Artist Jared Kelley Returns To Work On SAGE’s Sportkings

Since the announcement that SAGE will be producing the next incarnation of Sportkings, little information has been provided about it.  So far, the two Walter Payton promo cards found in 2018 SAGE Hit Premier Draft Low Series are what we have to go on.  Granted its only two cards, I do like what I see.  I’m a total sucker when it comes to artistic sets, and that is what Sportkings has always been.

On the reverse side of those Walter Payton promo cards, SAGE does list what we can expect:

  • Game Worn Cards
  • On-Card Autographs
  • Spectacular Patches
  • 1/1 Sketch Cards w/ Autographs
  • 1/1 Hand Painted Art Cards
  • Original 1933 Sportkings Cards

After some intense investigating, I’ve learned that artist Jared Kelley is working on some cards for the next edition of Sportkings.  Specifically the 1/1 Hand Painted Art Cards.  If that name sounds familiar, its because Mr. Kelley worked on various products when Dr. Brian Price had control of the Sportkings brand.  I’m glad to see that SAGE brought him back.  His artwork is amazing.  Every now and then one of his Hand Painted Art Cards pops up for sale.  Most remain in collector’s private stash.

When talking with Mr. Kelley, it sounds like SAGE could be looking at a summertime launch for Sportkings.  That’s not definite.  Although it would be great to see them release it during the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.

Here is a little taste of the 1/1 Hand Painted Art Cards that Mr. Kelley has been working on for SAGE’s Sportkings set.  No checklist quite yet, but we know Kevin Durant, Mickey Mantle, and Ty Cobb are in the mix.

 

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Glebe Wraps Up Their 1st Sports Sculpted Sketch Card

Collectors are itching for something new.  You can feel it in the air.  Finding growth within this industry today has become quite difficult.  It needs a shakeup.  But yet, there is nothing more exciting than pulling a big “hit” from a nice box of cards.

In February I blogged about these really cool looking Sculpted Sketch Cards by Glebe.  At the time they were making them for comic book and movie characters.  Recently they wrapped up their first sports related Sculpted Sketch Card.  This Michael Jordan Sculpted Sketch Card was recently finished for a private collector.

These pieces look so awesome, and make unique additions to any collection.  From the moment I saw them, I knew it wouldn’t take long until sports collectors would want them.  I believe its only a matter of time until they strike a deal with a card manufacturer.

What famous sports scenes would you like to see done like this?  Babe Ruth’s “called shot” with the bat coming right off the card would be neat.

Be sure to follow Glebe on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date on their latest artwork.

Are Sculpted Sketch Cards In The Hobby’s Future?

Collectors are always on the lookout for the next cool thing.  Sometimes innovation can get a little stagnant depending on who you talk to.  Just look at the plain, unnumbered, one-color jersey card.  At one time these would be considered pulls of a lifetime, and now they’re a dime a dozen for the most part.  Nowadays when something new does come along, it either ends up being overproduced having it’s value get reduced to nothing, or produced in such small quantities only a few collectors get to appreciate it.  Its an incredibly difficult balance.

Speaking of innovation, check out the new Sculpted Sketch Cards from Glebe.  These pieces of artwork look awesome.  Its definitely a new take on sketch cards.  They literally jump out at you.  I’d really like to see Topps team-up with them to create some sports pieces.  As of right now, Glebe’s Sculpted Sketch Cards mainly focus on Marvel superheros.  I could see them being offered in high-end products as a redemption.  They would be ideal for a product like Topps Transcendent.  Just imagine some of baseball’s most iconic moments depicted this way.

 

Is Goal Line Art Officially Over?

Did anyone realize that Goal Line Art didn’t release a “Class of 2017” set last year?  With the Pro Football Hall of Fame getting ready to announce the 2018 class it got me wondering, is Goal Line Art officially over?  A statement on their website reads “Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to continue this series for the “Class of 2017″.  If anything changes or additional information becomes available, it will be posted on this site.”

Between 1989 and 2016 Goal Line Art released an annual set featuring members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  From 1989 to 1994 sets focused on past Hall of Famers.  Starting in 1995 and up to 2016 they were based on that specific year’s induction class.  Although they only produced one set per year, you have to admit these 4″ x 6″ artistic masterpieces have always been eye appealing.  Artist Gary Thomas painted all of them.  If you’ve ever attended an induction ceremony they are ideal for getting autographed.

So what happened?  That’s a good question.  I contacted them and received the same message they posted on their website.  Nothing more.  A few ideas do come to mind though.

Gary Thomas has been doing artwork for the Hall of Fame since the early 60’s.  Perhaps his age and health became an issue.  I reached out to him and got no response.

In April 2016 Panini’s NFL exclusive went into play.  Maybe that had something to do with it.  Goal Line Art released their “Class of 2016” set in June of that year.  Even though Panini’s exclusive was already in play they may have been allowed to squeeze out one more set.

I’d like to think that this was a one year fluke, but I’ve got a feeling it has to do with licensing.  That’s a shame.  Goal Line Art had a good 27 year run, and a loyal following.  You can still purchase past sets.  But it doesn’t look like they’ll be issuing anything new for awhile.  Nobody is talking.

Professional Football Celebrates It’s 125th Anniversary

On Sunday, professional football celebrated it’s 125th anniversary.  According to a November 12, 1892 expense accounting sheet from the Allegheny Athletic Association, a W. Heffelfinger was paid to play.  The official entry on the sheet reads “game performance bonus to W. Heffelfinger for playing (cash) $500.00”.  This is the earliest known evidence of an individual being paid to play football.  Historians consider this document to be professional football’s birth certificate.  $500.00 was a lot of money back then.  He must have been worth it, because the Allegheny Athletic Club beat the Pittsburgh Athletic Club that day 4-0.  Heffelfinger recovered a fumble to score the only touchdown.  In those days a touchdown was only worth four points.

You would think someone as historically significant as William “Pudge” Heffelfinger would have lots of cards.  That is far from the case.  I’d say his 1955 Topps All-American SP #18 is his most important card.  He also has a handful of cards in 2011 TRISTAR Obak, and a cut signature in 2014 Panini National Treasures.

Prints Available For Jamie Cooper’s The Greatest All Stars Dream Scene

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Earlier this year, sports artist Jamie Cooper wrapped up his most recent piece of MLB artwork for a private collector in California.  Its a masterpiece that collector will enjoy for many years to come.

I’m happy to announce that prints of this piece are now available.  Just like his Phillies and Yankees Dream Scenes, there was quite the demand for prints to be made of this one as well.  On his website, be sure to read the description Jamie Cooper has written about it.  He points out a lot of things you may not recognize at first.  Mike Schmidt continues to stand out the most to me thanks to his powder blue uniform.  Pete Rose found his way into this piece too.  You’ll find him sitting in the stands disguised as a janitor.

Jamie Cooper’s artwork is truly unique.  Prints based on his work make excellent gifts.  Every time you look at one of them, you’ll see something new.

Monty Sheldon’s 2016 Topps MLS Sketch Patch Card Gallery

Hand-drawn sketch cards, especially ones containing a multi-colored swatch, are some of my favorite modern day cards.  In addition to Gypsy Queen this year, sports artist Monty Sheldon contributed his talent to 2016 Topps Major League Soccer too.  There are (10) sketch patch cards inserted within ’16 Topps MLS, and Monty Sheldon drew all of them.  Each card is numbered “1 of 1” and is incredibly difficult to pull.  I think they look absolutely stunning.  I like how the patch seems to be shinning a beam of light on the player.  Even though this product was released in April, I’ve only seen two of these cards arrive on the secondary market – Obafemi Martins and Federico Higuain.

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