Last week I debuted 2020 SAC FLY, my custom card design which is called SAC FLY because the intent was to save the intended 2020 design for a ‘real’ season and to have a relatively quick replacement ‘sacrificed’ in its place. Thing is, I’ve come to really like my sacrificial lamb, and I’ve gotten positive responses to it as well… So maybe I’m inadvertently on to something.
No real theme to this post other than the general direction my custom cards have been taking so far.
I’ve been working on making customs of former Major Leaguers currently playing in Japan, but I’m not ignoring Japanese players who came over to play in the Majors and then went back to Japan to continue their career. I particularly like the results I got from this custom of Nori Aoki, who played for 7 MLB teams over 6 seasons (but 40% of those games were with the Brewers)
Sports photography poses all kinds of challenges in 2020, and you should expect this to effect cards in 2021. Photographers don’t have the access they have had in the past, and a lot of the photos I’ve seen have been taken from the stands… for example, this Jay Bruce custom uses a photo that was taken from quite a long way away.
Pretty much any photos I’ve seen from Citizen’s Bank Park have been taken from a distance, so I’m thinking that Phillies fans will see a lot of road uniforms in next year’s sets.
…Or maybe photos from 2019. Keep an eye on those Nike logos, boys and girls!
Another side effect of photos from the stands is that the netting has to be dealt with. Judicious use of focus can make it visually less distracting.
The Orioles signed José Iglesias as a defensive shortstop, but he’s surprising people with his offense. As of Monday morning he’s batting .405 and his 7 doubles is tied for the Major League lead.
I’ve also been doing some customs of 2020 Draft Picks, including the awesomely named Burl Carraway, a 2nd round Cubs pick whose name sounds like it should belong to a 1940’s character actor. “Gary Cooper, Linda Darnell and Burl Carraway star in ‘The Trail to Santa Fe’!”
Since Burl is a pitcher, you know that some broadcaster or headline writer has made jokes about Carraway throwing seeds. [rim shot]
Cubs fans, you heard it here first.
I’ve been making KBO customs as well… Mel Rojas Jr. has been tearing it up over there, and is a candidate for winning the Triple Crown.
Rojas is the son of 1990s pitcher Mel Rojas, and is also related to everybody in the “Alou-niverse”… Felipe, Manny, Jesus, Moises and current Mets manager Luis Rojas. Mel Rojas Jr. has yet to play in the Majors, but he did make it into several prospect-y sets like Heritage Minor League and Pro Debut.
One of the Orioles’ best options out of the bullpen this season is 30-year-old Cole Sulser, who has 3 saves and a 0.857 WHIP in 5 games. If you said “Who?” you’re not alone.
Sulser appeared in 7 games with the Rays last year and was picked up on waivers last October. His only nationally-distributed baseball card is a 2020 Topps Total card… Beyond that, Trading Card Database only shows cards from minor league team sets. I enjoy stories of overlooked players getting a shot, and it seems like the Orioles have a couple of players like that this year.
OK, now it’s time for a new feature – probably a one-shot – called…
CUSTOM CARD TIPS FROM AN AMATEUR!!!!
I’ve been trying to make sure that I always include the accents and tildes on Latin names on my customs, but it’s always been such a pain to figure out how to type those out on my standard issue American English keyboard… But somewhere in 2019 I hit on this idea: I set up my template so that each of those characters is in a saved text field, and so I can just copy and paste those characters as needed. This is what the bottom of my custom looks like when you open the template:
It’s a simple hack, but it’s made my life a bit easier so I figured I’d share it here. I forget why the first name is ANTHONY, It might’ve been left over from Anthony Rendon, who was the subject of one of the photos I used when I was initially hashing through the design.
One last custom for today… I made a 2020 custom of Yoenis Céspedes despite the fact that he played all of 8 games before opting out in what seemed like an acrimonious manner, but since the dysfunctional team ownership could have contributed heavily to the acrimony, I’m not going to hold it against Yoenis. It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up next.
…and that’s it for now.