The 74T Experiment – Baseball Card Art

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The 74T Experiment

Oscar Gamble 1976 Topps 74T

What is the 74T Experiment?

Beginning in December of 2022, I ultimately plan to design a minimum of 74 variations of Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps 74T... as a self-challenge to evolve my forms of expression.

The final outcome of this experiment is undecided. These designs may stay digital. They may become prints. They may become paintings that I put on public display. Or, I may do absolutely nothing else with them.

Follow me on TwitterInstagram, or Mastodon to see these daily creations.

Why am I challenging myself?

The real goal of this experiment is self-discovery. For the past year, my creative mind has floated in various directions. I get easily excited by totally new ideas & concepts each day, yet I'm unable to harness any focus or desire to move forward on a specific path. I simply cannot decide what I want to spend my time and energy on.

This experiment provides necessary structure to my daily life, while forcing me to think differently in order to transform Oscar in new ways. When I've completed my challenge, I expect to have developed a new and unique process of creating, which will hopefully start me on the next journey. 

Why Oscar Gamble?

I find the airbrushed image on Oscar's 1976 Topps Traded card to be rather iconic. His afro represents a time in history... tells the narrative of his journey... and can still be recognizable in very abstract forms. Being able to recognize his silhouette is important. After 74 variations, I expect Oscar will become more and more abstracted... pushing me more and more toward the modern and pop abstractions that I mostly enjoy today.

The card itself also has a unique narrative. The photograph was altered by artists at Topps, a common practice at the time for players who were recently traded prior to photographing them in their new uniforms. These alterations were often done rather poorly, or even in a crude manner... brushing around the photo to apply new caps and jerseys.

Oscar’s career began when the legendary Buck O’Neil spotted him playing for an all-black semipro team called the Oakwood Clowns. O'Neil recommended him for the Cubs draft. After Oscar reached the majors, Cubs executives weren't pleased with him dating white women. So, they traded him to Philadelphia.

The Phillies eventually lost patience with his bat, and dealt him to the Indians... where Gamble started to thrive and grow out his iconic afro. He even opened up a discotheque in Montgomery, Alabama, naming it Oscar Gamble’s Players Club. But, in spring of 1976, he was traded to the Yankees... who had strict hairstyle policies, and his fro had to go.

While playing for New York, Gamble was asked by a reporter to discuss the circus-like atmosphere of the team... or so, it was said. Oscar's response, "They don't think it be like it is, but it do." These words have become one of the more significant quotes in baseball history, and are often interpreted as a commentary on racism in the game.

Version 1 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T. v01 - 12/16/2022 Version 2 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v02 - 12/17/2022
Version 2 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v03 - 12/18/2022 Version 2 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v04 - 12/19/2022
Version 5 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v05 - 12/20/2022 Version 6 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v06 - 12/21/2022
Version 7 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v07 - 12/22/2022 Version 8 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v08 - 12/22/2022
Version 9 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v09 - 12/23/2022 Version 10 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v10 - 12/25/2022
Version 11 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v11 - 12/26/2022 Version 12 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v12 - 12/27/2022
Version 13 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v13 - 12/29/2022 Version 14 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v14 - 12/31/2022
Version 15 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v15 - 1/1/2023 Version 16 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v16 - 1/2/2023
Version 17 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v17 - 1/3/2023 Version 18 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v18 - 1/3/2023
Version 19 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v19 - 1/5/2023 Version 20 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v20 - 1/6/2023
Version 21 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v21 - 1/7/2023 Version 22 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v22 - 1/8/2023
Version 23 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v23 - 1/9/2023 Version 24 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v24 - 1/10/2023
Version 25 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v25 - 1/11/2023 Version 26 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v26 - 1/12/2023
Version 27 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v27 - 1/13/2023 Version 28 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v28 - 1/14/2023
Version 29 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v29 - 1/15/2023 Version 30 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v30 - 1/16/2023
Version 31 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v31 - 1/17/2023 Version 32 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v32 - 1/19/2023
Version 33 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v33 - 1/20/2023 Version 34 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v34 - 1/31/2023
Version 35 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v35 - 2/1/2023 Version 36 of Matthew Lee Rosen's daily design experiment inspired by Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps baseball card No. 74T.v36 - 2/2/2023