Thursday, October 17, 2019

Allison Stokke

Remember Allison Stokke?  She's the California high school pole vaulter that became an overnight phenomenon thanks to a candid photo of her that went viral in 2007.  While a then 17 year old Stokke was simply waiting for her next vault a photograph was taken of her that made its way onto a popular sports blog and changed her life.  That photograph also sparked a lot of controversy over the sexualization of female athletes.

Anyone with a set of eyes, or even if ya just have one, can see why this image spread across the internet like a California wildfire.  There's no two ways around it, Allison Stokke is a beautiful girl.  But, looking at that same picture there's something equally as obvious, Allison Stokke is an athlete.  You don't get the muscle tone she has by sitting around texting.  Allison's athletic accomplishments were every bit her world class beauty's rival.  Stokke wasn't merely participating in track and field she was breaking national records on her way to earning a full ride to The University of California.

Unfortunately for her the years of dedication got overlooked because of well, her hotness, basically.

I wanted to make a card for her that gave that infamous photo somewhat of a redemption.  I wanted my card to recognize her athletic accomplishments while not pretending that she isn't  incredibly stunning.  There's no reason why she can't be both.

1989 Upper Deck
With the photo locked and loaded I needed to decide what kind of design to use.  The image is from 2007 and I couldn't pick out a 2007 trading card design from a 2017, so that was out of the question.  Gotta keep it vintage inspired, my friends.  I noticed Allison was born in 1989 and with I had a great excuse to finally use the ground breaking 1989 Upper Deck baseball inspired design.

Not only can the 1989 Upper Deck easily double as a track and field motif it is also home to maybe the most important baseball card of all-time ... the Ken Griffey, Jr. card no. 1 (although the '52 Mantle might have something to say about that).  The '89 Griffey  rookie really started the baseball card boom of the 1990s when it seemed like there was a card shop popping up on every corner.  The 1989 Upper Deck cards were white hot.  They added a premium look to baseball cards with the glossy white stock, high resolution photos and hologram technology.  I even recall a  small lawn mower shop by my house that would put out a sandwich board advertising that they had Upper Deck baseball cards.  A lawn mower shop for Pete's sake!  People spent obscene amounts of money trying to horde the Griffey RC as a future investment.  Unfortunately the bubble has long since burst due to there being no real scarcity of any card from the era, especially after the internet came along.

Since THE photo was how the world was introduced to Allison I threw the famous UD rookie logo on her card.  This card comes along at a good time being that I'm starting to do more with card backs.  This gave me a chance to highlight Allison's athletic prowess and also add another great smiling shot of her.  I also got a chance to use my hologram tamper sticker as part of the card's overall design in the same way Upper Deck made famous with there card's design.

Allison went on to have a solid vaulting career at UC Berkeley where she earned All-American honors in 2011.  Not only that but the also completed a masters degree in sociology from UC.  She continued to compete professionally after college while also getting into the world of sportswear modeling for likes of Nike and others.  Just this month Allison married professional golfer Ricky Fowler who she'd been dating since 2017.

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