The month of May marks two important landmarks for me.  One, that I will turn 36 years young this Monday (I swear I don’t feel a day over 34) and two, the birthday of something I have grown quite attached to.  My moustache.

It has been a magical year – my first year as a moustachioed man.  Whenever I’m down after having eaten a delicious slice of cake, my moustache brings me great joy by surprising me with a little extra icing it saved me.  Through thick and thin, it still finds the strength to curl and make others smile.  Through the darkest of times, it compels me to speak with a pretentious British accent, without warning.

To quote the words of someone whose name escapes me at the moment: “Kissing a man without a moustache is like eating an egg without salt.”  – No truer words have been spoken, I’m sure!

This year, we will be doing something different.  Instead of having a birthday party for myself, we will be having a birthday party for my moustache.  Does that sound stupid?  Crazy?  Ridiculous?  Probably all of the above, but after having jokingly brought it up to my friends, it was voted in that it must happen.

Aside from all that Tom Foolery, things have been busy here.  Very busy.  A lot of work issues have been thrown my way, but thankfully things have slowed down enough to the point of where I can indulge myself in the hobbies I love so much:  collecting baseball cards, creating baseball cards and writing about them.

To start off, I have been fortunate enough to pick up some pretty epic pieces for my collection!

Friend and fellow Canseco fan/collector Billy M. went to a meet & greet with Jose recently.  He was able to have his son meet Jose as well!  He was kind enough to pick up a few of the pieces for my collection while he was there.  Can you believe it?  The folks over there spelled his name wrong!  Check the 2 front pieces….

I recently picked up a few mini pocket schedules (duplicates of a few also, though they have different advertisements on the backs.) I knew about one of them existing, though I forgot about it and the other I hadn’t ever seen before.

Here is a card that I am pretty pumped about.  I rarely ever find any oddball stuff that I don’t already have, so this 2000 McDonalds Autographed Book card was the first time I’ve ever seen this before.  It isn’t exciting to look at by any means, but anytime I find something I haven’t seen before, it gets me excited about it.

This is one I have been searching for quite a long time.  I have seen about 2 or 3 of them over the years, but had absolutely no idea where/how to obtain it.  One day, I decided to sit down and research it.  With the helpful hint of fellow supercollector Jamie, I was able to track it down once it popped up!  It is one of those things that came with a program that would have never shown up online by searching his name.

Again, it is nothing remarkable in terms of design, but is a BLAST to own now that I have been able to track one down for my own after all this time.

Taking it several notches higher, I found some game used bats on eBay! If you recall, I picked up a game used bat quite a while back to chop up, have Jose sign & inscribe several pieces for custom cards for my collection.  Ever since, I kept thinking man … I wished I had a gamer for my collection that was whole!

A seller posted 3 for sale all at once.  I made an offer for all 3, and just like that – one of them sold.  I got nervous so I went ahead and bought the other two.  They were a good price, and came with PSA authentication papers notating that they have been used by Canseco.  That in and of itself is pretty rare.  Both are from his days with the Rangers.   While I love both of them, my plan is to keep the Glomar for now and perhaps consider trading the other to another Canseco collector down the road.

The next piece is a baseball card.  A baseball card that I have several fellow collectors to thank for giving me a lead as to where to find it.  I don’t know if you get like this over baseball cards, but when I saw this, my heart skipped a beat.

Thankfully, I was able to land it!  Definitely one of my favorite cards in my collection.  Thanks again Matt B for the easy deal!

Moving back to memorabilia, I got in touch with someone who had another game used piece.  Something I didn’t think I would ever be able to get my hands on.

That’s right!  a GAME USED A’S HELMET!  (I may or may not have worn this myself for a while in my office.)  It came with a certificate from the Oakland Athletics stating it was used by Canseco, signed “Gamer” by Jose which is PSA authenticated.

I don’t really do much of the memorabilia stuff, but I find myself now with several game used pieces in my collection, which I couldn’t be happier about.  This helmet is probably a solid 3rd favorite in my memorabilia collection behind the inscribed game used glove Canseco traded me and the game used team signed autographed ’89 World Series baseball.

In keeping true to my card collecting roots, I’m going to finish up the collection showcase portion of my article with my favorite card that came in.  This was borne of an embarrassing amount of hours spent listening in on case break after case break after case break … after case break.  Seriously … it was a lot.  Jose has 210 cards total in ’16 Museum.  199 base autos, 5 gold autos, 5 sepia autos and 1 bat barrel.  In all of the case breaks I paid attention to, I saw THREE Canseco.  2 /199’s and this …


I don’t know why or how this was shown before 100 other base autos presented themselves (which would have probably been the equivalent of “elevendy billion” (re: Corey B!)  case break watches over the course of a few years!) but it did, and I was able to make a deal.  I got lucky.  Big time.  On top of that, I was able to run into some other epic cards for fellow player collectors which ended up resulting in deals.

It is funny to think that while much of the world would probably view this card about the same level as a Ryan Braun bat barrel, I would take it over a Babe Ruth bat barrel any day of the week.

Anyway, moral of the story?  If you see an epic Canseco card in a break (or anywhere) please HIT ME UP!  🙂

Something else to note is that when looking at these cards, they really don’t seem like cards anymore.  They do seem more like art.  I have a hard time calling that bat barrel card or button card a baseball card.  Are we just card collectors or are we art collectors too?  Just something to think about.

When I showed the bat barrel card to fellow super collector Aaron, he told me about something fun to do, and that was to see if you could look up the barrel on Worthpoint.  I hadn’t thought of that before.  Surely Topps doesn’t use the same avenues as eBay to get their stuff!

Nah, Topps has this like … vault … of never seen before pieces.  From all players … of all years.  Surely, each time a player breaks a bat, uses a jersey or catches a ball, they are ALL retired at the Topps headquarters… right?


Aaron found this:

The EXACT bat used for one of my new favorite cards.  This kind of blows my mind, because Topps apparently uses the same avenues (albeit sometimes) I used to get my game used bat to chop up for the cards I create for my own collection.  Stranger yet is the fact that the bat barrel card cost well over what both of the full game used bats cost me … combined.  It really got my head churning about card values.

So, what is in the value of a card?  Is it the design?  The pieces used?  The brand?  I mean, Topps, Panini, Leaf and custom card makers all use essentially the same thing:  Ink, paper and game used / player worn pieces.  I’m going to put some more thought to this later, but ultimately, I’m a big fan of the way Topps, Panini and Leaf all use their ink & paper…for the most part!  🙂

Shown below is the “Mount Rushmore” of my baseball card collection.  While I can’t say that they are the best Canseco cards ever produced, I’m happy to say that they are my favorites and I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to own them.

All of them together:

I still have a LOT to chase!  However, I’ve hit a mark where I am more happy now with my collection than ever before.  I do look forward to adding potentially many more epic pieces in the future!

OKAY so enough about the Canseco stuff already!  Time to move from Topps art pieces to my own art pieces…

I was contacted by a few people who had some badly damaged cards with some GREAT patch pieces and autographs (one of which purchased these specifically to make some custom art cards.)

To start off with, a damaged Mike Trout autograph ended up becoming this.  I love how well the colors pop!

The rest ended up being basketball and football.  While baseball is my first love, I do enjoy doing cards from other sports (and non-sports) as well.  I think they are a blast!

Here is a Stephen Curry booklet I ended up making:

Here is a jumbo Tom Brady I whipped up.  It might have been funny to add some pieces in and label them as an “authentic deflated football” but I didn’t have the gumption to do it.

I also put together a Curry jumbo card.

As a gag, I took the remains of a card I was using a custom from and replaced the patch with a $100 bill, then posted online to see what kind of response I would get.

“Hey guys, what are your thoughts on this Stephen Curry money relic?”

A TON of responses came flooding in.  I didn’t let it get far without me telling everyone I just posted it for a laugh and that it wasn’t real.

This is what the jumbo ended up looking like, thanks to the above card, a BGS 4 graded autographed card and another patch.

Since I did something with American money, I figured why not use Chinese currency on some leftover pieces of the Yao Ming I was tasked to put together?

Don’t worry though, no money was harmed in the making of these joke cards.  The $100 bill was just folded up, and the chinese currency was just a copy of the money.

Here is the Yao Ming booklet I did:

I think that about does it for this posting.  Thanks for reading, and if you want to get me/my moustache a birthday present, you know where to find me!