Well, another World Baseball Classic has come and gone, and even though I didn’t get to watch any of the games, I did follow it all the way through and it’s a bit of an adjustment to go back to laid-back Spring Training games. When does the regular season start? Another WEEK? Geeeeeez….
OK, well let’s rip into the final* pack of custom WBC cards, and I’ll explain the asterisk in a bit.
Martin Prado splilt time between third and left for Venezuela, and while he didn’t appear in every game, this shot of him after going into the stands guaranteed his spot in this virtual set.
Buster Posey split time with Jonathan Lucroy, but Buster still tied for the team lead with 2 homers (Adam Jones also hit two).
Kenley Jansen didn’t join the team until the championship rounds, and only pitched one inning, but he did strike out two batters…
…And he’s Kenley Jansen, so I felt the need to get him in here.
Francisco Lindor batted .370 with 7 runs and 4 RBI.
…And he was very excited throughout the whole tournament. Pretty much every picture had him looking like this.
Korea surprisingly didn’t get out of the first round, so we didn’t get to see a whole lot of the Cardinals’ Seung-Hwan Oh.
He did get make two appearances, and over 3.1 scoreless innings he struck out 6 and was the only Korean pitcher to get a win.
Norichika Aoki batted .379 and had 3 doubles.
When it comes to international competition, I don’t take it all that seriously in terms of proving that my country (the United States) is superior to all others. While I was rooting for the USA and was happy they won, I also was kind of bummed that Japan and some other countries didn’t. No, it doesn’t completely make sense, but I am a complex human being… or something like that.
Canada is another country I was rooting for. I was disappointed that they didn’t get out of the first round, but they just weren’t as good as other teams.
Justin Morneau had a rough series, going 0-for-11, but he makes for a nice custom.
There were other Dominican players who deserved a custom more than Jose Reyes, but I like Jose and it’s my set. Nyah.
I’ll remind you that there’s also that asterisk that’s been hanging over this post…
If there were an award for “Player who helped his own cause the most by playing in the WBC”, Josh Zeid might have walked away with it. He was unemployed going into the WBC, but is now a non-roster guy with the Cardinals.
He did this by pitching 10 scoreless innings with 10 K’s across 4 appearances, going 1-0 with 2 saves and a 1.10 WHIP. Zeid pitched for the Astros in 2013 and 2014, and has pitched in the minors the past two seasons.
When I started this set, I intended to leverage the different types of 1980 Topps cards as much as I could, with the intent of making this different from just a sort of “Topps Archives” custom set. Late in the process, I realized there was one type of card in 80T that I hadn’t considered using… and I whipped up a quick version of it to use as the Champions card. Let’s see if you can figure out what this design was in a former life.
OK, so what’s with the asterisk? Well, I originally didn’t see much point in going on terribly long with WBC cards, but I have been happy with they way they’ve turned out, I did make a bunch more customs than I’ve posted, and there are a number of big-named players who haven’t appeared in custom form, so……….. While this is the last pack of WBC customs, it’s not the last you’ll see of them. At least one of these will show up in next Sunday’s post, and at this point I have no idea what next Sunday’s post will be. In an ideal world, I’ll finish my 2017 TSR design and we’ll be busting our first pack of that on Opening Day… but I will admit that I’m scrambling to get that done, and it may not “go live” until the following Sunday. Stay tuned!