If Hillary Clinton can ask that, so can I. One can safely assume that my version will make significantly less money.
In my case, “What Happened?” refers to my 2017 TSR custom set.
I’ll be the first to tell you that 2017 was not a great year for my original-design TSR custom card set. I worked hard on the design, but because I was also working on customs for the World Baseball Classic, I ended up rushing the design phase a bit, and I later came to realize that there’s a bit too much going on… The end result is a set I like but don’t love, and given the crickets in response to most of the posts, I’m thinking that the lack of love was pretty universal.
I’ve also come to understand that the underlying theme of a virtual card set representing my pack-busting desires has gone from inspiration to hindrance. Because of where the hobby is now, some of the subsets became largely pointless. Why make a 2017 Highlights “Indians Set Winning Streak Record” custom when Topps Now had already featured the streak 10 times? (By my count, anyway)
…But I DO enjoy coming up with original card designs, I DO enjoy making customs and sharing them with all y’all, and I DO want to carry on in 2018.
In preparation for next year, I’m working on a 1960’s-inspired design and sorting out a “mission statement”. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to put some ideas to the test, but rather than saying “My 2017 design wasn’t great – here it is a bunch more times!” I’m going to whet your appetite for next year with a 1960’s favorite: 1960-62 Bazooka.
I always enjoy customs of players who changed teams, and at the moment nothing seems quite as odd as the sight of Justin Verlander in an Astros uniform. I actually had to make this custom twice because – no joke – I automatically typed DETROIT TIGERS before I saved the image.
Naturally, I like to feature Mets and Orioles as well, especially guys who are new to the team. For a guy who’s been traded and lost on waivers since the season began, Norichika Aoki has been doing quite nicely in the Mets lineup every day since they got him. In 19 games he’s batting .321 with 12 runs, 8 RBI, 7 doubles and a triple.
…And he’s using “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. as his walk-up music. How can I not love this guy? Watching Mets games now, I find myself in an odd position regarding the Mets outfield. I like Aoki, I like the Gold Glove-winning Juan Lagares, who’s getting regular playing time again. I like Brandon Nimmo and his .385 OBP. Despite his injury-prone label, I like Yoenis Cespedes. I really like the injured Michael Conforto, who looks like he could be a star in the making. I wouldn’t mind a return of Jay Bruce when he hits free-agency. And because I’m a Mets fan, I fear that the team will ignore Bruce, let Aoki leave as a free agent, trade several young outfielders for an inning-eating pitcher and then sign some past-his-prime big name outfielder, both of whom will suck.
Moving right along…
Night Owl indirectly inspired an idea I had for next year’s set. Over at Topps, where they think that QA stands for “Questions and Answers”, the All-Star Rookie Cup was left off of the cards of each winner who appeared in Series 2. That gave me the idea of having my own Rookie Star subset using a different method of picking the players, and in doing a test run using 2016 rookies, I came to realize that the 2016 A.L. Rookie Of The Year was not a Topps All-Star Rookie.
Nope, Fulmer got passed by for Kenta Maeda as the rookie RHP, even though their numbers were similar and Maeda was a 28-year-old rookie (having first become a star in Japan). Will one of the 2017 Rookies of the Year get left off the Topps All-Star Rookie team? HA! Like Topps isn’t going to continue to hype the holy hell out of Bellinger and Judge.
Another idea I had for an occasional theme is “Players I like I on teams I don’t like”. My disdain for the Marlins, who have had a steady succession of disagreeable ownership, have outpaced the Phillies and Braves in terms of “Most disliked division opponent of the Mets” and, on the right day, the Fish will give the Nats a fight for this ignominious honor.
Figuring out my favorite Marlin is easy… Ichiro, of course!
Ichiro is so talented, he can hit BP while simultaneously covering all logos, just for the benefit of Panini and other companies who are licensed only by the MLBPA!
BTW, while I don’t think Don Matttingly deserves it, part of me hopes that the new Marlins ownership will fire the manager… Just because the optics of Derek F’ing Jeter firing Donnie Baseball will make the Yankee fandom implode.
…or not. More likely then not, they’ll say “Whatever” and then “All rise!”
I always enjoy watching Major Leaguers who I first saw in the minors, and the Orioles’ Austin Hays is the latest entrant into that category. Hays was a 3rd round pick in 2016, was impressive in A and AA this season, was named the O’s Minor League Player Of The Year and earned himself a September callup.
Despite this impressive catch in last night’s game, the O’s lost, were mathematically eliminated from the postseason and are guaranteed a losing record. Yay.