The Votes Are In, And The Design I’ll Use For The 2017 WBC Customs Is…

Voting on the design to be used for my 2017 World Baseball Classic custom set has finished and the winner is… The 1980 Topps design!
2017-tsr-wbc-preview-1-david-wright
David Wright certainly seems pleased… He must have been one of the 19 people to vote for 1980 Topps.

The voting was tight for most of the week, with 1986 Topps hanging tight and 1976 Hostess and 1976 Wonder Bread hanging in there until the end. Here’s the final count out of 65 votes cast::
1980 Topps Baseball: 19 votes
2017-wbc-prototype-7-jason-marquis

1986 Topps Baseball: 16
2017-wbc-prototype-6-1986-topps-ichiro

1976 Wonder Bread Football: 14
2017-wbc-prototype-4-oliver-perez

1976 Hostess Baseball: 11
2017-wbc-prototype-3-miguel-cabrera

1966 Topps Hockey/Football: 4
2017-world-baseball-classic-prototype-1966-topps-hockey-ike-davis

1960-1962 Bazooka Baseball: 1
2012-13 Hot Stove #17 - Jose Mijares

I’ve begun the necessary preparations for the 2017 WBC custom set, and I’m also brainstorming on ways of keeping things interesting. As one commenter pointed out, the design for 1980 Topps (henceforth abbreviated “80T”) has been used twice in Topps Archives, so I’d like to bring some new elements into the mix.

One “innovation” that will be introduced is horizontal player cards, something that wasn’t done in 80T. I’m trying to decide if I want to do this by rotating the border 90 degrees and rearranging the pennants, or if I want to base it more on team cards like this one:
1980 Topps Philadelphia Phillies

A favorite trick of custom card makers is to take subsets from the original and repurpose them for other uses… but 80T is a little short on subsets, so that makes it something of a challenge.

I’ll definitely work the “Highlights” cards into the mix… maybe just replace the year 1979 with “WBC”.
1980 Topps Del Unser Highlights

The Future Stars subset has some potential, but I’m not sure what I would do with it.
1980 Topps Jays Future Stars Edge Kelly Wilborn

League Leaders seems less promising, but it’s there should I need it
1980 Topps HR Leaders

One thing I’d really like to do is to somehow figure out a way to work 1980 Burger King “Pitch, Hit and Run” cards into this.
1980 Burger King Tom Seaver

I’m open to suggestions on all of this, so if you’re sitting at your desk pretending to work, you can think about 1980 Topps instead of whatever you’re paid to do.

One other factor I’ve given thought to (because I am a nerd and I like to do these things). There are 16 teams in the WBC, but only 14 color combinations used in 80T. It’s quite likely that this won’t end up being a problem, as I don’t know that I’d make customs for all 16 teams anyway. Other possibilities include doubling-up teams with two of the existing color combinations (which was done in 80T anyway) or creating new combinations of colors which weren’t used in 80T.

For those of you keeping score at home, the colors I’d used for Israel were used for the Expos and Tigers in 80T, and the colors used on the David Wright USA custom above was originally the Dodgers and Indians.


COMC BLACK FRIDAY!

COMC promotions are already going on, but the main event starts on Black Friday.  You can read about it here, but to summarize there are three different promotions:  The preview sale (going on now), Black Friday (Friday through Sunday) and Cyber Monday.

Here’s the self-serving portion of this announcement:  I’m participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but didn’t get my act together in time for the preview sale.  You can check out my inventory here, but nothing will be discounted until the Black Friday promo kicks in.

I recently added 100 new cards to my inventory, including recent inserts and Heritage SP’s, 1979 Topps Soccer Stickers, 1980 Burger King Pitch Hit And Run, 1980 Burger King Phillies, and other fun stuff. All proceeds go towards enhancing the world-famous Shlabotnik collection!

Good luck with whatever Black Friday plans you might have!

2017 WBC:  Finally! 1986 Topps! And Voting Begins!

I’ve repeated this so many times that some of you can probably recite this in your sleep: “The World Baseball Classic is rolling around again next March, and I’ve been thinking that it would be fun to devote a small set of customs to it, and to have an online vote to decide which design to use for the custom set.”

I had a nomination of the 1986 Topps set from reader KO Rob, but I was having trouble finding the correct font (Novel Gothic). I finally got tired of making excuses, so I cobbled together the word “JAPAN” from scans of 1986 Topps cards;  I  used the “JA” from “Blue Jays”, “P” from “Padres” and “AN” from “Giants” (and, of course, adjusted the widths and the colors).

So here we go:
2017-wbc-prototype-6-1986-topps-ichiro
Nice suggestion, KO Rob!  I like the way this looks, although I do wonder what I’m going to do for longer country names like the Dominican Republic or Australia.  To be fair, this same concern applies to several of these customs.

I’ve dragged this process out long enough, let’s start voting!

Here’s a recap of the candidates…

#1 – BASED ON 1966 TOPPS HOCKEY & FOOTBALL
2017-world-baseball-classic-prototype-1966-topps-hockey-ike-davis

#2 – BASED ON 1980 TOPPS BASEBALL
2017-wbc-prototype-7-jason-marquis

#3 – BASED ON 1976 HOSTESS BASEBALL
2017-wbc-prototype-3-miguel-cabrera

#4 – BASED ON 1976 WONDER BREAD FOOTBALL
2017-wbc-prototype-4-oliver-perez

#5 – BASED ON 1960-62 BAZOOKA BASEBALL
2012-13 Hot Stove #17 - Jose Mijares

#6 – BASED ON 1986 TOPPS BASEBALL
2017-wbc-prototype-6-1986-topps-ichiro

So there are your candidates, a much more appealing bunch than what we in the United States have on Tuesday, but that’s the way it goes.

Voting goes for a week, only because the polling software doesn’t allow me to go any further than that.

Thanks for taking part in this grand experiment!

WBC Prototypes #4 & #5 – Recycling Is The Word Of The Day

The World Baseball Classic is rolling around again next March, and I’ve been thinking that it would be fun to devote a small set of customs to it, and to have an online vote to decide which design to use for the custom set.

I had very little time to devote to new customs this week, so I took the easy way out and dusted off two custom templates I had created in the past and hadn’t used in a while… I know, it’s sort of a cheat.

The first one is based on the Bazooka design used from 1960 to 1962 and is one I’d used it for my first “Hot Stove” set, the 2012/13 edition. It’s odd to think that I’ll be doing my fifth Hot Stove set this winter.
2012-13 Hot Stove #17 - Jose Mijares
FYI, Jose Mijares used to pitch for the Twins, Royals and Giants;  over the past two years his playing seems to have been confined to the Venezuelan Winter League.

The original Bazooka cards had a variety of colors which were arbitrarily assigned; I suppose I could make the colors correspond to each country in the WBC… or I could just leave it the way it was.

This next one is from a 1976 Wonder Bread Football template I’d created but never used on the blog.  I gave this one the same treatment as the 1976 Hostess set I did last week;  I changed the colors to be based on the country rather than using the red, white and blue that was typical of anything issued during the Bicentennial.
2017-wbc-prototype-4-oliver-perez
I like this design, but if I were to use this I might deviate a bit more from the original and make the position and country bigger.

FYI, in the original the border color indicated whether the player was offense (blue with red diagonal stripes) or defense (red with blue diagonal stripes).

Oh, and the photo of Ollie Perez is left over from the 2013 WBC.

Audience participation section…

I’ve got a request to create a 1986 Topps but I’m having trouble finding a safe source for the “Novel Gothic” font (which is used for the top of the card). If anyone has any suggestions on where to get this font, please leave a comment. Update: I got tired of making excuses and I had some time, so I faked my way through making a one-off custom without having the font downloaded.  I’ll post it next Sunday (and worry about the font if and when 86T wins the voting).

If there’s a vintage, semi-vintage or not-really-vintage-at-all card design you’d like to nominate for this custom WBC set, leave a comment.

Voting should get underway before too much longer… I think.

WBC Prototype #3: A Slightly Different Take On 1976 Hostess

The World Baseball Classic is rolling around again next March, and I’ve been thinking that it would be fun to devote a small set of customs to it, and to leave the design of the set open to nominations followed by an online vote.

Next up in the parade of prototypes is a somewhat-modified version of 1976 Hostess, using a photo from the 2013 WBC:

2017-wbc-prototype-3-miguel-cabrera

The original 1976 Hostess set had red, white and blue at the bottom – because 1976 was the Bicentennial and everything had to be red, white and blue.  I think it was some sort of overreaching Federal legislation or something.

Since the WBC is an international tournament, I thought it more fitting to use the colors of the country depicted.  I’m happy with the way it turned out;  it nicely tweaks the original design without getting into significant “Stone the heretic!” changes that bring 2001 Fleer Platinum to mind.


If there’s a vintage, semi-vintage or not-really-vintage-at-all card design you’d like to nominate for this custom WBC set, leave a comment.  Three suggestions:

1 – Oddball sets are most definitely welcome.

2 – It doesn’t have to be a baseball design, so long as it works as a baseball set (i.e. no goalposts, hockey sticks or basketballs incorporated into the design).

3 – I’m shying away from anything that has team logos, mainly because I’m not sure what I would substitute for those.

WBC Prototype #2:  I Really Like Who Israel Has Coming Off The Bench

The World Baseball Classic is rolling around again next March, and while I’m not a huge fan, I do enjoy the opportunity to watch competitive baseball early in the year.  I’ve been thinking that it would be fun to devote a small set of customs to it, and to leave the design of the set open to nominations followed by an online vote.

Last week I shared the first prototype, based on a nominated design… But I have to admit that this week’s is self-nominated.  I was organizing cards the other night, looked at my binder of 1980 Topps and said “Hmmm… That would work…”

When I was looking for a photo to use, I went through photos from the recent WBC qualifier round in Brooklyn, and once I saw this picture of Cody Decker from a post-game celebration, I knew which picture I had to use…

2016-tsrchives-80t-1-cody-decker-wbc

I said (to the empty room) “Is he carrying a ‘Mensch On A Bench’?  That’s awesome!”

For those of you who are currently saying “Huh?”…

  • “Mensch” is a Yiddish word that literally means “man”, but is used to describe a good, honorable person, someone of integrity.
  • The Mensch On A Bench is a doll and a book that is essentially a Jewish take on the “Elf On The Shelf”… only not as creepy.

I’m not Jewish, but having grown up in a middle-class suburb of New York City I have an appreciation of Jewish-American culture and I love the Israel baseball team having a Mensch On A Bench as the unofficial mascot.

Apologies to Cody Decker, this is more a picture of the Mensch than of Cody… but I’ll do what I can to get him a better custom card when my WBC set goes live.

Getting back the the whole prototype thing…  On the surface, 1980 Topps is a little more mainstream than I had originally been thinking, but it does have potential, so it will be part of the voting that will take place……. sometime…….. before March.

If there’s a vintage, semi-vintage or not-really-vintage-at-all card design you’d like to nominate for this custom WBC set, leave a comment.  Three suggestions:

1 – Oddball sets are most definitely welcome.

2 – It doesn’t have to be a baseball design, so long as it works as a baseball set (i.e. no goalposts, hockey sticks or basketballs incorporated into the design).

3 – I’m shying away from anything that has team logos, mainly because I’m not sure what I would substitute for those.

I’m currently working on a 1986 Topps prototype, and welcome any other suggestions!

2016 TSR: Two Inserts And A WBC Prototype

Sorry, boys and girls… No virtual wax pack this week. Production issues have gotten in the way, so you’ll have to be satisfied with two inserts from a virtual dime box.

The first one is a goofy “Photo Day” image I’ve been sitting on for 6 months…

2016-tsr-ss-2-ian-kennedy-luke-hochevar

…And the second is a 4th Series Joe Shlabotnik insert… And what was this doing in a dime box?  This baby should be in the dollar bin, at the very least.

2016-tsr-joe-shlabotnik-4
The production issues should be sorted out next week, as we hear down the regular season and get ready for the off-season “Hot Stove” set, as well as next spring’s World Baseball Classic custom set.

Speaking of which…


2017 World Baseball Classic Custom Set, Prototype #1:

I’ve been thinking that it would be fun to devote a small set of customs to upcoming WBC, and to leave the design of the set open to nominations.

In my initial call for suggestions, Hackenbush over at “Can’t Have Too Many Cards” suggested using the 1966-67 Topps Hockey design (which is also the 1966 Topps Football design).  I have to admit, this set wasn’t quite what I had in mind…

…But you know what? It turned out quite a bit nicer than I thought it might:
2017-world-baseball-classic-prototype-1966-topps-hockey-ike-davis

Secrets of the Custom Card Makers:  The wood grain is actually a photo of the top of my dining room table.

Great suggestion, Hackenbush!  This will definitely factor into the voting, once I have enough prototypes to have some voting.

If there’s another vintage, semi-vintage or not-really-vintage-at-all card design you’d like to see made into my custom WBC set, leave a comment.

As before, I’m going to make three suggestions:

1 – Oddball sets are most definitely welcome.

2 – It doesn’t have to be a baseball design, so long as it works as a baseball set (i.e. no goalposts, hockey sticks or basketballs incorporated into the design).

3 – I’m shying away from anything that has team logos, mainly because I’m not sure what I would substitute for those.

The other design nomination I got the first time around is 1986 Topps (suggested by KO Rob), and I will make up a prototype for that as soon as I download the appropriate font from someplace from where one downloads fonts.