Dollar Vintage From My Only Show Of 2022 (So Far)

The only show I went to in 2021 was a local show relatively close to home.  The only show I’ve gone to since then was the same local show last month, and it had the added complication of my having only 30-40 minutes to spend there.  It’s not a big show, but a half-hour is precious little time even at a small show.

As it turns out, it didn’t make much difference to me because my initial pass through the show resulted in a lot of “I’m not paying *that* price for *this* card”, so I ended up spending most of my limited time sorting through a bin of dollar vintage cards.  Even then, they were mostly well-loved commons so they weren’t particularly cheap, so I see it as pyaing a little extra for the entertainment value.

When all was said and done I walked out with 40 or so cards (some of which ended up being doubles, as the whole thing was a rush), and I’ll share some of them here just because Show ‘N Tell posts seem to be all I can finish these days.

This card has a bit of a story to it.  A little while ago I was poking through the 172 cards I have from 1969 Topps and I realized I didn’t have any Tigers from that set.  I’ve got a complete set of Seattle Pilots, near-complete sets of the Orioles and Mets (damn Nolan Ryan), about half of the Expos, but nothing from the Tigers.  At the time I told myself “I shall remedy this!” and then looked at who was in the 1969 Topps Tigers team set… and there was absolutely nobody who inspired the slightest amount of “Ooh, I’ll get him!” in me.  Fast forward to the card show when I ran across this well-loved Jim Price card, said “Eh, good enough” and that was that.

I knew nothing about Jim Price when I bought the card, but now I know he was a backup catcher for a few years and has been a Tigers broadcaster for 28 years.

Another 1969, this time for the Padres’ first star player Nate Colbert.  I go back and forth on collecting the four expansion teams from 1969.  On one hand, I love the idea of collecting a team’s first year… but the flip side of that is you get a lot of capless players like this.

Speaking of capless players, check out the hair on Vic Roznovsky.  I technically bought the card because he’s an Oriole here, but I haven’t committed to collecting the 1967 Orioles team set.  For now, it’s all about the hair.

I’ve decided that there’s just not a bad card of Wes Covington, just great ones and less great ones.  This card is also pretty beaten up.

I was surprised to find this card for a buck… it’s well-loved, but it’s also got Frank Robinson on it (as well as Jerry Lynch and Gus Bell, patriarch of a three-generation baseball family)

I flipped it over and got a better idea of why it’s a buck… but what the heck, it’s a buck.

I picked up this Don Mincher just because he would later be a Seattle Pilot.

And I’ll wrap things up with a couple of Houston Colt .45s, which have a strong “eh, what the heck” factor because of the long-gone uniforms…  Jim Golden spent most of 1963 with the Triple-A Oklahoma City 89ers before being sent to the White Sox in a trade for Nellie Fox

As a child of the 1970s I will always think of Dave Giusti as a Pirates reliever, but he started out with the Colts

And that’s it for now.  Stay tuned for more well-loved commons coming to this blog!

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.

Pack Animal: A Quick Run Through Some Current Hockey & Soccer Packs

I don’t know how much interest there is in these packs, but I figure somebody will be interested and dammit, I’m going to justify part of the price by blogging about it.

I’ll start with a pack of 2021-22 Upper Deck MVP Hockey, which is cheap. That’s pretty much it’s lone selling point as far as I’m concerned.  The photos and design are merely adequate.

Mondo Meh.

Next up, I bought a jumbo of 2021-22 O-Pee-Chee Hockey. I had some hopes for this because I know it’s printed on ‘traditional’ cardboard and the “Retro” parallels are often pretty nice.

Here’s a base card. I can’t think of much good or bad to say. Yep, this is a hockey card.

Here’s the back

I pulled a blue parallel, which doesn’t do much to help or hurt the design

And finally I pulled two Retro cards, a player card and a team checklist.  If you can’t tell from the scans, it’s got a kinda odd Roman Column motif going.

Here’s the back

I was hoping to pull some Kraken, and I did… Sort of…

Both Carson Soucy and Vince Dunn were selected in last July’s expansion draft and were with the Kraken all season… and yet here they are in last season’s uniforms… Not so much as an OG “NOW WITH KRAKEN”. Just disappointment upon disappointment.

I’ll wrap things up with an impulse buy of 2021-22 Topps UEFA Champions League Match Attax.

Even though there’s a hell of a lot going on, I like the look of the base cards, although I’m gonna say that it looks much better in person than in a scan. They do stuff with the texture of the card that doesn’t show up on a scan;  if you’ve seen a prior Match Attax card, you’ll know what I mean.

I don’t know if the odds improved or if I got lucky, but there was a fair amount of shiny in my pack.

This is some sort of foilboard subset

This is another foilboard subset.

I think this is a Crystal Foil parallel… it’s shiny and sparkly and pretty.  Think “blue cognac”.

This is another shiny shiny card, but not quite as shiny shiny (or pretty) as the Crystal parallel.

The Match Attax pack served it’s purpose… it was something to open, and it provided me with a couple of cards to send off to some trading buddies who collect particular teams, and maybe I can sell some of the shiny cards on COMC (although the market for soccer is admittedly not great on COMC)

Two Weeks Of Customs: “Cry For A Shadow”

I’m sharing two weeks worth of customs which were originally out on Twitter ( #DailyTSRcustom ).  This post is all over the place…


…I get to the unveiling of this year’s original TSR Daily design towards the end!

I ran across an image of José Altuve that was so “1970s Topps” that I had to use it, so I made a 2022 Shmeritage custom out of it.  Maybe if Altuve gets traded somewhere before next season, I can re-use the image in a 1974 Topps Traded design :-D

Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster signed a 1-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs after five seasons with the Steelers.  Not gonna let this “Hot Stove” design go without getting its share of use!

Tracy Fleury, whose team finished first in the Scotties round robin, lost both playoff games and then disbanded, is joining Team Rachel Homan for the 2022-23 curling season

Igor Shesterkin has quickly become one of the league’s top goalies. He currently leads the league with a .935 save %.

The Steelers signed Mason Cole to a three year contract. He has been a center with the Cardinals and Vikings, but I saw somewhere that his position on the Steelers offensive line had yet to be determined, so I put his position as OL.

A week and a half ago, Sebastian Aho scored a goal at home.

34 seconds later, Sebastian Aho scored a goal at home

That’s when I found out there are two NHL players named Sebastian Aho.

Swedish Sebastian Aho is an Islanders defenseman; he was the first to score, against the Blue Jackets on Long Island.

Finnish Sebastian Aho is a Hurricanes forward and an All-Star. He scored against the Canadiens in North Carolina.

The World Men’s Curling Championship is wrapping up today in Las Vegas. Brad Gushue is the skip for Team Canada and took Bronze in Beijing.

Korey Dropkin skips Team USA, who was 3-3 after Day 4 of round-robin play and looked to be on shaky ground, but went 4-2 the rest of the way to qualify for the playoffs.

After 8 years with the Pirates, Gregory Polanco has taken his talents to Tokyo.

My original intent with 2022 Shmeritage was to feature managers, coaches and players who got left out of 2022 Topps Heritage, but I’m also having fun including people from other parts of the Baseball Universe.

Johnny Gaudreau was named the NHL’s 2nd star for the month of March; the New Jersey native had 11 goals and 15 assists in 16 games, scored points in 7 consecutive games and had 3 game-winning goals

And now…

The official blog debut of my 2022 TSR Daily design!

Carlos Correa gets first crack because he’s with a new team and I love featuring guys like that in April.

Madison Bumgarner is featured because we haven’t seen him on a Topps card since 2017. I’m still surprised that Panini isn’t leaning into that “exclusive” they have.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the Yankees new shortstop who was with Texas in 2021 and was a Minn. Twin for a day in March, is here because I created his custom to make sure a name like Kiner-Falefa would fit in my new design, but I ended up liking the way it turned out.

Top prospect and second-generation Major Leaguer Bobby Witt Jr. made his Major League debut Thursday, hitting an RBI double in his first at-bat. His father, Bobby Witt Sr., pitched for 16 years in the Majors, mostly with the Rangers. The two of them are the highest-drafted father/son combination in history (Senior was #3 overall, Junior #2)

Connor Joe has a great name, plus he hit a home run to help the Rockies beat the Dodgers. That’s good enough for me!

I’ll wrap up with my series of songs I’d consider using as walk-up music if I possessed any athletic ability and weren’t well into my 50s. This time I’m going with a Beatles deep cut.

“Cry For A Shadow” was a pre-Ringo instrumental track recorded when the Beatles with drummer Pete Best were briefly serving as a backup band for Tony Sheridan during a few recording sessions. It is the only song with a Harrison/Lennon songwriting credit.

1988 “Junior Mets” Membership Kit (And Cards!)

Back in late 1980s the Mets announced that they would have a “Junior Mets” club for kids. At the time I was in my mid-20s, single and childless. I had one niece, and she was still in diapers. I had no reason to be interested in a Junior Mets Club.

…Until they mentioned that it came with a sheet of nine exclusive baseball cards and that’s when I started looking for information on how to join.

I was a little concerned – unnecessarily so, I’m sure – that they might balk at a new member who has the same name as the person whose name was on the personal check so I went as far as to come up with a name for “my son”. I mailed the funds and information on the fake son to the appropriate address, and I got my membership kit.

When I got the kit, I oohed and aahed over the cards before putting the uncut sheet into a binder.  As for the rest of the kit…  Well, I don’t know what happened to the kit I got in 1987, but for 1988 I tossed the rest of the kit into my “I don’t know what to do with it but it’s just a bit too interesting to toss out” box… and I still have it to this day. I’ll share the cards first, but you may want to stick around for the rest, especially if you’re a Mets fan.

So here’s the sheet, which is perforated so that kids wouldn’t necessarily need a sharp object to separate the cards. By the way, I’ll share the individual cards after I show the uncut sheet

The back of the sheet…

…and the individual cards:

Here’s the back of Darryl. I won’t share the backs of the other cards.

As you can see, the set is sponsored by Farmland dairies and there’s no mention of a third party card company, so this set was presumably done in-house.

This is my favorite of the set

I don’t think you’d get a current 9-card set which had two relievers in it, but in a moment you’ll see why Roger McDowell was included.

The membership kit came in a mailing envelope, but there was also an inner envelope that held the goodies… Mets reliever and fan favorite Roger McDowell was the featured player throughout the materials.

So what did aspiring Junior Mets get within this envelope?

A letter from Roger McDowell welcoming you to the Junior Mets club

A membership card “signed” by Roger McDowell, Mets GM Frank Cashen and Mets manager Davey Johnson

You also got a sheet of stickers to prove that YOU ARE A JUNIOR MET!  …And that you are very fond of Farmland milk.

A 1988 Mets schedule which commemorated the 25th anniversary of Shea Stadium

A personal invitation to an instructional clinic at Shea Stadium (If I could borrow a kid to drag along, I might’ve considered going to this)

Coupons good for a discount on two designated August weekday games against the Cubs and the Padres, the two teams which finished last in the National League the previous season

An opportunity to buy Junior Mets club apparel and merchandise, featuring that o-so-stylish Junior Mets logo.

On the back of this offer is the order sheet and another coupon good for a FREE GALLON OF FARMLAND MILK!  The benefits never end!

And finally, a prize to rival the baseball cards, your very own Junior Mets/Farmland Dairies digital watch!

As you can see, I left mine in its original blister pack.  Needless to say, the battery died a couple of decades ago and is probably corroding the watch from within.

Here’s a closeup of the watch face… because why not.

And that’s what the cool kids got in 1988.  If the 1987 or 1989 Junior Mets Club kits turn up as I excavate my man cave, I’ll share those as well.


Custom Catch-Up: C’Mon, C’mon

I’m having a hard time keeping up on… well, pretty much anything these days. This post features three weeks worth of customs which were originally out on Twitter (#DailyTSRcustom ) but even then it’s not a full 21 daily customs because I haven’t been keeping up on that either.

I’ll give you a heads-up: This post is mostly curling and hockey, mostly Olympic-related, and contains 0% of my usual baseball customs. I know it’s not what a lot of my readers are looking for, but I’ve got to follow my joy.

Team Kerri Einarson won the 2022 Scotties Tournament Of Hearts for the third straight time; The Scotties is Canada’s national women’s curling championship. Team Einarson will, once again, represent Canada in the World Women’s Championship which starts in about three weeks.

Jordan Eberle of the Seattle Kraken scored a goal in the All-Star Game on February 5th. It was his second All-Star appearance, the first coming in 2012 when he represented the Oilers. It’s also been one of the few recent highlights for the Kraken, who have gone 1-6-1 since the All-Star break.

…And it gave me the opportunity to use my All-Star header on my 1974/75 Hockey template. I’d used it previously for draft picks, but it’s nice to use it for its intended purpose.

The Italian mixed doubles curling team of Stefania Constantini and Amos Monsaner won all 11 of their matches and stunned the curling world by taking home Gold. This is Italy’s first Olympic medal in any curling discipline.

I’d already featured a “base card” of Mosaner, here’s one of Constantini. She’s from Cortina d’Ampezzo, which along with Milan will be one of the hosts of the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Amanda Kessel played in her 3rd Winter Olympics and was among the scoring leaders in Beijing. I have to admit, this particular custom turned out better than I’d expected.

Team Jennifer Jones missed the playoffs after finishing in a three-way tie with Great Britain and Japan and then losing on the second tiebreaker.

Kenny Agostino scored a goal as the USA beat Canada in Olympic men’s ice hockey for the first time since 2010. Neither the USA nor Canada would medal, which wasn’t surprising as the NHL decided at the relatively-speaking last minute to not allow their players to participate.

Team Sweden and skip Niklas Edin won Olympic Gold for the first time after previously winning Silver and Bronze. They’ve also won five world championships.

Brianne Jenner was named the MVP of the women’s tournament and tied an Olympic record with 9 goals. She also had 5 assists for a total of 14 points.

The USA and Canada faced each other for the fourth consecutive time in the women’s hockey Gold Medal game. It was Hilary Knight’s third Olympic final.

Canada’s Sarah Nurse set an Olympic women’s ice hockey record with 18 points during the tournament. Her cousin Darnell plays for the Edmonton Oilers.

Oskar Eriksson became the first curler to win four Olympic medals: Bronze in 2014, Silver in 2018, and this year he won Bronze in mixed doubles and Gold in the men’s tournament.

19-year-old defenseman Owen Power, who was the 1st overall pick in last year’s draft, got an assist and averaged 21:38 ice time in five Olympic games.

Team Eve Muirhead, representing Great Britain in the Olympics, won Gold over the weekend. It’s the first curling Gold for Great Britain since 2002.

Elias Lindholm was the NHL 1st Star for the week ending February 20. Over three games he had 4 goals and 4 assists to help the Flames extend their winning streak and move into first place.

Mrs. Shlabotnik and I have been on a David Tennant kick lately… We recently finished “Around The World In 80 Days” on the heels of both seasons of “Staged”. We enjoyed “80 Days” enough that I’m getting ready to read the original. We loved the first season of “Staged”, but the second season struggled to recapture the magic, despite all of the guest stars.

Tennant is probably best known in the US for “Doctor Who” and “Broadchurch”, and he was also the voice of Scrooge McDuck on the recent version of “DuckTales”.

The other day I was driving in my car listening to my iPod – I’ve got one permanently plugged into my car’s infotainment system – when “C’mon C’mon” by The Von Bondies came on.  Because I hadn’t heard it for a long time and because it’s pretty short (2:14) I ended up listening to it three times in a row. The song was used as the theme to the Denis Leary TV series “Rescue Me”

Skipping An Entire Week Just Wouldn’t Be Cricket

I realized last night that I hadn’t posted anything in a week. This is more from my being distracted by the Olympics and work stuff than any loss of interest on my part.

I don’t have anything at all prepared, so I’ll quickly share some cricket cards I got in a recent COMC shipment. Cricket is a sport I suspect I would enjoy, but I haven’t been able to get enough exposure to really understand what’s going on. I’ve read up on the rules and there are times when I think I understand what’s going on, but then I see a match on TV or in a local park – there’s a cricket pitch in one field – and I realize that I don’t really understand it.

So anyway, the oldest card of the bunch – and now one of the oldest cards in my collection as a whole – Is this card from the 1932 Wills Tobacco “Homeland Events” set and it features “Cricket At Lord’s”

“Lord’s” doesn’t need any explanation in England, but for clueless Americans like myself it’s a reference to Lord’s Cricket Ground, a venue that has been in its current location since 1814. For anyone familiar with “Monty Python’s Previous Record”, you may remember Lord’s from the sketch “Eclipse of the Sun” in lines like “Well, here we are at Lord’s with this piece of smoked trout”.

Here’s the back of the card

The remainder of the cricket cards I got were a little bit newer than this 90-year-old card… in fact these cards are only four years old and all are from the 2018 Tap N Play England Lions set… If Wikipedia is to be believed, England Lions is a second-tier national club, sort of a junior varsity for the English National Team.

I won’t pretend to know anything about these cricketers, I’ll just share their cards.

This last card is another cricket venue, this one Edgbaston in Birmingham. The card back says it’s the second-largest cricket venue in England. It caught my eye because of the light towers that reach out over the field… plus it was pretty cheap and these all have an exotic air about them.

I haven’t consolidated my cricket cards into one place yet, I think this give me 9 overall.

OK, so if you’ve made it this far, I promise I’ll get something going with baseball next week.

An Irresistable (And Airbrushable) 1977 Hostess Uncut Panel

I love Hostess cards, but I didn’t grow up loving Hostess cards.  My mom bought Drake’s not Hostess, so I never got the cards first-hand.  Some of my friends had them, but I, being a snob, dismissed them as not being real cards.  If it didn’t come out of a pack, it wasn’t worth my time… or at least that’s what I remember thinking.  Looking back I suppose it might’ve been a defensive posture I took since there was no way I was going to be that kid doing a poor job of cutting cards out of a Hostess box.

I bring this up as a way of pointing out that I don’t collect Hostess panels… there’s no nostalgia in it for me so I leave it for other collectors to chase.

So it surprised me to find that I really wanted this particular panel of 1977 Hostess cards when I stumbled across it on COMC for a reasonably cheap price… I mean, just look at this beauty!  Three airbrushes, no waiting.

Just for fun, I’ll give a brief rundown on why each player was airbrushed into a new cap:

1977 was the first year for the Mariners & Blue Jays.  Pete Broberg was selected from the Brewers with the 35th pick in the 1976 expansion draft, BUT he would never appear in a regular season game with the M’s.  Two weeks into the 1977 season – and before Broberg appeared in a regular season game – he was traded to the Cubs for a player to be named later (after the season that PTBNL would end up being pitcher Jim Todd).  Since Broberg was drafted from the Brewers who shared the same blue and yellow team colors, the collar on Broberg’s jersey is likely untouched.

Joe Rudi signed with the Angels as a free agent and got off to a good start with his new team but missed the second half of the 1977 season after getting hit on the hand with a pitch.  Although his numbers were generally in decline during his time with the Angels, he’d play a role in their winning the AL West in 1979.

I guess that Rudi is wearing a windbreaker under his jersey in the original photo, but I don’t know why the airbrush artist decided to make it red… maybe the thinking was that a black collar would look too much like the White Sox uniforms of the time.

Glenn Abbott was selected from the A’s with the 24th pick in the expansion draft.  He proved his value by going 12-13 for a 98-loss team, and would stay with the team until 1983, longer than any other original Mariner.  After his playing career Abbott would have a 30 year career as a minor league pitching coach

A Sportscaster Card Is The Latest Addition To My Curling Collection

The Winter Olympics are just a few weeks away so this seems like as good a time as any to show off the 13th item in my Curling collection;   it’s this card from the “Sportscasters Cards” set of the late 1970s.

Sportscasters cards were sold as an open-ended subscription and covered a wide variety of sports. You could also get a box to hold the cards in… They seemed to be very similar in concept to recipe card subscriptions which were also fairly popular at the time (and also had available boxes to keep the cards in).

Here’s the front of the oversized card:

I’m not sure what all of the little pictograms on the top mean. From looking at other cards online I think the little black ones on the right mean that the sport can be played outdoor or indoor (a sun and some other weird symbol) and that it’s a team sport (two little people). Since the white and red pictogram on the left features an eye within a diamond – and from comparing this card to other similar cards online – I’m going to guess it means this is an overview of the sport being featured.

The card doesn’t feature anybody in particular, but it is interesting that if you look closely you can see that several of the people have the old-school corn brooms:

But there’s this one guy who seems to have something more akin to what is in use today.

My interest in Curling goes back only to the 2010 Winter Games, so corn brooms seem alien to me.

Here’s the back of the card:

…And here is a comparison with a standard-sized card to give you an idea of how big these are:

Since I haven’t shared my modest collection in a while, here are the other 12 cards I already had (in chronological order):

1932-33 Sanella Margarine “Handbuch des Sports”
FYI, this is oversized and is printed on paper rather than card stock

2014 Topps Olympic and Paralympic – Erika Brown

2014 Topps Olympic and Paralympic – Pete Fenson

2014 Topps Olympic and Paralympic – Jessica Schultz

2014 Topps Olympic and Paralympic “Games of the Olympics” – Pete Fenson

2014 Topps Olympic and Paralympic “Games of the Olympics” – Erika Brown

2014 Topps Olympic and Paralympic “Venues” – Ice Cube Curling Center

2014 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions – Kevin Martin

2014 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions – Rachel Homan

2014 Upper Deck 25th Anniversary – Rachel Homan

2015 Leaf Sport Kings – Kevin Martin

2018 Topps Olympic & Paralympic “Did You Know” – Team Shuster

A Week Of Customs: Closer Than A Sister To Her Baby Brother

“…Closer than a secret agent working under cover
It’s too close for a lover
It’s too close for a lover
We are each other…”

Another week’s worth of customs which were originally out on Twitter (#DailyTSRcustom)

Last weekend I had this idea… Since I made well over 200 baseball customs over the course of this past season and featured anyone who would’ve won an award or lead the league, I wanted to go back and recognize the award winners… but I didn’t really want to just re-post the customs I’d already featured. Since I’m currently involved in a project involving collecting cards on the 1975 Topps “MVP / 25 Years Of Topps Baseball” subset, I hit on the idea of inserting my customs into that design… and as fate would have it, 2021 has been the 10th year of my publicly sharing custom cards.

And so…

I started with the two Rookies of the Year, Randy Arozarena and Jonathan India…

…Continued with Cy Young winners Robbie Ray and Corbin Burnes…

…And concluded – for now – with the two MVPs, Shohei Ohtani and Bryce Harper.

Now I expect all of you to fully appreciate the fact that I used three different color combinations and didn’t just do the same thing three times. :-)

Although I haven’t made any more in this series, I am planning at the very least on featuring the 2021 Comeback players of the year and may do some others. I also had in mind to feature some past designs that way, but that’s a bit problematic because in the past I focused on Mets, Orioles and favorite players… so, for example, I don’t have customs of either of the two MVP’s from 2012 (Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey). I’m likely to figure out something, though.

This past week I thought about some of the odder Thanksgiving traditions of my youth… One of which was a New York TV station which has shown the Laurel And Hardy movie “March Of The Wooden Soldiers” on Thanksgiving Day every year since 1963. Since I was looking for something to Tweet on Thanksgiving Day, I figured I could do worse than Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee (FREE!  On specially-marked boxes of Shlabotnik’s Snack Cakes)

I didn’t realize this for years, but the movie was originally released as “Babes In Toyland”, and later abridged and released as “March of the Wooden Soldiers”. I’m fairly curious about what got cut out, but I fear that it would just be more musical numbers featuring Tom-Tom and Bo Peep… As a youth, and still today, I have little patience for people suddenly breaking out in song.

Here’s the latest in my series of Hot Stove customs, featuring former 19-game winner Eduardo Rodríguez. I was pretty happy with how this one turned out – although I should’ve cropped the image tighter – but I made the mistake of Tweeting it on Black Friday and got crickets in response.

Here’s something fun about Rodríguez… In 2014 he was an Orioles prospect who was sent to Boston at the trading deadline as a “rental” for pending free agent reliever Andrew Miller. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s true: There was a time not all that long ago when the Orioles traded prospects for veterans at the deadline, finished in first place and won playoff series.

For this week’s Seattle Kraken custom I decided to feature RW Nathan Bastian, who had been drafted from the New Jersey Devils and played in 12 games for Seattle before being placed on waivers and claimed by his original team.

I normally make a “card back” for these Kraken customs, but it’s a lot of effort for a guy who’s already gone, so I gave myself permission to skip it for Bastian.

I’ve been meaning to make more of my 2022 TSR “Wheels” customs, as I think I would enjoy a similar set being sold in retail stores (and completely missing from the shelves because of people hoping to score a SSP refractor of the Aston Martin Valkyrie).

I’m not a “truck guy” but I know I’m not alone in preferring smaller vehicles… and because of that, I’m glad that the car companies are bringing back entry-level trucks like the Ford Maverick

I think I’ve only featured one or two of these customs so far, so I’ll point out that they’re in “tall boy” dimensions.

The Beautiful South put out one of my favorite albums issued in 1992, “0898 Beautiful South” (although I didn’t completely “discover” it until a couple of years later). The album’s biggest – relatively speaking – song in the US was “We Are Each Other”, which got a fair amount of play on Alternative radio stations. I heard this song again the other day and decided to feature it here.  Funny thing is that I’ve spent over 25 years singing “It’s too close for a lover, it’s too close for another” only to realize that it’s “a lover” both times.