Friday, August 29, 2014

1989 Topps Kirk Gibson World Series Highlights

In 1989, Fleer, Score, and Upper Deck made cards highlighting Kirk Gibson's Home Run in the 1988 World Series. Donruss wasn't really into making highlight cards, but he was a Diamond King. Topps missed the boat altogether, just giving him a base card, and an All-Star card (which ironically has him listed as a Pinch-Hitter). You have to go all the way to 1997 before Topps made any form of highlight cards, and then a year later before they made World Series highlight cards. I used a little bit of the design from a 1989 Topps Gary Carter All-Star card, and a 1989 Topps Orel Hershiser Record Breaker card to make this one. So now, about 25 years overdue, we have a 1989 Topps Kirk Gibson World Series Highlight card.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Asking for help

I don't really have a clue of how many people really read my blog or what types of people read my blog. I don't have any followers now, and that's ok. Sometimes I don't think my cards are that great compared to others. I just wanted to make this post in case any other custom card makers happen to read my blog or see it in the future. I have compiled a list of 75 cards that never were (3 series of 25) that I definitely want to make. So far, I have finished 19 of them. I have more cards that I can make as well, probably 3-5 from every Topps set from 1951 on to 1996. I plan on making Topps cards that never were until I run out of good ideas, and at that point, I honestly think that my Topps cards that never were set will be around 400 cards, maybe closer to 500. I think that would be a great number and at that point, I would love to try and print them and have an actual set to put in binders (God knows Topps will probably never make one). The main reason for writing this post is that there are many bloggers out there who have also done cards that never were, including a good number of cards that are on my list of ones to make. I would love to include other bloggers who have made Topps cards that never were on this blog. If you have done cards with just fronts, I would be happy to try to add backs to them, and I would totally give you credit for your part of the card. Or, if you made a whole card and want to include it in my set, I would be honored to add it. Or maybe you have ideas or requests for a Topps card that never was, I would be up for the challenge. I would love to finish a 500 or so card set of Topps cards that never were and finally have cards in my hand that I have always dreamed of but never able to have. If you feel you can help or any of this interests you, feel free to leave me a comment. Thanks as always for checking out this little blog and your comments and input and suggestions are always welcome. Lastly, here are the checklists for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th series so you can see what's up next. The Series 1 Checklist is on my first post.


1989 Kirk Gibson World Series Highlights
1992 Mike Piazza/Carlos Delgado/Javy Lopez/Dan Wilson Prospects
1991 Jeff Bagwell Red Sox Future Stars
1982 Ryne Sandberg Phillies
1981 Minnie Minoso
1997 Alejandro Pena


1980 Disco Demolition Night highlight
1990 Bo Jackson All-Star Game highlight
1993 Stadium Club Derek Jeter 1st Day Issue
1978 Ted Turner MGR
1990 Mo Vaught Draft Pick
1993 Rick Dempsey
1986 Traded Greg Maddux
1987 Buckner/Wilson World Series highlight
1984 Traded Kirby Puckett
2000 Bowman Albert Pujols
1990 Topps Pete Rose MGR
1993 Charles Johnson Coming Attractions
1991 Todd Van Poppel Draft Pick
1996 Dave Winfield
1994 Sparky Anderson MGR
1989 Charles Nagy Draft Pick
1987 Traded Edgar Martinez
1984 Johnny Bench
1995 Kenny Rogers highlight
1994 Joe Carter World Series highlight
1994 Ryan/Ventura fight highlight
1991 Traded Pedro Martinez
1992 Mike Scott
1995 Jack Morris
1997 Alan Trammell


1999 Dennis Martinez
1996 Dave Stewart
1990 Dave Dravecky highlight
1991 Mike Mussina Draft Pick
1988 Traded John Smoltz
1994 Dale Murphy
1987 Bob Horner highlight
1988 Traded Sammy Sosa
1991 Ken Griffey Jr/Sr highlight
1991 Traded Ryan Klesko
1989 Don Sutton
1987 Traded Tom Glavine
1990 Traded Juan Guzman
1989 Steve Carlton
1988 Traded Curt Schilling
1990 Nolan Ryan highlight
1989 Tino Martinez Draft Pick
1994 Mark Whiten highlight
1991 Traded Javy Lopez
1988 Traded Sandy Alomar Jr
1994 Torii Hunter Draft Pick
1989 Mario Soto
1999 Mark McGwire highlight
1996 Kirk Gibson
1988 Traded Rob Dibble


1991 Bill Buckner
1993 Phil Nevin Draft Pick
1952 Ted Williams
1983 Willie Stargell
1983 Willie Stargell Super Veteran
1991 Tony Clark Draft Pick
1994 Derrek Lee Draft Pick
1996 Sparky Anderson MGR
1983 Traded Don Mattingly
1999 Dennis Eckersley
1985 Danny Jackson
1991 Jeromy Burnitz Draft Pick
1988 Reggie Jackson
1989 Ray Knight
1988 Greg Jefferies Future Stars
1989 Traded Juan Gonzalez
1980 Thurmon Munson
1993 Traded Alex Rodriguez Team USA
1987 Traded Jay Buhner
1984 Carl Yastrzemski
1982 Traded Ron Kittle
1991 Jerry Reuss
2002 Luis Gonzalez World Series Highlight
1996 Lou Whitaker
1977 Hank Aaron

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

1988 Topps Traded Ken Griffey, Jr.

The second card I'm doing from the 1988 Topps Traded set is Ken Griffy, Jr. I think that if this card would've been released, that it still wouldn't have been as popular as the 1989 Upper Deck rookie, but you never know. Topps wasn't doing Draft Pick cards in 1988, and the 1989 Bowman set with more rookie focus wasn't out yet, but Topps did feature Delino DeShields (the Montreal Expos #1 1988 Draft choice) in their O-Pee-Chee set in 1988, so if Topps really wanted to, they could've made this card. Or better yet, a 1987 Draft Pick card. Maybe I'll try that in the future.

1992 Topps Gene Larkin World Series Highlights

This card was recently featured in my Completing the 1992 Topps Set blog. For some reason, Topps and all the other card makers in 1992 didn't feature any highlight cards from the 1991 Playoffs and World Series. Topps did make some in their 1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome set, but it wasn't widely distributed.
Gene Larkin did what most kids dream about, and had a game-winning hit in Game 7 of the World Series. Not only that, but his hit was in the bottom of the 10th. It's weird when you compare it to other walkoff World Series hits. Most people remember that Luis Gonzalez had the Series-winning hit in 2001, but not that Jay Bell scored the winning run. Most people remember that Craig Counsell scored the Series-winning run in 1997, but also remember that Edgar Renteria had the winning hit. On Larkin's hit, however, I think most people remember that Dan Gladden scored the winning run and picture him and Jack Morris at the plate, but few people outside of Minnesota seem to remember that Larkin had the hit. Here is what his 1992 Topps World Series Highlight card may have looked like.

Monday, August 25, 2014

1991 Topps Cecil Fielder Highlights

Cecil Fielder is one of my all-time favorite Detroit Tigers. When I really started following baseball in 1992 or so, Cecil was one of the most popular players in a game, coming off his 3rd straight season of leading the American League in RBIs. I saw him play a few times in Spring Training over the years, and in 2010 at Rob Ducey's
Pro Free Agent Showcase , I finally got to meet Mr. Fielder in person (he was a coach at the showcase). The whole concept of a free agent showcase was innovative, and as an autograph collector back then, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get some signatures, and possibly meet one of my favorite Tigers. I contacted Mr. Ducey (himself a former Big-Leaguer) through the e-mail provided on the website, and asked him if it would be ok to attend and watch the tryouts. He replied promptly and said it was fine. I went to the tryout camp, and got many autographs, but still hadn't met Cecil. They had a break for lunch, and after the players got their fill, Mr. Ducey went up to me and asked if I would like some lunch. I said 'sure', and got some BBQ, and watched the rest of the tryout. At the end, Cecil came into the stands and was talking with a few scouts. I waited for him to get done talking, but he motioned for me to come over, and he happily signed a few cards and shook my hand. It was a great day for me as a baseball fan. I wish I would've made this card back then. I would've loved to show it to Big Daddy.
In 1991, Topps had a few subsets (All-Stars, Draft Picks, Future Stars, and Record Breakers), but no Season Highlight cards. Donruss produced a highlight card of Cecil in their Highlights insert set, and Score had a highlight card as well, but no highlight card for Topps. I used Topps' Future Stars template for this one, and think it turned out ok, and looks pretty close to what Topps may have done if they had made a highlights subset in 1991.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1967 Topps Mets Rookie Stars

This isn't the first 1967 Topps Nolan Ryan/Tom Seaver card, but I still thought I would add it, since I haven't seen anyone do one with a back to it. Mets 360 did a nice one that used Ryan's photo from his 1968 Topps card. The 1967 Seaver card that Topps made would probably be worth at least double what it is if Ryan had been on it. This card and the 1952 Topps Eddie Gaedel are probably the oldest cards I will do in my custom set for now. I was born in 1983, so mainly cards from the 1990's, 2000's, and 1980's respectively are cards that I know like the back of my hand. I have working checklists of the next 2 series of 25 cards, and they mostly consist of '80's, '90's and a few '00's cards of stars, but I do have a few cards of players who weren't superstars, and a few cards before 1980. For the 4th series, I plan to do a few lesser-known players, and maybe venture into more cards before 1980. I have a huge list of cards that never were from 1951 to the present that I made, and maybe someday I'll get around to posting them. If you are reading this and have any ideas for cards, feel free to let me know, and thanks for checking out my boring blog.

1978 Topps Rookie Infielders

If things play out like I think they will in the Hall of Fame voting in the next year, this card would've been the rookie card of 4 Hall of Famers. Topps made a seperate card for Eddie Murray in the 1978 set, and didn't include Ozzie Smith (his rookie would appear in 1979. I found an awesome blog called KOD14 in my search for photos, and though there's not much information about it, I believe I got the basic idea of the blog. The blog's writer and a few other people participated in a computer-based simulation using real MLB teams from various years. For every team, they took the rosters, and made Topps cards for the players who Topps left off (kind of like I am trying to do with my 1992 Topps set on my other blog). Being an Out of the Park Baseball fan, I really like the concept of the blog, and it almost looks like they are using OOTP. Well, one of the teams was the 1978 San Diego Padres, so the writer made a regular 1978 Topps card of Ozzie Smith. I looked at the writer's other blogs on his profile, and it looks like the group did a few more seasons and made more cards as well. I might have to contact them and see if I can get in on it. Back to this card, I wish Topps would've had the forsight to put Murray and Smith on this card. It would've been one of the most popular cards of that decade.

1986 Topps Traded Barry Larkin

Barry Larkin was another player left off of the 1986 Topps Traded set. He made his MLB debut in August, so Topps probably didn't have enough time to get him in the set, but it's still a shame that he wasn't included in the set.
JT from The Writers Journey made a 1986 Topps Traded Larkin, and in reading his blog, I discovered that Barry didn't wear #11 until 1988, so it was difficult to find a picture of him wearing his old #15. I found the one I used on an Out of the Park Developments forum. This is off topic, but OOTP is a great game, and I eventually want to do a few custom seasons with it.
Here is the 2nd card from the 1986 Topps Traded set (Mark McGwire was the first).

Monday, August 18, 2014

1988 Topps Traded Craig Biggio

I still can't believe Craig Biggio isn't in the Hall of Fame. He had 3,000 hits. In his prime, he almost always led the league in Doubles. He made the All-Star team as a Catcher, and Second Baseman. He even played in the outfield towards the end of his career. If the Hall let Barry Larkin, Phil Rizzuto, Bill Mazeroski and Roberto Alomar in, players who played in larger-market cities, and who had similar stats (more so Larkin and Alomar than Rizzuto and Mazeroski), why couldn't Biggio get in on the first or second ballot? And while we're at it, why isn't Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, Lee Smith, Buck O'Neill, Jeff Bagwell, and Mike Piazza in?

Back to Biggio, in 1988, Topps left him off of their Traded set. Fleer and Score got him in, and those 2 cards are considered his rookie card. Here is a 1988 Topps Traded card of I hope to be a 2015 Hall of Fame member, Craig Biggio.

A question for you...

I have been asking myself the question for a while "What would have to happen for Topps to make a 'Cards that never Were' (CTNW) set? Would it need to be like a regular Topps set and have 8 different parallel colors? Would it need to be like a high end product where the base cards don't really even matter and all that anybody cares about are the autographs and relic cards? I don't really have an answer, just a few ideas.
First, I think Topps should poll their customers on exactly what cards they think are missing from certain sets. You would get the expected answers like a 1952 Joe DiMaggio, a 1984 Carl Yastrzemski, and a 1975 Al Kaline, but you would also get some not-so standard answers like a 1978 Ted Turner (he managed the Braves for a game in 1977), a 1980 Disco Demolition Night highlight card, and a Dave Dravecky 1990 highlight card (he returned from cancer surgery on his arm the year before). After Topps gets their poll back, they could choose the best 250-300 cards that they think would be most popular, and that would be the set. Each would be numbered as if they were included in the regular Topps set (so the first card from 1989 would be numbered 793, and so on), and they would also be numbered for the CTNW set. They could have parallel cards with gold borders or whatever, and also make a low-numbered parallel that doesn't have the CTNW set number, only the Topps set number, so it's basically like a real card. They could make a few insert sets, maybe have 2 CTNW cards from the same year paired together, and maybe have autographed/jersey versions. They could also have autographed versions of the CTNW cards. If that's not enough to convince the public to buy the set and to convince Topps that the product will sell, then I have one more idea. For many players in the CTNW set, their cards would be rookie cards had they been issued in Topps set when it originally came out. For many of the rest of them, they would be final cards. Topps could sell the product by adding 1 insert of every player in the CTNW set that would be a redemption card. Each redemption card would be redeemed for every Topps card of that players' career, and the CTNW card to complete that players' Topps run. If Topps really wanted to up the ante, the could have 5 redemption cards for every player, and for 1 of the redemption cards, have it be redeemable for an autographed Topps run of the player. It would cost Topps money to buy back the cards of the players, but I think it would generate interest in the set. There are many collectors who wonder why Topps never created final cards of some players and left them out of a set that could've had their rookie card in it. Those collectors will gobble this set up. If the memorobilia and autograph cards look well enough, player collectors will get them, as will memorobilia and autograph collectors. If the set stays in the 2-5 dollar range, kids will purchase at least a few packs becuase of the many different Topps designs that will be in it. I think ttm autograph collectors will be all over the set, especially ones that are trying to get a certain years' set signed, because Topps will add more cards to the set, and it will present more of a challenge. Topps could also split the CTNW set up over a few years, and offer it again and if it works the first year, it should the next time(s) Topps releases it.
Maybe I'm just blowing smoke and it will never catch on, but I know I would buy packs of it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I would love to hear your comments, thoughts, and ideas on this. I have a poll up on the right of my blog asking if you think the set will work or not, so feel free to vote on that as well. Thanks for checking out my humble little blog on the Topps cards that never Were.

Friday, August 15, 2014

1986 Topps Traded Mark McGwire

I was 15 when Mark McGwire broke the single-season Home Run record. I had 3 younger sisters, and it was tough trying to share things with them. The youngest was into gymnastics, and every time a competition came on TV she would have to watch it, no it's and's or but's, and she would also record it on the VCR (remember those?). Then she would re-watch the tapes whenever she wanted, and we couldn't do anything about it. I never understood that. If she saw the competition before, didn't she know who would win, and when someone would fall off the beam or whatever? So naturally, it came as no surprise that when Mark McGwire had 61 Home Runs that I wouldn't be able to watch him play on the TV, I had to let my sisters watch it, and I had to try to find a station on the radio that had the game on, and listen through the static. When he came to bat, I somehow managed to convince my sisters to change the channel, and I watched him hit #62. The victory was short-lived however, and I didn't get to watch the celebration, and the girls got to turn it back to whatever re-run was more important than a once-in a lifetime breaking of a sacred baseball record. McGwire's 1985 Topps rookie was hotter than fire at that time, and my best friend's Dad owned one or two. He sold them shortly thereafter, and made a nice chunk of change. I wouldn't own one until 2011. The closest thing I had at the time was his 1988 Topps card. I think maybe if Topps had produced this 1986 Topps traded card, that I would've got it, and it would've been almost like owning his rookie. With some of the cards I plan on creating in the 1986 Topps Traded, 1988 Topps Traded, and 1991 Topps Traded sets, you will be able to see that Topps missed out on making alot of cards that would've been gobbled up at the time, and would've made those sets very popular. Here is the first 1986 Topps Traded card in my custom set.

1991 Topps Traded Jim Thome

Card #11 in my custom set is a 1991 Topps Traded Jim Thome. Card that never were made a version of this card that looks great, but I decided to go ahead and make one that has a back to it. I have always been a fan of Jim Thome. I remember pulling his 1992 Donruss Rated Rookie card out of a pack when I was 9 as one of my first baseball card memories, and also remember getting his autograph on his 1995 Topps card in 1995 during a Spring Training game in Winter Haven, Florida. I really hope Jim makes it to the Hall of Fame when he is eligible. Congratulations on a great career, Jim Thome. Maybe this would've been considered your best rookie card if Topps had made it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

1994 Topps Carlton Fisk

In 1993, I was 10. I had just started following baseball and watching games on TV and getting baseball cards. I was into the sport deep enough to know many of the more popular players, and my favorite team was the Detroit Tigers since I was born in Michigan and they spent their Spring Training in Lakeland, Florida, where I lived at the time. I also followed the Atlanta Braves because they were on TBS just about every night. 1993 was a big year. Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Robin Yount, and Carlton Fisk were all in their final seasons. In 1994, Topps issued cards of each of them, except for Fisk. The 1994 Topps Ryan card was one of the most popular cards out at the time. I never got why Topps gave a final card to Ryan, Brett, and Yount, but not Fisk. He was a popular player, and while typing up the stats on the card, I realized that he missed alot of games in his career, and that if he had played in 140-150 games each year that he would've put up some numbers that only maybe Mike Piazza would've touched. The stats are blurry as heck because I could only fit a 2pt font on the card in order to get all of them to fit, but trust me, they are there. It's a challenge to make these custom card, and sometimes I feel that they look like crap, but I enjoy making them, and it completes something that Topps should've done in my opinion, and that makes me feel like it's worth it. Here is what Topps' final Carlton Fisk card could've looked like.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

1984 Topps Traded Orel Hershiser

One of my favorite baseball players of all-time is Orel Hershiser. I own at least 60 of his baseball cards, including his 1985 Topps rookie card, and his 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection game-worn jersey card which I got him to autograph through the mail in 2005. I had originally planned to make 1985 Topps Olympic cards for Will Clark and Barry Larkin as cards # 9 and 10 in my set, but since Bob Lemke did such an amazing job with his cards and since there weren't many photos to choose from, I decided to replace those cards with this card, and a 1994 Topps Carlton Fisk. I think I will probably just stick to making cards that noboby else (to my knowledge) has attempted making. Anyways, since Topps didn't make a card of Orel Hershiser in 1984 after he debuted in 1983, here is his 1984 Topps Traded rookie card.

Friday, August 1, 2014

2000 Topps Traded Albert Pujols

In my baseball card fantasy world, Topps would wait until the last Minor League game is played before they would pick rookies to put in their Traded and late Bowman sets. If this would've happened in 2000, maybe Topps would've put Albert Pujols in their 2000 Traded set and 2000 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects set. And if Pujols had a 2000 Topps Traded card, he would've had a 2000 Topps Chrome Traded card, and perhaps a rookie autograph insert card. But, none of it ever happened, and we still have Albert's 2001 rookie cards to drool over. Here is what his 2000 Topps Traded card would look if I had my way.