Friday, January 10, 2020

Niel Peart


September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020


This was originally posted February 1, 2012. AKA "International Rush Day", 2/1/12.

This is still one of my most popular posts. It has crossover appeal to both sportscard geeks and Rush geeks.  I consider myself both.

The passing of Neil Peart hits me pretty hard. His music meant a lot to me in my youth and still haunts me today.  So despite being woefully behind on my postings, I am re-posting this.

Rest in Peace. 

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In honor of today's date 2-1-12, I've made some custom Rush cards. I figure this is the closest any of us will get to the actual 2112. Still one of my favorite albums by one of my favorite bands.

In case you're wondering, that's Neil Peart behind his Hockey Night in Canada Drum kit on a 1981 O Pee Chee hockey card. Alex is on a 1975 Topps All Star baseball card and Geddy is wearing what appears to be a Warren Cromartie Montreal Expos jersey on a 1973 Topps baseball card. I assume it is Cromartie's jersey because Cromartie wore #49 for the Expos from 1974-1983 and on the Signals album the "Warren Cromartie Secondary School" bordered the subdivision on the back cover. 

 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Even More 1975 Alt-Topps

Traded, Post-Season, Leaders and Rookie Stars


There were certainly bigger trades in the 1975 season.  In my last post I mentioned two, Hank Aaron and Bobby Murcer. But here are couple semi-stars that ended up on unexpected teams. (Sorry Buzz if I stole your thunder).  Padres star Nate Colbert found himself on the Tigers for the first part of the 1975 season. He was later purchased by the Expos and would end the season in Montreal. After the Cubs traded Randy Hundley to the Twins in 1974, he was released then signed by the Padres. In 1976 he would return to the Cubs, He finished his career there in a much diminished capacity.


For the Playoff/World Series cards, I tried to incorporate both team color schemes. Rather than mimic the actual 1975 two-tone color scheme, I faded the colors.



On the leader cards, I kept the gradient color background of the playoff cards for continuity.  I copied the mid-seventies style of having one leader from each league on the cards. I also incorporated the team logos onto the cards as I did on the traded cards.
I had to include a HR leaders card which featured one of my favorite players, Dick Allen. In the NL Mike Schmidt won the first of 8 home run titles.  Rod Carew led the AL in batting average 6 times in the 1970s.  Meanwhile in the NL, "the Roadrunner" Ralph Garr hit a career high .353 and led the league in triples with 17.
Just for good measure, I threw in a couple Alt-Topps All Star Rookies.  Frank Tanana would go on to lead the league in strikeouts in 1975. Bill Madlock would be Co-MVP of the 1975 All Star Game.



Wednesday, November 6, 2019

More 1975 Alt-Topps

Rookies, All Stars and Team Cards


In my last post I held back the AL MVP, Fred Lynn in favor of runner-up John Mayberry.  I kept him for this card along side of the 3rd place finisher in MVP voting and the ROY runner-up, Jim Rice. With a rookie class like this and narrowly losing the World Series in 1975, they would still wait 11 more years for their next World Series appearance. Rice and Dwight Evens were the only Red Sox that played in both Series.

In the NL the Rookie of the Year was Giants pitcher John Montefusco.  He's teamed up on this card with Jack Clark. Clark was a September call-up for the Giants at the age of 19.  Montefusco beat out HOF catcher, Gary Carter. Carter spent most of the 1975 season in the outfield.  Barry Foote was their everyday catcher despite hitting less than his weight.


For these All Star cards, I found some action photos from the 1974 All Star Game. Murcer was traded to the Giants in 1975 but appeared as a Yankee in the 1974 ASG.  Likewise, Aaron was dealt to the Brewers in 1975.  Unfortunately, both these stars went 0 for 2 in the '74 classic.  Aaron and Murcer would play in the 1975 ASG but for the opposite league.  This time as reserves, both would go hitless again.


I struggled a bit adapting this format to the traditional team card format.  After several attempts, this was the design that I disliked least. Here are the two Texan teams.  
The Rangers were led by Billy Martin at the start of '75 season. The Astros began the season with Preston Gomez. Martin would finish the 1975 season managing the Yankees replacing Bill Virdon.  Virdon would then move to Houston and replace Gomez as manager.







Friday, November 1, 2019

1975 Alt-Topps


Once again, I am working from a black and white print. This one looks about 1975 vintage due to the Toy Cannon in Dodgers blue.  There was a lot going on here that I could not duplicate exactly.  I tried to find a glove shape that would allow enough space for a decent photo. The font was just impossible to duplicate but I think mine captures enough of the original gist. 


In typical fashion, I made some base card mockups using the Cy Young Award winners for the 1975 season. Jim Palmer won his second of 3 Cy Young Awards in 1975. He had career highs in victories (23), complete games (25) and shutouts (10). The NL also had a 3-time winner. Tom Terrific won his 3rd and final Cy Young. He led the NL in strikeouts (243) and wins (22).


The AL MVP, Fred Lynn, was also the Rookie of the Year.  I decided to substitute Lynn (and save him for later) with the runner-up MVP in the AL, John Mayberry.  Mayberry had career highs in home runs (34), RBIs (106), slugging (.547) and hits (162). He also led the league with 119 bases on  balls.  In the NL was Joe Morgan who won his first of two consecutive MVPs for the Big Red Machine.


Another departure on this set is the color selection.  In 1975 the Topps set was all over the place with many color combinations for teams.  For the Alt-Topps set I tried to match the team colors.

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Just a quick note to the usual suspects that have been following my blog these past years:

I've been trying to stay active on this blog but haven't been very successful lately.  You can probably tell by the post season cards I posted.  I missed the Wildcard games.  Somehow I managed to post for the Divisional Series but again missed the Championship Series and World Series.  So, I've got a bunch of half-finished projects that I may post at a later date.

Sometimes the real world comes crashing into the hobbies that were meant to take your mind off the real world.  Having said that, I managed to finish this 1975 Alt-Topps project and will try to create a few requests, as usual.  Just leave comments and I will do my best.

Monday, October 7, 2019

1984 Topps Stadium Statues: 2019 ALDS - Twins vs Yankees Edition


Rod Carew played at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota, the current location of the Mall of America. His Statue is at Target Field, a 40 minute Metro ride north of the Mall.  Between Metropolitan Stadium and Target Field, the Twins played at The Hubert Humphrey Metrodome. That is now the site of the US Bank Stadium, where the Vikings play. 

Although Yogi Berra spent the bulk of his career in Yankee Stadium, it was a different Yankee Stadium that was located one block south of the current one in the Bronx.  Yogi's statue is in the Yankees Museum. The Museum is located on the main level of Yankee Stadium near Gate 6. 

For those keeping score, just 2 out of 8 actually played in the ballpark where these statues are located.