At the Memorial Day Weekend Baseball Cards Research Committee meetup in Cooperstown, I was lucky enough to meet the great Mike Noren in person. Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell his artwork is probably familiar to you.
Mike, whose work now hangs at on the walls of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is the artist behind the wildly popular “Gummy Arts” trading cards posted daily to Twitter and (if you’re lucky) available in packs online.
With the SABR Black Sox Scandal Centennial Symposium coming to town here in Chicago I wondered if there might be a way I could put some of these cards into the hands of attendees. Thinking there might be a good 30-40 SABR members and guests on hand for the event, I thought “Hmm, maybe.” Then I checked with conference organizer Jacob Pomrenke and got the bad-news-for-me-good-news-for-everyone-else that he expected more than 200 attendees!
Never mind, right? It’s not like I could ever imagine Mike’s being willing to put together this many cards! (He cuts every card himself, including the rounded corners.)
Well, what do you know! And thank you, Mike! Sure enough, the first two hundred guests on hand Saturday morning will be able to pick up an envelope with five cards from the full set of 19.
Here is the checklist for the complete unnumbered set of 19 cards.
I can’t thank Mike enough for making his cards available in such large numbers to SABR for this once-in-a-century event, and I hope the Symposium guests will enjoy these cards as much as I do.
I have a bad feeling that after printing and cutting more than a thousand cards Mike will never want to make, much less see, one of these cards again. Nonetheless, I encourage readers to follow @gummyarts on Twitter just in case Mike decides to make additional cards or sets available to the public. If not, get in touch with your friends who made it to Chicago. In the spirit of the Black Sox, they might not be above taking bribes to help you complete your set!