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#TBT at twjfuncards.tumblr.com

1938

This morning I posted 15 “fun cards” in the style of 1938 Goudey baseball cards that I drew 25 years ago at twjfuncards.tumblr.com. I have posted these here before, but the image links expired long ago, so I decided to re-upload them to tumblr for posterity.

I remember working on these at my desk in my bedroom, and a few nights ago I told my son to go find some index cards and colored pencils for me. But I am hesitant to try again. When I get up the courage to attempt a new drawing, I will post it here for everyone to laugh at. In the meantime, enjoy the 25-year old “fun cards.”

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Take a closer look…1987 Bo Jackson vs. 2010 “Yo Mama” Bo

In 2010, Topps produced a special insert set called “Cards Your Mother Threw Out.” Those cards became affectionately known as “Yo Mama” cards to collectors everywhere. I loved pulling cards of older players that I watched growing up, including several Hall of Famers. One of my favorites was Bo Jackson, who didn’t make the Hall of Fame, but was one of the most entertaining athletes on the baseball diamond and the football gridiron.

But take a closer look, side-by-side, at Bo’s 1987 issue and the 2010 insert. Notice any differences?

side by side

First off, the photo quality on the reprint is downright awful. It looks like it has been printed by a low-quality laser printer. I suppose Topps no longer owns the negative? But beyond that, what are the other differences? Start in the upper left hand corner…

team logos

The team logo is different! According to Chris Creamer’s SportsLogos.net, the Royals used the logo on the left (the 1987 card) until 2001, and on the right (the 2010 insert) beginning in 2002. I have not looked at other reprints to see if their logos have been changed as well, but I imagine they have.

Now move down to the bottom left of the card…

Topps logos

The Topps logo is an iconic identifier, but in 2010 they partially covered it with the “Future Stars” banner. The original is on the right, with the circled (R), while the reprint is on the left, with no trademark or copyright symbol.

But there is a lot more going on at the bottom of the card…

photoshop that fence

The original is on top, the reprint on the bottom. Immediately one notices the slight color change in the nameplate, and the difference in the font thickness. The border is slightly different as well, with the star from the “Future Stars” extending further to the right. But look behind the “Future Stars”…notice anything missing? The bottom of the fence has been Photoshopped out of the picture! I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind that move, except to make Bo look closer to the fence than in the original.

Not only was the fence removed from the picture, the stripe on Bo’s leg is altered ever-so-slightly. Instead of curving to the right with his leg, it’s curving to the left. I found that rather odd.

I was quite surprised to see so many differences between the original and the so-called “reprint.” Do you see more? Have you noticed any of these things on other official Topps reprints?

Here are some reasons I don’t like Topps Heritage…

Topps posted a bunch of photos of 2014 Topps Heritage on their Facebook page yesterday. In general, I like Topps Heritage. But there are some things that I definitely don’t like.

Jeter

I like Derek Jeter. I don’t like that his card is a “high-numbered base card” in the 2014 Topps Heritage set. The same goes for Yasiel Puig, Miguel Cabrera, and Max Scherzer. Seriously, is there any reason to buy a pack if all of the superstars are in the high numbers?

SandbergI am glad that Heritage includes managers in the set. It’s neat to see Ryne Sandberg, Don Mattingly, John Farrell and other former big leaguers still involved in the game.

I don’t like that there are only seventeen managers who will get cards in the set. Where is Bryan Price? No, he never played major league baseball, and he has never had a baseball card. But he (and the other twelve non-card managers) still skippers a team and should have a card if seventeen other managers have a card.

PuigBack to Puig. He wasn’t an All-Star last year. Maybe he should have been, but he wasn’t. Maybe he will be this year, but we really don’t know yet.

I don’t like that Topps took it upon themselves to either correct last year’s manager or predict the future, whichever is the case here.

This isn’t the first time a non-All-Star has been called an All-Star by Topps. One of the most egregious examples is Tony Bernazard from the 1987 Topps set; Bernazard was not an All-Star in 1986, or 1987…or ever.

McCarver

First things first, I don’t like Tim McCarver. But this isn’t a post about Tim McCarver. This is a post about 2014 Topps Heritage. And I don’t like that they cut up a 1981 Fleer card and put it in a 2014 Topps set.

JacksonTopps used a Fleer product in their set.

Let that sink in.

First things first, I absolutely love Bo Jackson. He was one of the most exciting baseball players and one of the most exciting football players. He was an all-around athlete and was fascinating to watch. Jackson was born in 1962. His baseball career started in 1986 and ended in 1994. I don’t like that he is included in the 2014 Topps Heritage set, which is supposed to be an homage to the 1965 issue.

I like the concept of Topps Heritage. I don’t like the execution.

Don’t get a big head

The Junior Junkie just posted a 1990 Topps “Heads Up” he received featuring Ken Griffey Jr. I have a few as well, and they’re actually hanging on the wall in my basement…

Topps Heads Up

That is, from left to right, Craig Biggio, Tony Gwynn, John Franco (the only Red in the set), Bo Jackson, and Junior. I also had Dennis Eckersley and Mark McGwire at one point, but they weren’t worthy of inclusion on my Wall of Awesomeness.

This was a neat little set, and I wouldn’t mind picking up a few more for my wall if I found them on the cheap at a card show. Looking at the checklist the Junkie posted, I probably also wanted Gregg Olson and Jerome Walton back in the day. But alas, I never got them.

Fun Cards Submission: First pitches (part 5)

Bo knows neutrality

Bo Jackson decided not to wear a team hat or jersey when he threw out the first pitch before the Royals-White Sox game in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, but TWJ reader and Cards That Never Were blogger John thought he should have. With the magic of Photoshop (or a similar program…I didn’t ask), he grabbed a photo of Bo and Soxed it up. Thanks for the submission, John!

Fun Cards Submissions: First pitches (part 2)

Here’s a few more first pitch “fun cards” from TWJ contributor Patrick…

Geddy Lee first pitch

I love how he decided to use an O-Pee-Chee card for Canadian rock legend Geddy Lee.

There are a couple more after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry

The Ceremonial First Pitch

One of the neatest things baseball teams do is the “ceremonial first pitch,” often honoring past stars or community leaders. One of the highest honors someone can receive is to be asked to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day. Here is a run-down of some of yesterday’s ceremonial first pitch honorees:

Piniella
Lou Piniella took the mound before the Yankees-Red Sox game.

Rusty
Rusty Staub tossed the ball before the Mets opener.

Torre
Former big leaguer Joe Torre was asked to throw the first pitch before the Reds-Angels game. This one doesn’t make any sense to me since Torre has no connection to either organization.

Webb
Brandon Webb was honored by the Diamondbacks.


Bo knows first pitches…Bo Jackson did not wear a jersey when he threw out the first pitch before the White Sox-Royals game in Chicago.

Romesha
Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha was the Nationals’ choice to throw the first pitch in Washington.

Larry
Future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones returned to the field in Atlanta.

Koufax
My favorite, though, was Sandy Koufax for the Dodgers with Orel Hershiser catching. Watch the video below and prepare to smile.

Fun Cards: 2012 “Taco Bell Softball” Bo Jackson

Much like Night Owl, I have some fond memories of All-Star Games throughout the years. One of my most vivid memories is of Bo Jackson smashing a Rick Reuschel pitch for a home run in the first inning of the 1989 All-Star Game in Anaheim. I didn’t even remember that he won the MVP honors for that game until I looked it up, but I remember that towering blast.

Royals and Raiders legend Bo Jackson

Photo credit: AP

There has been a lot of speculation about how great Bo Jackson would have been had he not been injured playing football. Just for fun, I plugged some of his numbers into Bill James’ Favorite Toy to see where he might have ended up if he stayed healthy. I used his numbers from the 1987-1989 seasons.

Home runs: Based on his age, your player can be expected to play for 8 more years, at an average of 24.7 per year. At that rate, he will finish at 278 for his career.

Runs batted in: Based on his age, your player can be expected to play for 8 more years, at an average of 66.7 per year. At that rate, he will finish at 768 for his career.

Not really earth-shattering numbers. Perhaps if he had given up football to play on the diamond full-time he would have fared better (and lasted longer).

Gypsy Queen – Bo Jackson

He was an All-Star only once. He only played more than 100 games in four seasons. His lifetime batting average is .250. Yet, Bo Jackson was and still is a hugely popular baseball (and football) player.

Topps top 60? Hardly.

Topps, you’re stupid. Sorry, but it had to be said. Pick the top 60 out of a pre-selected 100, which aren’t really the top 100 to begin with? Maybe there wasn’t an easier way to do this, but you could have at least given a better selection of cards…maybe select from 500 different cards. There would have been a better chance of making people at least a little happy.

Above are the cards I voted for. If the field had been more diverse, I may have still picked the Pete Rose and Johnny nBench rookies and the Satchel Paige card. I doubt the Dwight Gooden record breaker would have made the cut. But yes, I would rather have a Gooden reprint than another Mickey Mantle. I like pulling Mantle cards from packs, but it’s not as exciting as it once was.

If I could truly pick my personal top 10, I would include the 1987 Bo Jackson, which is much more iconic than the ’86 Traded version. And the 1985 Eric Davis. There wasn’t a kid in Cincinnati in 1985 that didn’t drool over that card.

And what about the 1986 Pete Rose record breaker, commemorating Charlie Hustle’s march past Ty Cobb? Or the 1984 Topps Traded Pete Rose, showing the Hit King during his time north of the border?

Better selections could have been made, a better field could have been offered for the vote. But it is what it is. Oh well.

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