Over the past few weeks, the majority of the custom cards I’ve posted here have been my tributes to the 1964 Topps “Giants” set. There are more of those coming, but I wanted to take some time and share some of the other offseason custom projects I’ve been working on.
I’ve been using a variety of oddball designs in the offseason ever since 2012/13 when this guy had just been hired to manage the Red Sox…
I used these customs to highlight new managers, player movement and other offseason developments.
Back in 2014 I started to play around with faux “3-D” customs
…and yes, the 3-D customs will be back, once some of the bigger names start moving around.
As an attempted side project which never took off as much as I’d intended, in 2015 I started creating custom non-sports cards, the TSR “Fauxback” set.
I really like this design, I wish I’d done more with it at the time…
A few weeks ago I introduced the first of my TSR Hot Stove customs, based on (but not completely faithful to) the 1962 Post set. Here’s are two more examples, one featuring new Angels manager Brad Ausmus…
…and the other featuring new Rangers manager Chris Woodward:
As 1962 Post collectors can tell, I’ve gone rogue with the colors used and made them more team-based. I’ve also ditched the stats and will replace them with other things.
This past week I unveiled my new TSR Fauxback design to highlight new Twins manager Rocco Baldelli (The Twins tweeted out a bigger photo of Rocco than the other managers got, so I figured “why waste it?”)
This design is meant to evoke the non-sport Topps sets of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, complete with the card number on the front (in the upper right corner) and in what I thought was a fun development for my custom cards, puzzles on the back! YAAAAY!
I shared these images on Twitter earlier this week, and the response was “crickets”.
…BUT I REMAIN UNDAUNTED!!!
I also think that the design might appeal to people more if they see a bunch at the same time, so all y’all can get an idea of what I’m doing here.
The Miami Marlins unveiled their new uniforms yesterday, I thought the Fauxback design, combined with images published by the Marlins, would work well for expanding on the few thoughts I’d tweeted.
Starting pitcher Trevor Richards highlights the home jersey’s “Miami” script…
My initial reaction to these uniforms was that it was a lateral move from the one’s they’d had since 2012, more of an “Under New Management” sign than any huge improvement.
(here’s the puzzle back for card #6…)
…funny how the full-bleed nature of the backs make them look bigger than the front…
But now that I’ve had some time to digest them, I’m liking them more. I still think they need a little *something* – maybe a “Miami Blue” bill on that black cap, or a non-black number on the front – but it’s not at all bad. There’s way too much black, blue and red in Major League baseball, but at least it’s a different blue.
(Puzzle back for card #4…)
My main problem with the black alternate is that there’s way too much black. As Nigel Tufnel said in This Is Spinal Tap, “How much more black could this be? And the answer is ‘None… None more black’.”
When I was looking at Marlins unis reactions yesterday on my phone, i noticed that on a small screen the black jersey showed up as illegible, just a few colored marks on a black shirt. It looks nice enough up close, but it’s going to be difficult to read the numbers from the stands. If I were made commissioner (of any sport, I may add), one of my first moves would be to require that jersey numbers be completely legible from the upper decks. Function over form, people…
(Puzzle back for card #5…)
I wanted to share one last custom, because this Fauxback set is intended to be an all-purpose set. Ever since I heard about the retirement of Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who performed as Big Bird and Oscar The Grouch, I’ve wanted to make some sort of custom to commemorate this… so this seemed as good an opportunity to make one
(Puzzle back for card #3…)
By this point I think that many of you have figured out who’s on the puzzle backs. The first person to name the celebrity in the comments will win… a big ol’ thumbs up from me, and the admiration of your peers. Sorry, I’m not a “prize” kind of guy.
BTW, when I’ve shared all (or at least most of) the puzzle backs, I’ll also share the full puzzle. I’m not quite there yet.