Solving a sketch card mystery …


One of my favorite additions to the baseball card world this past year is the Sketch Card, which after years of appearing in non-sports packs, finally made its way into baseball cards beginning with Topps sets late last year.

But there is a drawback to those one-of-a-kind miniature pieces of artwork that picture baseball players and not iconic figures such as Darth Vader or Superman.

It’s the baseball sketch card whodunnit — though in this case we know who did it (an artist named Graham) — it’s a whoisit.

Yours truly trekked across Dallas on a late lunch hour Tuesday afternoon to pick up a certified mailing from Topps — a redemption card for a sketch from 2009 Series 1 baseball had finally arrived.

When I ripped open the envelope, the first thing I looked for was the artist’s name — then I struggled to determine who the player is.

I have a couple of leading candidates, but without a team logo or a name I’m not sure. And I’d rather not influence your ideas — so, who do you think it is? Leave a comment below.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at


  1. Posted May 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Beltre to me.

  2. Posted May 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    My initial reaction is Frank Thomas, but I’m not sure about the lil hair on the chin.

  3. Will
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    When I first saw it, I thought it was Adrian Beltre. So I agree with the first commenter.

  4. Chad
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Carl Crawford

  5. Posted May 28, 2009 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Carl Crawford

  6. manny ramirez
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Randy Johnson.. duh!

  7. Posted May 29, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    The artist is Kevin Graham. It looks like Adrian Beltre to me, but you could try contacting him through his website:

  8. chucker parry
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Ryan Howard

  9. chad
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    CARL CRAWFORD, easily

  10. John Thomas
    Posted June 21, 2009 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    I noticed a Mikey Mantle sketch card by Mike Kupka on ebay that has an x over the entire card. I was told by the seller that he received the card that way from Topps. I was wondering if anyone knows whether this is the way the artist does all his cards or if someone at Topps did this to the card or perhaps someone else tampered with the card.

  11. grahamart
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I feel horrible you couldnt figure out who the player was. Sadly I did some of those cards very fast. We get a disk from Topps and have to draw whomever is on it. I am not sure who some of the players are myself but if you ever need help you can reach me through my site:


  12. chrisolds
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Actually, most people who e-mailed me suggested that it was Carl Crawford. No worries. It’s an issue that happens a lot with sports sketches.

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