FAQ – The Who, What and Why of Bad Wax Customs

I’ve been asked this so many times from so many people, I figured I would create an FAQ as to who I am, what I collect and why I collect it.  So here goes nothing:

Q: Are you really named Chemgod? What’s the deal with that?

A: No, my real name is Mike. Chemgod was a nickname I picked up in college.  I the dorms people used to come to me for tutoring in chemistry because it came so natural to me.  One guy said I am like a god in chemistry . . . a chemgod.  The nickname stuck with me and to this day I’m sure there are some people out there that still only remember me by that nickname.  On here I use it as a cloak of anonymity, but if you want to email me, just call me Mike.

Q: What happened to your old badwax.net site?

A: After nearly 1500 posts and 1.2 million views, I just got tired of it.  I would take a month off and try to get back into it and I just couldn’t.  After a while I let the domain expire, which was fine by me since I barely post anything, however my site also disappeared which really bummed me out since I had so much content.  I tried a few more different blogs but none could hold my interest for more than a month until I came across this idea of a cut autograph card blog. I’m not doing it everyday, but you aren’t reading everyday so it’s all good!

Q: Why cut autographs?

Everyone has a favorite thing to collect.  For me it’s memorabilia and autographs.  I don’t collect every person’s autograph, that’s just ridiculous.  I like to collect interesting people’s signatures.  I don’t care what sport, or what they’ve done, I just want a story behind each and every signature I have.  For example, I am currently trying to find a decent JaMarcus Russell autograph, because without a doubt he is the biggest bust in NFL history. Like I said, they don’t have to be accomplished, they just have to have a story. I like cut autographs because for the most part, these are people who are no longer with us.  I don’t necessarily hate cut autographs of living people but I would prefer them not to be playing currently or have been retired for a significant number of years.

Q: What’s in your personal collection?

A: Short answer, everything.  My personal collection is just a hodge podge of everything you can think of.  Inserts, rookie cards, autographs, game used, signed memorabilia, I mean I have trash bags (more than one) filled with bats I got signed. I have signed helmets, hockey sticks, various balls, pucks, magazines, cards, you name it, I have gotten it signed.  I tend to mainly focus of baseball, football and hockey cards, but I do have some basketball and soccer cards.

Q: Do you still do through the mail?

A: Yes I do, but not as much as I used to.  I tend to just go after players who others have had successes with, and players I actually like.I probably send out 2-3 cards a month on average and all my cards I send out now are custom made by me.

Q: What graphics program do you use to make your cards?

A: I use a program called GIMP.  It’s free and I self – taught myself how to do things on it.  It took me nearly a year to feel comfortable but now I am proficient at it.  It’s a poor man’s version of photoshop and it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles.  But . . .it’s free! Plus you can really do some amazing stuff with it.

Q: Do you do custom cards for people?

A: All the time.  People balk at my prices and I admit I am pretty expensive, but I’ve never had something returned to me.  I make cards that are great for signings and I make a mean cut autograph.  Everything I make is geared to last for a long time.  If you do have something you’d like me to make, email me for pricing and details. I will say this, in the world of custom made cards, you get what you pay for.

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2014 Vintage Cuts: Sonny Jurgensen (Sold)

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Cad Number: VC-SJ

Card Subject: Sonny Jurgensen

Ebay link: Cut autograph

Football Reference Link: FR Link

Player information: This one was obtained in person, I think I was about 14 or 15 and was at a Redskin’s game.  Just happened to see him leaving a VIP area and my dad got him to sign for us.  Even though he seemed to be in a hurry, he took the time to give a nice autograph.  The only problem was that it was on an angle.  I gave this one a lot of though before final placement.  The problem was, if I was to rotate the card, I would have to lay down a white surface behind it since the index card would end in the cut window. I just hate that blank background on a cut autograph.  I feel like it detracts from the autograph.  So in the end I chipped off a bit of the S and the bottom of the loop from the J and fit it in the window.  The card was slightly yellowed from age, so I thought the contrast between the white of a background card and the index card would detract from the piece.  In the end I like the way this one came out.  It’s imperfect, like when Sonny originally signed the card on an angle.  Also I went with the more modern Redskins logo, since the 60s one (when he played) is so ugly.

What it originally looked like:

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The dashes you see are where my cut marks would end up being.  The long dash on the side was how I was going to originally cut it but decided against it.

A certified autograph:

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Rookie Card:

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1958 Topps #90

2014 VINTAGE CUTS – DICK GROAT

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Card Number: VC-DG

Card Subject: Dick Groat

Ebay link: Cut autograph

Baseball Reference Link: BR Link

The original autograph:

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Player information: This is another eBay find, I had no idea how popular a player he was.  I know that he won an MVP in 1960, but I didn’t know he was a 5 time All – Star, and finished 2nd in MVP voting in 1963.  The reason, if you were born in the 70s or later, is he wasn’t a “sexy” stat guy.  He was a great defensive player, got a lot of hits (would probably have ~350 more if he didn’t serve in the military the year after his rookie season.), a lot of runs and hit for a career 0.287 average.  He was a big part of those Pirate teams that battled for a World Series in 1960 and won against a very good Yankees team.  He has a huge following, just search autographs and you’ll see his is very desirable.What you may not know is that he played basketball for Duke University, where he was named an All-American twice and Player of the Year twice.  His Duke jersey has been retired, now hanging in the rafters at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and he is a member of the NCAA Basketball Hall of Fame. A true renaissance player.  Currently he calls Pitt basketball games.

Image of a certified autograph:

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2014 VINTAGE CUTS: Clarence “Ace” Parker

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Card Number: VC-AP

Card Subject: Clarence “Ace” Parker

Ebay link: Cut autograph

Football Reference Link: FR Link

Player information: Living in Durham, NC, the hometown college is Duke University.  There aren’t a whole lot of football players coming out of Duke and being elected to the Hall of Fame.  However if you go back far enough (to the 1930’s) you’ll come across an amazing individual, Ace Parker.  Not only was he a great football player in the pre-passing world of football, but he also played professional baseball, and became the head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Duke.  From there he became the Durham Bulls (minor league baseball) manager before his retirement.  He along with Bobby Doerr were the last living players ever to appear on the same field with the likes of Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby.  He is also the only member of the Football Hall of Fame to survive to be over 100 years old.  This card was signed at an event I attended in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  The signature was easy enough to fit inside the window, the hardest part of this card was finding the logo for his old football team.  I went with the Tigers, only because I couldn’t find what the old Brooklyn Dodgers football team’s logo looked like.

What the original signature looked like:

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Image of a certified autograph:

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Image of one of his cards:

2014 Vintage Cuts: Yale Lary

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Card Number: VC-YL

Card Subject: Yale Lary

Ebay link: Cut autograph

Football Reference Link: FR Link

Player information: Another eBay won signature, but I do have quite a few of his signatures and I know this one to be legit.  His signature is very identifiable and since he is still alive it can be found in may products.  If you compare this to any certified signature you would agree.  Usually inscribes “HOF 79”.  The Y and L’s are always the same.  He along with most of the secondary for Detroit in the mid-late 60s were just so dominating.  Those defenses were always well represented in the Pro Bowl every year.  This signature was big and I really wanted to keep the inscription in the window.  I did have to clip part of the Y in order to get the final Y in Lary to appear.

What the original signature looked like:

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Image of a certified autograph:

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2014 Vintage Cuts – Paddy Livingston (Sold)

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Card Number: VC-PL

Card Subject: Paddy Livingston

Ebay link: Cut autograph

Baseball Reference Link: BR Link

The original autograph:

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Player information: I got this signature off of ebay, mainly because of the age of the player. He broke into the major leagues in 1901 with Cleveland.  He is a subject in the famous T206 set of 1909 – 1911.  He was listed as Livingstone in the set.  Just before he passed away in 1977, he was the last surviving player of the inaugural year for the American League.  Since he died in the 1970s, there aren’t a whole lot of autographs of him around.  However if you want to find out, just click here and look.

Image of a certified autograph:

Courtesy of BMW Sportscards