Thursday, October 8, 2015

1996 Topps Billy Ashley

So I've finally got back to making some cards after compiling a list of cards I want to make (as well as ones that others bloggers have made) from the 1989-2015 Topps sets. I'm going to number the cards with the number for the Topps set on the bottom left, and the number for my custom set on the bottom right, and not make backs for the cards.

I don't believe I've really discussed myself too in depth in this blog so far, so let me write a little about growing up, and it will make sense of some of the players I've chosen in my custom series as well as some of the sets I'm working on.

I was born in 1983 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1989, my grandmother in Florida sent a few packages with baseball cards in them. My first packs of baseball cards were '89 Bowman, Donruss, and Topps. I then developed an interest in baseball. In 1990 I moved to Lakeland, Florida, and started going to private school. The next year, I decided I was a Detroit Tiger fan since I had lived in Michigan and since the Tigers trained in Lakeland in the spring. I traded cards with friends and tried to get as many Tigers as I could. In 1992, I started buying packs of cards with my own money, and 1992 Topps was the first set I remember purchasing. So that was the main reason why I chose the 1992 Topps set as the one I would complete by making customs of the players Topps left out. I was pretty much a Topps guy after that. I kept buying packs and trying to get Tigers the next few years, and then in 1998, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays started playing. I went to my first Rays game in April that year, and the Rays became my other favorite team. I didn't have much spending money growing up (since my dad was constantly switching jobs and I had 3 younger sisters), but every chance I did get money, I would usually get baseball cards. I was a big fan of prospects growing up, many of which only played a few seasons in the majors. Many were players the Rays got in the expansion draft. Many played for the Lakeland Tigers, the Tigers single-A team in my hometown who I saw a few times a year. Others were just players I noticed from cards I had got from packs. Some of those players include Bubba Trammell, Brooks Kieschnick, Daryle Ward, Eddie Gaillard, Greg Whiteman, Todd Greene, Bob Wolcott, George Arias, Derrick Gibson, and Billy Ashley. In 1997, the first jersey cards came out and the year before that, so did autographed cards. I generally only bought packs of cards from Wal-Mart, and maybe a few a year from the hobby shop at that point, so I usually never got inserts, but still enjoyed collecting and looked forward to getting cards of my favorite players. Around my senior year, I had a job and used a bunch of my money to add cards to my collection, adding a complete set or 2, and getting my first certified autograph card in 2001. The next year, I added my first game-used card. Between 2002-2007, I got most of my packs the same way, but added a few complete sets to my collection. I also was able to purchase a few more game-used cards as I had a full-time job since 2005. I started collecting autographs on cards in 1996, and in '05 did the through-the mail thing up until 2011 or so. I moved to Alabama in 2006, and stayed there through '09. I really added some cards of my favorite players from in 2007, and that really helped me out. Moved back to Lakeland in 2009, and kept getting cards of favorite players and Tigers and Rays, as well as a few neat relic cards the next 2 years. Then, in 2011, I met my wife. She took up most of my time, and I decided to change how I collect around then. Instead of just buying packs and packs, I wanted to focus on collecting cards of my favorite players and teams. So now, I have a few binders of Tigers and Rays, a binder with rookie cards, season highlights, and special cards to me, and a binder of favorite players. Most of my albums are in storage right now until we get a bigger house, and that's cool. I buy a few packs every now and then, but not nearly as many as I used to, and I still go to COMC and look at new cards for my collections.
That was lengthy, but I think it explains why I like to do more customs of '90's cards, and why I do customs of some random players instead of stars. Hope you enjoy this 1996 Topps Billy Ashley

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