Tuesday, May 31, 2016

1999 Topps Rich Butler

Rich Butler played in the Majors from 1997-1999. His older brother Rob Butler played in 1993, 1994, 1997 and 1999. Both came up in the Toronto Blue Jays system and were born in Canada. 
Rich played with the Jays in 1997, and was taken by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 1997 Expansion Draft after the season. He played with the Rays in his final 2 years. 

Rich appeared on the 1998 Topps set, but not in the 1999 or 2000 sets. This latest custom only leaves him with 1 card missing for his career. 

I always thought Butler would make a good outfielder with the Rays, hitting 20 HRs and stealing 20 bases, but he never got much of a chance in the Bigs. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

1999 Topps Kevin Stocker

Kevin Stocker played for the Rays in 1998, serving as their starting Shortstop for most of the season. For some reason, he was left off of the 1999 Topps set, I assume just because it was a small set and that the Rays weren't a big market. He did appear in the 1999 Stadium Club set, so what do I know?

Kevin played in the Majors from 1993-2000, appearing in the 1994-1998 sets, and again in the 2001 set. The custom above covers the 1999 set, so he is just missing a card from the 2000 set. I also made a card for him in the 1992 Topps set since he was a 1991 2nd Round Draft Pick. If you don't know, I do another blog called Completing the 1992 Topps Set, where I have made cards for every player and coach on a 1991 MLB roster, and showcase a new card every few days. Here is the '92 Stocker card. 

I worked on a few cards in the last week, doing a few highlight, World Series Winners, and sunset cards. Hoping to post a bunch in the coming weeks. Thanks for checking out my latest card.

Monday, May 23, 2016

1999 Topps Mike Difelice

Mike Difelice was a catcher for the 1998 Devil Rays. He came up in 1996 with the Cardinals, and was selected by the Rays in the Expansion Draft in late 1997. He stuck around until 2008, never getting into more that 93 games in a season, but serving as a valuable backup catcher, playing with the Rays, Tigers, Cardinals, D-Backs, Mets, Cubs, and Royals.

His only Topps cards came in the 2001 and 2003 Traded sets. Backup catchers don't get many cards, but being a Rays fan who went to about 5 games a year from 1998-2011 or so, I really wish Topps would've made team sets back in the late '90's and early '00's so I could've had a few cards of Defelice to get autographed.

We are in the middle of a 7 card stretch of 1999 Topps Devil Ray cards. I know the guys featured probably aren't household names, but I figured posting each one individually would shed light on their careers and maybe make the posts a bit more interesting. There are some more well-known players to come afterwards, I promise. I'm working on some of those cards as we speak. Thanks for checking out my latest card.

Monday, May 16, 2016

1999 Topps Tim Laker

Tim Laker was a journeyman catcher for most of his career. He came up to the Big Leagues in 1992 with the Montreal Expos, and got time with them in 1993 and 1995 as well. He was with the Orioles in 1997, the Rays in 1998, then on to the Pirates in '98 and '99. He stayed in the Minors in 2000, then made it up to the Indians for 2001, 2003, and 2004. It was back to the Rays in 2005, and then one final season with the Indians in 2006 before calling it a career. 

Tim only got 2 cards in Topps sets, 1993 and 1994. After I made this card, I realized that it wouldn't have been possible for Topps to make this card in 1999 since Tim signed with the Pirates in the middle of the '98 season and got into some games with them later in the year. Oh well, as part of my '98 Devil Ray set, I guess everyone who played in a game (even if they got time with another club in 1998) deserves a card, it just will bug me now that this card wouldn't be possible. 

As with many of the guys I've been doing customs of, I should probably try to make the rest of their Topps cards, but only time will tell. My wife is 11 weeks pregnant with our first child, so I suppose that in the coming months, I won't be making many customs and my posting will be sporadic, but we shall see. 

I've done a good amount of customs (mostly '90's cards, as those were fun years for me as a baseball fan and collector). I think I like the designs of  '90's sets as well too, which could be why I've done a majority of them too. I did do a custom 2016 Bowman card of Brody Koerner, who I'm related to through marriage. I'm hoping to see him pitch next week in Daytona, but just found out he was put on the 7 Day Disabled List on May 5th, so hopefully he will get off it before then. I'm going to try to print out the card and maybe give him a few. Might get a chance to see him play in July, but it would be cool to see him play twice. Thanks for checking out my latest post.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Favorite Player Collection Part 8: 1999 Topps Bubba Trammell

I had a great vacation, and now am back with a post about one of my favorite players. Bubba Trammell played in the Majors from 1997-2003. He received Topps cards in the '97-'98 sets, and the '00-'03 sets. He tore up the Minors and I really think he could've been a 20-30 Home Run guy in the Majors, he just never really got the 500 At-Bats in a season to show what he had early in his career.  By the time he did, personal problems and injuries curtailed what could've been a great career.

Bubba was one of my favorite players from the start of his career. I started following him while living in Lakeland, Florida. He played for the Lakeland Tigers in 1995, and I was 12. I didn't go to any games that year, but read about his power in the local paper. I made it to about 5 Lakeland games in 1996, but he had moved up the ladder by then. In 1997 I got his '97 Topps and '97 Collectors Choice cards out of packs and I looked forward to seeing him bash Homers for my favorite team, the Detroit Tigers. In November of that year, he was selected by my other favorite team, the expansion Tamla Bay Devil Rays. I saw a few Rays games in '98 and '99, and I got Bubba to sign his '97 Collectors Choice card at a game in 1999. I was crushed when the Rays traded him in 2000, but was happy to see him play in the World Series that year. Too bad it was against the Bankee$. He had a few good seasons with the Padres after that, but then the injuries and personal problems came and he was out of the sport by 2007. Bubba still remains one of my favorite players and I have close to 20 of his cards, including the autographed one, a jersey card, and a few parallels.

I don't know why Topps didn't put him in the '99 set. He was one of the few Rays that actually did ok in 1998. I'm assuming maybe just because of the small set size and how small the market is for Tampa Bay fans. It would've been nice to get a sunset card of him in the '04 set, but he didn't put up very good numbers, so it's easy to see why he got left off. I'll give him his sunset card soon enough.

His '99 card was easy enough to make. If you have the template, all you have to do is basically put it over a decent picture and rotate it and put in the name and team. In thinking about maybe doing a post where I either post templates for all the teams in a certain Topps set, or maybe post templates for every Topps set from 1951 to the present and just select a random team for every year. If that would interest you, let me know. Thanks for checking out my latest post.