Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bundy Ball

I've previously expressed my love for Ed O'Neil and Married... with Children so it was only a matter of time before I made some more custom cards from one of the greatest tv shows of all-times.

The Bundys played in a mall softball league on a team that was sponsored by the New Market Mall where Al worked as a shoe salesman.  The New Market Mallers was referenced in two episodes; Season Two's "How Do You Spell Revenge" and Season Five's "The Unnatural".  The two cards above are from the latter.  This is an episode where the Mallers, and Al's own family, are dogging him for his poor play and showing no appreciation for Al's past Maller softball glory.  The team decides to bring in a muscle bound ringer, "Sven Hunkstrom", to replace Al and give the Mallers the edge in the league's championship game.  Sven is inadvertently knocked out by Al's neighbor nemesis Marcy whom is umping the game leaving Al as the team's only hope.  After some ass kissing from his family Al steps up to the plate, calls his shot Babe Ruth style and knocks one out of the park securing the championship for the Mallers.  I specifically remember this episode growing up and remembering it was a favorite of mine.

I went with the a 1981 Topps baseball inspired design even though this episode is from 1990.  I just thought of all the different templates I've done this one just had the right feel.  I also needed a set that had a cool Future Stars card for the other Bundys and I loved the way the one I did in the Freaks and Geeks set turned out.

There was another baseball themed episode in Season Nine's "A Man For No Seasons".  This time it was Al and his NO MA'AM buddies starting their own working man's league with Major League Baseball on strike in 1994.  The local media picks up the story of Al & co. landing in jail for sneaking into Wrigley Field for a pickup baseball game.  In the article Al is typo'd as a Al "Birdie".  From that article a league is formed of working stiffs and sponsored by nudie bars to where all team names are boobie related.  In the end the league disbands for the very same reason as the MLB was on strike which was money disputes between players and owners.

I again chose not to go with my M.O. of matching the movie/show year to a card design of the same vintage.  I'd stopped collecting baseball cards by 1994 to focus my card collecting on basketball.  I don't even really know what the 1994 sets looked liked, so for one there was no nostalgia with those for me.  I went the 1981 Fleer inspired design because again I just thought it fit best with the picture.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Ahmad Rashad

Back in the mid through late ‘90s times were tight in our house and my parents decided cable television was a luxury we could do without.  This meant basketball obsessed me only got to see my beloved Pistons and occasionally games on NBC towards the end of the season.  I’ve never been an evening news watcher --it’s always depressing-- so I didn't get a lot of out-of-market highlights from around the NBA, because with no cable there’s no SportsCenter.  For this reason I looked forward to each Saturday afternoon to NBA Inside Stuff hosted by Ahmad Rashad to feed my Basketball Jones.  I would even often times record the episodes so I could watch them again because I was that obsessed.

I really liked the show’s format.  The “Rewind” segment was probably my favorite where they would recap the best action from the previous week from around the NBA.  There was also “Jam Session” where they’d do a montage of dunks set to popular songs.  In addition Ahmad would also do interview segments with players that would give you insight to their personalities and interests away from the court.  They packed a lot into their 30 minute time slot and it was always upbeat and entertaining.

As a way to promote Inside Stuff and their new partnership with NBC the NBA allowed Ahmad, a former NFL player, to suit up for the Philadelphia 76ers and log a couple of minutes in a preseason game against the then expansion Minnesota Timberwolves.  Eighteen thousand plus turned out to Minneapolis’ Target Center for this preseason game to see their new franchise take on the Sixers and a guy who played wide receiver for their Vikings from 1976 to his final season in 1982; making the Pro Bowl from 1978 to 1981.

For his part Ahmad went one-for-one knocking down a 20-foot jumper in his couple minutes of play.  The Sixers won the game 102-96.  The footage, which included Sixers’ practice, was later used as a segment on NBA Inside Stuff.

1990-91 Skybox
For this card I’ve chosen a 1990-91 Skybox inspired design.  This was Skybox’s inaugural basketball set.  The cards featured a more premium look than that of NBA Hoops or Fleer.  They were packaged in foil packs and featured action photos with state-of-the-art (for the time) computer graphic backgrounds.  The card back featured a candid photo of the players with very minimal statistical information.  I remember collecting these back in 1990.  I want to say they were a later season release if I remember correctly.  They were okay but I much prefer the NBA Hoops release from this year with Fleer bringing up the rear, the wayyy rear.

I’ve actually been wanting to use this design for the longest time now but nothing really made sense to me; which is why I was thrilled when I came across the photo of Ahmad in Sixers gear and learned it was from 1990.  I love the way this one turned out, it’s exactly the way I pictured it in my head. 

With my satisfaction from this card I’ve got another project planned for this template.  It’s a long term one though because the design takes a little more time and the subject is season specific.  No more hints.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Despite it's popularity I've never seen a single episode of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series that ran from 1997 to 2003, but I've seen the 1992 movie a number of times.  The reason is due to Kristy Swanson being one of my biggest 90's crushes.  This is before the internet age where you can just Google then ogle.  You had to actually watch a movie to see your crush.  /old man rant.

Interestingly enough when I started thinking about making a Buffy set it really wasn't foremost because of Kristy.  I wanted to make a basketball card of Sasha Jenson as "Grueller" when he turns into a vampire during the big basketball game.  In a ironic twist I feel like that card turned out to be the least important character in the seven card set but I kept it in because of the cameo of a young Ben Affleck as "Basketball Player #10".
1992-93 Skybox

For this set I chose the 1992-93 Skybox basketball inspired design going off of the original idea to make the Grueller basketball card.  This set took me a little longer of the extra work it takes for the mask layer on each card.  Normally I spend a lot of time getting the template design just right from a vintage inspired card set then just start plugging in the pictures and info to make the different cards.  This Skybox set was around the time, sports card-wise, when the action photography started taking precedence over the card design.  Collectors started seeing cards that looked more like glossy high resolution photographs and borders started to disappear.  So, every card in this set I had to pretty much start from scratch as opposed to just plugging in the photo and changing the name.

I split the set in two giving the good guys matching colors and the same was done for the baddies.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Plus 2

These two cards came by request in response to the Isiah Thomas Dream Team card I made.  Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner were final two players added to the 1992 Barcelona Dream Team roster in May of 1992.  Because of their late additions the didn’t have Team USA cards in the second series of the 1991-92 NBA Hoops set.  A mail away Dream Team Drexler card was offered from as a mail away promotion.  That card was pretty rare having a reported print run of 10,000 copies which was a low number for that time.  There was no Laettner but I have to assume that was due to his then still amateur collegiate status.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

She's My Cherry Pie

Here's a fun autograph card I did of Rock 'n' Roll video vixen Bobbie Brown.

Most any red blooded American male with access to MTV in 1990 remembers Bobbie from Warrant's "Cherry Pie" video.  Bobbie was also a 13 time Star Search spokesperson competition winner as well appeared in three episodes of Married... With Children and in the the movie Last Action Hero.

The card itself is not one of my vintage inspired designs but rather just something I thought would would like as an autograph card.