2021 TSR Daily: About The Colors

Welc0ome to another virtual pack of my 2021 TSR Daily custom card set… if you’re wondering why it’s called “Daily”, that’s because I Tweet out a custom each day (#2021TSRDaily) and then share them here each week, sort of like opening a pack.

Starting with this post I’m also going to have some additional customs which don’t appear on Twitter.

I want to spend a little bit of time taking about how I decided on the colors used for this set, but before I get started here’s the first custom in the pack:

Ryan Mountcastle got called up in late August but played well enough to be named to the 2020 Topps All-Star Rookie team.

I’ve been doing these customs on a regular basis since 2012 and I get a little obsessed over the colors I use. I like to have particular colors assigned to each team and spend a probably-crazy amount of time picking those colors. I have a palette full of “authentic Topps” colors I’d set up in my copy of PaintShop Pro

For this set, I went with a late 1960’s Topps color theme and assigned many of the colors to match what was used by Topps in 1966, 1968 and 1969. For example, this Mountcastle custom has a similar ‘pea green’ to what was used for the O’s back in 1966.

2020 National League MVP Freddie Freeman batted .341, lead the league with 51 runs and 23 doubles, plus won a Silver Slugger.

In the late 1960s the Braves were ‘assigned’ a lavender color for their cards, and I maintained that here. By the way, the color of the ring around the border (dark blue in this case) has little to do with the 1960’s… I started with the primary 1960s color and then just played around with what worked best. No two teams in my custom set have the same color combination.

Bryan Reynolds was one of the prospects the Pirates acquired for Andrew McCutchen and was named to the 2019 Topps All-Star Rookie team.

The Pirates cards from the late 1960’s had magenta as their assigned colors, but I thought that worked better for the Rockies than for the Pirates, so I shuffled things around a bit.

Zack Greinke’s awards include a Cy Young, 2 ERA titles, 6 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Sluggers. After a good 2020, the Astros need ‘great’ in 2021.

Like the Orioles, the Astros have a pea green color (with a dark blue ring instead of the Orioles black ring)… but this gives me an opportunity to point out one other obsessive little detail.

Ever since I chased hard after 1979-80 Topps Hockey (but sadly, didn’t chase hard enough to get the Gretzky rookie – hey I was a kid and didn’t know any better), I’ve liked the way it looks to have the full team name but with the city in one color and the team nickname in another.

This idea has been floating around my head for years, waiting for an opportunity to get used. This set was clearly a great place for that.

Now, I’ll point out a little detail that some of you may find interesting.  The O’s and Astros both have green as the base color, but the Orioles have “BALTIMORE” in black and “ORIOLES” in white, and this is reversed for the Astros.

Oh, I’ll also point out that I maintained a symmetry in the set because when the team name is black and white, the player name and position on the bottom is white and black (or whatever colors we’re talking about).  If you find a custom of mine where that’s not the case, you can file it under “uncorrected error”.

Manny Machado won his first Silver Slugger and lead the Padres with a .304 average and 47 RBIs.

I had to go with the abbreviation “ss” for shortstop on the Manny custom, because the full text wouldn’t fit.  It looks OK for something like “1b”, but looks kind of weird with “ss”.  I may tweak that as I go along.

Mike Yastrzemski lead the league with 4 triples, lead the Giants in runs and RBI and got some MVP consideration

The Giants and Senators had green and yellow as their 1960s colors.  I kept the green with Washington and assigned it to the Nationals, instead of keeping it with the Texas Rangers, the team that used to be the 1960’s Senators.

To mirror a conversation happening on Twitter as I’m finishing this post…  Other than maintaining a vintage-y feel to these cards, I like to have a relatively variety of color combinations on my customs, and to do that requires that we get some teams paired up in unusual ways.  The Giants get green and yellow, but the A’s get purple and yellow.  I like to have colors that may complement the team colors, or at least don’t clash with the team colors.  I stayed pretty traditional with the Yankees and White Sox, but honestly I could use any colors for those teams without fear of clashing with the uniforms.

J.T. Realmuto has a Gold Glove and 2 Silver Sluggers on his mantelpiece and was named by MLB.com to be one of the top 100 players in the Majors.

I suspect that several free agents – or at least the agents of those free agents – counted a little too much on new Mets owner Steve Cohen coming in and throwing contracts out like a drunken sailor. The Mets signed James McCann to be their starting catcher and Realmuto ended up back in Philly.

One last comment about the colors… The Phillies and Indians had a medium grey and dark red as their late 1960s colors, but since my design already has grey borders, that would’ve been too much grey.  I changed the primary color to black for those two teams, and also used it for the Mariners, who didn’t exist in the late 1960s


In my last post I mentioned that I would eventually have “inserts”… partially because I want to, but also because I want my blog to have some “exclusives” that don’t appear on Twitter. The first one is from a “Managers And Coaches” insert set that has the same design as the base cards.  If this were a real, commercially-available set, these would be a fairly common insert (maybe one per 2  or 3 packs) and would be numbered separately.

Tony La Russa is already in the Hall Of Fame as a manager and stepped down from his last job after winning the 2011 World Series with the Cardinals, but here he is again, managing the White Sox for the second time (and first time in a Chisox uniform since 1986).

And that wraps up this pack and also wraps up my rambling about colors.

6 thoughts on “2021 TSR Daily: About The Colors

  1. Okay I absolutely have to admire the amount of OCD and passion you put into your color scheme. I appreciate these even more now. My favorite of this post I think might be the Machado, great photo choice on that one and cropping job too.

    • Thanks Shane! One thing I feel I should point out to everybody is that this was originally meant to be my 2020 custom design, so I’ve had a much longer time to be obsessive over some of these details. :-D

  2. Awesome customs as usual. When I was a kid, I was so fascinated by who led the league in triples, because they’re not nearly as common as doubles or home runs. Guys like Willie Wilson and Willie McGee come to mind. You could have given me 20 guesses and I never would have said Mike Yastrzemski. Love learning stuff like this.

    • Thanks, Fuji! I agree about triples, they’re much more exciting than homers but they get a fraction of the attention. I wouldn’t have guessed Mike Yaz either. FYI, Kyle Tucker lead the Majors with 6 triples

  3. Good color scheme, Topps basically had 1 guy doing all the color designs for all 4 sports from the 50’s into 80’s when they had medium light colors on the inner back ground or high lighting a team name or a player. Now a days its just team colors or no border at all. Good luck with trying to find hockey cards, anything from 80’s on back are very hard to get.

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