Never underestimate the realm of possibility. It’s a pretty big realm, perhaps even infinite.
So here I was with what could have been a simple enough request. @LouciferOlsen from the Hall of Very Good podcast (and also the owner of “Fleer Face!“) had asked if I could make a Glenn Burke card for him. Not to give away all my trade secrets, but most of my designs require only that I cut off a card’s original borders and replace them with one or two sheets of glitter paper. The only problem was I wanted to do more here.
My original idea was to turn Burke’s bat into a Pride flag. To do this I’d need to find some solid rainbow colors in my commons pile, which proved easier said than done. Unless I was prepared to go full Ben Caraher mosaic style I didn’t have any pieces the right shape or size to work as my stripes.
For a totally different project I’d received a couple cards I’d ordered off of eBay. Unexpectedly the cards came with an unopened pack of 1989 Donruss, which may well have been the single worst pack of cards I ever opened in my life.
Garbage, right? Kindling at best? True junk wax! But here’s the thing: It gets better.
This morning I was about to offer the cards to my son to burn (seriously!), but something hit me as I flipped through the cards just to remind myself how bad they were.
The colors on the top and bottom borders weren’t exactly what I wanted for my Pride flag, but they might provide me with something even better! I cut the bottom strip off each of the fifteen cards in the pack, and…
I loved it! The only remaining challenge was to turn these pieces into an actual card. I did my usual thing with borders and had a couple ideas. One was to play off Burke’s “OF” (outfield) position and use it in a phrase like “Child OF God” or “First OF Many.”
In the end, “OF” simply remained outfield, or perhaps just “Of.”
When the glue dried, I toyed with adding “SOURCE” to the top of the card, as in “SOURCE OF PRIDE.” Instead I left the card alone. I felt like this was already the best card I’d ever made: 1978 Topps Glenn Burke “PRIDE” 1/1.
Lou has chosen to make his donation to Legacy Project Chicago, which (quoting from their website) “illuminates and affirms the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people to honor their experiences and accomplishments; to collect and preserve their contributions to world history and culture; to educate and inspire the public and young people; and to assure an inclusive and equitable future.
I don’t think Glenn Burke himself experienced much of that when we was alive. Thanks to his baseball card, or at least this heavily glammed out version of it, future generations may.