Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Trade with Brett and PWE trading

A while ago, I held a contest post, where I gave away some customs to a few lucky readers. One of the winners, Brett, commented and asked for a '79 Topps Willie Mays coach custom. I was unable to reach him, as I couldn't find an email address or blog. I felt bad about it until recently. When John from Johnny's Trading Spot held his first Big Fun Game, Brett ended up picking a lot of reprint cards. I ended up picking some Wacky Packages stickers, but before I picked them, made a comment that the reprints looked good. Brett e-mailed me that he would be up for a trade for the vinatge cards. I mentioned to him that I still owed him some customs from the contest I held, so we ended up working a nice trade, where I found him some Mets and sent some customs and I got back a nice lot of Jacob DeGroms as well as some Detroit Tigers. 

I got around 15 new DeGroms for my collection. With all of this coronavirus stuff happening, I'm kind of surprised I haven't seen Jacob at any grocery stores here in DeLand, where I live. Jacob was born just outside DeLand and went to college there as well. I'd be a tad hesitant to ask for an autograph if I ever did see him, though, just with all of the worries about germs and stuff. 
The Optic card is sweet!  I need to pick up some more of those. Also included for my Favorite Player Collection is a '91 Leaf Hensley Muelens.
There were a bunch more Tigers, but these were some of my favorites. I apologize for the photo getting cut off. It was flipped 180 degrees, and when I flipped it on my phone, it cropped off a bunch of the top. The first 2 cards feature photos from Joker Marchant Stadium, Spring Training home of the Detroit Tigers. I saw a game there this spring before MLB suspended everything. The Newhauser is a reprint that got the talks going. The 3 '91 Studio cards put me close to finishing off that set. I've always been a Scott Livingstone fan. Somewhere, I have a picture of him in the bullpens at Joker Marchant in 1992. The '00 Topps Dean Palmer is a new one for me. I purchased the '00 Topps Series 2 set, so I just need a few Series 1 Tigers to finish that set off for me. Brett sent me a few new Miguel Cabreras to round out the picture, from left to right, 2019 Bowman, 2018 Optic, 2018 Topps '83 Anniversary insert, and 2018 Topps Chrome. Thanks for the great trade, Brett. I hope to do it again soon.

Speaking of trading, I don't know how many people are still up for trading while being stuck at home, but I was really hoping to do some trades without really having to leave home and expose myself to more germs at the Post Office. I have 12 forever stamps burning a hole in my wallet, so I figured, why not do some PWE trades. I would love to trade with some new people, as well as guys I've traded with before. If you are up for a PWE trade, hit me up in the comments or my e-mail, and just list me 5 players you are looking for, and 2 teams, and I should be able to come up with 4 or 5 cards to slip into a PWE, throw a forever stamp on, and drop into the mailbox. If you want to send something back,cool. If not, no biggie, it was only a forever stamp and a couple of cards. Please share this on your own blog so it reaches other blogs I haven't traded with or followed.

I have tomorrow off, but probably won't be able to get as much done on my checklists, as my 3-year-old son is home. His day care is shut down for a while as the coronavirus is still being transmitted pretty easily, and I am happy that they shut down just so my family has that much more of a chance of not catching it. Work is still crazy though. I would love to rant about it, but you don't want to hear it, so let's do some trading and take our minds off of it.

Thanks for reading my latest post.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Making a custom step-by-step

Today, I am going to try to do a post while showing how I make a custom card in MS Paint and breaking down the steps into the most basic forms, so hopefully you are able to follow it. I am going to make a 1993 Topps card of Mike Kingery, the next card up in that set. First off, I have 2 versions of MS Paint open, 1 with a blank file, and the other with a file I created called 'logos', which features some random logos and things. If you haven't got that file yet, just right-click it, press save, and save it. Then, open it up in one of your Paint windows.
After you have your blank window and Logo file window opened up in Paint, you will need to open up your '93 A's template file in the blank window of Paint. If you don't already have the file, here it is. Right click it, save it, and open it up in Paint. 

Now, you need a photo of Kingery as an Oakland A. I wasn't able to find any after doing a Google search, but was able to find him pictured as an A on a '92 Topps Stadium Club card. Problem with that is that the photo is too small if you zoom in, and has the player name and card logo if you leave it normal size. I was able to smudge out the card stuff. Here is the photo I got.
Go ahead and go to the bottom right hand corner of your A's template. Click on it, and drag it down and to the right so you have more area to work with. Your screen should now look something like this:
Go ahead and right click on the Kingery photo, and click copy. Then, go into the A's template window of Paint, and right click, and click paste. While holding the left mouse button as the mouse is over the Kingery photo, move the photo to the left of the A's template. Your screen should be similar to this.
The next step is sometimes unneccessary, but sometimes it will save you a little time. Go ahead and select a random color like pink. Click on the Paint bucket, and fill in the 3 completely white areas of your template with the pink color. Your Paint window should have Color 1 listed as pink, and Color 2 as white. Color 2 is the background color, so whatever color the background is, will basically appear as clear. You will find this out in a second. After you have colored the 3 areas pink, the screen should look similar to this.
Now that I have had you color the 3 areas pink, go ahead and instead of left clicking the 3 areas, right click them. This will paint them the background color. 

This next step is what makes combining the template and photo possible. Go ahead and click on the area underneath the rectangle on the Paint dashboard that says 'select'. 
On the very bottom choice, which says 'transparent selection', make sure it is checked.
Now, anything that is the background color (Color 2) will be transparent when it is placed over something. This will allow all of the white areas on the A's template to be clear and allow the Kingery photo to show through it. 

Select the A's template by holding the left mouse button in, starting from somewhere under the bottom right corner of the A's template, and then drag it all of the way up to the top left of the A's template. 
While the rectangle box is around the A's template, left click the middle of the A's template and hold it down. This will allow you to drag it wherever you want to in the window. Go ahead and drag it over the Kingery photo, making sure not to go too far (else you will show some of the edges of the Kingery photo. Now you have a basic card. Click on a blank area of the paint window away from the new card. 
Select an area around your new card, and drag it back to the top left area of teh Paint window. Make sure not to drag too far so you don't cut off any of the border. 
In order to do the name, you need the correct font, which is Superclarendon. You can download it here. The '93 Topps set kind of has a shadow effect on the name, so we will do the name in black first, and then in red. Select the black color box, and click on the text tool box on the dashboard (the 'A' on the right of the paint bucket). 
Now, click on the yellow bar on the card (where the name will go). It should make a text window something like this.
If the box isn't exactly in the area you want it to be, you can use the white squares around the text box to resize it. You can do this either before or after you place the text. Go ahead and type out 'MIKE KINGERY' (in all caps, since '93 Topps is in all caps). I used 9 as the font size.
Click on a white area of the paint window, select red as a color, re-do a text box, type out 'MIKE KINGERY' again, and then use the white boxes around the text window to put it into the correct position. We are almost done.
Remember the 'Logo' file sitting all alone in the other Paint window? Go to it, find the black Topps logo at the top left, which is at the very top, between the white Topps logo and the #1 Draft Pick banner. Select it, right click it, and copy it. 
Go back to the Paint window with the card in it, click on the select rectangle, right click on the screen and click paste, and move it into position on the card wherever you would like it. 

Now all you need to do is drag the outer edges of the Paint window, and move them to the edges of the border of your new card. Once you do that, all you need to do is save the photo. 
Your window should look like that at the end.

I hope this helps you understand how I make customs in MS Paint and maybe allows you to do so yourself. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Friday, March 20, 2020

All quarantine team

Well, unless you've been hidden under a rock, you pretty much know what this post is about.
I am choosing the a team of 9 position players (including DH), a bench guy, 5 starting pitchers, 2 relievers, and a manager to take with me while we are hunkering down trying to stop the spread of the dreaded virus. For each player, I will give the reason why they were selected, and a custom card of them.

CATCHER: Jeff Reed
Jeff seems like a nice guy from what I've heard about him from friends. For years, he coached the Elizabethton Twins, and I had a friend who set up conferences for evangelists. He got with Jeff, who told him that he would speak and do whatever he could for the particular evanglist my friend was setting up shows for at the time. Jeff also gave my friend season tickets to Elizabethton that year. What makes me think that Jeff would be a handy guy during a quarantine is what I found out from the back of his 1995 Topps card. The back of the card said that instead of glove oil, he uses shaving cream. It makes me think that he could be smart on the fly, kind of like MacGuyver, and that could come in real handy with limited resources.

FIRST BASE: Todd Helton
Clint Barmes suffered an injury in 2005 which cost him a good amount of time. Originally, he said it was from slipping while carrying groceries up some stairs. When the truth came out, it was revealed that Todd Helton had given Clint some deer meat, which caused the fall. According to the story, Todd seems like he would be a good hunter, and adept at riding an ATV, which would come in handy, should grocery stores run very low on supplies.

I kind of put together this team in my head over the last few days at work, and I wasn't able to really come up with a good 2nd baseman in my head. Then I remembered Joey Cora's 1990 Donruss card back. Aparently, Joey was strong enough to come back from a stab wound. I would want someone like that to fight on my team if it came down to a fight. If I knew I had someone who recovered from a stabbing next to me in a fight, I would fight just as hard as they would.

SHORTSTOP: Robin Yount
Kind of going back to that ATV thing with Helton, there are numerous photos, and even a stadium club card with Robin Yount riding on a motorcycle. Some of me just feels like someone who could be skilled with different types of vehicles and who had working on cars as a hobby would be like an asset during a quarantine.

THIRD BASE: Wade Boggs
Wade makes this list becasue of the chicken cookbook he made. Part of me thinks if he has a cookbook that he would be able to cook as well. Gotta know someone who knows how to cook well if you are quarantined for a while.

LEFT FIELD: Luke Scott
Another ballplayer with interests in hunting, Luke Scott actually brought a wild boar into the Rays clubhouse in 2013. Seems like he would be good at hunting down food if we needed it. Plus, he could help my sideburns look even better.

CENTER FIELD: Rickey Henderson
I think having someone with super-human speed would be an asset in a quarantine, should the need to run somewhere in a quick amount of time or the need to run away from something arise. Hendu is the quickest player I have seen in my lifetime.

RIGHT FIELD: Larry Walker
Walker just seems like he could be a nice addition to a team after seeing all of the coverage of him during the Hall of Fame vote announcement. It seems like he could do a little hunting, keep me company with some fun conversation, and he would be a tough guy to take down.

Gates Brown always had stories to tell during Tigers fantasy camp. He dropped out of school, and ended up serving time in prison, and even though he seemed rough around the edges at first, the Tigers signed him, and he was a fan favorite. I think Gator would have the perfect background of street smarts and a likeable personality that would serve well.

BENCH GUY: Dwight Smith
Dwight Smith sang the National Anthem a few times before games. He would be a good guy for entertainment if stuff ever got boring.

STARTER #1: Nolan Ryan
I would take Nolan Ryan because number one, he has farming and ranching experience, number two, he took out Robin Ventura, and number three, he can throw a fastball over 100 miles per hour.

STARTER #2: Bill Lee
Lee would mainly be there in case we needed to talk to aliens for any unknown reason. I expect he could keep us entertained with stories as well.

STARTER #3: Melido Perez
Can't wait to hear the stories Pascual would tell.

STARTER #4: Kevin Gross
Kevin Gross once tackled Kirk Gibson and got in a fight with Jim Leyland. 'Nuff said.

STARTER #5: Catfish Hunter
Image result for 1980 topps catfish hunter
I took this image from GCRL. "Catfish" Hunter was said to have caught the nickname from all of the fish he caught. I think he would be a great asset during a quarantine.

RELIVER #1: Goose Gossage
Goose has been known to hunt and I think he could help get food during a shortage.

RELIEVER #2: Turk Wendell
Turk Wendell once got stuck in -10 degree weather while trying to find his way back to his car during a hunting trip. According to the story, he bagged a 180-pound lion during the trip. His skills would be a great asset should we need to hunt our own food.

MANAGER: Kirk Gibson
(Card done by reader Richard). Kirk Gibson has been a lifelong hunter, and is another guy who could help scrounge up food.

So basically, a bunch of guys who can hunt, fight, and tell a good story.
I would be interested if you have your own list of guys who you would make the same kind of team with.

I'm kind of going crazy right now. Our 3-year old is out of day care indefinitely, my wife won't be out of work as she is a DON at an assisted living facility, and since I work as a baker in a grocery store, I'm still at work and the people are insane I tell you. Not all of them, but in times like this, the worst comes out in people sometimes. I'll be glad when all of this is over with. Stay safe, and don't go out unless you have to. Maybe we can get some trades going with PWEs to help the time go by fast.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Going back in time to 2001

Earlier today, I finished the missing player checklist to the 2001 Topps/2001 Topps Traded sets. Finishing the 2001 set kind of brought back some nostalgia for me. 2001 was almost 20 years ago, and it kind of shows how much baseball cards have changed since then. 

2001 started, and I was finishing up my senior year of high school. I had a job at my current company, Publix Supermarkets, as a cashier, which gave me some extra spending money. I purchased a ton of baseball cards, including a bunch of 2001 Topps Series 1. I must've purchased a box of Series 1, and finished the Series 1 set. Later that year, I finished high school, and I believe I purchased the Series 2 boxed set. 

2001 Topps was a big deal that year. It was the 50th anniversary of the company's baseball cards. The main draw for the set was an insert set featuring jersey swatches of some of the games all-time leaders, like Nolan Ryan, Mark McGwire, and Hank Aaron. They also had an autograph insert set. Since autographed cards and jersey cards were only about 5 years old at the time, the novelty hadn't worn out. For me, they were really cool, since at that point, I hadn't ever pulled one of either. 

The 2001 set would also get an unexpected boost from 2 legendary rookies. Ichiro Suzuki was kind of expected, since he signed with the club in November of 2000. He was put in a number of 2001 card sets, and his rookie season helped drive his card prices through the roof. 
Albert Pujols also debuted that year, and by the middle of his season, card makers had taken notice and put him in card sets. 

For Topps, Ichiro was included in the 2001 Topps Series 2 set, and Pujols was put in the Topps Traded set. I forgot what the exact issue was, but for some reason, Ichiro was left out of the 2001 Topps Chrome set, but was put in the 2001 Topps Traded Chrome set. In addition, while Pujols wasn't in the '01 Topps main set, he was included in the '01 Topps Chrome set, and wasn't in the 2001 Topps Traded Chrome set. I think it had something to do with Suzuki's contract or something. If anyone knows details of why this happened, fill me in.

I went off to college at the University of Mobile in Alabama that August or so, and with the little amount of money that I had saved up from working at Publix went mostly to buying cards. I was hitting up the local Wal-Mart for packs of 2001 Topps Traded, trying to get the Pujols rookie. The packs came with 3 or 4 Topps Traded Chrome cards in them, and I hoped to beat the odds and get a Pujols Chrome card. About 8 packs in, I pulled a regular version of the Pujols, and I also pulled a Chrome Rookie of the Year duo card of Pujols and Suzuki. Those were probably my best pulls of that year, and trust me, I probably purchased the most cards I ever had that year. 

I still have some random things from the 2001 Topps set that I thought I would show off. First are some little booklets that must've come with every box. The first is a book of random 2001 Topps products you could buy, and the second is one previewing the Series 2 set. 

Probably the only thing I would've purchased was the t-shirt or the mug. I pulled 1 or 2 of the What Could've Been inserts, and nothing from the high-end inserts shown on those pages. 
I wonder if anyone actually purchased the products that Topps sold, and if they have survived these almost 20 years. I also pulled 1 or 2 of the Before There was Topps cards. I never pulled an autograph, but I got a Luis Montanez autographed card from COMC.
There is the Montanez. Those were nice looking cards. Would make a nice base card for an all-autograph set. 
Here are the key rookies from the set, as well as the Chrome Ichiro/Pujols I pulled. The sticker must've came with my 2001 Series 2 set. 
As far as finishing the checklist, I figured I would show some of the cards that Topps missed from the set. At 792 cards, there were still a number of sunset and rookie cards that Topps left off of the set. I also want to note that Topps included 2 cards of Michael Tucker and Brian Meadows in the main set, as well as 2 regular cards of AJ Hinch and Matt LeCroy (1 in the regular set, and 2 in the Traded set). They also had a number of players who were featuered on a Prospect card in the regular set. Some of those guys were given a regular base card in the Traded set, but that's understandable. Still, I don't understand how you can make a set 792 cards long in order to get more players and managers in, and still double up on 2 guys in the main set and 2 more guys if you add the Traded set in. With that being said, here are some key missing cards.

Towards the end of 2001, Mark Teixeira, Mark Prior, and Adam Dunn were starting to make appearances in card sets, and Topps missed the ball on all of them.
 This Orel Hershiser sunset card was made by GCRL. It's a shame that Topps didn't give the Bulldog his final Topps card.
 Geronimo Berroa was a nice power hitter. He was probably one of the bigger names on the list of guys who got sunset cards in the set.
 2 guys who could've got a rookie card. I don't really care for Molina after all of his outlandish play in the last WBC, but I've grown to like Utley, especially after he almost took out the Yankee$ in the 2009 World Series.
 Varitek didn't get a Topps card due to a contract dispute or something, so I guess I can't pin it all on Topps.
 Probably one of the biggest names of guys who were coaches and didn't get cards is Eddie Murray.
Rod Beck didn't get a card. I would've figured he woudl've got in the set, as he was still a big name in 2001 and the set was 792 cards long. 
 A nice Lou Merloni done by Michael of the FB Custom Cards page. I really wish he could make cards full time.
 Topps missed their shot at a Mark Buehrle rookie. He wasn't really on anyone's radar, so I guess it's understandable.
 Here are some Draft Pick cards made by Ryan from the FB Custom page.
Cliff Lee could've had his first Topps card. 
 Laynce Nix wasn't a big name, but he is in my Favorite Player Collection, and Atkins was a good player for Colorado.
 Can you imagine how insanely hot a Dontrelle Willis '01 Topps rookie would be back when Willis mania was going on in 2003 and 2004?
 This card would've been hot on 2 separate occations. Jason Bay won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2004 and was a big name for 5 or 6 years. He was injured in 2007, and out of baseball after the 2013 season. In 2010, Jose Bautista broke out, but by then, Bay was a Met, and missed about 70 games with a concussion.

As much as I can't stand the guy, this Bud Selig custom by Richard of the FB custom group is a card Topps could've included had they wanted to.
 A final kind of fantasy card, Beckett and Benoit are big names, but Roberto Batista is the real star of this card. Roberto is a co-worker of P-Town Tom, who does the Waiting 'Til Next Year blog. Roberto was never featured on a major Topps or Bowman card, and only has a few minor league issues. He didn't save much of his memorabilia from his playing days, and doesn't have many of his own cards, so I figured I would give him a Topps one of his own.
 Lastly, one of my favorite players, Brandon Inge, could've been included in the Traded set with a rookie card.
Now that the '01 set checklist is done, it's on to 2002, and eventually 2019. I plan on adding replacement players to the '95 checklist after that, and then get on making customs for the '93 Topps set. There may be some ARAIG and KOD projects in between, but that's the plan at least.

I hope you enjoyed this journey back in time to 2001. Thanks for checking out my latest post.