Design,  Memorabilia,  Morrisville

It’s All in the Cards

Whenever I find someone who stumbled into cricket as an adult and became a fan, I want to talk to them. But when I find out that they're also a popular artist who specializes in reimagining classic baseball cards and has now branched out into drawing cricket cards, well, now I want to write about them. Mark Mosley is a Durham, North Carolina-based artist who does some of the coolest work on the Internet. Fans have been enjoying and buying his original takes on classic baseball cards for a while now.

"I've always loved baseball a lot. I collected baseball cards as a kid. And a few years ago, maybe 2017, I was talking to my brother. He's a big board game guy and I like sports board games and so I thought about making a baseball board game. And then I thought, well, I need to have cards. What if I drew the cards for the game? So I did a couple of sketches in black and white. And about that same time is when I found another Twitter account. His name is Mike Noren and he goes by the name @GummyArts. And I thought, man, those are really cool. I don't think I can do them like him, but I can do them my way. And soon after, I posted my first card on Twitter. It was a black-and-white Eddie Murray 1978 rookie card."


And as it's been doing since the late 1800s, the Internet took over. "People liked it. I started drawing more and more and, at some point, I was drawing about a card a day. I was using paper, pencil, colored pencil, pen, so it was all on paper. And I probably drew 600 baseball cards over the course of, I don't know, three years. I got an iPad about a year and a half ago and that's when I sort of went digital. You can draw better on an iPad. The color pops. And that's when I started printing the cards."

Of course, living in Durham puts him in the center of North Carolina's Research Triangle, which is as powerful at luring folks into becoming cricket fans as the Bermuda Triangle is for luring ships and planes to their disappearance. "I teach at a middle school in Cary (a suburb of Raleigh) and I had a student last year who played cricket and he ended up playing on the baseball team with my son. The family would come to the baseball game and the dad and the little son would go to the batting cage with a cricket bat and ball. I heard there was cricket around here, so I asked them where can I go see some good cricket. And who knew that Morrisville, North Carolina had what's considered the best cricket pitch in the United States?"

And his first trip to Church Street Park had an added bonus. "So I asked my son if he wanted to go and we went out there and sat on a bench next to this cricket field. And I'm just taking it all in and somebody walked up to me -- a guy named Nate (Nate Hays from Emerging Cricket and one of Morrisville's announcers). So we ended up having this conversation and he tells me how he discovered cricket and he answered a few questions for me. And then this other kid comes up. I believe his name is Aaman (Aaman Patel, who does commentary for Minor League Cricket and USA Cricket). And this is the funniest thing. He's a young kid. I found out he calls the cricket games, too. I have a high school friend who on Facebook has said for multiple years that her son was calling cricket games. And I was like, 'dude, you're young. I got to ask you something.' And I asked him about his mom's name. And he said, 'yeah, that's my mom,' so he calls her up. She lives one mile away. So ten minutes later, my high school friend -- who I haven't seen in 20 some years -- is sitting on the bench with me watching cricket."

So where did the idea to draw cricket cards come from? "I asked Aaman who were the best players on the team and he told me that it was Dane and Obus and so I was like, I got to draw them.  So I drew Dane first and posted it. Dane has a Twitter account, so I tagged him and he liked it and retweeted it. And then I posted the picture of Obus and he liked it and retweeted it."

"When I went to the Finals, the father of the kid that plays with my son knew the guys, so he said, 'let me go introduce you,' because I wanted to give them the cards. On the way to the VIP tent, we crossed paths with one of the younger players and he was more than happy to show me around. Of course I felt bad that I had not drawn him. Anyway, we came to the VIP tent and the people in charge did not want me in there, but he just said 'come on' and dragged me in there. So I met the other three guys I had drawn. Obus talked to me. He would've talked to me for as long as he could. He was super nice to me. All of them thought it was super cool that I had done cards. They were super appreciative that I even thought to do it and that I gave them their cards. Dane was doing commentary so I didn't get a chance to talk to him."


And what does the future hold for you and cricket? "I'm all in for whatever comes in this next season of Morrisville cricket. I'm committing right now to being a Morrisville fan regardless of what level they're at. I don't know exactly how it's going to work next year, because in talking to a few people, Morrisville's not going to get a major league team, but people I talked to were still like holding out hope. But I'm happy with Minor League Cricket. It sounds like there's going to be a handful of guys that stay on the team and some of the guys are going to move on to Major League Cricket and they'll get a whole new crew. So I have no idea how it's going to happen. But I would love to do a Morrisville team set."

And, hopefully, someone will take him up on his offer.

For more about Mark and his work, check him out on Twitter, Instagram, and his website.

And for the latest on cricket cards, check out my review of Topps' recent set for The Hundred.


© Steinberg 2022

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