Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

1968 Topps Bill Virdon

1955 N.L. Rookie of the Year, Bill Virdon, was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates after the 1965 season and became a minor league manager in the Mets organization. He returned to the Pirates in 1968 as a player/coach. He appeared in 6 games and had 1 hit in 3 at-bats. That one hit was a 2 run homer. He became a full time coach with the Pirates the following season and was named manager in 1972.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2011 Heritage Update Then & Now: White Sox Managers

WTF fired by txt?? LMAO ;p

2011 Heritage Then & Now: White Sox Managers

Ozzie Guillen was traded yesterday for 2 players to be named later. Only Kenny Williams could find a way to get something in exchange for a manager he was probably going to fire anyway. In the mean time, bench coach, Joey Cora will run the White Sox for their remaining games.

Monday, September 26, 2011

1975 Topps 1955 Rookies of the Year

Here is the 1955 entry in my ongoing series. I'm giving the Rookies of the Year the same treatment Topps gave the MVPs in 1975. 

Neither Herb Score nor Bill Virdon had a Topps card in 1955. The Herb Score card shown here was issued by Topps as part of the VIP package at the 2005 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. The Virdon card was created by yours truly.

Other notable 1955 ROY eligibles included Don Zimmer, Elston Howard, Jim Bunning, Roberto Clemente and Sandy Koufax.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

1955 Topps Bill Virdon

One of the first cards I made for this blog was a 1955 Bowman card of the A.L. Rookie of the Year Herb Score. The N.L. Rookie of the year in 1955, Bill Virdon, had a Bowman card but not a Topps card that year.

After being named ROY in 1955, Virdon was traded to Pittsburgh in May of '56 where he played the rest of his career. He became manager of the Pirates in '72 and went on to manage the Yankees, Astros and Expos from 1972-1984.

Friday, September 23, 2011

1976 Topps Mickey Mantle

When you start out with a great card design it is really hard to make a bad looking card. I have to admit this would've made for a great looking card. Maybe it's because I grew up in the '70s but I think Topps did some of their best work then. Even with all the airbrushed cards they made in that decade.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1980 Topps Lee Smith

Lee Smith was a September call-up for the Cubs in 1980. He made 18 relief appearances before the end of the season. Not only did he not have a card in 1980 but he didn't have a card in 1981 either. Smith is #3 on the all-time saves list with 478 career saves.

Monday, September 19, 2011

1966 Topps Jim Gilliam

After winning Rookie of the Year in 1953, Gilliam continued to play with the Dodgers through 1966. In 1964 he became a player/coach for the Dodgers and in 1967 became a full time coach. His last Topps card as a player was in 1964 but he appeared on cards in 1973 and 1974 as one of Walt Alston's coaches.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September Shout Out

If you are one of the few people who have checked out this blog before, you might have noticed that I used to do a "Sunday Shout Out". There are a lot of sites that make custom cards, but not quite enough to write about 52 times a year. With that realization, I decide to give a shout out just once a month.

This month it is Mint Condition. Although he is a Yankee fan he makes great custom cards of current players from all teams.

And he does this every day. Check out his Custom Card of the Day.

Another of my favorites is his Year By Year Customs. Here he makes several cards of players in one Topps format. Here is his take on 1975:

Friday, September 16, 2011

1967 Topps Harvey Kuenn

I meant to post this after I posted the 1953 Rookies of the Year card. Kuenn Finished up his playing career as a reserve outfielder on the Phillies in 1966. I considered making this into a 1966 card but he had a card that year as a Chicago Cub. He started '66 in Chicago but was purchased by the Phillies early in the season. Philadelphia released him after the season. He later managed the Milwaukee Brewers to their first and only World Series appearance.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

1975 Topps 1954 Rookies of the Year

Another in my ongoing theme putting Rookies of The Year in the 1975 Topps MVP format.

The 1954 version in this recurring theme is very similar to the 1953. There was no Bob Grim card in the 1954 set but Topps created one for the 1954 Archives set in 1992. Topps did a better job creating new cards for the 1954 Archive set, but still fell short. The fonts are off and not spaced correctly. and they capitalized Pitcher instead of using all lower case letters like the original.

Grim and Moon both had good rookie seasons and respectable but unspectacular careers. Bob Grim had 20 wins in 1954 beating out rookie hall of famer Al Kaline. Wally Moon hit .304 with 12 homers beating out future hall of famers Ernie Banks and Hank Aaron.

Monday, September 12, 2011

1972 Topps Yogi Berra

After Gil Hodges suffered a heart attack at a golf outing with other Mets coaches days before the start of the 1972 season, Yogi Berra was named manager. He managed the Mets to their third straight 3rd place finish with 83 wins each of those seasons. The following year Yogi's Mets would go to the World Series with just 82 wins in the regular season.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

2011 Fantasy Football Cards

Football season starts today and that means fantasy football. I know this doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the blog, but it's my blog so I get to do what i want. I made a few cards of the players I drafted on my team, "Uncle John's Band". Even put my logo on a few helmets.

Friday, September 9, 2011

1975 Topps 1953 Rookies of the Year

Another in the recurring theme giving the ROY's the 1975 Topps MVP treatment. 

There wasn't a 1953 Topps card of Harvey Kuenn.  Topps made this one for the 1953 Archives set that was issued in 1991. It's not a very good representation of the '53 set, but using it here is somewhat reminiscent of the 1955 MVP card with Roy Campanella. On that card Topps used black and white photos instead of color. They also put him in an L.A. Dodgers cap instead of Brooklyn, but we won't get into that.

Harvey Kuenn, an 8 time all-star, led the league in hits in 1953 and took 23 of the 24 Rookie of the Year ballots cast. The remaining vote went to Tom Umphlett. A place holder for Ted Williams while he was serving in Korea, Uphlett hit .283 in '53, .219 in '54, .217 in '55 then spent the next 13 years in the minors.

Jim Gilliam won with fewer than 50% of the vote with 6 other rookies receiving votes. Gilliam led the league in triples in '53 and remained a Dodger for his entire career.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1981 Fleer Minnie Minoso

Minnie Minoso's career began in 1949 with the Cleveland Indians and played major league ball until 1964 when he was released by the White Sox. He continued to play in the minors and the Mexican leagues through 1969.  In 1976 Minoso came out of retirement and became the oldest player to hit safely in a Major League game. A feat that was documented on a 1977 Topps card.

In 1980 Minnie Minoso came out of retirement again to play for the White Sox.  He had 2 pinch hit at bats in the final 2 games of the season. The Sox were over 20 games out of first place as were the Angels. Minoso grounded out in both at bats. It was another Bill Veeck stunt, I know but isn't that what made him who he is? With 3 different card companies producing baseball card in 1981, I'm surprised that none of them recognized this achievement, manufactured or not.

Monday, September 5, 2011

1974 Topps Mickey Mantle

It's Mantle time again. The 1974 Topps is one of my favorites. That is the year I started seriously collecting cards. My brother and I would return pop bottles and buy packs of cards. Each pack was ten cents and there were 8 cards in them. Just putting that in print makes me feel old.  We would wrap them in rubber band and keep them in cigar boxes. Which is why they are in such rough shape even though I still have most of them today. 

Since Topps beat me to the 1975, the next one I produce will be the 1976 format.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

1967 Topps Don Larsen

Don Larsen is best known as the only pitcher to hurl a perfect game in the World Series. Late in his career he was used primarily in relief. The Orioles released him prior to the 1966 season and he played on several minor league teams. The Cubs brought him up in 1967 to pitch 4 innings in 3 appearances. Afterwards he kicked around the Cubs farm system before retiring in 1968.

Friday, September 2, 2011

1961 Topps Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 1st Series

You can't make fake cards without a fake checklist, just any baseball card geek. Here's my first 25 in order of appearance in this blog.

Topps started including checklists cards in the set in 1961. Prior to that they were on the backs of team cards or were un-numbered inserts. The 1961 checklists were really nice looking cards in their own right. They had nice panoramic action pictures. I feel compelled to include the originals on this post. Not only to ease my guilt for desecrating them for my own use, but also to solicit any information as to who the players are on these cards.

 On this one you can see the numbers. It's Pirates 1st Baseman, Dick Stuart and Cubs catcher Moe Thacker.

Here you can clearly see Ernie Banks standing on second but who is the Brave? and is that Don Zimmer tossing Banks the ball?

Another Cubs game. Could be Santo caught in run-down.  Is that Reds 3rd baseman Willie "Puddin' Head"  Jones? The Reds 2nd baseman was Billy Martin in 1960. Could he be on this card as well?

Here you can clearly see Ron Santo,  Don Zimmer, and pitcher Glenn Hobbie. I think that's Lou Boudreau arguing with the ump. I can't tell which Pirate is on base.

This looks like Banks sliding into Phillies Ted Lepcio at 3rd.

I'm not even sure which teams these are on this card.

That's Braves 2nd baseman Chick Cottier and I have to assume shortstop Johnny Logan. If anybody has more information on the players pictured on these cards, please leave a comment.