A Week+ Worth Of Customs: “Try To Keep On Keepin’ On”

Once more into the well of customs most of which are from the past week (but the first couple are holdovers from before that).

Roki Sasaki is a 20-year-old pitcher for Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines, and earlier this season he struck out 19 batters on his way to a perfect game, the first perfecto in Nippon Pro Baseball since 1994.

In Sasaki’s next start, he pitched another 8 perfect innings before his pitch count got too high and his manager pulled him from the game.

In the game after that, he gave up a hit on the first pitch he threw.

As of right now he’s 4-0 with a 1.47 ERA, a .633 WHIP and he’s averaging 14.3 strikeouts per 9 innings.  Don’t tell me Major League teams aren’t keeping a close watch on him and waiting until he’s old enough to come over here.

Because I enjoy doing fun things with the 1973 design that Topps isn’t doing, I made a 2022 Shmeritage card for him.

Ty France is off to a hot start, hitting .328/.401/.470 with 5 homers, 15 runs, 25 RBI and a league-leading 44 hits.

Will Smith is on my fantasy team, but he hasn’t always been *starting* on my fantasy team.  He just got his starting job back now that Ryan Jeffers (!) has cooled off quite a bit.

Angels rookie Reid Detmers hurled a no-hitter in his 11th Major League start. Make of this what you will ,but he now leads the AL in complete games and shutouts, and has the Majors 2nd shutout and 3rd complete game of the season.

Make sure you put this custom in a virtual one-touch, because his last name is misspelled making it a valuable error card! It also serves as a warning against making customs first thing in the morning.

Last time around I featured 1973-style customs of the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves wearing some uniforms that threw back to 1970s… and then I later remembered that some teams wear 1970s throwbacks on a regular basis…

I was a die-hard Capitals fan from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but they kept making changes that were for the worse (IMO, of course) and eventually were no longer the team I originally fell in love with. These days there’s a pretty fair amount of Shadenfreude involved when the Caps lose in the first round. Arrivederci, Ovechkin.

This custom, by the way, is based on the postseason design used in 1974/75 Topps/OPC Hockey. I don’t have a lot of interest in the teams in the playoffs and so I won’t make a custom for every series, just those series where I have at least a mild rooting interest one way or the other. My custom isn’t completely accurate, otherwise it would just say “PANTHERS vs. CAPITALS” at the bottom, but I’d already modified this design for use in “Season Highlights” and I didn’t particularly want to be faithful to the original anyway.

This morning I went to look at the league leaders to see who surprised me… and the Orioles’ Jorge Mateo is tied with Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez for the Major League lead with 10 stolen bases. Not exactly Rickey Henderson territory, but that’s pretty good for 21st century baseball.

In the last post I featured the April Pitchers of the Month, this time around I have the April Players of the Month José Ramírez and Nolan Arenado…

…and Relievers of the Month Jordan Romano and Josh Hader.

FYI, I’m not going to make customs for the “Rookies of the Month”

For whatever reason I had “My Silver Lining” by First Aid Kit stuck in my head this morning.  I’m always a sucker for sisters singing harmony together. The chorus has the line “Try to keep on keepin’ on” in it, which is pretty fitting for what many of us are going through these days.

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