As 2017 winds down, I wanted to do a review on my collection, customs created and events having to do with this hobby to document the entire year.  2017 was huge for my collection – over 600 cards have been added, over 45 articles have been written and several of my favorite customs have been created.  When all is said and done, I am left with the following list of notable pickups, events & customs.  I have swung and missed on a number of opportunities, but you miss 100% of the pitches you don’t swing at, right?  This article isn’t about those missed opportunities though.  It is about the wins!

2017 Star Wars Booklet Custom

Long before The Last Jedi came out, I created this.  I have yet to see this autographed, but here is a pic of my work before it was signed.

2017 Mark Fidrych Custom (Front, back & Variation) 

I was sent a Tri-Star autograph & a sleeve patch to create the below.  I was having too much fun, so wanted to do a Big Bird alternate as well!  More information about this and the above card here.

1991 Upper Deck Chrome Prototype

2017 started off strong.  Very strong.  Thanks to RStadlerASU22, I was able to get my hands on this beauty.  It represents everything that us junk wax kids dream about in a prototype.  It is the ultimate “what if?” card – the makers of the chrome technology approached Upper Deck, and Upper Deck declined.  Instead, Topps took them up on it.  Imagine if they made a 1993 Upper Deck Chrome Derek Jeter?  More information on this card here.

1991 Upper Deck Silver Slugger Chrome Prototype

Jumbo Jackie Robinson Cut Signature Custom

Not much can be said for this beyond I love how it turned out!  It fits nicely in a vertical booklet one touch holder.  More information can be found here.


1982 Topps File Card

It is the earliest (known to me) Jose Canseco Topps artifact in existence.  In 1982 (the same year Jose graduated high school) Jose signed some sort of contract with Topps in the amount of $5…as a 5 year payment.  Yes, Topps paid him $1/yr!  Topps would do this from time to time with young players years before they got to the majors.  I have only seen a few other examples like this, where Topps signed some other stars years before they stepped into the MLB spotlight.

I was featured on the Topps Website

I was placed on the front page for a while, which was really neat!  They ran a piece I wrote about my collection.  This can be read here.


2016 Topps Archives Signature Series 1995 TOPPS CYBER SEASON IN REVIEW 2x 1/1 Error 1/1

It is always fun to get a 1/1 in your collection.  But it is even more fun when the 1/1 says 1/1 twice!  Topps “oops’ed” this one and the result is a mega cool 1/1/1/1

2016 Topps Archives Signature Series 1995 TOPPS CYBER SEASON IN REVIEW 2x 1/1 Error 1/1

I learned how to make high end cards sparkle online!

Using animated gifs, I figured out how to get the sparkling effect (fairly) quickly & easily.  More information here.


2016 Immaculate Bat Barrels 1/1

Early in 2016, I was alerted to this beauty being pulled.  When I first saw it, my jaw dropped!  In my opinion, this is the best, most beautiful looking Canseco card put out by Panini, ever.  The owner was actually a fan of the Athletics and Canseco, so it was very hard for him to let go.  Thankfully, he did!

1999 Upper Deck Ultimate Victory Gold 1/1

This card was on ebay for a long, long time for many thousands of dollars.  Presumably just to show it off.  I was able to finally work a deal for it!  Some of these have 1/1 stamps and others do not.  It is possible that not all of them were stamped, or a second version was made as an Upper Deck vault copy/replacement.  To me, this ranks up there as one of the most beautiful 90’s cards ever:

1999 Upper Deck Ultimate Victory #111 Gold 1/1

Bill Belichick Deflategate custom

Many laughed, but some were not happy.

2016 Topps Archives Walmart Autograph 1987 #620 1/1

The 1987 Topps Rookie Cup card has a special place in my heart, as it is the first card I remember ever pulling.  When Topps came out with a 2016 Wal Mart version of this (among several buybacks) I was very happy about it!  I was very excited to be able to grab the 1/1 Autograph version, as it represents the genesis of my collecting, stamped as a 1/1 and autographed.

2016 Topps Archives Walmart Autograph 1987 #620 1/1

2017 Fanvision Autographed Video Card Custom

To really go over the top, I wanted to do something that we haven’t seen in baseball cards before.  To be clear, other sports have, though.  This card features custom artwork and a video showing my time at Jose’s house, as well as some highlights in his career – all topped off with his signature.  You can learn more about this card here.

1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified Platinum Gold

Its beauty and rarity placed this card among the top of my white whale wish list.  These are typically serial numbered to 30, and while I’d love a serial numbered copy, this one is not.  It was likely a part of the Pinnacle bankruptcy sale and may very well be the only copy of it ever that was not serial numbered!  To me, this makes an ultra rare card even more special.

1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified Platinum Gold


When this card first hit the auction block, it went sky high.  Thankfully, I was able to do a deal for it later on.  It is Jose’s first 1/1 button card.


2006 Triple Threads Platinum /3

As if cards #/3 aren’t rare enough, try to grab one that is over a decade old!  I missed this one when it was posted on ebay, and … well … it hurt.  I was able to do a massive deal that included this card, and I couldn’t be happier with it.  The solid yellow patch is mega cool, and is one of VERY few of Jose’s solid yellow patch cards.  The heavy usage of silver holofoil makes this beauty a sight to behold.  Plus, Jose’s pic makes him look like he was just cast for a part in The Godfather.

2017 Gypsy Queen Button Autograph 1/1

Up until this point, no significant 2017 1/1’s had surfaced.  I was in the middle of considering dealing away my 2016 Gypsy Queen 1/1 button card in a mega deal (that actually included the 2 previous cards) and just could not pull the trigger.  Then the card below showed up.  After I did a deal for it, my attachment to the ’16 button was significantly loosened.  I loved that card, but when this card popped, it spoke…no…sang to me.  The colors, design, etc.  I love it so much.

Danny Murphy Cut Signature Custom

A relative of Danny Murphy reached out to me after having finally tracked down a signature.  I was able to make this with it.

2017 Museum Framed Wood Autograph 1/1

How do you create something truly special, without including any premium relic pieces?  You create a fully wood card with a wood frame, put gold holofoil on it and make the player sign in gold.  This might be what i consider quite possibly the most beautiful card ever made of Canseco.  I picked up the 2016 Museum wood, and dealt it away, with the hope that Topps would make another.  When the preliminary pictures of 2017 Museum came out, it showed wood frames, but it didn’t look like they were around wood cards.  Once they showed up, I was elated.  When this card popped up, I made a mad dash for it and got it!  As it turns out, the previous owner of it is a Canseco fan as well.  The LAST thing you want to hear about the seller is how much they love the player on the card they are selling.  Thankfully, I was able to get it!

2017 Museum Frame Wood Autograph 1/1

Poker Chip Booklet Custom

A friend of a professional poker player commissioned me to create something cool.  This is what the end result was:  A booklet including an embedded real deck of cards on felt and real poker chip with a picture of him playing baseball in the minors.  Check out how I did it here.


One of my fondest memories of this one being pulled is the sheer number of people who alerted me to it.  I LOVE when people tell me about a rare Canseco popping up.  It is only one of two 1/1 autographed bat knobs of Jose’s that I know of.  I have the other one as well 🙂

2017 Tier One Bat Knob Autograph 1/1

2017 Tier One Bat Barrel Autograph 1/1

Within HOURS of doing a deal for the bat knob, I was able to pick this up.  Yes, within an afternoon, the two best cards in the entire set for me were secured.  Jose has very few barrels and only two autographed bat barrels.  This one is special to me because of the WORTH logo.

2015 National Treasures Bash Brothers Auto Patch Booklet – Modified

Panini came out with 10 of these:  5 were dual autographs and 5 were dual patches.  As a patch guy, I JUMPED at the chance of grabbing on of these.  I was a little too cool on getting the dual signature, because it looked so bland….and Panini put McGwire’s autograph on upside down.  As a result, 4 have hit the market and i know where the 5th one is, but the guy isn’t selling.  Because of this, I went ahead and picked up a 2nd /5 dual patch booklet, along with a National Treasures Canseco auto & NT McGwire auto – both on clear acetate.  I surgically removed the acetate autos and implanted them in my duplicate patch book.  The result is something far better than I could have ever dreamed of!  Plus, the McGwire auto is right side up 🙂  More on this creation here .

2017 Allen & Ginter Silk /10, Metal /3 & Wood 1/1

A&G has put out some REALLY cool silk, wood and metal parallels but Jose has only had a wood mini made of him up to this point.  Three of them, actually, and I have owned all of them (I currently own two.)  When they decided to include him in silk and metal as well, I was VERY happy.  Not pictured are the fake mini glossy 1/1 and real mini glossy 1/1 that I purchased on the same day.  (The fake is no longer with us!)


2017 Augmented Reality Autographed Laundry Tag Custom

When 2017 Topps Inception came out, I was kind of bummed that Canseco wasn’t in it with a crazy patch or similar.  I decided to create my own with a player-worn laundry tag.  The result is shown below!  Check out when I made it here.



With over 100 Topps Archives Signature Series cards in my collection, it is difficult to find something that is a true standout.  It takes something like the 1/1/1/1 shown above … or this.  The only known (to me) refractor 1/1 Canseco in Archives Signature Series form.  Are there others out there, or is this another 1/1/1/1?

2016 TOPPS ARCHIVES SIGNATURE SERIES 1997 Finest #101 Refractor 1/1

2017 Red Back Style Wood Booklet Custom

A while back, I created a 1951 Red Back style card and sent it off to a guy in Canada to have it signed.  Unfortunately, it turns out he is a crook and stole it, along with some other stuff of mine.  Fortunately, it caused me to dig deep and create something truly unique.  A booklet style card made entirely of wood, with a jumbo Red Sox player-worn patch.  A friend had it signed in red ink for me.  At the signing, someone told me he was “all business”, but when he mentioned my name, Jose lit up and said he had me at his house and was joking around from there on out.  How cool is that?  Here is an article that talks about this card.

2014 Topps Trajectory Jumbo Patch /99

I LOVE jumbo patches, and the messier they are, the better.  Featuring straight lines and curves, this is pretty much perfect for me.


I made a gif of Canseco swinging out of baseball card images

This was a hit on Twitter, getting me the most likes & retweets ever 🙂  Here is how I did it.

1998 Pinnacle Totally Certified Rainbow

This is the “Pinnacle” of my entire collecting year.  Simply put, these cards are not supposed to exist.  For this collector, these 90’s prototypes are the best of the best … of the best … of the best 🙂  They are such a big deal, I wrote an article about them in Sports Collectors Daily.  For more information on my story about them, you can read here.

2006 Allen & Ginter Style Jersey Button Custom

We have all heard of jersey cards and button cards, but never a card that was made out of a jersey.  So that’s what I did.  I took a piece of Jose’s player worn jersey and printed a card directly onto the jersey/button portion.  The end result is a 2006 A&G style framed cloth card – where the card itself is the jersey.  Check out the write up here.

Here is another custom made from his jersey as well:

2017 Blackout Collection Triple Booklet Custom

2017 marked the year when I started to really use high end relic pieces.  I wanted to do something eye-popping, so I used player-worn pieces of Canseco’s glove, jersey patch and shoe/laces along with a game used bat barrel piece.  You can read more about it here.


The 2017 Topps Clearly Authentic set has enjoyed some tremendous success on the secondary market.  The reprint set marries our childhood collecting days with a high end, Tek type feel and offers something truly unique.  While the desire for the gold 1/1 was easy to come by, the card itself was not.  In what proved to be quite possibly the most difficult deal I’ve ever been a part of, it took several months, but at long last, it all worked out in the end!


I became a Simpsons Character & Lost my Moustache

It was a fun 2 years having a stache, but all good things must come to an end.  My wife said I could grow one again … when I’m 70.  At least I got to put on the yellow skin!  Read about it here.

2017 Leaf Q 2015 Flashback Auto Patch

Over the past year or two, I’ve been picking up a few Leaf printing plates of Canseco for a card that was never released.  Then I found out what it was for.  A card that Leaf decided to release in 2017!  For me, this set (2017 Leaf Q 2015 Flashbacks) of Canseco puts Leaf in the running as one of the best cards produced in all of 2017, and definitely the best Canseco patch run produced outside of 2015 Topps Dynasty.  I was at Legoland when I was able to land this one.  Is this the best patch card of Canseco ever made?  It is quite possible – the other one in the running for me is my 2015 Dynasty A’s logo patch.

2017 Limited Laundry Logoman & Laundry Tag Customs

For a while, I had been wanting to create high end laundry tag and logoman customs using player-worn material.  I came up with the two below.  The left laundry tag features a wood fascia and platinum frame, whereas the right logoman features a gold frame and gold holofoil.  I love how both of them came out, and think they contrast each other beautifully.  I have written about these customs here.


2017 Topps Transcendent Sketch 1/1

Let’s be honest, sketch cards can be rough.  Jose has a whole slew of sketch cards out there that are less than desirable.  Some are decent, but I’ve stayed away from all of them. Until now.  I anxiously awaited the Transcendent checklist to see if Canseco was going to be in it.  I hoped he wasn’t going to have a ton of autographed parallels, because let’s face it – there are far too many our there anyway.  Instead, I had hoped for a nice base Canseco from the #/87 set.  They have wood front borders and metal frames – similar to what I had created above.  While Jose was not included in either set, he did have a sketch card which appears to be printed on some sort of canvas, with a copper frame.  The 1/1 of course, features the actual artwork created by the artist and a wood frame.  I was very grateful to be notified about this by both Houdini and RandyB.  Thank you both!  I am beyond excited about this coming in!  To make things even better, SimonJ was kind enough to pick up the #/87 copper frame copy and give it to me.  How awesome is that?!  He just asked for my address and said something “new” was going to be coming my way.  I had NO idea it was a Transcendent card.  Thank you, Simon!

So, that does it for 2017!  As I close out this article, I’ll end with a video I made that gives a virtual look of my collection.  As always, thank you for reading/looking/commenting.  I hope you all have a GREAT New Year.  Thank you all for making 2017 AWESOME!