimes longer if I have to search for a logo/cap/jersey to build.

Here is a sample of what might go into this project.  Bruce Kimm, who appeared in all of 9 games for the Cubs in 1979 never had a card for that season.  Why should he have one ?  He didn't even play in the majors in 1978.  He batted .091 in 1979, so Topps was right on the money when they decided not to issue him a card.  Still, for our replay you need to have a card for every player.  After countless hours spent googling Kimm the only photos we could find of him in a Cub uniform were those as a manager 2 and a half decades later.  Obviously we couldn't use those for a 1979 card.  My friend Jim R found a photo of him batting, but it was a tiny thumbnail shot that was of poor quality.  My first attempt to make a card was a horrible airbrush job off a 1981 card photo with Kimm in a White Sox uniform.  Horrible is an understatement to describe the original and my subsequent airbrush job.  Next up I decided to convert his 1977 Tigers Card into a 1979 Cubs card.  The finished product, which took about 20-25 minutes to do is below:

Now for those purist who say, "How can a Cub be in Yankee Stadium (location for the original photo) ?  My responses:  "We have to play the cards that we are dealt (all puns intended).

So how did we get from a 1977 Tiger photo to a 1979 Cub ?  Here are the steps in the process:
  1. Google, then download the 1977 Card
  2. Remove the Tiger logo from the cap with the "magic stamper" tool in Photoshop
  3. Highlight the cap and then colorize it to match Cub blue
  4. Google Cubs caps and find a photo that has the logo on the same angle as the Tiger cap.
  5. Highlight and copy/paste the log on to the colorized cap.
  6. Use the magic stamper to remove the Tigers log on the jersey
  7. Google a Cubs road jersey that was gray and on a similar angle to the Tiger jersey.  It takes time to find a close match
  8. Remove the gray background until you have just the "CHICAGO".  Copy it and paste it on to the new 1979 photo, then angle it appropriately.
  9. Highlight the trim on the neck area and change from Tiger colors to Cub colors.
  10. Drag and drop the new photo into the 1979 template and add name and position then work on the contrast so the photo looks a bit more high def.

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