Baseball cards are art combining design and photography. And then there is Baseball Card Art. Matthew Lee Rosen, an artist and proud Chicago Cubs season ticket holder, has combined his artistic talents with baseball cards. The end result is a home run for baseball fans, baseball card collectors, and art lovers alike.
When I read Matthew Lee Rosen’s About page at baseballcard.art it feels like we are one in the same in terms of growing up collecting baseball cards during the 1980’s boom thinking these pieces of cardboard would turn to gold as adults.
What is truly unique about Baseball Card Art by Matthew Lee Rosen is how he transforms these “junk era” baseball cards into his pieces of art. Rosen has differentiated himself in the baseball card art game with his creativity. In his About page, Rosen writes about the 1987 Donruss Rated Rookie Greg Maddux can now be had for only one dollar, so naturally when he decided to submit a baseball card to be graded by PSA it was this Maddux rated rookie.
This one gets a gem mint 10 with spot gloss and a serial number that matches the MLB debut of Maddux – 09021986 – September 2, 1986. Look closer at this piece.
Unbelievable attention to detail and implementing pieces of the 1987 Donruss Rated Rookie Greg Maddux into this piece of baseball card art as the UPC code.
While the 1987 Donruss Maddux tugs at our heart strings as youths growing up in the 1980’s, Cubs fans have experienced special moments as adults in the past five years. In 2015, the Cubs knocked off the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS and part of that series was the moon shot by Kyle Schwarber. In Game 4 of the 2015 NLDS, Schwarber crushed the home run in the 7th inning that landed on top of the brand new Budweiser video board in right field at Wrigley Field. The ball was later placed in a glass case where it landed.
Once again the baseball card artist Matthew Lee Rosen puts his own creative mark on this Kyle Schwarber piece of art. He used the ticket from that game to make the ball.
If the Cubs are playing at Wrigley Field, you can set your watch to first pitch. 1:20. The Cubs introduced the 1:20 start time on weekends during the 1980 through 1982 seasons, and then made the switch for weekday games in 1983.
This Chicago Cubs art was made with the 1982 Topps Cubs team set, which includes the Lee Smith rookie card.
As you wander the grandstands at Wrigley, you’ll find signs to “Be Alert” for foul balls. Rosen mashed the “Be Alert” Wrigley Field sign with the Bazooka Joe eye patch and both the 1984 and 1985 Topps Cubs team sets in separate pieces.
Each decade seems to bring a new superstar for a franchise. By the late 1990’s, the Cubs superstars had transitioned from Ryne Sandberg and Mark Grace to Sammy Sosa and in 1998 a rookie pitcher by the name of Kerry Wood. In just his fifth career start on a gray May afternoon (May 6, 1998), Kerry Wood tied Roger Clemens’ record for strikeouts in a 9-inning game by punching out 20 Astros in a one-hit shutout. It was the greatest pitching performance Rosen had seen, so he used Wood’s 1999 Topps Stadium Club Chrome Refractor which reflects and changes color.
Rosen went monochrome Cubbie blue with spot gloss and a touch of holographic paint so the whole piece reflects light and changes on your viewing angle.
Baseball Card Art by Matthew Lee Rosen is also more than just Chicago Cubs pieces. For those of a certain age, Rickey Henderson was a very popular star in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Rosen has incorporated Rickey Henderson’s 1980 Topps rookie card into a piece of baseball card art.
Rosen also has other items besides his art, and something that caught my eye being a fan of 1989 Topps (and can koozies…and day drinking) is the All Star Day Drinker can koozie.
Take a look at Matthew Lee Rosen’s Baseball Card Art for many more pieces that include a 1986 Topps Traded Barry Bonds gum stick, the Torco sign at Wrigley Field using 1988 Fleer Andre Dawson baseball cards, 1991 Donruss Rated Rookies art, 1985 Topps Trivia Quiz, and so much more.