Like many others, I collected baseball cards when I was a kid. As I grew up, I put the cards in a box in the basement and forgot about them. A couple of years ago, as my own son was beginning to play baseball and collect cards, I decided to give some of my cards to him for his birthday. I wanted to give him cards of my favorite players from each position so I sorted through my cards (as I reminisced about my favorites and opening those awesome wax-packs that Topps used to make) and carefully selected the perfect set of cards to give to my son...it was awesome!
However, I was very bothered by the ability to display the cards. I wanted to find a way to let him display the cards on a field but also be able to update the display with his favorite players. I searched for months and couldn't find anything. So I decided to create what I wanted.
I set out with two simple requirements: (1) it had to look great and (2) it had to be easy to change and move the location of the cards in the display. After numerous failed approaches and prototypes, I finally figured it out and I made on for my son. I looks great and it is easy to change and adjust the cards. I actually love it so much that I made one for myself and I love the ability to reminisce by displaying cards from my childhood and changing them whenever I want.
As friends of my son and my own friends come into my house they all comment on the our display and ask where we got it, I realized that there is a strong demand for this in the market. I have worked out all of the initial production details, from printing to assembly to packaging and shipping, but need your help to make the first production run.
The Field of Dreams card display starts with the design of a modern looking baseball field piece of art that is designed to blend with and augment the baseball cards. The field is printed on a durable, high gloss finish on heavy 22" x 28" cardstock. After numerous layouts, this size optimized the ability to see both the cards and the field.
In order to allow the cards to be placed onto the field yet still be moveable, a novel magnetic system was developed. First, the field is affixed to a flexible magnet-holding material, which is then mounted on traditional foam board. This creates a field that can hold certain, high-strength magnets.
Rare-earth, neodymium magnets are then affixed to the back of traditional baseball card holders. A key challenge with magnets is getting the proper "pull-strengh" - too little and the magnet doesn't hold, too much and you can't remove the magnet easily. By carefully getting the proper pull strength, the baseball card holds firmly but can be removed easily by anyone.
The whole field is then affixed to a special custom poster frame that allows for direct, easy access to the cards. This frame is made of extra thick, high-quality aluminum extrusion and comes with a thick, high strength polycarbonate plexiglass that is crystal clear but will not break (like glass).
To access the cards, you simply pull on each side of the frame. When you pull on a side, that section of the frame pops open. After you pull on all four sides, you simply remove the plexiglass, change and adjust the layout of your cards, put the plexiglass back, and push each of the four frame edges closed again. Once you close the frame nobody can tell that the frame pops open from the front.
The great thing about this product is that the designs are limitless - you can choose your favorite players of all time, pick your favorite team (1980 Phillies for me!), pick your favorite card designs, etc. And, when you get bored, you simply change the cards (please note that the card holders I am using are designed to traditional Topps cards produced from 1957 through the present, chrome and thicker cards such as those with jersey pieces are too thick).
One additional idea that I love, is to mix cards from you favorite players with custom designed cards of your family. Topps, the classic baseball card manufacturer, allows you to create a classic baseball card with your own pictures. My favorite team has my son at 1st, my daughter pitching, and my 10-year-old-self as catcher...priceless!!
I have always believed that baseball cards should be enjoyed, and this is the best way to constantly enjoy them.