Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Nationals are World Champions!!

So it seems like every time I think I come up with an idea for a cool BBA, it blows up in my face and nobody reads the post or follows my train of thought, so I think I will just keep my thoughts to myself and try not to feed my ego, lol. I think my posts come out better anyways when I'm not writing something that I am hoping will get a lot of comments.
With that being said, here is a post about your 2019 MLB World Champions, the Washington Nationals. I can't belive they won, but I guess anyone can win as long as they get in the playoffs. I was rooting for them because most of the team didn't have rings, and it was nice to see older stars like Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, and Max Scherzer get rings.
To celebrate their big win, here are some customs I have of Nationals players/coaches (they may not be pictured as Nats on the custom, but oh well).

First up is Nats manager Dave Martinez. I have always been a fan of Dave. He got the first hit in Tampa Bay (Devil) Ray history, and he was always a likeable guy when he was with them.
In 2009, I saw the Rays and Indians play a Spring Training game in Winter Haven, FL. It was just before the Rays had their magical '09 season where they took the AL by surprise and made it to the World Series.
I had come to the game early to get autographs, and as I was walking in to the park, Dave come up to my right. I guess he had drove to the park by himself and was walking in to the stadium. I quickly dug out my 3 cards of him that I brought, and he signed them. I remarked to him how surprised I was to see him just walk up to the park like that and not go in through a player entrance. He was really nice, and I knew he had a big baseball mind when he was coaching with the Rays, and something told me that he would win a World Series. This custom is from the 1999 Topps set, and celebrates that first Rays hit.

This custom of Strasburg is kind of a mash up. Most of it was done by reader Richard, and I added the 2009 Draft Pick part to it. I think I may try to do another one with a different font, and maybe put the Draft Pick part on the top somehow. I have always thought Stephen Strasburg would just break out and have a 20 Win season and show all of his potential. He had injuries slow him down, but he had a decent season this year, was great in the playoffs, and now can put his name on the list of players who have won a ring.

I think I have shown this custom before. If MLB hadn't changed the rules for putting rookies and minor league players on cards in '05-'06, we would'be probably seen a card like this. The Alex Gordon from that set would've got all of the attention, but this card would've been the one to hold its value over time.
Max Scherzer has accomplished just about anything a pitcher can. He has a 20 strikeout game. He has 2 no-hitters. He now has a ring. 3,000 strikeouts is on the horizon in a season or two. He is maybe missing a perfect game from his resume, but it is not crazy to think that he would throw one. The thing that floors me is that he has only been pitching in the Majors since 2008, and he has 2,692 strikeouts. That is only 12 seasons!!  He has put together a Hall of Fame career, and still has 5-6 years left if he decides to ride his body out.  I don't want to brag, but this card is mine!!!
And so are these!!
Not that I would ever sell them, but it feels nice to actually have some decent cards of someone who is putting together a great career.

I just made this one up today. This set is going to be one of those sets that I wait until like 2050 to attempt. It is so tough to make a good template for it, and the curved nameplate kills me. Not the best custom, but this could've been Anthony Rendon's rookie card had Topps been allowed to make Draft Pick cards. Rendon has put together some good seasons, and established himself as a great player for the Nats.

This one, I believe, was made by Richard. Davey Lopes has been in baseball forever. He was a good infielder for the Dodgers in the '70's, and played through the '80's with a few teams, and then coached ever since. He was a coach for the '98 Padres that made it to the World Series, and he went on to manage the Brewers in the early '00's. Now, he is with the Nationals, and won a ring. I did some digging, and found these coach customs I had made of Davey. I love the '94 photo of him getting tossed from a game.

Well, that's about all I have of National player/coach customs. If Zimmerman wouldn't have had a card in the '05 set, I would've definitely added one, but he did, and I don't have anything of Zim.
I might try to work on some 2020 Topps World Series customs, so stay tuned for them.

I finished the 2011 Topps missing player checklist, and am starting the 2012 checklist. There might be a small chance that I can finish all of them before the end of the year. Just 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019 to go. It could happen. It won't be a big deal if it doesn't, but it would be cool to catch up to Topps and be able to crank out customs and templates. Thanks for following me on this journey, and congrats to the Washington Nationals. It is tough to even make it to the playoffs, and you only get so many chances, and have to take advantage of them.
Last thing before I go. I played basketball in middle school at the YMCA. The first 3 seasons, we had ok teams, but always got knocked out of the playoffs in the 1st of 3 rounds. Every team got in the playoffs, so it wasn't anything special to get in, but it was if you won. Well, that 4th seaosn, playing for the Grizzlies, I had a great coach who had a defense where he would have a fast guy guarding whoever had the ball, 2 guards at the top of the key, and 2 big/tall guys (I was a tall guy, so this was where I would play) by the hoop who would intercept passes. We rode this defense through the 1st round, beating the worst team in the leauge, the Rockets. We won the 2nd round against a decent Pacers team. In the finals, we played the Wolverines, who was coached by my best friend Jon's brother. My best friend was their star center, and my friend Antoine was their star forward. They had a lead in the 1st half, but because of rules, they had to play their subs in the 2nd half because they hadn't played all game. We took the game over, and won the title.
The next year, our team was good on paper, but we stunk up the regular season. In the 1st round of the playoffs, we staged a 2nd half comeback to win. In the 2nd round, we played the 2nd best team in the leauge, and found ourselves down by like 8 starting the 2nd half. Our shooting guard Roger hit a 3, we got a rebound, Rog hit another 3, and I found myself believing that we could come back and win, which we did. In the finals, we played the best team in the league, were down going in to the 2nd half, and came back and won. I scored 4 points, but it was kind of bittersweet. I started every game that year, and coach Z. counted on me to get rebounds and score points close to the bucket. I was in 10th grade, and wouln't be eligible to play the next year. I kind of knew my basketball career would be over. During the last few minutes of the final game, we were ahead, and coach Z. took me out. With a few seconds left, I wanted to be on the floor for my last game, but I didn't say anything to him, and I sat on the bench and watched the clock run down to 0.0, and we shook hands with the opposing team and recieved our trophies.
I say all of this to say that championships are special and don't happen that often, so if you find yourself a part of one in any part of your life (whether it be winning an award at work, winning a personal victory over something, finally having a baby after trying so hard, getting the girl of your dreams, getting a job you wanted, winning a softball championship, whatever), take a breath and enjoy it!! You don't know if it will ever happen again, and they are special moments. Always remember them and let them remind you that good things can happen and remember how far you have come. And if you are on the bench in the final seconds of the last game of your career, ask your coach to put you in. You won't regret it. Here is a photo of my 2nd championship trophy.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

1 comment:

  1. Super happy for Nationals fans. I was pulling for them... and Kurt Suzuki, Juan Soto, Max Scherzer, and a few other players on the squad.