Hot Stove: Cinnamon-Toasty Apple Jacksons

The Hot Stove set is winding down for another winter… The whole point of the set is to give everybody a “sneak peek” of what players will look like in their new uniforms, but once Spring Training starts, there’s no need for photoshopped images when the real thing is running around under the warm sun, being photographed by countless photographers.

But don’t worry about that just yet, not when I’ve run out to buy a big ol’ box of Apple Jacksons cereal!
Apple Jacksons Cereal Box

The last winter or two I’d always keep a Hot Stove slot open for some big Mets or Orioles acquisition, but this winter each of my team’s biggest moves was to re-sign one of their own.

Instead, we’ve got notable players leaving, including former Met Daniel Murphy, who signed with the rival Nationals as a free agent.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove #7 - Daniel Murphy
Murphy had been with the Mets since making his Major League debut in 2008, and I will miss him, as will many Mets fans…  But I also think that letting him walk was the right move, and I wish him isolated success with a divisional rival (who will hopefully disappoint yet again).

As I’ve pointed out before, the customs I make up using the 1965 Topps CFL design are ones where I did not “photoshop” the player into his uniform. In this case, I ran across a nice image of Paul Goldschmidt wearing one of the Diamondbacks’ new uniforms.
2015-16 TSR Hot Stove CFL-5 Paul Goldschmidt
I don’t love these uniforms… far from it… but I have less of a negative reaction now than I did when they were first unveiled.

Getting back to the clock ticking on the Hot Stove cards… I’m definitely doing a post next weekend, and then after that I *may* do one more… depending on whether I have players I want to “photoshop” and an idea for a cereal box.

Truth be told, I really need to get working on my 2016 TSR design. I’ve got a number of prototypes in the works, but none of them have yet to make me sit up and say “Yeah, yeah, that’s it…”

But in the meantime, if you have any special requests for someone you’d like to see on a Hot Stove card before the curtain drops on another set, just leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do. It doesn’t have to be a star player, so if you want to see Doug Fister with the Astros or Corey Dickerson with the Rockies, just let me know.

I Don’t Normally Do Things Like This, But……… 1,000th Post! Yay!

Holidays and blog anniversaries come and go with little mention from me, but there’s something about the odometer rolling over that makes me want to do something special!

Something like…

…uhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmm…

…like…

…like…

Oh, bloody hell.

What can I do that’s special?

Wait a minute… there is something I can share that’s truly one of a kind…

Back when I was a kid, I wanted to be the guy who worked for Topps and painted the new caps on guys who had been traded.  I loved baseball cards, I had a modicum of artistic talent, what better way to put those together into a career?

At some point I decided to give it a try myself… Only I didn’t have any idea of what they used to do this.  I went ahead and used what I had at hand:  The paint brushes and Testors paint we used for painting our model cars.  My canvas would be some doubles I had laying around.

The results were… Interesting.

Brushed 1974 Bill Robinson

Bill Robinson got traded from the Phillies to the Pirates before the 1975 season;  I don’t know if my artwork was necessarily done before there were any other cards that showed Bill Robinson as a Pirate, but I certainly gave it a try.  It’s a shame that the scan doesn’t do justice to my (*ahem*) interesting brushwork.

Some months before Robinson moved to Pittsburgh, a Chicago Legend got traded to the A’s.  Again, I made an attempt to update a card I had.

Brushed 1974 Billy Williams

The card already came with a yellow background, so maybe I shouldn’t have given him a yellow jersey… But I will point out that I sweated the details on this one and painted in Williams’ stirrups and sleeves.

This next card is kind of sloppy, but it shows that I wasn’t afraid to go rogue…

Brushed 1976 Ed Halicki

I clearly wanted to practice painting a guy into a yellow-paneled Brewers cap (which I always liked for some reason), but the thing is that Ed Halicki never pitched for the Brewers.  Maybe I had to make do with the cards I had on hand.

This next cards is fairly easy to put a date to… Manny Sanguillen was sent from the Bucs to the A’s in November, 1976, and then back to the Pirates in April, 1978.  This next card was clearly made in between those two dates:

Brushed 1974 Manny Sanguillen

My updating Joe Rudi into a Angels uniform is one of the worst attempts I made, but I give myself bonus points for painting the whole jersey white and trying to do the numbers.
Brushed 1974 Joe Rudi

This is another card that was probably attempted in 1977 (Rudi’s first year with the Angels).  In case you’re wondering what the deal is with that weird marking which runs from his face into the corner of the photo… that’s a printing flaw, and most likely the reason why I chose this card for my experimentation.

The last card I’m going to share with you is one where I’m not sure what I was doing… Maybe just cleaning excess paint off my brush. It made me laugh, though…
Brushed 1975 Reggie Jackson
It shows that my dislike for Reggie Jackson clearly goes back many years.


So there we have it, post # 1000.  I still enjoy the blogosphere, I’ve got hundreds of scanned images and many, many pages of blogging ideas, so I promise you I’m not going anywhere anytime soon… not unless all of you leave first, and then it all becomes fairly pointless.  It sounds trite, but it’s all of you who keep this fun for me, and I appreciate all the feedback I’ve received over the past 3+ years.

Post-Halloween, State Of The Collection & Some Fairfield Repack Cards

We gave away baseball cards for Halloween again this year.  It’s something we’ve been doing for a number of years… If you’d like more details about what we do, you can see the post I wrote last year here.

This year, we gave away 20 homemade packs of 28 cards each, for a total of 560 cards. It’s fun to give out cards for Halloween… The kids enjoy it, they get some decent cards – I make sure every pack has at least two household names in it – and I get unwanted cards out of the house.  Winners all around.

Lesson learned this year:  Putting the All-Star cards from Topps Update on the top of each “pack” just confuses the kids who are trying to pick as best they can within 5 seconds.  I could have a stack of cards of Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter in American League BP jerseys, and they’ll ask “Excuse me, do you have any Yankees?”

As long as I’m talking about getting cards out of the house, I feel obligated to do a “weigh-in”, something I haven’t done in 9 months.  Posting my progress in organizing & purging helps with both motivation (if I do well) and guilt (if I don’t).  I used to do these weekly, then I told myself I’d do them monthly, then I told myself I’d do them quarterly.  You can see how much I listen to myself.

Just so I don’t publish an image-free post, I’ve scattered some completely unrelated Fairfield repack acquisitions among my stats.

Net change in the collection since 2/3/13: -448  (2,505 added, 2,953 purged – I need to step up the purging)

1987 Star Steve Carlton All Star Stats

Total # of cards purged from the collection to date: 6,447

Net change to the # of cards in the house since 2/3: -4,268  (4,642 in, 8,910 out)

1987 Topps Mail-In Glossy Reggie Jackson

Total # of cards which have left the house to date: 22,598  (It’s sobering every time I update this number, because it seems like it must be a small fraction of what I actually have)

Number of individual cards tracked in my Access database: 47,022  (up from 20,418… and the organization continues…)

Number of cards that make up the complete sets in my Access database: 14,558  (meaning a total of 61,580 “confirmed” cards in my collection)
1982 Fleer Dave Concepcion

2013 Topps Stickers & Opening Day: Topps Keeps Giving Me The Bird!

I was in Target yesterday intending to buy a pack or two of Opening Day, and I was surprised to find that they also had Topps Stickers.  Of course, I bought packs of both. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Neither set is the pinnacle of excitement, but I did well Oriole-wise;  From the Opening Day packs I got the Bird (one of the few times it’s good to get the Bird)…
2013 Topps Opening Day Orioles Bird

…and I got a Manny Machado “Ballpark Fun” insert.  Two cards I probably would’ve sought out anyway, so that’s all good.
2013 Topps Opening Day Ballpark Fun Machado

The stickers aren’t bad looking, and look!  I got the Bird AGAIN!
2013 Topps Stickers Orioles Bird

There are also HOFers in the set;  I didn’t buy the album, so I don’t know what the story is with these.  Pretty cool, though.  Reggie Jackson with the A’s, as nature intended…
2013 Topps Stickers Reggie Jackson

…And Robin Yount in the ball-in-glove Brewers logo that seems to be the favorite of everybody but me.  I’ll admit it’s fairly clever, but it doesn’t do much for me.  It is better than what they wear now, which is completely unobjectionable but also completely uninteresting.

2013 Topps Stickers Robin Yount

I like the Stickers, but I’ll only buy them when I’m looking for a cheap pack bustin’ fix.  Sticking them in the album seems wrong to me (I wasn’t raised on stickers), but they’re too small to put in plastic sheets, so these will just sit in a box with its 2011 and 2012 brethren.

…Oh, and BTW the backs of the stickers mainly consist of the card number and legal info.  You were expecting something different?

Opening Day is a set I want to like, but since it’s essentially a parallel of the regular set and I don’t do parallels, that pretty much means I don’t do OD.  I’d buy a lot more OD if they’d use different photos, but then it probably wouldn’t be as cheap.  I do like the Mascot cards though.  I’ll have to track down Mr. Met and maybe the Phanatic (who I like despite his affiliation to a certain team).

1977 Hostess Reggie Jackson And His Mutant Power

I’ll bet you didn’t know that Reggie Jackson is a mutant capable of generating vast amounts of electricity, causing lightning to spring up around him!

…Or maybe those are just creases in this card.

I’m not sure who that is in the background… Obviously someone with the A’s, looks like 44, last name stars with an L. My best guess is coach Joe Lonnett, who was with the team in 1976.