Tag Archives: joey maxim

Sport Kings – Joey Maxim

Yesterday I shared my creation of a Joey Maxim cut autograph and a lot of you were wondering who the hell is Joey Maxim? joey-maxim-07Joey who was born Giuseppe Antonio Berardinelli was one of the greatest light heavyweight fighters of all time.  He took his name from the Maxim gun which was the world’s first self-operating machine gun. It was appropriate because he could throw left jabs as fast as a machine gun.  He got his start in boxing while in the military where he used to fight exhibitions as an army officer.  Can you imagine having to take on you company commander in boxing and he could knock you out cold?  Talk about gaining instant respect!

From there he went on to become a Golden Gloves champion, then turned professional in 1940.  It took him 87 fights and 10 years, but he finally got is title shot at the age of 28 against Eddie Mills.  The fight was in Mill’s home of London, England.  He knocked out Mills which such a punch that they found teeth embedded in his gloves.  Mills never fought again! After becoming the Light Heavyweight champion of the world.  He set his sights on what was considered the crown of the boxing world, the World Heavyweight Championship, which was held by Ezzard Charles.  He went the distance with Charles but lost out on points.

220px-JoeyMaximHis most famous fight was with Sugar Ray Robinson in 1952.  The fight was held at Yankee Stadium in the middle of a brutal heat wave.  Halfway through the fight the original referee had to tap out because of the heat.  A substitute ref came in to finish the fight.  Robinson because of both the staggering heat and the power of Maxim’s punches collapsed at the end of the 13th round.  Although we was able to get to his feet, he was not able to continue when the bell for the 14th round was rung.  Maxim was credited with a TKO.  It was reported that both fighters lost almost 20 lbs during the fight. It was the only fight in Robinson’s career (200 career fights) where he was knocked out.

That was the last big fight for Maxim who only fought 15 more times over the rest of his career.  He career ended with a loss during a title rematch with Archie Moore.  He had an amazing career though, beating the likes of Floyd Patterson, Jersey Joe Walcott, and Jimmy Bivins, and he was only knocked out once in his 115 professional fight career.

Following his career he worked as a taxi driver, comedian and casino greeter.  In 1994 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  He was also an extra in 1999’s movie Play it to the Bone.  I had to make him a Sport King,  it just seemed fitting.  He did have a trading card issued, it was 1951 Topps Ringside #8 pictured below. It’s a fairly inexpensive card you can get yourself on eBay for around $10.  I know there are not many boxing fans left out there and probably fewer that actually read my blog, but if you wanted to know why I made this card, it’s because he was a damn good boxer.


Sport Kings Cut Auto – Front and Back

The Sport Kings Gum Cut Auto

Last week I wanted to create a multi-sport cut autograph card design that had a vintage flare to it.  I’ve always loved the Sport Kings design.  I think that it’s look is classic and I am floored that who ever owns the rights to the name, never created a cut autograph for it that matched it’s classic look.  Here is a look at the original card design:

knute rockne sports king gum frontWhen you look at this card, you have the top prolific banner with the “Sport Kings Gum Text”, the player image, the sport caricatures, then finally the player name with white text on black.  Those are the prominent features that I wanted to try and keep.  Obviously the player picture had to go in order the fit in the cut autograph.  But I wanted to keep everything else.

Another concern was that many of the signed index cards I have tend to have long signatures on them.  The kind that would go edge to edge on a card.  For this reason I needed the card to not have side borders.  So keeping this in mind I set out to make a custom card that would stay true to the original but had it’s own flare.

I kept the banner at the top by cropping out the clearest one I could find online.  Stretching it so that it fit the card lengthwise and tried to find a font that would match the original.  The best place to find great fonts for free is Dafont.com if you haven’t been I highly recommend it.  Once the top was designed it was time to attack the bottom.  I needed those caricatures so that I could make a card for each sport.  Since there have never been many boxing cut autographs I defaulted to cropping the boxing montage off of the Joey Maxim cut frontJack Dempsey card.  Then placed it in the black player’s name box and split it in half to cap either end of the player’s name.  Then used the same font as the top and boom the bottom was done.  The problem was it looked bare.  I needed to add some color.  That’s where the blue comes from and in order to transition the blue to the off white base of the card, I created a black and white frame which I extended to the bottom of the card.  This is a bit different than the original but I just felt it was necessary to give it a cleaner look .Finally I made sure that there was plenty of room on the edges to make my final trims and the front of the card was done.

Sport Kings back

The back of the card was a different story. It’s green on light tan with about 5 different fonts.  Not quite sure why the original goes this route but I decided to try and keep it.  The key components in this one is the card number on top, the bold blocked player’s name, the player’s sport, a description of the player, a border, a description of the card series, the gum name, the parent company and the Goudey logo.

I wanted to try and keep it simple, so that as a template it would be quick to update.  Fist I gave myself a nice border cushion so as there is room for the edge trimming.  I removed using an actual number and went to players initials as the numbering for this set.  I like doing it this way so that there are no numbering mistakes.  Even if I reuse initials, I don’t care as they still are a good representation of who’s card this is. IMG_5099

So for Joey Maxim I went for SK-JM, I still flanked it with green lines. Then the sport comes into play but I removed the parenthesis.  As I never did understand why they did that in the first place.  The player description was lifted from Wikipedia, and the reference numbers were removed.  Green border separator was added, then I just mimicked the bottom of the card as best I could.  The Goudy logo was lifted off and original card and cleaned up so that it looked fairly crisp.

In the end I think it came out terrific. I feel like I kept the integrity of the card with a nice twist to it to make it a cut autograph card.  My plan is to use this template for Hall of Famers or Very Close to Hall of Famers only so no Cory Snyder cut auto.  Tell me what you think.