I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m not sure where to start! As if you couldn’t tell by my writing, sometimes my hobbies take up way too much space in my brain. I don’t have a “chill” button. It is either FULL SPEED or NOT AT ALL.

I guess I’ll start at the beginning. This has been an action packed week for the hobby side of my life.  To start off, fellow supercollector AJ and I made yet ANOTHER huge, massive trade.  It involved a lot of blood sweat and tears, but after about a week, we hammered a deal out!

When the deal was done, AJ did his thing by providing up to the minute pics of his trip to the post office.  He showed me pics of what car he took …

And even the amount it cost for gas … ($33 … how ironic!)

And now … we wait.  (Me staring down the road, waiting for the mailman to turn the corner onto our street.)

And what do we do when we wait?  We talk about MAKING CARDS!  Someone came to me with an idea about Yogi Berra.  He wanted a card to commemorate the AFLAC commercial he was in.  His line was “And they give you cash, which is just as good as money.”  LOL Ahhh…#Yogiisms.

I had an idea of doing something along the lines of Bazooka One-Liners, but instead, have it called Yogi One-Liners, and instead of a jersey or bat piece, have a coin.

Here is what I came up with!

The card looks so great in person, and is so fun – I mean, c’mon … a half dollar, Yogi AND the AFLAC duck?  What’s not to like?

Can’t forget the back!

Here is the commercial if you are interested in viewing it:

I LOVE doing these types of personal collection cards, and am very happy with it.

In the middle of doing an EPIC deal, I had the opportunity to pick up a card that ranked HIGH on my list of wants.

Jose’s one and only (for now) AUTOGRAPHED SUPERFRACTOR!

The superfractor is very significant to me.  I’ve kept an eye out for it for a long, long time.  For a few years now, I’ve made several custom superfractors of him for my own collection, so it is nice to have a REAL one, and be a part of the uber-exclusive superfractor owner club 🙂

As an added bonus (which is actually HUGE for me…) I didn’t realize this until I had the card in hand, and set it up to be displayed on my desk, but the picture used for this card is actually the one I suspect Jose is using MY game-used home run bat!  What is funny is that I believe I brought up this picture in my last article, too!

I have a high res picture of it, and the bat is green, just like mine, with the same company logo, etc.  It is the only picture I have found of him swinging this type and color of bat.  His former manager told me it is in fact rare, as MLB told him he couldn’t use the full green bat.  Photo matching is one thing, but possibly photo matching on a baseball card … of which you have the superfractor of … awesome!

Here is a pic of the full rainbow: (I am missing 2 plates, btw so if anyone knows where they are, let me know so they can come home!  🙂

YESSSSS!!!!  The mailman hath made an appearance!

While we are waiting, allow me to tell you of the actual deal.  I had to give up a big, BIG card in my collection.  This …

Jose’s first mini wood 1/1.  The deal also included me sending along cash and a blue framed printing plate.  I would definitely have not done the deal, had I not already had his 2nd mini wood 1/1.  I try to remind myself that I don’t have to have it all … it is nice to have at least one each of the big/rare things, though 🙂  So since I had a mini wood 1/1 already, it made it a tad easier to get through this deal.

I also had to give up cash, and this:

The plate isn’t nearly as big of a deal for me as the wood is.

As I mentioned, it took a LOT of back & forth.  The deal was in major jeopardy all the way up until we finally came to an agreement.  It may baffle some folks why I gave up a few 1/1’s.  Here is a small (lol) write up of each card, why I did the trade, and why they matter…

1990 Donruss Blue line Proof
This was a “throw-in” for the deal, but quite unique.  A blue line proof is something that is printed and sent to the proofer so they can proof it before the final card is made.  Phew, I said proof a lot right there, didn’t I?  Because the original was so mangled, this paper proof had the damaged parts cut off and was mounted on the top of a reproduction blue 1990 Donruss card.  I may end up redoing this, I’m not sure.  It isn’t my favorite, but is cool to add to my run of 1990 Donruss which includes the INC, INC. and splatter variation, as well as the only known blank back, a rack pack with one on the top and the aqueous.   Do other 1990 Donruss blue-line proofs exist?  Probably not too many if any at all, but I wouldn’t mind having a full version. For now, this will hold me over 🙂

2016 Topps Bunt Plate 1/1
Not a big card, in and of itself.  However, I do have 2 of the other plates.  I picked up the yellow and thought I was good, but 15 seconds or so later, this plate came online and was snapped up before I even knew it hit.  It is great to be able to land one that got away.

2016 Topps Archives Signature Series 1994 Stadium Club /7
Beautiful sig, perfect stamp placement and a Texas Rangers card.  What’s not to like?

YES!!!!!  Coming closer!!!

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series 2016 Gypsy Queen /4
This is one of the few non 1/1 ’15 Archives cards I didn’t have.  Who knows where the other 3 are!  This card was actually added in at the end to make the deal work.

2015 Topps Archives Signature Series 2014 Tek /4
The first tek of Jose that has ever come out after his career ended, and it is in Archives form.  It is the first one and the only one that has surfaced.  One thing that my Archives signature series collection was lacking was some Tek love.

2014 Topps Supreme Simply Supreme /5
I have so many /5 to unnumbered rainbow runs from 2014-2016, I’m not missing too terribly many, but this /5 is one that I didn’t have.  I remember over a year ago seeing one for sale, and going back & forth with the seller.  I checked my phone while I was playing with my son in our backyard, and the seller said he would accept my offer.  I was happy, but when I came back inside, I found out I was too late.  Someone ended up buying it out from under me.  While I would have been … decently happy with buying it back then, I’m very happy to have picked it up now.  Especially since the others might now be locked up in collections for good.

So far, the cards are great that I got in the deal, but nothing truly EPIC.  Things are going to get a bit better from here on out …

2016 Topps Archives Signature Series 2015 Tek 1/1
Well, my collection isn’t lacking anymore in the Tek department 🙂  This beautiful 1/1 is something I JUST missed out on when it was on ebay, so I’m happy to now have it in my collection.  This pops amazingly in hand.

2016 Topps Industry Summit Buyback 1/1  2015 Tek
To my knowledge, they only did 2 Canseco buybacks for the industry summit.  I missed BOTH!  Thankfully, now I have one of them 🙂  Oh, and do you see the pineapple stamped logo?  Definitely a winner in my book!

And now … my favorites ….

1999 Skybox Premium Rubies Fleer Vault Bankruptcy black back
This card is as beautiful as it is rare, in its standard form.  With a print run of 50, you would think that they would pop up from time to time.   Worthpoint shows this card to have only been up on ebay once in the past decade.  What is special about this one in particular is that it it is a blank back from the fleer vault.  While the /50 version is fantastic, this one might be about 50 times more rare.  The odds of me bumping into the regular version are great, but another blank back?  Slim to none!

1988 Topps Vault Cyan Printing Proof 1988 Topps Team Leaders
This card is epic.  It is the first topps appearance of the Bash Brothers together.  It features a full back, which has the vault sticker, and was used in the process of making this card.  There is something about having a 1/1 that was used to make millions of other iconic cards that really gets me.  I now have this card in the following configurations:  regular, tiffany, blank front, cello pack, rack pack, wrong front and my favorite: the experimental cloth test … of course … now this one as well!

And now, the grand finale.  The reason I did the trade to begin with.

I will group these final three together.

Fleer Vault Bankruptcy Paper Proofs
You may or may not have seen paper proofs before.  They are very cool, and typically are used during the printing process to make “real” cards.  To preface this story, I picked up a sheet of a 2001 Fleer Triple Crown paper proofs where most of the cards were badly damaged.  Because these are widely considered as 1/1’s (or mega at the very least) player collectors pick them up anyway.  Thankfully my Jose wasn’t damaged.  It is a very cool piece, because it shows the markings of where the card should be cut and where the foil should go.

So, why did these next 3 make this deal a reality?  Because the paper proofs below are of cards that were never made.  For a player collector, (or at least me, lol!) this is the stuff dreams are made of.  Something so unique and so epic, there is really no such thing as a “book value” for them.  These aren’t just some 1/1’s that were produced by a card company that is a 1/1 only because they say it is with a stamp, and a different color foil.  There are no parallels to chase to scratch an itch for them, either.  These pieces go behind the scenes and show things that aren’t even supposed to exist.  Epic is a PERFECT description.  They aren’t valuable because a book tells you they are.  The value is driven solely by desire of a player collector to have something amazing no other collector would have.

To make it even cooler, the copyrights are from 2000, 2001 and 2002 (though 2 say they are from 2001) – one is of a base card for the White Sox, one is of a bat card from the Yankees and one is of a jersey card from the Angels.  To put it how AJ did:  This is the trifecta.

Speaking of AJ, he has shown me these for a few years now, and I have always drooled over them, never thinking I could ever own them.  He told me how it took him months (and a good chunk of change!) to track down all of them.  They all have complete, separate backs and in some instances, he had to go to different sellers to get them all.

His extensive expedition he embarked upon to find these adds to the already rich story of why they are now in my collection.  Without his passion, time and dollars, these could have easily been lost in several different people’s collections, for decades.  I fully appreciate that he spent the time, money and energy to track down all the fronts and backs to complete this perfect little collection.

One would have been cool.  Two would have been amazing.  All 3 is just off the chain nuts to me!  At some point in the not-too-distant-future, I plan on making these are “real” cards.  Here is the set of paper proofs that were never meant to be:

As I said before … the stuff dreams are made of for collectors 🙂

SO, SO close!!!!!!!!

While I’m mega excited about my new additions (as if you couldn’t tell by my writing a novel about them!), I might just be even more excited about my new customs.  Bear with me here … it all ties in.

For a while, I have really wanted to experiment with creating wood cards.  You’ve probably seen my custom wood mini made from a game used bat, but I wanted to do something similar to the Allen & Ginter minis.  Since I traded one of mine away, I had MUCH more motivation to figure it out.

So, I went to the forest to find some lumber with my friends.  (I’m the shirtless dude on the left.)


We found some GREAT wood to use, so I got to sawing and prepping.


Can you guess what card I did first? That’s right … 2014 Allen & Ginter mini!


Guys, the final product got me MAJORLY pumped.  With my new creation, it made the deal I gave the real one away in *fairly* painless!  It is so spot on, it is amazing and I love it.  The regular has a paper back, which is something I never really liked.  With my custom, I decided to make a wood back.


With the ability to make these, I thought about doing cards that didn’t exist.  Like a 2015 Gypsy Queen mini.  Jose doesn’t have a wood of this.  It, too, came out incredible.


Why stop at minis though, right?  I thought it would be REALLY cool to make a full-size base topps card out of wood.  I thought about this for a while.  What about a 1986?  I mean, it is his rookie card.  A 1989?  It is the first year I really started collecting.  Or how about a 1988?


Of course it had to be a 1987!  It already has the wood design borders.  So yeah … it NEEDED to happen.

This answers the age-old question:  What would a 1987 Topps baseball card look like if it were made out of REAL wood?  In pics, it is cool, in hand it is even cooler, but here you go:


Annnndddd…the back out of real wood as well (though the wood grain doesn’t show too well in the picture for some reason.


YES!!!!!  He’s here!

Before I run into the house to check out my latest collection pieces, (and to save myself from the embarrassment of him catching me take another picture),

I figured I’d show one final custom I did.  This is based off of Triple Threads, except with a bit more of my design work in it and … ya know …. tanners-threads-logo

While I’m glad Jose is in this year’s TTT, his horizontal cards are boring.  I like the horizontal cards that spell things and have the player’s autograph.  What I *REALLY* like are the TTT (all years) wood cards in this configuration.  I’d probably go nuts if one was made.  Since there is no guarantee that one will ever be made, I figured I’d give it a try 🙂  Here is what I came up with, including his autograph and player-worn patches from when I was at his out last year:

This might be my favorite custom I’ve done for my collection … definitely in the top 5 at least!

Here is a photo shoot of my latest wood creations with a $2 cigar box I picked up at a garage sale yesterday …


I pulled a bit of a gag in my latest mailday video.  You are welcome to check it out here (skip to 23:30 after watching the first few minutes if you would like.)

Alright, that does it for this week.  Thanks for reading/watching!  Though it was a lot of work with a lot of ups and downs, I had a blast and am VERY happy with my latest creations and collection additions.

BTW – One last thing. For those of you who do not know, the pic I said I was the shirtless guy …

is NOT in fact me. This is a movie still from Twilight. The only way I even closely resemble is when I wear my Whatshirt. Here is a pic of it:

Why is it called my Whatshirt? Because whenever I wear it, and someone says “Nice shirt!” I respond with “what shirt?” It never gets old (for me.) My wife on the other hand …