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.

…So What Happens When Jeter’s Gone?

In yesterday’s post, I got to wondering how much the Yankees will miss Robinson Canó, and while they have what looks like a hole at second base, I was also thinking on a grander scale.

I think the Yankees were right to stick to their guns and not get into “crazy-ass money”, but they’re on the verge of losing what made them different from the other teams which were assemblages of high-priced talent.

The great Yankee teams always had at least one “real Yankee” who spent his career in pinstripes or were so thoroughly associated with the Yankees that he may as well have done so.

I don’t have to tell you about the long line of All-Star caliber players who are associated with the Yankees and only the Yankees… Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, blah blah blah.

1977 Hostess Thurman Munson

When I was a kid, Thurman Munson was that guy until his untimely death in 1979.  By the way, this is the first card I’m featuring from my COMC Black Friday haul.

To my thinking, Ron Guidry became THE GUY for a number of years…

1979 Topps Ron Guidry RB

(…and this is the second Black Friday card I’m featuring…)

Overlapping with Guidry, Don Mattingly picked up the mantle (pun only slightly intended).

1985 Topps Don Mattingly

Before Donnie Baseball faded to black (or navy blue), we had Bernie Williams…

1997 UD Collectors Choice Bernie Williams

…and we also had the “Core Four” of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.

2000 Pacific Derek Jeter Portrait

But once Jeter retires or spontaneously combusts, who else will be the guy who epitomizes the Yankee Way? Brett Gardner? Brett Gardner is a good player, but is he worthy of being at the top of the Yankee Yooniverse?  Will he even make it to 2014 with the Yankees?  Will prospects like Slade Heathcott or Mason Williams pan out in time to carry the torch?

I mean, I don’t know if Canó really was THAT GUY to begin with, but he was certainly the highest profile guy to break in with the Yankees in the 21st century.

So what happens post-Jeter?  Will the Yankees become just a gathering of highly-paid mercenaries without the heart and soul of a Yankee dynasty?

One can only hope…  But I suspect that the Yankees will be fine.


2012 TSR Custom Preview #3: Trying to emulate the colors that Topps assigned to teams

Back in the day, there were certain teams which always ended up with “girly” colors like pink, lavender or pea green as part of their Topps-assigned team colors.  Topps also seemed to pick on the same teams year after year.  Perhaps someone decided that “Girls are drawn towards names like ‘Angels’ and ‘Cubs’, so if we’re going to saddle someone with pink, well…”

Rather than appealing to the “girly” demographic, I decided I’m going to appeal to the Mets and Orioles demographic.  As a result, the Mets get blue and orange, the Orioles get orange and black, and the Yankees… well, since somebody has to get the girly colors…

I tried to be Topps-like when determining the color for each team, .  All of the colors I’m using (except for black) were sampled off of vintage Topps cards, and I generally assigned the colors based on the following rules:

I don’t repeat the exact color combination within the set, although I do reverse the combinations;  i.e. the Tigers are orange over brown, the Padres are brown over orange.

If I couldn’t use the team’s own colors, I tried to use colors that Topps has associated with the team in the past.

A real Topps set would be colorful and appeal to kids, so I tried to limit the use of black and grey.

I didn’t want to overuse any particular color.  Half of the Majors use red as either a primary or secondary color, so I had to be careful not to go nuts with red.

The rules go out the window when it comes to the Yankees and Marlins… They get girly colors.

Minor mojo which took 19 years to arrive

Not really 19 years, I haven’t had the pack that long.  It’s just that – well, let me explain…

I’ve had a number of unopened packs lying about because I didn’t know what to do with them.  They’re generally for sets I’ve already completed, or sets I have little interest in, or maybe I just haven’t gotten around to doing anything with them.  More often than not they come in grab bags from shows, or in repacks from Target or something like that.  Keep in mind I’m not talking about unopened packs of 1975 Topps, generally it’s stuff from the 80’s & 90’s and not worth a whole lot.  But they’re worth SOMETHING, right?  And I was never sure if it the packs were worth more unopened, so I left them that way.

And there they sat.

…and sat…

Ah, but now that I’m trying to purge out unwanted stuff, as I’ve been running across packs, I bust ’em.  A couple of weeks ago I ran across some packs of 1993 Upper Deck, which I don’t need because I’d bought a complete set back in ’93.

I don’t expect much from these packs, but this time around I finally got something.

What did I find?  I found this…

This card is currently in a box on its way to COMC… Maybe I can get enough for it to pay for a couple of 1977 OPC’s.  Thank you, mystery pack!