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As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”

I failed to check the MLB news yesterday before posting about the 2015 TWJ cards wrap-up. Well, let’s change some numbers. Instead of 125 base “revamped” cards, how about 126? This card is a special super-duper-short-unprinted card, added after the regular set was finalized, but it is even more widely available that most of the cards because it is posted both here and on TWJ cards on tumblr. How is that for an oxymoron?

One of the best hitters of his generation was given a chance to show his stuff on the mound. Ichiro Suzuki, the Japanese import that took America by storm fifteen years ago, pitched the eighth inning of yesterday’s Marlins game, giving up two doubles and one earned run.

Ichiro

I just had to make a card to commemorate the event, and I hope Topps follows suit next year, even if it is super-duper-short-printed.

I hope Ichiro has a little left in the tank. The free agent is only 65 hits shy of the magical 3000, but is there a team willing to give him a semi-regular job to reach that milestone?

If I had my druthers, I would love to see Ichiro in Cincinnati’s left field spot, occasionally spelling the bullpen for an inning during blowouts. Because 2016 promises to be another looooooong season for Reds fans.

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Finished? Not quite.

Scherzer no-hitter

The 2015 regular season is in the books, but the narrative is far from over. Clayton Kershaw struck out 300 batters, the first time a pitcher has reached that mark since 2002. Another cheater reached the 500-home run mark. And Max Scherzer pitched two no-hitters this year; the last pitcher who did that in the regular season was Nolan Ryan in 1973.

Cueto Royals

The National League Central is sending three teams to the postseason, but the Reds will be watching from home. Johnny Cueto, traded to the Royals in July, will attempt to put Kansas City over the top after the team fell to the Giants last year. The upstart Houston Astros, powered by Dallas Keuchel, will try to derail that plan. There are only two teams in the playoffs that I despise, so I fully expect a Yankees/Cardinals World Series this year.

Yogi

I will post a few more highlights cards for the World Series winners and award winners as they are announced, but the regular season cards are finished. 125 “revamped” cards, 13 “highlights” so far, and 18 All-Star cards. Prior to the “revamped” design, 65 cards were posted, along with ten Will Ferrell cards plus four tribute cards to legendary players who have passed away. Add to that 200 “preseason” cards, and I would say 2015 was a busy year for TWJ cards.

twj2015

You can see all the cards at TWJ cards on tumblr. Plans are already underway for an even better set in 2016.

1,000 and counting

The 1,000th TWJ card was posted yesterday at TWJ cards on tumblr. Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis, who is 13-5 despite a 4.49 ERA, was the thousandth virtual card published.

Colby  Lewis Texas Rangers

The first TWJ card was posted on September 19, 2012. Johnny Cueto was the very first, followed shortly (the same day) by Mike Trout, Derek Jeter, Jason Heyward (then with the Braves), and hair metal guitarist Vinnie Vincent. Athletes from baseball, football, and basketball have been featured, along with musicians, actors, and horror icons. The subjects of TWJ cards have been exclusively baseball players since 2014, with the exception of Will Ferrell (who I guess is sorta baseball?) and Lauren Hill.

Here is a visual history of the eight designs used since 2012:

twjhistory

A new TWJ card is posted everyday at noon eastern during the baseball season, and at various times during the off-season. You can see the cards, 15 at a time, at TWJ cards on tumblr, or if you’re really into sensory overload, you can see all 1,000 cards (plus all additional cards that have been posted since this writing) here.

In addition to the TWJ cards on tumblr site, I have a second tumblr account that serves as a repository for all the “fun cards” based on classic trading card designs. That site can be found at TWJ fun cards on tumblr.

The great shortstop swap

I love the trade deadline, the rumors and the big deals. While I hated to see Johnny Cueto leave Cincinnati, I’m glad he went to a great team in Kansas City. But that move was expected. I never expected to see Troy Tulowitzki in a uniform other than Colorado’s.

Both Tulo and Jose Reyes made their debuts for their new teams yesterday. And of course, I grabbed some images from news sites to make baseball cards of the pair in their new duds. No Photoshopping here…this is the real deal on virtual cardboard.

Jose  Reyes Rockies

Reyes was 1-for-3 in his Colorado debut, with a single, a stolen base, and a walk. He was also caught stealing. How long will he be wearing a purple uniform? There are already rumors floating around that he could be headed elsewhere, and if that time comes, a new TWJ card will be created. But for now, he’s the mile high shortstop.

Tulowitzki Blue Jays

Tulowitzki wowed his new team, going 3-for-5 with a home run and two doubles, driving in three runs and scoring three himself. His slugging percentage in Canada is 1.600. Of course, he won’t keep that up the rest of the season, but it’s a mighty impressive first game in Toronto.

You can check out all of the 2015 TWJ “revamped” series virtual baseball cards at TWJ cards on tumblr.

2015 TWJ All-Stars

keuchel

Who’s on your All-Star team this year? The 2015 TWJ All-Star Game cards debut today at TWJ cards on tumblr. Many of the starters from last night’s game will be featured, but I have made a few substitutions in my lineup. A new card will be revealed each half hour, alternating between the American League and National League. Every card features a photo from Tuesday’s festivities (but none in those silly AL or NL jerseys). Be sure to check them all out—starting with Dallas Keuchel, which just went live moments ago—at TWJ cards on tumblr!

2015 Reds, 1990 Score style: Todd Frazier, Home Run Derby Champion @FlavaFraz21

Frazier

For the first time since 1990, the host of the Home Run Derby is the champion. Ryne Sandberg won the competition at Wrigley Field in 1990; Todd Frazier took the title last night. Congratulations to the Toddfather, who has secured his place as my favorite Reds player this year.

I also created a special card for the TWJ set to commemorate last night’s victory, and to preview the All-Star design that should maybe possibly debut tomorrow. The regular set should resume on Thursday.

Frazier

Have fun watching the game tonight; I know I will!

And the first no-hitter of 2015 belongs to…

Chris Heston

Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants became the first rookie since Clay Buchholz in 2007 to toss a no-hitter when he mowed down the New York Mets last night at Citi Field. Heston’s gem was the first no-hitter of 2015, after five were thrown in 2014 (including one by Giants teammate Tim Lincecum).

Coming soon…

I was going to post my review of the new Bulletboys record, Elefanté, today, but still have some finishing touches to put on it. It might be up tomorrow, or possibly Thursday.

I am also working my way through Jeff Katz’s Split Season: 1981. It’s a very heady book, detailing the negotiations between the players and owners while examining the events of the season, including Fernando Valenzuela‘s sensational rookie campaign. That review should be posted either Thursday or Friday, depending on how much time I have to devote to reading over the next couple of days.

On Friday, the new TWJ “revamped” design will debut at TWJ cards on tumblr. But I want to give you a sneak peek, so here is card #1, Jimmy Rollins wearing his Dodgers digs.

001 Jimmy Rollins

You can view all of the cards posted over the past several years of your favorite team by typing http://twjcards.tumblr.com/tagged/los-angeles-dodgers into your browser window, replacing “los-angeles-dodgers” with your favorite team name (dashes where spaces should be).

TWJ cards are getting “revamped” soon…

Kenny Rogers (the country music singer, not the pitcher) sang, “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” In the case of the 2015 TWJ card design, it’s time to fold ’em and walk away. It is dull and uninspiring, and I just can’t bring myself to continue the current design. There are a handful more cards already made, and they will continue to post on the tumblr page through next Thursday, June 4. TWJ 2015 will end with card #65 at that time.

Jace Peterson

But…I ain’t quitting. Nope, no way. A new “2015 TWJ revamped” design has already been created, and will make its debut on Friday, June 5! Be sure you are following TWJ cards on tumblr to see the new cards as they are unveiled each day!

Here’s a sneak peek at the 2015 TWJ baseball card design!

Opening Day is almost upon us, and I have yet to show you the design for the 2015 TWJ baseball card set. TWJ cards are only available digitally, and you can only see them all by visiting TWJ cards on tumblr. We are wrapping up the “pre-season” set, and that design will be retired on April 5 with no new cards created. So if you want to see your all-time favorite baseball player on a card design like this…

Jose Cruz

…then you need to send me a message via e-mail, or on tumblr, or on Twitter, or leave a comment here.

The new 2015 TWJ set will consist only of current players, with a few very special exceptions.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the 2015 TWJ baseball card design, as modeled by speedy Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton

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