Friday, July 24, 2015

Ideas for new cards

While thinking of ideas for cards to make in the future, I came up with 2 ideas. The first one was to possibly make some cards of players that attempted a comeback or signed a minor league deal with a club but never made it back to the Majors (1991 Jim Palmer, 1994 Traded Jesse Barfield, among others). One of the blogs I follow (Jays Custom Cards and Stuff) had a few cards of St. Louis Cardinal players who signed Minor League Deals but never made it to the Bigs. Unfortunately, I don't believe his blog is up anymore.

The second idea I had was to make cards of some notable Big Leaguers who were replacement players in Spring Training 1995 during the MLB strike. I was only 11 when the strike occurred, so I didn't know much about what was going on and I wish so much that I was older and would've had the sense to keep records on all of the replacement players and found a way to get pictures of them. My parents got the newspaper back then so I had access to box scores at least. I even had tickets to a Detroit Tigers game that year in Spring Training but something happened and I wasn't able to go. If only I was old enough to drive.....I did go to another game that spring, but by then the strike was over and it was the old players I was used to.

I did some searches of some of the bigger name replacement players like Oil Can Boyd for the White Sox and Willie (Guillermo) Hernandez for the Yankees and was unable to find pictures of them for their respective teams during the 1995 Spring Training season, but I think I can photoshop those 2 ok. I would love to make cards of every replacement player in 1995, but I think even finding the names of the players on rosters would be tremendously difficult, let alone finding pictures of a majority of career minor leaguers and players who hadn't been in the Majors in 2-10 years. Plus even if I did, probably 90% of them would need their uniforms to be changed. So I have decided to make cards of only the bigger named players or ones that strike me as interesting.

That begs the question, if the replacement rosters were finalized around let's say, February of 1995, should I make the cards in the 1995 set or the 1994 Traded set?  The '95 Series 1 set would've focused on players from the '94 season and the replacements probably wouldn't get a card till Series 2, which was put out well after the strike was over. The '94 Traded set was put out before the replacement players were needed and while people still believed the strike would end sometime in the winter. Plus, I think the '94 design is a lot harder to work with than the '95 design.

I'm still not sure what to do, but part of me is leaning toward just doing the '94 design since it would be more realistic that Topps would've put replacement players in an Traded set (or a special edition '94 Traded Series 2 that would've maybe been released in March or April of 1995 had the strike continued. It's kind of a stretch, but although I personally think labor unions are a good thing, I kind of wish the replacement players would've got into a few regular season games before the strike ended. It would've been interesting to see players who played more for the love of the game, and we would've got cards of many people that just slipped out of view after the spring of '95.

I would appreciate your input on what design to use for the cards. Once I'm back at the house, I have a Dick Pole card to post, I might do another Pole card, but then I think I will make a '90 Willie Hernandez final card and his either '94 Traded or '95 replacement card to go with it. Thanks for any thoughts, ideas, and help.



  1. You can find the names of most of the replacement players on Wikipedia, I think, but doing customs for them is going to be either impossible or require a great deal of photoshopping. Under Topps deal with the Players Association, cards for replacement players couldn't be done (ever), so they didn't even bother to take pictures. Nor did anyone else take pictures of them then. So even a replacement player or two who had a legit shot in the majors later still couldn't get a card (and, thereby, a photo). There was one exception, but I can't remember who it was. Topps made a card of an replacement player who was pitching in the majors like ten years after the strike and there was hell to pay. As it happens, those rules didn't apply to minor league card sets, so its possible you might find some of them in those. Its possible some local papers had B&W shots of a few, here and there, but newspaper photos don't make for the greatest pictures.

  2. Yeah. I agree. Never thought about it from Topps perspective why they wouldn't even bother to take photos.

  3. Both are great ideas. I'd like to see a 1990 Upper Deck Rennie Stennett and a 1995 replacement Pedro Borbon.

    1. I'll add those to my list of cards to make. Thanks for the suggestions.