Saturday, July 30, 2016

1999 Topps #473 Terry Pendleton

Terry Pendleton was a solid 3rd Baseman for many years in the Majors. He came up with the Cardinals in 1984 and stayed with the through 1990. He signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent in 1991 and went on to win the 1991 NL MVP award and the NL batting title. He signed with the Marlins for 1995, missing out on the Braves' only World Series title of the '90's. He came back to the Braves for 1996, played for the Reds in 1997, and finished out his career in 1998 with the Royals. After his playing career, he became a coach with the Braves in 2002, and is still a coach to this day.

TP is only missing 2 cards in his career Topps run. He is in every set from 1985-1997, but is missing cards in the '98 and '99 sets. With this '99 Topps custom, he only needs a '98 Topps custom to finish his run of Topps cards. If you include coach cards, he is missing a lot more cards, as he needs cards from the 2003 set up to this years' set and the still to come out 2017 set (assuming Topps doesn't make coach cards).

Thanks for checking out my latest card.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

1993 Topps Junior Felix

Junior Felix played in the Majors from 1989-1994. He appeared on a good number of cards during that time, getting a card every year during his career. Felix started his career with the Blue Jays in 1989. He stayed with them through 1990, then played with the Angels in 1991 and 1992. He got selected by the Florida Marlins in the Expansion Draft in late 1992, and suited up for Florida in 1993. He played for the Detroit Tigers in his final season (1994). 
His first Topps card came in the 1989 Traded set. He got into the regular issue in 1991 and 1992. His 1993 card is iconic and has had many posts written about it. Topps took the photo in an Angels-Indians game in 1992. He is shown sliding into home with Indians catcher Junior Ortiz trying to tag him. Gary Gaetti's card that year also features him sliding into home in that game, and Otriz's '93 card features a shot of the Gaetti play just seconds later. Felix got into the '94 Traded set and finished out his Topps run in the 1995 regular set. 

Junior should've got a 1993 Topps card in Series 2 as he was selected by the Marlins in the Expansion Draft. Many other players who were selected by the Marlins (and Rockies) in the draft got Series 2 cards in their new uniforms, and there were also some in the Traded set. Junior had a '93 Finest card, a '93 Stadium Club card, and a '93 Team Stadium Club card showing him in his Marlins duds, so it's confusing as to why he was left off of the '93 Series 2 set. With this custom, it finishes up his career Topps run and gives him his Marlins card. 

I haven't had time to work on cards in a while, and probably won't next week, but I did try to print some and they actually came out pretty good. I'm going to see a relative who is in the minors tomorrow, and I'm going to give him some cards I made and printed, so we'll see what he thinks. 

Thanks to checking out my latest card. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

1994 Topps Frank Tanana

Frank Tanana was an underrated pitcher, who nearly got 3,000 strikeouts in the Bigs. He pitched for 21 seasons in the Majors and tallied up 2,773 strikeouts, leading the AL in K's in 1975. He came up with the Angels in 1973, and played with them through 1980. He spent the '81 season in Boston, then pitched 1982-1985 with the Rangers. He was traded to the Tigers in 1985, and stayed with them through 1992. His final season in 1993 was spent with the Mets and Yankees.  I actually saw Tanana pitch in Spring Training in 1992. I was 9 years old and had a copy of his 1989 Donruss card. I took a few pictures of him warming up in the bullpen before the game, and I may still have them somewhere. We are hopefully moving in a few months, and if our new home is big enough, I will probably move some of my boxes out of storage and hopefully find my old pictures.  Anyways, after the game, I was outside the stadium trying to get autographs. I had managed to get Kevin Ritz of the Tigers and I believe Gary Redus of the Pirates to sign a softball I had. Barry Bonds came running out of the tunnel, and I had his 1989 Topps card. He ran off and didn't sign, but some guy who had a poster of him followed him and came back with it signed. If I knew how good Bonds was going to be in the next decade, I would've chased him too, but I was 9 and didn't know any better. Later, Frank Tanana comes out. I followed him (why him and not Bonds???), and he just walked to his car and got in, never signing a thing. I would get revenge about 10 years later when I went to the Tigers fantasy camp in Lakeland to try to get autographs. Frank was there and he signed my 1989 Donruss card as well as a few others. I never know why, but Frank is always kind of ambrasive when signing autographs in person. He signed my cards, but made a comment like I had a ton of them and like I was going to sell them. Oh well. I got my '89 Donruss card signed by Frank.

Tanana was only missing 1 Topps card from his career run, which was his final '94 sunset card. His Topps run is now complete with this custom. He only got 1 card in 1994 (from Score), and I actually had to use the same photo for my card since I couldn't find any online.

Now to something totally off topic, but earlier in the week, I had brought a pack of Topps Series 1. It was nothing special, but I did get the base card of John Jaso, as well as the Gold parallel card of Jaso. I'm sure if you've collected for 5 or more years, you have probably had it happen to you where you pull a base card and a parallel card of the same player in 1 pack. Does anyone know if there is a term for that?  I know if you get like 3 or more of the same card in a row in a repack/pack/trade stack it is called 'Getting Bipped' in honor of Bip Roberts, but what about when you get the base and parallel card in the same pack?  Can we call it 'Getting Jaso'ed'?  While we're at it, how did the term 'Getting Bipped' begin?  It would be cool if the term 'Jaso'ed' would catch on to describe the whole base/parallel in a pack thing. Any thoughts?

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

1990 Topps Bob Brenly

Bob Brenly started his MLB career by being called up to the Giants in 1981. He stayed with them until the end of the 1988 season, when he was released. He signed with the Blue Jays (which I didn't know) for 1989, but was released by them in the middle of the season, and then came back to the Giants. I don't believe Topps made an '89 Traded card of Brenly, so it's probably impossible to find a photo of Bob in a Blue Jays uniform. Bob's last season was 1989 before going on to coaching. He coached with the Giants from 1992-1996, before becoming manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2001-2004, winning the 2001 World Series with them.

He had Topps cards from 1982-1989, missing out on his sunset 1990 card, which I gave him. He is also missing cards from the 1993-1997 sets when he was a coach, as well as a card in the 2005 set as a manager. Pretty good for Topps with them only missing 1 card from his playing career. His 2005 card is also an understandable absence since Al Pedrique came in to replace him midseason.

I haven't had a day where I could sit down and work on customs in 2 weeks probably, and I probably won't have one for the next week, but I will still post new cards as I probably have 50 finished ones that haven't been posted.

Thanks for checking out this one.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

1996 Topps Lou Whitaker

I kind of got to know Lou Whitaker while living in Lakeland, Florida in the '90's. I saw him play a few times in Spring Training during his career, and in 1998, I was being home-schooled and had just bought a box of '95 Topps from K-Mart I believe. 
Every 2nd Thursday, my mom would drive me to Orlando for a science class that was taught by one of the heads of the home-school organization we had to register with in order to have our records considered legit. Looking back, I would never want to home-school my kid (my first is due in late-November!). Home-schooling robbed me of socialization, my schoolwork was never policed too heavily and I think my mom just gave me A's in some subjects so I could pass. The science class I went to did help fill in some gaps though. 
Before we left for the class one day, we stopped at a gas station and I got a Surge and a bag of chips. While waiting in line, a gentleman was talking with another person about Alan Trammell like he knew him. I asked how he knew Mr. Trammell and he responded that he played 2nd Base next to him for 2 decades, and I was like "You're Lou Whitaker!!!"  I would always take one of my binders on trips that would be an hour or more, and I happened to bring my '95 Topps binder which had 2 Whitaker cards in it (base version and Cyberstats parallel). I told Lou I had 2 of his cards in the car and asked if he would autograph them. He told me he had a new sharpie in his office and to give him our address and he would come back and sign them. 6 hours later, he showed up at my door with the sharpie and a few copies of 'The Watchtower' (he is a Jehovah's Witness). He signed my cards and took a picture with me. 
He came back to my door a few other times with Jehovah's Witness stuff, and one of the last times I went to a Spring Training game in Lakeland (2010 I think), he recognized me from back then. He kind of got a bad/strange rap from the in-person/ttm autograph community, but I always thought he was ok from my experience with him.
Topps' last Whitaker card was the '95 card. His 1996 card is the only one missing to give him a complete Topps run from the '78 set to the '96 set (Lou played from 1977-1995).
I'm hoping to try to print out some customs in the next week so maybe next Saturday I will post about how that went. Thanks for checking out my latest card.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Favorite Player Collection Part 11: 1998 Topps Bob Wolcott

This card kills two birds with one stone for me. Bob Wolcott is in my Favorite Player Collection, and was also a member of the 1998 Arizona Diamondbacks, a team I am wanting to make 1998 and 1999 Topps cards for.

Bob played for the Seattle Mariners from 1995-1997, the Diamondbacks in 1998, and the Boston Red Sox in 1999, before being forced to retire due to shoulder surgery.  He appeared in the 1996 and 1997 Topps sets, and is missing cards from the '98, '99, and '00 sets, as well as a card in the 1993 Topps set, since he was a 2nd round draft pick (I made him a Draft Pick card in the set).

Part of the reason that I collect Wolcott goes back to 1998. I created my own simulation baseball league where I would give players ratings and play out games mainly going off of dice rolls and coin flips. There were 12 teams in the league, and Wolcott went 3-0 in 3 starts for the Mariners. Because of this and how he did in the '95 Postseason, I think I've always thought Wolcott was a little better than he actually was. His '96 Topps Laser Bright Spots insert agrees with me though, saying he would have over 273 Wins and 2,848 Strikeouts by 2010.

I worked on a few customs today. I'm trying to give Jason Varitek all his missing Topps cards. He had a contract dispute with Topps after appearing in the 1992 Team USA set, and didn't sign with Topps until 2007, so he is missing quite a few cards. I've done all of them up to the 2004 set, but still have the 2005, 2006, and his final 2012 card to do.  After that, I have a ton of cards I could do, we will just see what happens.

Thanks for checking out my latest card.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Favorite Player Collection Part 10: 2001 Topps JC Romero

JC Romero has been one of my favorite players since 2001. I was in my English class at the University of Mobile, and my friend Shadrick was talking about a baseball player he knew who went to school at UM. I asked him who it was and he said it was JC Romero. He and Shadrick knew each other from previous semesters, and I guess JC had come back to school after the MLB season was over to finish his degree. Shadrick showed me the 2001 Upper Deck Vintage card of JC that he had and I vowed one day to get that card. It arrived in my mailbox about a month ago with around 100 other cards I got from COMC.

JC played for the Twins from 1999-2005, the Angels in 2006, the Red Sox for 2007, the Phillies from 2007-2011, the Rockies in 2011, and the Cardinals and Orioles in 2012. He played for World Series winning clubs in 2007 and 2008 with the Red Sox and Phillies. His only Topps cards came in the 2003, 2008 Update, and 2011 Update sets. He did appear in a few team sets as well. This 2001 card helps fill in one of the holes in his career Topps run, but there are still a ton to go.

I have been doing a lot of research on replacement players during the 1994-1995 strike. I've found a few lists of the names of replacement players, but none of them list teams that the guys played for, so I have done a ton of research, and have matched teams to probably 50-100 players. I will be trying to make 1994 Topps Traded 'Update' cards for players that I can find suitable  pictures for.  The only way that Topps would've probably made cards for the replacements would've been for them to issue an updated Traded set in March of 1995. Had the strike continued in 1995, I suspect Topps would've either included replacements in a huge Series 2 set, issued a 3rd Series with replacements included , not included them at all in any set, or waited until the 1995 season was over and included replacements who played a regular season game in 1995 in the 1996 set over both series. So I've been doing a few cards of replacement players lately, as well as other random cards.

Thanks for reading my latest post.