The Beckett Blog

Baseball artist Monty Sheldon to commemorate 90th anniversary of Black Sox with eight sketch cards by Chris Olds

An example of Monty Sheldon's sketch cards -- a past Sheldon’s Sketch Card Champions card of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

Noted baseball artist Monty Sheldon is commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal with a series of eight hand-drawn and intricately detailed pencil sketch cards that he will complete, unveil and sell on the anniversary of each game from the 1919 World Series.

His “Eight Men Out” concept is an interesting piece of self-promotion — he already sells his Sheldon’s Sketch Card Champions cards, which are part of a larger set weekly on eBay (user rube77) — but this project will acknowledge the history of the game and, with the auctions’ subjects and timing, also perhaps bring some attention to one of baseball’s more interesting stories.

But it’s also a project that ties into his creative past.

“When I first started painting on baseballs back in 1998, I knew the following year would be the 80th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal, and I finished painting a baseball of each player to correspond with each game’s date,” Sheldon said on Friday afternoon. “Back then, that group of baseballs proved to be quite popular when I would display them at the card shows.

“Now, it is 10 years later, and I wanted to add something special to my sketch card set, so the 90th anniversary set made perfect sense.”

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And the Paul Lempa painting card winners are … by Chris Olds


For Beckett Baseball No. 45, we had baseball artist Paul Lempa produce four baseball card-sized paintings of some memorable baseball cards to give away to our lucky readers.

And a fifth reader got to select a custom-painted card for the New Jersey-based artist to create.

All they had to do was tell us who their favorite sports artist is — and the winners were selected based on what they wrote.

Four winners will receive at random one of the cards shown after the jump, which are paintings of Ted Williams’ 1948-49 Leaf card, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson‘s 1915 Cracker Jack, Lou Gehrig‘s 1933 Goudey and Willie Mays‘ 1952 Bowman cards.

Lempa was profiled in a past issue of Beckett Baseball and has produced Sketch Cards for several Topps products in the last year or so. He also has signed on for Topps’ upcoming National Chicle football card set.

These intricately designed paintings take hours to complete and the scans do them no justice, but they’ll be joining the collections of a few lucky collectors.

And the winners are …

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Upper Deck announces All-Star FanFest plans by Chris Olds

Pujols Card - FF1

Upper Deck has announced its plans for the MLB All-Star Fanfest, which begins Friday in St. Louis.

The company will be giving away free posters featuring Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols during each day of the show as well as a wrapper redemption program. Fans who purchase three packs of any 2009 Upper Deck baseball products with a suggested retail price of $1.99 or more per pack at the show and open them at the booth will receive one of five FanFest-exclusive packs.

Musial Card FF-10Friday packs include:
Pujols, Ken Griffey Jr., Bruce Sutter and Tim Lincecum

Saturday’s packs include:
Stan Musial, Derek Jeter, Rick Ankiel and Enos Slaughter

Sunday packs will include:
Ozzie Smith, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dustin Pedroia
and Colby Rasmus

Monday packs will include:
Bob Gibson, Joe DiMaggio, Zach Greinke
and Ryan Braun

Tuesday packs will include:
Lou Brock, Ichiro, Red Schoendienst
and Josh Hamilton

Cardinals Painting 1

Some lucky collectors will find in their packs a “Cardinals painting” bonus card, which is numbered to 500 copies. The Ron Stark work shows Smith, Gibson, Brock, Pujols and Musial together and the original art will be on display at Upper Deck’s booth and will be auctioned on Tuesday during the live Hunt Auctions event.

In addition to those cards, Upper Deck will have computer stations for will be set up where kids can explore its virtual world and receive sticker sheets, temporary tattoos, VIP “inside access” badges and promo packs. Upper Deck also will have a personalized trading card station where fans can get their very own Upper Deck MLB FanFest card made.