In my pursuit of obtaining one card of every player to put on a Boston Red Sox uniform, there are many cases where a player never appears on cardboard as a Sox. My solution, create custom cards to fill in those gaps. Today’s custom card for my All-Time Red Sox collection is of Bob Turley.
“Bullet Bob” was a pretty solid swing man for the New York Yankees of the 1950’s and early 1960’s, even winning the 1958 Cy Young Award. As his career began winding down, he was purchased by the Los Angeles Angels after the 1962 season. But as 1963 rolled along, it was passing Turley by, so of course the Red Sox —in the middle of some bad years — picked him up as a Free Agent the same he was released by the Halos.
During his short stint in Boston, he pitched effectively only once in seven starts. That one start happened on August 31st, against the Washington Senators in front of 6,965 Fenway patrons. He’d go seven innings, allowing just two hits but walking six and striking out six. The only run he gave up that Saturday was Don Lock’s 23rd long ball. It would be his last Major League win.
Bob compiled a 1-4 record over 41-plus innings but also at the cost of a 6.10 earn run average. Boston released him after the season and hired him as pitching coach under manager Johnny Pesky. That job lasted just one year.
The Design Process
When I begin any custom Sox card, my first goal is to search out an image, preferably color, that is large enough quality-wise, so that it is usable for a standard card size and eventually printable for my collection needs. As you can see from the above, the only Turley image I could track down is black and white and small. I only over enlarged it for this post introduction. With that in mind, and I haven’t done much colorization of black and white images, this image wouldn’t work for any card issues of that time. So onto Plan B.
Plan B was to find a large image of Bob Turley’s 1963 Topps card as seen below. Now I originally started down this road for my custom card since it had a blank navy blue cap (Topps airbrushed off the NY) and thought it would be easy to slap a red and white “B”. First step was to take the “B” from Gene Conley’s cap and perform some Photoshop magic onto Turley’s cap. This took a little bit as my first couple of renderings made the “B” look too small for my taste. I then took the same “B”, made it grayscale and place onto the small image in the now green circle at the cards lower right. I was about to proceed with Photoshopping out the Yankee pinstripes when I found myself just hating everything about this small secondary image. It’s just a terrible image of him as he looks like he’s in pajamas while on a weekend bender. Crap! Plan C.
Plan C … Plan C … Okay what other cards were available in 1963. Then it hit me, I could create a 1963 Post Cereal card! Perfect and I don’t have to create a back. The 1963 Fleer was out in my opinion, as the cropping of my Turley image would be too tight for what the photography is in that set. So with than plan set, I tracked down another American League pitcher in the Post set, Ken McBride.
The 1963 Post Cereal cards are technically, when cut right, sized the same as a standard Topps card. Using InDesign, I started to build a Post template using the McBride as a guideline for the colors, fonts, and locations for all the info found on the face side. The bio write-up was taken from Bob Turley’s 1961 Post Cereal card with me adding how he arrived in Boston. I may revisit this card down the road only because the name font is not quite correct. It’s close at first glance but something I want to address as I am still trying to figure what font was used. The placeholder right now is a font called Runic. The rest of the fonts I used were Trade Gothic and a News Gothic — both sans serif fonts. The only other design challenge I had was removing the 1963 Topps circle image and giving Turley a new shoulder/uniform sleeve. That’s where the cropped card of Minnie Minoso came into play from above. I little doctoring with the skin tone and Turley’s image was complete with a bonus gold chain. I then desaturated the image a bit to help finish the look of being printing on a cardboard box.
And with that, I present to you the 1963 Post Cereal #201 Bob Turley.
And lastly for the back, I found a Willie Mays Post Cereal card back on eBay that was pretty large to finish off the look.
Thank you for reading and look forward to any feedback you may have. Now off to see if I can track down a 2017 Topps Baseball Blaster and some packs on my way home!