Friday, March 24, 2017

TTM Requests Out But Not Forgotten

I have had some luck with TTM requests and I usually have custom cards in the works in case I decide to send out some requests. Last fall I sent out two packages but since I have moved and my ex-girlfriend sold her house and moved two weeks ago, I put in a change of address and she put in a change of address so I still have hope that if the cards were signed that the return packages will make it to me or her but it has been over 6 months so I am feeling a bit deflated.

I created cards for Kurt Russell and Sam J Jones. Kurt Russell is one of those easy to love actors who has made such a variety of movies that everyone can enjoy something that he has done. What a lot of people do not know is that Russell actually played minor league baseball in the California Angels organization. He made it to AA but he had started acting as a kid and ended up turning to Hollywood and gave up baseball, though he did return to play for his father's Portland Mavericks minor league team. He has no official cards but Dave Stewart (a disabled Vietnam vet) created a set with proceeds going to the Disabled American Veterans fund that depicts Kurt in his El Paso Sun Kings uniform, a card I do have in my collection. After watching the Battered Bastards of Baseball documentary about Kurt and his father I decided to make a card for Kurt with the Mavericks.

I used the 1977 Topps baseball design, which was Kurt's final year playing baseball. It was difficult finding any images of Kurt with the Mavericks and what I did find was in sepia tone so I ended up colorizing the image. The entire image was the color of the people in the background, so everything else was touched up by me. The problem with colorizing a sepia image is that colors don't come out natural. Using a black and white image would have been easier but I liked this shot so I worked with what I have. I used Mark Fidrych's back as the template and used Russell's actual stats and created the cartoon based on Kurt Russell's portrayal of a jungle boy on Gilligan's Island. I used matte photo paper when I printed the front and cardboard stock when printing the back. I sent five copies of the card asking that Kurt sign two and return them using the SASE and keep the other 3 for his friends/family.

Sam J Jones played Flash Gordon in the 1980 film and without going in to it I have a sentimental connection to the movie and I do have a small Flash Gordon collection. In the movie Flash is the NY Jets QB and gets abducted by Zarkov and ends up on Mongo where he leads a rebellion against the dictator Ming the Merciless. Jones does not appear in the movie wearing the Jets uniform but as part of the advertising blitz this image was released. There have been a couple of people that have used this image to create cards but I wanted to create my own for a TTM request.

I used the 1980 Topps football design and with the help of a reader, thank you Greg, I was able to get a detailed scan of the back of the actual NY Jets QB Richard Todd. I changed up the personal bio information using Sam J Jones info but I kept Todd's stats. Like Russell cards I used matte photo paper for the front and cardboard stock for the back and again I sent 5 cards asking two to be signed and returned and to keep the other 3 for friends/family.

If they do eventually make their way back to me I plan on keeping one signed copy of each and doing a contest for the other autographed copy of each card. I currently have two cards designed for one of my favorite actors as well as a series I am designing for a movie trilogy that I will be sending out soon.


  1. These are really cool. I hope you get your signed copies.

  2. Nice work.. good luck getting them back signed.

  3. They look great. I would think they'd appreciate your work and honor your request. Good luck.

  4. Nice job on these customs! Hope you're able to get your cards signed & returned.

    I've heard that Kurt Russel is/was one of the more athletic actors out there, but i didn't know he actually played ball. The Flash Gordon is very cool, too. Have you thought about making any other fictional character customs?

    1. I just finished one using a Skybox Autographics design of a former NFL player who is now an actor but never had an official card. I have a couple of movie cards in the works and just finished a television show set.