A Guide To Yonder Alonso Variations In The 2015-16 Hot Stove Set

I originally had a post featuring some vintage football cards scheduled for today, but something came up that I felt required immediate attention.

This past Saturday I featured two 2015-16 Hot Stove cards that used the 1976 Topps Traded design.  Eagle-eyed reader Mike Fiske noticed that the Yonder Alonso card incorrectly lists him as a catcher;  sure enough, Alonso plays first base, not behind the plate.

I did a little research into this, and I found that this error was hastily corrected by TSR, and in the rush to correct this they inadvertently created several variations.  I’ve compiled a list of known variations.

First off, this is the original error card which lists Alonso as a catcher…
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove 76T-2 Yonder Alonso

NPB Card Guy will be happy to know I found a corrected variation that uses the catchphrase from Doctor Who…
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove 76-T2b Allons-y Yonder Alonso

Another variation features a censored-out “F— Face” on the front of the card;  I hear this variation is going for hundreds of dollars on auction sites.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove 76T-2a Yonder Alonso F-Face

A third variation exists where they unknowingly used a photo of Gary Pettis’ younger brother…
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove 76-T2c Yonder Alonso Kid Pettis

And finally here is the corrected version that shows Yonder Alonso as a first baseman.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove 76-T2z Yonder Alonso Corrected

There’s the full rundown;  hopefully some of you found some variations in the packs you’ve already busted.

Thanks for reading;  I’ll be back tomorrow with the postponed football cards!

More Customs Based On 1976 Traded, Complete With Bad “Airbrushing” And Goofy Headlines

Gary over at Coco Crisp’s Afro is a bad influence.

It was his suggestion that resulted in my first attempt to create a custom baseball card that featured simulated bad 1970’s airbrushing of a player’s cap and jersey. It was a fun diversion, but after I was done I put it aside so I could continue my work on a ground-breaking invention I have in mind.

Unfortunately, Gary had to go and suggest another custom card and I am weak-willed. So sorry, humanity… Cheap, renewable sources of energy will have to wait. There are customs to be made!

Gary asked to see Yonder Alonso, one of the Athletics’ offseason acquisitions, digitally manipulated into an A’s uniform in the cheesiest manner possible. Fortunately, I already had some lame word play in mind for the “headline” on the resulting 1976 Topps Traded-inspired custom.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove 76T-2 Yonder Alonso
While making this custom, it occurred to me that this is the 40th anniversary of 1976 Topps, one of my favorite all-time sets.  Maybe I should make more customs in the Traded design…

But because this is me we’re talking about, it’s not enough to have a player I’m willing and/or able to badly photoshop. I also needed to have a goofy faux headline in mind.

And so, for an additional example of this custom set, I didn’t create it for any of the top free agents or other big names on the move this winter. Nope, I chose to use another player for whom I already had the kernel of a bad headline in mind.

It didn’t hurt that this custom was for a player acquired by my Mets.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove 76T-3 Asdrubal Cabrera

I have to admit, it’s a thin line between “awesomely bad” and “just bad”, and I went through several versions of both of these customs. My goal in these two was to come up with something that looked like some imaginary artist had given it their best shot but ultimately failed.

A footnote for any Doctor Who fans out there: For Yonder Alonso I briefly considered a headline along the lines of “Allons-y, Alonso!” but I figured it would be lost on most of the population. Whovians will have to settle for this mention at the end of the post.

Hot Stove: One Last Box Of Cereal

Hey, everybody… Looks like this is the last time we’ll be having breakfast together on the weekends, at least for a while.

I did get a different cereal to try out this time…
Frank 'N Barry Cereal Box
Unlike the General Mills “Monster Cereals” that get trotted out every once in a while, I can assure you that Frank ‘N Barry cereal tastes the same as it always did!

As for the baseball cards in the box…

I was hoping that the Mets and Orioles would make a big splash in the offseason just so that I could have someone to photoshop into a new uniform… and both teams did make a big splash, but it was by re-signing a player. There’s no need to photoshop Chris Davis or Yoenis Cespedes, everybody knows what they look like in their respective uniforms. I thought about doing Neil Walker, but even though he’ll be important to the Mets in 2016, I wasn’t sure he qualified as quite a big enough of an acquisition to appeal to non-Mets fans… Which is not to say that he may not show up in a different custom soon…

So in absence of photoshopping someone into an Orioles uniform, I photoshopped someone *out* of an Orioles uniform. I never expected Wei-Yin Chen to return to the O’s, but I was thinking he’d end up with the Dodgers or Nationals, I didn’t expect the Marlins.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove #8 - Wei Yin Chen
I hope he knows what he’s getting in to… Or is satisfied with the 80 million reasons he has to not care. Given the Marlins’ track record, I would not be surprised to see Chen traded or invoking his post-2017 opt-out.

Meanwhile, the Twins took a smaller gamble and signed slugger Byung-Ho Park, who was a two-time MVP in Korea.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove CFL-2 Byung-Ho Park
I have him listed as a first baseman, but he might end up being a DH; I guess we’ll see.

As with the other customs using the 1965 Topps CFL design, I did not photoshop the image of Byung-Ho Park; this was a promotional picture issued by the team.

So that’s most likely it as far as these two sets go… I have some more off-season customs coming next weekend, but those will be in the 1976 Topps Traded design and will feature simulated airbrushing and goofy faux headlines.

…And won’t come in a box of cereal. You’ll just have to wait until after the 2016 World Series for more of those.

Hot Stove: Cinnamon-Toasty Apple Jacksons

The Hot Stove set is winding down for another winter… The whole point of the set is to give everybody a “sneak peek” of what players will look like in their new uniforms, but once Spring Training starts, there’s no need for photoshopped images when the real thing is running around under the warm sun, being photographed by countless photographers.

But don’t worry about that just yet, not when I’ve run out to buy a big ol’ box of Apple Jacksons cereal!
Apple Jacksons Cereal Box

The last winter or two I’d always keep a Hot Stove slot open for some big Mets or Orioles acquisition, but this winter each of my team’s biggest moves was to re-sign one of their own.

Instead, we’ve got notable players leaving, including former Met Daniel Murphy, who signed with the rival Nationals as a free agent.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove #7 - Daniel Murphy
Murphy had been with the Mets since making his Major League debut in 2008, and I will miss him, as will many Mets fans…  But I also think that letting him walk was the right move, and I wish him isolated success with a divisional rival (who will hopefully disappoint yet again).

As I’ve pointed out before, the customs I make up using the 1965 Topps CFL design are ones where I did not “photoshop” the player into his uniform. In this case, I ran across a nice image of Paul Goldschmidt wearing one of the Diamondbacks’ new uniforms.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove CFL-5 Paul Goldschmidt
I don’t love these uniforms… far from it… but I have less of a negative reaction now than I did when they were first unveiled.

Getting back to the clock ticking on the Hot Stove cards… I’m definitely doing a post next weekend, and then after that I *may* do one more… depending on whether I have players I want to “photoshop” and an idea for a cereal box.

Truth be told, I really need to get working on my 2016 TSR design. I’ve got a number of prototypes in the works, but none of them have yet to make me sit up and say “Yeah, yeah, that’s it…”

But in the meantime, if you have any special requests for someone you’d like to see on a Hot Stove card before the curtain drops on another set, just leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do. It doesn’t have to be a star player, so if you want to see Doug Fister with the Astros or Corey Dickerson with the Rockies, just let me know.

Hot Stove: Crap Cereal And A Peace Offering Of Sorts

It wasn’t until fairly late last night that I realized we were out of cereal… I’m sorry, that’s my fault, I should’ve checked earlier.

Unfortunately the only place that was open when I ran out for more was that big chain drug store up on Twin Springs Road, and all they had late on a Saturday night was this stuff:

Super Short Prints Cereal

Who knows,  maybe we’ll get lucky and get a marshmallow…

As for the peace offering…

About 10 days ago I made a comment elsewhere about Mike Piazza going into the Hall Of Fame as a Met…  Now me, I don’t have any huge attachment to Piazza, but I feel like one can make a strong case to have Piazza go in as a Met, just as one can make a strong case to have him go in as a Dodger.

My intended point was meant to be that Piazza means a lot to Mets fans in general, and the Dodgers already have HOFers like Jackie and Pee Wee and Duke and Sandy and Drysdale and Sutton, not to mention a bunch of guys who were inducted before most of us were born as well as non-players like Leo and Walter and Tommy and Vin… while the Mets have Tom Seaver, period…  So, you know, throw those Mets fans a bone, you Dodger fans will hardly even notice being short a HOFer.

But the main thing that I didn’t communicate is that I personally don’t really care.  I appreciate everything Piazza did for the Mets, but I think of him as a Dodger who played for the Mets.  He could’ve gone in as a Marlin and I wouldn’t really get upset.  I’d be amused, but not upset.

Unfortunately, I think my comment came across more emotional than “Eh, I can see both sides so WTF, let him go in as a Met”.

So for any Dodgers fans I may have upset, the one and only card in this box of dubious cereal is the Dodgers’ latest big money acquisition, Mr. Kenta Maeda.

2015-16 TSR Hot Stove #6 - Kenta Maeda

Maeda had an outstanding career in Japan, twice winning the Sawamura Award which represents the best starting pitcher in Nippon Pro Baseball.  He also made an impression during the 2013 World Baseball Classic, but time will tell if he’ll make the adjustment to MLB.  The Dodgers do have a pretty good track record with their Japanese pitchers (something the Mets sure has hell can’t say), so that may speak well for Maeda.

BTW, I overdid it on the “fake 3D blur” on the background of that custom, but that is Dodger Stadium behind him. Trust me.

Quick Addendum:  I’m currently in a position where I have several candidates for additional “Hot Stove” customs, but for the most part nobody jumps out at me.  If there’s anybody you’d like to see “photoshopped” into a new uniform, leave me a comment;  I’d be happy to give it a shot.

Hot Stove: Breakfast With The Captain

It was just one of those cravings that came out of nowhere… I was at work and really wanted some Cap’n Crunch.  By the time lunch rolled around I ran out to the store to get a box and some milk… but in the process I must have unknowingly stumbled through a wormhole and ended up in “Yankees Universe” because all they had in the store was this:
Cap'n Clutch Cereal Box
OK, so it wasn’t really what I was looking for, but it comes with baseball cards… Funny how the box says “free baseball card”, but the boxes seem to always have two cards.  Poor quality control, that’s what it is.  …Not that we’re complaining…

Let’s see what we’ve got… Hey, it’s the guy whose reign as the player with the highest average salary lasted for just a few days, David Price!
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove #5 - David Price
No sooner had every publication and website in existence written headlines that played off of “The Price Is Right”, when his most bodacious salary was surpassed by Zack Greinke’s contract with the Diamondbacks.  I’m not sure that either team will get their $30+M worth per year, but I’m also notoriously wrong about these things, so I’ll just go ahead and congratulate the 2016 league champion Red Sox and Diamondbacks.

This cereal box was clearly an AL East “hot box”, because the last card was of the Orioles’ new Korean import, Hyun-Soo Kim.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove CFL-3 Hyun-Soo Kim
I wish I knew what to expect from Hyun-Soo Kim… Hell, I wish I knew what to expect from the Orioles in 2016.

For anyone who missed the prior two cards with this design, this one is based on the 1965 Topps Canadian Football League set… and I’ll try to get my hands on a real card from this set before the Hot Stove season is over.

…And just to reiterate the reason for the  two designs… The “1976 Kellogg’s” design features images I’d digitally manipulated, while the “1965 CFL” design uses un-photoshopped images.

Hot Stove: Skipping The “Saturday Morning” Narrative This Time Around…

Hopefully none of you are overly attached to the virtual Mom in these posts, nor to the stories that have gone with these posts to date… But I’m coming up dry this week, and as I skipped Christmas weekend already,  I figured getting the images out there is more important than trying to work “Mom” into this post.

I went into this Hot Stove set with a number of cereal box ideas in mind, but this one came to me just the other day, and as it worked out it was semi-inspired by another idea I’d had the day before (which we’ll probably get next weekend).  I originally feared I wouldn’t have enough cereal boxes to get through the winter without repeating myself, but I think I’ll be OK.
Bryce Krispies Cereal Box
And while I’m gently poking fun at his Bryceness, I am a Mets fan who knows all to well that this past season could’ve been very different if some Nats other than Bryce Harper had bothered to show up, or if Matt Williams had at least a passing clue as to how to handle a bullpen.

The San Francisco Giants are like the original Star Trek movies – only the even-numbered ones are any good.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove #4 - Johnny Cueto
The original image used was from “Photo Day” last spring, and it wasn’t until after I finished the custom that I realized that Johnny Cueto is sitting on a stool, even though he’s ostensibly outdoors at AT&T Park.  I probably should’ve cropped it tighter, but I kind of like it… It seems like the kind of oversight Kellogg’s might’ve made back in the day.

If you like this next custom, you can thank Gary over at Coco Crisp’s Afro.  A couple of weeks ago he’d suggested making one of these customs with “bad airbrushing”.  I’d already had some ideas along those lines, so I mentally responded with “Challenge accepted!”
2015-15 TSR Hot Stove 76T-1a Zack Greinke
Part of the reason I chose Zack Greinke for this idea is because the D-Backs have new uniforms with this funky shoulder design-thing which I don’t know how to replicate at this point… So if one can’t do it right, do it wrong… very, very wrong.

The card design used is, of course, the 1976 Topps Traded design.

Next week’s cereal will feature another player who’s had his share of hype.  I’ve got a couple of candidates for the custom cards, but maybe I’ll be suddenly inspired by the Mets or Orioles signing a big name… or,  more likely, a former Met or Oriole signing a big contract elsewhere.

Hot Stove: The Champion Of Breakfast!

Mom’s not here today.

Whaddaya mean, “Where is she?”  That’s all they were talking about at dinner last night… She’s taking Emily to that out-of-state soccer tournament.  We’re stuck with Dad all weekend.

Dad must want us to be a jock like Emily, because he went and got us a box of Wieters for breakfast…
Wieters Cereal Box
No sugar buzz today.  Thanks, Dad.  At least it’s one of the cereals that comes with a baseball card.

He went back to bed, so we can just go ahead and dig through the box for the card.

This card’s pretty cool.  Who’s “SIMMONS”?
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove #3 - Andrelton Simmons
Oh, Andrelton Simmons.  I remember when he got traded to the Angels… That kid Dave in my class was all upset about it, said he didn’t know what the heck the Braves were doing, trading away all their best players.

Hey, we got another one of those weird Canadian Football-looking cards.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove CFL-3 Wil Myers
Is this a different Padres uniform?  Looks different to me.  I don’t remember there being yellow.  Yellow’s such a girl color, but it looks pretty good here.

You know, it’s really not as much fun if we’re allowed to dig through the box for the cards.

When does Mom get home?


Look What Mom Brought Home From The Store! (’15/’16 Hot Stove #1)

It’s a great day, everybody!  It’s Saturday!

Not only is it Saturday, but Mom… Your dear, sweet, loving mother…
2013 Gintfunkel Betty Crocker 7
…Your dear, sweet, loving mother who has a side gig as Betty Crocker was in a good mood when she went shopping.

Instead of buying a case of off-brand Kashi from the wholesale club like she usually does, she came home from the store with *good* cereal.

…And not just good cereal, but good cereal with a PRIZE!
Coco Crisp Cereal Box
…And look at what it says on the front…  There’s a baseball card inside!


Aw, man… I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what card it is… Is Mom looking?  She’s not?  Cool, I’ll dig down into the cereal to see who we got…

Check it out, it’s the card from the front the box!  Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox’ new closer!
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove #1b - Craig Kimbrel
The Padres traded Kimbrel to Boston for a package of prospects… Time will tell how good a trade this was for both teams.

I know some of you would eat box after box of Coco Crisp cereal, but if it’s not your favorite, don’t worry. Mom bought it this week because it’s the most obvious — Um, ahhhh, I mean, she bought it because it was on sale… Yeah, that’s it.  But Mom likes to keep everybody happy, so next week I’m sure she’ll have something else.

Mom also loves you so much that if this “Mom” is not your favorite, she’d consider using her shape-shifting abilities to change into whichever mom you might want… and she’s open to suggestions… But remember, you may love Kate Upton, but KATE UPTON IS NOT YOUR MOM.

Mom thinks it’s creepy that you were even thinking that.

For the benefit of my newer readers, let me explain a little bit about my “Hot Stove” custom set…

First off, I’m weird. You likely figured that out on your own, but let me tell you one of the specific ways that I’m weird. During the offseason I get my artistic jollies by creating custom baseball cards which feature baseball players “photoshopped” into the uniforms of their new teams.

This is my fourth year of doing this set. I started off in 2012 with a modest little set based on the Bazooka sets from 1960 to 1962…
2012-13 Hot Stove #7 - Zack Greinke
My photoshopping skills were still in their early stages.

In 2013, I did another set based on the 1959 Bazooka set.
2013-14 TSR Hot Stove #8 - Ian Kinsler
I really love this 1959 design and would be collecting the original set if it weren’t such a budget-busting proposition.

Unfortunately, I find the remaining vintage Bazooka sets to be nowhere near as appealing as those two sets, so for 2014 I made the leap to creating faux 3-D cards, starting with the 1974 Kellogg’s set.
2014-15 TSR Hot Stove #5 Hanley Ramirez

I had so much fun doing the Kellogg’s “2-D Superstars” sets that I’m back this year with the 1976 Kellogg’s design.  I did a one-off cereal box in a single post last year, but then started getting ideas for others so I’m doing a series of cereal boxes this time around.

I’ve also got plans for a special “insert” set that I will use when I’m featuring an image that I did not alter, like with the unveiling of the new uniforms for the Diamondbacks and Padres.  I wanted to have a completely separate card design… You know, to make it clear that this was an image I hadn’t futzed with.  The design I’ll be using for that set is based on an obscure 1960’s sports set that I recently discovered and really like… But I expect that few of you will know this set. Intrigued yet?  I will try to get one of these inserts in next week’s box.