System Malfunction

So, I don’t know exactly what to do with this mess of a website. Don’t worry, it’s not going away. I mean from a technical aspect. This entire site is running on WordPress, which until now has not only worked well, but I’ve championed numerous times as the blog platform that most if not all people should be using. This theme (Divi) however, is both bloated and unreliable. I haven’t been able to change anything structurally without breaking it for several versions now. On top of that, I had created this custom child theme (that’s what you call it when a theme is derived from a larger “parent” theme) so that I could customize it, because that’s just my jam. I’m in IT, I tinker. I void warrantees.

For those that don’t know, back in WordPress 5 they introduced a “block editor”. With it you could build pages and posts with “blocks” of content types. Images, titles, paragraphs, tables, etc., each a block and each a separate element. Divi chose not to use these block, but to build their own WYSIWYG editor. It worked for a while but now the technology “fork” has diverted so far from the original it’s having a lot of issues. At this very moment I’m typing this into Notepad because the Divi Builder won’t allow me to edit the page beyond pasting plain text into it. Any other button or option crashes the builder and I lose the post. That’s no way to blog.

So, my choices are:

A) Uninstall and reinstall Divi, again. – Zero guarantees it would work, and I’ve already tried it in the past.

B) Stay with WordPress and find a different theme – The downside to this is that everything Divi is deeply embedded in “shortcodes”. I’d have to sanitize EVERY post, going back 20 years, and remove the shortcodes to make “plain” pages again. Additionally, I’d have to learn an entire new framework, builder and the Gutenberg block system, something I’ve been avoiding for several years now. It’s become one of those “well, it’s not going away, better deal with it” problems.

C) Convert the entire site to a different blog platform – The option I’m edging towards is Ghost ( The problem with Ghost is that it’s harder to run (need to configure my VPS differently), it doesn’t directly import content from WP, I’d have to export, sanitize and import a huge JSON file (see option B), and I’d have to export the content from here which would require at least 2 paid plugins based on the size of this site and the number of images (you seriously don’t want to know).

I’m leaning towards trying those, literally in that order, and only stoping once something works “better” than it does currently.

What does that mean for you the reader? Well, old school “construction zone” signs for a little while. With my zero free time, this will either take a day or two… or 7 months.


We’ll just have to see.

What year is it?

What year is it?

Personal – Design – Cards

What year is it?

…no, seriously. I have no idea.

Matt “Doc” Perry

April 26th, 2022

I just looked back and apparently the last time I posted something was last June. It’s April now, so that’s a solid 10 months, which is ridiculous. Not that anyone reads these (except for the 3 or 4 of you who are awesome human beings), but more like I missed talking to myself. Maybe it’s the “personal journal” aspect, but there’s a lot going on that doesn’t fit nicely into a blog about baseball cards. Not that it was ever primarily about baseball cards. It’s still a blog about life, and man, sometimes life just gets busy.

We got a cat. That’s a thing that happened. I never thought I’d actually type that. I’m allergic to cats. Well, most cats. Apparently, there are a few hypoallergenic breeds, and we happened to find one. Technically he’s a mutt, but his dad was one of those breeds, so he’s at least 51% not bothering my sinuses. He’s actually the nicest cat I’ve ever met, which is saying a lot, because cats are usually assholes. They are.

I had a bunch of projects, both work and personal. The company full embraced work-from-home and that’s a big deal with IT and how we remotely support all our employees. We had a bunch of systems in place already when the pandemic hit, but we (the IT guys) have had to become instant experts in Teams, OneDrive, VPN configurations, RDP support, etc. It’s been interesting, challenging and a huge learning experience, all things I enjoy.

Art wise, 2021 was technically slower than 2020, which was odd because you’d figure 2020 would have been THE time to sit at home and do some creating. I did all sorts of various projects, but whereas 2020 had a few dozen, 2021 only had a couple, but they were large.

My favorite one was a custom set of cards for SuperBreak featuring 1/1 autographs for Yankee’s prospect Jasson Dominguez. Yes, that Jasson Dominguez. In late 2020 I had created a design for an autograph opportunity, and we sent them off to Dominuez’s agent in Florida. He signed them and returned them, but then we ended up sitting on them until we were able to get more card making supplies due to pandemic shortages. A couple months into 2021 and I was able to start making cards again.

I did 6 sets numbered out of 5. Gold, silver and blue. Then I did 20 unique 1/1s. I pulled out all the stops, found the craziest patterns and colors for foil, and did these completely meticulously by hand. I even hand cut them with exactos because I wanted to get the cuts perfect and my trimmer has a slight margin for error.

These ended up going in what I think is SuperBreak’s current product “2022 Super Glow”. Check them out here and here.

I also ended up creating an entire set of “historic memorabilia” cards that’s as-of-yet been unpublished. It was a huge 60+ subject checklist with single, double and triple relics. I’ll save those for another time.

Lately I’ve been increasingly happy to be working on my own designs again. After meeting up with some old college friends last month, I realized my need to create for my own sake has never, and most likely will never, go away.

Having switched jobs from a 90% creative roll into a 5% creative roll and completely technical field I realized I really missed it. It’s funny that when I was creating for others I was getting burnt out on it and was feeling “done” with corporate design. Now that I don’t design 9-5 every day, I can get back into it for all the right reasons, because I love it.

At the moment I’m working on posters/minis (yes, that’s a weird combo) in a late-1800s tobacco card style. I’ve gone with “watercolor-esque” backgrounds of all 30 MLB stadiums, with players on top in a sort of Gypsy Queen treatment. I wanted the stadiums to resemble old lithography prints, and the players to stand out but not be 100% “modern photographs” on top. Hence the effects. I also found an excellent accompanying font that I think works with the period pieces. I also found a really fun tool for making a vintage logotype for the backs.

When I started creating them I was really only paying attention to the aspect ratio (the overall width and length ratio), and trying to match it to modern mini inserts, and then I realized my master design files were actually 18+ inches wide, and with a little tweaking would make excellent posters. This is what it looks like on 22” paper (mini included for scale).

My plan is to actually print these. At the very very least print a set for me to put in a binder. I’d love to find a printer who can do short runs on thick card stock, but so far I haven’t found the right one. I don’t know about selling them, seeing as how I’ve used not only pictures of the players with obvious copyrights to the photographers, but also the stadiums, which might be even more copyright protected due to their corporate sponsorship/ownership (depending on the stadium). There might be a “donation” opportunity or a “raffle” (with guaranteed odds), for a VERY limited number of sets, but we’ll just have to see.

Beyond these I’ve got plans for a variation on Panini Select and a completely different take on 2022 Gypsy Queen (because this year’s design really sucks). That’s in the pipeline for May. After that I might be venturing into game design with a friend this summer, we’ve been itching to put together a family friendly dungeon crawler using Unity (think more Torchlight, less Diablo).

Scan Backlog

Scan Backlog


Going through the backlog

Part 1

Matt “Doc” Perry, Creative Idiot, Texas

June 30th, 2021

When your card shelf is full, and your scan folder looks like this, it’s probably time to actually do something with those. I’ve got scans going back to April of 2020 that I had every intention of posting but never got around to. Don’t worry, I won’t post all of them, just some of the more fun ones, and a few player collections I’ve been focusing on.

I also, mid-pandemic, had been placing various orders with COMC and Sportlots, to be held in their “box” services, and then just a month or so ago had them all shipped my way. I’ll do a separate post (maybe) on the things I found out in the wild (Target) during 2020 and into early 2021, but this post is primarily player collections and in bulk.

Bobby Dalbec

Having ignored the rookie card phenomenon for the most part, I realized I had some not insignificant regrets with several players over the past couple years. For the longest time I held the opinion that “if I found one, I found one” and I would hold on to them. If I didn’t, well, so be it.

In some respects I wish I had paid more attention with players like Betts, Trout, Harper and the like. I have 3 true Mookie rookie cards (at least the one everyone wants). I have 1 Mike Trout rookie. I have 2-3 Harper rookies, etc…

I want to make a clear distinction though, I dislike the “market” aspect of rookie cards. I’m not grading these and selling them. I have not, and will not fall down that rabbit hole of “I have a PSA 9, autographed Bowman Chrome of…”

That said, when I say I’ve increased my interest in rookie cards, it’s merely from the “pokemon” perspective. Gotta catch’em all. I like the variety, and I like having cards for my (new) favorite players.

Bobby Dalbec fell into that category whilst the pandemic raged. I wanted to make sure I had my bases covered, so to speak, with rookie cards.

I already had the “Prismatic Prodigies” due to my love of Bowman Platinum, but most of these are new. That “Prospect Materials” is 6/10 and has two ridiculously nice patch pieces. I’d have to look back to see what I paid for that thing, but I’m pretty sure I absolutely stole it for next to nothing.

Alex Verdugo

I had started picking up Verdugo cards pretty much as soon as the trade with Betts had been announced. I don’t want to say I knew it was a good trade, but I had a hunch. I really enjoy watching him as a player. He’s got the hustle of Pedroia, a canon for an arm, and what seems like a great attitude in general. If we had to trade Betts, I’m glad we got someone like Verdugo in return.


It’ll be my never ending quest, but I’m pretty determined to make my Nomar player collection really extensive. I’m already at 34 complete binder pages, or 300+ cards (assuming a couple duplicates).  I’m at the point where I have to sort through and make sure I didn’t have a card before I order it, and admittedly my system isn’t perfect. There’s 2 or 3 dupes in this bunch. I’m also prone to “upgrade” cards to ones in better condition, or re-buy cards that I already have in a different place. For example, I have this Upper Deck Future Foundations card already (first scan), but it’s autographed. So, I re-bought the base card, along with the Silver Signature variation. I also have the ’94 UD Top Prospect, but it’s graded. This one will go in the binder.

Tim Wakefield

I don’t have nearly the Tim Wakefield collection I’d like, but I manage to add a couple cards here and there. Every time I add a new seller to my list in Sportlots, there’s always a couple searches I do through their inventory. “Wakefield” is one of them. I’m particularly fond of the 1993 Pacific Spanish version. I thought that was an unique add to the collection.

Brock Holt

Sadly the Brock Star is no longer with the Sox, but as my 2nd major player collection, there’s no reason to stop picking up cards. The goal is to complete the entirety of his Prospect through Sox years, and I’m actually fairly close to that. These were either random fill-ins, 2020/21 additions, or like some of the Nomar cards, repeats for ones I already had but were graded (bowman prospects especially).

Tanner Houck and Jarren Duran

To a lesser extent, these are similar to the Bobby Dalbec and Alex Verdugo purchases. I mostly just wanted to cover my bases with rookie cards, from a completionist standpoint.

The rest…

Here’s the rest of the cards I felt were scan worth. It’s mostly a mishmash of stuff, but was all finds that I’m happy to have in the collection.

Well, that puts at least a small dent into the backlog. If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking it out. Later!

I was going to…

I was going to…


I was going to…

…but then Quarentinewhile…

Matt “Doc” Perry

June 11th, 2021

I was going to post about cards I got.

Then I was going to post about life, the universe and everything.

Then 2020 happened, and all that went right out the window.

Then I was going to post about the glories of working at home and how I love it.

Then I was going to post about cards again.

Then I was going to post about card projects, and how I’ve been so busy.

Then life got busy.

Then a family member passed away, and I just didn’t have the heart for it.

Then buying cards got weird. And expensive. And retail was literally insane.

Then card supplies got insane, and stuff just piled up on the shelf.

Then I took a look at my disaster of a card shelf and said, “yeah, I should probably do something about that”. Then I didn’t.

Now I don’t know what to post about anymore.

Cards seem so… I dunno, uninteresting at the moment. The pandemic really killed my interest in getting more. It wasn’t worth the effort. I had to fight to find any. Waiting in line at Target, at 8am, on Fridays, was just stupid. Top-loader shortages are stupid. The whole “scalpers ruining everything” just kind of, well, ruined everything. It’s the same with a PS5, and computer parts, and just about anything else people are looking for.

It kinda forces you to re-evaluate your priorities. Cards just weren’t a priority. Doesn’t mean I didn’t get any, I did. They just weren’t a driving force or motivation last year.

Family and work were, and always will be, more important. So I took time to focus on that. I really do enjoy working from home. I never really plan to go back to an office. I can do 99.7% of my job remotely, and since my employer is cool with that, it’s really worked out for the best. I can be home with my wife and child, who I love spending time with. I can have lunch with them every day. I can take 5 minutes to help them with something, or run a quick errand, and it’s really such a better work/life balance.

Other work has been interesting too. I’ve continued to do a bunch of custom card projects. I’m not 100% sure I can show them off or not, but it’s probably at least safe to talk about. After the President cards, the guys at SuperBreak and I had a good thing going, so we’ve continued to work on several projects together. I put the entire 2Hype 1st Edition set together. If you’re into Youtube people and/or console gaming, you’ve probably heard of them. Then I worked on some autos for a fairly well know Yankee’s prospect. Then a few sample cards for other YouTubers and gaming celebrities. Most recently I’ve been working on another historic based project/set, including a big base card checklist and single/double/triple relics and a few cut autos. It’s probably the biggest one to date.

I’ve also been considering turning those projects into an actual, proper thing. A design studio/LLC, set up properly, for all the freelancing.

That’s about where I’m at. I’ve piles and piles of stuff to scan and show… but if I’m being entirely honest, that’ll take a while, and the chances of it all getting posted are low. So… how about I just put these pictures here, and we can say “if it happens, it happens”, and we all won’t hold our collective breathes.

Not that you were. The odds of someone still reading anything here is probably quite low. I’m sure you’ve all left by now. And that’s ok.

Just wanted to say that I was still here, and doing stuff, and I hope everyone else is doing well and everyone stayed safe and health.

Presidential Superfractors

Presidential Superfractors

Custom Cards – Personal Projects – Commissioned Work

Presidential Superfractors

I made beautiful customs for SuperBreak’s Pieces of the Past!

Matt “Doc” Perry

July 28th, 2020

So, to really tell this correctly, we need to back in time a bit…

Back before the Coronavirus was really a problem. Back to January 2020. I had received an email through the contact form (yes, those things actually work, and actually send mail, and I actually read it!) from Adam at SuperBreak. For those that don’t know, Adam and Scott run SuperBreak Sports. They make absolutely top shelf repack boxes and breaks. Mike Trout rookie along side a Micheal Jordon autograph and a Tom Brady patch card. Those sorts of boxes. After I watched a few box breaks on YouTube I was pretty convinced they were putting together some really nice stuff for collectors. They had contacted me about working on a card set for them. They had seem my posts about my custom cards, the superfractors in particular.

In addition to sports boxes, they also have a couple lines of historical relic/autograph based cards called “The Bar” and “Pieces of the Past”. It was the Pieces of the Past that they though some 1/1 Superfractors would be a really interesting addition to. I decided to jump on the opportunity to work with actual card industry people, and take my customs from “fun little personal projects” to actual “real” cards, in the sense that they’d some day be pulled from boxes and packs, and appreciated by other collectors.

The idea was to make a full 45 Presidents card set, each a 1/1, using the metallic superfractor material.

I started by working on designs. I actually had a pretty good idea of what I wanted design wise right off the bat. I wanted something clean and simple that really showed off the metallic material. After a couple rounds of mockups I had settled on an early 20th century sort of look to keep it “historical”. Kind of an inverted Gypsy Queen sort of thing with a badge signifying the number of the presidents and the date they were inaugurated.

From there I knew, from making my previous refractors, that I needed to work out the printing (backwards on transparency) and to get the airbrushing just right. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to refine the process as well. I wanted to make sure, not just for myself anymore but now for fellow collectors, that the cards I was making were the best quality and used as much archival material as possible. I went on a search for acid-free card stocks, the highest end transparency sheets, and archival fixatives and sprays.

One of the most important things about these was going to be consistency. If I was making a 45 card set, I didn’t want 44 different ways they were being made, or sprayed, or glued, etc.

So, using materials I still had around, I started on some tests. Some went well.

Others not so much.

Here’s a good picture where you can tell the difference between an early test, and the final product. In this one, I used cheap transparencies and ink, and didn’t spray with the fixative before airbrushing. You can see the “print lines” and ink drop pattern (look around Georges chin). These are almost invisible in the final products (end of this post).

I also needed a serious upgrade in tools. Goodbye cheapo Harbor Freight airbrush, hello professional Iwata.

Early tests also showed me that I had two choices when airbrushing if I wanted to avoid overspray on cards other than the one I was working on. I either had to cut up the sheets one at a time, or cover up the additional 5 (out of 6) somehow. I decided to invest in a small light table, so I could cover up the cards safely, but still see what I was working on. It ended up being a game changer in terms of airbrush quality and control.

After I was confident in the methods, it was time to start cranking out some cards. First, I needed to actual design them, and source images. Fun fact, the official portraits of the president are public domain since technically they were paid for with public tax dollars. The people own them, and can use them. So, I went strait to the Library of Congresses digital archives and grabbed the highest res images that were available.

After that it was printing time! Sadly, I also had issues with the printer towards the end, it barely made it through the process and I ended up recently getting a new one (more on that later). I had to switch from 6 cards per sheet, to 4 cards per sheet. That meant I had less margin of error and needed additional transparencies. I’m glad I changed that in the end, as it seemed to be right amount of “backup prints” due to margins of error. For every 1 perfect card, it might have taken me 2 airbrush attempts to get it just right, and 1 left over in case of cutting/trimming mistakes (which certainly did happen).

As I mentioned before, I also wanted to spray everything I was making with archival fixative. At one point my garage art-studio looked like a laundromat. The spray was used for two reasons. Primarily it was used to “fix” the notoriously fragile inkjet ink to the material, while providing anti-aging and anti-yellowing UV resistance. It was also necessary to create a smoother, non-porous surface for the airbrush paint to stick to. Here’s a good example of what happens when you don’t spray it.

The bottom portrait on this sheet was sprayed, the top was not.

This material is designed to “soak” up ink, and if it’s not “closed” by a spray, it’ll soak up the paint as well, and eventually crack. So, there ya go, pro-tip if anyone is ever crazy enough to try this at home (besides me).

It was about this point when I remembered, “Oh yeah, real cards have backs…”. You see, when I make custom cards, part of it being “art” and not an actual production card mean I typically leave the back blank. Literally just blank card stock that I usually sign, or put a sticker on saying it’s a custom art piece, etc. This created another problem. How was I going to put “1 of 1” on these?


The answer, it turned out, would involve scanning, and hot foil pressing. My vinyl cutter, which up to this point hadn’t been involved with the process, was called into action due to it’s PixScan mat and technology. After printing the card backs, I was able to get accurate registration by scanning the mat and using the alignment dots to line up my hot foil press. Yes, I now own a hot foil press. Don’t judge, lol.

It took several tries, but eventually I got it down and it started making some really sweet foil transfers. Nice and clean “1 of 1” in legit gold foil. My only regret is not figuring out how to put it on the front. Unfortunately hot metal and thin plastic don’t really work well. Many a card was lost in early testing. Oh well, on the back works well, and is considerably safer.

After that, it was assembly time! Layers and layers of stuff, sandwiched together and pressed, followed by the most nerve-wracking trimming I’ve ever done. I’ve trimmed thousands of photos in my lifetime, most for really important things like clients and wedding albums. This was a whole other level.

The guys at SuperBreak were generous enough to supply me with a large cutter that made the cutting go much faster. Actually, they furnished me with a large portion of the supplies in general. They were awesome to work with! Whatever I needed to make the best cards was what they wanted to send me. That kind of support, from an artistic perspective, is very hard to find, and incredibly appreciated.

In the end, I think I was able to make some really nice cards. I watched as Go GTS Live pulled one on a live stream and thought it was really cool. I’m so happy other collectors like them and appreciate them.

I had waited to post this until I knew the product had been released, I didn’t want to spoil the surprise, and then Covid happened and everyone’s schedules went all crazy and honestly the time has just gotten away from me. These cards are out there in the wild now, and are available in Super Breaks’ Pieces of the Past boxes if you’re lucky enough to pull one. I don’t know what the pack odds are, but I can only imagine they’re hard to pull. I think you can buy boxes on Blowout Cards or GTS.

That’s about it. All I can say is that it was a pleasure working with Adam and Scott, so much so that we have several more projects in the works, most of which I can’t talk about because they’re seriously next level awesome and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Let’s just say that we’ve got some stuff planned involving some HUGE names. No spoilers 😉

Here are a few more photos of the finished cards.