Thursday, November 26, 2015

Missing Topps Cards Part 3: Phil Nevin ('93, '94, '95, '98, '99, and '00)

Phil Nevin was the #1 pick in the 1992 MLB draft. His first Topps card was in the 1991 Traded set in the Team USA subset. He was on the '92 Traded Team USA subset as well. For some reason, he didn't get a '93 Draft Pick card even though he was the #1 pick. He got a special 1993 Topps Golden Spikes Award promo card that was given away at the award ceremony. There are only believed to be 600 in existance. Topps didn't give him cards in '94 and '95, which is understandable since he was in the minors. In '96 he got a Coming Attractions subset card in the set, and he got a regular card in the base set in '97. He was passed over in '98, '99, and '00 as he was just starting to find his way in the Majors. From '01 till his final card year in '07, he appeared on Topps cards. 

I don't like how the '93 card turned out all grainy and weird, but it is the best version I have so far. I really like the '94 card because it features Todd Greene from my Favorite Player Collection, and also because it has Charles Johnson on it, who I did a 1993 Topps Coming Attractions card of a while back. Its kind of cool to have multiple cards that never were of a player. I think I will definitely do another Missing Topps Cards post of both of those players in the future. 

I really wish Blogger would let you add more labels to posts. On some posts that feature a few cards with multiple players, I have enough characters to usually tag the players and sets, but not enough to tag team names or subset names. I want to make the posts easy to sort by sets and players so people who are interested in all the missing Topps cards from a certain year can easily find them and so they can find all the missing Topps cards of a certain player, but I'm sure people also want to find all the missing Topps cards of certain teams too, and since a few posts I haven't been able to tag team names due to running out of characters, some cards will be missing from a team search (like all of the card in this post for example). 

I would like to wish all my readers a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I am slow cooking a ham right now as we speak, and will be putting a turkey in the oven pretty soon. Thanks for checking out my latest post. 


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Favorite Player Collection Part 4: 1996 Topps Quinton McCracken Future Stars

One of my favorite players in the late '90's was Quinton McCracken. "Q" was a speedy outfielder for the Colorado Rockies and was selected by my hometown Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays in the '98 expansion draft. He appeared on a many cards throughout his career. My first card I got of him was his '93 Topps Prospects rookie card. He didn't appear in another Topps card until 1997. He should've at least got a card in the '96 set, so I decided to make one of him in the Future Stars subset.
He got 2 cards in the '98 set ( a Rockies and Rays card) and got one in '99 as he was the Rays MVP in '98. I don't believe he got cards in '00-'02 or '05-'07 so I might have to do a Missing Topps Cards post of him. 
I got the '94 missing Topps card of Phil Nevin done. Will probably finish the rest this weekend so I can get caught up on the card numbers again. Thanks for checking out my blog. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Coaches Center part 2: 2002 Topps Bob Melvin coach

I decided to skip the next card in my custom set ( a 1993 Topps Phil Nevin Draft Pick card) because I wanted to fill in his missing Topps cards ('94, '95, '98-'00). While I'm working on those cards, here is a 2002 Topps coach card of Bob Melvin. For now, I'm making coach cards for teams that won the championship the year before. Melvin and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Bankee$ in 2001, and this is what the coach cards from th '02 Topps set could've looked like. I basically combined a manager card and a prospect card and was able to get the lettering to spell 'coach' and have it look similar to manager cards in the set. Doing the lettering for the name proved difficult. I have a few ideas I might try in GIMP to get it to work. For this one I used a white background and rotated the name, but when I did a screen shot and tried to paste the rotated name in Paint, it came out all pixelated. I think if I can put the background color behind the letters and then rotate it and paste it I think it might look better. 
Next time it will either be the missing Nevins or a '96 Topps card of one of my favorite players. Thanks for checking out my latest card. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

1993 Topps Sid Bream NLCS Highlights

Topps last made postseason highlights cards in 1981. When they made them again, it was in 1997, just in time for the Bankee$ run of titles, so we really didn't get any worthwhile postseason highlights cards until 2002, a full 2 decades after Topps decided to call it quits on the subset. We missed out on a ton of great, collectible cards. I am trying to come up with some ways to incorporate these cards into Topps sets. Some of the designs are easier to work with than others, and some designs, like '96 for example, don't really give me much to work with, so I'm still clueless on what to do to the design in order to make it suitable for a highlight card. It's mainly a question of how to fit 'postseason highlights' and the playoff round and player name, but it's still challenging none the less.
I didn't have much trouble making this card. The bottom of the card gave me enough room for everything when I used a horizontal card. I was old enough to remember the postseason in 1992, but young enough (9) to where I didn't have my own TV so I only watched a few games when my parents weren't watching any of their shows, so I totally missed seeing this play live. I caught a few games of the World Series, including the final one. I remember staying up watching Dave Winfield hit a double in extra innings I believe, but must've fallen asleep after that because when I woke up, the news was on. There are so many postseason highlights cards that I could make from that era.....Topps really dropped the ball on those cards. 
I'll probably post more cards during the next few weeks. It might be slower because of the holidays, but I'm hoping I'll have some free time to make more cards and post them, if not in the next few weeks, then in the beginning of 2016.
Thanks for checking out my latest card.-Jeremy

Friday, November 6, 2015

2015 Topps Update Pride and Perserverance Bud Selig book card

I decided to post this card out of order just because I like it so much. It is the latest card I've done, and  I passed up about 10 others, but I will post them at some point. 
At first, in the mid '90's, I liked Bud Selig. He gave us interleague play, so I finally had the chance to see National League teams play since my closest team was the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays. I kind of liked the wild card and was glad that expansion have my area the Rays. But I failed to see the long term complications. The interleague play made the All-Star game pointless, the Wild Card gave him the excuse to add another wild card slot and another round in the playoffs, and I like that expansion gave Tampa Bay a team, but why not just move the Marlins to Orlando (near Disney, maybe?), or at least put them in downtown Tampa, not in crappy St. Pete. The Marlins owners didn't want the team, and neither does the city, so the Rays owners could take the team off their hands, it would thrive in a better location, and an expansion team could've went to a city that would like one like say, Norfolk, Las Vegas, Charlotte, or Brooklyn. 

Selig has added so many gimmicks to the game that it's a shell of what it once was in '91 (Fay Vincent's last year). Let's ignore the fact that he turned a blind eye to PEDs and then said that HE wanted stricter drug testing. Let's ignore the fact that he colluded in the late '80's. Let's ignore the fact that he lifted Steinbrenner's ban and let MLB become the first sport to lose a postseason to a strike and the fact that there STILL isn't a salary cap. Selig tried to do a good thing by realigning the divisions, but the reason he needed to do it was the Wild Card. He should've kept the leagues in 2 divisions and either had top 4 records regardless of division make playoffs, or let top 2 teams from each division in, and also had to sign a contract that he wouldn't add any more playoff teams, rounds, or expansion unless a 100% vote by owners and a player rep from each team. 
Interleague play shouldn't have happened. The All-Star game wouldn't be a joke, and players would want to play. As for the ASG tie in '02, I'll say what I said while watching the game:  The AL has Freddy Garcia pitching. Call Lou Piniella and ask his teams skipper if it's ok to pitch him more than 2-3 innings. If it's ok, call the NL pitchers manager, and ask same thing, if yes, problem solved. If either say no, have a player who already pitched come back in (if ok with managers, of course). Again, problem solved. Solution 3: just have a position player hit. I just offered 3 solutions to Seligs problem, and I can swear to you that I came up with them in '02 while watching the game. Selig decides to end game in a tie, and to make him look better and make up for interleague play cheapening the game, he lets the winner get home field advantage in the World Series. 
Then Bud gives us the WBC (is it still around, btw?). A good idea, but nobody wanted to play because it was during Spring Training. Why not do what Peter Gammons (a great candidate for Commish) suggested and make the season start a few weeks earlier and just make the All-Star break 2 weeks long and play the WBC then?  Or just play in in November?  Or push for baseball to be back in the Olympics?  
I realize hindsight may be making me a harsh critic of Selig, but some of these problems you could see coming. MLB playoffs are beginning to look like the NBAs where they are 3 months long and 6 or 7 rounds, and one of these years a scrub team will win the last Wild Card and beat the Favorite to win the World Series and we're going to see 2 ok teams in the playoffs instead of the 2 best teams. Meanwhile, Selig is sitting in his retirement home thinking "Ha!  They can't change anything I've done!"  I don't know if the game can get back to where it was in 1991. I would like to think it could. 
So I decided to make this card to point out all of the damage that I think Selig has done to the game. I'm sure lots of people will disagree and that's ok. I tried to fit everything on 1 card back, but decided to make it a book card so it would fit. I really like the idea of the set and really want to find cards of the diabetics in the set (Jason Johnson, Sam Fuld, and Buddy Carlyle)  I probably won't get too many more packs of Update, so maybe I'll get some when they appear on COMC, or if you have any you don't want, feel free to send them to me. I'm hoping they continue the insert set next year. 
It will be back to normal cards next post. Thanks for checking out my blog. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Missing Managers: 1994 Topps Rene Lachemann

In the first segment of Missing Managers, I chose to make a 1994 Topps Rene Lachemann card. Rene got a card in the 1993 Topps set, but didn't get any cards after that since Topps didn't make manager cards from 1994-2000. This card was pretty simple to make because along with my laptop, I got the newest version of MS Paint. I didn't know Paint had updated versions, so once I got used to everything, it was a nice surprise. I have tons of more fonts to choose from (making some tough sets like 1994 that have difficult to replicate fonts a lot easier to deal with), and now the only things I really need GIMP for are rotating text and blurring colors.

I also made a card of Rene for my other blog , Completing the 1992 Topps set, where I am making a 1992 Topps card for every person who put on a uniform in 1991. Since Rene was a coach for the Oakland A's, he got a card in the set. I recently found out that I somehow missed 2 players in the (O-Pee-Chee) set, John Dopson and Nick Esasky. Dopson got in to 1 game in '91, and Esasky spent the year on the DL. I will be making those cards soon and hopefully it will finally complete the set.

Things have been crazy here, with me and my wife fighting stomach bugs and us traveling to Tallahassee, moving, and doing some dog sitting on top of that. If I never have to dog sit and live out of a suitcase and try to find stuff in somebody elses house, it will be too soon. I can't tell you how many times I've looked for a baking sheet, couldn't find it, settled on a really small one, pre-heated the oven, only to open the friggin oven door to find a clean full sized baking sheet just sitting there in the oven. Little things like that make me never want to leave my home again no matter how much someone pays me. And enough with my rant. I should be making some more cards later this week, including a '15 Topps Update Pride and Perserverance card of Bud Selig (spoiler alert: I don't care for the guy), and hopefully I'll post them this week. Thanks for checking out my latest card.