“Hot Stove”: You’ve Got The Virtual Baseball Cards, Now Get The Virtual Cereal!

I’ve been making custom faux-3D baseball cards based on the 1974 Kellogg’s design for a while now.  During that time, it never occurred to me to take things to the next level until CommishBob from The Five Tool Collector complemented my customs by saying that “They look like they came right out of a Kellogg’s box”.

Had my wife been in the room at the moment I read his comment, she surely would’ve seen the cartoon light bulb pop on over my head.

After all, where should virtual Kellogg’s cards come from if not from a virtual cereal box?
2014 Cereal Box

If I do another batch of 3-D cards next winter (and I’m leaning towards using the 1976 Kellogg’s design, but that’s a long way away yet), I’ve got an idea to do a series of boxes as well… and those posts may well be like this one in that you won’t know what custom you get until you’re past the box and find that it contains…

Yoenis Céspedes!  After being traded to the Red Sox at the end of July, he found himself being traded to Detroit less than 5 months later.
2014-15 TSR Hot Stove #20 Yoenis Cespedes
If you combine the two Céspedes trades together as if it were one three-way trade that took a really long time to finalize, the Red Sox gave up Jon Lester, Johnny Gomes, Alex Wilson, minor leaguer Gabe Speier and cash for Rick Porcello and a 2015 competitive balance round B pick… given that Lester and Gomes became free agents, I would say the Sox came out alright on that one.

Getting back to the general concept of “Things I’d like to do differently next time”, I’m thinking I might carry two “Hot Stove” designs… One for the players I photoshop into new uniforms (like above) and one for the players who were photographed in a new uniform, like the Nelson Cruz showing off new alternate uniforms a couple of weeks ago, or like this Ichiro, which I did this way because I couldn’t bring myself to finish photoshopping him after I found this photo where it wasn’t obvious that he’s wearing a jersey over a dress shirt.
2014-15 Hot Stove 1968 Insert Ichiro
You know, just to make it easier to distinguish between “This is Matt Kemp photoshopped into a new uniform” and “This is Joe Mauer from a press conference where he was modeling the Twins’ new home uniforms”.

As of right now, I’ve got an idea in mind for the design of this “insert set” in the 2015/16 Hot Stove release, and it’s not based on a Kellogg’s set… but like I said, plenty of time there.


As long as I’m writing, I’ll just mention that my travels yesterday took me past three different Target stores and none of them had 2015 Topps… Although one had a shopping cart full of sealed cases that said things like “New Releases”, “Excell Marketing”, and “Display immediately”. Thanks, guys.

2014 TSR: Previewing Series 5 With Some “Trade Deadline Guys”

I don’t know how many of you realize that my custom card set comes out in six series of 132 cards each… as if such a thing mattered tremendously.  What the heck, it adds a tiny little element of fun for me, and possibly for some of you.

Series 5 went “live” on July 15th, which means that the first series to reflect the trade deadline deals ends up being Series 6, which gets released on September 1st.

The below customs are not meant to highlight every player moved or even the most important ones… In this case, it reflects the subset of players who moved and for whom I’ve created a custom which meets the exacting standards of The Shlabotnik Report, not to mention the Bavarian purity laws set out in the Reinheitsgebot.

For those of you who enjoy the concept of honoring players by giving them round card #’s, this Yoenis Cespedes card is #550.
2014 TSR #550 Yoenis Cespedes

…and David Price is #625. For these recently traded guys, I went with more pre-game cameo shots than I normally would… but I just liked the photos.
2014 TSR #625 David Price

Austin Jackson has been traded twice in his career, and both times it was a blockbuster-esque 3-team deal.
2014 TSR #540 Austin Jackson
Back in late 2009, he went from the Yankees to the Tigers in a trade that saw Max Scherzer, Curtis Granderson, Ian Kennedy, Edwin Jackson, Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth change teams.

The Orioles took advantage of the Red Sox “We suck with you, we can suck without you” sale, and got an Andrew Miller rental for prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. I hope this doesn’t come back to bite the Birds in the butt. (Sorry, I know I shouldn’t let my Mets pessimism leak over to my Orioles fandom).
2014 TSR #559 Andrew Miller
Miller’s no stranger to being traded; he was part of the package of prospects that the Tigers sent to Florida for Miguel Cabrera. The Marlins also got Cameron Maybin, Burke Badenhop and a couple of other guys. I’d think you’d have to give the Tigers a teeny tiny little edge on that one.

Allen Craig wasn’t one of the players I had in mind when I started making these customs, but I just liked the way this one turned out.
2014 TSR #533 Allen Craig
I’ll freely admit that I make a bunch of customs and then throw them at the wall to see which ones stick.

To wrap things up for now, here are two of the pitchers that the Red Sox unloaded in their “looking towards 2015” deals.
2014 TSR #620 John Lackey

2014 TSR #598 Jake Peavy