2013/14 “Hot Stove” Custom – The Rangers Trade For Prince Fielder

It wasn’t quite two years ago.

2013-14 TSR Hot Stove #6 - Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder was a free agent, and Tigers President & GM Dave Dombrowski said that the Tigers & Prince weren’t a good fit.

And the next thing you know, Prince Fielder is at a press conference wearing a Tigers cap.  And who was that standing next to him?  The guy with the huge grin?  Tigers owner Mike Ilitch.

It wasn’t hard to figure out who’s idea the big contract was.

That was one of the first things I thought of when I learned about the trade; Dombrowski is taking the construction of the team back into his own hands.  You can almost picture Dombrowski emerging from the shadows as he says “I didn’t start this… but I’m sure as hell going to finish it”.

Even so, I think this trade helps both teams and it’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.


Secrets Of The Computer Graphics Amateurs!

If someone who deals with digital forensics examined the custom card above, they’d find that it’s actually a combination of several images… Prince himself, the sleeve patch, the cap logo, the background, the jersey lettering, all came from different images. If there were ever a “Franken-card”, this is it.

The one different thing I tried on this one was using the “soften” tool to smooth out the edges between Fielder and the borrowed background he’s in front of. It did do quite the nice job of removing the “jaggies”… Not something you’d consciously notice, but it makes for a less jarring transition between foreground and background and subtly helps maintain the illusion.

Pack Animal! 2012 Bowman 3-pack With 3 Purple Parallels

Peter Parker picked a pack with purple parallels…

I stopped at Target on the way home from work and was presented with three 2012 Bowman choices:  $20 blaster, $9.49 Three pack, and $5.29 rack pack.  I went with the three-pack because the blaster was more than I wanted to spend, and the three pack is relatively feeler-proof… Well, more so than the rack, I suppose.

I don’t collect parallels, and I generally don’t collect Chrome or other shiny cards, so right off the bat I just bought 9 cards which I have little-to-no interest in.  Let’s see if things get better…

OK, first card is Jeff Locke of the Pirates.  I’d seen on someone else’s blog that the cards are not black-bordered, but it’s odd to see the cards in person.  Are you sure this isn’t some white-bordered parallel?  I don’t know, it’s almost disappointing… Instead of a non-descript black-bordered card, it’s just a non-descript card.

Last year, Jeff Locke was the subject of an Altoona Curve promotion I liked… Locke and Locke night, where they tied Jeff Locke into the TV show “Lost” which Losties know has a character named John Locke.
Here’s a Prospect card of Blue Jays prospect Eric Arce. Bowman has fulfilled one of my long-time Bowmany desires, and that’s having all the cards in the pack having a similar design theme. These cards are different, but they clearly go together, so down the road you’ll have a better idea of which cards are from which year.  Good job, Topps.  Would’ve been a great job if the back of the cards said something like “2012 Bowman / Prospects Subset”.

Oooh, Chromes of two minor leaguers with cool names:  Dean Green and Xander Bogaerts (Spelled it right without looking…)

Oh, look!  Gold parallels!  Less value for my money!  YAY!

Finally, here are the purple parallels, all of which are Prospects (Kyle Simon, Jose Osuna and Anthony Rendon)… It’s almost a shame, the purple cards aren’t bad looking, it almost makes  you wonder what this set would look like with black borders…  No!  No!  Not going there!

Final Verdict:  The only thing that makes this noteworthy is the white borders, otherwise it’s just another Bowman set.  Uninspired design, uninspired photos, lots of guys who won’t make an impact at the majors.  I won’t likely be buying more packs, but I’m not much of a Bowman guy to start with.  The veteran cards are sort of extraneous and there’s far too many parallels… And I didn’t even get any Mets!  Da noive a dose guys!

2012 TSR Custom preview #1: Prince Fielder ultra-super-mega-shortprint

The first image of my custom set has been released, just in case any of you missed the TwitPics on the Twitter account that I don’t have. I’m still making adjustments before I go “live”, and I’d greatly appreciate feedback.

I’ll be sharing three images over the course of this weekend.  First up is the Prince Fielder ultra-super-mega shortprint…

How shortprinted is this card?  Well, if you could see the back of this card, you’d see that it’s numbered 1/0;  yes, it’s the 1st card out of a print run of zero.  That’s because I don’t intend to waste toner printing this one when there’ll be countless Prince-on-the-Tigers cards floating around before we know it.

“But Joe,” you say, “You’ve got the image right there on your blog.  What’s to stop me from screwing up your print run numbers by printing off 10,000 copies?”

And I will answer “What?!?  Counterfeiting?  I can’t sit by and allow such blatant disregard for my legal rights!  I need to let you know that I mean business!   I’ll make a call to – “

…and this is where the camera switches to your face to capture your stunned reaction as I say…

“ – the law firm of Stengel, Hodges and Seaver!”

Camera switches back to my face so that we don’t have to synch your voice to your lips as you say

“Stengel, Hodges and Seaver?!?”

Finally the camera switches back to you as you angrily throw your stacks of legal forms down on the table, look up at the camera and dejectedly, bitterly say “Let’s settle this.”

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I’ll be back tomorrow to say more about the design of the set, and I’ll feature a shortprint of another player who recently had huge wads of cash thrown at him.