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.