Tag Archives: mini

Through The Mail Success (Hockey Style) – Larry Robinson

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I’m showing a bit of hockey love today.  Larry Robinson was lightening fast with his return, I think it was just 11 days, he even sent a note saying how much he liked the card which was a bit of a feather in my cap.

Although my Mark Howe autograph attempt fell on deaf ears, Marry Robinson was only too happy to send me his.  Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995, he is widely considered one of the best defensivemen ever to play the game.  He played from 1971 to 1992 and tallied 958 regular season points in his career.  He has been a successful coach since his retirement as both an assistant and head coach.  He won the Con Smythe Trophy once and the Norris Trophy twice.

Overall a great signing from who many consider one of the nicest guys in hockey.

Example of certified signature:


Rookie card:


Through the Mail Success – Jim Bunning

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Got this one back mid last week. What an amazing through the mail success.  I love players like Jim Bunning who is widely considered one of the top 50 pitchers of all time, take the time to sign and send back ttm autograph requests.  His career was legendary, two no hitters, including a perfect game. At the time of his retirement he had the second most strikeouts, currently he sits 17th. He appeared in 9 All Star games, he won 17 or more games in eight of his 17 seasons, a three time strikeout champion, and a World Series champion.

If that’s not enough he then led a life of a politician for his home state of Kentucky for the next 30+ years.  Including being a member of the US House of Representatives from 1987 – 1999, and a US Senator from 1999-2011. What an amazing life he has led.   I had decided to make the card of him as a Tiger for a few reasons. First, it’s where he won his most games and second he won a World Series there.  However it should be noted that most people remember him as a Phillie.  I apologize Phillie fans, for taking him away from you, but I had to make the card of him as a Tiger.

Turnaround time: 14 days

Player’s Baseball Reference Page: Jim Bunning

Player’s Wikipedia page: Jim Bunning

Current Number of Cards in the set: 5

Card Number: VC-JB

New Through The Mail Design – 1987 Topps Future Stars Mini

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During my snow days the past week, I had some time to create a new through the mail mini heritage card.  Since I am a child of the 80s, and I have unwrapped many, many 1987 wax, one of my all time favorite designs was the 1987 Topps Baseball Future Stars.  I needed to do a TTM card for that set and as you can see (or might have seen on Twitter), I knocked it out of the park!

The hardest part was finding the right wood grain nfor the front of the card.  As good a match as I had, I still don’t think I did a great job with matching colors, but it’s good enough that you won’t give it a second glance.  The Future Stars logo was lifted from a 1987 Topps Tiffany BJ Surhoff card.  The back was traced from the same card (although shrunk to fit a 2 inch tall card).

I wanted a card that I could send to minor league guys.  I’ve always enjoyed collecting cards of guys in the minors. In the above case I made one of local (for me) Duke player Michael Matuella.  He is probably the best pitching prospect in college right now.  Most publications pick him as the top college player.  Overall the front and back came out great.  I wanted to put a team logo on there somehow, and while not on the front of the card, the back of the card is good enough.  Although the color of the Duke logo and the color of the back blue is the same in real life, my goal is to use that color for other logos placed on the back as well.  I plan on making a few of these to send out to college and minor league players.  Usually I try to stick with the team USA aspect, however I am open to try and collect any player.

Let me know what you think of this one….

Offline for Three Days . . . Now Catching Up

As some of you might have heard, we have gotten a wee bit of snow here in Durham, NC last week.  The total around my house was 8 inches, which for the south is as close to the end of the world as you can get.  My power went off, then back on a few times, but it was the loss of internet that was staggering to me.  Not only does that stop the production of  custom cards, but also my posting ability! There were so many topics I wanted to discuss, but in the end I forgot some of it and others are now not worth mentioning.    I did have some things I wanted to mention.

Through the Mail Success – Andre Reed

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Another of the mini 1959 Wad Wax Heritage Minis came back.  This one from newly elected Hall of Fame member Andre Reed.  Reed should have been in the Hall of Fame years ago in my opinion.  His ability to stretch the field might very well be unmatched in Buffalo Bills history.  With 951 receptions and 87 career touch downs, the man sits high among the all time greats.  As such he finally gets what he deserves, a bust in Canton.

The breakdown was as follows:

The Address:

Andre Reed
1058 America Way
Del Mar, CA 92014-3919

Turnaround time: 12 days

Total Cards in the set: 4

Remaining to be signed: 2 (Scott and Bruschi)

Next Through The Mail Set Going Out:

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These are the next four to go out.  They actually went out this morning.  Mostly football but with a string of recent successes of Matt Williams, I had to add another one of my 80s cardboard gods.

They are as follows:

Tommie Frazier – One of my all time favorite college quarterbacks.  he was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.  Saw one TTM success and decided to go for it.  Really excited to get this one back, he was up there with Michael Vick as one of the most electrifying players in college football history.

Dan Fouts – My Charger himself, a regular gunslinger from the 70s and 80s.  I used to love watching him toss the ball around.  Another HOF member that I have to have in my collection.

Terry Bradshaw – Still my favorite Sunday football analyst.  He was a pleasure to watch both on and off the field and his 1977 card was my first real valuable card that I put in a top loader.  I was six at the time.

Matt Williams – One of those late 80s guys that I had a ton of rookie cards of.  May have not been the best of his generation, but a damn good player that was probably one of the most reliable players of his generation both offensively and defensively.  Currently managing the Washington Nationals.

Most of these should come back within 30 days.


Snow Day / Make Custom Cut Autograph Card Day – Burleigh Grimes

IMG_5194Today was a snow day for my wife and I.  As you may have heard, we got a little snow down in the Triangle.  The snow isn’t the big deal, the half inch of ice packing it down is.  It’s pretty crummy out there today.  Not a whole lot of travel out there. There are a lot of accidents out there so if you are in the area or dealing with what I am right now.  Relax, have some coffee and make some custom cards like I did.

Once I started making smaller cut autographs, I got asked to make a custom cut card from a reader.  He had a very small signature of FullSizeRenderBaseball Hall of Fame member Burleigh Grimes.  When I say small, I mean it!  Look at that picture to the right, it’s tiny! It’s about a little over an inch.  That is not a lot to work with.  From a consignment point of view I was terrified to even cut it.  The odds of ruining the the signature was extremely high.

I designed the 1953 Bad Wax Heritage Mini Cut card.  Even as small FullSizeRender (1)as that card is, it’s going to be huge compared to the cut signature, which as you can see the cut, is ridiculously tiny.  But yet I have paved on to complete the project.  I did run into an issue when I tried to apply adhesive to the back, it got stuck in the sticker maker.  So with a little help from my wife’s tweezers, I was able to get it out of the maker.

I put the card together, trimmed the edges and placed it in a one touch holder and violà, a tiny custom cut autograph card is made (see below):

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A little about Burleigh Grimes, he was the last legally allowed spitballer is baseball history.  His 270 wins puts him 33rd overall.  His career spanned 19 years from 1916 to 1934, most of it with the Brooklyn Robins.  He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1964 by the Veterans Baseball committee.  Oh an his signatures that I found online, do tend to be small.  Let me know what you think about how this came out.


I got this back yesterday afternoon in the mail.  It’s the second of the new throughIMG_5165[1]
the mail mini cards I recently sent out.  This is one that is business card size.  I really wanted Roy Siever’s autograph because he’s a former Rookie of the Year (1949) and got robbed in MVP voting in 1957.  He fits under my Hall of Fame or All Star Collection.  He had a 17 year career the spanned 1949 – 1965.  He was a four time All Star in 1956, 1957, 1959 and 1961.  The most controversial year of his career was when he led the league in homers, RBIs, total bases and extra base hits, but came 3rd in MVP voting behind Mantle and Williams.  His batting average was much lower than those two but he led in most of the other importantIMG_5166[1] statistical categories.  His career and statistics are very close to the likes of Jack Clark, Ron Gant, Greg Luzinski, and WIllie Horton.  Not quite a Hall of Fame level player, but probably just below that level. The final piece of trivia I have is that he was one of nine players that suited up for both the Original Washington Senators and the expansion Senators.

So how did this TTM break down?

Address sent to:

Roy Sievers
11505 Bellefontaine Rd
St Louis, MO 63138

Turnaround time: 11 days

Set for: 2015 Bad Wax Heritage Mini Cut Autographs

Running Number of signed cards in set: 2

Remaining cards from the set still out for signature: 2

2015 Bad Wax Heritage Football Mini Design and First TTM Requests

The Design

Original 1959 Topps Football Design:


The Front


The idea behind this one was to come up with a vintage looking design that would resemble the 1959 Topps Football.  I went with the vintage cream boarder.  The name of the player with alternating blue and red lettering.  I placed the team logo in the top right corner, simply because placing it on the left would leave a bit cramped for the player to sign left to right.  Also had to offset the logo box so that it was not in the corner like some of my previous templates.  placing it in the corner of the autograph box would leave almost no room for the signature on one side.  Then went with position and team text on the bottom.  Again theses are done using business cards, (hence minis).

The Back

As for  the back of the card, I tried to also keep it similar to the 1959 design’s back.  Open football icon in upper left, full IMG_5134player name, position, and team in black (grayish) bar. Went with the shadow letters for the “Congrats” to mimic the first letter in the player bio on the back of the 1959 Topps design.  The rest of the caqrd, I flat out copied off of the baseball mini design, with the exception of the football guy.  I tried to put in a franchise question like you would find on the original card, but there just was not enough room.  But with nothing in that corner, I wasn’t sure what to do so I dropped the retro football guy in there.

Through the mail requests

The four I went with were:

Tedy Bruschi – I went to the University of Arizona at the same time as he did.  I had is autograph on a ticket from the U of A – Washington game where the Wildcats beat the then number one Huskies.  So this one was a no brainer for me.  I also feel as though his play was Hall of Fame worthy, but I am biased.

Clarence Scott – All Pro defensive back for the Browns.

Andre Reed – 2014 Hall of Fame inductee.

Charlie Trippi – 1968 Hall of Fame inductee, also member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Tried to go with the retro logos if I could. Very excited about this lot of requests.  They all fall in my All Pro or HOF requirements for players.  Will let everyone know when they start coming back.