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Phony cards nearly as much fun as the real ones ...


My pal Bob Lemke just came out with some more of his incredible 1955 Topps All America extension set, and if you’ve never seen them you owe yourself a visit to

There you will find ersatz football cards of Lou Gehrig and Jackie Robinson, and in another later posting one of Billy Clyde Puckett, which I suppose is a variation of an earlier 1955 Topps All America card of Burt Reynolds that he created years ago.

Seeing more of these wonderful creations got me to thinking what a cool collection somebody could create using a theme of vintage-card designs employed for current, former, real or imagined players.

This was a tiny little niche in the hobby that existed even 30 years ago before the bust-up of the Topps monopoly, but got a major boost over the last 15 years with all the advances in computer technology and the arrival of same in nearly every home in the country.

Now there are websites galore showing the labors of some genuinely gifted designers, and no doubt the number of cards that would fit the parameters described above would run into the thousands.

I know of nobody making such cards who is doing it on a grand enough scale to catch the attention of the leagues or the card manufacturers who make the real ones, and indeed, putting together such a collection would not be all that easy just for that reason alone. One of the pioneers in this esoteric field is a veteran Midwest collector who has made a host of cool 1952 Topps “Cards That Never Were,” but he only makes a couple of each one and tracking them down would be a chore in itself.

For an easier challenge, a collector could simply vow to put together cards of the above description that were created by the mainstream card companies themselves. That would be easier to do and would certainly number way into the thousands of cards as well.

Gee, I may have just talked myself into something here.