The worst baseball card ever made lives within ‘Project 2020’ Topps set

first_img Project 2020 Card #54 https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/a1/80/bob-gibson-project-2020-card-45_gz2xyl22tfq0126axq1kvpt7v.png?t=180848146&w=500&quality=80For reference, here’s the iconic card it’s based on: There have been all sorts of baseball card mishaps over the past 100 years, from misspelled names to pictures of the wrong player. None are as bad as one of the cards Topps is putting out this year as part of its “Project 2020” set.The idea of the set is simple: Have famous artists recreate historic cards with their own spin. Among the entries are Derek Jeter’s 1992 draft pick card, Mark McGwire’s 1987 card and George Brett’s 1975 card. (eBay) (eBay) Then there’s the rendering of Bob Gibson’s 1959 rookie card by artist Keith Shore at No. 54 in the collection. It’s an absurd perspective of Gibson that looks like it was hurriedly put together in Microsoft Paint. The exaggerated depiction of Gibson’s lips — a historically problematic caricature of black people in the U.S.— seems especially off. The lips (and eyebrows) are made to be the central focus of the work in a way that doesn’t line up at all with the original photo. For reference, his other contributions to the series — namely his interpretation of McGwire and Don Mattingly — aren’t as bad and done in a slightly different manner (perhaps aided by the original photo perspective). It’s hard to believe his Gibson is not a practical joke at first glance.Take a look at the worst baseball card of all time: If the new era of seminal artwork truly looks like an elementary school digital masterpiece, then baseball cards in the coming decades are going to be wild.Shore, to his credit, has a defining style of art he’s known for that he wasn’t going to deviate from for this project. This was perhaps just a poor match between an approach that works well in other mediums and a traditionalist canvas such as a baseball card.Baseball card mishaps of the past have actually inflated value, and it’s possible the same happens here should collectors genuinely deem the Bob Gibson recreation the worst card of all time. Or it’s something some people find cool precisely because it’s so different. Right now, it’s selling on eBay for more than $80. Original 1959 Bob Gibson card https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/c7/b/bob-gibson-original-1954-card_1j0hup20iuywf1nbghlp4af8ub.png?t=181040146&w=500&quality=80MORE: How an abridged 2020 MLB season would workOn the back of the card, a description of “Project 2020” bills the series as Topps “ushering in a new era of seminal artwork.”last_img

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