When Project 2020 first came out and I saw the checklist of iconic Topps cards that would be produced I knew I wanted to collect all of the Roberto Clemente cards.
If you've been following this blog (and my previous incarnations of it) for nearly a decade there are 3 things I really enjoy discussing: Pirates baseball cards, original artwork, and a cure for cancer. This project offered an opportunity to boost my Clemente collection while still allowing me to look at artwork from different artists tackling the same subject matter. When I collected original comic book art and would get commissions I would always get the artists to draw the same character (Gambit of the X-Men) so I could see how they would draw my favorite character. If I had a chance to get another sample of the artist I would venture off to other favorite characters like Flash, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Iron Man, or Rogue.
I love baseball cards and I love art.
This project would be fun.
However, prices last weekend made me consider selling the 3 cards I have on hand to buy a vintage 1955 Clemente.
I ultimately decided not to sell at the absolute height the cards were selling for. I could have turned a 3 card $60 investment into a grail card of a Clemente as collectively those 3 cards were selling in the $1.2K range at the height prior to last weekend.
Another reason I didn't want to sell them off is because there are a few artists I am really looking forward to seeing their rendition of The Great Roberto Clemente. I always envisioned getting all 20 cards and having them grouped together on a bookshelf.
Of the 5 Clemente cards produced so far and seeing the different interpretations I would say 3 of the 5 artists to work on Clemente are on my bottom 10 list. That's not a knock on them, but I am really looking forward to cards by Ben Baller, efdot, Sofia Chang, King Saladeen, Andrew Thiele, and Blake Jamieson.
The last artist, Blake Jamieson, has become one of my favorite artists on this project and it has been really fun to see his journey of Project 2020. Shortly after the Project kicked off he followed me on Twitter (most likely because I liked the Mister Cartoon Clemente that Topps showed off).
I have logged into his YouTube Live stream almost daily each night at 10:23pm EST. Link to his YouTube is here. It is an awesome Live stream that gives something to look forward to each night.
During the journey I have also talked to his PR rep, Tony, who oddly enough a few years ago lived in the same town as me and knew of one of my coworkers. Small world, right?
With everything that is crazy and weird going on in the world we live in today, it is an absolute blessing that Blake (and his crew) has given me a nightly outlet of a few guys just hanging out talking sports and art. We can get away from talks of COVID and riots and injustices and just talk about guy things.
The excitement that Blake has for this project is contagious.
A few weeks ago Blake tried to get Gary Vaynerchuk (aka Gary Vee) to jump aboard the Project 2020 bandwagon and did some art on 3 sealed boxes of Gary Vee's 2019 card release. Upon opening the cards Blake painted all over them and some of the cards became Card Art for viewers on the stream.
Tony sent me a trio of the McCutchen cards that Blake had splattered paint on.
You can follow more of Blake on his IG, website, or Twitter all below on his business card.
Thank you Blake and Tony for the incredibly kind package.
Thank you for the daily dose of positivity you share.
Thank you for being an inspiration for so many others.
I will leave with this...
Be sure to log into the Topps site today (after 1pm) and buy the Mike Trout card drawn by Blake Jamieson. It also features a border by Ben Baller, one of the most popular artists on the Project.