ebay slug : cards-that-never-were
Over the decades, there have been tens of thousands of different baseball cards issued by companies from New York to California.
But even with that avalanche of cardboard bearing down on us, there are never quite enough cards, are there? And there surely aren’t enough vintage cards, especially when it comes to players missing from our favorite sets.
Or places we think Topps or Fleer or Bowman could have done better.
Or the chance to get the right player in the right uniform and the right card design.
Luckily for us, we live in the digital age, which means just about any card we can imagine can become reality in the right artistic hand.
If you love the idea of these “Cards that Never Were” as much as we do, check out these 10 websites. They’re among the best in the business when it comes to custom cards, and they’re just sitting there, waiting for you to dig in.
Mets Fantasy Cards
The tagline for this site says it all: Mets Baseball Cards Like They Ought to Be!
Mets superfan Warren Zvon has put together this excellent site over the course of more than four years. As you might guess, the focus is on Mets baseball, touching on most aspects of the game in Gotham.
But the real drawing cards are Zvon’s creations — the Mets cards that never were … or at least that weren’t done to Zvon’s satisfaction.
The result is an explosion of blue and orange e-cardboard splendor that any true collector will love, even Mets haters.
Card You Will Love: 1962 Topps Gil Hodges
Cards that Never Were
This site exists solely for the purpose of treating the world to cards that never were, so how could we NOT include it on our list.
John Hogan has spent more than six years on this labor of love and during that time has graced us with more than 700 posts and thousands of his custom creations.
If you’re going to visit this site, just be warned — you may lose a few hours of your day!
Card You Will Love: 1973 Topps Willie Stargell All-Star
Topps Cards that Never Were
With more than three solid years under his belt, Jeremy has filled his blog with hundreds of custom creations all done in the style of various Topps issues.
One of the nice features of this site is the categorization that allows you to zero in quickly on what you’re looking for, like missing Topps cards or coaches cards.
Card You Will Love: 1979 Topps Dick Pole
Bob Lemke’s Blog
Bob Lemke was a giant in the hobby who rose to prominence with Krause Publications, serving as a writer, editor, and publisher for heavyweight periodicals like Baseball Cards Magazines and Sports Collectors Digest. He also wrote and edited countless books over the years.
After his retirement in 2011, Lemke turned some of his hobby attention to his blog, where he created some of the best Cards that Never Were you’ll ever see.
Though Lemke passed away in January of 2017, his work lives on in his words and in his digital cardboard creations.
Card You Will Love: 1970 Topps Carlton Fisk
The Shlabotnik Report
Joe Shlabotnik maintains a very active blog about baseball cards, and he regularly touches on many aspects of the hobby.
Probably my favorite part of Joe’s excellent site, though, and the most important part for this list, are his custom card creations.
Joe has been at it for at least five years, and his customs are gorgeous. And, although he focuses mostly on current players, there are plenty of classic designs to satisfy even old-timers like us.
Card You Will Love: 1978 Topps Anthony Rizzo
Baseball Cards that Never Were
This site features the creations of TJ Dio, labeled as “What-If? Sports Card Digital Art.”
Although there are only a few offerings on the site and the blog hasn’t been updated in a good while, vintage collectors will enjoy the fresh look at some of our favorite sets.
TJ has some fun with player selection, too!
Card You Will Love: 1976 Topps Sam Malone
White Sox Cards
Steve Gierman has been running this blog dedicated to Chicago White Sox cards for a solid decade, which makes him one of the elder statesmen on our list.
During that time, Steve has touched on all aspects of White Sox cards, from reviewing sets to spotlighting White Sox birthdays to breaking out ChiSox cards by uniform number.
But it’s Steve’s work in creating custom White Sox cards that really drew me to his blog and that I think will have you going back again and again.
Card You Will Love: 1962 Topps Ted Kluszewski
Uncle Doc’s Card Closet
Uncle Doc’s Card Closet (the blog) closed up shop in 2015, but not before Doc created a bevy of Topps cards that never were.
Don’t eat these all in one sitting, because they’re all there is!
Card You Will Love: 1980 Topps Thurman Munson
Billing itself as, “Your 316th Best Source for Pop Culture Nuggets,” Johngy’s Beat is not your typical baseball card blog.
In fact, it’s much more than a baseball card blog, with post categories ranging from Chicago Bandits to Celebrity Jersey Cards to Friendly Encounters, and many more.
But don’t let the eclectic lineup fool you — Johngy’s builds some of the best custom baseball cards around, and you’re bound to find something you’ll love among the large and expanding gallery.
Card You Will Love: 1975 Topps Dick Billings
Off the Wall
Off the Wall is “Home to another Red Sox baseball card collector,” according to the site’s tagline.
That may be true, but OTW is more than just another blog if you like cardboard eye candy you’ll never encounter in “real” life — particularly Boston Red Sox cards.
Check out site owner Shane Katz’s custom creations here.
Card You Will Love: 1963 Post Bob Turley
When Topps Had (Base)Balls
When it comes to prolific custom e-cardboard creation, Giovanni Balistreri of When Topps Had (Base)Balls has few rivals.
After churning out basically a post a day — most or all with a “card that never was” included — Giovanni has packed his site with enough make-believe beauties to keep you in awe for hours.
Card You Will Love: 1977 Topps Mickey Mantle Turn Back the Clock
Bobw’s Custom Baseball Cards
Although not updated very frequently, Bobw’s Custom Baseball Cards is a real treat for collectors of vintage cards across multiple sports.
Bob has spent years collecting awesome sports images, and he uses them to great effect in creating these custom cards.
Thanks to Tony Lehman (@OffHiatusBBC) for turning me onto this neat site!
Card You Will Love: 1954 Topps Cleveland Indians (I want that Luke Easter!)
Do you know of other great places on the web to find Cards That Never Were? Let me know in the comments below or by email at email@example.com.
1975 SSPC Nolan Ryan #187 Autograph Auto SGC 88 NM/MT 8 Auto 10 Angels
$81.00 (18 Bids)
End Date: Monday 03/20/2023 21:10:26 EDT
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1975 SSPC Baseball Set - You Pick - #201-#400 - nmmt
End Date: Wednesday 04/12/2023 11:14:24 EDT
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1975 SSPC Set-Break #616 Willie Mays NR-MINT *GMCARDS*
$10.50 (4 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday 03/21/2023 01:22:03 EDT
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Hi, is there any way I could have some cards made?
Hi James … you might connect with some of the creators directly through their websites. Good luck!
Thanks for listing my blog!
You bet. Great work!