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

Ted_williams

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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Preview Gallery: Paul Lempa’s 2009 Topps Series 2 Sketch Cards by Chris Olds

lempa9

The second series of 2009 Topps baseball cards are less than a week away from their official release date and we’ve got a sneak peek at 10 of the Sketch Cards that will be found in packs.

New Jersey-based artist Paul Lempa, who we profiled in Beckett Baseball issue No. 42 in April, has graciously shared all of his miniature painting cards that are just 2.5 by 3.5 inches in size.

(We hate calling these miniature masterpieces sketches as they are intricately detailed paintings the size of baseball cards that literally take hours to produce. Scans of these cards really don’t do them justice, either, as the texture and subtle shades of color in nearly every region of Lempa‘s cards are fascinating.)

And you’ll note we said all of his cards as each artist for Series 2 has reportedly only produced 10 Sketch Cards apiece for the product — expect an official announcement from Topps on that before the product’s release on Wednesday — meaning they just might be some of the best Sketch Cards ever seen.

See them all after the jump.

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