The Mariners Unveil Some Nice Sunday Alts In Their Original Colors

Yesterday the Mariners unveiled some new alternate uniforms they will wear for Sunday games in 2015.  The basic concept sounds simple;  the uniforms are generally the same as their normal home uniform, but done with cream-colored fabric and featuring their original colors of royal blue and gold.

The concept might be simple, but the results are wonderful… Check it out:
2014-15 Hot Stove 1968 Insert Nelson Cruz

The back of the uniforms are old school as well, as they feature larger numbers and leave the players name off the back.

The overall effect of this is really nice, but what I really love about these alts are the hosiery… Check out these Seattle Pilot-esque stirrups!
2014-15 Hot Stove 1968 Insert Awesome Stirrups
You know I’m a complete nerd when I’m making custom baseball cards to feature a uniform element that most people don’t care about.

For the record, the Mariners are going to also have a solid-color sock with the same stripes, and for other days of the week they’ll have stirrups and socks that are striped in their regular colors. With all this hosiery goodness going on, it’d be a shame if the entire team is made up of “pajama pants” guys.

For those of you who are wondering why I’ve strayed away from my “Hot Stove” set that is based on the 1974 Kellogg’s set… part of the reason is that the best photos I could find of the new alts all featured Nelson Cruz, but I’d already photoshopped Nelson Cruz into a Mariner uniform earlier this offseason:
2014-15 TSR Hot Stove #10 Nelson Cruz

I thought about creating a custom in the same design and pitching it as a “variation”, but I didn’t care much for the way it turned out. The relatively narrow Kellogg’s design didn’t really allow the uniform to be showcased the way I wanted it to be.

…But I did want to maintain the faux 3-D theme, so I went with the best non-Kellogg’s option there is for 3-D cards: The 1968 Topps 3-D test issue (which was also made into a Topps Lineage insert in 2011 and an Archives insert in 2012).

I’m happy with the way this custom turned out… maybe I’ll keep this design in mind for the 2015/16 Hot Stove set.

Hot Stove: Cruz, Markakis & Miller View Baltimore Through Their Rear-View Mirrors

Last week was not a good week for Orioles fans.

I expected Nelson Cruz and Andrew Miller to go elsewhere… But to lose both of those guys AND Nick Markakis, the guy who had the longest tenure of any Oriole?  All within the span of 6 days?

Last week was not a good week.

But we must soldier on…  Perhaps we must, to beat a dead meme even more than it’s been beaten, “Keep calm and make customs”.

For those new to this blog, the following are all custom baseball cards based on the 1974 Kellogg’s set, and all three players in today’s post were “Photoshopped” into their new uniforms.  (Although I actually used Paint Shop Pro)

First we had Nelson Cruz head to the Pacific northwest.  Later, Cruz.  Front door, backside.
2014-15 TSR Hot Stove #10 Nelson Cruz
I kept my emotional distance from Nelson Cruz last year. The guy signed a below-market one-year contract late in the offseason, so I figured there were two ways it could go… 1) Cruz would have a good season and take off for bigger piles of cash than the Orioles would pay, or 2) Cruz would be worthless without the PED’s and the Orioles wouldn’t want him back. Either way, the guy was clearly a short-timer. I’ll miss his offense, I won’t miss him.

For what it’s worth, the Nelson Cruz custom was made before the official announcement, and was a means of killing time while I was on hold with my internet provider’s support line.

…And then there’s Nick Mar-kick-ass. For a long while it seemed that re-signing with the Orioles was a mere formality. Then talks slowed down. Then they stopped. And the next thing you know, I’m digitally putting Markakis into a Braves uniform.
2014-15 TSR Hot Stove #11 Nick Markakis
This just looks wrong, and I’m not talking about my work on the card. Nick is supposed to be an Oriole, what’s he wearing that damn tomahawk for?

For his troubles, Markakis is going to have to switch numbers; his customary #21 was retired for Warren Spahn, so he’s switched to #22.

Before we move on to the third custom, I’ll point out that the Braves will be playing in Baltimore in late July. Should be interesting to see how Nick is welcomed back.

Finally, Andrew Miller went to the Yankees… and you can’t even say he went just for the big payday, because the Astros offered him more. Frankly, I probably would’ve gone to the Astros – More money, and possibly a brighter future than you have in the Bronx (but that’s probably wishful thinking on my part).
2014-15 TSR Hot Stove #12 Andrew Miller
Useless information: I adapted Miller’s Yankee jersey from an image of Ichiro. I think it’s fairly safe to say that in real life the 6’7″, 210 lb. Miller would not be able to wear the jersey of the 5’11”, 170 lb. Ichiro… But that’s the magic of digital photo manipulation!

I decided to combine the heavy shadow on Miller’s face with a nighttime Yankee Stadium background, thus creating my first night card for the 2014/15 Hot Stove set. You’re welcome, Night Owl.

So there you have it… Three former Orioles moving on.   Hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m making customs of guys coming to the Orioles.