Artist Monty Sheldon pulls back curtain on 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen inclusion

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By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

Topps‘ latest retro baseball card set — the inaugural Gypsy Queen release — will include many things that will make collectors think “retro,” but one inclusion in the forthcoming set is far from oldschool.

In fact, it’s something that’s never been done before.

What’s the surprise? Sketch Patch Relic cards — a game-used memorabilia with a one-of-a-kind pencil and paint sketch around the memorabilia piece.

Oregon-based sports artist Monty Sheldon produced 25 works for the set and kindly shared them with Beckett Media to show collectors what they can expect to find when the product arrives on April 20. He started with a blank card, added a pencil sketch based on reference photos Topps provided and then did the final paintings all on the same card, each a 1/1 that will be found inside packs.

Sheldon has done some interesting work through the years from his artwork on baseballs to a series of sketch cards he produced coinciding with the anniversary of the Black Sox scandal, but it’s easy to see that these are some of the most unique baseball cards ever made.

See a gallery of all 25 from Sheldon after the jump.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


  1. Tom Waldron
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks again for the great update. I for one will be looking for a box of Gypsy.
    I think at least ist’s a newer look than the same ol same ol.
    Really like the patch sketch cards can’t wait for a box busters on this set.

  2. Kevin Reid
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Nice, I guess, the patch destroys the look of the card…why not just have the players
    autograph the sketch cards?

  3. Randall Roberson
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I really like the backgrounds with the sunsets and clouds, creates the feeling of endless summer days. The patches look more interesting than the monochromatic swatches in the heritage relic cards. I will definitely buy a few hobby boxes.

  4. A_Pharis
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Was pointed out on FCB:

    Why is Pujols sporting #4?

  5. Posted April 6, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I was curious about that myself, but I followed the image Topps sent me due to copyright reasons.

    Here is a link to the Pujols card, illustrating my four-panel process that shows the reference photo…

  6. Posted April 6, 2011 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Here is a Facebook link that shows the four-panel process to all 24 cards that I painted…

  7. Leslie Westbrook
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    For the most part, these look great and I wouldn’t mind scoring one or two. However, if they only made 25, then why put single-color swatches in any of the cards? Why not make all 25 with multi-colored, multi-layered patches? It’s only 25 cards.

  8. JB
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    These look great, very nice touch. I am excited to crack a hobby box in a couple weeks!

  9. chrisolds
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    The Pujols pic is from a Jackie Robinson Day game where all players wore No. 42.

  10. Posted April 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind words regarding my artwork. They are always appreciated.

    Oddly enough, I thought people would be talking more about the fact that I painted Pujols running towards the “$$$ bank” in the background than about his uniform #. ;)

  11. David
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I know you guys may not believe me but I actually got the Nolan Ryan 1/1 painted card today in a pack. Great card. Would be interested in unloading for the right price :)

  12. Posted April 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    One of my customers just pulled the Nolan Ryan! Awesome card indeed!

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