Friday, October 17, 2014

A Custom Baseball Family Booklet

What card do you want so bad, that you have dreams about it at night? What makes it so attractive to you? Is it the 1 of 1 mark on the back? Perhaps the colored patch configuration. Or maybe it is simply because you cannot seem to get your hands on it.

A friend was close to pulling the trigger on a buyback card - it was an early 90's 5 cent card that had a 1/1 stamp on the front. The price tag was $275 and he was considering it. This sort of thing is not for me, but clearly, there is a market out there. The company brand has tons of value...obviously!

In the past 7 or so months of doing customs, I've become a firm believer that just because a piece of cardboard has the logo of a major card company, doesn't make it the only collectible & desirable type of card out there. In fact, I've had several people come to me saying the customs I have done for them are hands down, the most prized posession in their own collection. What a compliment! I'm grateful to be able to do this.

I'm aware that custom card making also has its fair share of people who don't care for them. Take for instance, the person who offered me a crispy one dollar bill for a jumbo patch Ivan rodriguez game used card (which sold for significantly more just 30 minutes after his offer). He wrote me and said "nothing personal - your card just isn't from a major card company."

Others, however, DO get it. They see that customs may just be an evolutionary step into collecting. I tend to think that way for my personal collection, anyway. The best cards I have are what I've made. This is a story of a custom (two actually) that I have done for someone who wanted something special that represented he and his father playing ball.

Recently, I got this in the mail:

Inside the box, were a few jerseys

and several autographs

This customer wanted to have a booklet made of he and his father, with autographs and game used material. He ordered one booklet made for him and one for his dad. I've gotta say, I LOVE this idea. I really enjoy making the family type of cards! It is so cool to see how some index cards, old jerseys, and emailed pics can materialize into something collectible.

Before I forget, here are some pics he sent over ...

In my past article, someone brought up how I had a picture on my blog of one of my dogs sleeping on my shorts while I was making my first booklet back in March. I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, I am fully clothed when making customs for my customers. I now keep everything professional...

The jersey is no longer just game used ... it is custom used as well!

Here are some pics of the finished product:

Both together!

That is all she wrote! As a side note, thank you Luis, for allowing me to work on these for you. I hope you all enjoy the heck out of them!

Also, rather than making another blog posting about this, I figured I'd double up here on my blog to show off some others right quick ... I confess, I watch the Vampire Diaries ... and I love it. I wanted to post a few customs I made last night to be sent out for autographs ... hopefully I'll get them back signed! I made a Lost card as well ...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fun with Magazines

As a child of the late 80's and early 90's, I grew accustomed to the various magazines. While Beckett was a staple in my day to day reading (gotta keep an eye on those up and down arrows!) I was familiar with the oversized tuff stuff, and "high end" legends magazine. While Beckett had them all beat by a longshot, the other magazines had wonderful articles and even tried to spice up their offerings with some free panels of cards.

Even as a kid, I don't think I ever put much value on these. I always kept thinking about a faux 1969 Topps Canseco with edges so uneven, it looked like a 10 year old tried to cut them out with scissors. (Read: At 10 years old, I tried cutting some out with scissors ... and it sucked!)

In my recent 1,000,000 card acquisition, I had forgotten about some boxes of magazines piled beneath some boxes of cards. Over the past few days, I decided to check them out.

My, how they brought back memories. Remember some of these advertisements?

I don't think any family actually did this ... did they? Well, scratch that ... my family does now. But CERTAINLY not over action packed!

Check out this one. All the kids are probably now in their 30's. Note the kid in the front sporting a '91 stadium club Dave Justice like a boss.

There was even what I think, was probably one of the first advertisements PSA ran. Okay, maybe it wasn't ... but it sure as heck was old, and I don't think that back in 1992, I had even heard of PSA before! Heck, I did my own grading thanks to that neat little plastic contraption that they used to sell which would tell you how off center your card was.

As I leisurely leafed through some of the pages, I still saw many of the uncut panels in-tact....of course. Who in their right mind would have taken them out anyway? I mean, who would want all kinds of Michael Jordan ... and Ken Griffey Jr. and .... wait ... they have Cansecos in here? MC Hammer? Cal Ripken? Dude ... GOLD MINE!

I figured, what the heck?! Over time I could probably get some good money out of these puppies. They aren't ugly! Well, most of them anyway.

Here are a few neat little gems I found and decided to cut out:

Griffey in the minors

A true Shaq odd ball rookie from 1992

A beautiful artwork piece of Frank Thomas with football and baseball attire, ala Bo Jackson

Last but not least, a nice 1992 true rookie of Mike Piazza as a minor leaguer

I even decided to cut a few magazine covers for some reason.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought how cool these beautiful pieces would be as cut cards. Then late last night I thought HEY! I have this!

That's right folks - you guessed it. A real Pete Rose autographed action card with his tooth flying out of his mouth. If you look closely, you can see the tooth fairy carrying his tooth up to the heavens from his chin. Actually, I had purchased a few cases of the Rose blasters last year, and I threw that one in my custom fodder pile since no one would have wanted to purchase that card due to the defect.

With a little time, I yanked the auto and put it on a custom creation


Here is the card I did on top of the magazine it came from (well ... a duplicate mag I had, that is!)

Then magically being lifted up from the magazine ...


By the time I got done going through the magazines, I admit I was bummed to find the last box was actually a bunch of basketball complete sets. I was having a lot of fun. I never thought I would have enjoyed going through them as much as I did.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Custom Cut Auto & Ticket Cards

In the past several months that I have been doing customs, I have found myself to fall deeper and deeper in love with the hobby. Not necessarily just custom making, but collecting in general.

In some ways, I see custom card creation as the next evolutionary stage in collecting. A sort of way to create THE card that no one else has or will, with material that means so much to you.

For me, it is difficult to keep things that are odd shaped. I've said it before and I'll say it again ... everything is better when it measures 2.5" x 3.5"! Custom card making can revive old relics that are old and tattered, and become a truly unique one-off high end pc card. That is what is so cool about it!

I was approached recently by someone who wanted a few customs done of his favorite player: Lyman Bostock.


I literally had no idea who this guy was. Well, come to find out, not only was he a good ball player, but he also sounds like a stellar guy. Allow me to give a little bit of background on him: it is very interesting!

In about 4 seasons or so in the mid-late 70's, he hit over 300 for his career. He was in the discussion for batting title various times as well. At one point, he was one of the higher paid players that were free agents.

When the Angels signed him, he immediately gave $10,000 to his church to help rebuild their Sunday school. In April, he batted poorly ... a bismal .150. He went to Gene Autry and said he hadn't earned the money so he didn't want it. Autry refused this, and Bostock proceeded to take the $40,000 and give it to charity. In June, he returned to form, hitting over .400 for the month.

His life was suddenly and tragically ended when sitting next to the wife of a man whom suspected she was cheating. The man tried to shoot her, and ended up shooting Bostock in the head. Bostock died.

With all that said, his #1 fan came to me and sent me a package of goods:

His picture, a ticket stub to the last game Bostock hit a home run in, and his autograph.

Here is a better look at everything:

After going back and forth a bit, it was decided to do 2 separate cards instead of a booklet. Here are the final results:

Naturally, the backs had to have a congratulatory message, as if they were pack pulled!

Here is a cool shot of the original picture I was sent, along with one of the cards that I did laid on top of it (yeah, this is a bit of my artsy photography side coming out)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

2014 Flip Quest Finale and the Big Secret Reveal

If you have not followed my story during the season, I decided to start a flip quest in April, and ran it all the way until the A's were knocked out of the season. Welp, that happened a few days ago, so I am here to do a recap, as well as do "the big reveal" as to what the end game was.

Things started out innocently enough with me trading a custom card I made. Why did I do this? Because I had just started doing custom cards for my collection about a month or two before, and figured why not? The only catch is that it had to be a 1989 upper deck style type of card. It couldn't just be anything.

Shortly thereafter, I got my first bite! I traded one for this:

It is always the first deal that you need to get over in order to really get going. After wheeling and dealing some more, I brought in some pretty dang slick TTT and Museum cards. Here is an example of one of them a few weeks in:

After a while, deals started pouring in. I started going from trading customs for other cards to selling the cards I was getting in and acquiring small lots / collections.

I also must mention the generosity of the online community for giving me cards for free along in our deals to help me with my flip quest!

Inside of a month, I had brought in over $600, and decided to make things more interesting, by using my money to pick up miscellaneous items at garage sales (my wife and I love going to garage sales saturday mornings!)

Let's reminisce on some of the goofy items, shall we?

A Paula Deen autographed menu I picked up for 50 cents and sold for $20

TONS of restaurant dishes for $8, which I got $75 for

A few weeks and several deals later, I went to a sports card show. I was able to pick up a complete set of 1968 Topps, 1975 Topps and a box of vintage.

This brought me down to $53.

Perhaps one of the better $ pickups I got, as a camera lot which was $50 and I ended up making over $600 on. Here is a pic of one of them:

At the time, the camera lot was the last few dollars I had, as the rest of my money was tied up in "inventory".

A few weeks later, I bounced back nicely and sold the vintage, as well as some other stuff, so I had inventory and over $2,100 cash!

As far as cards go, a solid month and a half went on with ABSOLUTELY NO CARDBOARD. As a matter of fact, I only had a few other deals from there on out that had to do with cards. It was mainly because I was spending my time doing other things, and frankly couldn't find any huge deals. With all that said, in early-mid august, I hit the $3,000+ plateau (yeah!)

Then, as the baseball season was winding down, I struck gold. I bought out two dealer inventories over the course of 3 deals within 7 days. They probably totaled close to 1,500,000 sports cards (most of which are still in my garage!)

Thankfully, I was able to QUICKLY move some of the boxes, and got profitable in a very short amount of time, so all I have now is profit.

As a final update, here is where I stand:


The majority of both collections (probably $5-6,000 worth of resale value)

box of educational books (this has been a great money maker! I probably have 15 books left and have been getting $7 each)
step 2 locker (will probably get $20 for if)
wii fit pad (nothing exciting - probably gonna get $10)
air jordans (ONE person has asked. ONE! And he didn't have a car. These may be donated when all is said and done!)
circular chinese dragon wall art (will get $30 at some point ... have had several bites)
4 ps2 games (I may have already sold these for $20-30 ... oops!)
oriental vase (will probably fetch $20-$40)
taiwanese chest (will probably fetch $50-80)
1 drop-leaf desk (I never put this up for sale ... probably $20-30)
projector screen (probably $30-40)

$4,300 total

Keepers - many of these will probably be sold at some point anyway
1 drop leaf desk
Fabric of the Game Canseco Jersey
Absolute Heroes Canseco Jersey / Cap
2 Security Cameras
6 plates (wife let me know that we will be keeping 6 of the plates!)
2 comic display pieces
wii & wii fit
MP640 printer
glass top wicker basket
2 2014 Canseco cards
Jose Canseco autographed baseball
1986 Donruss Canseco & 86 Donruss Canseco autographed

All in all, I don't see why, with time, this will all bring in $9-10,000 when all is said and done. The cards have been moving like hot cakes though, I admit, it has taken a lot of hustle. It has been fun though - a real labor of love!

Now, for the final big reveal .... drum roll please ....

I count this whole thing a huge success. I never really had a huge PC purchase in mind in the end. I just wanted to see how far this puppy would take me.

Until I had a thought in my head coming back from the card show in June. I didn't just want a PC card I could love and hug and squeeze forever. I wanted something *REALLY* special.

AHA!!! I got it!

Why not have the end game as seeing about having a PRIVATE SIGNING WITH JOSE CANSECO? After going back and forth with his manager, it does sound like it was going to happen, but unfortunately, the promoter that was going to have him here in Texas cancelled (color me MAJORLY BUMMED...I just found this out yesterday.) The good news is that I am quite confident that it will happen; I'm just not sure when.

Y'all, this is *HUGE* to me. As you may already know, I am a massive Jose Canseco fan. I have been since I was 9. What a cool thing to be able to hang out with him in my own private signing ... to be able to show him all of my custom card handiwork and shoot the breeze for a bit.

I have often considered sending the cards to be signed at an event he was at thousands of miles away, but his manager advised me not to do so, and just sit tight until we can get something to happen. I made the decision to go along with this, and am happy I did...or will once the private signing happens, anyway! :) I would much rather show him my work myself.

So, I suppose that is a wrap! Mouschi's 2014 Flip Quest is over. The only thing left is the prize at the end - the private signing. When that happens, I'll write up another article about it as well. Until then, I'll be (im)patiently waiting the call for it while swimming in my million plus cards!