The National has come and gone, and with it, many projects have seen their completion!  Before I get into the NSCC and what happened, I figured I’d show off a few fun customs that don’t have anything to do with anything else.  (Well, okay – the needle card actually was a partial trade deal for someone to get Jose to sign something for me.)

Remember Deflate-Gate?  Someone online wanted me to create something fun for his buddy, so here it is:  A Bill Belichick cut auto with an inflation needle!

I was completely done with this, and … well…the needle wouldn’t fit!  I improvised and actually used the packaging container to create the card.  It gives it a REALLY cool look for a card!

Did you hear the one about the 6’8″ giant they call Aaron Judge breaking a tooth during a walk-off celebration?  Four One (the mock April Fool’s card company I created a few years back) just HAD to make an appearance for it 🙂  #allrise #andgotothedentist – this isn’t a “real” card.  This is just me playing around in Photoshop.

I was also contacted by a forum admin a while ago (I am just now getting around to posting!) to create a special custom booklet of his son.  In doing so, we embedded his hospital bracelet and birth measuring tape.  Check it out!  If a card of your kid with relics like this embedded isn’t a way to get your significant other into sports cards, I don’t know what is!

Speaking of family cards – check this out!  Someone reached out to me earlier – his great-great grandfather actually played baseball.  It took a long time, but he was able to secure a signature on a letter, along with his 1900 cabinet card.  The signature is embedded, and the picture from the cabinet card was taken from a scan – I made a mini out of it to fit well with the design.  Check it out!  This is an oversized card, and fits PERFECTLY in a one-touch vertical booklet holder.


As if that weren’t enough, another person reached out to me who is friends with a professional poker player / former minor league baseball pitcher.  We wanted to incorporate poker and baseball in one shot.  This was a fun one to do, because the ideas evolved from a single embedded playing card type of trading card, to a booklet with an embedded royal flush on felt & a custom poker chip.  Let me explain ….

The material

The cards and felt

Taped & Cut (It is weird how wrong it felt cutting playing cards!)

poker chip with custom made holder


Picture of poker player during his pitching days

The end result:

It is always fun doing creative cards like this.  Going along the same lines of playing cards, my son had an idea to create a card game having to do with Clash of Clans.  (My whole family LOVES this game and play it often.)  For a year / year and a half, my son has taken the design I did for him and has been tweaking it, making cards, etc.  Today is the first day we have seen them as REAL playing cards.

After playing a short game with him using them tonight, the rules may need a bit of work, but I think they turned out fantastic.  (We did notice the misspelling on the hog rider below!)

Does anyone else here play Clash of Clans?  I JUST made it to Town Hall 11 last week, got my Eagle Artillery & Grand Warden WOOT! 😀

So, before I go into the NSCC portion of this story, I need to talk about the Canadian Thief, but before that I need to talk about the mail thief!  If you recall, a few years ago I teamed up with fellow cardboard enthusiast Jason to assemble 2 BASH BROTHERS booklets.  One for him and one for me.  Mark McGwire doesn’t sign anything with Jose on it, so I had to make the cards as singles first, and then assemble as booklets.  For a refresher, here is what it looks like:

I sent Jason his, and a few days later, tracking showed as delivered, but it never made it to him and the post office could not do anything for him.  It sounds as if someone stole it.  :/

Months later, Jason contacted me telling me he had yet another opportunity to get McGwire’s signature.  I told him that would be awesome and we worked a deal to where I would create two more booklets (but different this time.)  In January of 2016, someone with the name of Michael Tracy (likely not his real name) of Pop Culture Authentix / The Ink Pros / Hockey Brawler Collectibles / Piece of History Authentics reached out to me on my website telling me he was having a signing done with Jose in Canada.  If I wanted to take him up on his offer, I could send several things and he would have Jose sign them at his cost.

I thought that was VERY nice so I agreed to do so – especially since I had committed to Jason to get Jose’s signatures for our new bash booklets.

After months of going back and forth with Mike, he said there were delays, it wasn’t happening, etc. and he told me ultimately he had to send them to Jose’s residence to get signed.  I thought this was odd, because I don’t think Jose accepts things like this.  Responses halted until I found him selling on a website and posed as a new customer.  He responded to me very quickly, and when I told him who I was, he stopped responding … until I told him I was getting the police involved.

Mike never sent me anything back.  I was out a good amount of money and several custom cards that took me countless hours to do (including the cards I made to create the new bash brothers booklets!)  After waiting for a few months, I got on the phone with the police in Canada.  I let them know what happened, and even noted the residence I sent my cards to was TEN MINUTES from their station.  The detective asked me “Well, what do you want me to do about it?”

I responded saying that I think it would be a good idea to take a trip down the street to see him at the very least.  He refused to, and ultimately did absolutely nothing – not even lift a finger …. well, aside from lifting his fingers to dial my number and tell me he wasn’t going to do anything.  As it turns out, Mike (again, I don’t think that is his real name, but I could be wrong) has scammed several people, and to my knowledge has not yet been caught.

While I was dealing with all this, Jason was having issues getting McGwire’s signatures again.  Then, out of the blue, about a year and a half later, Jason wrote and told me he got them signed!  With the National coming up, I knew I had to whip up the new Canseco cards and send them.  At long last, the cards FINALLY came in the mail from the signing and I wrapped them up!

This first one has gold holo-foil bordering around the center pictures, and the pictures themselves are iridescent.

Another view to try and show the color changing properties.

The other one I did was a strata style booklet.

This gives you a better idea as to why the center images are blurry in the first picture.  It is a shadow box type of feel, and has a 3d effect in person.

One of the cards I sent to the thief was this custom ’51 Topps red back style type of card.  I thought it would look SWEET with an autograph.  Since it was stolen, I never considered making it again.  Until now.

But then I thought to myself … what if I could take it a step further and make it a wood card?

OOOH!  What about a WOOD BOOKLET!!!?!?!  (Are there any of those out there?)  Here is the back – I utilized a 1951 Topps red back style back, as well as the packaging graphic work from a 1951 Topps Red Back box.  You can also see that I have integrated a pack into the artwork as well.

I wanted to go with an inner binding of darker wood.

And here it is – complete with a player-worn jumbo patch and signed in red ink!

This was shipped off with the needle card at the top of this article.  When @cardcutter23 got it signed for me, he told me that Jose said this was a “very interesting picture to be used.”  (This pic was also used in his 1997 Fleer Ultra baseball card.)

I said to him that it looked like Jose wasn’t in the joking around good mood like he is in a lot of times, though it is difficult to tell from a picture of course.  Interestingly enough, I ended up receiving a message from @MrMint23 who went to the show as well, and said this of his conversation with Jose.


Canseco said hey…he actually smiled when I mentioned your name.  Here is how the conversation went:

“Jose, do you know a guy named Tanner?”

“Tanner!  Yes I know him.  He came by my house.”

Then I told him you said hi.  The entire time prior he had not spoken to anyone.  After mentioning you, he lit up and I even got to ask him about which bat he used in softball.  It made my day.  Thanks!

With as much as I say that I’m all about the cardboard, I can’t tell you how much I love that.

Here is a video of some of the booklets: