The Beckett Blog


Box Busters preview gallery: 2010 Topps National Chicle baseball cards by Chris Olds

While plenty has been said about the forthcoming 2010 National Chicle baseball card set from Topps, only a few have gotten their hands on the actual cards — well, other than all those athletes who signed on-card autographs — in advance of its release next week.

But the Beckett crew has busted a pair of hobby boxes for an upcoming Box Busters video — perhaps a pair of interesting, perhaps controversial breaks — and the results are in the microwave for now readying for release tomorrow.

Until then, though, feast on these actual card scans that show you a bit more of what Chicle is all about…

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Preview Gallery II: 2010 Topps National Chicle baseball cards by Chris Olds

The 2010 Topps National Chicle baseball card set is still on the schedule for  release in April, but we’ve gotten a another glimpse at more artwork from the dozen artists who helped produce the set.

Here’s the second of three galleries — one piece per artist — exclusive to Beckett Media. It’s a roster that includes Monty Sheldon, Paul Lempa, Mike Kupka, Dave Hobrecht, Jason Davies, Ken Branch, Brett Farr, Chris Felix, Don Higgins, Chris Henderson, Brian Kong and Jeff Zachowski.

Look for our final gallery in a future issue of Beckett Baseball closer to the set’s arrival. (See the previous gallery here.)

Until then, check them out…

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Preview Gallery: 2010 Topps National Chicle baseball cards by Chris Olds

The 2010 Topps National Chicle baseball card set is still a ways away from its release in April, but we’ve gotten a glimpse at more artwork from the dozen artists who helped produce the set.

Here’s the first of three galleries — one piece per artist. It’s a roster that includes Monty Sheldon, Paul Lempa, Mike Kupka, Dave Hobrecht, Jason Davies, Ken Branch, Brett Farr, Chris Felix, Don Higgins, Chris Henderson, Brian Kong and Jeff Zachowski.

Look for another here soon and a final one in a future issue of Beckett Baseball closer to the set’s arrival.

Until then, check them out…

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2010 Topps National Chicle Baseball: The artists react by Chris Olds

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball Editor

While we’ve talked about the reactions to some of the surprise inclusions in the 2010 Topps National Chicle Baseball set in the wake of their preview’s release on Friday, one group of people we hadn’t yet heard from are the artists.

You know, those who are bringing those National Chicle cards to life.

Whether you love or hate their work, they probably have a different perspective than the typical collector — they also are the ones working on deadline and the ones who bear some of the brunt of reactions to their assignments from Topps.

They also can have distinctly different styles of work, ranging from paintings that carry almost a sketch quality to paintings that carry more of a folk-style aesthetic — some of which may not spark the same types of reactions from different collectors.

The artists also the ones whose names are attached to the work at the end of the day. It’s a challenge but an opportunity just to be a part of something they just might carry a life-long interest in — a set of baseball cards.

Paul Lempa, who was profiled in Beckett Baseball No. 42 last year for his work on Topps’ Sketch Cards, is one of the artists on board for Chicle.

And it’s his Babe Ruth card that’s drawing the ire of some collectors.

“Exciting stuff,” said Lempa to the reaction in an email to Beckett Media. “I am flattered that my artwork could cause such an uproar. I would rather my paintings be discussed and deliberated, than skipped over, that’s for sure.”

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