Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Larkin Retrospective - Part 6: Paint it Red

Haven't done one of these in a long time. So here we go.

It's been a long tradition in the baseball card game to have painted portraits on cards instead of photograph. Of course, this was due to the past difficulty/expense to get a good photo printed on cardboard. This was mastered by 1953, of course, with the iconic Topps set of that year. However, after a few decades of photography dominating cards, painting made a comeback. Probably most notably with Donruss Diamond Kings. Then, of course, with forty billion different card sets eventually out there, we were bound to be hit with all kinds of designs. Barry was no exception.

I've dug up a baker's dozen of examples of artistic portraiture. I suppose a couple are 'computer paintings' via Photoshop, or some reasonable facsimile. I classify these the same way. First up, a generous helping of the aforementioned Diamond Kings.

Score was not about to get out-artisted, though they went a lot more cartoony.

Topps paid homage to tobacco cards with their 205/206 series.

Even Playoff threw some portraiture into the mix.

And of course, the Upper Deck subset checklists, which I loved as a kid.

Go Reds.


  1. I wish Larkin had been a Diamond King subject before 1991. I love the 1982-1990 styles, 1991 was the first drastic change and I wasn't a big fan.

    I do like those Score All-Stars and the Upper Deck checklist as well.

    Man I miss the 80s and early 90s.

  2. your Larkin collection sounds awesome. you have a ton of knowledge on his All Star career. Cheers