There Is Only One

The Most Iconic Trading Cards of All Time: 

The title says it all, evoking feelings of anticipation and pride that make me so excited to be part of this project.
The air of suspense as fans wait to see the originals in person is what make this project both special and exciting to work on.  Being able to view the re-creation of iconic sports masterpieces in person at 22 x 30, and in watercolor, is what make this traveling exhibition and sale so unique .
I have been honored to create some very special sets over the years for Topps, Upper Deck and Kelloggs, with many still highly collected to this day.
From the days when I first started painting my first Topps set in 1999, trading cards have become art in their own right, considered by many collectors to be miniature sports-art masterpieces.
Creating them in detail is both a challenge and a delight. I try to craft each painting to match the original card as closely as possible, with my own style coming to the forefront.
Many of the vintage paintings include some of the same brushstrokes in spots, for example.
Very personal to me, is working on the 1953 Mickey Mantle card. The original artist for the set, Gerry Dvork, was a mentor and friend to me growing up.
I also love the contrasting mix of vintage and modern cards, and different  challenges they present in this overall collection.
Some of the “Mona Lisa’s “ of the card-world are in this collection, and the most noteworthy is that I will never paint any card that size again in my career. This means that collectors will have the opportunity to own a very rare original piece of art.
Having the opportunity to work with Joe Drelich and ECSM has been an honor, and we are proud to be able to  highlight the sports-art side of collecting on a  fine art level.
Joe and I have known each other since I was in high school, and to have someone so well-respected in the hobby be so passionate about this  project is very exciting to me.
I hope you enjoy the collection as it grows over the years, and I invite you to see it in person at a number of the many interesting  stops the show will take.
Artist, James Fiorentino
“There’s Only One, the Most Iconic Trading Cards of All Time” was conceptualized during the recent surge in the sports trading card market.
Watching cards escalate so rapidly by 100-200-400-600% made me realize owning many of them had just become extremely more difficult seemingly overnight.
Back in 2019, I had purchased from James, a large 30 × 40 painting of a majestic Lakota Sioux Chief Native Indian sitting cross legged, holding a gun.  The piece is truly a stunning work of art that I feel lucky to own .
It then dawned on me, I could reach out to James and talk to him about painting some of the cards I love.
James was immediately excited about my idea as he too is an avid Sports card fan. 
As our conversation progressed it evolved into more of a project of capturing some of the greatest sports trading cards ever made. We were both pretty excited thinking, “Wow, I think we have something here.”
We talked on multiple occasions, drafting a plan to bring James’ amazing talent to the Sports Trading card world in super size !
The work you are seeing here represents James’ amazing talent, and illustrates how one small idea can quickly grow into an amazing display of some of the most iconic and valuable trading card Artwork ever painted.
We hope you enjoy them !
Joe Drelich, East Coast Sports Marketing LLC.

This is an ongoing project, with new pieces being added over time. If you are interested in acquiring one of our original pieces, or want to commission James to paint a card not shown here, please contact Joe Drelich.