Normally around this time of year, I’m making custom cards where I “photoshop” players into their new uniforms… For instance, I might be working on modifying images of Yu Darvish and Francisco Lindor to show them in their new uniforms.
For a number of reasons, I’m not doing that this winter. I’ve been getting my jollies out of making “Alternate Universe” customs where I use fake airbrushing to put a player in a uniform they hadn’t actually worn in “our” universe. As an example, here’s one I did four years ago… if I remember correctly, this was based on reading something about the Brewers having interest in Willie Mac, but it didn’t get far because McCovey didn’t want to be a DH and the Giants were willing to accomodate.
One thing I’ve wanted to do for a year or two was to make some customs using the upcoming season’s Heritage design (1971 last winter, 1972 this winter) and sort of “simulate” an expansion team complete with players who might be available in an expansion draft, as well as any free agents who might conceivably hook up with an expansion team.
So the basic premise is this:
- The expansion team is a new version of the Montreal Expos
- The players on the New Expos roster will be shown with fake airbrushing and using the 1972 Topps design (as if they were 2021 Heritage cards)
- The New Expos have a wealthy ownership group, one which is willing to take on big contracts (especially if bribed with high-end prospects)
At that point I started to brainstorm on which players might be available under these circumstances. I also solicited some assistance from the Twitterverse, although the customs in this post are all ones I’d decided on my own.
Being an Orioles fan, the kneejerk answer to “Which player on your team would you be happy to be rid of?” is the guy who’s batted below The Mendoza Line for three straight seasons, Chris Davis.
Bon voyage, Chris Davis!
BTW, for an added touch of authenticity, much of the fake airbrushing for this project uses airbrushed Expos logos which were “borrowed” from airbrushed 1970s and 1980s cards.
The Expansion Draft pick from my other team, the Mets, is a player who I’d picked before he was suspended for PED violations… I’m talking about Robinson Cano.
It wasn’t my intention when I picked out this “Photo Day” image of Cano, but I like how he looks kinda sad to be airbrushed into an Expos uniform.
This next one was going out on a limb a little bit, but I heard something about how the Cubs might be looking to move Kris Bryant (this was before the Yu Darvish deal made it clear the Cubs were looking to shed salary).
It wasn’t much of a stretch to pick Gary Sanchez as the Yankees’ “representative”. This custom is one where there’s no faux airbrushing involved, just a color change.
And finally there’s a former Met who, I was thinking, would welcome an opportunity to start fresh with a new organization… and this would also give me a chance to have a “traditional” capless expansion team card. Yoenis Cespedes, come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price Is Right!
So that’s what I’ve got at this point. I’m not sure if I will make more, but given some suggestions and a decently enthusiastic response, I might fire up the ol’ Paint Shop Pro for another batch.