A Week Of Customs: Closer Than A Sister To Her Baby Brother

“…Closer than a secret agent working under cover
It’s too close for a lover
It’s too close for a lover
We are each other…”

Another week’s worth of customs which were originally out on Twitter (#DailyTSRcustom)

Last weekend I had this idea… Since I made well over 200 baseball customs over the course of this past season and featured anyone who would’ve won an award or lead the league, I wanted to go back and recognize the award winners… but I didn’t really want to just re-post the customs I’d already featured. Since I’m currently involved in a project involving collecting cards on the 1975 Topps “MVP / 25 Years Of Topps Baseball” subset, I hit on the idea of inserting my customs into that design… and as fate would have it, 2021 has been the 10th year of my publicly sharing custom cards.

And so…

I started with the two Rookies of the Year, Randy Arozarena and Jonathan India…

…Continued with Cy Young winners Robbie Ray and Corbin Burnes…

…And concluded – for now – with the two MVPs, Shohei Ohtani and Bryce Harper.

Now I expect all of you to fully appreciate the fact that I used three different color combinations and didn’t just do the same thing three times. :-)

Although I haven’t made any more in this series, I am planning at the very least on featuring the 2021 Comeback players of the year and may do some others. I also had in mind to feature some past designs that way, but that’s a bit problematic because in the past I focused on Mets, Orioles and favorite players… so, for example, I don’t have customs of either of the two MVP’s from 2012 (Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey). I’m likely to figure out something, though.

This past week I thought about some of the odder Thanksgiving traditions of my youth… One of which was a New York TV station which has shown the Laurel And Hardy movie “March Of The Wooden Soldiers” on Thanksgiving Day every year since 1963. Since I was looking for something to Tweet on Thanksgiving Day, I figured I could do worse than Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee (FREE!  On specially-marked boxes of Shlabotnik’s Snack Cakes)

I didn’t realize this for years, but the movie was originally released as “Babes In Toyland”, and later abridged and released as “March of the Wooden Soldiers”. I’m fairly curious about what got cut out, but I fear that it would just be more musical numbers featuring Tom-Tom and Bo Peep… As a youth, and still today, I have little patience for people suddenly breaking out in song.

Here’s the latest in my series of Hot Stove customs, featuring former 19-game winner Eduardo Rodríguez. I was pretty happy with how this one turned out – although I should’ve cropped the image tighter – but I made the mistake of Tweeting it on Black Friday and got crickets in response.

Here’s something fun about Rodríguez… In 2014 he was an Orioles prospect who was sent to Boston at the trading deadline as a “rental” for pending free agent reliever Andrew Miller. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s true: There was a time not all that long ago when the Orioles traded prospects for veterans at the deadline, finished in first place and won playoff series.

For this week’s Seattle Kraken custom I decided to feature RW Nathan Bastian, who had been drafted from the New Jersey Devils and played in 12 games for Seattle before being placed on waivers and claimed by his original team.

I normally make a “card back” for these Kraken customs, but it’s a lot of effort for a guy who’s already gone, so I gave myself permission to skip it for Bastian.

I’ve been meaning to make more of my 2022 TSR “Wheels” customs, as I think I would enjoy a similar set being sold in retail stores (and completely missing from the shelves because of people hoping to score a SSP refractor of the Aston Martin Valkyrie).

I’m not a “truck guy” but I know I’m not alone in preferring smaller vehicles… and because of that, I’m glad that the car companies are bringing back entry-level trucks like the Ford Maverick

I think I’ve only featured one or two of these customs so far, so I’ll point out that they’re in “tall boy” dimensions.


The Beautiful South put out one of my favorite albums issued in 1992, “0898 Beautiful South” (although I didn’t completely “discover” it until a couple of years later). The album’s biggest – relatively speaking – song in the US was “We Are Each Other”, which got a fair amount of play on Alternative radio stations. I heard this song again the other day and decided to feature it here.  Funny thing is that I’ve spent over 25 years singing “It’s too close for a lover, it’s too close for another” only to realize that it’s “a lover” both times.

3 thoughts on “A Week Of Customs: Closer Than A Sister To Her Baby Brother

  1. Love the 1975-style cards of award winners. Hey, not having issued cards of winners didn’t stop Topps–just ask Maury Wills!

    If you like the Beautiful South, be sure to check out Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway’s previous band, The Housemartins. A big favorite of mine.

    I got that Laurel & Hardy thing on VHS as a gift once. Don’t think I ever watched it–not really my thing.

    • 1) I haven’t ruled out making new “2012 TSR” customs, but I don’t want to get too crazy with this particular project. I’m also a little afraid I won’t quite remember how to make some of the older ones (although I still have all of the files involved).

      2) I actually checked out The Housemartins in the early 90s for a different reason – I was newly into Barenaked Ladies (back when they had just the one album) and at the time they were often compared to The Housemartins.

      3) “Wooden Soldiers” would not be my thing at all if I hadn’t grown up with it (and also mocked it a bit in college)

  2. Great customs, as usual! I keep forgetting that Arozarena was still ROY-eligible this year considering the monster postseason he had in 2020.

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