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Judy Johnson
(b. October 26, 1899 - d. June 15, 1989)
The greatest third baseman in Negro League history, Johnson combined steady defensive play with stellar batting performances. A line-drive hitter, Johnson hit .390 and .406 in two of his seasons with the Philadelphia Hilldales, leading them to two black World Series appearances. In later years, Judy scouted for the Philadelphia A's and Phillies.
Inducted in 1975
2015 ACEO Sketch Card Judy Johnson by Anthony Douglas
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Comments: I purchased my first Perez-Steele Judy Johnson postcard and subsequently had it graded NM-MT by PSA in the 2003/2004 timeframe. In April, 2009 I purchased two raw examples on eBay from seller Chock Full of Cards (gretch2662). I submitted them to PSA and they graded MINT and GEM MINT in February, 2010.

UPDATE: Often, I'll enter last names of HOFers I'm missing into the eBay search field to see what pops up on the screen. That's what happened in August, 2015 when Sol White appeared on my laptop looking back at me.  I checked some of the other offerings from the same seller and several items caught my eye.  Anthony Douglas, the artist, obviously enjoyed painting Negro Leaguers and these images were fantastic.  His available artwork, includes some great stuff from celebrities to Hollywood icons.  In addition to the White, I immediately became interested in the Judy Johnson, Josh Gibson, and Cum Posey.  The Buy It Now price for White was $10 with an opportunity to make an offer.  I needed a Sol White for my collection and this card was perfect.  It was an easy decision - SOLD!  I made an $8 offer on the Gibson to replace a Perez-Steele card I had. The seller accepted.  I had a hot hand and offered $6 for the Judy Johnson to replace another Perez Steele tribute card.  Again - hooked and sold.  At this point, I felt the price was good and didn't want to low ball the artist.  I offered $6 for the Cumberland Posey to replace a 1988 Pittsburgh Baseball club issue I had and, of course, he obliged.  I had scored four beautiful art pieces, great additions to the portrait gallery.  Upon receipt I couldn't be happier.  They're fantastic!

Card Details Below:  
Year(s): 2015
ACC Set Designation:
Set Name: ACEO Sketch Cards
Country: United States

According to


ACEO stands for Art Card Originals and Editions. They are kissin' cousins of ATC's or Art Trading Cards. Both are by definition cards of artwork measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches, the same as a standard playing card. ACEO's originated on Ebay, and are a favorite form of art on the world's biggest online auction site.


While purists will tell you an ATC must be traded, never sold, it's perfectly true that an ATC is a sub-set of ACEO's. Just like baseball trading cards, they originally were intended to be swapped but now these attractive and creative cards are a class of collectible for sale. Who knows, in future some ACEO artists may become quite collectible. Even now, some ACEO's from popular artists go for a goodly price.

As to medium, ACEO's come in many forms. Oil, acrylic,watercolor, pastel (infrequently; the medium doesn't lend itself easily to small format and is less durable unless fixed.) Colored pencil work, while sneered at in the "serious" art community, is a very beloved medium for ACEO's and the artists who use these pigmented pencils create some stunning work. Some artists work in pen and ink, and also graphite pencil drawing.

But ACEO's don't just have to be made of standard art mediums. Collage artists do altered cards, digital artists make modified photographs, and fiber artists do beaded, knitted, and stitched cards as well.

The subjects can be as varied as a child's imagination, however animal, especially cat ACEO's are widely collected. Whimsical cards, persiflage, jokes and primitive art abound. Landscape miniatures in oils are particularly prized if skillfully done.

One technique of ACEO artwork is to let the frame tell "part of the story." The challenge of working in a 2.5 x 3.5 inch world can be met if the artist leaves a lot of the subject outside the frame and to the imagination. This is a valid compositional technique in art, and a "must" in ACEO work. Even though a picture may only be the size of a playing card, the actual composition suggested might be quite a few times larger, leaving the undone portions to the mind of the viewer to fill in.


Many artists display their works on Ebay and they sell them. Type in a search for ACEO and look at the incredible variety of artwork available. While serious artwork abounds on Ebay, and there are many artists with galleries online who are self-representing, ACEO works provide a great venue for selling art to the public, real original art or limited editions at a reasonable starting price.

Ebay hosts various groups that meet to discuss and exchange artwork. Artists and enthusiasts join these groups and trade cards or "challenges" and "dares." A dare comes from one artist and is assigned to another to paint a subject or a theme. This can take the artist out of their comfort zone and is a way to spark imagination and growth.

There are now galleries around the US that display and sell ACEO's, which tells us that this art form is growing in popularity everywhere.


As a hobby, ACEO's are great fun for the amateur artist, and can be cost-effective. While canvas, clayboard and watercolor paper are sometimes quite expensive, working in a small format means many works can be obtained from a standard sheet of fine paper. The constraints of working in small format help sharpen skills in composition and value as well as being a real challenge in portraiture. As you get better as an artist, you may feel it is time to list and sell your work. Then you have become--a professional, if you accept the widely-held definition that a professional artist is one who sells their works for compensation.


ACEO's are a growing passion for many people. People collect by subject matter (cats, horses, dogs, wildlife, landscape, or medium (drawings, oils, acrylics, watercolors, colored pencil, altered media and collage.) There are a number of ways to display the collection. Many people keep the cards in sports-cards albums because the 2.5 x 3.5 inch cards fit perfectly into those sleeves. Other people incorporate them into their scrapbooks. Frames are available that display one or more favorite ACEO's. The frame can be a permanent decoration on the wall or desk, or it can be a changing art gallery, slipping a card in and out of a frame for a change of pace. The accessibility of ACEO's--fine art at a reasonable price, plus the small size make this portable art that fits many lifestyles. And historically, miniatures have been highly prized collectibles, from Persian miniatures, Victorian miniatures to today's incredible variety of cards to collect and display.


For children, ACEO making and collecting can become a rewarding past-time, one that can be done alone or with friends and classmates and family. I suggest that families start their own ACEO time at home. A rainy afternoon spent in creating cards can be a wonderful time of togetherness, sparking imagination and creativity. Have a clothesline artshow at the dollhouse afterwards and admire your results. ACEO's are truly art-for-everyone.