Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review: The Infinite Baseball Card Set Series 1

As some of you have probably figured out from the link I have in my sidebar, or from seeing comments on the site itself, I'm a huge fan of The Infinite Baseball Card Set, the site illustrated and written by designer Gary Cieradkowski (as I just found out from poking around on his site, some of Gary's other work includes the Folgers coffee can as well as the graphic design of this little ballpark you may have heard of called Camden Yards). On The Infinite Baseball Card Set site, Gary's been creating a gorgeous virtual card set, complete with amazing stories for the backs of each of the cards. From time to time, Gary also prints up these cards and makes them available for sale. I was lucky enough to get ahold of Series 1 right before Gary stopped selling them, as well as his recently-released Victor Starffin variant card (which is still for sale, so go get it!) and thought I'd give you all a peek, along with my impressions.

Here's the "wrapper" for The Infinite Baseball Card Set Series 1. When you get the set, it's folded neatly around the cards, and looks not unlike a gum wrapper. It also reminds me somewhat of a pack of '51 Topps Red Backs for some reason, probably because it's one of the few truly old card packs I've ever owned. A closer look at the wrapper (click the image for one) reveals that the sets are hand-numbered, and that the set, like Gary's site, is touchingly dedicated to his late father, who was his baseball pal and inspiration for the set (as well as the site).

Also included inside the pack, on top of the cards, is a hand-signed thank you card from Gary for buying the set. Another really nice touch.

As for the cards, they're printed on a nice, sturdy glossy stock, and are about 2" wide by 3 1/2" high (a little taller than '51 Bowman cards, at standard card height, but with about the same width and a similar feel, formwise, to the Bowmans). As an example of the set, I'm posting the Satchel Paige card, though the whole set is gorgeous in addition to being the best read on a card back since a teenaged Keith Olbermann wrote the backs of the 1976 SSPC set.

As I mentioned above, Series 1 is not currently available (if you ever do have the means, grab the set immediately), but all of the cards that were in the version of Series 1 that I own are up on the site to view, read and enjoy. (The set I have is technically more like Series 1.1, since I believe some cards were swapped out from the first version of the set due to rights issues, unfortunately...)  However, the Victor Starffin variant card is still available for sale while supplies last, or if you really want to splurge (and man, do I ever; I think they'd make brilliant business cards), you can have Gary create a custom baseball card of you!

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