For years, my parents were begging me to take my childhood baseball cards out of their house. When I finally did, I fell in love with them all over again.
I'm Matthew Lee Rosen... and I'm a baseball card artist. The smell of chewing gum and card stock triggers fond memories of iconic 1980's card designs. Like anyone else who collected baseball cards as a kid, I was told they'd be worth lots of money when I got older, only to discover they were pretty worthless. So, what happened?
I learned that Topps lost a monopolization lawsuit which triggered new market competition in 1981 from Fleer and Donruss. Over the next decade, a few more brands entered the mix (Sportflics, Score and Upper Deck), and they all vied for shelf space. This created massive overproduction. It was a baseball card boom, and by the late 80's, some of the most popular cards had over a million in circulation. Today, they simply aren't rare to find. My personal favorite, the 1987 Donruss Greg Maddux Rated Rookie, can be purchased for a dollar on eBay. One dollar!
So, to celebrate their designs and help reduce circulation, I've decided to turn them into pieces of artwork. My diamonds often tell stories about the baseball card boom and subsequent bubble burst.