Thursday, February 11, 2016

more custom minis

Custom minis are fun to make. I've been using a standard, simple design for my 2016 minis that really streamlines the process. They're quick and easy. Another plus is they don't use as much paper and ink as standard sized cards. I like to have an assortment on hand as fodder to throw into trades and sales as a little bonus.

A few trader buddies of mine are Braves collectors, so I was overdue to make a custom featuring the team. And who better to pick than the greatest home run hitter of all time. This Hank Aaron minor league card (that never was) from his days in Jacksonville came out ok. It's not my best colorization job, but good enough. I hadn't realized Henry originally came up as a second baseman.

Following up my Ted Williams PCL Padres Goudey custom, here's another unfamiliar uniform for the Splendid Splinter. Ted was focused on serving his country during his stint in the war, but he did find a little downtime to play for the Navy's ball team. I'm really happy with how this one turned out, with the menacing sky behind him. [HT] The original photo cropt off the top of the bat, but I think I did a good job of recreating it in photoshop. As for where the "Y" in his jersey went.. who knows, that's how the original photo is.

I think I've made more Ken Griffey, Jr customs than any other player. What can I say, he's the modern day Cardboard King. This "Old Kid" image is from when he recently reprised his '89 UD pose for a Macklemore video. Perhaps the more obvious choice would be to make an '89 UD custom with the picture, but I just slapped it onto a mini instead.

That's it for today. More in the works. As always, copies of these are available for trade. If one of them caught your eye, you should at least mention you like it in the comments, and it'll likely wind up in the next batch of cards I send you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Beermas Review conclusion

Here's the long overdue continuation of my 2015 Twelve Days of Beermas review (part 1 here). I've had these empty bottles cluttering my dining room since December, with me just procrastinating to take pictures of them for this post. But now finally on my way out to the glass recycling bin, I paired them up with cards and took pictures. So here we go.

Vladimir Guerrero was a beast in his prime, so let's pair him with this Dick's Brewing cream stout with a beast on the label. This is my first Vlad auto, extra special to me because it's #'d 12/25.


Hey, it's Vlad again, this time on a relic #'d /49 (sorry, but I'm abandoning my theme of only using Christmas Cards for this series.) This Heater Allen alt beer was pretty good, if I recall.

My wife knows I love dark beers, so many of the craft brews she choose to gift me with were stouts and porters. This Golden Valley Brewing Black Panther Imperial Stout from close-by McMinnville, OR packs a punch, as did proud black man Ken Singleton in his playing days. This is a refractor #'d /25 (but not a xmas card, sadly).

I had drank a little too much beer when I set a sniping bid for this Jung Ho Kang RC. I think I was under the mistaken impression that it was an auto. Nope! Don't drink and bid, kids. So I overpaid a little, but oh well, it's a nice looking card, #'d /250. He's probably a classy, tranquil guy, so I've paired him with this classy Traquair house ale from Scotland.

Finally, we return to our roots with a Christmas Card (trust me, it's #'d 12/25 on the back). Tyler Danish is a prospect for the White Sox. As a young guy, he's gotta spend time doing his homework. There, pairing justified. This robust porter might have been my favorite beer of this year's beermas. The neat thing about these Homework Series brews put out by Ballast Point is you can find the recipes online to try your hand at brewing it yourself if you're into that home brew sort of thing. Very cool.

Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Custom TTM Success: Dave Kingman!

Similar to yesterday's Goose success, today we have another signed custom 1977 Topps card that never was featuring a short-term stop.

Kingman was an "all or nothing" big swinger, and I know him best for being the first player to hit 400+ home runs without being inducted into the Hall of Fame. That's less of a "magic number" these days in the post-steroids-crackdown era, but back when I was a kid reading the backs of baseball cards, I couldn't believe all those dingers couldn't punch his ticket to Cooperstown.

His 1977 season was quite eventful, as he bounced around with 4 teams that year. My hometown Padres were one of those destinations (2nd of 4), with Dave donning the brown and gold for 56 games. He eventually ended the year with the Yankees, helping them clinch, though he couldn't play in the postseason having been acquired after the deadline.

He doesn't have much in the way of cardboard from his San Diego days-- I think like a couple logo-less oddballs, and that's it-- so seemed like a good idea for a custom. I'm pretty sure similar customs to this one have been made before (there aren't a lot of good quality photos floating around of Friar Kingman besides this one), but I did make this pretty much from scratch rather than yoink an existing example online.

The back came out a little diamond-cut, but not too bad. A lucky time-saver, I was able to find a clean (white) back of his '77 Topps to modify thanks to being an SP in Archives a while back.

So, yep, another successful TTM! No fee, returned in about 2 weeks.

Thank you, Mr. Kingman!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Custom TTM Success: Goose Gossage!

Got another TTM return the other day, this one from Hall of Famer Goose Gossage.

Looks great! Goose has one of the better looking signatures in the game. This isn't entirely my custom, as I think I modified a "card that never was" from When Topps Had (Base)Balls, so shout-out to Giovanni for the assist.

Gossage pitched one All-Star season in Pittsburgh in 1977, but much like Reggie Jackson's forgotten stint in Baltimore, Goose's year as a Pirate is largely forgotten thanks to never appearing on a Topps card. His 1977 Topps card show him with his old team (White Sox), and his 1978 card airbrushes him into his next team (Yankees). The only real card picturing Goose as a Pirate that I'm aware of is his 1978 Kellogg's card.

This is a "1977 Topps Traded" card that never was, with the back being a modified version of his real '77 Topps card.

As a Pad in the Hall, Rich Gossage is among top-tier guys I collect. I've already got a certified auto or two of his, but figured I'd try my hand with a TTM request. Inspiration struck, and I whipped up 3 different customs that I was pretty happy with. I read he typically will only sign for a fee these days, with his current asking price jumping up to $25 per signature as of a year or two ago, though occasionally he'll be in a generous mood. $25 seemed a bit pricey to me, so I wrote out a check for $15 and crossed my fingers.

Less than 3 weeks later, my return envelope arrived back home and I cautiously opened it. It was bittersweet when I slid out 1 signed card and 2 unsigned. Bummer.. one for three. Maybe I would have had better luck if I included more money or my letter was better. Oh well, I'll still consider this a success. Much better than nothing.

Below are the auto-less customs I had included.

Did you know the White Sox wore shorts for a few games in the 70s? Pretty funny. I thought it might be cool to have a card with Goose in shorts signed. As far as I know, he has a light-hearted memory of the shorts, but for whatever reason didn't feel like signing this one.

Here's a "1984 Donruss Traded" card that never was. Goose's real '84 Donruss card shows him with the Yankees, but he had signed with San Diego as a free agent that January, and would go on to help the Padres win the pennant that year.

From researching his recent signing tendencies, it seems like the team he's most likely to sign cards/photos of are Padres (Yankees least likely), so I would have thought this would be the front-runner to get signed. Nice smiling dugout photo. But nope, no autograph on this one either.

But yeah, I'm happy with the 1977 Topps custom, at least! Thanks, Mr. Gossage!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sexy auto overlay: Katrina Bowden (Cerie from 30 Rock)

30 Rock is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. One of those rare shows I can watch multiple times (thanks, Netflix) and still enjoy just as much as the first viewing.

One recurring highlight of the show is the ├╝ber cute Cerie, played by Katrina Bowden. I noticed she was included in the 2015 Panini Americana set with a couple different autos, so I kept an eye out and eventually brought one home in my single-digit price range. The design and photo choice Panini went with didn't really grab me, so once again I "played dress up" with my cards and came up with a custom overlay of my own:

Oh my! Now we're talking!

I'm pretty happy with the attractive overlay and would say it's a big improvement over the original card:


[HT] I'm so smitten with her that I recently rented the raunchy teen comedy Sex Drive because she has a part in it. Dumb movie, but I guess it's kinda funny if you're into that sort of thing. The extended/unrated version has some, umm, extra footage of her big scene, but unfortunately a body double is used for the naughty bits.

So yeah, the overlay is just what the card needed. And like with the previous ones I've made, it's not affixed to the original card, just resting on top of it in the penny sleeve. No fuss, no muss.

And one sexy auto deserves another, so let's take a check out another steamy piece of sultry cardboard I recently added to my collection...

BOOM! LL Cool Teke. I'd been wanting to grab one of these 2015 Archives Fan Favorite autos since that product came out, just finally snagging one for a little over a Lincoln shipped. While this is a pretty hot photo of Kent Tekulve, I probably would rather have an action shot or something more interesting. But since the auto is on-card, it's not really conducive to making an overlay for it. Yes, this is a very rare instance of me implying I'd rather an on-card auto be a stickergraph!

Well, thanks for swinging by and enjoy your week, guys. I'm pretty happy lately because my wife hooked me up with a temporary job at her place (different department) starting next week. It's only a ~2 month contract, but it seems like a pretty cool place to work and a stress-free position, so I'm excited about it and hope it'll lead to a permanent gig.. at least until Topps, Panini, Leaf, or Upper Deck come knocking being like, "OMG, we love your customs! That Katrina Bowden overlay you made? Out of this world! Such simplistic beauty. You have such an eye for cards. Please come work for us remotely from home working on designing cards for us!"

I'm ready when you are, card companies!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hey, where are the blog awards this year? (trade roundup)

Time for the weekly trade round up, which is kind of a thing here on the blog. This week saw 3 trade packages show up at Baseball Card Breakdown HQ. Let's take a look!

First up is Fuji. When you're talking about the best card blogs around, the top 3 names that pop into my head are Night Owl, Dimebox Nick, and Fuji. And hey, that reminds me, where are the 2015 Card Blog Awards? We're deep into February already and still nothing! Last year there was the Bip Awards, and the 2nd Best Blog Award. Somebody should hurry up and take the reigns to get something going. I really thought I brought my A-game in 2015, and was hopeful I could bring home a digital trophy.. perhaps contending for "Post of the Year" with the original Wallet Card post or something. One of you bloggers out there looking for a series of posts to spice up your blog, you might consider setting up some blog award categories that people could nominate for and vote on.

But back to Fuji, I traded with him once or twice before, but it was long ago, back when I was living at my old place. This month marks 2 years in my current house, and so I was overdue to swap cards with him. He was included in my holiday card mailing spree, and seemed to be pretty happy with the customs and stuff I sent him. This was a pretty nice thank you package I got in return.

The meat of the mailing was this trio of hits. Very happy with that Marcus Giles relic. Have I mentioned I went to school with him? Oh, only a hundred times? Ok, sorry. I just think it's really cool that I had gym class with a guy who's on an UD Masterpieces card. I'm basically one degree of separation from being on an UD Masterpieces card. LOL. Dare I say my big Marcus post from last March might also be worthy of a Post of the Year nomination. Gah, sorry for talking about myself so much in this post.
Also included here are a nice Xavier Nady relic from his Team USA days, and an Andrew Cashner purple swatch from his college days. Shiny!

Fuji is a big Tony Gwynn collector, and must have had some dupes to share. I'm happy to take 'em! The Lords of the Diamond card is particularly eye-catching. That pop-out card at the end is kinda funny.. looks like maybe they recycled the body drawing from Griffey. That definitely isn't an accurate late-career Gwynn body representation!

And Fuji was nice enough to include his own updated auto card. That's pretty awesome. Thanks, man!

-   - - - -------o

Next trade package is from Tony Burbs. Tony's blog Wrigley Roster Jenga is very entertaining and fresh, and I would definitely nominate it for Best New Blog of 2015, sticking with our theme of theoretical/potential blog awards. It's obviously a very Cubs-focused blog, but you can still enjoy it without being a Cubs fan.

Anyways, like with Fuji, I surprised Tony with some cards back around the holidays, and he was compelled to shoot me a friendly return batch of cards.

I'm a sucker for a serial number, so this Gwynn (/799) and Ian Kennedy (/99) definitely stood out for me.

The package was rounded out by this fine assortment of other Padres of the past.
Thanks, Tony!

-   - - - -------o

Another strong contender for Best New Blog of 2015 would have to be Wish They Still Came With Bubblegum. Jeff burst onto the scene and quickly made a name for himself, trading up a storm. Took me a while, but I finally got in on that action for our first trade.

Here we've got old favorites of mine Hoyt Wilhelm and star of yesterday's post, my close personal friend Vida Blue. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating about how close we are just a little.

Mr. Gwynn completes the trifecta of being included in all 3 trade packages this week. Good stuff.
The Caminiti cards might be my favorite of the package, rocking the acetate and hologram action.

See? The square photo is translucent and the back features the mirror image, with the logos amusingly removed.

A couple appreciated upgrades for my 1973 set, and a couple from possibly my favorite insert set, 1993 Topps Black Gold. Great looking cards. Still hoping to see these make a reemergence in Archives one of these years.

Active guys were represented in the package by a slick Giancarlo refractor, a couple Goldschmidt cards, and a couple Padres farmhands.

Closing it out with some former Padres. I don't think we ever had any Ames stores on the west coast, but I like the look of those oddballs. We didn't have any Revco drug stores either (see the Gwynn from a few pictures up). Funny how defunct stores live on through their oddball cards.

Thanks for the cards, Jeff! I've got a stack of Braves here with your name on them that I need to pack up and drop in the mail this weekend. (Update: now en route.)

And thanks again to Fuji and Tony Burbs! All three are award-winning caliber traders in my book.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Custom TTM Success: Vida Blue! (with reply note)

I gotta admit with all the custom TTM requests I sent out mid January, I was kinda hoping maybe one of the cards would elicit an impressed response from the person in question. I know these guys get tons of requests per day, so you can't really hope for more than a signature. But you gotta figure they're mostly looking at the same few dozen cards again and again, so something different could be refreshing. In addition to getting cool autographed cards for my collection, the thought of bringing a happy eyebrow raise to these guys' faces is another draw for me to do custom card TTMs. And this was one of those!

Now, I don't think this truly counts as a custom, because this image is an actual Time magazine cover from 1971 that I just printed out card-sized. So credit to the original artist, the late Bob Peak. I edited it a little bit, as it's originally black on the left, but I lightened it to grey so as to be a better destination for a signature. I think it looks pretty damn good!

And apparently Mr. Blue himself was taken with it too, writing me a note on my note, asking if I'd send him a few more copies!

Very cool! I'll happily print off a few more of these to send him as a gift.

Vida Blue was a top-tier guy I collected for a while. His 1971 and 1974 Topps cards need to be on any "best cards of the 70s" list. I bought his 1970 Topps RC from the LCS when I was a kid and it was one of my most-prized cards. While I have 2 or 3 certified autos of him already, this is my first TTM from him and I'm very happy with it!

Vida Blue is known as a dependable TTM signer, BUT with the caveat that he charges a fee of $5 for each item. I was totally cool with cutting him a $5 check in order to ensure this success. That's much more desirable to me than receiving a free "sec" (Carrie Fisher), or paying an outrageous $50 per item fee (Whitey Ford), or the uncertainty of not getting a successful return. Five bucks seems totally fair.

Thank you, Mr. Blue!

Yesterday was a banner day for me getting TTM returns, with not only this one, but two other guys as well. Stay tuned for them coming up on the blog shortly.