I Spent My Long Weekend Making Customs… Doesn’t Everybody?

Oh, sure, I could’ve been doing productive things around the house, but are any of them as important as establishing a template for 1976 Topps customs?

I found out on Sunday that the Royals and Indians wore 1970’s throwback uniforms on Saturday. I didn’t get too excited about the Royals, since their uniform has had only minor changes since 1969… “Throwbacks” for the Royals generally means that they wear the same uniform with pullover jerseys and sansabelt pants.

But the Indians… Oh, baby the Indians wore their mid-1970’s uniform featuring the red jersey.

You know me… as soon as I hear “1970’s thowback”, I spring into action!
2014 TSR TB-76A Trevor Bauer
As I mentioned, this exercise was also an attempt to set up a template for 1976 Topps customs… it needs a bit of work – the fonts aren’t quite right, among other things – but it’s a pretty good start.

I wasn’t going to make a throwback for the Royals, but then I saw a photo of Norichika Aoki rockin’ the stirrups 1970’s style, and I felt that I had to honor him in some way.
2014  TSR TB76-B Norichika Aoki

Aside from my 1976 customs, I also cranked out a few customs from my TSR set… Series 5 hit the virtual store shelves yesterday, so I figured I’d share a couple of cards from the virtual packs.

15 years from now, we might be saying “I completely forgot that Adam Dunn had played for the Athletics!”, so I figured I’d better create a card to commemorate the occasion, because who knows whether Topps will.
2014 TSR #535 Adam Dunn
I gave some thought to making his position “DH/1B/OF”, but he’s only played a handful of games in the outfield, and one must draw the line somewhere. After all, he pitched an inning as well, but I’m not going to put him down as a pitcher.

I was excited last week when the Mets called up prospect Dilson Herrera. I’ve seen him play in the minors, and he looks like he might be fun to watch. Hopefully he’ll add a little bit of excitement to the Mets’ September.
2014 TSR #536 Dilson Herrera
(Last minute note:  I should be careful what I wish for;  in last night’s game, Herrera hit a homer and a triple… and also made two errors)

…and I’ll wrap things up with an “insert”…

The Orioles picked up infielder Kelly Johnson over the weekend, which amused me because I always equate Kelly Johnson with Kelli Johnson, a reporter/anchor for Comcast SportsNet… formerly in the Baltimore/DC area, currently in Houston. I decided that a “Pointless Pairing” was called for.
2014 TSR PP-3 Kelly Kelli Johnson
I know most of you don’t know who Kelli Johnson is, but that’s just too damn bad.

1976 SSPC #40 – Ken Griffey (Reds)

1976 SSPC #40 Ken Griffey

Ken Griffey… played for 19 seasons with the Reds, Yankees, Braves and Mariners. He was a three-time All-Star, has a .296 lifetime batting average and is, of course, the father of Ken Griffey, Jr.

In 1976, Ken Griffey… was the Reds’ starting right fielder, made the All-Star team, batted .336 (second only to Bill Madlock’s .339) and had 74 RBI and 34 stolen bases. His Reds swept the Yankees in the World Series.

Shea-o-meter: Many of the photos in 1976 SSPC were taken in Shea Stadium; Every team came through Shea because the Yankees were temporarily playing in Shea while Yankee Stadium was being renovated. “Can two Major League teams share a ballpark without driving each other crazy?”

This photo goes down as “Shea”.
Shea: 44
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 7
Can’t tell: 10
Not Shea: 6

1976 SSPC #40 Ken Griffey back

Assorted “Hits” From Two 100-Card Repacks

I guess it’s because I’m largely done buying 2014 packs, but lately I’ve wandered into Target needing a fix and have walked out with repacks. Aside from the mounds of junk wax and a decent helping of 1976 commons (which were appreciated but unneeded), I’ve gotten some decent cards in the two recent repacks.

The most interesting card was this card, which I initially piled with the “don’t need” cards until I noticed that it was glossy.
1991 Studio Preview Ted Higuera
I’ve already got a complete set of 1991 Studio, so I know the cards aren’t normally glossy… and I didn’t remember there being a “Tiffany” version.

Then I looked at the back, saw the card number was “6 of 17″ and realized…
1991 Studio Preview Ted Higuera back
… this is from the Preview set, which (according to the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, 2008 Edition), were inserted in packs of 4 into 1991 Donruss factory sets. I found out about this set a year or two ago and meant to start tracking these cards down as an addition to my Studio set. None of the photos in the Preview set were used in the regular set. Teddy Higuera here didn’t even make it into the Studio set.

Whenever I buy a repack, I always hope that I get some of the early 1990’s “high end” cards that are missing from my overall collection. My wish was Fairfield’s command in this case, because I got a 1993 Leaf Rickey Henderson. Because it’s 1993 Leaf, we start with the back of the card…
1993 Leaf Rickey Henderson back

…and move on to the usually-less-interesting front.
1993 Leaf Rickey Henderson

Not only did I need this 1983 Fleer Ozzie, but it also appears to show him doing some mid-game tai chi.
1983 Fleer Ozzie Smith
I believe he’s doing “single whip” here, possibly moving into “wave hands like clouds”…

I was very happy to get this oddball for my Cal Ripken collection… I’ve gotten a bunch of Cap’n Crunch cards before, but I usually get players I don’t like.
1989 Cap'n Crunch Cal Ripken
I find it interesting that, while they were airbrushing the logos out, they also airbrushed all of the orange on the cap and the collar.

Speaking of Ripkens, I also got this Billy Ripken which is only notable in that I didn’t already have it.
1991 Fleer Billy Ripken

Finally, I got this 1982 Mario Soto which, again, is only notable in that I didn’t have it.
1982 Topps Mario Soto
…and Mario looks moderately bad-ass.

The Start Of A (Real) Curling Collection

Shortly after the 2014 Winter Olympics, I shared some custom cards devoted to my new favorite Olympic sport, curling.

2014 TSR Curling - Jennifer Jones

Custom cards are fun, but I wanted to get some real curling cards… So I did some shopping on COMC and got a bunch of curling-related cards from the 2014 Topps Olympic & Paralympic Team And Hopefuls set… a very awkward name, but I suppose it is truth in advertising.

Erika Brown was the skip of the US women’s team.  I have to say, these are pretty attractive cards, much better than you usually see for what amounts to a one-off set.
2014 Topps Olympics Erika Brown

Jessica Schultz was second in the lineup;  I’m not sure why she was featured instead of, say, Deb McCormick.
2014 Topps Olympics Jessica Schultz

Pete Fenson falls into the category of “Hopeful”, because his team didn’t get through the qualifiers… but he was part of the TV coverage, so it’s not like he wasn’t in Sochi.
2014 Topps Olympics Pete Fenson
I didn’t bother scanning the back of the card, but it’s worth noting that Fenson might think he’s from Bemidji, MN, but Topps says he’s from “Memidji”.

This card is from the Olympic Venue insert set, and shows the “Ice Cube”.
2014 Topps Olympics Ice Cube Curling Center

There are two more inserts from the Topps set that I need to eventually track down… As well as other inserts that I can live without.  No offense to the subjects involved, but I can live without Erika Brown’s autograph or a Pete Fenson manupatch card.

In researching this post, I found out that there are a couple of Canadian curlers in the 2014 UD Goodwin Champions set, so I’m going to have to look into those.

There are also some particularly nice postage stamps related to curling, so I may have to dust off my “stamp collector” hat as well.

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.

ANYWAY!
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.