Time for another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily )
Former Top 100 prospect Austin Hays is among the Orioles leaders in Wins Above Replacement. I’m getting to the end of the 5th “series” in my custom set, and I’m telling you now that it’s getting more difficult to figure out which players on the last place teams deserve a custom. My goal at the start was to have 8 customs for each team, but I’m not sure I can justify that going forward, especially after some teams will trade anyone who has any value. We’ll see what happens.
Mike Zunino was name to the AL All-Star team for the first time in his career..
One sign of a return to normalcy is the increasing number of people throwing out the first pitch before Major League games. I ran across some photos of Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings as he was about to throw out the first pitch before a Mariners game, and I couldn’t resist giving him the Shlabotnik’s Picks treatment.
Emmanuel Clase leads Cleveland in Saves and ERA, and is one of the players received in exchange for Corey Kluber.
David Fletcher leads the league in singles and sacrifice hits and has scored more runs than any Angel not named Ohtani.
I’m still catching up on my season highlights, and I do intend to do one for Padres pitcher Daniel Camarena whose first Major League hit was a grand slam… But for now, let’s address the backlog of no-hitters and feature the Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull whose no-no of the Mariners is undoubtedly one of the season’s high points for Detroit.
Closer Ryan Pressly was named to his 2nd All-Star team. This year, he’s 4-1 with 16 saves, a 1.42 ERA, 0.789 WHIP, 11.4 strikeouts per 9 innings and 9.60 strikeouts per walk
The Mets signed Taijuan Walker as rotational depth, but the newly-named All-Star with a 7-3 record and a 1.033 WHIP has made that signing an act of genius, especially when the Mets are still without Noah Syndergaard and winter acquisition Carlos Carrasco.
Cardinals closer Alex Reyes has 20 saves, 5 wins, a 1.52 ERA and was named to the National League All-Star team
One more insert to close out the “pack”…
At the Orioles game this past Friday night there were a number of fans who were there to cheer on White Sox rookie Gavin Sheets, a Baltimore native who was playing his first game at Camden Yards. I thought this was pretty cool – I remember a Mets game in the 1990s where I got caught up in joining people around me who were cheering for Cardinals pitcher and Queens native Allen Watson.
As it turns out, it got a bit cooler because Gavin Sheets is the son of former Orioles outfielder Larry Sheets. Gavin and his fellow second-generation Major Leaguers – there seem to be a lot of them right now – inspired me to create a new custom card I’ve been meaning to do for a year or two, one based on subsets found in 1976 and 1985 Topps, but done in the style of my current TSR Daily set.
I’ve got a couple of tweaks in mind for this, but I’m largely happy with how it turned out. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t strictly limiting myself to Topps cards of Larry Sheets, but I thought this particular card from 1985 Topps Traded was well-suited to these purposes.
I plan on doing more of these, and I’m welcome to suggestions. I’d like to focus on some of the lesser-known ones, as everybody already knows about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. & Sr as well as Fernando Tatis Jr. & Sr.
OK, that’s it for this week. As a coming attraction, I’m working on insert cards for some of the players who were selected in last night’s Major League Draft. You can bet that this Mets fan will be including Kumar Rocker… I’m still surprised that he fell down to the Mets at #10.
…And that there’s *another* player named Max Muncy… but we’ll get to that.