Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Beckett has now hit shelves, along with more good news!

I'm not exactly the kind of guy who plays it "cool".  If something awesome has happened to me, I get pumped about it and write until it is out of my system.  It isn't an ego thing at all; it is more of an expression of thankfulness to God for allowing something great to happen to someone like me, who is so undeserving.

In light of this, I am determined to not introduce myself to strangers as "AAAHHH!!!  The guy who is on Beckett Monthly with Jose Canseco!!!" because I think people would take it wrong.  Sure, I have taken on the responsibility to frequently remind my wife that happened, to which she rolls her eyes in glee.  (It is glee, when people roll their eyes, right?)

So, I think I'm just going to go ahead and take it down a notch.  Yeah, that's what I'll do!  I won't say anything about it anymore.  Instead, I'll just walk around town wearing a shirt that says it all, without being too obnoxious.  

That is subtle enough, right? (I feel the need to say that some will probably take this too literally - I will NOT in fact actually make this shirt and wear it!)

I'm glad to report that while my 15 minutes of fame is winding down, there have still been a few surprises left.  I have been doing a google search to see when the interwebs would be hit with the cover, and it has finally arrived!

Below is a google images search on Beckett Monthly for August:

This is truly a treat for me to see mixed in with baseball stars and greats like Harper, Machado, Clemens, Ripken, Bo, etc.  This is ... like the hall of fame for me.  Sure, I'd be the obvious pick in the game "one of these things is not like the other" - if you could even see me, but to be shown in public anywhere with these guys - no matter how small - an absolute dream come true!

Yeah, it's gonna take me a while to come back down to earth from this one.

To make things even better, Beckett announced on their site that they will be producing a 15 card set exclusively available at The National sports card show at the end of the month.

Guess who is going to be on one of the cards!?!



Maybe this would be a better shirt?

That's right, peeps!  Yours truly is going to have a baseball card.  A serial numbered baseball card with Canseco on it as well, which means that *I* will be in the collection of several Canseco collectors as well.  Trippy!  Word on the street is that if you are one of the 200 to collect all 15 cards and present them at the Beckett booth with proper documentation, you will receive a special autographed card that is the front cover of a past Beckett issue.

And guess what ... JOSE CANSECO is going to be one of them!  I believe it is going to be his '88 cover, which is hands down, my favorite beckett of him ... well, maybe my second favorite now :)

In one of my last blog postings, I made mention of the fact that Beckett should make cards out of their covers.  Coincidence that this just came up?  Well, yeah ... probably.  I found out they apparently have done this before, so I can't take credit, but I can hope to hold onto the outside chance that perhaps I gave someone the idea to do it again.  This was probably just a coincidence, but either way, I'm SUPER stoked about it.

*******
So, this is a PLEA to anyone out there:  I won't be able to go to the National because it is a loooong ways away from home.  If you are going to the National, and if you get your hands on a card that card with me & Canseco AND/OR the autographed version of the Canseco Beckett card, would you *PLEASE* contact me?  I would absolutely be thrilled to be able to get my hands on them!
*******

Okay, so this is the last time you may hear me say anything about this issue of Beckett.  I have been having a hard time finding a hard copy to purchase, but as it turns out, they simply had not yet hit the stands.  I found them on amazon.com and picked up a few.  But before that, I already had some subscribers write me and tell me that it was in their mailbox.

On the forums, Eric72 told me that he knew I was going to be on the cover, but had no idea the article was going to be so big.  That piqued my interest, because I have been dying to know how big this thing was going to be, and what it was going to say.  Beckett Editor Chris Olds was kind enough to send me a sneak peek, which was a picture of a part of a page, so I thought it was going to be either a half a page (YEAH!) or ... GULP ... a FULL PAGE!

Eric sent some pictures to me.  Turns out ... it was a SIX PAGE full color spread!







I have intentionally made them small because I would really like to encourage everyone to pick up a copy.  You can easily grab one by going on ebay or amazon and search for August 2015 Beckett.  Mine should hitting here today or tomorrow.

I still cannot believe that all of this has happened just because I decided to start making baseball cards for my own personal collection about a year ago.  Had I not started, I wouldn't have considered doing a private signing.  No private signing?  No epic hang out day at Jose's house.  No epic hang out day at Jose's house?  No massive feature in Beckett.

I certainly owe a *LOT* to you, my reader.  It is YOUR positive feedback that has really provoked me to keep going to create new things and show them off.  Had you not given my work attention, perhaps no one would have noticed little old me.

Creating these cards have taken me from being a person who has bought and sold cards regularly for years (just like many of you) to being a TRUE collector.  One who could never part with the creations that I have made.  I have often struggled with "what the heck am I doing?"  I am spending hours upon hours of creating these basically "worthless" cards that can never and will never be sold, or offered to the public.  Somewhere along the way, I came to grips with the fact that sports cards aren't just about flipping them for money.  It is about enjoying them.

Someone had posted a thread about who had the most complete collection around.  I was in shock when multiple people mentioned my Canseco collection as being among the most impressive because of all the custom cards I made, and the material I had to make customs for my collection in the future. For me, this was huge as it added a lot of legitimacy to my custom collection in my own eyes.

There are tons of unlicensed cards out there, and none are in Beckett.  My thinking has been that if it isn't in Beckett, then it doesn't really have any value.  Ironically enough, while they aren't priced (and never will be, of course!) my custom creations actually have found a way into Beckett.  (As an aside, I've done a complete about-face in this thinking, as I have picked up several unlicensed Canseco cards, and have paid a good bit for them!)

That about does it for today.  It is now time for this newly published writer to sit on the steps, and eagerly await the coming of the mail man!  


UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

So, the Becketts just came in, and let me just say ... the hits keep on coming!  After looking through it all, my story was the BIGGEST in the entire magazine!



It was INCREDIBLY cool to show my son that he got into Beckett.  Something that took me 35 years to do only took him 12 years - and he wasn't even trying!  Clearly, this kid is going places.



Last, but CERTAINLY NOT least - I had this sneaking feeling about something.  What if my story could have somehow single-handedly changed the market value on some Canseco cards?  The thought crossed my mind as to if this were possible, and then of course feeling a bit guilty to even think of such a thing that could have happened just because of my story.

After looking through the pages, I quickly scurried to his #1 card:  the 1986 Donruss Rookie card.  Well, here it is!



Again, I don't know if this is a coincidence, or what, but I am OVER THE MOON.  This is nuts!  I would love to know when the last time the card had movement in Beckett!  Well, I guess I'd love to know if it wasn't recently :)  Either way, this is just the icing on a very large and delicious cake for me.

ONE MORE THING:  I have been asked by a few folks online about getting their copy signed.  I'd be happy to, as long as you don't mind adding in an SASE.  Another option would be to PM me and have me buy one for you + pay for shipping, and I'd be happy to pick it up, sign and send to you that way, in order for you to save some money & time.

LAST UPDATE:

I keep thinking, can this get any better? And then my wife said, yes ... yes it can! Here is how:

Take the beckett ... and make it a lego!



Here is Jose CanLego carrying a Lego Beckett:

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rare Food Issue Chapter Complete ... I think

I had a picture of a nice new shiny rainbow autograph set I was going to post up today, but it will have to wait. Today, I got it a few squares that appear to have completed a neat little oddball chapter in my collection.

Based upon my research, these discs were produced by MSA (Mike Schechter Associates) for various grocery store chains and bakeries. MSA produced several sets of these in the 80's and 90's from Fantastic Sam's to give away for free whenever you got a haircut, to Hostess potato chips, to Iced Tea. You will see what appears to be the exact same disc several times, with different company brands on it.

Most/all (I don't know) came in 3 panel perforated form, and many had an offer to allow you to send in some discs along with money in the mail to receive a promotional press sheet calendar. depicting the entire set, full size These calendars typically had the disc artwork in square form.

As calendars are not too collectible, and difficult to store, many have been cut down to squares, and sold off. Many of the cut square backs have the exact same statistic information on the reverse side, just like the discs. Many try to sell these off as "proofs", but the fact of the matter is that they are highly collectible in cut disc form.

The discs and squares both range from fairly easy to obtain, to extremely tough to get your hands on.

To me, there isn't a mind-blowing story on these that I have uncovered. It is fascinating, nonetheless, to know how the discs were produced & distributed, and what had to happen to get the cut square promos. Here is what I believe to be the entire run of MSA discs/squares of Jose Canseco. If you know of any that I am missing, please let me know! (It looks like a King B disc / square pairing made its way into this evening's showcase as well...whoops!)







These are the ones that I don't believe to have had the calendar offer for, so therefore there are no sister disc squares to match them with. If you know this to be wrong though, let me know!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ripping Apart More 1 of 1's, plus a Custom Frame and ... a Lego Relic Card?

This week, I had several things going on.  I updated my checklist up to 2014, which took HOURS, but it was worth it.  The only downside I see is how many cards are out there that I will never see.  Did you know that Canseco has over 300 cards that are 1/1's alone?  Crazy!  Hopefully my checklist will assist others when they are digging in their collections to sell me Canseco cards I don't have.

One of the cards that came in this week was a 2015 Gypsy Queen Canseco autographed mini #/10.  Topps never put it in a frame, so I bought a donor GQ card, pulled out the mini relic and wrapped it around my new Canseco mini Auto.  I think it looks MUCH better than just some tiny card floating in a regular sized card holder.



Speaking of frames, I ended up having some fun with the lego theme, and started thinking what if I actually embedded a lego piece IN the card?  It could be a "game used relic".

So...I did.



I think it was good for a laugh at least!  I did have another donor frame come in, though and it was a 2006 Allen & Ginter frame again.  This time, it was to house the mini I had Canseco sign.



I LOVE how it came out.  Red ink, the 1/1 notation.  If you look closely, you will see a mustache.  Jose said "Ahh, I see the mustache...that's old school!"  I don't think he knew that the mustache wasn't his.  Truth be told, it is mine.

Perhaps one of the most anticipated mini customs for me to finish up is the card I made from a piece of the game used bat I chopped up.  It is thicker than a regular mini, so I ended up having to design and make a custom frame for it.  I didn't want something that looked like it was created in celebration of the supreme court's recent decision like the A&G frame, but I also didn't want something as plain as the GQ frame, either.

After several iterations, here is what I came up with:  Oh yeah, Canseco signed his game used bat card, of course!



I love how the refractive qualities of the frame go with the wood of the card & hope a real card company will do something similar with their frames.



I also ended up making a Canseco bat knob card as well.  The cool thing for me about this one is that I was able to use a picture that my wife took of him when we were at his house.



I had him hand number the knob slice, photoshopped the Yankees hat on him, and voila!





That's all for this week, kids.  Don't forget to tune in here next week when I attempt to make a custom Mike Trout 1/1 out of a real fish and some relish!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

FREE Card!

There is a guy I know who, by the world's standards is FILTHY rich.  The amount of time and money he gives is negligible, when compared to what he has.

He is the type of guy that, while many look at, think that he is doing alright, and probably a good guy, but if you were to be able to camp out in his brain for a while, you would be amazed with how many thoughts start out with "I", "me" or "my".

I'm embarrassed to say this, but the person I'm talking about is me.  See?  There I go talking about myself again.

I got off the phone with someone a few weeks ago, and he told me something incredibly sad.  He said to me that almost everybody he knows that professes to be a "Born Again Christian" ends up being a liar, thief or back-stabber.  How sad is that?

As a Christian myself, I find myself struggling with that name.  When you think about the Christians you know, are you like my friend and think Christians are self absorbed thieves/liars/backstabbers?  I won't hold it against you, if you do.  I'm honestly curious.  I have a sneaking feeling that it is the case.  Heck, many that I know are ready and willing to draw blood in the heat of a political argument.

According to the Bible, Jesus didn't come to raise up self-righteous hypocrites.  He didn't say "Start a riot when your rights are trampled on."  Plain and simple, He said "Take up your cross, and follow me."

So, what does that mean?  Did Jesus come to form an army of people to bark at the world, telling them that cursing, drinking, smoking and sexual immorality are wrong?  Not once have I read where Jesus snubbed the "sinners".  I'll tell you one thing I have read about Jesus (you know, aside from the whole God thing.)  He was giving, and a healer.  He helped others.  Do Christ followers do that today?  I know I don't.  Not NEARLY as much as I should.

So, what does this have to do with Baseball?  If you are still with me, my whole point here, is to take a breather from "me" and start being a giver, and a healer.  I have enjoyed making customs, and even more, I have enjoyed all kinds of positive feedback from my work, and my writing.

I would like to use my work to help others.  So, here is the deal, if you know of a child who is very sick, has lost a parent, or has gone through something traumatizing,  I'd like to make a baseball card for some kids to help brighten their day a bit.  It won't change their lives, but hopefully will give them something to smile about!

Please PM me with:
The child's name
Their story
Their favorite player
The address to send the card to (yours or theirs, doesn't matter)

Before I wrap up this post, I encourage you to use your time, treasures & talents to reach out and help others as well.  There is just an insane amount of people hurting in the world, and if we won't be there to help, then who will?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I've got to HAND it to Topps ...

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to this evening's edition of mouschipiece theatre ...

Tonight, we feature the forgotten jumbo card. It is forgotten, because it is in my closet, propped up by a wall, and was mostly covered by a 1980's Canseco punch out mask prior to my cleaning kick tonight.

I've got to hand it to Topps here. They did a top notch job on this. The fingerprints of craftsmanship are all over this. It truly has a unique touch.

The card? A mega 12x18 Topps Archives TOUCHED BY GREATNESS.

It is Hand Signed.
It is Hand Numberd.
and most importantly...
It is Hand Printed.



It is truly a great, great card. I normally don't dig oversized things, but Topps really hit is out of the park with this one.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 Topps Series 2 Canseco Autographs Incoming!

Uninspired. Generic. No Soul.

That is what I thought of the latest Canseco offering from Topps Tier One. A small picture of Canseco on the right, with a BIG open space for an autograph on the left. I picked up one that was cheap, but it had an autograph at the bottom so I picked up a copy that had his autograph smack dab in the middle.

My thoughts of the new Topps Series 2 Canseco cards continued along in the same vein as Teir One.

1) The first one is an SP and a sticker auto (which, by the way, I don't have an issue with sticker autos, if done correctly ... much like I have no problems w/out team logos if done correctly.)

Here is the picture of it. It is not ugly at all, but not eye popping.



Later that day, I saw the other Topps Series 2 Canseco autograph. This is # to 25.



My gut reaction was that I liked the first one better than the 2nd!

They look like the parents of the 1992 Score Impact Players card.



After a while though, they grew on me. I don't know why or how. Perhaps because they are genuine Topps cards that I have never seen before. I am not sure. A friend of mine said that these are a "necessary evil" - and for super collectors, I think that is a great way of putting it.

I don't think these are ugly designs at all. Upon initial inspection, I just felt like they were generic looking. Thankfully for me though, I have truly fallen in love with them. As a side note, I now think that a modified 1992 Score Impact Players card with an autograph may be a pretty dang good idea!

Both of the latest Topps Canseco cards are incoming, and I cannot wait to have them in hand. The Heart of the Order card has a base card which I have incoming as well.

As always, if you have any rare Canseco - let me know!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lego / Allen & Ginter Cross-Over

Based upon feedback from some people on the forums from my past post, I do wonder what you, my highly valued reader, think of my passion for collecting Canseco cards.  Perhaps you were wondering some of the following about me:

Is his favorite number 33?

Does mouschi roll out of bed in the morning in his Jose PJ's on, then throw on #33's jersey and head to his office - an office that is plastered with life sized posters?

Does he take virtually any song I sing in his head and replace the lyrics with "Jose Canseco"?

Is it possible that he accidentally calls his wife and son Jose, while quickly trying to correct himself by pretending he was about to say something ABOUT Jose?

Has he put a fridge magnet of the former A's slugger up next to the other magnets of places his family has been to?

Contrary to popular belief, none of these things are true.

Well, most at least ....



But I PROMISE it was my wife's idea to put it there!

As someone who LOVES baseball, collecting, writing and creating customs, Canseco is the right dude that intersects all of these things for me.  He's my favorite player, but as far as people go with J.C. initials, he is a distant 3rd place in my eyes behind Jesus and my son's youth leader.  (Shout out to Chang!)

You probably noticed the legos on the fridge.  While it is obvious what my favorite stop was in our vacation, my wife and son LOVED Legoland.  My son is determined to be an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego) when he gets older, and my wife .... well, she already is.  I think she got a greater kick out of the place than he did!

It is a pretty amazing place.  (My wife and son walking in.)



My son's favorite was the massive Star Wars setup.  "Dad!  You have to take a picture of EVERYTHING!!!"  So, I pretty much did.  I wouldn't be surprised if there are 50 pictures of Star Wars Legos on my phone.  He plans to use them on his blog at some point.

Of course, you also can't go wrong with a MASSIVE lego dinosaur with an xbox controller!



So as nutty as it sounds, as a baseball fan and a lover of all things cardboard, I thought ... what would it look like if a card company made a lego baseball card?

I know, I know.  It sounds crazy.  Why make a card of a toy?  I guess you'd have to be related to me to understand how much legos are loved here.

I decided to start with an Allen & Ginter style mini.  I love these cards - they are among my favorites to do customs with.

You can guess who my subject is ....  #notobsessed

Here is my Lego / Allen & Ginter Cross-Over.



Strange?  Weird?  Perhaps ... but to me, I *LOVE* it.

Here it is out of the frame:



But that is where this cross-over gets a different dimension.



ALMOST OUT.....



(PLOP!)  There it is ....



Completely free from the mini A&G style card, ready to play.



Ever seen a BLANK A&G style card?  Well, there it is.



It is almost like looking in a mirror!



In case you were wondering if this was Ozzie instead, it truly is Jose.  You can check his right hand with his birth mark.



So, there it is - a true A&G / LEGO Custom Cross-Over.  It crossed over from 2 to 3 dimensions.  The mini figure took forever to figure out, as it took some acetone, sand paper, specialized water-slide paper, etc and more, but I think it turned out pretty good!



As always, thanks for reading!  Now if you don't mind, it is about time for my 3 o'clock Jose Canseco.

#stillnotobsessed...much.