Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What's been going on at my other blog

I don't know if my readers know about it or not, but I have another blog that I do besides this one called Completing the 1992 Topps Set. In the blog, I am making custom 1992 Topps cards for players who weren't included in the original 1992 Topps and 1992 Topps Traded sets. It will be 413 cards I am adding to the set, with the last card being card #1205 (I started the first card in the set at 793. I have finished making templates for all of the different teams in the leagues, and am up to card #821 (Blaine Beatty). Here is a sampling of some of the cards I've done.

The backs are hard as heck to do because many of the players were mid-way through their careers or were a season or 2 away from retirement. I can get their career stats from www.baseball-reference.com, but I still have to subtract a few years of stats, or figure out Slugging Percentage for their career up to '91, so it can be difficult. Rookies can be hard as well, since I either have to look up their Minor League stats on BB Reference, or try to find stats on a Minor League or early trading card. All-in-all, I haven't had too much trouble so far, and it's been fairly easy to find pics of all the players I have needed so far.

I would love it if you would check my other blog out if you haven't found it already, and if you have any tips, suggestions, questions, or comments, let me know. And if you are super awesome, and would love to help me make customs for my 1992 Topps (or this blog's) project, even better. Thanks for checking out my customs!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015 Topps Manny Ramirez Highlight Checklist

Well, I decided to change the checklist again. This time, instead of having card #54 be a 1991 Topps Mike Mussina Draft Pick card, I decided to make a 2015 Topps Manny Ramirez checklist card. It just seemed like more fun to me. I have no clue yet how many cards are going to be in the 2015 Topps set, so I decided to make a safe bet, and number the card as #792 for the '15 set. It also gave me a way to officially have a checklist for my set. I hope to do more "highlight checklist" cards, and to also make the 1991 Topps Mussina in a future series.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

1990 Topps Dave Dravecky Highlights

Dave Dravecky is one of my favorite players ever. I never watched him pitch, and his career ended 3-4 seasons before I really started following baseball, but I read a few of his books, and am inspired how he beat cancer to pitch in the Bigs again. It just happens to be his birthday today, and he just happens to be the next card on my list, and his friend Atlee Hammaker just happens to be the next card on my list on my other blog, Completing the 1992 Topps Set. That's kind of crazy.

Dave got a regular card in the '90 Topps set, as well as base cards from Score and Upper Deck. I have always wanted to try to make a 1990 Donruss and Fleer card of him, but I don't know if I should post it on this blog or not.

Topps didn't make highlight cards until the 1997 set, but I have made a few in sets that Topps didn't feature them, including a 1990 Topps Bo Jackson Highlight card. 1990 Topps has the most cards so far in my custom Topps "Cards that never Were" set with 6.

I used GIMP to do the rotating on the text on the back of the card, and after a few mistakes, I think I got the concept down, and really like how it turned out. If you compare it to the '90 Bo Jackson back, I think it really puts that one to shame. I found a picture of an actual game ticket, some shots of the scoreboard, and 1 of Dave pitching in his comback game on the blog Sons of Johnnie LeMaster, and used some of them on the card. I decided to try to make the card a horizontal one, and like how it turned out as well.

Thanks for checking out this blog, and if you are ever interested in it, my other blog Completing the 1992 Topps Set is a project I am working on to give a 1992 Topps card to everyone who appeared in a MLB game in the 1991 season. If you have any comments, suggestions, ideas, or questions, feel free to write them in the comment box. I love comments and followers and love to get a feel for the kinds of collectors reading my blog so I can appeal to their interests. Happy Valentines Day to my awesome wife, and everyone reading this.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

1996 Topps Dave Stewart

This Dave Stewart sunset card is one that I can actually say I'm a little proud of. Most of my customs I make with MS Paint, but I do have GIMP 2, and I have been fooling around with some things on it, and I really like the results. I still do the majority of the work on Paint, but GIMP really helps with rotating pictures/text, and blending colors. If you look at my other 1996 Topps card that I did, (a Dave Winfield sunset card), you can see a few changes. On the Winfield, I didn't blend the colors behind his name, and on the Stewart, I did, and I think it looks a whole lot better. I also didn't outline the whole name/picture box, and I like that better as well.

Topps made a card for "Smoke" in their 1994 set and 1995 Traded set, but not in the 1996 set. Stewart put up some good numbers as soon as he was in Oakland, and won a World Series with them in 1989 and another with the Blue Jays in 1993. He is now the Arizona Diamondbacks GM.

One final note, I am in the process of making a page on my blog trying to list all of the custom Topps cards ever made (by myself and other bloggers). I am doing this in hopes of maybe one day banding together with other bloggers (and maybe perhaps inspire Topps) and creating an official set of "Cards that never Were). I am listing the cards in order by year, and am going to try to put links of pictures of the cards, and also crediting the custom card makers who made them. I will also list cards that myself and others have ideas of making that haven't been made yet. I have some cards (and links) from the 1951 and 1952 Topps sets up, and I'll probably start with the 1980 Topps set and work my way to the present, and then fill in the holes. If you see any cards that I am missing, would like to help with this project, or for some reason you see a card you made and don't want it listed, please feel free to email me or leave a comment. I hope this project generates some interest in making an offical Topps "Cards that never Were" set. Thanks for checking out my post.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

1999 Topps Dennis Martinez

Until I made this card, I never realized that El Presidente played for so long. I assumed he came up in either 1980 or 1979, but he debuted in 1976, and played until 1998. I remember him pitching with the Cleveland Indians, and it was either 1995 or 1996 he went like 8-0 to start the season and looked like he wouldn't lose a game that year.

I had a chance to meet him when he was coaching for the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League. It was 2009 or so, and I was trying to get every card in the 1992 Topps set autographed. I brought Denny's 2 cards with me, and he signed them after the game. I have since stopped collecting autographs, but I will always remember when I got to meet El Presidente.

Denny's last Topps card came in the 1997 set, and he missed out on getting cards in the 1998 and 1999 sets. Here is his sunset card.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

1997 Topps Alan Trammell

I've been away from this blog for awhile, but I'm back, and just in time to finish the 2nd series. This card is interesting for a few reasons. First, it would've been the final Topps card of Alan Trammell. I also did a custom 1978 Topps rookie card of Alan, featuring him, Paul Molitor, Ozzie Smith, and Eddie Murray. So this card marks the first time in my set that I have done a custom rookie and final Topps card of a player. The only other player so far to get 2 cards in Nolan Ryan (a 1967 Topps rookie with Tom Seaver, and a 1994 Topps Season Highlights card highlighting the fight he had with Robin Ventura during his final season).
The 2nd reason this card is interesting is that card #25 (the last card in Series 1) was also from 1997 Topps, a 1997 Topps Alejandro Pena sunset card.
The final thing that makes this card interesting is that it is card #7. After Mickey Mantle died in 1995, Topps chose to make a Mantle card as #7 in the 1996 Topps set. After 1996, Topps chose to retire card #7 in honor of Mantle, so most of the Topps sets in the next 20 years would not feature a card #7. I had forgot about this until the other day, and decided that since I am completing Topps sets and had planned to fillin any holes number-wise, that I should fill in the missing #7 cards in the Topps sets that had them. This 1997 Topps Alan Trammell will be the first.

It's truly a shame that Trammell didn't get a final Topps card in the 1997 set. Most of the other sets that year (Fleer, Collector's Choice, Score, Pinnacle, and Upper Deck) gave him one, but not Topps. As I did the research for this card, I thought I would be swung towards the side of him being worthy of the Hall of Fame, but I am still unsure. He missed probably 20 games per season, and only had 1 or 2 spectacular seasons, and missed almost all of 1992 due to injury. I think he would've put up maybe a full season or 2 of decent stats with all the time he missed, and that would've got him closer to 3,000 hits (maybe 200-300 hits shy), but he really didn't have the power or speed that I assumed he had, and after typing in his Batting Averages, I would've guessed that his career totals would've been closer to .260-.270, not .280. I guess he was consistant for his era, but I think that he belongs in the Hall of Very, Very Good (the best you can be without getting into the Hall), not the Hall of Fame, and I am sad to state that, being a huge Detroit Tiger fan.

Series 3 starts off next with a 1999 Topps sunset card of Denny Martinez. I have put a link to the checklist of cards I plan on making in the future on the right hand side of the blog, and have also put some of my favorite blogs on the right as well. Check them out, there are some great custom makers out there, and as always, feel free to leave comments, suggestions, and ideas in the comment section. Thanks for reading.