It is with equal measures of excitement and pride — and not an insignificant amount of relief — that I finally unveil my 2015 TSR custom baseball card set. This design took me somewhere around 9 months from the original concept to the final result… adjusting this, tweaking that, trying this other thing. I’d still be tweaking things if it weren’t for the fact that I wanted to get it out by Opening Day.
Today we’re going to open this virtual wax pack…
I’ll share the cards with you, but sorry, I get the gum. For those who might be interested, the yellow & red background started out as a Fleer NFL Teams-In-Action wrapper, and the pitcher image was based on card from 1974 Topps… I’ll leave it to you to figure out whose card it was.
So… Let’s tear in, shall we?
First card of the year… FISTAH!!!
I’ve been something of a fan of Doug Fister since 2011 when he got traded to the Tigers and went 8-1 down the stretch… not because I cared about the Tigers, but the man was a godsend for my Fantasy team.
Kendall Graveman had quite the impressive spring, giving up just one earned run in five games and 21.1 innings and earning a spot in the A’s starting rotation. He also earned the coveted “Notable Newbies” designation on this card.
He was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2013, made a rapid ascent through their farm system and then was traded to Oakland in the Josh Donaldson deal.
People talk about how strange it is to see Jimmy Rollins in a Dodgers’ uniform, but I haven’t even gotten used to Darwin Barney with the Bums.
Do the fans in L.A. hold up pictures of Charles Darwin and Barney Rubble like I’ve seen the Chicago fans do?
I know Darwin Barney is a sensitive subject for some Chicago fans… to compensate I give you a Cubs card of offseason pickup and new starting catcher Miguel Montero.
If it makes you feel any better, the Cubs got the blue/red color combination in this set, while the Dodgers had to settle for blue/pink. I’ll talk more about the colors later on…
Here’s another “Notable Newbie” card… I started Notable Newbies in 2012, but gave it a rest last year because I couldn’t find a satisfactory way to work it into my design.
Matt Reynolds just won the John Murphy Award, which is awarded to the best Mets rookie in Spring Training. There was talk of Reynolds starting at second should Daniel Murphy start the season on the DL, but instead Reynolds is heading to AAA Vegas.
Speaking of guys in different uniforms (as we were a few cards ago), Grady Sizemore still seems odd in a Phillies uniform.
Gosh, the collation in this pack is incredible… it’s almost like there’s a card in here for the favorite teams of various “Friends Of The Report”.
Sheer coincidence, I assure you.
For any games that Matt Wieters is unable to appear behind the plate, Caleb Joseph is more than likely to be taking his place.
Joseph has been in the Orioles minor league system since 2008. I would think that he regards any day that’s not in AA Bowie to be a good day.
J.D. Martinez is the guy that made the Astros say “D’OH!!!” last year. Houston cut him loose in Spring Training, the Tigers picked him up and he had a breakout year, hitting 23 / 76 / .315
In my experimenting with these cards, I started out with complete black (“#000000”) for the Tigers and some other teams, but I didn’t like the way it looked. I briefly went with purple and yellow for the Tigers, but that was even worse (and made it look like it was a card for the LSU Tigers). When later playing around with colors, I discovered that very dark grey was somehow much better than black. Don’t ask me why, it just was. I did a similar thing on the virtual wrapper; solid black didn’t look right, but I cloned some black print from a Raiders logo on the back of the same Fleer wrapper and it worked quite nicely for the glove and shoes. When it comes to customs, these days I’m all about the cloning.
The cards I’ve featured so far have more-or-less approximated the color schemes of the teams represented on the card, but that wasn’t something I was going to be able to keep up if I wanted to have a different color combination for each of the 30 teams. The first evidence of that is this Padres card…
With the Padres it’s always tempting to go with a brown/yellow combination, but I decided to go bright with these. The Padres unis desperately need a splash of color; they’re not bad uniforms, but they’re very uninteresting uniforms.
Before I forget… Feliz cumpleaños, Odrisamer Despaigne! Yesterday was his 28th birthday. Despaigne defected from Cuba a couple of years ago and made his Major League debut last year. He pitched too many innings to maintain his rookie status for 2015, but I made him a Notable Newbie anyway. If you have any complaints, you know where to file them.
So that’s the pack. I’m planning to do something similar to this on a regular basis, sort of a “virtual pack of the week”. Don’t count on this many cards in each pack, I might have to invent a “dollar store pack” that has just a few cards in it.
…And now that I’ve got the set finalized for the moment, I promise I’ll get back to sharing some of my real cards.