Monday, September 4, 2017

Balls or No Balls

Attempts to create a clever post may lead to my unemployment. I googled things with balls on my employer-owned laptop.   As old and wise as I am, or perhaps should be, I lean towards the naive at times. The results were not to my liking, so I'll get right to the point.

Since embracing the Twitter feed, I've discovered yet another creative fellow who designs his own cards.  Let me introduce you to Gio, a man obsessed.  If you've been around awhile, perhaps you're already reading his blog When Topps Had Balls. His first post went up in 2013.  He's been creating cards in 70s style ever since, often rectifying cardboard history.  Cards that should have been now are. Gio produces a magazine too, offering up a healthy dosing of these cards, with the latest issue based on Nicknames.   I've missed out on past issues but this one is not getting past me!

image courtesy of  When Topps Had Balls blog
Gio took it upon himself to relieve us of the Topps doldrums, creating a set of cards based on 1930s George C. Miller and Tattoo Orbits designs.  He ordered 25 sets from the printer and offered them up via blog and twitter.  I happened upon them while twittering away a Saturday afternoon. Now safely in possession of my own set, I'm willing to share them with you. May I present Baseball Stars of 1930 Series One:

Much care went into packaging and card stock selection which is thick and perfectly cut.

image courtesy of When Topps Had Balls blog
No two cards share the same color and background combination:










EYE-POPPING!  I want these cards in a binder but value them so highly, they are currently locked up in the safe!  I'd hardly put these away when Gio did it again.  This trip takes us back another twenty years to the Baseball Stars of 1910 Series Two, a different design entirely, also limited to 25 sets. The packaging was a burlap bag tied off with a baseball stamped tag.  Yes, he created the stamps too, along with a personalized cancellation.  This set includes an authentic 1910 cigarette insert - silk, leather patch or card. 


As you can see, my package contained a silk Flag of Uruguay! The cards are printed on smooth, 19 point stock, about half the size of a business card.








I hope Series Three is in the works!  During the Great Reorganization of 2017, I found my collection growing older - older players.  The majority are either retired or deceased.  These sets are a natural fit.  Affording original cards from the Deadball Era through the 1940s isn't my reality. 

If you like what you see here, follow Gio on Twitter @wthballs for the opportunity to purchase his magazine, or perhaps a future card release.  These were so reasonably priced, shipping included.  It does take cajones to finance your own creations and risk negative criticism.  I can't recall a time when Topps took hobby feedback into consideration and actually made their products better or fewer. Perhaps the day will come but for now it's the same old neutered Topps.