Monday, May 20, 2019

1995 Topps Larry Shikles

After the last post about the Replacement Player Project, I got a good amount of response, and I think I will try to do a number of posts, and try to do some bio about some of the cards/players that I make customs of. There are a number of cool stories I have come across while looking for photos and names of players. I think I will try to summarize some of the articles I have found and also provide links to where I found them. Among some of the interesting stories I have found are the following:
 Chris Walpole of the Mets who told them that he was a former Independent League player. The problem was, he never was. By the time the Mets found out, he had played in a number of games. Not sure if I will be able to track down a photo of him, but we’ll see.
Douglas Duke of the Pirates went on to become a successful doctor after his baseball career.
Finally, John Fishel of the  Angels owed back child support, and was tracked down in the spring, and actually arrested in the dugout. I’m sure I will come across more stories along the way.
One interesting thing I learned about yesterday had to do with the period right after the strike was resolved. There were a number of free agents who were older and towards the end of their career who still weren’t signed with teams when the 2nd Spring Training started. The players association decided to run a camp in Homestead, Florida for all of the unsigned players. It was run by former Major Leaguers, and scouts showed up and signed players right out of the camp. 90% of the players signed with teams, and one or two, like Jay Howell and Goose Gossage didn’t get signed and retired. The article said that with all of the free agents that were unsigned shortly before the spring this season that talks of another camp like this were in the works. Seems like MLB just wants anything to do with the strike just swept under the rug, and it makes me wonder if it just looks that way because the Internet was just getting on its feet in 1995, or if MLB paid the media to not cover anything and hide any archives of articles having to do with the strike. I will do my best to post as much as I can about the strike and what I find out, unless a player asks me not to.

With all that being said, here is a story about the most recent card I did for Cardinals replacement pitcher Larry Shikles. Larry played minor league baseball for the Boston Red Sox organization from 1986-1992, and for the Oakland Athletics organization in 1993. He got as far as AAA before retiring after the 1993 season. In 1990, he actually made it on a Topps baseball card, as part of the Topps TV set. Here is his card.
1990 Topps TV Boston Red Sox #59 Larry Shikles Front
In the spring of 1995, Larry signed with the Cardinals to be a replacement player. He got talking with another Cardinal replacement, Mike Hinkle, who was in the 1990 Topps TV Cardinals set. Hinkle had been contacted by Topps because of a lawsuit stemming from the compensation players received for being in the Topps TV sets. Aparently, Major League players were getting around $15,000 dollars for being in the set, while the minor league guys only got 750 bucks. Some minor league guys sued Topps, and ended up getting $7,500 dollars in compensation. A Topps representative found Hinkle and gave him a check, and missed out on finding Larry, but Larry contacted him and he recieved a check later in the mail. There is a link to a 2018 article about Cardinals replacement players where I found the story, as well as one from Baseball Cards Come To Life blog with a shorter version. Lastly, here is the 1995 Topps Larry Shikles custom I made.

There are all kinds of interesting things I think I'll find in this project.  I think I will mainly post a few group posts for each team, and aside from that, highlight the interesting players and cards. I will tag them as 'Replacement Player' so they can be easily found.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Replacement Player Project is underway!

As many of you who have been reading my blog for any amount of time know, I have a ton of baseball card projects going on at the same time. Currently, I am in the process of organizing my physical card binders, working on customs for the 1993 Topps set, making the missing player checklist for the 1965, 1964, and 1951 Topps project, trying to update my Favorite Player Collection pages, and add some of my cards to my Trading Card Database inventory.
Recently, I decided to undertake a new project, thanks to some help I got, and a book I never even knew existed.
I was 11 when the MLB strike happened in 1994, and 12 when they had replacement players during Spring Training. I was going to go to a replacement game for the Tigers, but my grandparents had come down from Michigan the week we had talked about going, and it just didn't happen. A few weeks later, when the regular players came back, I did go and see an Indians/Tigers game in the 2nd Spring Training of the year.
I had always been fascinated with the replacement players, and when I started doing customs, I really wanted to do a set of the replacement players, but never was able to find more than 150 or so of the names of them. Recently, I found out about a book called the 1995 STATS Replacement Player Handbook, which listed all of them. Not many were produced, and a few different searches turned up nothing as far as lists from it, or auctions of the handbook. I was recently able to contact someone who owns the book, and they were nice enough to scan copies of the team rosters in the book for me, so I am now in the possession of the entire replacement player rosters of 27 teams (the Orioles didn't use any). That means, it is now time for the arduous process of making the cards.
When I had worked on this idea before, I had toyed with the idea of using the 1994 Topps design, and I have now decided to use the 1995 Topps design. The '95 set would've been the first one to feature the players on them had the season went on with the replacement players, I think I like the look of them better, and it avoids the confusion of having someone who played in 1995 on a 1994 card set.

Here is a picture of the first few cards I have done.

Hopefully this will be the first of many new cards. \
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A package from Night Owl and an eBay pickup

Despite getting a late start to today, I was able to finish getting my last 2 non-Tigers/Rays/PC/various parts to my main collection team binders organized, and was able to go through some nice cards that I received in the mail yesterday. 
I was expecting the first envelope, which were some Steve Pearce 2019 Heritage cards that I won off of eBay recently (they are shown at the bottom of the post). The second envelope, I was not expecting, and just shows the immense kindness of the blogging community. 
If I remember correctly, I have traded with Greg from Night Owl Cards a few times before, mostly sending him some needed Dodgers and customs for Rays/Tigers/PC guys. I really thought that we were even after the last trade, but he decided to send me a bubble mailer stuffed with the same, Rays, Tigers, and guys for my Favorite Player Collection binder.  It was a nice gesture, especially with all of the stuff that has going on recently with his mothers illness, and it was definitely something I wasn't expecting, regardless. I got 8 Rays that I needed for my binder, including some for the very barren 2012-2013 years. 

The Tigers brought back great memories. I have met Hiller and Horton before, as well as Munson, and got autographs from them multiple times. I love the Hiller, because it was taken in the bullpen along the right-field stands in Joker Marchant Stadium, Spring Training home of the Detroit Tigers, and a ballpark I had been to at least 100 games at. Greg must've been paying attention to my blog posts, because I have mentioned before that I lived in Lakeland, Florida for almost 2 decades, and he found me some Lakeland Tiger minor league cards. I wish I would've been a little older when I first started to go to Lakeland games and got autographs. John Lipon was a legend, and I could've probably easily got his before he stopped coaching after 1992, and ultimately passed away in 1998. 
The guys for my PC were a good mixture of Hall of Famers, stars, and guys who I thought would be stars, and never really did, with Blyleven, Dreifort, Gordon, and Garcia. That Pinnacle Aficianado set was really cool back in the '90's with the holofoil and different textures. I'll have to track down more cards from that set. 

Thank you for the amazing cards, Greg. I wish you smooth sailing these next few weeks, and hopefully you can get back to some kind of normalcy, and I hope reading my blog can be a part of it.

The Pearce cards were part of a few eBay purchases I made on eBay about 2 weeks ago. I ordered a lot of Rays Topps sets from 2010-2018, and the Rafael Bournigal signed 1998 Topps contract. Those both came at the end of last week, sooner than expected. The Pearce cards were supposed to be buy one get one free, I think I ended up paying for both, and they were supposed to arrive in the mailbox on Friday, but didn't get there until Monday. Wish they would've communicated a little better about why I had to pay for both, and why they took an extra day or two to ship. At least they arrived safe and sound.

Now that all of my non-fun binders are organized, I think it will be a little bit of a waiting game. I really want to start organizing my Tigers and Rays binders next, but I have 2 packages of cards coming in the next few weeks from trades and such. I figure if they come by the end of the month, that I might want to hold off to organize since my birthday is in the middle of June, and I may very well get some cards then as well. I think I'll just wait until I get the packages, and start the Tigers binder. If I do get cards, they should be '18 or '19 ones, so they won't be that difficult to put into their proper spots. Before I do that, though, I am going to go through all of my Yankees cards and pick out all of the PC cards. The Yankees will be the very last group of cards I attempt to put into pages and binders, as they are the source of all things bad in baseball.

My 1965 Topps missing player checklist is coming along. I have all of the NL done, and will be working on the AL when I finish this post. I expect to finish that set in the next day or two, and then just 1964 and 1951, and I will start working on making customs again, perhaps doing some of my favorite players missing cards, as well as finishing the 1993 Topps set.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Trade with CMMDTO

A few weeks ago, I found out about the Cards My Mom Didn't Throw Out blog. I immediately loved it. I loved the posts about '90's inserts, and was drawn to all of the '90's and '00's cards, which are right up my alley, since that was when I did the majority of my pack purchasing over my lifetime. 
I recently contacted Jared in hopes of getting a trade going, and he didn't disappoint. He hooked me up with a bunch of awesome Rays/Devil Rays, Tigers, and guys in my Favorite Player Collection. I got some sweet Rays cards. I have 2 binders worth of Rays cards in my collection right now, and the majority of cards in the binders are Topps ones. I don't have too many Bowman, Bowman Chrome, or Topps Chrome cards in there, as well as most anything from 2012-2014. Jared certainly helped out in all of those areas. I also got some nice refractors/parallels, a Jeff Ames autograph, and an Evan Longoria relic card. 

I got some nice Tigers to add to their binders. The Cobb is a 1st Day Issue.
Finally, I got some nice cards of Jack Cust, Dee Gordon, Chipper Jones, Corey Kluber, Quinton McCracken, Chris Sale, Tony Saunders, Max Scherzer, and Ben Zobrist cards for my Favorite Player binders. 

Thanks for the awesome cards, Jared. Your package got placed in the mail this morning.

Jared wasn't the only one to get a package from me placed in the mail today. I also have one for P-Town Tom and the 1,000,000 Cubs Project. Between dropping my son off to day care, stopping at the post office, and mowing the lawn this morning, I'm pooped. These temperatures in central Florida are no joke! 
I recently finished organizing my Mariners binders, leaving me with just the Rangers and Blue Jays before getting to the fun ones. I'm hoping to have a few trade packages come in the mail by the time those 2 teams are done, as well as some things I got on eBay recently. I had about 30 bucks in PayPal after doing some work for a friend, and also had a 5 dollar off eBay coupon. I used it to order 2 Steve Pearce 2019 Heritage cards (base and World Series Highlights), 9 Topps Rays team sets (2010-2018), and the really cool thing, a 1998 Topps contract for Rafael Bournigal. Raffy is one of my favorite players, and I've always wanted to own one of the contracts, and this one is a sweet piece for my Rafael Bournigal collection. As soon as I get to putting new cards into my Favorite Player binders, I will take new updated pictures of them, and update each players page. I also hope to add at least my favorite players and my Rays and Tigers to my TradingCardDB inventory. I haven't done too much with the site, but I believe it will be a good way to catergorize my cards for easy tracking.
I have also updated the 2018 Topps checklist and added the missing Tigers and Rays. This brings the entire Rays franchise up to date, and give you every Tiger to need a Topps card since Topps started making sets in 1951. I have also finished the '66 Topps missing players, so I just have to start on the '65 set, get '64 done, and finish off  '51 to finish the 1951-52 and 1964-2001 Topps missing players. Perhaps with some cajoling, I could be persuaded to do '53-'63, but I will leave that up to other people if I don't do them.  Some of these projects are getting close to being finished, and I am super excited about all of the cool new cards I am getting. Might just make this whole not getting retail thing doable.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Scott Aldred missing Topps cards

I have followed Scott Aldred for most of his career, and figured I would help finish his career Topps run. He came up to the Big Leagues with the Detroit Tigers in 1990, and played with them through 1992. He got selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 1992 MLB Expansion Draft, and split the '93 season with them and the Montreal Expos. He was out of baseball in 1994 with Tommy John surgery, and then came back to the Tigers organization in 1995, spending the season in the minors. He split 1996 with the Tigers and the Minnesota Twins, and the whole season with the Twins in 1997. 1998 was his first year with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 1999 was split between the Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies, and he finished out his career in 2000 with the Phillies.
I got Scott's autograph in Spring Training in 1996. I saw a few games that year, and he signed a 1994 Score Detroit Tigers team checklist card for me. I didn't know he was with the Tigers until he signed the card for me, and once I did, I made sure to bring his 1993 Topps card to the next game, and sure enough, he signed it for me the next time. Then, in 1998, I went to 3 or 4 Devil Rays game, and I'm pretty positive I've seen him pitch with them. I have the ticket stubs, so I can probably double check.

Here are all of Aldred's Topps cards.

1991 Topps (rookie card)
1991 Topps #658 Scott Aldred Front

1992 Topps
1992 Topps #198 Scott Aldred Front

1993 Topps (Rockies)
1993 Topps #463 Scott Aldred Front

1993 Topps custom (Tigers)

1994 Topps custom

1997 Topps custom

1998 Topps custom

1999 Topps custom

2000 Topps custom

2001 Topps custom (sunset card)

I wasn't able to get as much done today as I wanted to, but I did get my Oakland A's binders updated, leaving me 3 teams before the fun binders are up. I got a few teams done for the 1966 Topps missing player checklist, and did the customs for this post. I'm hoping to get some binders done, teams done on the '66 Topps checklist, and maybe a few customs done over the next few days when I get off work, but just found out we may have family coming over this weekend, so that could throw that out the window. I'm itching to get some of these projects finished. I'm more about the final result than the journey, so I get antsy while doing the actual work because I like the satisfaction of looking at the final product more. Sometimes that hurts me and I don't make the quality the best, but it helps me take on huge projects and sustain them until the end (see Completed 1992 Topps set with backs). I will keep everyone updated on my projects, and appreciate everyone for checking them out and for the kind words. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Some new Bowman

So this year, I have been trying to not buy as much retail, and try to focus more on just picking up cards that really fit in my collection. The plan has been to buy a few packs of Topps series 1, Donruss, and Bowman, and then try to purchase the complete Topps/Update set at the end of the year. It might be difficult in the coming months if I get the itch to open packs, but so far, I’ve stuck to it. I recently found some ‘19 Bowman at Wally World, and picked up one of those hangers with 2 packs and a pack of 5 camo parallels in them. Here are the highlights of what I got.
Nothing too earth shattering, but I did get a Tiger for my Tigers binder, a Jacob deGrom for my Favorite Player binder. The rest are rookies and one Refractor insert for my rookie and Refractor binders. I don’t think I got any really good rookies, but you never know with Bowman’s. All you have to do is wait a few years, and you could have something really good. I got a Blue #d to 99 parallel of some Acuna guy a few years ago, and set it aside in a protective sleeve and put it in my rookie binder. I think you all know how hot that card is now. Keep all of your Bowman rookies, guys. You never know. Same thing with Topps Update. If you pull anything from Update with the rookie logo, if the player turns into a decent player, those cards just skyrocket in value.
I’m hoping to get some binders organized on Tuesday. Not too much longer, and I will be on to some of my favorite binders. I might hold off as I am trying to work out some trades and anticipate some cool cards to add to them. Thanks to anyone who has traded with me. I hope to work out more in the future. If you have any Devil Rays/Rays you don’t want or any Tigers that A Cracked Bat can’t use, I would love them. I also have a list of players I collect on the right sidebar.
I’m also hoping to work on the ‘66, ‘65, ‘64, and ‘51 Topps missing player checklists finished in the next month. I can’t believe I’ve got this far. I’ll have to do a post about some of the things I’ve learned about Topps sets from making all of the checklists.
Thanks so much for checking out my latest post.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Stan Royer Missing Topps Cards

Today, I have decided to do a post with all of Stan Royer’s Topps cards. I did a post about his 1992 Topps card on my other blog today, and I only needed 2 customs to finish his career Topps run, so I went ahead and worked on them and finished.them. Here is what I came up with. 

1989 Topps Draft Pick custom
1992 Topps custom
1993 Topps

1994 Topps custom
1995 Topps custom

I actually think I may have seen Stan play in person. I went to a Cards-Tigers spring training game in 1993, and I figure since many stars don’t travel to away games that there is a good chance that Stan played in the game. I was 10 at the time, so I don’t remember much about the game, but maybe, just maybe I saw Stan play during his career. 

Things have been kind of crazy lately, but all seems to be settling down. My wife had stitches removed in her back and they seem to have done the job. We are just kind of waiting now to see what happens. They changed a setting in her shunt, and hopefully everything in her back will be healed and the new shunt setting will ease the headaches. I appreciate all of the words of encouragement. 

I finally got some new 9-pocket pages, and have just a few teams to finish, and all of my cards will mainly be organized. After that, I will start working on the binders of teams/players/cards that I will be focusing on collecting. I have been waiting to do this for almost a year, but have wanted to go through my other binders first, in order to make sure I didn’t miss any cards to add to my special binders. I have definitely found some cards that I missed, and it will be nice to have all of my binders up to date. After everything is done, I want to focus my collecting on anything in my special binders. Basically, any Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays cards, any Detroit Tigers cards, any season/postseason highlights cards, anything shiny/refractory/dufexy/die cut/blue wave/sparkly, rookie cards, sunset cards, and any game-used cards. As far as anything outside of that, I’m really only wanting to get current things because I have my binders organized by year. I will probably just purchase the complete set of Topps every year and the add them to each teams binder. Complicated, but simple. 
I hope to update my favorite player pages with pictures of what I have, as well as a list of what I have of each player. Perhaps make a post with a list of every sunset card of popular players. Lots of ideas and no time to finish them. Stay tuned and we will slowly get through this and you will see some cool cards and customs in the future.
Thanks for taking the time to read my latest post.