When I was a kid, I spent more than my share of time playing with my baseball cards. It was a constant process of sorting, shuffling, organization, cataloging and filing, getting them bunched up in boxes or correctly arranged within binders.
But beyond that, there wasn’t much in the way of projects going on in my bedroom. The closest I got was assembling lineups on card pages. Sometimes, I’d put together my nine favorite Red Sox, or that day’s starting lineup. Once, I put together Mr. Burns’ ringer softball team.
But I never thought to do anything as cool as what my friend Cee Angi pulled off.
Taking a series of doubles from the 2010 Topps issue, which she’s been collecting like a madwoman, Cee whipped up a cardboard collage, creating a colorful clash of action shots and baseball logos.
“I’ve always been fascinated by collages,” Cee explained. “I’ve always wanted to make a collage, but could never think of anything worth collage-ing (not a real word). I had just purchased a box of 2010 Topps cards, my fourth big-box of the season, and had them sorted all on my desk — by team, by division, by position — then a stack for duplicates.
“Having these cards strewn all over my desk was a beautiful and colorful mess, of pitchers, of catchers, of celebrating teams, and of losers, like Yankees. Seeing them chaotically arranged inspired me to Google ‘baseball collage’ and I found a link to someone who had turned a coffee table into a baseball card table.
“I thought, ‘I can make a table!’ In fact, I already had the table that he used. But since I have a lot of white wall space in my apartment, I figured a wall collage would be more my speed, especially for a first attempt. The tables also use gloss and resin, and I was unsure about using these products on a first attempt … saving those for days when I feel a bit more adventurous and want to spend the additional funds.”
So, there you have it. Cee went to work on the collage, using duplicates she’d collected from her Topps boxes, and started working on the best layout possible.
“Honestly, the design could be better. Since I’m the ‘artist,’ I see a lot of flaws in my initial design. I had so much adhesive on my fingers towards the end that I just wanted to stick them on and scrub my fingers. I think in the future I’ll spend a bit more time plotting a layout that makes sense. I’m also interested in doing some smaller pieces with a certain focus (a team, all pitchers, AL/NL), perhaps smaller canvases.”
Cee’s no stranger to card collecting, either, but what was an occasional indulgence turned more serious in the past year or so. Turning them into wall art was one way to celebrate that.
“The ‘serious’ collecting is new, but collecting in general is an old habit. When I was a child, my father would bribe me with baseball cards. If I cleaned my room, he’d bring home a couple of packs of Topps cards for me, which we’d look at together and discuss. I remember getting my first Barry Larkin card and keeping it on my night-stand next to my Teddy Bear.
“The serious collecting returned after a renewed love for cards last season. I found some old cards at a thrift store, then had an opportunity to buy a few unopened packs from the early 1990s, and recalled how much fun the hunt could be. This season got a bit out of control as I searched for a 2010 Topps Jason Varitek card, and I kept buying and buying.
“I’ve also been frequenting a baseball card shop here in the city [Editor’s note: she lives in Chicago] to dig through the boxes of cards. In individual cards, I’ve been sticking to early 1990s Braves/Reds cards, as well as Red Sox cards. I’ve got quite the blooming collection.”
While we were talking, Cee noted that she thought some people would see taking the cards and mashing them together with glue and gloss as sacrilegious. I suppose she could’ve glued the next ’52 Mickey Mantle in there, but that’s not likely. And besides, what’s the point of baseball cards but to have fun with them?
“As a collector, I’m a bit concerned about being judged for such an egregious use of baseball cards. These will not be a binder in mint condition. In my first attempt, I used only duplicates of cards that I had, and I used only 2010 Topps cards. On future ones, I’m not sure I will stick to just duplicates, but clearly not cards with high values. In the end, I probably will get more enjoyment out of my collages than I will of cards in a binder, so I actually don’t care if you don’t like the use of my purchase (send hate-mail to email@example.com).”
I don’t think that will be much of an issue. Keep ’em coming, Cee, and if you ever make a collage tribute to the 2010 Red Sox, you have my address.