Monday, December 31, 2018

Well, It Was Fun While It Lasted

I came across these a few days back. 

Those are from Topps 582 Montgomery Club Collection.  Here is a description of that sold-out, $199.99 club collection: is excited to announce the launch of 582 Montgomery, an exclusive membership program that offers products inspired by our company's early days in Brooklyn. Members will receive exclusive benefits that are not available to the general public, including trading card products featuring recently discovered lost designs from our Brooklyn facility. There will be new products sent to members six times per year, and the exclusive opportunity to purchase the highest-end trading card release ever offered on - The Brooklyn Collection.

The "recently discovered lost designs" they are talking about are the same mock-ups that I have been using to create the Alt-Topps sets for the last few months.

Here is that vintage mock-up that Topps used as a basis for the above set.

How about this design? Look familiar?  It's part of Topps' Brooklyn Collection, available exclusively to 582 Montgomery Club members. It's a set of limited edition, foiled-up, autographed cards once again based on "recently recovered, lost Topps designs".

Here is another Brooklyn Collection card that is based on this vintage design:

By sheer coincidence, this is the design that I had just completed a set based upon.  (I will still be posting it in the next few days.)

Topps has 25 cards in the 582 Montgomery base set (top). And another 105 of the gold-foiled autographed versions of the 2 lower designs as part of the Brooklyn Collection.

After hanging out on the sidelines because I felt the Cards That Never Were thing had kinda been played out, I thought I had something (semi) unique to contribute. Even so, I sat on this idea for over a year before jumping back in.  

I am somewhat torn. I am glad that Topps is doing something with these designs.  (Although dropping $200 for a 25 card base set and the "privilege" of buying even higher-dollar, exclusive cards is not my cup of tea.)  I am also disappointed from a wholly selfish point of view that, once again, what I am doing is lacking uniqueness.

In case you are wondering, the base 582 Montgomery cards are currently selling on eBay (buy it now price) for $4.95 per card and up to $2000 for an autographed Ohtani.  The Brooklyn Collection cards start at $139.99 and rise to $1995.00 for a Jeter card limited to 5 prints.  Need I remind you that this blog is free?

Happy New Year to All!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

1976 Alt-Topps Requests

A few quick requests before the end of the year. 

Buzz likes a challenge. He requested a few veterans that were playing out the twilight of their careers on different teams. 

He also requested a couple West-Coast favorites. Billy Buck and Rick Monday.  The photo used is somewhat a cheat. Monday performed his famous flag rescue on May 4, 1976. This photo was obviously taken some time after that. He was dealt to the Dodgers for Buckner (in a five player deal) after the 1976 season.  Again, the colors used in the base cards reflect he colors Topps used for these teams in the real 1976 set. 

Deogolf requested more World Series cards so here are Games 1 & 7.

Bill wanted some All Stars so for good measure I added a couple stolen base experts. In truth, I just needed an excuse to use a photo that incorporated the little used football-styled helmet the Cards used in 1975.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Even More 1976 Alt-Topps

World Series, All Star and Leaders Cards

As I finish out the sub-sets, I have to admit this set has grown on me.  The base set was a mish-mash of designs. But I like the colors and the font. Incorporating a few other tried and true Topps layouts like the Rookies, Teams and Leaders cards fleshes out the design nicely.

For the World Series card I considered putting the logo in place of the cap. Instead I put it in the field similar to the 1978 Topp All Stars.  Of course I used the famous Fisk homer.
For the All Stars I used the All Star Game logo in place of the cap. I also used Brewers colors as they were the ASG host team.
In the actual 1976 Topps set Jim Wynn was air-brushed into a Braves uniform. I kept the All Stars in their 1975 uniforms and utilized action shots. 
I also made a team card for the 1975 AL team.  Why let a good photo go to waste? Also gave a a chance to include Honorary Captain Mickey Mantle.
For the leaders I went old school Topps. The actual 1976 Topps used a variation on this layout. This one is more like the early '70s.
It took Topps a while to include a leaders card for relievers. They started in 1973 and carried on through 1984 with few exceptions. After that it becomes spotty.

Again, I'll make a few more of these by request. Just put your ideas in the comment section.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

More 1976 Alt-Topps

Managers / Team Cards, Rookie cards and Traded

 I was unimpressed with what turned out to be the base cards in this set.  However as I created the subsets based on the mock-up, the design became more appealing.

I included the manager in the team card similar to the Topps team cards from 1975-1981 (except for 1978). 
Of course I had to use the famous Cubs floaty-head style team card.
In 1976 the AL Rookie of the Year was Mark (The Bird) Fidrych. In the NL Pat Zachry and Butch Metzger tied for the honor. Since all three were pitchers, I put them on the same card. I threw in a future Cy Young award winner, Pete Vuckovich, to round out the rookie card.
I think it was mandatory that I include the card that famously wasn't included in the original 1976 Topps Traded set, Reggie Jackson.
 Vada Pinson never actually saw any action in the 1976 season. He was released by the Brewers at the end Spring Training.  This would be the last stop in a great career for him. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

1976 Alt-Topps

Still creating whole sets based on rejected Topps designs. This time all I had to work with is a rough black and white copy. It seems to have some elements of the 1971 Topps Football, 1975 and 1981 Topps Baseball.

And here is my cleaned up version with an action shot of Wayne Garrett striking pose similar to the mock-up.  After cleaning it up and creating more base cards, the final product looked less like a mainstream Topps product and more like a giveaway found in a loaf of Wonder Bread.
As usual, I also made base cards of the MVPs and Cy Young award winners from both leagues.  I went with a horizontal version for Randy Jones. 
For Munson I include a cameo of one of the most famous 'fros in baseball.
Speaking of hair, I used this cap-less shot of Palmer to show off his disco era locks.
I also tried to stay true to the team colors Topps used in 1976.  These colors worked for the Padres and the Mets.  They were passable for the Yankees. But the Reds and Orioles? Ugh.  

Thursday, November 29, 2018

1964 Alt-Topps Requests

Just a few more for the 1964 Alt-Topps set by request. A couple were Anonymous. Including a reminder to make a Mickey Mantle card similar to those that were somewhat of a starter for this blog.  Most request were again from Buzz (the other anonymous poster). Jeremy requested a checklist which I used in my last post.

Here are the ones for The first anonymous poster:

A young Lou Brock before the infamous trade.

Buzz really likes to throw out a challenge.  First was Joe Adcock, who was traded to the L.A. Angels in late 1963. In 1965 the Angels became the California Angels with new logos on their caps. So it was a small window in which to find a suitable photo.

Next, he wanted Rocky Colavito who was spent just a single season with the A's in 1964. Once again a photo in the proper uniform (that preferably didn't appear on any other cards) was a tough find.

Next was the first Frank Thomas. Thomas was dealt to Philadelphia in late 1964 so this would have to have been a late series card in the Alt-Universe.  He was on the down-slide of his career and was on the Phillies just long enough to make an enemy of 1964 Rookie of the Year, Dick Allen.

The final request from buzz is more historical than baseball related.  He wanted to see a tribute to the recently (in the 1964 Alt-Universe) deceased President. 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Cards That Never Were - 37th & 38th Series Checklists

My most recent endeavors have been a bit different than those I've done in the past.  Instead of individual cards, I have been imagining entire sets. First was the 1963 Fleer set that was cut short by Topps' lawyers.  I added leaders cards, managers, rookies, team cards all-stars, etc. 

Additionally, I found a whole bunch of rejected Topps card designs. I gave those the same treatment.  Not just adding base cards but extrapolating those designs into entire sets. With the same compliment of subsets (team cards, rookies, all-stars, etc.)
Once I've posted my ideas, I have been filling request to those of you that follow this blog and share my interests (read geekyness). One of those requests was for a checklist.  Specifically one with a player like the 1967-69 Topps checklists.  How could I refuse, those were my favorites. 
I went with Elston Howard for the 1964 Alt-Topps version.  He was just coming off his MVP year in 1963 which also got him his first Gold Glove. And now Yogi Berra had taken the Yankees manager position. Elston didn't disappoint in 1964, He got his first All Star start, another Gold Glove and finished 3rd in MVP voting.

As usual, you can click here for a look at all the cards on these checklists. You can also click on the checklists in the right margin to view all of my cards without any boring words to slow you down.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Even More 1964 Alt-Topps

World Series, Leaders, All- Stars and Topps All-Star Rookie Cards

Just a few more of my favorite subsets, World Series cards, Leaders cards, All Star cards and Topps Rookie All Star cards.

For the World Series card I kept the basic format but reversed the layout.  In the real 1964 set, Topps also highlighted Koufax's 15 strikeouts in Game 1. But I gotta say I like this photo better. 

On the leaders cards, I went a little off script for Topps. Instead of one large horizontal photo with two (or more) smaller photos below, I used one large vertical shot for the leader and smaller photos to the right.
Another un-Topps thing is having a card for Runs Scored Leaders.  Not one of the top stats but I like the top three players, so...
Again for the All Star cards, I reversed the Field.
Instead of a team logo, I used the All Star Game logo from 1963. I also tried to incorporate the logo's colors into the card format.
Since this format reminds me so much of the 1960 Topps All Star Rookies subset, I had to recreate it here.
Oddly in 1964 all but one of the Topps All Star Rookie team had the official trophy on his card. That was Jesse Gonder.  But in the Bizarro Universe, my Alt-Topps has got him covered.
Just as I did in the last batch, I am willing to take a few requests.  I know most people just look at the pictures in these blogs.  But if you actually read this all the way to the bottom of the last post, it's the least I could do.  Just leave your requests in the comment section.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

More 1964 Alt-Topps

Managers, Team Cards and Rookies

What set would be complete without the basic staples? Managers, team cards and rookie cards.

The manager cards in the actual 1964 Topps set were pretty much the same as the base cards.  In my "Bizzaro Universe" set, too. 

For the team cards I kept the basic card design continuity along with the full color team logo.

 In the real 1964 Topps set, the picture for the A's showed a team still in the 1961 uniforms. In the early 60's the A's changes uniforms more than most teams changed underwear. The uniforms shown on this card were introduced in 1964. 
The other strange difference in these cards is the sheer volume of players. The Braves must've taken the picture at the beginning of spring training. The A's looked like they waited until they were down to a 25 man roster.

For the rookie cards I went 3 across and broke it down to position and league. This is something that I don't think Topps ever did. I've seen them break it down by league, team, or position. To my best recollection, I don't remember Topps going in this direction. They only had multiplayer rookie cards since 1962. In 62 they were broken down by position. In 1963 they were simply labeled "Rookie Stars", not broken down by league, team nor position. So it's not too far fetched that this would be the format they could've opted for,

Of course with 20/20 hindsight, I stacked the deck with the Rookies of the Year for 1964, Dick Allen and Tony Oliva.  I also doubled up on rookie Hortons in the AL. In the NL included Don Kessinger and HOFer Tony Perez.