DeadHorse Topps Magic Storytellers (Help Wanted!)
I've been wanting to do a thread for a long time but have not had the time. I am doing this because partly, I need help. In February of 2011, I started a project of making my own 100 card custom Topps Magic set. The ground rules for me were loose but important.
1) I wanted to build my collection with new faces, so I did not want to completely go back and re-mail to everyone of which I already had autographs
2) I wanted good, reliable (and preferably quick - 3 months or less) TTM signers. My cards are two-sided and are labor intense especially if I have to colorize the photo on the card. To mail out something that I may never get back is something I have tried to avoid. I think of the 82 successes, only about 8 other cards I have made have never come back)
3) I wanted to mix up the schools a little bit. It's hard, I'm Big 10 bias. I'm also OSU alumni, which is the reason for so many Buckeyes. Most of the guys in the set even have Ohio roots. With that said, I do not want anymore Buckeyes, Wolverines or Irish for the remaining spots.
4) I did not want too many "no-names"....Tons of people have played college football. While I know I have some names many of you may not know, I'm always up for a good back story. I loved a baseball success I had with Roy Gleason because he had one MLB at bat and had a hit....then was drafted into Vietnam, was wounded, and never played in the 'show' again. I definitely enjoy those kind of stories.
5) I started out wanting to make the card numbers match the jersey number (or vice versa) but unfortunately, it is really hard to find some jersey numbers, so I gave up after awhile and just started filling spots.
6) PICTURES! I need to be able to procure decent quality photos, preferably in color. There are so many great 'TTM' signers who finding collegiate pictures of is next to impossible.
With that said, Here's 82 of my 100 successes. I have two other fresh requests out to Joe Washington, University of Oklahoma and Michael Dean Perry, Clemson. I need another 17 names (16 cards and a checklist) of which to make cards for 'TTM'.
1 - I chose Anthony Carter because he was a magician. He was an All-American at Michigan and being that he wore jersey #1, I thought he was the perfect fit.
2 - Sterling Sharpe was a treasure of the NFL and was only second to Jerry Rice (which is like not being 2nd at all) during his playing days. Sadly, his career was cut short by injury. To me, if Gale Sayers is in the Hall, so should Sterling
3 - Rick Mirer was a phenom of my junior high years. Up until now, the last time Notre Dame was a solid program was during the days of Lou Holtz and Ron Mirer. In 1993 I remember people legitly debating who was better - Drew Bledsoe or Rick Mirer. Ouch.
4 - Other than Notre Dame Football, the other dominant program of my childhood was the Jimmy Johnson led Miami Hurricanes. Steve Walsh was their star QB and Johnson liked him so much, he brought him to Dallas with him. Obviously, it did not work out so well for Steve because he was shipped to New Orleans during the 1990 season.
5 - This card number was cursed for me. I first made a card number 5 for Garrison Hearst. It never came back. I then made another card number 5 for Jared Zabransky with him doing the "Statue of Liberty" play. It never came back (I even sent him an extra to keep!). Neither were meant to be, apparently. As it turns out, Gordon Bell was a local high school football hero in the 1970s and the Big Ten's leading rusher in 1975 the year that Archie Griffin won the Heisman.
6- Tim Dwight was greased lightning back in the late 1990s at Iowa. When the Buckeyes played Iowa, they feared one guy, and it was Tim.
7 - David Klingler was a fun add to the collection. I could not resist a guy that put up Tecmo Bowl like numbers of over 700 yards passing in a single game (and had another where he passed for 690!)
8 - This is a cursed number also, apparently. It took me forever to find a number 8 but I landed on Joey Porter who was reliable for awhile. I sent him an extra to keep but he must have liked them enough that he kept 'em both. I ended up making it Jim Ballard, who brought fame to little Mount Union College and a winning streak that continues today.
9 - Jim McMahon, my favorite player growing up.
I will add my other pages in the very near future. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to toss out some names of good 'ttm' signers with available photos.
For cards numbered 10-18, I still leaned heavily on the QB position. Most of my card numbers 1-18 were filled quickly due to the large number of good names and signers available.
10 - Pat Haden was a good selection for me because he was a star at USC, is their AD, and also played in the NFL for the Rams. Unfortunately, I did not have a pro card to mail to him with this one. Usually, I try to pick up an extra autograph along with each of these requests if I can.
11 - Jeff George / I found an ESPN classic game of Illinois versus USC from 1989. In the game Illinois was struggling. It was late, and it looked like a miracle would need to happen for Illinois to pull out victory. If it were not for Jeff George (and some luck), that game would have been an easy USC victory. Instead, George threw 2 late TDs to lead the Illini to victory. I will always remember Jeff George as a really tough case....he was ridiculously talented at times, but was equally locker room cancer.
12 - Dane Sanzenbacher / Dane did a signing at a local mall in 2011 and I had my dealer get this autographed for me. I loved Sanzenbacher as a ballplayer. He was always in the right place at the right time. This was one of my first cards I made for this set and almost did not include it since it was not TTM. I was told he really enjoyed the card.
13 - Vlade Janakievski / Not only a great Buckeye Kicker but also a great Deli Owner on OSU's campus. I liked the way the card turned out and I almost axed it from this collection but overall, it just turned out nice.
14 - Johnny Lattner / I had made a custom card of him a few years ago that I colorized and it was horrible looking. It was in my early days of colorizing and it was just a bad experiment. I felt I needed redemption after that lame-o work and conjured up a black-and-white photo and spent a great deal of time colorizing and trying to make sure it was not cartoonish looking. I was happy with the way the card turned out, but happier when it came back autographed with the Heisman inscription without me requesting!
15 - Russell Erxleben was a interesting choice but I loved the photo and the fact that he is tied for the longest field goal in college football history - 67 yards.
16 - Elmo Boyd / Before Sanzenbacher was 12 and Janakievski was 13, I had this card pegged for Buckeye hero Craig Krenzel. Craig never sent the card back after 18 months so I finally gave up. Elmo was a local football hero and played in the NFL for one season. I actually had lunch with him and he signed this one for me personally. He was a neat guy to meet.
17 - Billy Kilmer / Growing up I loved NFL films and had a Dad who loved the '70s Dolphins. Between those two 'loves', I learned a lot about the '70s Redskins and had some Bill Kilmer cards laying around from the 1973 set. I loved the vintage "Jump Pass" photo. People usually laugh at this card because of the 'Jump pass', which makes it a fun timepiece.
18 - Archie Manning / I laughed a few years ago when someone said Archie Manning stopped signing because I am a firm believer that if someone has signed 'TTM' before, they will again - for the right person or letter. I made this card of Archie and in the process of filling in the data on the back, I realized his birthday was in a couple of days. I handmade a birthday card and enclosed the cards inside and told him that the one card was for him to keep as a present and that I hoped he would sign the other for me. I loved the photo...I bought a football book from the 1970s and it was a full 10 x 13 color photograph of Archie that I used for the card.
As previously mentioned, spots fill up a lot more quickly for me when the numbers are low. I really tried hard in the beginning to match card numbers to jersey numbers. As you can see in here, only 1 card number is not matched to the jersey number.
19 - Gary Huff was - like Archie Manning - someone that I found a great photo of in a early 1970s college football book. Whenever I would see a nice photo, I would look the person's name up to see if they had any fame and then I would decide whether or not to make a card. Number 19 was a tough number to fill anyway and Gary was a great person to put in that spot.
20 - Billy Sims was a great photo and great #20. My favorite part about this card other than his hair was that on the back, he misunderstood my trivia question of "Who Won the Heisman Trophy Award in 1979?" When you turn the card upside down, you would see the answer was Charles White, USC. Billy took the liberty to change the "9" to an "8". It was funny and just adds more character to the collection.
21 - Heath Shuler was a member of the class of 1994 that I included mainly because of his political fame. He is a member of the US House of Representatives for the state of North Carolina. It's ironic that he played football in Washington, D.C. and then later became a politician. He was a great ballplayer at Tennessee but just did not enjoy success in the NFL.
22 - John Cappelletti / Like my Johnny Lattner success, John was someone I butchered a black-and-white photo of in my early customs work. I mean, literally, the card was so bad that I may have possibly thrown it away. I am thankful JC's a good TTMer and by the time I wrote to him again, I had a real NFL card to mail him along with this custom. I was really glad with the way this one turned out too...with his Blue autograph, it just turned out sharp.
23 - Johnny Roland was a success I piggybacked off someone else. I chose Johnny because he is in the College Football Hall of Fame and played pro ball for the Cardinals. It was not easy finding a number 23 and I really liked the photo.
24 - Ryan Brewer was a local high school hero that went to South Carolina and played the biggest game of his life in the 2000 Outback Bowl. He earned MVP honors in the Gamecocks defeat of OSU and being he is from the area (despite the fact he beat my alma mater), I definitely wanted him in the set.
25 - Shane Carter is also a local high school hero and a personal friend. He is the younger brother of Cris Carter and led the Big Ten in Interceptions in 2007.
26 - Tom Rathman fit the bill of having a great amount of NFL fame being that he played for the Super Bowl 49ers squads and also was a number that otherwise would be tough to fill. I mailed to Tom in care of his house and when he did not respond after a month or so but was responding to mail c/o 49ers, I assumed he did not want mail to his house. I ended up getting both requests back so I have two of this card.
27 - Carroll Hardy was a great selection because he (like Heath Shuler) has a claim to fame outside of football. He is the only man to Pinch Hit for Ted Williams and Carl Yazstremski. Not only that, he was a pretty good college football player at Colorado and played in the NFL for the 49ers before choosing baseball permanently.
I think I'm going to call it a night but I'll be back....I have several more pages to go!
Officially, this is where the cracks and needs will begin to show. I will post remaining successes as they come through the mail and as the cards are made. For now, here we go...
28 - (EMPTY)
29 - Marcus Ray - Despite being a Wolverine, Marcus Ray is from Columbus, OH and was a dominant force in the '97 Wolverines secondary. I will always remember the Sports Illustrated of him clocking David Boston that said "Take That!"
30 - (EMPTY)
31 - (EMPTY)
32 - Vagas Ferguson - Local football hero and former Notre Dame All-American and New England Patriot. Vagas sent me back a short note that told me his grandson lives in my town and that he comes through regularly. I hope to meet him some day.
33- John Kuhn was one of my first Magic customs. I liked his story and I liked also that he came from a small school. This one was gone a long time due to the lockout of 2011.
34 - Raymont Harris was my favorite Buckeye growing up. He was a tough one to get to sign for me but eventually helped me out.
35 - Lee Corso - I wanted to use 'Scooter' as my checklist card. However, I thought that I enjoyed his mascot heads and costumes so much that I would just make him a regular part of the set. The back of the card talks of his achievements as a member of the Florida State Seminoles, where he played collegiately.
36 - John Herrnstein was a former Philadelphia Phillies baseball player. His son taught at my high school and when I found the black-and-white photo of him in a magazine as a Wolverine, I took on the task of colorizing the card. Although it looks cartoonish, I still liked the results.
Like my previous post, I am needing some help in this part of my set. Back when I first did this project, Champ Henson was my card number 38. Champ was a Buckeye in the early 1970s and it was before I had loaded up the set with other Buckeyes, so I did not think it was overkill at that time. My card never came back.
37 - Shaun Alexander - I chose Shaun because there are few great players that wore #37 and Shaun is definitely probably the best. I remember distinctly that he added extra postage for my envelope, I assume to make sure that the envelope was specially handled to prevent damage.
38 - Empty
39- (Empty) I have a card in my basement that is of Curtis Enis. He is from a local high school and still coaches high school football in the area. I have not seen him around anywhere to try and solicit autograph. I did try him 'TTM' once and never heard back on another request so I have not bothered mailing this one. For now, the spot will remain vacant.
40- Ed McCaffrey - I enjoyed 'Easy' Ed as a part of the Broncos Super Bowl Dynasty. When I saw he wore #40 in college, I knew he was the perfect card number 40.
44- Dick LeBeau - I am very thankful someone put this photo online in a high resolution black-and-white format. I colorized the photo and I really thought this one turned out nice. I know, he's another Buckeye. However, Dick LeBeau is all-around great. He signed this card in care of the Steelers
45- Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger - Granted, the greatest #45 in college football history is Archie Griffin but the greatest #45 in legends and folklore is undoubtedly Rudy. When I saw everyone getting their Allen & Ginter cards back signed, I wanted to also get an autograph from Rudy. I heard him speak when I was a kid in the early 1990s and was bummed to find he looked nothing like Sean Astin :). No college football collection is complete without "Rudy".
46 - Merton Hanks was someone that I respected greatly for his time in San Francisco with the 49ers. He and Deion Sanders were an awesome tandem in the secondary and when I saw he was signing, I knew I wanted to make a card. I was bummed to find out he was also from the Big Ten. I was really striving to diversify a little bit.
47 - Empty
48- "Big John" Weaver is a local owner of an Egg Farm and played for Miami University (the Redskins) in the 1940s. He was known as "Big John" and stood 6'2" and weighed 225 pounds. Obviously, puny by today's standards. He played one year of professional football before coming back to the area to become a local businessman. A mutual acquaintance got this card signed for me. I thought he would have been excited when I made a card for him but he told the guy that helped me "Yeah, just put it over there with the others"....ha!
49- I sent to Matt Barkley at USC in his Junior Season and was happy to score success. He is one of a few collegiate athletes I have written to 'TTM' and is the only non-Buckeye I have success with so far. I was disappointed for him that this past season was rough; I think he's a standup guy.
50- Jeff Hartings was a local high school athlete that was a Pro Bowl player for the Lions and Steelers in the NFL. It took me several tries to locate a good address for him and I even had someone that knew the family helping me out. I ended up getting back this card and six (yes, 6) signed testimony cards.
51- Pat Fitzgerald -In the summer of 2011, I visited Chicago and spent an afternoon at Northwestern University's beach. After being in Chicago for a few days, I stopped by the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend and saw a picture of Pat from his playing days at Northwestern. I ended up using that photo along with a fake background of a picture I took of the replica playing field at the Hall of Fame. I liked that he signed the card in Purple. A true Wildcat through and through!
52- Joe Schmidt was someone I always wanted to write to but did not have a vintage card. I was happy to find a picture of him from his college days but had to colorize it. My goodness....sometimes it is really hard to colorize photos because it requires a lot of research to get the hair, skin, and jerseys correct. I loved how this one turned out. Joe Schmidt sent me back a signed HOF postcard also. Great guy!
53- I saw a Jack Scarbath success in someone's thread back in summer (maybe Cory Clarkson's?) and really liked the picture. I used it to make my custom Magic card and was disappointed when I saw someone else's custom Magic Set (which believe me and with great respect, was the reason I made this one!) had used the exact same photo. Bummer!
54- Tim Anderson was a great member of OSU's 2002 National Championship team. I have tried to get as many '02 Buckeyes to sign for me as possible, since I was in school there when they won it all. I was happy with the way the card looked - a nice action photo.
I really appreciate everyone looking. I still have 5 more pages to share. Feel free to leave a comment. I will post remaining successes as they come. I'm up for suggestions for my remaining spots!
Last edited by DeadHorse; 02-19-2013 at 10:52 AM.
Reason: forgot to add Joe Schmidt!
Those cards look amazing, love the looks of the Tim Dwight card.
Thanks for sharing your set! It is great and I love the idea. You placed a ton of work and thought into it!
55- Willie McGinest was an easy choice for me in this set. He had a great college career at USC and was a solid member of New England's Super Bowl era. Best of all, finding a picture of him in college was easy as well.
56- I found this picture of Jim Ridlon in a Sports Illustrated book which featured the Orange running out onto the field. Jim was a teammate of Jim Brown and had a productive NFL carrer. He is a renown artist.
57- Del Shofner was someone I remember from a book when I was a kid that talked about the greatest QB-WR combos of all time. It listed Unitas-Berry, Namath-Maynard and Tittle-Shofner amongst others. I had no clue who Del was but once I looked him up, I saw he had a great NFL career and amateur career at Baylor.
58- With Dermontti Dawson being a Hall of Fame elect candidate as of last summer, I wanted to add him to the collection before he stopped signing or started charging. He was great with Pittsburgh and I wanted to get him on an 89 Pro Set (one of my collecting staples). I was glad to find a good photo of him wth Kentucky.
59 - Empty
60 - Empty
61 - Empty
62 - Tom Myers was a local high school hero and actually was related to a former co-worker. I could not locate an address for Tom but I know that he is living in Florida. He was the toast of Northwestern in the early 1960s and was a Preschool All-American and at one point, had NW ranked #1 in the nation. This signature was obtained for me in person in late 2011 when he visited the area.
63 - Tom Vaughn was a product of the same high school as Tom Myers. He was a star at Iowa State and went on to star in the pros for the Detroit Lions. He had one pro football card, a 1969 Topps which is oddly hard to find. I mailed Tom two cards and a letter and he kindly signed my card and sent me back a '69 Topps card signed....I was very honored. It was a very nice gesture and I treasure both cards.
This is the last page that is really bare. I definitely have some holes to fill but this is where I think the collection gets good. I love the Jim Seymour success, but I'll get to that.
64 - Bob Griese was one of my dad's favorite football players growing up. It is awesome he is such a good signer and I was thrilled that he signed this card for me. He was a Heisman candidate at Purdue and is only behind Drew Brees in a long line of great Boilermaker QBs
65 - Tony Franklin was a two-part easy add. For one, he had a card in the 1988 Topps set. The '88 set were my first football cards and have always had a special place in my heart. Secondly, I loved finding a photo of him kicking barefooted. People usually enjoy this one....
66 - Jim Seymour was an Irish great. In his first collegiate game, he caught over 260 yards of passes in an Irish victory. I got this autograph through the mail, not realizing he was sick. He died about a month after I got the card back signed.
67 - Empty
68 - Empty
69 - Empty
71 - To give my collection more star power, I looked at Hall of Fame members and hopefuls in the area of Offensive and Defensive Linemen. I was glad to find a picture of Willie Roaf. It was not an easy task...I do like that it looks like he is taking the defenders head off.
72 - Chuck Stone was my neighbor as a kid. He was a blast to live next door to....while at NC State, he was a starter on the offensive line that also featured future NFLers Chris Dieterich (Lions) and Outland Winner Jim Ritcher, all blocking for All-American and future Viking Ted Brown. Writing a fan mail request and making a card of him was one of my greatest honors in this hobby. He is a great guy.