Saturday, September 13, 2014

1954 Red Heart Willie Mays

New York Giants CTNW Favorites #1

Of course the number 1 New York Giant was the Say Hey Kid. Mays was fairly well represented on cardboard during his career. Even though he missed the entire 1953 season due to military obligations, he had a 1953 Topps card. In 1954 he was in both the Topps and Bowman sets. I chose to depict him on a 1954 Red Heart card. First because in 1954 the Giant were World Series Champs. There were a few other popular odd-ball cards I considered using. There were 1954 Dandee cards which were inserted into bags of chips, 1954 Wilson Franks cards which were inserted into hot dog packages. The Red Heart cards were inserted into dog food bags.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

1949 Bowman Monte Irvin

New York Giants CTNW Favorites #2

Monte Irvin wasn't technically the first black player on the New York Giants. He made his first Major League appearance on July 8, 1949. The same day that Hank Thompson made his first appearance in a Giants uniform. (Thompson was also the first black ballplayer on the St. Louis Browns in 1947.) Thompson was the leadoff batter and Irvin came in to pinch hit in the top of the 8th. On that particular day the Giants were playing the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers by the, of course, had the great Jackie Robinson. In addition the Giants were facing  a black battery of Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella. The Dodgers beat the Giants that afternoon in Ebbets Field 4-3.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

1954 Topps Leo Durocher

New York Giants CTNW Favorites #3

In 1954 Leo Durocher led the Giants to their first World Series championship in 21 years.  This was Durocher's only championship as a manager. He had won 2 pennants earlier. In 1941 with the Dodgers and in 1951 with the Giants. Both times he lost the World Series to the Yankees. In 1954 he beat Al Lopez's Cleveland Indians. For his efforts Leo won his 3rd and final Sporting News Manager of the Year award.

Monday, September 1, 2014

1952 Bowman Hoyt Wilhelm

New York Giants CTNW Favorites #4

Just 3 months shy of his 30th birthday, Hoyt Wilhelm made his major league debut. The "rookie" had already led a full life. He had played 8 years of minor league ball interrupted by a 3 year tour of duty during World War II. His MLB career would span 21 seasons and end just days before his 50th birthday.

In 1952 he finished 2nd in Rookie of the year voting to another reliever, Joe Black. Both pitcher had 15 wins. Although Black had a lower ERA with 2.15, Wilhelm was the 1952 Pitching Leader with a 2.43 ERA because Black was a few innings short of the minimum. In his first Major League at bat Wilhelm hit his one and only career home run.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

1912 Hassan Triple Folder T202 - McGraw, Mathewson, Marquard

New York Giants CTNW Favorites #5

The next five posts will all be New York Giants. The Giants moved to the west coast in 1958 but the franchise has been in existence since 1883.  Under John McGraw, The Giants were a dynasty in the National League. They won 10 pennants and 3 World Series. From 1911 through 1913 the Giants had a 303-153 record. They won the pennant 3 years in a row only to lose the World Series. Hall of Fame pitchers, Christy Mathewson and Rube Marquard accounted for 147 of the 303 victories.

Although this card never existed, elements of it did exist. I patched the McGraw and Marquard portions with a photo of Mathewson to put 3 Giants Hall of Famers of that era onto one card.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The 1943 Phillies Team That Never Was

Cleaning Out the Closet: 
Part 2 - Abandoned Projects

Been a bit busy lately and haven't had the time to post anything new so here are some more cards rescued from the junk files. This is another example of an overly ambitious project.

I got the idea from an article I read about Bill Veeck. He claimed in his autobiography that in 1943 he attempted to buy the Phillies. He planned to make a team using the great Negro League players from the era. This would have predated Jackie Robinson's debut by several years. The league was being drained of its talent due to World War II. Still many talented players were not considered because of their skin color.  Now there is no historical evidence of this alleged plan other than Veeck's word for it many years after the fact. But it makes you think. How would this have changed history. Would a team stacked with Negro League greats dominate in a league with many of its players engaged in the war effort?

This project presented a few problems. Among them, I would have to find pictures of the players. These are fairly few and far between. Next I would have to photoshop them into Phillies uniforms. And the biggest hurdle was that there were no cards issued in that era. I would need to create a card that looked like it came from 1943.


Once again, it just proved too much for me. I really liked the idea and I think the cards that I made looked pretty cool. Unfortunately, I just couldn't find enough suitable pictures of relevant players. I've actually held onto this project for quite some time in hopes of reviving it, but I guess it's time to put it to rest.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 Custom Chicago Cards

Cleaning Out the Closet: 
Part 1 - Abandoned Projects

I've been pretty busy lately and haven't posted in over a week. So I decided to look over some of the ideas that didn't quite make the cut.

Here is my plan to create my own style of cards for the 2014 season. Yeah, I know this wasn't an original idea. The Shlabotnik Report does it (and the 2014 series looks great). The Writer's Journey does it. My idea was to "borrow" this idea and combine it with another idea "borrowed" from The Phillies Room.   The Phillies Room makes just Phillies cards using retro card designs. His 2014 Chachi set is based on 1988 Topps and 2015 will be 1985 Topps.

I wanted to make my own design and just use Chicago teams. I imagined all sorts of things I wanted in a set; team cards (floating head-style for the Cubs, of course), coaches cards (like the 1973-74 Topps), leaders, all-stars, highlights, record-breakers, etc. 

Ultimately, I abandoned the idea. It was more involved than I wanted it to be. I would need to crank out about 75-100 cards each summer. Also I was never quite satisfied with the design. Plus I didn't think it fit in well with the whole theme of this blog.

Friday, August 15, 2014

1975 Topps Bill Madlock All Star Co-MVP

Going Horizontal

When making the horizontal versions of the 1975 All Star MVPs, I really could have gone a number of different ways and still remain true to the original 1975 Topps design.  I settled on trying to make it look like the All Star cards of 1975. By going horizontal I shifted the 2-tone split 90 degrees as well. In part because of the way Topps printed the card sheets and in part because I thought it looked better. The real problem was that I knew from the start I could not make a better card than the original 1975 Topps Bill Madlock card.

In 1974 Madlock replaced the great Ron Santo at 3rd base for the Cubs and was 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting. In 1975 he was the Cubs sole representative at the All Star Game in Milwaukee. He entered the game at 3rd base in the bottom of the 6th replacing Ron Cey. In his first at bat he flied out to 1975 R.O.Y. and M.V.P. Fred Lynn in centerfield. In the top of the 9th he came to the plate with the game tied 3-3. The bases were loaded and no-one out. He drove a single to left to score Reggie Smith and Al Oliver. He advanced to second on the throw home. The National League won the game 6-3, the final run came when Larry Bowa scored from 3rd on a fly ball off Pete Rose's bat.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

1975 Topps Jon Matlack All Star Co-MVP

Going Horizontal

It's been a while since I made a horizontal version of All Star MVP cards. The last I made was the 1972 Joe Morgan card. The 1973 and 74 All Star MVPs were already depicted on horizontal cards so I skipped over those years. I'll make up for it with the 1975 versions. That year there were 2 All Star MVPs, Jon Matlack and Bill Madlock.

The Mets had 2 pitchers representing the team in the 1975 All Star Game. In the bottom of the 5th, Tom Seaver came in with a 3 run lead. A 3 run shot off the bat of Carl Yastrzemski erased the NL's lead. In the bottom of the 6th Seaver was relieved by his teammate. Matlack threw 2 scoreless innings, striking out 4. The Nationals rallied in the top of the 9th to give Matlack a 6-3 win.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Orioles 60th Anniversary Celebration At Camden Yard

Joe at The Shlabotnik Report gave me a heads up that a couple of my cards slipped by quality control and made it onto the scoreboard at Camden Yard last night.  I'm pretty sure it was unintentional, but I am thrilled none the less. Here are a couple screen shots of the scoreboard:

As you can see the center card was part of the 1971 All Star series that never existed. Here is my original post.

This one has the 1981 Cal Ripken card I created just a couple months ago. Click Here. I find the card choice a bit odd. First because they included my card at all. Secondly is that they used the original 1987 card and the 2012 Topps 1987 Mini right next to each other.

Here is a link to see a video of the ceremony. If anybody has the complete ceremony, I'd love to see it just to see what cards were used during all of the players' tributes.

Thank you Joe, you made my day.

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