Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Creating Baseball Cards

Not every baseball player gets a baseball card. Some players are in the majors for such a short period of time, they never qualify to be on a baseball card. This has caused me a problem in my quest to get a signed baseball card from every current and former player of the Minnesota Twins.

I decided since a card of every player did not exist, I would create some cards of my own. I downloaded the free design layout program Scribus, and began working on some designs.

I needed something with plenty of white space. Many of the players without cards are older former players who want to sign nicely in a visible spot, but their hands are not what they use to be, and their writing can be a little messy especially if they are trying to fit it into a small spot.

I decided landscape design allows for a larger open white space for the player to sign. It also allows me to see the autograph well even if the player signs in harder to read ink pen instead of the preferred blue sharpie. Also, some players want to personalize the card to me or add a short message or religious verse. The large white space allows this without making things look messy or cramped.

I wanted to include the different Twins logos used throughout their history. I put the Twins logo from the 60’s and 70’s in the upper left corner and the Twins logo used in the 80’s, 90’s, and early 00’s in the lower left.

Baseball cards tend to include photos of the players, but finding photos of many of these former players is difficult. When I do find photos of the players, they are often of such poor quality; it does not pay to use them.

When I do find a good enough looking photo of a player, I can just replace one of the logos with the photo. Remember these cards are 3.5 inches long and 2.5 inches high, so the photo cannot that big meaning you need something sharp, clear, and bright.

I have used different fonts and colors for the text. I will continue to experiment with them, but I always want the player’s name up top, and a phrase connecting the player to the Twins.

The words “Win Twins!” is catch phrase used throughout Twins history, so I thought it might be worth including it on the card.

Below is my current card design:

I have had a good success rate with these. They may not be as flashy as some of the custom card design I have seen other people make, but they are functional and inexpensive to create.

When I can I send players professional made baseball cards, but when no such cards exist, I think the players appreciate the fact I took the time to make something that acknowledge their time with the Twins.