Tuesday, July 24, 2012

All Future Team

I remember in 1992 when Pinnacle had the Team 2000 insert set. The first guy I pulled was Jim Thome. At that point, I had no idea who Jim Thome was. This was of course the time before a prospect would show up in 2 or 3 different MLB releases before getting called up into the bigs, so it was weird to get an insert card of some "nobody." But this was a forecasting insert, featuring players who many thought would be league leaders in the year 2000. In hindsight, they did a decent job, picking guys like Thome along with your Griffeys, Madduxes, Bagwells and the like. But then again, there were plenty of Cuylers, Naehrings and Plantiers. I believe that's called 'baseball.'

Since it's 2012 and there's not a nice round-numbered year to look towards (I believe 2020 has been covered somewhere,) I decided to just call this the All Future Team. It's comprised of 22 players (2 at each position along with a 5-man starting rotation and 2-man bullpen) that each come in at 25 years old or younger. That extends the prognosticating window about 10 years. Here are the 22 guys I decided fit best.

1B • Mark Trumbo
1B • Freddie Freeman
2B • Jemile Weeks
2B • Jose Altuve
3B • Pablo Sandoval
3B • Brett Lawrie
SS • Starlin Castro
SS • Elvis Andrus
OF • Mike Trout
OF • Bryce Harper
OF • Andrew McCutchen
OF • Giancarlo Stanton
OF • Justin Upton
C • Buster Posey
C • Jesus Montero
SP • Stephen Strasburg
SP • Chris Sale
SP • Madison Bumgarner
SP • Clayton Kershaw
SP • Yu Darvish
CL • Craig Kimbrel
CL • Aroldis Chapman
As you can see, we have some players that already have some accolades accumulated and are among the league's elite, regardless of age. Then there are quite a few that are already achieving beyond what most players their age traditionally do. Whittling the number down to 22 also helps minimize the probability of potential busts.

For the front design, I decided to go with a high-contrast, monochromatic image with a dynamic crop. Behind each cut-out is a big "ALL FUTURE TEAM" screened over some nice cloudscapes. I think this shows 'future' without going the high-tech route that would end up looking cheesy and dated a few years from now. The player position is set in a big silver foil circle in the bottom left-hand corner with the player name in silver foil just to the right of that.

On the back side, we have the cloudscape screened back a bit and the circle from enlarged and moved to the upper right to house another player photo, this time in full-color. The "ALL FUTURE TEAM" text is scaled down a bit and moved to the bottom left, leaving room for the player name/position above and team logo to the right.

Are there any glaring snubs to the 22-man roster? I'm sure there's a starting pitcher or two that could make a very good case for inclusion. What say you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


As per Johnny's request on the last Remix post, installment number 2 is 1981 Topps.

From what I've seen online, the 1981 Topps set is held in somewhat high regard. If I were to wager a guess as to why that's so after 30 years later, I'd say it's probably that floppy old hat. Personally, I think it's a little hokey but I can understand why others find it so endearing. My biggest issue is probably the team name runs arched right at the bottom while the position is on a straight diagonal right on top of it, leaving that negative space above it like it weighs a ton.

I'll give Topps credit for having the hats in the appropriate team colors even though sometimes they really clash with the border color. The Johnny Grubb above is a perfect example.

So my first order of business was bringing the hat concept into the 21st century. Instead of cartoony drawings, we have actual photographs of the actual hats. With all the alternate hats that teams wear these days, there might an issue of the logo hat being different than what the player is wearing on the photo (Altuve, Carpenter) but that doesn't really bother me. Just a reflection of current uniform trends.

Since the hat is now the official team hat, I had to find a place for the position. Some have mentioned how the Topps logo inside the baseball was kind of an odd logo treatment on the original. And since Topps' logo is different now and has a lot more flexibility, I figure that was a perfect home for the position markers. The circle is just a black circle since having a ball AND a hat is kind of overkill.

The names are in white on a team-color border so they're nice and legible. I tucked the team name smaller beneath just in case someone new to the game doesn't quite have the team logos down. All in all, the composition is pretty similar with just a few tweaks and updates made to freshen up the design, so good remix.

Be sure and let me know what other sets are begging to be remixed.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spirit Deluxe Duos

No, not Diamond Duos or Dueling Duos. Deluxe Duos. Two guys on the same team that are among the MLB elite. It may not be the most original concept, but I bet there are lots of people that'd be very excited to pull a Mike Trout/Albert Pujols dual auto. Every good turn deserves another or something like that.

These carry the same hallmarks as the other Spirit Deluxe cards so far. Team color textured backgrounds, sophisticated fonts, silver foil, dynamic fade photos. Hopefully the consistency isn't too boring.

The back features a candid shot of the two featured players together. I really like the Fielder/Cabrera photo. It's nice to see teammates interact with each other like little leaguers do. And for these cards, it keeps the front side from looking like arbitrary pairings of guys who just happen to wear the same uniform.

Some of the other duos in the series would probably be Harper/Strasburg, Kemp/Kershaw, Lincecum/Posey, Halladay/Lee, Pedroia/Ellsbury, Mauer/Morneau.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Trying out a new feature here on the old design blog. I'll take a look at a previous card design and do a little remixin' to try and freshen them up a bit for today. This will be a cross between what I normally do and customs that other guys out there do.

First up is '91 Score. I've always thought this was a vastly underrated design, especially compared to some other designs from 1991. It has a bit of understated dignity to its benefit.

There aren't a lot of elements to the design, so its simplicity is big virtue. The solid color borders add some personality, though I'm not sure the color combinations are the prettiest. That teal & purple combo on Felix Fermin's card just doesn't sit right. In the upper left corner, the first letter in the first name is big and yellow, pushing the colored border down into the frame a bit. This kind of reminds me of playing cards, like a big K or Q in the corner for a king or queen card. It's definitely one of the most prominent and successful features. The rest of the name is spelled out in white at the top, along with team name and player position inside a secondary color bar. There were also some 'Rookie Prospect' cards in the set with white borders and a "ROOKIE PROSPECT" flash across a red streak towards the bottom. Paired with the green inset border, these cards look a little Christmas for a summer sport such as baseball.

For the remix, I pretty much tweaked every element ever so slightly. The colored borders now reflect the featured player's team, as does the inset stripe. I also removed the strokes around the frame to help clean up the clutter. And instead of having the first letter in the first name biggified, we now have a monogram of the first and last name. This helps with the spacing of the initials and little frame bump. The position has moved from the corner down into the inset bar along with the full team name (city/state and name.) That helps to accommodate some of the longer player names. The one thing that's an addition and not just a tweak is the secondary inset bar I added at the bottom. I though this just helped to balance the top of the card out. Plus...
it makes for a great little spot for the 'ROOKIE PROSPECT' notation to rest, along with the Score logo.

Overall, I think I kept with the tone and feel of the original set but made some minor adjustments to enhance the design a bit. The introduction of the team colors spruces it up along with some different font choices. Hopefully these Remix posts will be sprinkled in alongside some of my original Spirit designs.

What are some sets you think could use a 'remix?'