Custom 1941 Goudey Al Flair


1941 Goudey Baseball Al Flair #34 Custom Card

1941 Goudey Baseball marked the final product from the popular, but short-lived, vintage brand. After not releasing any new sets following 1938, Goudey reappeared in 1941 with a design that came in four different colors and only 33 cards in the set.

Al Flair played in only ten games in the majors, all of them with Boston during September 1941. In 30 official at bats, he managed 6 hits (2 doubles and a triple), drove in a couple runs, and added a stolen base. He hit just .200 in his brief cup of coffee.

I was lucky to find an image of Al Flair and since he has no trading card, it was up to me to create my next custom card for my All-Time Red Sox Collection.

I went with the ‘41 Goudey layout based on:

  • The image quality and size I could track down of Flair
  • Al played in 10 games for Boston in 1941
  • It’s a simple design and no design on the back (and I have a number of other customs I need to tackle!)
  • I don’t have a copy in my collection 

Based on the only image I could find of Al Flair, the Goudey design suited me. The image itself is over exposed and lacks a defined shoulder line and background. That in itself wouldn’t work for say, a 1941 Play Ball. Also, with this Goudey design, the logos and team names are absent on the uniforms. It’s a retro version of today’s Panini products!

The first step was to omit the background per the Goudey design. Adding a colored layer behind the original image in Photoshop, helped me define where the face, neck, and shoulder lines were. Next, erase the “B” on the hat and the “RED SOX” on the home jersey. After that it was cleaning up hard edges, doing some shadow enhancing and the like. I realized there was a stroke around the image in the Goudeys I found online, so that was added in Photoshop as well. At this point, I hid the colored layer and save as a PSD file

Now the fun part, the actual card design happens in InDesign. From one of the Goudey cards I found, the little baseball with “BIG League Gum” was placed in the upper right hand corner. Next the player name, team, and position. As a font geek this was about as easy as it gets. Futura. Typeset the above and add a card number, in this case “34” as the original set only has 33 cards. Next, match the four colors in the set to produce all four possible versions for Mr. Flair.

The back was easy. Find the biggest image of a ‘41 Goudey back and save. Fix the toning in Photoshop and and bring into InDesign.


To add some authenticity, I putposely cut off the right side of Flair’s image for the card. Do a search for 1941 Goudey and you’ll see a number of same instances.

One interesting fact I learned about Al was that he answered a want ad and got a job playing baseball. The Sporting News explained: “An advertisement placed in the classified section of a Memphis newspaper (by Little Rock Travelers manager Doc Prothro) led to Flair’s entry into organized baseball.”

I hope you like the finished result. Let me know your thoughts!

I have a couple hundred of other images of Sox players without cards, so the hope is to knock off a bunch in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!