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Custom Reds Set

This design is based on the wonderful “Brothers” typeface. Brothers was designed by John Downer and released through Emigre in 1999. You can read more about Brothers at the Font Review Journal (which is a fantastic resource for font enthusiasts).

This is a really simple design, but I kinda love the look of the Bench card in this set.

Turning Japanese

“I got more hits than Sadaharu Oh” – “Hey Ladies” by The Beastie Boys

Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh ended his career with 868 homers and 2,786 hits. Sadly, the Beastie Boys never had 2,786 hits.

While researching Japanese baseball card design last night (I’m a nerd…I know), I decided to make these two cards. One is for Oh, of course, and features a shot of him as he broke the all-time home run record.

The second card is for Kosuke Tanaka of the Hiroshima Carp. The Carp share the same “C” logo and colors as the Cincinnati Reds, so it fits with this blog’s “alternate Reds” theme.

East/West College Bowl

When the comedy duo Key & Peele saw a football game featuring New York Jets offensive lineman D’Brickashaw Ferguson, the duo was inspired.

“D’Brickashaw Ferguson! What? That was it for us,” Keegan Michael Key said.

Several years and millions of YouTube views later, I decided to create a few cards for some of the players from this legendary skit. I’ll get to some of my favorites, like Jackmerious Tacktheritrix and Hingle McCringleberry, as soon as I can.

Two artists

Here are a couple of new takes on the 1980 Topps template.

I love both of these pics for different reasons. The Concepcion card shows how he used to make the tough plays at shortstop look so effortless. And the Warhol card just makes me laugh. Why is he wearing a Reds cap and holding a pug? Who knows. And who cares? I mean, it’s Warhol.

1971 Topps Football Remixes

The 1971 Topps football design was kind of quirky. The lower left corner featured a cartoon drawing of each player position. That made it a bit more difficult to remix the card for a baseball design.

Fortunately, I was able to find the two cartoon characters you see in the design below. I also helped that the characters were already wearing uniforms like the Reds.

It also took me a little while to find the font used for the team names. I’m using Rama Slab here, which isn’t a perfect match, but it’s pretty darn close.

As a side note…I would pay a lot of money to see the Reds use these uniforms in every game next season.

1973 Football Remixes

Here’s another set of football “remixes.” This time, I took the 1973 Topps football design and converted it into baseball cards. I changed the colors to reflect the Reds’ color scheme (the original cards seemed to ignore team colors altogether).

I added the current Topps “rookie card” logo to the O’Grady card, since he made his major league debut this year. I still prefer the old All-Star trophy logos, but this one is growing on me.

Neon Lights

One of the members of Facebook’s Custom Baseball Cards group posted a really nice basketball card design that used a neon look for the team and player names.

I decided to take a shot at my own neon design, and came up with this after a few failed attempts. This is more of a rough idea than a finished, polished, pixel-perfect design…but I’m liking it so far.

The Bad Guys Won

After I finish reading Joe Posnanski’s “The Machine” (about the 1975 Reds), I’m planning to dive into Jeff Pearlman’s “The Bad Guys Won” (about the 1986 Mets).

I was rooting hard for the Mets that year, and the end of game 6 was one of the most incredible, ridiculous, amazing endings to a baseball game that I’ve ever seen .

I’ve been trying to make a design that incorporates a scorecard somehow, but none of them have worked out. I got the idea for this card last night, though, and worked on the design as I watched the Nationals win the second game of the Series.

Reds Organization All-Stars

A recent article on named the top prospects in the Reds’ system at every position.

So I decided to make a card for each of these twelve “Organization All-Stars.” A couple of the players – Aquino & O’Brady – have already made it to the major league level.

This design started off as an attempt to recreate a football card design, but then I kind of veered off in a different direction.

1977 & 1978 Topps Football Remixes

Here’s a mix of some more football card designs turned into baseball card designs. The ’77 and ’78 sets were two of the ones I collected as a kid. Sadly, most of them were destroyed when our basement flooded.

The ’77 design is a classic, but the ’78 design is pretty bland, in my opinion. On the other hand, the ’77 design was a pain to recreate, but the ’78 design only took a few minutes.

New Custom Cards

I love the 2019 MLB post-season logo, so I used it as the starting point for this design.

I created several different versions of this design before landing on this one. The placement of the name was the part that took the longest – I tried it at the top, on the left side, and then at the bottom. I chose the version with the red bar at the bottom, since it brings together the red from the home plate element.

I wanted to try this design with another team, just to see how the design holds up for other colors. So…here are the first non-Reds custom cards I’ve ever created.

Here are the 3 of the Astros:

I also created a couple of cards for the A’s:

And finally, I made a horizontal version of the card:

NOTE: Big thanks to Frank Jewett from Facebook’s Custom Baseball Cards group. Frank suggested a couple of small revisions that really improved the overall look of this design.

1964 Alternates

I can just imagine how this photo day went…

Photographer: “OK, guys…just stand there with your hands on your knees!”
Frank: “Um…why?”
Photographer: “‘Cause that’s what you ballplayers do.”
Pete: “Well, actually…the proper stance is to…”
Photographer: “I SAID HANDS ON KNEES!!!”
Frank & Pete: “Yeah, OK. Whatever.”

Miracle on Ice

“11 seconds…you’ve got 10 seconds…the countdown going on right now…Morrow, up to Silk…Five seconds left in the game.
Do you believe in miracles? YES!
– Al Michaels

I’m taking a break from the Reds today. In fact, I’m taking a break from the entire sport of baseball today.

I’ve been working on this hockey set for a while now. It’s a tribute to the members of the 1980 U.S. Men’s Hockey Team. This is the team that won the famous “Miracle on Ice” game – a game that was voted as Sports Illustrated‘s top sports moment of the 20th century.

It’s my favorite single sporting event of all time. The design is based on the 1980 Topps hockey set, and includes a picture of Jim Craig’s actual gold medal.

This is the largest set I’ve ever done. There are 35 cards in all because I just couldn’t limit myself to one card for some of these players. There’s at least one card for every member of the team, plus one card for coach Brooks and one for Al Michaels’ legendary call of the game’s final seconds.

Custom Cards

I created this card design yesterday, and it was one of those times when all the pieces just kind of clicked right away. I usually keep tweaking and editing my designs until all the elements feel right, but this one seemed to work on the first try.

I know I’ve made a lot of cards for Senzel and VanMeter, but I’ve got a lot of hope for what these guys will do for the Reds. VanMeter should be an everyday player in 2020, and I’m hoping we see more of the “early 2019 Senzel” next year.

UPDATE: I got some valuable feedback on the original card designs from JT over at The Writer’s Journey and Frank Jewett from the Custom Baseball Cards Facebook group. Big thanks to both of these guys for helping me make improvements to this design.

’69 & ’70 Bobby Tolan

Here are a couple of alternate designs for the 1969 and 1970 Topps Bobby Tolan cards.

Tolan came to Cincy in 1969 as part of the Vada Pinson trade with the Cards. He was there during the formative years of the Big Red Machine, often hitting right behind Pete Rose. He lead the league in steals in 1970, and was the only other player to do that during Lou Brock’s reign from 1966 to 1974. In 1971, he tore his ACL playing basketball (which was a violation of his contract).

Tolan grew a beard in ’73 and was suspended by the team. That off-season, the Reds traded him to the Padres for Clay Kirby.

I added a re-design of the 1970 Tolan card. I changed the gray border to red and switched the font & font color on the team name.

Castillo & Votto Customs

When I found the Luis Catillo picture, I knew I had to do something with it. So I immediately started working on a design that, I hoped, would bring more focus on the photo than the other design elements.

Then I found the Votto pic yesterday, and it seemed like a natural fit for the same design. I’d love to add more cards to this series, but I don’t think it will be easy to find more photos with this same style.

Custom Reds Designs

Here are a couple of my recent custom designs for a pair of great Reds outfielders.

With the Davis card, I was working with the idea of including more statistical info on the front of the card. The Foster card was an experiment with Photoshop’s “darken” feature.

I really liked the way these turned out. They’re kinda different than most of the cards out there (that I’m aware of, at least), but I think full team sets of these would look pretty cool.

What do you think?

2019 “Highlights”

The Reds’ 2019 season didn’t end the way I wanted it to, of course, but it wasn’t without its share of highlights. I created these 3 cards, based on Topps’ 1975 Highlights series, to honor my three favorite things about this season.

Aquino’s 2019 is one of my all-time favorite seasons by any player, ever. They way he burst into the majors was an amazing thing to witness.

And when Garrett charged at the Pirates’ dugout, he gave us a bit of hope that there was still some life in this team.

And Geno’s record-breaking home run pace down the stretch kept things interesting even when the playoffs were well out of reach. He set new records for the number of home runs in a season by National League third basemen, and also broke the record for most homers in a season by a Venezuelan.

I posted two of these on Facebook’s Custom Baseball Cards group the other day, so I thought I’d throw ’em all up here.

These cards use the same colors as the 1975 Highlights cards for Bob Gibson, Al Kaline & others. How in the world did Topps come up with this color scheme in 1975?