I’ve said before that I can almost understand why card companies reuse pictures. For the older players, there are simply a limited number of pictures to go around. Can’t really argue that they should have more pictures of Smoky Joe Wood on cards when there are probably only a handful of pictures out there. I also suggested that it was possible photographer’s rights would actually limit the number of pictures available for current players too. I don’t know that for a fact, but it’s certainly possible. But, how does that affect art cards?
Shouldn’t cards like Allen & Ginter or Gypsy Queen be able to produce an endless supply of pictures for any player? I assume the real answer is that they’re not actually painted cards. They’re actual pictures digitally converted to look like paintings. But, what if they weren’t?
I can’t paint. I can’t draw. I have no intention of suggesting it would be easy. But, can’t an artist paint a picture of a player however he sees fit? If a Disney animator can draw a picture of a character in any possible position, shouldn’t that apply to a player? Why can’t they paint a picture of Tris Speaker sliding into third? Why not a picture of Reggie Jackson in an Orioles uniform? Why not Bobby Doerr tossing the ball to Adrian Gonzalez, for that matter?
The cards from the fifties used to be actual paintings, right? They had some guy sit at his easel and paint out the exact card. Sounds good to me.
Is it laziness? Is it not cost effective to hire an artist? Is it not actually something that can be done? Is that talent too rare?
I can only assume the card companies want new options. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t bother doing what they can to change it up. They wouldn’t crop it differently. They wouldn’t zoom in. They’d just put the same picture of Tris Speaker squatting with his bat on every card as is. But, they don’t. Obviously, they want to mix it up a bit.
Why don’t they use real paintings?