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Thread: [Featured Thread] Bridging the Gap between Baseball Card and Art Collecting

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    [Featured Thread] Bridging the Gap between Baseball Card and Art Collecting

    If your collecting career was alive and well during the 1980's, you were treated to finding your favorite players packaged with all sorts of things. From cookies and breads to sausage and dog food, they were everywhere. Unless they were Broders, you were very familiar with the airbrushed hat, not unlike what Panini and Leaf have to do these days. Companies did a great job understanding what their consumers liked, and in the 80's, it was baseball cards.

    Cards being inserted into bread is now a thing of the past. Card companies have done a number of things differently from back then. Some loved, some hated. One such item that has drawn criticism are sketch cards. Perhaps this is a way to bridge the gap between the nerdy card collector and snooty art collector, but it really is a mixed bag.

    I am not going to post pictures of anyone's work in terms of which sketch cards are laughable, but I'm sure you have seen them. Heck, I threw my hat into the cut auto sketch ring one time ... remember this?



    If that isn't talent, then I don't know what is!

    Card collectors in general are learning that value is not just about how the art card looks; but also who sketched it.

    I'm getting off track though. What this post really is about is my latest PC addition (don't worry, it ties in later ... sort of.). As I was cruising online recently, I saw a painting that looked vaguely familiar.



    I shuffled through my odd-ball box to the food issued card section, and found something that looked to be identical to what I had seen online. As it turns out, the painting above is the original painting used for this card:



    Does this look familiar to you at all? It was put out by Metz Bakery back in 1993. Metz Bakery did a set of 40 cards consisting of several bigger time players from the 80's and 90's like Griffey, Barry Bonds, Will Clark, Roger Clemens, etc. As you can see, the card type shows a painting of the player, and not an actual photograph.

    This isn't a blockbuster card by any stretch of the imagination - heck, the highest I've ever seen a 1993 Metz card sell for was a PSA 10 Rickey Henderson for $25 - but allow me to provide some background on it. To me, the more interesting of a story, the more valuable the card is. First, some history:

    Metz Bakery was not exactly a mom and pop shop. As a matter of fact, they were apparently bought out for 625 MILLION dollars in the late 90's. (Man, think about how many baseball cards you could buy with that kind of cash!)



    Somewhere in the mix, Michael Schechter & Associates was involved in this. If that name doesn't ring a bell, perhaps you know them better by the initials MSA. Those initials are linked to many food and oddball issues of the 70's and beyond, like Ralston Purina, Kraft Singles, Jimmy Dean, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Slim Jim, M&M's, etc. The list goes on. Basically, if it was a food issue, the chances are that MSA had something to do with it. As mentioned above, Metz Bakery was added to the list.

    The photograph that this was modeled after was even used for another odd ball issue.



    Nothing like a good ol' Canadian bread card issue!



    I'll put them side by side for you ... see the resemblance?



    For a COMPLETELY unrelated reason, I was searching eBay today, and found this had sold a few months ago.



    Look familiar? That is because it is a picture (from the Topps Vault) that was most likely taken a mere SECONDS before or after the model picture for the Metz and JJ Nissen cards. What are the odds that I would come across this without looking!? Here it is with the JJ Nissen card on top of it.



    So anyway, Metz Bakery went a different route and commissioned an artist to paint 40 portraits of the players they selected for use in their baseball cards. This is what makes this set unique- where most cards during this time period were photographs, Metz said "let's commission an artist!" and it was so.

    Original artwork of any checklisted card is intriguing to me, so I reached out to the seller to find out more. You can think of this as not just a 1/1, and not just a printing plate, but something in between.

    The name of the artist is Don Ivan Punchatz. As with any piece of art that I run across, I went to google with it to see if he is famous, has done anything worth mentioning, etc. Most of the time, I'm left empty handed with an unheralded artist, but this particular artist had a few interesting pieces.

    Mr. Punchatz passed away 6 years ago on the same month/day my son's birthday. He was an artist that his work definitely did not go with him, as it is all over the internet. They are VERY unique and many look quite bizarre. Try this one on for size:



    Aside from doing work on various CD covers, National Geographic and Time Magazine, he is remembered well for this little piece:



    Yes, my friends - he is the one who did the box art for DOOM. The video game that I wasn't allowed to play when it came out because it was too violent.

    With all of these accolades, it was enough for me to really want this piece of art, but there was one thing that REALLY got me on board. Here is another piece of his:



    Boom.

    He drew the very first Star Wars poster. If you didn't already know, my son is a HUGE Star Wars fan, so to have a Jose Canseco painting done by someone who did Star Wars art which was used as a checklisted card - that is just a home run right there!

    To make things even better, when it arrived in the mail, it was absolutely stunning. It is such a beautiful piece, I couldn't be more happy. I took some pictures to show it off:

    Here is the front cover. It had a clipping of the picture used, along with a drawn "T" on the hat. The bottom has instructions telling the company to send back the art back to Mr. Punchatz when they were done with it.



    When you flip this piece of cardboard over, it acts like an easel almost, to stand up the piece. I figured I'd display the 2 cards I have with it, in a cubby in my office.



    Here is a close up of the pic. Note there is a loose clear sheet that is over the entire painting to protect it.



    I asked if he had any others, and he does - as a matter of fact, several are on eBay right now, but he has some that are not. Sadly, the majority of the big stars are not available, but I was able to pick up the Will Clark as well.



    Here is a pic of the card the painting above was used for:



    The more I dig into these odd ball cards, the more interesting and collectible I find them. While I'm not a fan of sketch cards (I've never bought one before), I would definitely be a fan if they were drawn by artists who have somewhat famous pieces out there. Some Punchatz originals are for sale right now on eBay for $1000+

    Here is a little video I did of the latest piece for my PC:

    Last edited by mouschi; 11-25-2015 at 04:03 PM.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 - Questions about this? PM ME!
    Do you have rare Jose Canseco cards? Let me know! www.CansecoCollector.com

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    Member finestkind's Avatar
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    Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

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    Good stuff sir...


    Ryan
    ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ODDBALL, REGIONAL, TEAM ISSUED, VARIATIONS, AND TOUGH CARDS OF WILL CLARK AND MIKE BROWN





    BIG THANKS TO JBEL4431 FOR THE BANNERS

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    Senior Member Hawk8's Avatar
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    very cool
    Want to buy anything Andre Dawson - Twitter @The8Hawk8
    159,911 Total Cards, 4,181 Different Cards, 1,098 Autographs, 355 1/1s, 174 RCs, 373 Graded, 187 Packs, 6 Buttons, 1,282 Mem Cards, 2,666 SN Cards
    28 Cameos, 206 Mentions, 337 Checklists
    Also collecting Drew Brees with my son

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    Senior Member DaClyde's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting about these, I just snagged the Winfield.

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    A_Pharis's Avatar
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    Wow, that's cool!
    - Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaClyde View Post
    Thanks for posting about these, I just snagged the Winfield.
    Wow I didn't even see the Winfield - congrats! You are getting a true collection standout piece
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 - Questions about this? PM ME!
    Do you have rare Jose Canseco cards? Let me know! www.CansecoCollector.com

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    Junior Member Mark70Z's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing; very cool art piece. Really like the way you have it displayed. Now all you need is the original photo to go w/it.

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    Super Moderator gt2590's Avatar
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    Coolio stuff as usual man!
    Currently looking for: 2012 Ultra football (1992 style) #31 Rudy and Gold parallel version of 2011 Bowman Platinum Chase Utley #94.

    Always looking for: 2008 BC Jake Peavy Orange Refractors /25, have 6 so far.

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    Senior Member DaClyde's Avatar
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    Mine arrived yesterday. I had no idea which image they might have used as a reference. Now I understand why it didn't stand out in my mind, he wasn't wearing a cap! I always though the cap looked a little odd in on the card.



    Last edited by DaClyde; 12-01-2015 at 08:42 AM.

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