Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Is your Cardboard World Customized?

Aloha, everybody, 

Are you familiar with King of all Customs, Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown? If you don't know his blog and his work, you should. Homeboy knows his way around customs, I'll tell you that.  

Some custom card makers are content to whip up a few wacky pieces here and there, but Gavin is constantly honing his craft, perfecting his artwork, and expanding the medium. 

His latest project has been creating customs with the end goal of having them autographed. He's been having some measure of success, and I'm very happy to have a couple of his most recent works of cardboard art in my collection. 

Aint this a beauty? G tells us the story of this card here

The photo is taken from the Penguin's monster home run in Game 3 of the 1981 World Series. The semi-blurred flash of a magical moment in time is forever captured in the imagery. The perspective could not be more perfect than this one - showcasing the classic outfield pavilions and the old-time Dodgers DiamondVision scoreboard. 

Here's the backside...

 Gavin made three of these babies:

1. Mandated for King of all Bloggers, Sir Night Owl
2. A keeper for himself, and 
3. One up for trade. 

BAMMM!!!!! I jumped hard.

It's well known blogosphere lore that Night Owl's favorite Dodger is Ron Cey. I figure few beyond my loyalest readers know the Penguin is my all-time Dodgers favorite as well. 

Strange thing is, in all of my collecting travels, I have never acquired a Ron Cey autograph. I've run across him a couple of times at Dodger Stadium, and was unfortunately unprepared to get an auto both times. So I wanted that card.

(Aside for GCRL Jim: Gavin mentioned to me that he hoped this Cey card would inspire a trade between the two of you. So heads up, Jim, Gavin's interested in trading.) 

When Gavin sent a Cey card off to Night Owl, he included a second Dodgers-related custom card, a faux vintage Vin Scully. Guess what Gavin added to our trade? 

BLAMMO!!!! My very own vintage Scully! 

Just as important to my Dodgers experience - in fact, more so than that of Ron Cey - is my "relationship" to Vin Scully. I doubt fans from other cities can fathom how a fan can feel connected to a baseball announcer like Dodger fans do to Vin Scully. It's surreal. I'll have to drop a blog post about that one day. 

Today, however, is about Gavin's art. This card feels like authentic vintage. It's complete with bends, soft corners, the right patina, and again, the perfect photograph. 

When I was an artist back in the day (I'm a painter), I used to make fun of how overused the word "visceral" is in the art world. This time the word fits. 

Gavin had produced a Scully custom before, and having now received this new one, I'm seizing upon the opportunity to riff off of an idea that Night Owl had, which he called Start to Finish.  

In Start to Finish one compares a players first card issue with his last. Let's use the Scully customs and see how that plays out...

The vintage Scully shows us the young redhead in a humble radio booth in long-gone Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, NY. The enjoyment and excitement he finds in his work is evident in young Scully's face. 

The other card is an 88 year-old Scully at the end of his career, solidly established at the summit of the baseball broadcasting world. 

He's still thin, now sporting a World Series championship ring, and  displaying that ever-present Hollywood smile and his trademark shock of red hair. 

From a small broadcast booth to the diamond of Chavez Ravine, Vin Scully absolutely rules on (custom) cardboard. 

And a Ron Cey autograph aint too shabby, either. 




  1. Scully is a beaut! Gavin's work just keeps improving. I don't know why a card company hasn't snatched him up yet! I love the aging process on Scully. Very authentic look to it. BTW, congrats on your new Cey auto!

    1. Thanks for the congrats. Somebody will notice his work if we keep getting it out there on the airwaves.

  2. Gosh, I thought that Scully was ACTUAL vintage. It's scary how talented Gavin is.

    1. You got that right, Tom. He's the Cardboard Picasso!

  3. great customs! there should be more vin scully cards.

    by the way, i received the cards you sent - thanks! and, i've sent an email to gavin. hopefully the trading commences soon!

    1. Maybe Topps will run a subset of iconic broadcasters some day.