Thursday, October 20, 2016

2000 Topps Albert Pujols/Josh Beckett Draft Picks

Today's card is one of those fantasy cards that Topps could've theoretically made had they had a crystal ball. It features Albert Pujols and Josh Beckett, 2 players who were drafted in the 1999 MLB Draft. This card could've been worth alot during Beckett's prime, and would still command a ton of value due to Pujols being on it. Pujols has been in every Topps set since 2001, so this would've been his first Topps card, and Beckett appeared on his first Topps card in 2002, and got one for every season he played. Josh's final Topps card, in the 2015 set is actually just a highlight card with a checklist on the back, so I may do a regular version of his 2015 card. Other than that, both of these players have their career Topps run finished with this card, although I may put Josh on a 2001 Topps prospects card if I find a few other players to pair with him.  This is actually the 2nd 2000 Topps card I've done of Pujols, as I've done a 2000 Topps Traded version of him during the early days of my blog. Here is the Traded card.

I have made a bunch of templates this week, and am only 5 away from finishing the 1989 Topps set. That will give me the 1989, 1996, 2000, and 2001 Topps sets, and I have a feeling that the '90 set as well as the 1997 sets shouldn't give me too much trouble either. I should get a chance to work on more on Monday night. Also, Richard, who has made some customs for me before, sent me some yesterday and is working on a few more batches, so once I get the rest of them, I will post them for you. Some of them aren't technically Topps cards, but they are cool and if I were ever to make a custom set to print out and put in binders, I would definitely include them, so stay tuned for them in a coming post.
It's been a while since my team had a softball game, but we did have one on Monday, and I should've just stayed home. I went 0-2 with a fielders choice, and a lineout to 2nd with the bases loaded. We lost 25-3, and during the 6th, I think the other team batted around twice, and they scored at least a dozen runs. I let a bouncing ball get through my legs that inning, but I was ok with just 1 error, as our shortstop made at least 3 that frame. Things have to get better next game. Thanks for checking out my latest custom.

Monday, October 17, 2016

1999 Topps #507 Brad Pennington

Brad Pennington came up to the Majors in 1993 with the Baltimore Orioles. He stayed with them until the middle of  '95, then was traded to the Reds. He played with the Red Sox and Angels in 1996, then played his final season in the Bigs in 1998 with the Devil Rays.

Brad received his first Topps card in the 1993 set as part of the Coming Atteactions subset. I remember that card pretty well as I was in 5th grade in 1993 and had just about all of that subset but was missing the Orioles card for it, and I was also missing the final checklist of the set, so I never knew who the card pictured. For our classes Christmas party, we had a gift exchange, and my dad picked out 2 1993 Topps Series 2 packs from a gas station. I got to choose a gift midway through the exchange, and traded whatever I picked for the cards that my dad had picked out. Somehow, nobody caught me and traded gifts, so I got the 2 packs, and I pulled the Pennington. Brad got a card in the 1994 set, and that was his final Topps card. He is missing cards from the 1995, 1996, and 1997 Topps sets. This 1999 Topps custom would've been Brads final Topps card.

This is the final '98 Devil Ray custom for a while. I am still a few cards from finishing the set, but got a little tired of making 1999 customs, so there are plenty of other sets to show off in upcoming posts. I finished the 2000 and 1996 Topps templates, and am working on the 1989 set now, which is 4 teams away from having the NL completely done. Maybe I'll get to the 1990 set soon. We'll see. Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

1999 Topps #506 Jim Mecir

Jim Mecir pitched for 11 seasons in the Majors, starting in 1995 with the Mariners. He pitched for the Yankees in 1996 and 1997, winning a World Series ring in 1996 with them. He came to the Devil Rays in the expansion draft at the end of the '97 season, and stayed with them through the middle of 2000. He was traded to the Athletics, and pitched with them through the end of the 2004 season. He pitched with the Florida Marlins in 2005, and retired at the end of the season.
I've always liked Mecir because he pitched for the Rays and he threw a true screwball, a pitch nobody throws anymore.
Just trust me, Mecir doesn't have any Topps cards. I guess middle relievers weren't their thing in the late '90's and early 2000's. Mecir does have a card in the '92 Stadium Club Dome set, which features him and other '91 draft picks in awkward school pictures. Check out Baseball Card Bust, which featured a few more of these cards. Mecir is missing cards from the 1996-2006 Topps sets, and he will get an extra card in the 1998 Topps set as a Devil Ray (his first will be as a Yankee), since he was part of the 1997 expansion draft. This 1999 Topps custom gives him his first of what will be 12 Topps cards.
The plan tonight is to finish the 2000 Topps templates and perhaps record some songs I have written (I figured it will be easier to make customs than record when baby gets here). I might post some of each in the next few weeks. Stay tuned. Only 1 more '99 Rays card and I promise other teams are on the horizon. Thanks for checking out my latest card.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Completed Team Set Part 1: 1989 Topps Dodgers




I don't want to knock a bunch of cards out at once, but I thought I'd try doing a new segment and see how it goes, and since it's the postseason, I figured this one would work. 
I'm going to try to post a complete team set for random teams. This first one is the 1988 LA Dodgers. Most of the Dodgers were in the '89 Topps set, but a few were left off, including the whole coaching staff. Players I made '89 Topps cards are Ron Perranoski (Coach), William Brennan, Bill Krueger, Gilberto Reyes, Jose Gonzalez, Mike Sharperson, Mike Devereaux, Chris Gwynn, Joe Amalfitano (Coach), Mark Cresse (Coach), Joe Ferguson (Coach), Ben Hines (Coach), Manny Mota (Coach), and Bill Russell (Coach). The World Series card is just a bonus I decided to add to the post. I also made a World Series Highlight card of Kirk Gibson that I posted towards the beginning of my blogs history. The Dodgers won the World Series in 1988, and the '89 Topps Dodgers set has special meaning to me. 

In 1991 or so, I was living in Florida. We had some friends from church, the Lawson's. The oldest, Donald, collected baseball cards and often babysat me and my 3 younger sisters. When Donald came over, it was a nice chance to get away from the girls and talk baseball and cards. Donald's team was the Reds, and mine was the Tigers, so we would trade Reds for Tigers basically. One day, Donald was over, and he brought a binder over with what must've been a complete 1989 Topps set. I liked how the Dodgers set looked for some reason, so I traded some Reds for the complete '89 Topps Dodgers set, as well as an '89 Topps Dave Dravecky, Kevin Mitchell, and Roger Craig. I didn't know that the '88 Dodgers won the World Series, or that Orel Hershiser was their stud pitcher. A few years later, I received Hershiser's book, Out of the Blue, and immediately became a Hershiser fan. When I started collecting ttm autographs in 2004, one of my first goals was to get the 1989 Topps Dodgers set autographed. I came about 8 cards from doing so. Completing this team set just brings back good memories for me as you can tell. 

I figured out how to text on a path with GIMP, which made the names on these cards a lot easier, but I'm still far from perfection with the technique. I should be able to finish the 2000 Topps templates tonight and start working on more from the 1989 Topps set so I can get more practice with texting on paths. Thanks for checking out the newest segment. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

1999 Topps #505 Albie Lopez

Albie Lopez was a Major League pitcher for 11 seasons, making his MLB debut in 1993 with the Cleveland Indians. He played with them through 1997, and was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the '97 Expansion Draft. He stayed with the Devil Rays until the middle of 2001, when he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was with the club at the end of the season when they won the 2001 World Series. He would play 2 more years in MLB, 2002 with the Atlanta Braves, and 2003 with the Kansas City Royals.

Albie got his first Topps card in 1994, which is a cool little card. The Indians color scheme in the '94 Topps set has a blue color bar at the bottom, but Albie's card has a black one, similar to the Rockies cards that year. I actually got the card signed in Spring Training in 1995.  Albie's next Topps card was in the 1995 set, then he was left off of the '96-'01 sets. He got into the 2002 set, and his last Topps card came in the '03 Traded set. Albie is missing cards from the 1996-2001 sets, as well as the 2004 set. This 1999 custom gives him what will be his 2nd card with the Rays once I make his '98 Topps card.

I got a few more 2000 templates done today, and probably some time in the next month, I will post every template I have from every set that I have done, just so anyone that wants to help make cards off of my checklist and anyone who needs templates can have them.  Hopefully Thursday I'll get to make some more. Thanks for checking out my latest custom.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

1999 Topps #504 Dennis Springer

Oh Dennis Springer.....I have posted a few times on other posts about seeing Dennis give up Homers. While a 15 year old in 1998, I went to about 5 games at Tropicana Field. Out of them, I believe I saw Springer pitch 4 of them. In each, he would give up 3-4 Homers off of his knuckleball, and the game would be over before the end of the 3rd Inning.

Dennis came up to the Majors in 1995 with the Phillies. He played with the Angels in 1996 and 1997, and then had that fateful 3-11 1998 season with the Rays. He mercifully went to the Marlins in 1999, spent 2000 with the Mets, and finished out his career with the Dodgers in 2001 and 2002. In 2001, he gave up a famous Home Run, Barry Bonds' 73rd of the season. I know I'm getting on Springer for all of the Homers he gave up, and I'm sure he's a better pitcher than I could ever dream of being, and I do really wish him the best in life, but you would think with all the guys hitting bombs off of your knuckleball that you would mix in a fastball, changeup, or curve once in a while.

Springer only had 1 Topps card, a 1998 one with him as an Angel in the photo. I plan on doing another 1998 card with him in a Rays uniform, as well as his 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 cards to finish his career Topps run. For this 1999 custom, I was able to find a photo of Springer getting a ball from the catcher after giving up a Home Run. I think it might even have been at the Trop, but I can't tell for sure.

We have been without power for a day, but really have been lucky with the hurricane and just have a good amount of branches to clean up. I'm at work posting on my lunch, and might spend tonight at a hotel if the power doesn't come back. I'm ready to kick things into gear and finish unpacking stuff before baby gets here in a month, and this no power thing is throwing a big wrench in the plans. Oh well. At least I'm able to get to work and post some customs during lunch. Thanks for checking out my latest post. -Jeremy

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Favorite Player Collection Part 12: 1999 Topps #502 Rolando Arrojo

Rolando Arrojo played baseball in the Major Leagues from 1998 to 2003. He quickly became one of my favorite players when he was with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1998. He came over from Cuba in 1996, and the Rays signed him in 1997. The Rays stunk in 1998, but he was one of the few bright spots on the club, going 14-12 during the team's first season, and making the All-Star team. It was great watching him actually give the Rays a chance to win, instead of seeing Dennis Springer and Esteban Yan give up Home Run after Home Run. I actually got Rolando's autograph on a poster in 1999, and I cannot find it for the life of me. Sad.
Arrojo pitched with the Rays in 1999, then was traded to the Colorado Rockies after the season for Vinny Castilla. Every Rays fan knows how that trade worked out...  Rolando started the '00 season with Colorado, but was traded to the Boston Red Sox in the middle of the year. He would pitch 2 more seasons with the Red Sox, and then spent the '03 season in the minor leagues with the Yankees organization before calling it quits.

Rolando only appears on 2 Topps cards, his first being in the 2001 set. I kind of want to call the '01 set the 'Everybody Set', since Topps chose to make the set 792 cards after year of 400-500 card sets, finally including a bigger sampling of MLB players in the set and including just about everyone on a team. Rolando's final Topps card was his sunset card, a 2003 Topps edition. He is missing cards from the 1999, 2000, and 2002 sets for a career Topps run. I also want to make a 1998 card of Rolando, since Topps included a bunch of future Rays as part of the '98 Series 2 set. This '99 Topps custom would've been his 2nd card had Topps put him in the '98 set.

Today was a crazy day at work. I live near Daytona Beach and work as a baker in a grocery store bakery. Everyone and their mom was in today to prepare for Hurricane Matthew. We baked a ton of bread, and I usually end up going home between 1:30 and 2PM, but today was their until 4:30. It will probably be crazy again tomorrow, but I'm hoping that we will have enough workers to get through it. I'm also hoping that the storm goes more eastward and towards the ocean, since my wife will be working in Ormond Beach on Thursday and Friday night. We just bought a new home, so I'm kind of worried about that, and would consider myself very lucky if we just get some fallen branches and have the power stay on throughout the storm, but you never know with hurricanes. Maybe I'll have time to work on more templates while the storm comes by. I'm scheduled to be off on Friday, but it sounds like I'll probably have to come in, but I'm hoping they decide to close the store down and I can stay home instead of having to work day #3 in what would be a run of 7 days in a row should I end up coming in. I finished the 2001 Topps templates and am working on the 2000 set, so a day off with nothing to do and hopefully still having power will put a big dent in that set. Well see. Thanks for taking the time to read my latest post.