Monday, July 27, 2015

Card Revived from the Trash Heap

During my collecting journey, I've made some pretty good friendships with others.  Two of them are very close to Canseco.  One of them pitches to him before games to warm him up and in home run derbies.  At Jose's 51st birthday party, he mentioned the poker cards I made him.  Canseco said "Oh yeah, Tanner made these for me - I love them - they are my favorite!"

To hear that your favorite player say something like that about what you made for him AND remember your name (oh yeah, my name is on the back of the cards) - words can't describe :)

My other friend hangs out with him fairly frequently whenever he is in his neck of the woods, and was able to get me some more autographs.  A few didn't come out all that well during the signing (hey, not all can be perfect when signing 170+  items, right?)  A few of them came back the other day!

Here is a goofball cameo card.  Can you spot who is all in the background?  (Hint: 2 are famous, and the other 2 are me and my son.)

Here is my favorite in the bunch.  I just sent over the front of this one and Jose signed it.  When it came back, I put together with a very nice patch from a jersey I had him wear.  I think it came out great!

This next one isn't one from my friend at all, though.  As a matter of fact, it isn't one that I was even going to do anything with.  I found it in my "scrap" pile and forgot about it.  It was based off of a football design, if I remember correctly.

It struck me as nice, but I thought it would REALLY pop if I tweaked the colors a bit.

Much better, I think!  Then I took a bit of a patch from a game used jersey:

Man, wouldn't it be sweet if I had him sign it when I was at his house?  Oh wait ... I kind of did!  (I got a few sticker blanks signed by him for projects such as this.)

Here is the end result:

I cannot believe this card was going to be dumped!  I really love how it turned out.  I think the colors complement the design nicely, and the patch selection is perfect for the box.

As a side note, The National is coming up.  If anyone is able to snag the card of Beckett magazine that they made, please let me know!  The same goes for their random Beckett card of Canseco that was autographed by him.  I'm mega interested in both!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Garage Sale Results for my Wife and Son's Mission Trip!

I posted this on the forums as a final post to the thread I started showing my moustache / autograph card I was selling for the mission trip.  I know this doesn't have much to do with baseball, but wanted to post it on my blog as well ...

My wife and son leave for their trip on Thursday, so I thought I'd just give an update on the whole money raising part.  I had about 6 people buy the mini blue/red autographs of me, which was very nice of them.  I even had 2 people donate some money from the forums!

My wife decided to do a massive garage sale, and asked some friends/family members if they had any junk to donate for us to sell.

Yeah, they did.

We ended up getting a boat load of stuff.  People came through in a huge way.  While I was very thankful for the donated items, I was worried about the amount of stress it would cause just listing everything.

We stayed up in the garage last night until around 2am and were pretty much out on our feet by bed time.  Our neighborhood isn't very well trafficked for this kind of thing, so our expectations were low.  To help traffic though, I went ahead and posted it on about 7 websites.

By our calculations, we had $637 left to raise for their part.  (We still are responsible for about $500 to contribute to the "pot" to pay for the building materials / furniture for the house.)  We had done a few other fund raising garage sales and the last one ended up bringing in about $150 or so which was great.

7am came early, and we feverishly started putting things out.  Before I even had time to litter the freeway and our neighborhood with our garage sale signs, people were checking out what we had.

By 8:30am, we were already sweat soaked because it was so hot and humid.  At the end of the day, we filled up the cardboard mobile (the name I affectionately call our minivan thanks to my several excursions picking up card collections) and packed it to the brim (not joking - I'm surprised I fit in the driver seat!), then dropped the leftovers off to "Resale with a Purpose".

When I came back, we dumped all the money on the floor and counted it as a family.  Keep in mind the part to pay for my wife and son was $637 (I actually didn't know this exact dollar until after the fact.)  We ended up selling $645.55!

Needless to say, we are very happy and will be going out for a victory burger later.  We still have about $500 left to go, but I would classify this as a miracle - that is a lot of money from a garage sale!  God is good all the time, but He was especially good to us today!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Custom Time with a Babe Ruth Bat

Since taking apart several 1 of 1's at the requests of their owners to create something truly unique - and posting them - I have had a number of critics.  While several have said they like what I came up with more than what the card companies created, many just thought it was "wrong" to do...regardless of how nice they turned out.

One thing that has come out of this whole ordeal is apparently what many of the card companies have been putting out simply are not enough to keep people satisfied.  I have had a lot of interest in others doing the same thing.  Particularly from one person you may have heard of before:  Danny Olberman.  (Google him and you will know who I am talking about.)

Mr. Olberman has arguably the most impressive pre-war collection on the planet.  When he caught wind of what I was doing, he wanted to take a few of his prized possessions to the chop shop owned by yours truly.

If you think what I had done before was dastardly, you may want to look away, because this blows away everything else I have done up to this point.

Olberman had not one but TWO game used bats from the sultan of swat:  Babe Ruth!  He wanted me to cut up both, but I convinced him to keep one of the gamers whole.  Here is what we were working with:

and a close up of the barrel...

After about 5 hours of grinding and chopping, the yield was decent, though a LOT of it is not usable for card material.

Thankfully, the nameplate came out perfect!

After spending some time on the design, here is the front of the card:

Ahem ... might i say ...


I know, I know - I'm fresh off the heels of my posting for my finger card.  I halfway promise I have it out of my system now.  :)

No, I did not chop up a Babe gamer, and no, I did not get contacted by a Danny Olberman.  Completely fictitious character.  I did, however, have the opportunity to create something pretty dang awesome (I'm not kidding this time...Keep reading!)

What I did have the benefit of doing is creating something truly unique out of a Ted Williams signed check...

And one of his patch cards...

I personally think that the card is beautiful, albeit an odd pairing of both players and relics.  Barry Bonds and Ted Williams?  Okayyy....  And a PATCH of Teddy Ballgame with a base for Barry?


One of the challenges I faced was the signature's size.  A card is 3 1/2" wide and the autograph was.  I typically like to work with signatures 3" or less, and this was cutting it close as it was.

Instead of trying to cram it into a standard card, why not make it bigger?  How about a vertical booklet size without the channel in the middle of the card?  It doesn't need to bend since it isn't pack pulled anyway, right?

Here is the carnage of the nice Bonds/Williams that is now gone forever.

So here I present to you:  The Splendid Splinter Patch / Cut Auto 1 of 1 nestled nicely in a vertical booklet holder:

The back has pictures of the check, COA and the donor card for this art piece.  I find it funny that about 10 years ago, Donruss was putting pictures of the memorabilia used to make their cards.  Fast forward 10 years, I'm now putting pictures of the cards I'm destroying that are used to make my cards.

Here is a size comparison with a regularly sized card.  I was at first curious about the patch.  Would it be that funky size in the SPX card, or would it prove to be a nice square?  I was glad it was the full square, though it was a task and a half to get it out of the card in one piece.

This just might be one of my favorite pieces I've done.  I love how it turned out!

Before I sign off for this post, I have a request:  If you see my Beckett on the stands in your local card shop or store, would you mind snapping a pic of it and sending to me?  Having a selfie with you in it is perfectly acceptable as well.  :)  I'd love to have a small collection of pics from where it is being sold in various places.  I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make it to the store to see one live in a store before it comes off the shelf!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Latest Canseco Pickup!

About 16 years ago, you may recall Fleer putting out a set by the name of Brilliants.  The base cards feature a chrome mirror like finish, and had a very premium look by itself.  Very classy looking card.  I remember seeing them from time to time whenever I would go through huge collections I purchased, and would find a Canseco.  I would be ecstatic because it was so nice looking!

Later on down the road, when I got more serious into my PC, I sought out the parallels as well.  They had a blue version, which was insanely beautiful - I was able to get my hands on that next, and they also had a gold version which was drop dead gorgeous.  It was numbered to 99, and I think I've only seen one up for sale, which was from former Canseco supercollector @1st4040.

I LOVE these types of rainbows.

But, there is one final parallel to the set.  A 24kt gold version with a rainbow type finish and numbered to /24.   This was pie in the sky for me - especially when you have guys like Griffey selling for $1,500.  Heck, even the Thome recently went for $400.

I've only seen 2 others, and they are from 2 other fellow Canseco super collectors who wouldn't give theirs up if their lives depended on it ... or for anything less than $500 I'd imagine :)

I just so happened to be having the right conversation with the right person at the right time.  This person JUST pulled it from a pack!  I made an offer and he accepted!  Here is my precious ...

And now, all in a row ...

What's that you say?  The pictures show my new treasure in different card holders?  Well, I couldn't very well stage it with the others in a different holder, now could I?  Don't judge me - you know you would do it too.

Anyway, I'm still mega hyped about my new pickup today.  I didn't know if I would ever see one, and as it turns out - this particular copy has only been seen by the guy who pulled it, and me ... until now.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

When baseball cards aren't baseball cards + Custom Rip Card Reveal

I remember having an early interest with Allen & Ginter back several years ago.  I was still getting over the fact that boxes of cards were significantly higher than the $15 I was used to as a child.  I was very intrigued by the pack pulled autographs and relic cards.  So much in fact, that I was willing to drop $80 on a box of A&G. 

I was disappointed.

I had been told that there would be not one ... not two ... but THREE "hits" (either game used cards or autographs) in the box.  Silly me ... I thought they were talking about BASEBALL CARDS.  A few packs in, I hit my first relic card - it was a scrub.  No problem!  I still had several packs to go and 2 hits left!

The 2nd hit was....

a piece of slacks...

from a bowler. 

I didn't see that one coming, but surely the final hit was going to be something mega awesome from a super star.  A red ink 1 of 10 incre....


It was a flannel relic from a duck hunter. 

While I still would not be happy with those "hits", I can see our baseball card collecting hobby has changed fairly drastically over the past several years - right under our noses.  Even for myself.  If I pulled a Will Ferrell autograph several years ago, I would have been confused.  And now?  Heh, due to the pricing, I may be more excited than if I had pulled an on card autograph of Mike Trout!

Last year, I caught the non-sports bug as well by meshing baseball designs with non baseball personalities, such as some Star Wars in a 2009 Topps Refractor style.

Even something simple but elegant like a cut auto of Jessica Alba from  Fantastic Four.

But lets face it, you aren't living unless you have a 1993 SP Foil Homer Simpson.  Derek Jeter who?

Among countless others.  My 10 year old self would truly be scratching his adolescent head for making such cards when he could be making cards of oh ... I don't know ... BASEBALL PLAYERS. 

Nevertheless, it brings me great joy.  Perhaps something else that makes it even better is when my tv "heroes" can be found in real life, and you can get your creations autographed. 

Hold onto your moustaches, gents - today's new arrival was one I thought was surely gone forever.  After 9 months of waiting, here it is:


and the bacon back ....

Nick Offerman ... errr....Ron Swanson ... took it up a notch though.  He sent me a personalized letter!  Here it is:

You know it is going to be a good day when one of your favorite television personalities sends you a profanity laced personalized message! 

So yeah, today was a good day :) 

I'll wrap up this blog posting (or "thread" for those of you who are reading on a forum) with the announcement that Mouschi Code is now open for everyone to give it a try!  Out of the hundreds of people who tried to win, there was only one victor.  However, I wanted to allow everyone a chance to crack the Mouschi Code.  Here is a teaser of what the rip card winner experienced:

First, the rip card:

But what was in it?

Yes!  A mini card of me eating a baseball.  Just what everyone wants!  I know what you are thinking.  That is plenty rewarding right there!  But keep reading ... The card says enter the code on the back of the card at the website. 

However, there is NOT a code.  It is a riddle FOR a code.

The winner would then figure out the riddle and enter it here:

If he got it right, he would be met with several goofy questions that involve a video of me doing things like serenading him ...

Snarling at him as a pirate

and even get an up close moustache lashing ...

All in all, it would probably take someone 15 minutes to an hour depending.  Based upon the above images, you now have the ability to try it out for yourself since you have the first riddle on the back of the card to try it.  Sorry, you won't be winning $10,000+ worth of cards like A&G gives its winners.  However, if you do crack the Mouschi code, you will definitely get mad respect from friends, family members and strangers alike.

I've always been intrigued by the Ginter Code, and have always been too dumb to figure it out, so I've wanted to put together something for those of us who are not ridiculously smart like @calculusdork.

The site is crazy cheesy / dorky, and took about 2 1/2 days to put together & I had fun doing it.  It is my hope you all will get a kick out of it too. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Forget the Moustache Card ... How about a FINGER Card?

When Canseco shot himself in the finger, and said he may try to sell it on Ebay, I had a TON of people write me saying I should reach out to obtain his missing digit and make a card out of it.

A week or 2 ago, as a fun promotional item, Jose played on an independent baseball team and they gave out foam hands missing part of the middle finger.  I was able to pick one up that was signed ... I love it!

With exciting as this is, nothing ... and I mean NOTHING compares to what I was able to get my hands on.  If you were one of the people who thought it was gross to make a card with a moustache hair, brace yourself.  You may even want to click away.

Thanks to knowing several people, I was able to secure it ... the shot finger!  Yesterday, it came in.  It was just from the first knuckle - up, which is fine by me, because I really wanted the part of the finger that had his finger nail.

Here is a pic:

My wife said it was in poor taste to show the gruesome picture outside of the card, so I'll just show it inside.  If you want to see the raw pic, just message me, but be warned - it is gross.

I've done relic cards all the time, so the challenge wasn't to cut a window.  It was to create a card that was thick enough.  I had my work cut out for me, but here it is - it is a monster ... a half inch thick!

The next challenge was to figure out how to keep the finger nub from sliding all around in the window, so I though it would be fitting to use a part of the foam finger sponge to put it in place, and it worked PERFECTLY.  I debated for a while as to whether I should put some clear film over the window.  If I did that, it would keep the finger as fresh as possible, but I wouldn't be able to touch the finger when I wanted to.  You can see my dilemma.

Ultimately, I chose to position the finger securely between the foam finger piece  and the clear film.  I'm glad I did, because there was definitely a bit of an odor.

Shown below is a scan - I call this card the "Finger Pull".  I numbered if 1 of 10 because ... well, he has 10 fingers.

If any other digits come on the market, I'll be waiting.

Have I gone too far?  Have I taken the term "player collector" too literally?

I understand that I run a real risk here of people shutting their computers and running away calling the authorities / screaming like little girls, but for the rest of you that are already about to type the standard "pfft - I knew it was fake all along" message, hold back for a second.

Yes, the above is fake, (here is a picture of the finger I used in the card above PRE-Photoshop ninja-ing.)

What a difference, huh?  With a little photoshop magic I was able to take a fresh digit shown above and turn it into something that looked like it was from the Walking Dead.

I DID in fact actually make a REAL finger card.

Or, should I say Fingers....

As in Rollie Fingers.

I rocked the handlebar moustache for the first time at a card show a month ago or so, and everybody & their brother seemed like they could do nothing but point at me as if they knew me and say "AHHH ... Rollie Fingers!  Nice!!!"  (which, I approve of, btw.)  People were texting me the same thing, and even my pastor came up to me after church and basically did the same thing.

My moustache is more to pay homage to my grandpa who had passed away a while ago.  He used to have one as well.  Rollie Fingers is an added bonus of course, and, let's face it ... who doesn't want one?  If you are pointing to yourself saying "this guy" you are lying to yourself.

As fate would have it, forum brother yazfan71 contacted me and said Rollie Fingers was going to be making an appearance at a minor league game in a month or so.  He said that he would be happy to get a card signed for me if I would send one to of charge!

Of course, I had to take him up on this, so I whipped up a custom Rollie.

Here is a snippet from YazFan71 detailing the event:

To start things off, some of you may know SCF member & latest phenom to grace the cover of Beckett Baseball Monthly, Mouschi! Well, he went & got himself a mustache & we're not talking about some run of the mill 5 o'clock shadow that you could put some milk on & let the cat lick off. No my friends, we're talking about one you could tell your grandkids about! Well, when he first posted a picture of his new look, the first person I thought of was Rollie Fingers. I knew that Mr. Fingers was going to make an appearance at Parkview Field & I knew I would be attending the game. So I threw the offer out to our resident celebrity to see if he wished to make a custom card to have him sign. What I got in the mail a week later was truly a work of art! I've got a few customs & I have to say that this thing was absolutely beautiful & if I didn't know better would swear it came from a major manufacturer & I've been in the printing industry for 25 years.

With such an awesome opportunity YazFan71 presented me with, I thought I'd *really* do it up, and make a custom dual card of me & Rollie.  Since he is the king of cool, I had to try my best at trying to match it ... in my living room or back yard.

It took a few tries.

What can I say? I'm thankful for a *very* patient wife behind the camera.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:


On Card, Dual Autograph!

I am really happy with how it turned out, and Rollie said he thought it was a nice card as well.  Can't beat that.  Thanks again YazFan71 for making this happen!

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Contest Winner Is ....

So, it looks like we have a winner! Before I reveal the winner, I wanted to go through some facts.

This contest was run on Blowout, Beckett, Freedom Cardboard, Sports Card Forum, Net54Baseball, my blog and facebook. Out of hundreds of replies, I found that the responses varied quite a bit. Someone guessed $0, and someone guessed $3,000. Here is a statistical breakdown:

6% said under $100
22% said between $101-250
37% said between $251-400
22% said between $400-600
6% said $601 and over
3% said this whole thing was narcisisstic/creepy
2% said they thought someone would plant my moustache hair at a crime scene
2% threatened to clone me

Of course, we do have to remember that 98% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

It has been a great week watching the guesses come in from all over the place!

So, with all that said - the winner .... drum roll pleaseeeee.....

SCF Member @Oriolesfan !

I will be pm'ing you with a request as to where I can send your rip card. Best of luck on your quest

I also wanted to publicly acknowledge Swipe79 and SSsportsCARDS for donating money for the mission trip. Thank you both!

Truly, everyone - thank you. This has been fun, but the fun does not stop here. is something I made for everyone to give a shot at just for fun! Once the winner of the rip card gets his shot at it, I'll let everyone else in.

Have a good evening, everyone, thanks for playing and keep your eyes peeled when the Mouschi Code is open to you!      


Yesterday afternoon, I heard my phone kaCHING a few extra times to bid my card up from $209 to $413 or $414 - Absolutely thrilling!  After researching one of the bidders, it turned out they are a banned member on a forum, though I couldn't find anything negative they said.

The other person was another member on the forums, to which I reached out to letting them know I have my concerns of who is the high bidder, and they are the next in line for it.

Shortly thereafter, a new ebay member bid.  They ended up being the winner.  The person I reached out to wrote me back and said the following:

"Wait what? I didn't even put a bid in for it. I just checked my account and someone must have hacked into my account, someone also put a bid in for a Kris Bryant ref auto. (Which I didn't do!)"

We went back and forth for a bit, and after I told them the new buyer was in the same area, they asked for the address so they could check for me. I thought this was quite a strange offer, so I did a little more research.

Big shocker - the address of the winner was a fake.  The phone number, however, was not.  OOPS!  I ran a search and came up with the address associated with the phone number.  In an attempt to get the truth out, I told the person the address was fake, and showed them the address that came up.

Here is the next response:

"What phone # is it? That is my address.  This is getting really creepy."

After my next message to them, they confessed and said they did it because they were jealous of me and my creativity.  They said they were the top 3 bidders that had bid yesterday.

The next highest bidder quickly paid after I offered, thankfully, but ultimately, I was robbed of a chance of selling for between $208 and $412.

Unfortunately, I had multiple people tell me they would have paid more than I got, so I know I missed out getting the best I could for it.

Nothing is ever boring, is it?  :)

I promised to keep the person's name a secret - it was a teenage girl who did all this.  I mentioned that I would be proud of her if she confessed publicly online to people who did it.  Though she was scared to do so, she ultimately did!  Very classy move, I think.

So, that is all water under the bridge now.  Going forward, I'm THRILLED that it sold and will give the exact price later, along with the winner!  There were TONS of guesses about this all over the internet, so it will take a bit for me to do this.

If you have NOT won, stay tuned.  I will be opening up The Mouschi Code for everyone to take.  I had a fun time putting it together, and think/hope you will get a kick out of it as well.  Though only rip-card owners will get a prize for completing, I do have some pieces I will be selling to help the mission trip fund.

As I have been given some lemons, in an attempt to make lemonade out of it, here are the first offerings.

The Blue auto for $15

The Red auto for $40 (only 10 will be made.)

How can anyone's collection be complete without an autographed card of a custom card maker?!?! :)  Post here, or PM me if you want one!