Three days ago I had a different idea for this virtual pack of custom cards. Then I was looking at the checklist for 2018 Topps Heritage High Numbers (which gave me the idea of doing a special kind of combo card), and I also became aware of two throwback games happening this weekend… after that, things just fell into place.
Before I get to those, however, there are some other customs that I want to get in here.
First off, the Red Sox called up Brandon Phillips, who had spent the season so far in AAA. Phillips has appeared in one game, but hit the game-winning homer in that game.
If he got a Topps Now card from that, I couldn’t find it after a quick search… but I love the fact that Phillips is the first Red Sox player to wear #0, so he gets a custom for that alone.
Each week I feature a Met, an Oriole and a manager card. Recent buzz indicates that Blue Jays manager John Gibbons will be fired after the end of the season, so I figured I’d better get his custom posted now.
If you’re not a Mets fan or don’t collect 1980’s Donruss cards, you might not know that Gibbons was a catcher who played 18 games for the Mets in the mid 1980’s. It appears that Donruss was the only manufacturer to issue a card for him during his playing days.
As little as the Orioles have been involved in the international player market in recent years, they somehow have an Australian pitcher in their organization. Alex Wells represented the O’s in this year’s Futures Game.
Wells hasn’t made it out of A-ball yet, but he’s only 21 and had an impressive August to close out the 2018 minor league season… plus he’s Australian and wears glasses, so I’m already a fan.
I struggled to find a Met for the custom this week, as pretty much anyone of note has already been featured. I decided to go in a different direction… Jose Reyes used to be my favorite Met, but now Mets fans ask why he’s still on the roster, and I have to admit, I can’t answer that.
He’s batting below the Mendoza Line, he doesn’t play defense like he used to, I can only think that he’s a favorite of the Wilpons and they don’t want to just release him. Maybe they’ll have a nice tribute at the end of the season and that can be that.
OK, throwback time. The Tigers have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of their 1968 World Championship, and as it works out they’re playing the Cardinals in Detroit this weekend, the same team they beat in 1968. As part of the festivities, the Tigers and Cardinals wore 1968 throwback uniforms, but in an interesting twist, the Tigers wore road throwbacks.
I understand the significance of these throwbacks, but they’re not the most visually exciting unforms… I like this photo of Jeimar Candelario, though, so it was a no-brainer as a custom card. BTW, the Cardinals did wear home whites in Detroit.
The Tampa Bay Rays are celebrating their 20th anniversary this season, and as part of that they wore 1998 throwbacks last night, and kicked the O’s butts in the process (as if that’s some sort of achievement this season).
I’m also not a fan of these throwbacks, but it’s all about the significance not the appeal.
When looking at the Heritage High Number checklist, I had two thoughts about the Combo card inserts. First, they obviously wanted to get as many hot rookies involved as possible. Second, these combo cards would likely feature photos of two players who happened to be standing near each other, or perhaps photoshopped into the same image. Seemingly gone are the days when a photographer would ask two players to actually pose next to each other.
So that got me thinking I should beat Topps to the punch… not only feature hot rookies, but also have intentionally bad combo cards… and this was the most fun I’ve had with customs in a while, so you’ll be seeing more of these.
First up… who can resist teenage sensation Juan Soto with his teammate, former teenage sensation Bryce Harper?
And then you’ve got the young Atlanta Braves’ dynamic duo of Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna!
I’m telling you, that’s cardboard gold right there… or they would be if they were real. Make 1/1 superfractor parallels of these, and look out eBay!