2021 TSR Daily: Wrapping Things Up

This morning I Tweeted the last of my 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily ).

I started Tweeting these on February 23rd and sharing them here on March 1st.  Back in 2020 with everything shut down, I created a couple of hundred customs as a way to keep me occupied and relaxed.  For 2021 I decided that if I was going to crank out that many I might as well make a small cohesive set and try to represent all of the teams.  I’m going to share the last batch of customs and then I’ll discuss how well I met my goals and what is coming next for me.

Alek Manoah was named the September/October AL Rookie of the Month, and for the season he was 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA, a 1.048 WHIP and 10.2 strikeouts per inning

One of the things I tried to do late in the game was make sure that I made a custom for anyone who might win an award or be a league leader in some major category (i.e. I didn’t sweat the Hit By Pitch leaders). I don’t think Manoah is going to be the AL Rookie of the Year, but I expect he’ll get some consideration.

Lucas Giolito has gotten Cy Young votes in the past and threw a no-hitter last year. This year he has 11 wins and 201 strikeouts.

During the month of August Shane McClanahan won each of his five starts. One other thing I found out, and I don’t know why this surprised me as much as it did, but he’s just the second McClanahan to appear in the Majors… the first was Pete McClanahan who played in 7 games for the 1931 Pirates.

Quick side note about Pete McClanahan: He’s a “reverse Moonlight Graham” in that he played in 7 games without ever taking the field. He pinch hit 6 times and pinch ran once. For his abbreviated career he went 2-for-4 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored. The 1931 Pirates were a mediocre team, it makes me wonder why a guy with a .667 on-base % didn’t get more of a shot… but there’s very little information about Pete out there.

Getting back on track…

Rookie starter Luis Garcia is one of four Astros starters with double-digit wins, and he averaged 9.7 Ks per 9 innings pitched.

The Braves’ Will Smith lead the NL with 60 games finished and he’s 3rd in the league with 37 saves.

Garrett Whitlock was selected from the Yankees farm system in last winter’s Rule V draft… and then he helped end the Yankees’ season by pitching the 9th inning of the Wild Card game. He lead Boston pitchers with a 1.96 ERA and a 1.105 WHIP.

Kenley Jansen’s 38 saves was second-best in the National League.

As I mentioned, my original objective is to have each of the 30 teams represented by 8 different players.  I had pretty decent success with that as 22 teams had at least 8 customs.  Eight teams had only 7 customs, but in some cases there wasn’t much I could do about it.  For example, after the Nationals traded off many of their players I tried going forward with a prospect they’d obtained in one of the deals, but ultimately decided that I wouldn’t feel good about anyone I’d select as the 8th Nat.

Early in the process I made sure I included anyone who won an award in 2020, assuming that they were still active and not out for the season.  Later on, I did the opposite, trying to make sure that I didn’t miss anybody who would go on to win an award this year, or lead the league in some category.

I had a lot of fun doing this, I learned a lot about different players along the way, and I plan to do something similar in 2022… but I don’t know that I would do this same exact thing.  It was fun, but it was also a lot of work.

In the meantime I have plans to do some other custom projects coming along.  You’ve seen my hockey customs.  I recently came up with a new design to use for a “Hot Stove” set that will probably kick off whenever the Cardinals, Padres or Mets hire a new manager… and I’ve got some other things in the works.

And here, for those who are curious, are the team checklists for my finished set. Feel free to give me grief about leaving any players out; I’m genuinely interested in your takes on that, but will also invite you to make your own equally-representative checklist and see how much of a challenge it is.







2021 TSR Daily: Coming Down The Home Stretch

Once again we rip into another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily ).  Going by my “240 custom set” plans, the last custom will be Tweeted (and posted here) next Sunday… after which I’ve got plans to do other custom things at a similar frequency.

Aaron Loup was the Mets’ secret weapon out of the bullpen this past season. Over 65 appearances he had a 6-0 record, a 0.95 ERA, a 0.935 WHIP and struck out 57 batters over 56.2 innings.

Two-time Gold Glove winner Matt Chapman holds a dubious team record after striking out 202 times this season… That’s right, he had more strikeouts for the Athletics than Jose Canseco, Reggie Jackson, Dave Kingman, Khris Davis and Jack Cust.

…But to his credit (?) he didn’t lead the league. Joey Gallo has that honor with 213, which would’ve been a Rangers or Yankees team record had he not split the season between those two teams.

Former MVP Andrew McCutchen was among the Phillies leaders in runs, RBI and home runs.  Plus he’s, y’know, Andrew McCutchen.

Jacob Stallings hit a two-out walk-off grand slam to beat the Mets on July 17th, and had a pretty good season otherwise.

After the Cubs cleared house at the trading deadline it cleared the way for Frank Schwindel, who proceeded to lead the Cubs in 2nd half batting, runs, on-base % and slugging %.  Not bad for a 29-year-old rookie in his fourth organization.

2nd Gen pitcher Cal Quantrill went 7-1 with a 1.94 ERA and 78 strikeouts over the 2nd half of the 2021 season.  His dad, Paul Quantrill, pitched for 7 teams from 1992 to 2005.

For the second season in a row, Tyler Rogers had the most appearances in the NL, plus he had 7 wins, 13 saves, a 2.22 ERA and a 1.074 WHIP.

Ryan Zimmerman, who has been the face of the Nationals for pretty much their whole time in DC, played what may have been his last home game at Nationals Park.  The fans gave him a well-deserved sendoff… and I’m giving him a Shlabotnik’s Picks custom.

Hockey Custom #1: Philipp Grubauer, signed by the Kraken to a six-year contract, will also be in goal for the German team when the 2022 Winter Games roll around.

Hockey Custom #2: I recently signed up for a free NHL fantasy team, and when looking at the top-ranked players the names were at least ones I’d heard… except for Leon Draisaitl. For whatever reason, he’d completely flown under my radar during the time I was ghosting the NHL (as I’ve decided to refer to the multi-year period of shunning that league).

Draisaitl, for those who don’t know, was the winner of multiple awards for the 2019-20 season: The Hart (MVP), the Ted Lindsay (Most Outstanding Player, known to old timers like me as the Pearson) and the Art Ross (Top Point Scorer… 43 goals, a league-leading 67 assists and 110 points).  Not sure why I missed him while being at least vaguely aware of guys like Connor McDavid, Nikita Kucherov and Auston Matthews, but hey, that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Oh, and Draisaitl will be a teammate of Grubauer’s when the Olympics come.

I’ll wrap this up in the way I’ve done several times lately, by including a music video that is recommended for my on the YouTube home page.  This time it’s “Bob”, one of my favorite ‘Weird Al’ songs that’s not a direct parody.  I love it because it works on several levels.

2021 TSR Daily: Still Alive

Again, I apologize for my extended absences here. It’s been a pretty crazy couple of weeks for me.

Here’s another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily )

It’s a bit much for one post, but I’m going to go ahead and catch up to where I am on Twitter.

Back in August Dansby Swanson, 1st overall pick in 2015, set a Braves record for home runs as a shortstop. He currently sits at 27 homers.

The previous record for a Braves shortstop, as mentioned in my most recent “1970s: A-Z” post, was Denis Menke, who hit 20 home runs for the Milwaukee Braves in 1964.

Kyle Tucker falls in the league’s Top 10 for batting average, extra base hits, OPS and a bunch of sabermetric stats that I don’t completely understand. I’ll be keeping an eye on him in the postseason.

Yadier Molina is having a decent season and was an All-Star, but you also can’t leave Yadi out of a Cardinals team set.

In the second half of the season, nobody on the Red Sox has more runs, homers and RBI than Hunter Renfroe.

Former first round pick Tyler Stephenson is a rookie of the year candidate… or, at the very least, a Topps All-Star Rookie Team candidate.

Jeimer Candelario leads the Majors with 42 doubles.

Jake McGee has 31 saves, a 2.72 ERA and a WHIP of 0.905… and if you’re not familiar with him you may be surprised that he’s 34, in his 12th season and has a career WHIP of 1.126.

Yasmani Grandal leads the White Sox in On-Base % (.422) and Slugging % (.523). This post seems to be heavy on catchers, especially ones whose first name starts with “Y”.

Ty France is tied for the Major League lead for being hit by a pitch (26 times). He leads the Mariners with a .293 average and a .368 on-base %

Christian Yelich played himself in a 2019 episode of Magnum P.I.

Reliever Jonathan Loáisiga is an underhyped Yankee (the best kind). He has a 9-4 record, 5 saves, 2.21 ERA, 1.024 WHIP, 8.8 K’s/9 IP and 4.25 K’s/BB. In June he became the 3rd Yankee to struck out 4 batters in 1 inning… the first Red Sox batter he faced that inning, Michael Chavis, reached first because the third strike was a wild pitch which got away from the catcher.

Interestingly enough, the other times this happened to a Yankees pitcher were within the past 11 years: A.J. Burnett in 2011 and Phil Hughes in 2012.

A couple of hockey customs to get us caught up on those…

My latest Seattle Kraken custom takes advantage of the preseason games going on right now…

(Yes, that *is* an attempt to copy Zebra from “Pearls Before Swine”)

A couple of weeks ago the Arizona Coyotes announced that their original “Kachina” coyote logo would be returning to primary logo status. I was very happy to hear that as it’s easily the team’s best logo. The recent howling coyote logo & related uniforms were kind of boring… “Salesman samples” is how I always thought of them.

When I decided to make a Coyote’s custom, Phil Kessel was the only name on the team’s roster that this lapsed hockey fan recognized.

From Joe Jackson’s 2003 album “Volume 4” — a qualified “Best Joe Jackson album since the 1980s” because I’ve not heard the most recent three — here’s “Still Alive”:

2021 TSR Daily: I Love Making Customs And I Feel Fine

Here’s another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily )

Brandon Nimmo is a fan-favorite now, but back in 2011 he was the first-ever 1st round pick taken out of Wyoming. The Mets are now officially a disappointment now that they’ve been eliminated and have clinched a non-winning record. We’ll see how much the team gets blown up during the off-season.

While it’s fresh on my mind, I learned something about “Elimination numbers” yesterday. Going into Saturday, the Mets’ Elimination # sat at 2… however, after the Phillies beat the Pirates in the afternoon, the word got around that the Mets were eliminated. Whut?

Well, the Elimination # is based on the team in question and the first-place team, which is the Braves… And yes, if the Mets had won the rest of their games and the Braves had lost theirs, the Mets would’ve jumped over Atlanta… but in losing the remainder of their games, the Braves would lose 3 to the second-place Phillies and put Philadelphia in first. What it boiled down to was that once the Phillies won yesterday, there was no longer a path to the division title, and they were toast. As it turned out, last evening the Mets lost and the Braves won, so it’s all moot.

Frankie Montas leads the A’s with 13 wins, 181.0 IP and an even 200 strikeouts.

Avisaíl García leads the Brew Crew with 119 hits, 29 homers and 85 RBI, plus he has a .314 career batting average in the postseason.

Shohei Ohtani leads the Angels in [takes a deep breath] Runs, triples, homers, RBI, stolen bases, walks, on-base %, slugging %, wins, winning %, innings pitched and strikeouts.

Here’s a shorter list of the traditional stats where Ohtani does NOT lead the Angels…

Hits – David Fletcher – 160
Doubles – Jared Walsh – 31
Batting Average – Jared Walsh – .272

ERA – Raisel Iglesias – 2.69 (although Ohtani has the best among starting pitchers)
Complete Games – José Suarez – 1
Saves (of course) – Raisel Iglesias – 33

Reliever-turned-starter Ranger Suárez has maintained a 1.45 ERA over 38 appearances and 99.0 innings pitched. He also strikes out 0.99 batters per inning pitched.

Robbie Ray, emerging as a Cy Young candidate, leads the league with 244 strikeouts, a 2.68 ERA and 188.0 innings pitched. In the second half of the season he’s 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA and he was named the August AL Pitcher of the Month with the following stats: 41.0 IP, 52 Ks, 8 BBs, 1.76 ERA, 0.854 WHIP

If Jan Brady were a Dodgers pitcher, she’d say “Kershaw, Kershaw, Kershaw!”

…Or “Scherzer, Scherzer, Scherzer!” or “Buehler, Buehler, Buehler!”

Right now, Julio Urías is the Dodger’s overlooked Jan Brady. My point being that you’d hardly know that Julio Urías leads MLB with 18 wins and also leads with a .857 winning percentage (he’s got just 3 losses against those 18 wins)

All-Star Joey Wendle leads the Rays with a .274 average and he’s top 3 on the team in hits, doubles and triples. He was originally drafted by Cleveland and made his MLB debut with Oakland.

Over 15 postseason games Tommy Pham has a .352 batting average with 5 runs, 6 RBI and 4 stolen bases.

Jorge Polanco and his 31 homers, 91 runs scored and 90 RBI would be getting more attention if he were on a playoff-bound team and/or in a major market.

Here are the inserts for this “pack”…

The Orioles’ Cedric Mullins hit his 30th home run Friday night; he already has 30 stolen bases and he is now the first player in Orioles history to go 30/30 in a season.

Kind of hard to believe that nobody had done it before, but it’s true. Among those who have come reasonably close were Brady Anderson, Jonathan Villar, Don Baylor and – believe it or not – Reggie Jackson who hit 27 homers and stole 28 bases in 1976, his one season in Baltimore.

See the fun, useless info you learn from me?

I’m still catching up on my “transactions” cards; Joey Gallo was undoubtedly excited to go from the last-place Rangers to the contending Yankees, but who knows if he was prepared for the roller coaster that has been the Yankees this season.

And that’s the pack. If you’re disappointed that you didn’t get a 1/1 or an autograph, you clearly didn’t look at the odds stated on the wrapper.

More Hockey Customs For the Three People Who Care

I’m way backed up on my customs in general, and since there’s not a huge following for my hockey customs – just wait until I start up my Olympic Curling set! – I figured I’d throw a few in a separate post so that people may more easily ignore them.

Joonas Donskoi was drafted from the Avalanche, and now that workouts are starting and pre-season games are around the corner, this might be my last faux airbrushing in this set… but I may look for excuses to do it again at some point.

For those interested in the “how”, I created a separate layer of the image with just the helmet and jersey and turned the color saturation all the way down.

As a way to learn about players on my newly-adopted team, I’m creating card backs for the Kraken.

Here’s another Kraken custom I just tweeted today.  Yanni Gourde was drafted from the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning but will miss the early part of the season due to shoulder surgery.

Like me, Yanni is 5’9″ and 175 lbs, so he gets a leg up in my “Favorite Kraken” competition.  Unlike me, Yanni has athletic ability, but that’s generally a given.

For those interested about such things, the image of Yanni came from a Kraken tweet of the first workout and was taken in front of a green screen.  The background image is from a 2021 playoff game at Nassau Coliseum.

Here’s the back:

I’m really happy with the way the cartoon came out, and I’m getting into the cartoon-creating process more than I thought I would.  At the beginning it was more along the lines of “Well, gotta put *something* in that little puck-shaped frame…”, but I’ve apparently triggered something in my long-dormant cartooning desires.

For anyone who wonders, I use Comic Sans for my lettering because I am a terrible letterer.  Besides, I’m giving Comic Sans a reason for existing, so don’t judge me.

Here are some more customs – fronts only – for teams other than the Seattle Kraken.

I haven’t really followed hockey much in the last 18 or so years, so every time I hear about a player that I remember “from the before times”, as post-apocalyptic TV shows and movies like to put it, I’m fairly well shocked.  I had no idea, for example, that Joe Thornton was still skating around.

With that beard, I imagine him in a hockey-themed lead-in to the Monty Python credits:  Fade in to a hockey fight, slightly sped-up.  From the middle of the melee crawls Joe Thornton, who unsteadily gets to his feet, skates over towards the camera and says “IT’S…”

Dougie Hamilton moving over to the New Jersey Devils was apparently one of the biggest transactions over the summer.  Me, I just had fun doing the faux airbrushing.

Vitek Vanecek was a Kraken goalie for about a week.  He was drafted from the Capitals and then, I guess, the Capitals were the only team interested enough in him to make a deal, so he was traded back to the Caps for a second round pick.  Wasted expansion draft pick?  Maybe.  At any rate, I figured I’d pay tribute to this almost-Kraken

Last up, I saw this photo of Ryan O’Reilly modeling the Blues’ Winter Classic uniform.  My knee jerk reaction was that the image would work well with the 1974-75 hockey design I’m using, so naturally…

OK, that’s enough hockey customs for now.  It won’t be long before the games start up again!

2021 TSR Daily: Yabba Dabba, Yabba Dabba Dabba Doo Now!

“Don’t know what it means, but I say it anyhow!”

Here’s another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily )

Rookie reliever David Bednar has a 3-1 record, 2.18 ERA and 0.936 WHIP while playing for the 52-90 Pirates. He was part of the return the Pirates got in the three-team deal which sent Joe Musgrove to San Diego.

2nd generation Major Leaguer CJ Cron was named NL Player of the Month for August after hitting .387 with 11 HR and 34 RBI. For the season he leads the Rockies in HR and RBI

Nathaniel Lowe, who was called “Nate” before this season, is among the Rangers team leaders in a number of offensive categories

…And I’ve got to say, unless someone on the Rangers turns it up over the last weeks of the season, I’m thinking I won’t do any more Rangers customs even though I’ve done just seven of the targeted eight customs per team. It’s getting harder to justify including a slightly-better-than-average guy when there are much better players on other teams who wouldn’t otherwise make the cutoff.

Kyle Seager leads the Mariners with 34 home runs and 94 RBI.

More importantly to some, Kyle leads his brother Corey in pretty much every offensive stat except for triples (Corey 2, Kyle 1). Corey does have a better batting average, On-base percentage and slugging percentage, but Corey also doesn’t have anywhere near enough at-bats to qualify for a batting title, so I’ll disregard those. You’re welcome, Kyle.

Adalberto Mondesi has hardly played this season, but for the Royals I decided to go with “injured talent” over “slightly above average regular”. He’s listed as an infielder because I saw reference to his possibly moving to 3rd in 2022.

The Royals are another team which probably won’t appear in the 8th Series unless some divine inspiration takes hold of me.

Over the second half of the season Logan Webb is 5-0 with an 1.87 ERA, and over the season the Giants are 18-4 in games Webb started.

Name your offensive category, there’s a decent shot that Giancarlo Stanton is second to Aaron Judge among Yankees in that stat. I don’t mean that as a slight, there’s no shame in being runner-up to Judge.

Josh Bell is among the top 3 on the Nats in several offensive categories… and he *will* be the last National featured in this set, unless someone like newly-obtained prospect Keibert Ruiz just goes berzerk over the next couple of weeks. There’s frankly nobody left on the roster worth featuring.

Tommy Edman leads the NL with 37 doubles and 554 ABs, and his 24 stolen bases are third in the league.

Amed Rosario, part of the Francisco Lindor trade this past January, leads Cleveland with 143 hits, 6 triples and a .283 average.

One thing that occurred to me after making this custom is that the photo is one I would use if I wanted to create a 2022 Cleveland Guardians baseball card. The new logo and jersey script wouldn’t be hard to photoshop into an image like this.

If you haven’t heard yet, the Brewers got their second franchise no-hitter last night as Corbin Burnes and Josh Hader shut down the Cleveland Indians.

It was the 3rd time this season that the Indians have been no-hit (a MLB first) and poor Zach Plesac was the Cleveland starting pitcher in all three no-hitters.

Before we wrap up, I’ve got another Seattle Kraken custom done in the style of 1974-75 Topps Hockey. This photo of Mark Giordano came from when several members of the Kraken threw out the first pitch at a Mariners game.

When I started these customs I planned on doing my own artwork for the cartoons, but I figured that the cartoons specific to a given player would be few and far between… and yet, out of the 9 cartoons I’ve done, this is the 2nd that was based on something about the player. It may not seem like much to you, but I surprised myself with this and I’ll try to lean into it some more.

Title track for this post:  “Bedrock Anthem” by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

2021 TSR Daily: Oh, Nimbus! Help Someone…

Here’s another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily )

…And I’m playing catch-up here after missing a week of blogging while not missing any time tweeting out Daily customs… Just so you know, after this post we’ll still be a few customs behind where I am on Twitter, but I didn’t want to overwhelm with too many customs in one post. They’ll all show up on the blog sooner or later.

On the Twins, Luis Arraez is second to Nelson Cruz in batting (.293) and on-base % (.362)… He was leading the team in both categories when I tweeted this, but his numbers fell off

Patrick Wisdom was named the June 6th NL Player of the week and the June Rookie of the Month. During 27 games in June he hit 8 homers, drove in 16 and had a slash line of .260/.333/.616

At the end of July Kiké was named the AL Player of the week for July 19 – 25, hitting .400 with 3 homers, 4 doubles a triple and 9 RBI

Jesus Aguilar leads the league with 93 RBI and also leads the Marlins with 117 hits (tied in with Miguel Rojas). He also leads current Marlins with a .460 slugging %… Adam Duvall is higher on the season, but he’s with Atlanta now.

Luis Robert, ROY runner-up and Gold Glove winner, has missed two-thirds of the White Sox games due to injury, but I felt like he still deserves a spot in my set

Gold Glove winner Max Fried is 2nd on the Braves with 11 wins and is the only Atlanta pitcher with a shutout this season

Since the beginning of August über-prospect Wander Franco leads the Majors with 29 runs scored, and over that same period he leads the Rays in hits (35) and doubles (10)

Wade Miley, 11-5 2.97, no-hit the Indians back in May… But that was 4 no-hitters ago!

All-Star Michael Brantley leads the AL with a .316 average

Rookie of the Year candidate Pavin Smith leads the D-Backs with 62 runs and 119 hits.

Trey Mancini missed last season after being diagnosed with colon cancer, but in 2021 he impressed in the Home Run Derby and has put up a solid 21 home runs, 68 runs and 66 RBI

Time for some “2021 Transactions” inserts, which is my version of a “Traded” set… although I look at it now and wish I’d done it a bit differently, but oh, well.

I don’t know why but Kris Bryant with the Giants kinda seems like some other guy than the one who played with the Cubs, even though he’s putting up numbers at a similar rate to the start of the season. Maybe my brain just refuses to acknowledge the change.

I don’t know if it’s his fault, the stats don’t indicate any huge dropoff on his part, but acquiring José Berríos didn’t seem to put the Blue Jays over the top, playoff-wise. I’d rather see them make it than the Yankees or Red Sox, so I’ll continue to send positive vibes towards Toronto

Oh, almost forgot to include my weekly Seattle Kraken custom… which is actually *last week’s* Kraken custom and features Haydn Fleury. The sun shining on his face is fairly unusual for hockey, but that’s because the photo is from the expansion draft festivities and features Fleury in a Kraken jersey (not that you can tell…)

Shall I include this week’s Kraken, which was tweeted last night? Ah, what the heck… I’m more concerned about falling behind in hockey than I am in baseball, because these customs will become more outdated more quickly.

This custom of Adam Larsson is the first Kraken I’ve had to “airbrush”, as the prior customs used photos from team events.

Lately I’ve been getting my subject lines for these TSR Daily posts by selecting a video from among the ones recommended for me by YouTube.  The Monkees song “You Just May Be The One” has a somewhat well-known misconception of “Oh, Nimbus!  Help someone…” instead of the actual first line “All men must have someone…”

…And it’s just fun to watch Peter Tork battle his nemesis in a number of competitions, plus see where the one scene from the opening credits came from.

2021 TSR Daily: Just Ask Yourself… Do You Want My Styrofoam Peanuts?

Here’s another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily )

Rhys Hoskins leads the Phillies with 29 doubles, 24 homers and 68 RBI

You could make a case that other Giants are more deserving of being in this set, but it wouldn’t be an iron-clad case and I like Brandon Belt.

George Springer missed a lot of the season, but he’s been making up for lost time and on August 9th he was named the AL Player of the week for the second consecutive week.  Over the two week period he batted .371 with 6 homers, 18 runs abd 18 RBI

All-Star Justin Turner doesn’t lead the Dodgers in any major statistical category, but he’s second on the team in hits, homers, RBI, batting average and on-base %

Akil Baddoo is a Rookie of the Year candidate and leads the league with 6 triples. He was selected from the Twins organization in the Rule V draft

Gold Glove-winning centerfielder Trent Grisham is a key member of the Padres, even if he gets overshadowed by players like Tatis and Machado

This custom of Lars Nootbaar doesn’t count towards my official checklist of 240 cards (8 per team, hopefully), but I just like the name ‘Lars Nootbaar’.

This also doesn’t count towards my 240 custom checklist, but I made this custom because I felt for Deven Marrero, a former Red Sox prospect who’s been called up, designated for assignment and outrighted to Triple-A FOUR TIMES this season, most recently a few days ago.

With all that coming and going, he’s appeared in just 7 games and is 3 for 9 with a solo home run.

Moving on to hockey, I’ve realized I’m falling behind in posting my Seattle Kraken customs to this blog (if you follow me on Twitter you may have already seen these)

If you’re wondering what’s up with the subject line, just ask yourself:
Do you want my styrofoam peanuts?
You can have my styrofoam peanuts.
Do you want my styrofoam peanuts?
You can have ’em all…
(Found out today that this is actually Ray Manzarek on keyboards)

2021 TSR Olympic Games Custom Cards

I was going to include these in my next batch of custom cards, but I did a whole bunch of them this morning and figured I’d split them out into their own post.  After all, it’s not like I’m posting *too* often these days…

So as you might remember from a previous post, I impulsively decided to make some Olympic baseball customs, decided that the Tokyo Games should get a Japanese design (1993 BBM, although I didn’t do a horizontal custom like this Rick Schu original)…

…and as I went along I also decided that I wouldn’t limit it to baseball, although I’ve only got one non-baseball custom today, which I’ll save for the end.

Adrián González hasn’t played in the Majors since 2018, but he was there representing Mexico.  I have to say that there weren’t a lot of good photos to work with from Olympic baseball, a lot of photos were dark, distant or in shadows (and I’m making excuses already).  I also screwed up this design in that the accent marks in “Adrián González” go into the photo because I stuck too closely to the original design.

Danny Valencia also hasn’t played in the Majors since 2018.  Because players on the MLB 40-man rosters were not allowed to play, the teams were an interesting mix of veterans and minor leaguers.

Ian Kinsler was a 4-time All-Star and won a pair of Gold Gloves during his 14 year career

Another former Major Leaguer who hasn’t played since 2018, and like many of these guys I don’t think he ever officially retired, he just didn’t get any takers.

Masahiro Tanaka has been pitching for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Pacific League.

Long-time Dodgers catcher and Angels manager Mike Scioscia took the reigns for Team USA

Here’s the one non-baseball custom… Jessica Springsteen, who has a famous father whose name you can guess if you don’t already know, won Silver in Equestrian Jumping.  I figured that a known last name plus a medal deserves a custom…

This is another situation where if I’d given things more advance thought I would’ve changed things.  The uniform number part of the design works well when one has a uniform number, but it leaves an awkward gap when it doesn’t.  Oh, well.

More customs tomorrow… that’s a promise or a threat, depending on how you feel about my posting customs.

2021 TSR Daily: Still Catching Up, But Also Olympics and Hockey

I’m still catching up on customs after the week I missed on the blog, plus have a few “inserts” and other customs at the end.

So let’s dive into a “Jumbo Pack” of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily )

The Braves signed Charlie Morton as a free agent last November; his 10-4 record and 148 strikeouts indicates that it was money well spent.

Matt Harvey’s been hit or miss this season, to put it mildly. After the all-star break he pitched 21.2 consecutive shutout innings before giving up a run. Three of those starts were wins… but overall he’s 6-10 with a 6.13 ERA

Nicky Lopez is tied for the AL Triples lead with 5, and leads the Royals in batting average (.277) and on-base percentage (.351)

Josh Rojas, who has played 14+ games at 4 different positions in 2021, leads the D-Backs in on-base % (.356) and walks (44). He came from the HOU org in the 2019 Zack Greinke trade

Last week Joey Votto was named NL Player of the Week (7 HR, 11 RBI, .375/.448/1.250) and Player of the Month (7-game HR streak, 11 HR, 25 RBI, .319/.440/.734). It was the first time in his career that Votto was named Player of the Month

Dane Dunning, who has been part of trades for Adam Eaton and Lance Lynn, was a first round pick in 2016

Reliever and occasional starter Andrew Kittredge was named to his first All-Star team this year. It’s interesting to compare his 2019 and 2021 seasons, because the GP and IP are similar, but the ERA drops from 4.17 to 1.38 and the WHIP drops from 1.250 to 0.885

Mitch Haniger leads the Mariners in runs, triples, homers and slugging % and is top 3 in nearly every major offensive category, with the exception of steals (he stole his first base at the end of July). He was the AL Player of the Week, July 12 – 18.

Jose Altuve was named an All-Star for the seventh time. He leads the Astros with 25 homers and 81 runs.

Triston McKenzie has had his struggles this year, but the top Indians prospect is expected to be a part of the team’s rotation going forward.

I think this “Highlights” custom catches me up on the no-hitters, even though this isn’t the most recent no-hitter.  It seems like a long time ago that Corey Kluber shut down the Rangers

OK, now onto some of the other sports… I’ve been busy with the customs lately.

Because I can’t help myself with some of these things, I had the idea of doing some customs of Olympic baseball, and since the Olympics were in Tokyo it seemed like I should use a Japanese design.  I settled on 1993 BBM, even if it is very ProSet, because I like the design and because I didn’t want to spend *too* much time on it.

Eddy Alvarez, for those who didn’t know, is just the third American to medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.  Back in 2014 he won Silver in a speed skating competition, and just this weekend he was part of the USA baseball team that won Silver.  Alvarez was also one of two flag bearers in the opening ceremonies.

For those of you who are not familiar with 1993 BBM Baseball, here’s an example

My original plan was to replace the team flag on the original with the national flag of each baseball team… but I later decided to make this set cover a few other sports, so I ditched the flags and went with the pictograms representing each sport at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

I first decided to do other sports after getting sucked into a handball match between Denmark and Egypt. I didn’t have a dog in the fight going into the game, but Denmark made more of an impression on me… Especially Mikkel Hanson, who is one of the world’s top handball players but also has a strong “Thor” thing going. Let’s get him together with Noah Syndergaard!

Along with getting interested in Handball, I was – very much to my surprise – drawn in to watching a women’s basketball game between Japan and France. Now I’ve tried and failed to get into basketball in the past, but the Japanese team just intrigued me. For starters, nobody on the team is taller than 6’1″.  Yeah, that’s not totally surprising for Japan, but it is unusual for basketball.  They compensate for it by being fast, accurate from the foul line and by sinking a lot of threes.  I watched them wear down France in the semi-finals, but the USA team was too much for them in the finals.  Even so, nobody expected them to win Silver, and no Japanese womens basketball team had medaled before

During the semis against France, point guard Rui Machida set an Olympic womens record with 18 assists in one game.  Ideally I’d create a custom of her passing the ball, but I came across this shot of a layup and just liked it too much.

I’ve got one more Olympic card, but for reasons you’ll understand in a moment, I want to share this hockey custom first.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m making another attempt to follow the NHL, and this time I’m hitching my wagon to the expansion Seattle Kraken.  Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak was signed as a free agent before the expansion draft, and his signing counted as their expansion draft pick from the Dallas Stars.  Oleksiak was in-person at the expansion draft, which is where this image comes from.

For the ‘card back’ I was going to go with a generic cartoon but then I found out that Jamie’s sister Penny Oleksiak is an Olympic swimmer and that made for an obvious cartoon to draw for the back.

And that brings us to the third and final Olympic custom…  Penny Oleksiak won four medals at the 2016 Rio games, which made her the first Canadian to win four medals at an Olympic Games.  She won three more in Tokyo to make her the Canadian athlete with the most Olympic medals.

I had to fudge things a little on the bottom of this one, since the originals have the uniform number and the position.  Also, it was not a creative choice to have “CANADA” in white and “[SWIMMING]” in black.  That was, if you don’t mind some technical terminology, a mistake.

OK, that’s more than enough for one post.  There will be more of all of these next week.