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Fun Cards: Alt-1977 Topps

I’ve been following @battlinbucs on Twitter for a few weeks now, and let me tell you, for a Pirates fan he is a pretty creative guy. I love his #DocumentaryNOW cards which merge the UD Documentary and Topps NOW concepts. Today he blogged about an alternate reality 1974 Topps card, using mockups he discovered on The Topps Archive blog. Last month, he covered a possible alternate 1972 design.

I have always loved alternate reality. So I’m taking a stab at a possible alternate 1977 design, using the same grainy black & white image that inspired Mark’s 1972 alt-customs.

Morgan

Joe Morgan was at the top of his game in the mid-1970s, with two straight NL MVP titles during the Big Red Machine’s back-to-back World Series victories. The original mockup used a batting photo, but I decided to go with a fielding shot of the five-time Gold Glove second baseman. As Mark pointed out, since the source material was black & white, I had no idea what colors to use. Topps used green in the small banner on the real 1977s, so I stuck with that for the big banner here. Obviously the hat has to be red for the Reds, and I thought the yellow team name contrasted well with the green banner.

This is a fun exercise. I would love to see Topps use some of these old alt-designs as an insert in Archives. I’m sure they have other mockups in their vault that have not yet seen the light of day.

Thanks for the inspiration, Mark!

On a personal note, I found out a few hours ago that an uncle passed away earlier this afternoon. I’m stuck at work, and baseball is a good distraction for me. But more than baseball, I’m thankful for my church family and the prayers they are sending up on behalf of my family. If you are ever in the northern Kentucky/greater Cincinnati area, please worship with the Point Pleasant church of Christ. I would love to meet you face-to-face.

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Fun Cards: 1977 Topps Lemmy

Lemmy

My wife and I busted a box of 1991 Pro Set MusiCards over the weekend. That was a blast, and I had fun looking at all the cards. Motörhead was even featured in the set. But I couldn’t get past the thought that they would look so much cooler on the baseball card designs from their “rookie” years. I’ve done this for Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, KISS (including Bruce Kulick and Vinnie Vincent), and most recently David Bowie, so I figured it was time to immortalize Lemmy Kilmister on a 1977 Topps-style “fun card.”

R.I.P. Ken Weatherwax

(September 29, 1955 – December 7, 2014)

Ken Weatherwax

“Puggsley” from the original The Addams Family television show passed away Sunday from a heart attack. He was 59 years old.

TWJ contributor Patrick sent over this “In Memoriam” card in the style of 1977 Topps “Turn Back the Clock” cards.

Horror Fun Cards: 1977 Topps Pluto

Pluto the Hills Have Eyes 1977 Wes Craven

Purchase Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes!

Fun Cards Submission: 1977 Topps “Turn Back The Clock” Todd Frazier and Derek Jeter

Jeter Frazier

Long before Todd Frazier put on a major league uniform, he stood next to Derek Jeter on a baseball diamond. As a member of the Little League World Series champion in 1998, Frazier and his teammates got to stand next to their Yankee counterparts before a game in New York. But Jeter wasn’t Frazier’s favorite Yankee at the time; find out here who Frazier actually wanted to be standing next to that day.

TWJ contributor Patrick sent over this fantastic “fun card” in the style of the 1977 Topps “Turn Back The Clock” subset. It’s neat to see how much Frazier has grown, and how little Jeter has changed in sixteen years. Even though Frazier now plays third base rather than shortstop, he still shares one thing with Jeter: both are class acts.

Fun Cards Submissions: Cincinnati Reds 2013 Draft Picks, Rounds 11-27

TWJ contributor Patrick mixed it up with the designs used for the lower rounds of the 2013 MLB Draft, grabbing three multi-player templates from the 1970s and two from the 1980s. I’m not going to post a rundown of each draft pick…that’s what Google is for. Or you can check out the Draft Tracker at mlb.com if you just want the vitals for these guys. Who knows, one of them might be the next Mike Piazza, or Ian Kinsler, or Albert Pujols.

2013 Cincinnati Reds draft picks

2013 Cincinnati Reds draft picks

2013 Cincinnati Reds draft picks

2013 Cincinnati Reds draft picks

2013 Cincinnati Reds draft picks

Fun Cards Submission: 1977 Topps Vida Blue, Cincinnati Reds???

Blue traded to Reds, voided by commish

This may be the first ever card showing Vida Blue in a Reds uniform. Another fantastic submission from reader Patrick, he shows what could have been in 1978 had Commissioner Bowie Kuhn not interfered. Here is a January 31, 1978, article from the Montreal Gazette detailing the trade and veto. A couple of years prior, Charlie Finley had attempted to move Blue to the Yankees, and Kuhn blocked that deal (and others involving Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers) as well.

Thanks for the great submissions, Patrick, and for allowing me to share them with other TWJ readers!

Totally random and nonsensical “Fun Cards”

Steve, along with the majority of the baseball card blogosphere, hates the randominity of Topps’ “What If” cards. Cy Young appearing on the 1987 Topps design just kills him. I, on the other hand, love them. Well, not love. But like. Very strong like. You see, I all but hate modern baseball. I like Griffey and I kind of follow the Reds (kind of being a very strong phrase), but other than that I would much rather watch reruns of the 1975 World Series…even game 6.

In a post about Eddie Gaedel, Steve made a card that never was (1951 Bowman) as well as a card that, in his opinion, should never be (1986 Topps). Frankly, I like the 1986 Topps Gaedel quite a bit. But that’s beside the point. In the comment section, I joked that I would make some random custom cards with Steve in mind, like Ozzie Guillen on a football card design, and a Frank Thomas on a Star Wars card design. So, without further ado…

Fun Cards – 1977 Topps Reds Pitchers

The Reds have one of the strongest starting three in the majors today, if they are able to live up to their potential. We start with Edinson Volquez, who was so good in 2008 that he came in 4th place in Rookie of the Year voting despite not being a rookie! He was tied for third in the NL with 17 wins and second with 206 strikeouts. I don’t understand why he didn’t get any support for the Cy Young Award. He also isn’t afraid of the brushback, tied for the lead in the NL with 14 hit batsmen in 2008.

Edinson Volquez 1977 Topps

Fellow Dominican Johnny Cueto was also a fan of scooting batters off the plate, also hitting 14 during the course of the season. His 8.17 K/9IP was good for 8th in the league, but he failed to make double digits in the wins category and was tied for 4th with 14 losses (teammate Aaron Harang was tied for 1st with 17). My favorite Reds pitcher of days gone by, Mario Soto, has been mentoring both Volquez and Cueto, so I’m looking forward to big things from both of them in the future.

Johnny Cueto 1977 Topps

And finally we have Homer Bailey, the most highly touted pitcher to come up through the Reds’ farm system since…well, I guess ever. Don’t let his 0-6 record and 7.93 ERA from 2008 fool you…this guy is better than Sidd Finch. All he needs is a little run support (just 8 runs per game, please, Mr. Votto and Mr. Bruce?).

Homer Bailey 1977 Topps

Of course, the Reds also have the punching bag Aaron Harang (who went from tied for the league lead in wins to the league lead in losses in just 2 years) and the guy who plays guitar Bronson Arroyo, but I didn’t make cards of them this time around. Maybe someday, boys.

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