2014 TSR: A Petit Reminder That It’s Never Pointless To Get The Vogt Out

Today’s post is little more than an arbitrary assortment of customs… but “arbitrary” is not necessarily a bad thing.  Let’s get rolling…

I tend to think of Yusmeiro Petit as something of a failed Mets prospect, but just because he never made it to the Mets doesn’t mean he hasn’t had his flashes of brilliance. Last year he came within one strike of pitching a perfect game, and settled for a one-hit shutout. This week, he set a Major League record by retiring 46 consecutive batters, breaking a record held by Mark Buehrle.
2014 TSR #527 Yusmeiro Petit

This next custom is from the batch I created just after the trade deadline, but it’s here just because I like the way it turned out.
2014 TSR #573 Asdrubal Cabrera

I made this Nolan Arenado custom a while ago… I had a reason at the time, but damned if I can’t remember it now.  Since Nolan recently won the NL Player Of The Week award, I figured it’s as good a time as any to unveil it.
2014 TSR #255 Nolan Arenado
Over the week ending August 24th, Nolan Arenado lead the league with a .545 batting average, hit three homers, scored six runs, had three RBI, three doubles, three homers and a triple.

Casey over at Cardboard Brooklyn requested a custom of Stephen Vogt, and I was only too happy to comply.  You’ve gotta love a guy that is legitimately listed as “1B/OF/C”… and I technically could’ve listed DH as well, but he’s only done that a handful of times.
2014 TSR #519 Stephen Vogt
I thought of putting “UTILITY” down as the position, but that’s overly vague and not as much fun.

Finally, I realized a while ago that I had not posted any “Pointless Pairings” inserts, so I’ll kick things off with this one:
2014 TSR PP-2 Headley Marakovits

I think this is also the first horizontal card I’ve posted, although I have created a couple and did intended from the start to make it more of a “standard card”.  I’ll see if I can’t get more horizontal cards worked into the later series of this set.

1989/90 Topps SPBA (Senior League) Set, Part 5: Suns And Super Sox

This post will wrap up the highlights of the Senior League box set I got for $1.

Apparently the SPBA couldn’t get enough of “Suns” and “Sox”, because three of the eight teams had at least one of those words in the name… You had the Suns, the Sun Sox and the Super Sox.  They wanted to make damn sure that you knew that it was baseball being played in Florida.

Anyhoo, let’s start off with the…

Gold Coast Suns

George Hendrick batted .291 with the Suns, and if you see him coaching 1st for the Rays these days he still looks like he could grab a bat and do some damage.  If the SPBA had lasted more than 1.5 seasons, perhaps he could’ve been as perennial All-Star for that league.

1989-90 Topps SPBA George Hendrick

Wikipedia mentions Bert Campeneris as one of the standouts of this Suns team.

1989-90 Topps SPBA Bert Campaneris

I wonder if Earl Weaver’s Suns jersey had a pocket sewn in for his smokes…

1989-90 Topps SPBA Earl Weaver

Ed Figueroa is a pitcher that I’ve always liked from his time with the Yankees.  Here’s some pointless trivia for you:  His last name contains every vowel (except for “sometimes Y”)

1989-90 Topps SPBA Ed Figueroa

Winter Haven Super Sox

“Super Sox”?  Honestly, that’s the best they could come up with?  Anyway…

Fergie Jenkins!  Sorry, can’t think of anything to say… Um… Look at how Canadian he is!

1989-90 Topps SPBA Fergie Jenkins

At a recent Orioles 60th Anniversary celebration, it struck me how short (for a ballplayer) Al Bumbry is… which just gave me more reasons to like him!  (I’m the same height).

1989-90 Topps SPBA Al Bumbry

Wikipedia says that The Spaceman was the Super Sox player/manager for 7 games before getting replaced by Ed Nottle.  “Singing Ed” didn’t even make it to the end of the season, being replaced himself by Leon Roberts.

1989-90 Topps SPBA Bill Lee

…And that concludes my review of the 1989/90 Topps SPBA set… But fret not, Senior League fans!  I’ve got another SPBA box set, this one made by T&M Sports, and I’ll share that with you at some point… after everybody’s had time to “cleanse the palate”.

Pack Animal! – 2014 Panini NFL Stickers

…Or Cromos Adhesivos, as the back of the pack so exotically describes them….

2014 Panini NFL Stickers wrapper_0002

…Yesterday I was in a store buying a bottle of Coke, and I saw these nearby.  You know how sometimes in old movies they’ll show something written in a foreign language, and the text will blur out and be replaced by the English translation?  Well, when I saw the display containing these stickers, the words on the shelf blurred out and were replaced by “Blog post subject:  $1″.

2014 Panini NFL Stickers wrapper_0001

I did not buy the album, so we’re missing some context here.  Bothersome things, those contexts.

2014 Panini NFL Stickers_0001

…but context would’ve been good for me here, because for my first sticker I’m left saying “Super Bowl… Some guy on the Seahawks…. Ummm…”

I won’t bother scanning it, but the back of the sticker promotes a contest where you can win a trip to Super Bowl XLIX.  “XLIX”?  If I’m not mistaken, the Xlix were an alien race who were bent on dominating the Earth until The Doctor intervened… Something about the Xlix being quite fond of Jammie Dodgers.

2014 Panini NFL Stickers_0002

Ah, lovely.  Panini is taunting me with these stickers.  “Shoulda bought the album!”  says the ghostly voice…  Interestingly enough, the taunting, ghostly voice has a New York accent.  Must be a ghost from my past… Why, it’s Old Man Smithers from the abandoned sports card store!  Now he’s muttering something about “meddling kids”.

2014 Panini NFL Stickers_0004

Oh, for…  OK, OK, I get it already! Next time I’ll buy the album!

2014 Panini NFL Stickers_0003

HEY!  It’s a shiny, shiny Aaron Rodgers, which is less exciting for being chrome-y and more exciting about being someone I can identify (and in my head there’s a guy wearing a Cheesehead, banging on a plate glass window and yelling “Rodgers!  Discount Double Check!!!!”)

…And by the way, one of the definitions of “cromo” offered by Google Translate is “colored print”, which I would guess is the definition meant for these stickers… but I suppose it might also work as a play on words because of the shiny stickers that could be viewed as chrome.  Anybody care to weigh in on that?

2014 Panini NFL Stickers_0006

An Eagle I don’t know… I’ll admit, I consider myself a faithful Steelers fan…  but I’m a terrible football fan.

2014 Panini NFL Stickers_0005

BenJarvus Green-Ellis!  One of my favorite names in the league. …For those of you who have seen the movie “Murder By Death”, BenJarvus Green-Ellis makes me think of “Jamesir Bensonmum”.

2014 Panini NFL Stickers_0007

Shiny Johnny Football!  I suspect that some sportswriter somewhere got burned misspelling “Manziel” too many times, and decided to call him “Johnny Football” instead.

These stickers were fairly large for stickers, and seem like they’d be fun to collect… but not for me. I’m still working my way through my 2014 Topps baseball factory set.

Wibbley Wobbley, Jelly Babies, Lots Of Planets Have A North!

For those of us who are fans of the BBC TV show “Doctor Who”, one of the highlights of this weekend is the debut of the… let’s see… umm…  Ninth… tenth… eleventh… Twelfth Doctor?  Do I have that right?  Peter Capaldi moves in as the new resident of the TARDIS.

That is, of course, not counting John Hurt’s “War Doctor” or Peter Cushing’s “Movie Doctor”… but it does include Paul McGann’s “Doctor From The Tremendously Disappointing Failed Pilot TV Movie”.

At any rate, what this is all about is to show off some Doctor Who Alien Attax cards I got through COMC.

2012 Topps Doctor Who Alien Attax 50 Years Fourth Doctor

I’m a long-time Doctor Who fan, going back about as far as an American can without having lived abroad.  Back in the 1970’s I would watch pretty much anything that was British or science fiction… So when I heard that the PBS station out of New York would be broadcasting a show that was both British and science fiction, it was guaranteed that I’d check it out from the start.

It began with the first episode of the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, and his companion Sarah Jane Smith.  They’d later be joined by a robotic dog called K-9, but we don’t speak of that.

2012 Topps Doctor Who Alien Attax 50 Years Sarah Jane & 4th Doctor

The low budget resulted in monsters and special effects which were often laughable, but the show was a lot of fun and I quickly became a fan.

2012 Topps Doctor Who Alien Attax 50 Years Sarah Jane Smith

Sarah Jane was possibly the most popular companion in the long run of the show, and remains a favorite of mine.

But there are some people who prefer the 21st century “reboot”  of the show, and I am also a fan of that…

2012 Topps Doctor Who Alien Attax 50 Years Ninth Doctor

After the 1996 TV Movie that was made by people who clearly didn’t “get” The Doctor, I entered into the 2005 reboot with a considerable amount of trepidation.

The episode did start off pretty well, but it was this exchange that filled my heart with joy:
The Doctor:  “I’m The Doctor, by the way.  What’s your name?”
Rose:  “Rose.”
The Doctor:  “Nice to meet you, Rose.  Run for your life!”

2012 Topps Doctor Who Alien Attax 50 Years 9th Doctor And Rose

That’s when I exclaimed “Oh, thank God, these people GET IT!!!!”

I really enjoyed the short run of Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor, and was cautious about the change to David Tennant, but that worked out very well

I haven’t enjoyed the show quite as much since Steven Moffat took over as the showrunner, but Strax is probably my favorite character from the recent seasons.

2012 Topps Doctor Who Alien Attax 50 Years Strax

“Do not attempt to escape or you will be obliterated!  May I take your coat?”

And of course, I couldn’t buy some Alien Attax cards without the aliens who attax the most, namely the Daleks.

2012 Topps Doctor Who Alien Attax 50 Years Original Dalek

We obey no one!  We are the superior cardboard!

…And indeed, this cardboard is quite nice, if not superior.  The cards are glossy, but the background is textured as well so as to make the photos stand out more.  Unlike many gaming cards, these don’t have rounded borders.

Here’s the back of one of the cards.

2012 Topps Doctor Who Alien Attax 50 Years card back

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more of these, especially any that might be out there for Leela, a Fourth Doctor companion played by Louise Jameson.  Leela was a savage warrior who wore animal skins, and wore them quite nicely… and… well… I was a teenage boy at the time.  You get the picture.

Has anybody else picked up any of these cards?  Is anybody going to check out Peter Capaldi on Saturday night?

Everybody Get Outta Here, There’s A Lobster Loose! Oh, Holy Cow, He’s Loose!

Everybody get outta here, he’s vengeful!  Quickly, cover yourselves with hot butter… and carry lemons just in case!  You have to squirt him and so forth and repel him!  Everyboy get outta here quickly, there’s gonna be a tragedy!  Ohhhhhh Gaaaaaaahhhhhhd!

For years, I knew that quote only as a clip that got got played a lot by a Connecticut rock station I used to listen to (I-95, I think, or maybe WPLR)… but I heard it often enough that I was able to write the above quote down from memory 15+ years later.  I just discovered that it was part of a larger bit from the National Lampoon Radio Hour… and yes, bizarre rants about lobsters does fit in to a sketch about Dostoevsky (kind of):

This is all apropos of nothing, other than I got some Lobster-related oddballs from COMC recently… specifically, two cards from the 1982 Red Lobster Cubs set.  This set was a giveaway to fans attending the August 20th game – yes, today is the 32nd anniversary! – and the Cubs would continue this giveaway for a number of years under different sponsorships.

I found this first card when searching COMC for Steve Henderson.  Hendu was one of my favorite players as a kid.  He was part of the return for Tom Seaver, the Mets’ left fielder for 4 years and the runner-up for 1977 N.L. Rookie Of The Year (Andre Dawson was the winner).  Henderson was traded to the Cubs for Dave Kingman before the 1981 season .

1982 Red Lobster Steve Henderson

These cards are almost standard size, coming in at roughly 3.5″ x 2.25″.  Here’s the less-than-awe-inspiring back:

1982 Red Lobster Steve Henderson back

I came for the Henderson, but decided to stay for the Tidrow… Dick Tidrow, that is.  He was a pitcher that I liked, and had a high leg-kick and an awesome mustache.

1982 Red Lobster Dick Tidrow

1982 Red Lobster Dick Tidrow back

In addition to Henderson and Tidrow, the set also includes a kid named Sandberg, one year before his “rookie cards”.  The Red Lobster Ryne Sandberg will set you back a few bucks.

Is This The End Of The Dynamic Duo?

Things suddenly got very busy for me – damn that real life for interfering with my blogging activities! – so I haven’t been able to post as often as I’d like, nor have I been able to show off some of the cards I just got from COMC… heck I still haven’t even scanned all of them.

Since I was looking for something relatively quick to post, I decided to show off the three 1966 Batman “Black Bat” cards I got.

“Grim Realization” is probably the most “stand-alone-y” interesting of the three.
1966 Topps Batman Black Bat Grim Realization

My original goal was just to replace the cards I had as a kid that mysteriously vanished, but then I decided that I had enough cards from the 11-card “Batman vs. The Joker” subset to attempt to finish that off… each of the subsets tells a story, and “The Joker In Jail” is the 11th card in this particular “story arc”.
1966 Topps Batman Black Bat The Joker In Jail

I do enjoy these cards (and the awesome Norman Saunders artwork) an awful lot, and I’ll probably keep working towards the entire 55-card “Black Bat” set, but that’s a long-term goal at this point… unless I unexpectedly run into a bunch of cheap cards.

This last card is more of an “advancing the plot” card than an example of visually stunning artwork, but I like the thuggish gentleman lurking in the background… a bit of Norman Saunders’ pulp magazine experience shining through.
1966 Topps Batman Black Bat Crime Czar

The Joker is administering a Lie Detector Test to his fellow hoodlums, and if you were wondering  how things turn out for this particular gentleman, I’ll refer you to a card I’d shared last December…

1966 Batman - Black Bat - Poison Pellet

When I get the whole subset, I’ll post all 11 cards, front and back, in one post… so that everybody can share in the excitement of Batman vs. The Joker!  It’s the next best thing to sticking  your head out the window to find The Caped Crusaders climbing the side of your building!

Looking For Feedback On Prototypes For My “Hot Stove” Set

Topps released a preview of their 2015 set the other day, and yesterday Jim over at The Phillies Room released a preview of his 2015 Chachi set, so I thought I might get in on the action as well.

For those of you who have not followed this blog through prior offseasons, I’ve been doing a custom set I call “TSR Hot Stove”.  The general idea is to show guys “photoshopped” into new uniforms and the like, while giving me the opportunity to flex some creative muscles and play with my Paint Shop Pro software.

If you’re curious about the prior sets, go up to the top, click on the “Galleries Of Custom Cards” tab, and scroll down to see the 2013/14 set (which was based on 1959 Bazooka) and scroll down even further to see the 2012/13 set (which was based on 1960-1962 Bazooka).

I like the idea of using a vintage “oddball” set for the design, but I don’t really care as much for the other vintage Bazooka designs.  As a result, I’d been toying with using the design from 1974 Kellogg’s for my 2014/15 Hot Stove set.

1974 Kelloggs Felix Millan

The one thing I wasn’t thrilled about was the lack of team identification, and also the fact that it shows only the player’s last name (something I’ve never cared for).

To see what I might be able to do with this, I first made a Bartolo Colon prototype without changing things a whole lot… sort of a “proof of concept”  Here’s what I got.
2014 Hot Stove Prototype 1
The only thing I changed from the original design was altering the text at top to read “2-D SUPER STARS”, just to acknowledge the fact that I’m not quite good enough at this to completely simulate the lenticular “3-D” effect.

I was pretty happy with that custom, so I went back later and decided to expand the box the name goes in, and add in the first name in a smaller font, kind of like Topps did in their 1974 set.

Just for fun and to give myself and all of you an idea of what this might look like “in production”, I went and looked at a list of prospective free agents, picked one of the bigger names and made a not-unreasonable guess as to where he’d end up.

Here’s the second prototype:
2014 Hot Stove Prototype 2

To fit the full name in, I made the box slightly taller, but I doubt that one could even tell without measuring.

So… what do you think?  Are you OK with the liberties I’ve taken, or do you prefer that I stay faithful to the original?  I’ll be honest, I’m still going back and forth on that.

But what’s more important right now is “Would you want to see more of these from November through February?”  I hope so, because as of right now I don’t have a “Plan B”.