Have a look at these two Bo Jackson cards:
If you're wondering whether Donruss released some special variations back in the 1980s that you missed out on—or more likely, whether Panini issued some inserts a few years ago to celebrate the good ol' Donruss brand of yesteryear—who could blame you?
But you'd be wrong.
Although Donruss did have separate sets in the '80s like The Rookies and Opening Day, which gave you card borders that were different from the borders on the flagship sets, that's not the answer here. And they're not Panini cards, either.
So where did these come from? And what are they?
Well, if you look a bit closer, you'll see a hand-made, mixed media aspect to the cards. And if you think a little more about the photo and the fonts, you might notice that they're from Bo Jackson's 1989 Topps card. So what's going on here?
Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown is what's going on!
Last month on his blog, he described the impetus behind a batch of "border art" cards he'd been creating, and showed off quite a few examples. What makes the cards even more cool is that they're all unique. They're one-of-ones. If you have one in your collection, that's it. No one else will.
If this piques your interest, you'll be happy to know that Gavin has set up an eBay store where he's selling some of his creations. That's where I snatched up the two Bo Jackson cards shown above. I really love that color combination of light blue, royal blue, and black—especially on the '85 Donruss design. The blue stripes on the borders really stand out.
Here's a shot of a card back.
Stamped to verify the unique art, with a signature from the artist himself. Nice touch. I'm really happy to have some hand-made art from Gavin in my collection.
So check out his eBay store. There's more card art to choose from, featuring big-time players of the era like Tony Gwynn, Don Mattingly, Wade Boggs, and Ken Griffey Jr.
Thanks Gavin, and keep up the great work!