Customs are a great resource for a team collector like myself. Let's face it - Topps has gotten pretty lazy in their checklists over the years once you get beyond the top names. And minor contributors like Felix Pie or Ruben Mateo are pretty unlikely to get a card during their brief Pirate tenure even under the best of circumstances. But even if you whip up a custom card, getting autographs from some of those players? Good luck.
But I realized I might find an actual use for those pesky sticker autos that collectors despise so much. During the COMC holiday sales last year, I picked up a few cheap autos of ex-Pirates who didn't have a certified auto in black and gold. And after a few months of stalling, I was ready to finally take the plunge this weekend.
Almost. I figured I needed a trial run before taking the risk of butchering one of my prized autos for my collection. And the auto of David Lough I pulled from a box of 2013 Pinnacle recently seemed like the perfect sacrificial lamb.
2013 Panini Pinnacle Rookie Autographs #DL - David Lough
The card was...well, it was pretty ugly. I had no idea who Lough was, so I was a little surprised to see he had logged almost 200 ab's with the Orioles this past year, a team I watched pretty often on mlb.tv. So an O's card it would be. I found a great photo from a game where the O's wore Baltimore Black Sox uniforms, one of the city's Negro League clubs.
I decided on a 1990 Donruss design. The border is black and orange, but it comes up looking more red in the scan. I swear it's orange in person.
The Panini card, meanwhile, just looks naked now. And with a trial run out of the way, I'll be attempting to work my magic with some Pirate cards.