Yesterday morning, before I got out of bed, I was wondering if I should make the next “pack” of custom cards be for Series Three, given that it will have All-Stars and such. I was thinking it was too early, but then I realized that it’s halfway through the season and we should be halfway through the four series. My half-awake brain wasn’t convinced, so I worked out the six-week periods that each series should be out in virtual stores…. Series One is opening day to mid-May, Series Two is mid-May to….the beginning of July. I’m actually a little late. Then again, Series Two was a little late,so I guess I’m OK.
Anyway, welcome to Series Three.
Let’s tear in.
The Rockies are 6 games under .500 and 6 games out of a wild card spot. I’ve heard rumors that Walt Weiss is on the hot seat.
Walt’s expression seems to have an element of “I’m too old for this crap” to it. As I’ve said before, I like photos of managers that involve more than just standing in the dugout, even if involves “I’m too old for this crap”.
Walt’s first name reminds me of something I’ve been pondering lately: All of the names that I grew up with and which have fallen out of favor. Walter is one. I had a couple of Walt’s in my class. How many kids do you know named Walter? Karen? Gary? Linda? Bruce? Nancy? I know a bunch of women named Nancy, the youngest is in her early 40’s.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s just a thing… An observation of how things change.
For those of you who missed it… Drew Pomeranz had a great first half with the Padres, he made the All-Star team, he was cheered by the hometown fans… and what nobody realized at the time is that the All-Star game was his swan song with the Padres; He was traded to Boston before the All-Star break ended. Something about that story made me think that a 1976 Topps Traded custom was in order.
I’m almost positive I’ve heard this kind of story before, where a player’s last (or maybe first) appearance with a team was at the All-Star game. Can anybody think of another player like that? I have a feeling that the answer is going to be facepalmingly obvious.
Just to add a little element of… something… to the Drew Pomeranz thing: Since the AL was the home team in an NL park (because the NL is hosting the game several years in a row), the Padres were wearing a one-off grey version of their home uniform. So Pomeranz’ last appearance in a Padres uniform had him wearing a Padres uniform he’d never worn before. Fun stuff, right?
While watching the player introductions at the All-Star game, I was mildly surprised to see Ian Desmond included.
…Not that he doesn’t deserve it, he’s batting .316 and on a pace to set career highs in a couple of categories. It just surprised me because I hadn’t been aware that he was playing so well. I guess adjusting to playing the outfield and playing in a different league didn’t take a huge toll on his offense.
Speaking of first half performance and All-Stars, here’s a guy I fully realized was an All-Star going in…
Any Mets fan will tell you how much Murphy is killing his old team. He’s hit more homers against the Mets this year than he hit against the Nats in his 7 years with the Mets. In 13 games aainst the Mets, Murphy is batting .423 with 7 homers, 21 RBI and an .885 slugging percentage. To help drive home how crazy that is, if you extrapolate that over 162 games he’d have 87 homers, 261 RBI, 137 runs, 274 hits, and 37 doubles. On the plus side, he’d also have no stolen bases and be caught stealing 12 times.
Oh, I should mention that the reason that Ian Desmond’s card didn’t say “2016 All-Star” on it is because the photo wasn’t from the All-Star game. That was the ground rules I set going into this. If TSR were a real card company I couldn’t get away with a rule like that just for sheer logistical reasons, but since I won’t be making an All-Star card for EVERYBODY, then that’s the way it goes.
This photo doesn’t capture the shininess, but Matt Wieters was wearing chrome-y shinguards… Shinguards that were so shiny they were like mirrors.
I wonder if they were refractors…
The Mets had three representatives at the game… and none of them played. Noah Syndergaard wasn’t going to pitch anyway because of concerns about his arm. Terry Collins said he was holding Colon back for a potential extra-innings long-relief session, and Jeurys Familia in hopes of getting a save. Didn’t quite work out that way.
But I wanted to get them on a card, even if it was all three of them. This image reminds us that “Thor” has a full 7 inches on “Big Sexy”.
The first pitch was thrown by Randy Jones, which I thought was cool. In 1975 and 1976, Jones was a dominant pitcher, winning 20 and 22 games, leading the league in K’s in 1975, winning the Cy Young in 1976 and finishing second to Tom Seaver in 1975 Cy Young voting.
…And I just realized that when I swapped out the border on this card (going to the “First Pitch” border with more white space at the top), I inadvertently cropped out the baseball… You can just barely see it under the word “GAME”.
The Angels are in the middle of a “1970’s Weekend”, which means late 1970’s throwbacks for them… but sadly, no late 1970’s throwbacks for the visiting White Sox. Well, maybe it’s not “sadly”, I’ve always hated that “leisure suit” uniform they wore, no matter how iconic they’ve become. I set out to make a series of customs out of the two games so far, but I won’t use any photos that involve batting, because the Angels are wearing their red helmets with their throwbacks and it ruins the effect. That limits me to photos of the Angels either in the dugout or out on the field, and for now, we’ll get a candid shot of Ji-Man Choi, done up 1978 style.
For some reason, when Majestic does throwback pullovers, they ALWAYS get the collar wrong. This collar is too wide, and the red stripe is WAY too wide. Other than that, it’s a pretty good job.
This is a fun time of year to make customs… All of the All-Star festivities, plus players getting traded before the July 31’s deadline. I’ll be back with more next Sunday!