One of the more interesting aspects of collecting autographs for a specific team is locating items of guys that did not play for the team very long. Typically I have to settle for team signed balls or index cards. The best remedy for this is to make a custom baseball card of the players, but it is easier said than done. Designing a card isn't that hard, but finding information on how to make the card is not only difficult, but contradictory.
So after researching for a few weeks, I have decided to just try an amalgamation of the best advice I could find.
But do I really want to risk my Yogi Berra index card on a project that might turn out terrible? Of course not. So who is the victim? Dave Eilers!
Dave Eilers played a single season for the Astros and did not do too terribly, but failed to spend any time in the Majors after his year with the team. I originally obtained his autograph by sending him a request through the mail, which he generously signed. That said, the autograph was in a weird location and not very attractive.
Brutal location, right? But we can rebuild it! After a very quick Photoshop job and a run down to Walgreens, I returned home with two photographs.
I immediately regretted one thing: the word "Congrats!" I should have just said "Congratulations!" but what is done is done. I also liked my company name, which was partially inspired by my son's name, Sawyer. My design is not perfect, but not terrible for 15 minutes of work. I honestly like my logo more than anything else on the card!
It was time to do the most stressful aspect of this, which is cutting out the window for the autograph. I spent more time on this part than anything else because I wanted it to be perfect.
Once the window was cut out, I measured the full index card behind the window and made sure there was a good location for the autograph and then cut up the index card. No turning back now.
I very gently glued around the left, right, and bottom sides. There was not going to be any room for glue along the top.
To make sure the glue held, I pressed it inside of a giant baseball book that my wife gave me as a gift when we were early in our dating life. This thing is a monster and the pages are bound so tight that it applies a lot of pressure.
I glued the front and backs of the card to a piece of 120lb cardstock and let it sit inside the book for about ten minutes. I checked it and it seemed solidly attached, so I glued the back image to the back of the cardstock and ten minutes later had a giant 4x6 card.
Now, you may be curious why I have a huge pink space on the card. Simply, it is a color that I know I will never use and am highly unlikely to use a color that compliments on a card I create. This space is cut away at the end of the entire process. I decided to go with this method because if I accidentally don't glue far enough along the edges it won't matter. If the image was exactly what I needed, this could cause loose areas on the card. This allows me to glue the entire 2.5 x 3.5 card without fear of missing a small area. Now that the card was fully glued, I did the final four cuts and had my first custom autograph card.
Overall, I am pleased with the outcome. For some reason, despite using precise measurements in Photoshop, Walgreens made the 2.5 X 3.5 space into 2.75 X 3.75. This means the card is slightly larger than a standard baseball card, but that is just me getting picky.
So do any of you do customs?