2018 TSR: Just To Show It Can Be Done Right

The 2018 Topps Heritage All-Stars subset is like a badly remastered 1960’s album.  I’m sure many of you know the type of albums I’m talking about… You download “The Best Of The Cordial Kumquat” and when the first song starts you think “Wow, I can really hear the rhythm guitar and cowbell on this song!”, but then the lead vocalist comes in and you realize you can’t hear him because his voice is overwhelmed by the rhythm guitar and cowbell – all because the album was “remastered for digital download” by mixing each of the different tracks of a recording to the same apparent volume.

…and yes, I did make up “The Cordial Kumquat”, but admit it – you weren’t quite sure at first.

In the same way, the 2018 Topps Heritage All-Star cards have a headshot that’s no longer a headshot and a smaller action shot that’s no longer all that small and…

…hold on, I guess it’s easier to show you.

Bryce Harper should be next to the yellow circle, not behind it, and his head should be twice as large as it is.

Side Rant:  What is it with Topps these days where they insist of listing the position as “Outfielder” or “First Baseman” when the originals said “Outfield” and “1st Base”????

Now granted, it could be that part of the problem is that camera technology has advanced over 50 years so that one can zoom in on the subject and exclude all that worrisome ballpark stuff.  I wouldn’t be surprised if part of the reason for the change was that correctly “distant” photos are hard to come by.

Given that part of the jollies I get out of creating customs is attempting to outperform Topps, I decided to try my own card using this design, but rather than redoing a red NL All Star card or a green AL All Star card, I decided I was going to go in another direction, make the frame blue and call it “Shlabotnik’s Picks” (originally intended to be something of a series, although I don’t know if I’ll do it at this point).

The proof-of-concept I did was for a personal favorite, Michael Conforto.

Yes, it isn’t always possible to find a loosely-cropped photo that will work as the background… but it’s not completely unheard of.  There are also tricks that can be done to create more background than originally existed in the original photo. And, you know, you can always use an image of WIllie Mays sliding into home and say that it’s Justin Upton.



The majority of my free time this weekend has been spent on organizing the horrendous mess that is Shlabotnik World Headquarters, so I’m going to keep this post a bit short.

I’d promised myself at the beginning of the season that each post would contain at least one Met, one Oriole and one manager.  Since I’ve already got a Met, I’ll wrap things up with the other two.

Cody Carroll was acquired from the Yankees in the Zach Britton trade.  His overall numbers are fairly ugly, but he seems to either be good… or not good.

Looking over his game logs, he’s had five effective relief outings, but there were also three not-at-all-effective games which drag his numbers down.

The Manager Card Of The Week goes to Bruce Bochy.

I hadn’t realized this until I made the custom, but if you look under Bochy’s left hand, it looks kinda like he has three legs.

6 thoughts on “2018 TSR: Just To Show It Can Be Done Right

    • Thanks, Gil, I appreciate the kind words!

      Colorizing black and white pictures is an art in itself, and I believe it’s very time intensive to do it well. I know I tried it once and wasn’t happy with what I got.

  1. That Conforto came out beautifully. I would honestly buy some 2018 Heritage if Joe Shlabotnik were on the design team! ;-)

  2. Can’t Topps just ask their photographers to take more zoomed out photo shots? Or do they just use whatever is available on Getty Images? I’m a huge fan of the zoomed out action shot. Wish there were more of them featured on cards for us to collect.

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