I should be less lazy and get up and scan my new T206 Walter Johnson or (my old T206 Walter Johnson held together mostly by the protective case placed on the card by SGC), but I'll try to do that this weekend. This will provide some new cards to post about while traveling for work next week. Depending on my ability to find one more card this weekend, I should also be able to post my 500th different T206 some time next week as well and looking at today's purchases and the remainder of the list, there is a fairly decent chance it will be a Hall of Famer you've heard of.
Instead, let's discuss sunsets. I was drawn to the T206s in part by the large number of different cards picturing pastoral scenes set against a setting sun. Before the advent of artificial lights in stadiums, games started at 3 PM and would be played to completion or sunset, whichever came first. Few cards depict this reality, though I would say the use of pastel purples and reds likely is more artistic license than I would like to admit.
Above is a Sam Crawford (Throwing) set against a setting sun. The card itself, suffers from only two flaws, some damage in the upper left hand corner and the addition of a position (C.F.) to the card, indicating his time as a center fielder. I am sucker for period writing and this appears to have it in the corner.
But back to the sunsets. Most people prefer the portraits, with the slicked hair and styles of 100 years ago. However, I love these pastoral images, harkening back to the roots of the game. It lends a romanticism that reminds you why baseball was America's pastime for so many decades. And the colors are always so vivid, bringing these long dead men, many of which were the stars of their day, back to life with reminders of simpler times and ways.
Of course, if it was still 1910, we wouldn't be talking about this card on a blog or discussing whether baseball cards can have artistic merits on their own, but here we are, looking at cards of years gone by, discussing the sunset, wondering why can't it all be so simple. Instead, you can watch my accelerated march toward finishing my T206 base set.