Tuesday, January 17, 2017

World Series Winners Part 2: 1996 Topps #508 Charlie O'Brien

Charlie O'Brien made his Major League debut with the Athletics on 1985. He was traded to the Brewers in 1986, which he spent in the minors. He got back into the Majors in 1987 with the Brewers and played with them until the middle of 1990 when he was traded to the Mets. After spending 1991 1992, and 1993 with them, he signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent, and spent 1994 and 1995 with them, winning the World Series with them in 1995. He spent 1996 and 1997 with the Blue Jays, inventing the catchers mask that we now see on most players while with the club in 1996. Charlie spent 1998 with the White Sox and Angels, stayed in Anaheim in 1999, and played his final season in 2000 with the Expos.

Charlie got his first Topps card in the 1988 set, and was in the 1989-1995 sets, before being left off of the 1996 set, which I covered with this custom. He got one last card in 1997, and that was it. He also got a 1994 Topps Traded set. Charlie is missing cards from the 1986, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 Topps sets to complete his career career Topps run.

It's been pretty busy at the home. With a 2 month old, it's tough to find time to work on customs, but sometimes I can get a few hours while my wife is at work and I'm home with him. Right now, I am working on checking some customs that readers Richard and Michael sent me, and I've also am working on the 2016 Topps checklist. So far, I am done with all of the coaches and managers, and 11 teams. I've made a few new customs, and I'll post them to the blog eventually. I also haven't forgot about my 1992 Topps blog, and I'll post a new card soon. Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

1995 Topps #689 Charlie Hough

Charlie Hough played in the Majors from 1970-1994. He played for the Dodgers from 1970 through the middle of 1980 when he was sold to the Texas Rangers. After a decade with the Rangers, he pitched in 1991 and 1992 for the White Sox, and finished his career with the Florida Marlins in 1993 and -994. Charlie was a knuckleballer,  and the pitch helped keep him in the Bigs for a long time.

Charlie got his first Topps card in the 1972 set, and then appeared in every set through 1994. He also got a 1991 Topps Traded card. The only cards needed to finish his career Topps run are a 1971 Topps rookie, and this 1995 Topps sunset card. I am also adding another 1993 Topps card of Charlie picturing him with the White Sox, since he spent 1992 with them. The 1993 expansion started the practice of Topps putting players in their new uniforms and not giving them a final card with their old team. In my opinion, Series 1 should always feature cards of players in the previous years team uniform. Series 2 also should, and the Traded set should be reserved for rookies and then and only then should players get new cards with updated uniforms and team info. I can't stand the recent practice of Topps where they give a player a card in Series 1 or 2 featuring them with team A, and then for whatever reason, giving them a Traded card still with teamA since they never changed teams. This is why 500+players don't have Topps cards every year. You may issue a 350  card series 1 set, a 350 card series 2 set, and a 350  card Traded set, but with all these duplicate cards of every player, the real player count is probably closer to 800 or 900, not 900 or 1000 like it should be. Just my opinion and one of the reasons I feel why I have to do all of these crazy customs.

It should be noted that after I made this card that I saw that GCRL did a post of the same card, this one featuring a back. I probably wouldn't have made this card had I known that one existed, but that's ok. The funny thing is that I think we found the same photo to use for the card. What are the odds?

I'm working slowly but surely on the 2016 Topps final checklist. 4 teams are done so far, but I'll get done eventually. I've been making a good number of customs too, as you can probably tell if you've noticed more names crossed off of some of the checklist pages. Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

1997 Topps #506 Ozzie Smith

When I made this card, I kept thinking about Ozzie's 2 cards in the 2001 Topps Archives set. The set featured among other things, the first and final Topps cards of many players. You would logically figure that Topps would've had Ozzie's '79 and '96 Topps cards in the set. They got the last one by having his 1996 card in the set, but for some reason, they put his 1980 card in the set instead of his 1979 rookie. To make things worse, Topps missed out on making Ozzie's sunset 1997 card, so technically, neither his rookie nor his sunset Topps card appeared in the '01 Archives set.

This card turned out pretty good. The lettering came out great and really looks like it is the gold foil used by Topps in 1997. The logo has a few issues, but now that I have the 1997 templates done, I could easily go back and fix it. The photo looks nice, and features Ozzie during one of his final seasons in his career. This actually isn't the first custom I've done of the Wizard. I did a 1978 Topps rookie stars card with Ozzie, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor, and Alan Trammell.

I have finally finished the templates to every set from 1989-2001. Now, it will be so much easier to make customs, because you won't have to make a template every time you make a custom, now you will just have to figure out the card you want to make, grab the design from whatever year it is in, find a photo, add the photo and player/team info, and you are set. I also made pages for every set from 1989-2001, and have begun to work on the checklist for the 2016 Topps set. Topps offers a way to make custom Topps cards on their website, but the sets are limited. Off of the top of my head, I can remember that they had the '68, '86, '15, and '16 designs on their site. If only they did every set.  The 2016 design, though, is amazing. The cards I've seen made with the design templates look just like pack-pulled 2016 cards, complete with team logos, the Topps logo, and you can even add the Rookie Card logo to them. Those are some of the reasons why I am trying to finalize the 2016 Topps checklist. I also kind of think that as the 2017 card year goes by that Topps may take the 2016 design away from the site in favor of the 2017 design. In 2009, me and a group of autograph collectors from SportsCollectors.net made a set of customs from the Topps website, and there were many more sets offered, including the 1982, 1987, 2008, and 2009 Topps designs. All of those are gone, so it makes me wonder.  Right now, I have every manager and coach, and the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays done for the 2016 set. Hopefully in the next month or 2 I can knock the checklist out and with help I can possibly complete the '16 set. Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

1994 Topps Season Highlights Jose Canseco

This is another cool Season Highlights card that Topps missed out on in the early '90's. On May 29th of 1993, Jose convinced his manager Kevin Kennedy to let him pitch an inning in a blowout. Canseco ended up injuring his arm and missing a decent amount of time in 1993, possibly costing him a shot at 500 Home Runs in his career. Score highlighted the moment ok Jose's 1994 Score base card with a photo of him pitching in the game.

This card was pretty simple to make. I used a 1994 Topps preview design which is different from the '94 regular set because of the brown background behind the player name instead of green. I've made a few other season highlights cards for other teams in this set, and they look pretty cool.

I am almost completely finished with the templates for every team from 1989-2001. I just have the NL teams in the 1997 set, and I will be finished. After that, I may do some easy copy and paste sets such as 2007 and 2008, but I'll probably take a break from templates and actually do some customs after that. I also want to possibly work on finalizing a checklist for the 2016 Topps set since Topps has templates on their website and those are pretty easy to make. Plus, I would think those designs could be taken off of the page sooner than later, especially with the 2017 set coming out in a month or two. I remember when Topps first started offering the customizable trading cards that they had the 2007-2009 designs available, and now those templates are nowhere to be found.

I put up a page for the 1998 Topps set, and after I finish the '97 templates, I'll put up pages for the other sets that are missing pages up through 2001. It's a bunch of pages, but I feel that's the best way to go. That way I can put templates up with each set, and the main page won't be as long as Santa's naughty list. Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Friday, December 30, 2016

1993 Topps Bret Boone Season Highlights

In 1992, Bret Boone made history by becoming the first 3rd generation player in the Majors. His grandfather Ray Boone, played for 6 teams from 1948-1960. His father Bob, played for 3 teams from 1972-1990. Had he not been injured in 1990, Bob could've played in the Bigs at the same time as Bret. Bret's younger brother Aaron made his debut in 1996, and his brother Matt played in the minors for a few years. I actually saw Matt play for the Lakeland Tigers in 2002 and got a broken bat from him, as well as a signed baseball. I got Bob's autograph once or twice in spring training, and got Aaron's as well. If I had known that I would get 3 of the Boone's autographs, I would've tried to get a ball signed by them all and try to get Ray through the mail in the early 2000's and go to more Rays-Mariners games to try to get Bret to finish it. 3 out of 5 ain't bad though.

Topps didn't make season highlight cards in the 1993 set, so collectors missed out on getting cards like this. I have previously made ones of Sid Bream and Bip Roberts, and there are a good number of ones to come.

Paul just emailed me the finalized checklist for the '94 Topps set, so I will be trying to post that next, and finish templates for the '97 and '98 sets, and make reference pages for the rest of the sets up to 2001 that don't have ones. My goal is to have every template you should need, lists of fonts and sizes so that won't be a chore, and then have complete checklists and update them as cards get done. I'm also working on printing my 1992 Topps set. Not too much has been done so far, and I don't have much sticker paper left, but I think I'll get 30 or so cards done at least. These will be some fun projects to work on in 2017 and I also hope to make customs too. I wish everyone a great 2017 and can't wait to see all the customs made in the new year. Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Customs from Richard Part 5

I've finally got 2 days in a row off, so I've been able to do a bunch of work on customs lately. As far as templates, I just have a handful of teams from the '98 set left, and then some quick fixes on the '99 set, and my pet project, the '89-'01 sets will be finished. I have also made a few different pages for some of those sets, and thanks to Richard, a bunch of cards on those set have now been crossed off. I hope to finish the templates sometime in the next few weeks and get back into the swing of making customs. The ones Richard have been sending me have been piling up for a good month now, so here are a ton of them. He is a frequent poster on the Facebook Custom Card Group, and you can view more of his work there. It's a cool group if you want to join it. I will leave you with the customs, and I'll probably try to get 1 more post up before 2017. Thanks for checking out my latest post.