Friday, November 17, 2023

Vintage Frankenset Page 4

Back in 2020, I got the idea for a frankenset to give purpose to many of the random old cards that didn't really have a solid "home" in my collection. Plus it's a good way for me to check out neat old card designs that I'd otherwise not have much use for. The priority of the project eventually slid to the backburner, but I still occasionally fill empty slots and try to keep my streak alive of featuring one complete page on the blog each year. I showed off page 1 in 2020, page 2 in 2021, page 3 in 2022, and now we're up to page 4. 

My Vintage Frankenset has 3 rules for entry:
- Cards must have been released prior to 1981.
- Must fit in a standard top-loader. (I group them into "pages" but the project consists of toploaders in a box, not actual binder pages, in part to help deal with varying sizes.)
- No flagship Topps baseball allowed. (I have a different project for that.)

In theory there will be one card for each number up to 333. When pressed, no-number cards can be placeholders and move around in the frankenset, limit 1 per "page".

Ok, here's Page 4.

The horizontal cards shatter any illusion of this being a real page, but it's a not a bad selection of old cardboard. I usually strive for more variety; definitely baseball-heavy here, plus two tobacco cards from the same damn set. But oh well, nothing in my self-imposed rules says that's illegal, so we'll ride with it.

#28 1952 Bowman #28 Roy Hartsfield

Love the colors and background on this card. The tape stain nearly syncs up with the picture.

Roy Hartsfield never quite reached that future stardom, with 1952 being his final year in the majors. He stuck around in the minors for a few years before going into coaching, eventually becoming the first manager of the expansion Blue Jays.

#29 1965 Topps Embossed #29 Boog Powell

These things are pretty ugly, but hey, it's a vintage baseball card. And ya gotta love Boog, right?

Another reason these inserts aren't a favorite of mine are the lazy backs. There's a tinge of disappointment every time I flip a card over to reveal a lazy back. (The opposite is seeing a wall of tiny stats-- love that!)

#30 1970 Fleer Laughlin World Series #30 Mel Ott 1933

Laughlin cards are awesome. Nuff said.

#31 1935 Gallaher Shots from Famous Films #31 "I Was A Spy"

British tobacco cards like this are a great way to add pre-war cardboard to your collection for cheap. 

I Was a Spy is available to watch on YouTube (link). I skimmed it a little and think I found the scene in question at 24 minutes in.

The lady is a nurse in WWI who had been giving info to the British, and the dude there is a German officer who's starting to suspect she's up to something. Nice to have some context for this card I've owned for a few years now. I never really looked at it that well and assumed it was young lovers or something. I was way off! Based on the life of Marthe Cnockaert, misspelt on the card.

#32 1939 Player's Uniforms of the Territorial Army #32 5th BN., The Lancashire Fusiliers, 1915

There was once or two times a few years back where I was browsing COMC and basically just typed in old years, sorted by cheapest, and snagged a few pre-war tobacco cards I could find around the dollar mark. That's where most of my "f@g cards" come from (excuse the term, but that's what they were known as! It's what they call cigarettes over in England.)


#33 1955 Bowman #33 Nellie Fox

He doesn't seem to frequent my blog, but the blogger who likes to comment on blog posts about who "wins it" would probably agree with me that this Nellie Fox is the highlight of the page. Fun shot of a HOFer on a fun design, what's not to like?

I got this along with Bob Feller from the same set from a card show dollar bin, a favorite score from my days going to the monthly cardshow in the late 2010s. For that price, I'm totally cool with a bit of paper loss on the backs. (The Feller has the #134 slot in the frankenset, so maybe we'll get to that in a few years if I keep up this annual blog series. I could potentially do more than one page a year, sure.)

#34 1974-75 Topps #34 Jim Fox

Ha, I didn't realize I had back-to-back Foxes in the frankenset! Finally a sport besides baseball represented on the page. I like getting a look at old Topps designs that are less familiar to me. This isn't necessarily a great design, but still cool.

I believe this was a Sportlots throw-in a year or two back specifically to fill the vacant #34 slot.

Hang on-- For this next card coming up, I suggest you try to take your time scrolling to slowly reveal the card top-to-bottom. It's full of surprises if you do it that way.


#35 1939 Player's Uniforms of the Territorial Army #35 4th/5th BN., The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), 1917

This one is way more interesting than the other "Uniforms of the Territorial Army" card we saw a few back. The guy is wearing a kilt, caked in mud up to his knees, and he's pulling the pin on a grenade. Yet all business above the belt. What a badass.

It's not a baseball card, but hey "Highlanders" makes it basically a Yankees card, right?

#36 1951 Bowman #36 Joe Dobson

Last one for this post. The page opened with a '52 Bowman and closes with a '51. This was probably another dollar box pickup (7 for $5, likely) or maybe from other COMC "cheapest/oldest" search. The surface wear muddles the pretty clouds in the background, but I'm always happy to include old Bowman cards in this project.

Joe Dobson was a solid pitcher for a few years. All-Star in '48. Pitched well for the Sox in a losing cause to St. Louis in the '46 World Series. There was a time when it seemed I was picking up cheap old Bowman cards at the show here and there at a steady pace.. you start to think, "hey, these sets aren't very big... Maybe I could take a run at it?" But yeah.. the Mantle and Mays.. forget it.

But the beauty of the vintage frankenset is I can get a sampling of various cool old stuff like this without commiting to the huge undertaking of a vintage setbuild.

As for page 6 on deck for a post in 2024, it's still not completed. I'll need to find cards to fill open slots at 42 and 45. (Well, I have a card entered in for 42, but I've misplaced it.. so I guess we'll see if it turns up in the next few months.)

I hope you enjoyed the post. Have a great weekend, everybody.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Cards I've Been Sent Recently

Time for me to get around to thanking folks who've sent me cards over the past month or so.

Kicking off with this pair of heavy hitters from a recent trade with a guy who goes by OP. We hammered out a deal that netted me some nice vintage needs, most notably a '64 McCovey and a Thurman Munson rookie. Still crawling along with both these sets, hoping to eventually make it to the finish line, tortoise-style.

- - --o

GCA was nice enough to keep me in mind at a big recent card show he attended and picked up 3 vintage needs from my sidebar wantlist. My 1972 Topps setbuild is down to an even 100 cards remaining.. Ed Brinkman #535 here was the lowest number I still needed (not counting variations), so it's all uphill from here, but there's starting to be a speck of light at the end of the tunnel, at least.

Rod Carew was the biggest name (base card) missing in my '78 Topps setbuild. Now down to a few commons plus Record Breakers for Rose and Reggie. Maybe I'll round up the final 28 cards sometime in 2024.

The '74 WS card was the last of my "gremlin" losses-- Last year I thought I had completed a basic 1974 set, but then realized a few cards had gone missing-- so now I have once again sorta completed 1974 Topps. I still have variations to go after.

Thanks, Greg! I need to find something to return the favor to you.

- - - -o

Daniel Wilson had some Gavins to send my way in a PWE. Thanks for thinking of me, buddy!

He didn't ask me to mention it or anything, but if you're active with YouTube hobby stuff, check him out at his new Cases Loaded account.

- - --o

Padrographs Rod swung by my doorstep recently with a stack of cards for me, mostly Padres and ladies. I hope Juan Soto sticks around in San Diego, but won't be surprised if he doesn't. Love adding a new Manon Rheaume card. The real star of the lot was the Chris Young cardart "mod by Rod" that gave a nice colorblast to a Ginter common. I like it, Rod; keep it up!

- - --o

Crafty use of cards continues with this incredible Card Belt. Bob at Best Bubble arranged for these to be made for a few of his hobby buds and I was lucky enough to get one. 

Great selection of cards with some iconic favorites in there.

I do want to "take 'er out for a spin" as a real belt, but it likely won't be until next summer when it's shorts weather again, as I'd be worried heavy jeans might gnarl it up.

Big thanks, Bob! I'm working on an overdue return for you.

-- - - -o

Finally for today, highlights from a bittersweet mailing of custom minis from Chris at Nachos Grande. I've dug these Munnatawket "2008 Ginter" style custom minis since first being surprised with some way back in 2014 not long after they first started popping up. I was just getting into making customs myself at the time, and they really impressed me and inspired me along my own path of custom card creation. They were expertly crafted by Chris' friend Ryan Rodd, who sadly passed away recently. Chris wanted to honor Ryan's memory by spreading them around and I'm thankful for that, ending up with these eclectic six keepers for my PC and a few others to further scatter about the hobby.

Hey, I scored a numbered parallel! I thought you all might like getting a closer look at the backside. Super cool stuff.

Thank you again, Chris. I don't recall ever personally interacting with Ryan, unfortunately, but I would have loved to compliment him on his work and maybe "talk shop" a bit. Sounds like he was a great guy. Be sure to read Chris' big "Saying Goodbye to an Amazing Human" post if you missed it.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Cardart Superfractors

The latest crafty cardart idea I've been running with lately is creating "superfractor" style mods of junk wax classics.

The first batch to show off is a run of 1993 Topps Black Gold, probably my all-time favorite inserts. 

The original gold foil pairs nicely with the added gold vinyl to make 'em really pop in the light!

I'm not saying it's an improvement over the original design-- I love the black/gold contrast, too-- but I think it's a pretty cool alternate take on it. 

I've done these 10 cards so far, calling that good as a first "drop". This is an in-progress project that I plan to continue with for the next few weeks. I probably won't create such mods of all 44 cards in the insert set, but there are still several big names I intend to get to shortly. Anybody have '93 Black Gold cards to trade? lol. The Griffey is especially tricky to find cheap.

The second line of this type of mod I've been making are "1st Bowman super" parallels of 1989 Bowman.

The set is like the red-headed stepchild of the junk wax era, and this is my cheeky attempt to revitalize these slightly oversized albatrosses into desirable cardart. I just think it's funny to make a thing over these since "1st Bowman" has become so important in the modern hobby but of course nobody ever cares about 1989, right?

I find the posed shots like this are the best to work with.

Of course these have got to be numbered "1/1" to stick with the theme. What I usually like to do is make 2 of each one of these I whip up. The worst of the two gets rejected and I stamp it as an "Artist's Proof" and it stays in my PC. The one that turns out better goes towards my cardart side hustle, and becomes available for purchase or trade. Since they're dated with the year on the back, I just need to be sure not to make another one until at least the next year at the earliest. Sort of like how Topps Archives Signature Edition puts out many of the same buyback autographs each year. But I probably won't be repeating myself much because I typically get pulled away to a new idea. So don't expect me to do a new batch of these every year, or even ever again, is what I'm trying to say, but who knows.

Despite doing transformative tinkering on cards since the early days of this blog a decade ago ("I asked myself how I could 'hack' virtually worthless cards to make them better?"), I know I'm late to the Cardart scene that thrived during the pandemic, and the hobby is trending down from that whole bubble, but I'm hopeful I can still find an audience for my border art mashups, sun-bleached borders, cut-superfractors, and the like.

But yeah, I bet I'll be cranking out lots of cardart superfractors over the next few weeks. So many neat possibilities to work on...

I really love "making cards" and it would be a dream come true to be able to get a successful venture off the ground along those lines. Losing my tech job earlier this year sucked, but from a mental health standpoint, it was a blessing is disguise. Now I'm trying to pivot to a healthier, creative use of my time. Of course I'm not expecting to get rich or anything, but if I could get into a "make a thing/sell a thing" daily groove, I'd be happy. (And sure, if Fanatics is reading, I'd love to talk about remote employment in some sort of creative or even QA role; hit me up.)

Here's the link to my eBay store if you're interested. Thanks for reading!