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?


“Shoulda Been” 2013 Heritage #1: Matt Wieters

As many of you know, Matt Wieters is not included in any Topps products; he’d signed an exclusive contract with Razor back in 2008, and while it seems that the exclusive expired long ago and Wieters is now ‘available’ through MLBPA licensing, he apparently never signed a contract with Topps. Wieters seems like a good guy, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that his agent is the poopyhead depriving us of Wieters cards.

Since Topps can’t do the job, I’ll have to take matters into my own hands…
2013 Schmeritage Matt Wieters

…and as long as I had “The Shlabotnik Custom Card Machine” fired up, I decided to go ahead and crank out a 2013 TSR Wieters:
2013 TSR #350 - Matt Wieters

There’s another prominent Major Leaguer who is not appearing in Topps products this year, and I’ll share his “Shoulda Been” Heritage card next week.

If your favorite player was not included in this year’s Heritage set, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do to rectify the situation.

My Favorite 2012 Orioles, Part 2: The Gold Glovers

The Orioles had three different Gold Glove winners this year, much to my surprise… Not that I think any of the three are not worthy, but I’m just used to my teams getting snubbed for these types of things. Unlike so many things with the Orioles, the last time the Orioles had multiple Gold Gloves in one year was not 1997, but rather 1998 when Mike Mussina, Rafael Palmeiro and Roberto Alomar won at their positions. At least Raffy actually played first base that year… in 1999, while with Texas, Palmeiro won the Gold Glove despite the fact that he played only 28 games at first, and appeared in 128 other games as a DH.

…but I digress…

J.J. Hardy became my favorite Oriole last year, he was just so much fun to watch in the field… in fact, the t-shirt I wear to Orioles games is an orange J.J. Hardy faux jersey. It’s hard to believe that the Orioles got Hardy and Brendan Harris from the Twins for Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey, neither of whom are in the Twins organization anymore.

Although J.J. didn’t hit for much average this year, he had 22 homers and 68 RBI, not bad for a defensive shortstop.

Matt Wieters is also fun to watch, especially when someone tries to run on him (not usually a good idea). Because Matt Wieters cards are few and far between, I’ve made a few customs of Mr. Wieters. I could show another one here, but I’d rather show off my relatively new Matt Wieters collection. I got this 2010 Upper Deck card – my first real Wieters – at the National.

…and a month or so later I got what I consider the “key card” to the Triple Play set .

I showed this card to Mrs. Shlabotnik; she laughed and said that the image looks more like Matthew Perry than Matt Wieters. As Chandler Bing would say, “That is SO not Matt Wieters!”

I had to defend Adam Jones to some co-workers after he misjudged a ball against the Yankees. Someone pointed out that he was so nonchalant about it that he was blowing a bubble while going after the ball, and I had to explain that he always blows bubbles when going after a ball… it’s not an indication of effort or focus, that’s just Adam. Incidentally, this was his second Gold Glove; he won the first in 2009.

Custom 1963 Matt Wieters

The Heritage card we might be pulling if somebody hadn’t signed an exclusive contract with Upper Deck…  Not naming names here…

A small request for any budding superstars:  If you have an opportunity to sign an exclusive contract with a sports memorabilia company, please include an “out” clause if that company stops generating product within your sport.

2011 Matt Wieters Custom

Kevin from The Mojo Beard was asking the other day where the Matt Wieters cards were;  for reasons unknown but guessed at, the Orioles starting catcher and All-Star has not appeared on a card in 2011. I’d come to the same realization during this summer, which is why I included Wieters in my 2011 custom set… and this seems as good a time as any to make the blog debut of my 2011 customs.

Yes, the design is 1978 Football, re-purposed for baseball.  I’d  made several unsuccessful attempts to create an original design, and then tried (and failed) on some 1970’s baseball designs.  After realizing that the year was getting past me and I didn’t have anything to work with, I looked to other sports for inspiration.

Since 1978 Football has the player’s position in a little colored football in the lower right corner, I borrowed the baseball from 1979 Topps (where it works as a background for the Topps logo).  To keep the colors authentic (more or less), I sampled the colors from 1976 baseball, using scans which were part of an aborted attempt to do customs of that design (the little positional logo guys in that set make life very difficult).

After I made this card, I realized I should’ve included an All-Star banner across the top.  Oh, well.

If I were to do this design over again, I think I’d make the baseball a little smaller;  other than that, I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out.