Back in May I had been inspired by a SABR Baseball Card Committee Article about the 1964 Topps “Giants” set. I was intrigued by the article’s discussion of whether the 3 cards each team got holds up in hindsight, and I decided to do my own 15-week series trying to re-create the set using 2018 players and picking 3 players per team… something which has it’s challenges on rosters brimming with talent, plus different challenges for those teams which were clearly heading for a long season.
Like anything else I attempt on this blog, things tend to take more time than I intend them to, and I had to abandon the idea after just four posts. I still enjoyed the general idea and for much of the summer I toyed with the idea of resurrecting it . It wasn’t until recently that I gained enough time and brainpower to seriously consider going back to it in some abbreviated form.
Having suffered through a long, long, long Orioles season and a roller coaster Mets season, I quickly realized that it wouldn’t make sense to go back and do those teams which had been sellers at the deadlines… The three best Orioles, for example, are now long gone.
“If I were to do this again”, I said to myself, “it would make the most sense to tackle the postseason teams which hadn’t already been done”. I’d already featured the Astros, Dodgers, Yankees, Braves, and Brewers, so that left the Cubs, Rockies, Athletics, Indians and Red Sox. I decided to dip my toe back in the water with the A.L. East Champions, and see how it goes from there.
Fortunately for me, I had an easy time picking three players from the deep Red Sox roster…
…Starting with the 30-30 player who lead the league in batting and slugging, lead the team in doubles and runs, and is a strong candidate for MVP, MOOKIE BETTS.
I could go on, but there’s just no way that Mookie gets left out.
CHRIS SALE doesn’t have any league-leading 2018 stats and his 12-4 record is hardly the stuff of legends, but his 237 K’s, 2.11 ERA and 0.861 WHIP clearly indicate that he’s the team’s best starter.
We’ll wrap this up with the team’s big addition this past offseason, J.D. MARTINEZ.
Martinez lead the team with 43 homers and 111 runs, plus lead the league with 130 RBI.
Other candidates included closer Craig Kimbrel (42 saves), Andrew Benintendi, All-Star Mitch Moreland, former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello (17 wins), Xander Bogaerts and David Price.
If you have different thoughts on which three players should make up the Red Sox portion of the checklist, go to the comments and tell me I’m an idiot (you won’t be the first, I promise you).
I didn’t want to have a “Custom Sunday” post consist of just these cards, so I’m going to throw in three more unreleated customs.
I don’t like the Dodgers at all, but Dodger wins don’t suck as much when Justin Turner plays a key part in the victory, as he did yesterday when he hit the game-winning home run.
…and I felt like bringing back my 1985 Fleer template.
I recently decided to feature some customs of former MLB players who are now playing in Japan; today we have former Cub Kosuke Fukudome.
After playing with the Indians and White Sox in 2011 and 2012, Fukudome returned to Japan and has played the past six seasons with the Hanshin Tigers.
Wrapping up with another of my 1968 Topps Football customs, which I’m having fun with despite the fact that I’m not a tremendously well-informed NFL fan. You can’t go so far wrong with Drew Brees, anyway.
In my head, any reference to Drew Brees is followed up with Ronnie Van Zant saying “Ooooo, Mr. Breeze!”.