What's more American than collecting baseball cards? Riding your bike home from the store, eager to crack open a new pack of cards. Spending an afternoon reading your favorite player's stats while chewing a really bad piece of bubble gum.
What happened to all the cards that didn't end up in the spokes of your bike? Chances are, if they're not buried in your garage, stuck in your attic, or hidden in the back of some closet somewhere, they were lost or thrown away years ago. Have you ever wondered what the value of your childhood collection would be? For many people, the sentimental value alone would be priceless.
Now, you can not only regain a piece of your childhood, but also show your support, pride and passion with a custom made piece of art. A unique picture that will not only expand your sports memorabilia collection, but become an investment in an amazing work of art that will hang on your walls for years and years to come.
Why keep your old baseball cards in a box that you might pull out occasionally, when they can hang on the wall as a piece of collectible art in your office, business, home, or man cave? Certain to become a focal point of attention and catalyst for hours and hours of conversations, each picture is created entirely from original, authentic baseball cards. The same cards that inspired dreams of becoming a big league baseball player can now take you back to a time when life was much simpler and something like baseball cards and bubble gum could make you happy...
I apologize for the quality of some of these images. Technology 15-20 years ago was no was no where near what we have today, or could have imagined we would need
Always a popular sports memorabilia item, a framed JERSEY looks great in any room, and these custom made collages, made entirely with original major league baseball cards take that to the next level. Replicating any team or any player, these full size replicas can be made with any name or number. Custom logos and designs available.
(click to view)
Nothing says team pride and support like a big LOGO hanging on your wall, and nothing compares to a LOGO made of original baseball cards from your favorite team(s) and players. From standard team logos, to business logos to custom designs, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and budget)
What started as a picture I created to honor Mark McGwire's amazing record breaking 70 home run season, soon became something that professional athletes and serious baseball fans/art collectors wanted to add to their collections. Combining graphic and illustrative styles, these custom made pieces are incredibly unique and really need to be seen in person to appreciate the amount of detail in each piece
I'm very excited to introduce the GALLERY SERIES. These are custom made pictures that even non baseball fans can appreciate (like there are any non baseball fans?). Larger, with an emphasis on the fine art aspect, these can (and often DO) hang in the finest of fine art galleries, and can just as easily fit into your home or business. Each picture, like all my baseball card art, is made entirely from original baseball cards. They come as finished pieces, in custom made frames, ready to impress.
It's all in the...
As a lifelong baseball fan, after attending art school it seemed natural to combine my love for art with my passion for baseball. My background in fine art, illustration, and graphic design helped lead me to create the collages of baseball cards that I've become known for. Over the past nearly 20 years I've worked with many collectors, from average baseball fans, to professional athletes, as well as professional sports teams and major corporations. I've had pieces exhibited in galleries, private residences, professional baseball stadiums, corporate offices, museums and even have a picture hanging in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, New York.
My studio in San Diego is filled with boxes and boxes and even more boxes of baseball cards. My collection/inventory of baseball cards includes cards from the 1950s to the latest releases. It takes countless cards to create each picture (you're welcome to try to count, I've never tried) and I try to incorporate as much variety into each piece as possible. I only use original major league baseball cards (unless a special request is made) and I always try to never use the same card twice in the same piece.
The first baseball card collage I created was a JERSEY REPLICA, a full size replica of an authentic major league jersey (Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres) After the immediate popularity of that piece, which was exhibited extensively during Tony Gwynn's retirement festivities, I started doing LOGOS and eventually developed the bigger PLAYER PIECES. Now, I've expanded and have started creating much larger pictures, the GALLERY SERIES. These pictures are not only larger, but also have more of a fine art feel to them.
Frequently Asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
"Where do you get all the cards?"
I have a collection of nearly half a million baseball cards (they add up fast) as well as relationships with some of the best baseball card shops around. Also through internet sources and private collectors I can acquire almost any cards that you could want included in your picture
"Do you use anything besides baseball cards in your pieces?"
All pieces are made entirely with original, authentic major league baseball cards. No paint or anything else is ever used to create the visual effects you see.
"Do you ever use expensive cards in your pictures?"
All pieces are custom made (other than the GALLERY SERIES which I create and sell as finished fine art) so if a client desires something specific and their budget allows, I will use any cards available. Often people will request all cards to be from their favorite team, or a certain era. I've even had clients request for certain players to be left out of a piece. Many of the pieces I've made in the past have included rare and valuable cards
"Have you ever had a card that you didn't want to cut up and put into one of your collages?"
Not really. If I know a particular card is highly collectable or valuable, I will look for an alternative to use. Often I can find the same card that has a slightly lower quality or some flaw that would make it less desirable for a serious collector. But, it all really comes down to what the client wants.
"Do you supply the baseball cards?"
I supply all the cards unless there are special cards that you want incorporated into your piece. I've had clients that wanted me to use some of their actual childhood cards, and have on occasion incorporated some autographed cards that were supplied. I've even had a client that wanted his children's little league cards included in the picture (technically still baseball cards; plus it was a special request for a special client )
"As a baseball fan and baseball card collector, do you ever feel BAD about cutting up old baseball cards?"
The way I've always looked at it, I'm not destroying old baseball cards, I'm using them to entertain, inspire and maybe even educate. I've talked to countless baseball fans and serious card collectors who really appreciate the concept of what I'm creating. If you're only collecting baseball cards for financial reasons, you might not like my pictures, but if you really love baseball cards and want to actually look and them, enjoy them, and make them a part of your everyday life, my baseball card collages are made for you. I have a lot of respect for baseball, it's tradition and it's history, and this is a great way of sharing it, and to help others share their passions with those around them
"How long does it take to make each picture?"
Each picture is custom made, with the client being involved from the beginning; from design to decisions about which cards are to be used. A basic jersey replica can be made in as little as 2-3 weeks, and larger pieces can take several months to finish. Special requests for harder to acquire cards can delay a project on occasion. Gallery Series pieces take much longer
"How big are the pictures that you create?"
The JERSEY REPLICA pieces are generally 42"x48". I designed the first one to replicate a full size Major League jersey, as those are a very popular collectible item, and I've been doing them that size ever since. It's a good size to hang in any room, where the bigger pieces require larger spaces to be fully appreciated. Adding custom elements (logos, lettering, graphics) can increase the size. I don't do many pieces much smaller than that (although occasionally I'll do a smaller LOGO piece) The GALLERY SERIES pictures are often much larger (Ted Williams is 48"x 88")
"Do you ever make collages with other types of collectible sports cards?"
I only use baseball cards, mostly because that's what I'm familiar with and have great access to. I have made a few exceptions throughout my career, including a BASKETBALL JERSEY REPLICA that I created for LeBron James through the Upper Deck Company. Upper Deck supplied all of the cards. It was a special project that they used to make limited edition, signed poster prints, signed by both myself and Lebron James. They owned the rights, having made all of the cards, and because of their licensing contracts with the N.B.A. they were able to make prints. The original piece was delivered as a gift to Lebron James
"Do you sell prints of your work?"
Unfortunately I'm legally prohibited from reproducing any of my collages due to copy write and trademark laws that involve MLB, MLB Teams, baseball card companies, individual players and photographers. Most people agree that there's something special about owning ORIGINAL baseball cards, and not just a print of old baseball cards. Every piece is a one of a kind, original piece of collectable art. Even though I will occasional create the same designs, the different cards used make every piece unique (as seen on my portfolio page examples of Padres logos)
"Do you have any pieces of your work available for purchase in stores or galleries?"
From time to time I will have an exhibit in a gallery or special occasion show (like at a ballpark). I am not currently offering anything in a retail store. I will occasionally have something for sale on my website. Check for updates and offers on the news/events/offers page
"I need a unique birthday gift, can you make a jersey (or other picture) for my husband? (father/son/daughter/wife/friend/boss...)"
Yes. I make a lot of pictures, usually JERSEY REPLICAS for gifts. A pretty common request is the person's name and age on a jersey (ADELL 1, Dodgers 40 on the portfolio page) I've even made jerseys with a company logo on the front that resembles a team logo. I usually have a very full schedule, sometimes having projects booked months and months in advanced, so if you have a deadline please contact me ASAP to see if we can work something out.
"Do your pictures come framed?"
Generally no. Framing is a personal decision. Tastes and styles vary from client to client so I deliver each piece with a protective plexiglass cover and leave the final framing choice to the individual collector. I CAN source and supply a frame if needed, but that will add to the cost. The exception is with the GALLERY SERIES pictures which come with custom made frame to match each piece
"How do you ship your pictures?"
Each piece is crated and shipped, usually through FedEx. In the nearly 20 years I've been shipping pictures across the U.S. I've never had one damaged through shipping
"How much do your pieces cost?"
With each picture being custom made, prices vary depending on design, size, and cards used. Please contact me for a quote
My name is LaVern Brock
I've always had an appreciation for art, from the cartoons I grew up watching (nothing better than classic Looney Tunes) to the Old Masters that I studied in art school. But even though I loved the art, I was never really able to connect emotionally with anything in particular the way I'd seen people do in galleries and museums. I'd hear people say things like "I can feel what the artist was trying to say" or "this piece really touched me" or "that piece really stirs up emotion in my soul". Blah, blah, blah...
Art is very subjective, and personal tastes vary greatly, but who would you rather hang out with, a group of people drinking beer and eating peanuts and hot dogs while talking about baseball and looking at baseball cards or a group of people drinking over priced wine, eating some strange cheese you've never heard of and discussing things like "why the artists used that particular shade of blue"? I'm not saying one is better than the other, just different.
People often overlook the beauty and artistic qualities of baseball cards. The wide variety of styles, the (sometimes) beautiful graphics, the amazing photography, the varieties of uniforms and often entertaining personal styles that have changed over the years (seriously, what were some of those guys thinking?)
Beyond the beauty of the cards, is all the great information ON the cards that helped make collecting baseball cards so exciting. Batting averages, and E.R.A.s and stats showing how careers went up and down, and trivia and a wealth of other information. Baseball, more than any other sport, is a game of numbers, and nothing brought those numbers to life like baseball cards did, and still do. Baseball cards have a unique way of making history interesting and fun, and my pictures have a unique and fun way of showcasing all that information.
I may have never really connected emotionally with a piece of art (probably like a lot of people) but as I've seen over and over, people that you would think could never be inspired by art, can become very passionate when it comes to my pictures. Memories of championship victories, of streaks and collapses. Seeing cards of favorite players and long lost childhood heroes. Discussions about best pitchers, greatest hitters, who was better at this or that.
Baseball, with all the history and memories, both good and bad, can touch people in ways that landscape paintings or watercolors or weird abstract pictures don't. I can't imagine any art gallery discussion being as heart felt as people talking about the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, the historic Yankees vs Red Sox rivalry, the storied tradition of the Cubs, the designated hitter, STEROIDS, or even... Bill Buckner.
I'm very happy to share my love of baseball and art with you, and look forward to the possibility of creating something that will help YOU share some of your passions and memories. Wether it's in your home, office, or business, hanging one oh my pictures on your wall is guaranteed to bring joy and excitement, inspire memories and questions and discussions and hugs and fights all the other great things that our National Pastime has always brought us, and hopefully always will.
Tony Gwynn was a big fan of my work
Phil Niekro in Cooperstown looks impressed
Thank you for visiting my site and looking at my work. If you have any question, comments, or would like to discuss the possibility of creating a custom piece, please contact me and I will respond as soon as possible.