Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2014 Spirit Base: 231-240

#231 - Jonathan Pettibone
I've always been on the fence about the Phillies' typeface. If anything, at least it's distinctive.

#232 - Jose Tabata
I don't know the context of this kiss-blowing photo but it's too good to pass up.

#233 - Jaime Garcia
It's scary to think of all the great young pitching the Cardinals had last season and then realize that they still have someone with Garcia's potential sitting in the back of the cupboard.

#234 - Jedd Gyorko
He was a pleasant surprise as a rookie. I never get tired of saying his last name, either.

#235 - Juan Perez
I don't see Perez as having a long-term MLB career so I figured I'd get him on a card now while it was still relevant.

#236 - Felix Hernandez
I know it looks like I altered the background but really it's all those King's Court signs back there sparkling like a wildfire.

#237 - Sean Rodriguez
Didn't know he existed until I was putting this checklist together.

#238 - Matt Harrison
The Rangers really need for him to get/stay healthy all year long. They'll need to pad their lead a bit more before their annual September swoon.

#239 - Josh Thole
Another good Panini photo candidate.

#240 - Tanner Roark
This is a pretty cool angle of his follow through. He's all diagonal and scrunched up but all his limbs are kept in frame. I wish they were all this easy.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Won Hundred

After I published my previous post, I noticed it was entry number 99. Which meant the following post would be my 100th of the blog. So instead of passing the milestone with another 2014 Spirit Base entry (which I'm sure you're all tired of by now), I decided to commemorate it with some relevant content. After searching for  a subject that revolved around the number 100, I saw the list of active pitchers with 100 career wins was right around the 20-player mark, which is right in the sweet spot for insert if you ask me. Then once I came up with the punny name, it was a no-brainer.

Even though pitcher wins as a stat is losing its relevance, it's still a nice sign of a pitcher's longevity and effectiveness to be able to stick around the league long enough to pile up Ws. And taking a look at the checklist, you'll see a mix of top-of-line aces as well as some guys that probably don't get their due as effective starting pitchers.

1. Tim Hudson
2. CC Sabathia
3. Mark Buehrle
4. Bartolo Colon
5. A.J. Burnett
6. Cliff Lee
7. John Lackey
8. Bronson Arroyo
9. Justin Verlander
10. Josh Beckett
11. Dan Haren
12. Kyle Lohse
13. Jake Peavy
14. Jered Weaver
15. Aaron Harang
16. Felix Hernandez
17. Zack Greinke
18. Ervin Santana
19. Jon Lester
20. Adam Wainwright
21. James Shields

For the front of the design, the big elements are 100 stacked above a big W, which works as a frame for the player cutout. The title 'Won Hundred' is wedged between them but since the players make it pretty unreadable, I have it tiled in the upper left corner. There's a circle in the bottom right corner for the team logo. Below that is the player name stamped in gold foil. Keeping with the '100' theme, each card is serial numbered to 100, stamped vertically in the left corner.

On the backside, there's an action photo filling the exaggerated W frame with the full 'Won Hundred' title and 100 unobscured to the right. With the name at an angle below, there's a brief write-up on the right along with a big bold wins total on the left.

Overall, the design is simple but with enough little details to keep it interested. I like the subdued color-palette as well as the asymmetry on both sides.

Thanks for taking the time to read any of the 100 posts I've made in the last 2+ years. Hopefully somewhere along the line I've done something to inspire you and whomever else may be out there in the card collecting/designing world. Let's see how the next 100 posts go.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 Spirit Base Series 1: 221-230

#221 - Carlos Corporan
This would be an easy photo for Panini to use if they ever release a set big enough to include the likes of Carlos Corporan.

#222 - Luke Hochevar
Well, with Hochevar set to miss the entire season with Tommy John surgery, this card is pretty obsolete now.

#223 - Erick Aybar
There have been a few rain shots sprinkled* through the set so far but none as cool as this.

#224 - Kenley Jansen
I'm guessing this is him looking at the runner on third but who knows.

#225 - Giancarlo Stanton
Hard to top a walkoff reception.

#226 - Jim Henderson
I was wondering what this guy was up to these days. Pitching in Milwaukee apparently.

#227 - Glen Perkins
I guess the Twins won a game? Cool.

#228 - Bobby Parnell
"What do you think of all the Tommy John surgeries these days, Bobby?"

#229 - Mark Teixeira
There weren't a whole lot of photo choices for Teixeira seeing as how he was hurt for most of 2013.

#230 - Alberto Callaspo
I like how Callaspo seems to be keeping his cool as Hamilton is about to slide face first into his knee. His nickname should be Cool-aspo*.

*Sorry for the puns. I haven't been fully rehabilitated.

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 Spirit Base Series 1: 211-220

#211 - Didi Gregorius
This is a pretty dynamic play by Didi here. I sure wish the Arizona fans could've filled up the bleachers in the background though.

#212 - Jonny Venters
Venters missed all of 2013 and opened up the 2014 season on the DL. I hope he comes back in time to make this card relevant.

#213 - J.J. Hardy
Hardy's finally getting some recognition as one of the better AL shortstops. I'm already calling him signing with the Yankees this offseason.

#214 - Koji Uehara
Boston's postseason hero with that ever-present smile on his face.

#215 - James Russell
When I see/hear "James Russell," the first thing that pops in my mind is this.

#216 - Jose Quintana
With the White Sox uniforms, it's nice to have the green grass add some color to things.

#217 - Ryan Ludwick
Why the long face/neck?

#218 - Justin Masterson
I'd think Masterson would be established enough now to get a lower number but apparently he's still rocking #63.

#219 - Charlie Blackmon
Even as a Giants fan that follows the NL West pretty closely, I had no idea about Charlie Blackmon before this season started. Couldn't tell you his position, how old he was, what he looked like, nothing. Needless to say, he's turning a heads so far.

#220 - Drew Smyly
I kinda love the psychadelic background here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

2014 Pennant

With Heritage on the shelves and Gypsy Queen soon to be joining it, I thought it was time to unveil the 2014 for Spirit's retro release, Pennant.

This year's design is by far the most colorful of the Pennant releases. The rounded edges inset from the border are filled with the primary team color while a small strip of a secondary color house the position and team name at the bottom. The black name bar off-sets the photo and leaves plenty of room for even the longest player names. Also, I realized I've yet to include any kind of 'rookie card' designation on any of my designs thus far, so I one to the Tanaka card up there. It's pretty similar to Topps' but it works well with this design in particular. I added some age to the photos as is typical for retro sets. I think I held back from going overboard with speckles and noise. The cardstock would be pretty much what Topps runs Heritage on.

I kept the backside pretty similar to the 2013 version but made a few small changes. The most obvious one is changing the color from black to a brownish-pinkish hue. The numbers are also bigger and the font selection is bolder to help with readability.

I also threw in an autograph variation since this paper stock is really great for on-card autos. The backs are pretty much the same with the only change being the congratulatory auto text in place of a brief player bio or whatever.

All-in-all, I think this design is successful in looking retro without overtly ripping of a particular set from the past. I'm not sure I could even pinpoint a certain era it'd fit into but it definitely doesn't appear to be tied to the 2010s.