Friday, August 24, 2012

Creating My Own Baseball Cards

In my December 6, 2011 post I wrote about creating my own baseball cards. Some current and former Minnesota Twins players simply do not have many or even any baseball cards which can present a problem for someone, like me, trying to collect an autographed baseball card of every living Minnesota Twin.

My first attempt at designing something looked like this:

I have about 25 of these type cards signed, and they look okay. That said, I thought I could do better, so I used Scribus 1.4 to create this:

Now I had plenty of white space available for the player to sign in. That worked great for the older players who did not have the most stable signatures and for players with bigger hand writing, as they did not try in vain to squeeze their autographed into a small space.

I have about 30 signed cards of this design, and I liked them well enough. However, finding clear yet small enough pictures like the above one of Scott Diamond was not easy, so I decided to experiment with some new designs. Here is the first one I came up with again using Scribus 1.4:

I got 2-3 of these cards signed, and they looked decent, but they are kind of plain. I fired up Scribus once more, and tried to get creative. Here is my end result:

I like it. It looks like something one of baseball card companies might have designed. I have not gotten any of these signed, so I have no idea how autographs look on them, but we will find out soon enough.

I hope to design some back for these cards, and to continue to create new designs. If I come up with anything worthwhile, I will try to post them here.

Another Update on my Twins Autograph Baseball Card Collection

Continuing my string of successful TTM autograph request, I receive signed cards from former Twin Doug Mientkiewicz. I also got signed cards from prospect Chris Herrmann - who included a note of thanks - and super prospect Jose Berrios.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Twins Need Middle Infielders

The Twins started the season with Jamey Carroll as their starting shortstop. Then supposedly dissatisfied with the play of Alexi Casilla at second base, the Twins called up shortstop Brian Dozier and shifted Carroll to second. Dozier was hailed a top prospect who was the “shortstop of the future”.

The Dozier & Carroll combo last till Trevor Plouffe, who had displaced Danny Valencia at third base, was injured and Carroll was moved to third with Casilla reinstated at second. This lasted till Tsuyoshi Nishioka was recalled and inserted into the lineup at second. Nishioka was a bust last year at second, and this year proved to be even worse. As it stands right now, Nishioka’s career Win Above Replacement (WAR) is -2.5, the worst of any player in Twins history. In other words, Nishioka’s is the worst player in Twins history.

Nishioka was promptly demoted, and Casilla reinstalled at second till Plouffe returned from his injury. Supposedly Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was set to go with Carroll at second, Dozier at short, and Plouffe at third. The Twins front office had other plans, and demoted Dozier even though there are only 2 ½ weeks left in the minor league season, and Dozier would almost certainly be right back with the Twins in September.

Now Pedro Florimon – a career .249 hitter in the minor leagues - has been summoned to be the new “shortstop of the future”.

Personally, I would have left Dozier the minors and brought him about now when he could play with less pressure –with the season lost - then he experienced earlier this year. Carroll should have been left at short and Casilla at second till then. Nishioka has no business even being with the Twins. While Florimon might be a great fielder he can’t hit which as been the argument used against Casilla for years.

Let’s face facts, the Twins have no shortstop at the major or minor league level worthy of starting for them in the foreseeable future. The only second basemen worth anything in the system is super prospect Eddie Rosario who is playing well, but is in low A ball, and is at least 2 years away.

The Twins have no middle infielders worthy of a major league roster spot outside of Carroll who is best as a backup. While the Twins search for starting pitching this off-season, they also need to search for a new starting shortstop and second basemen.

Update to the Update on My Autographed Twins Baseball Card Collection

I knew when I published my post on Sunday that I would get signed cards in the mail from players I had listed as not responding. Sure enough, I got Chris Parmelee back on Monday along with 3 lesser minor league players (Pedro Hernandez and Eduardo Escobar – the 2 guys acquired for Francisco Liriano – and Evan Bigley). Thanks much to these gentlemen for signing for me.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Update on My Autograph Twins Baseball Card Collection

As previous mentioned in this blog, I collect autographed baseball cards through the mail (TTM) and in-person with the hope of getting a signed baseball card from every living current and former Minnesota Twin. My collection now stands at 420 players with 223 left to go (I have 110 request outstanding).

I am only 3 for 15 on current Twins I sent TTM this year. I extend my thanks to Cole De Vries, Darin Mastroianni, and Jamey Carroll for signing for me. Jared Burton, Ryan Doumit, Carl Pavano, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Brian Dozier, Alexi Casilla, Liam Hendriks, Chris Parmelee, Samuel Deduno, Luis Perdomo, Casey Fien, and P.J. Walters are hopefully going to be coming through for me as well.

I already have signed cards of Doumit, Pavano, Casilla, Hendriks, and Parmelee, but these gentlemen have tended to good signers TTM, and every new season brings a new set of baseball cards I want to get autographed.

A few of the former Twins I have received back TTM this year include:

Craig Monroe c/o FSN Detroit

Chuck James

Jacque Jones c/o Fort Wayne Tin Cups

Eric Milton

Luke Hughes c/o Oakland A’s

Casey Blake

Rob Delaney

Randy Ruiz

Paul Sorrento c/o Inland Empire 66ers

Dave Hollins

J.D. Durbin

Brian Buchanan

Joe Nathan

J.T. Burett

Clete Thomas

Corky Miller

Jose Mijares

Rob Wilfong (private signing)

I was particularly happy to get back Jones and Sorrento. I have sent to Jacque Jones multiple times, and never received much of a response. Since Jacque is a favorite of mine, it was great to get something him back from him. Sorrento was a guy I have been trying to get for years, as he was a member of the 1991 World Series team. I now have 22 of the 25 members of that team while I already have every member of the 87 World Series team.

Also this year I sent TTM to super prospects Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Oswaldo Arica, Hudson Boyd, Byron Buxton, and Jose Berrios with no response yet. Sano and Rosario signed for me last year, but they seem to be ignoring me this year. I did get responses from prospects Levi Michael, Travis Harrison, and Dereck Rodriguez.

My in-person successes include: ($ means I had to pay for the autograph.)

Brad Radke

Jarvis Brown $

Kent Hrbek

Alexi Casilla

Brian Dozier $

Glen Perkins

Ben Revere

Scott Diamond

Trevor Plouffe

Brian Duensing

I don’t wait outside the stadium or anything, but the Twins players usually make several appearances during the season at local businesses.

One person who won’t be making any appearances (save Twinsfest) to sign autographs is Joe Mauer. The Twins best player has an exclusive deal with Ironclad Aesthetics, so if you want to send $$$ to Ironclad, they hold private signing with Mauer in the spring and winter. I have participated in these signing and things have gone well, but it not cheap.

Here’s hoping for more successes this year and for years to come.