1989 Topps Future Star: Gary Sheffield (Giant Gum Stick)
Original baseball card art
In 1989, Topps printed 5 Future Stars: Gary Sheffield, Gregg Jefferies, Sandy Alomar Jr., Steve Searcy, and Mike Harkey. I always loved the design of this subset... much more attractive than it's predecessors from '87-88. Jefferies became the hot commodity for collectors, and Alomar won Rookie of the Year. However, Sheffield produced more Wins Above Replacement (60.5) than all of them combined (37.6).
One of game's most feared hitters, Sheffield finished with a .292/.393/.514 slash (.907 OPS) & 509 HR. But, a poor glove, an abrasive personality, and links to PEDs will likely keep him out of the Hall of Fame. I love creating gum sticks that symbolize tarnished careers... as the gum stained the cards.
More about my giant sticks of Topps Chewing Gum
The last card inside a junk era wax pack would often get stuck to, or stained by, the piece of gum inside. My childhood memories of chewing hard sticks of bubble gum became the inspiration for making these large scale gum sticks. My gum sticks are typically tilted by 9 degrees, as a nod to the starting 9 on the diamond.
- My gum stick paintings are done on plywood as homage to the game's wooden bats. I hand bevel the wood with a router to create the proper shape, which also captures highlights on the edges and supplies nice drop shadows on the wall.
- The sticks are painted with my own multi-layer technique, making them look realistic.
- Each gum stick measures 12" x 36" and is designed to hang on a rotated angle of 9 degrees. This represents how the gum is typically positioned imperfectly inside the package.
- Each painting ships ready to hang, with hardware already installed.
- A printed and signed description of the artwork will be attached to the back prior to shipping.
- All pieces are original artwork by yours truly, Matthew Lee Rosen.