Custom Sox: 1968 Topps Floyd Robinson

In my pursuit of obtaining one card of every player to put on a Boston Red Sox uniform, there are many cases where a player never appears on cardboard as a Sox. My solution, create custom cards to fill in those gaps. Today’s custom card for my All-Time Red Sox collection is of Floyd Robinson. Floyd’s last card was #404 shown below from the 1968 Topps Set as a member of the Oakland A’s.

1968_topps_floyd_robinson_orig

This was a quick design to turn around as, thanks to Topps, the picture of Floyd is of the hatless variety and taken from his White Sox days (most likely from 1964-65). In general, I try to find an image of the player in an actual Red Sox unit but Floyd was one of those guys in where I could not find.

A solid player for the White Sox in the early sixties, he found his way back to the Junior Circuit when he was shipped to the aforementioned Athletics from the Cincinnati Reds after the 1966 season. His tenure in Oakland was uneventful and was sold to the Boston Red Sox on July 31 as the 1968 season neared the playoff stretch.

Floyd would appear in 23 games for the Sox over the last two months, garnering only 24 official at bats. Used mostly as a defensive replacement in left and right fields, he’d muster three hits, a run, and a stolen base. His only starts came during a five-day span in late August. His best game for Boston came on August 27 when the Sox took it to Cleveland 7-1 at Fenway Park. Robinson, starting in left field (Yaz played first base that day) would go 1-4, a run, two runs batted in, along with that one steal (off of future Red Sox pitcher Stan Williams). His last game would come against the Yankees on September 29 while going 0-1 and with that an end to a nine-year career as a lifetime .283 hitter.

The Design Process

In tweaking the design of this custom card, my first step was re-typesetting the fonts on the front of the card. I needed to recreate the magenta position/team circle to give the custom card a cleaner, finished look rather than pasting another from a 1968 card. Next was retype setting the circle text using Futura Black Condensed and also needed to play a little bit the horizontal scaling and positioning of the type. One thing I noticed was that the type is not perfectly centered within the circle — as a designer, not sure why they didn’t but can only guess it wasn’t high on the priority list when putting the design together in the plate room. Take a look at a number of other 1968 Topps cards and you’ll see the same — as a designer I want to center the type — but in keeping it real to the original I left it off kilter.

1968_topps_floyd_robinson_f

Next was cleaning up the FLOYD ROBINSON text below the picture and here I used Futura Bold Italic but found that the angle in the italic version pushed the text too far right. So I went with Futura Bold and manually skewed the text to align with the original. To finish off the front, I did some Photoshop work to eliminate the White Sox pin stripes and darken the jersey to look more of a road gray version the Red Sox would have had in 1968.

1968_topps_floyd_robinson_b

On the backside of the card, I cleared out the OAKLAND A’S and replaced the copy with BOSTON RED SOX. Here I used Benton Gothic Black. Using Benton Gothic Condensed, I retyped the bio write up but tweaking the last sentenced to reflect how Robinson arrived in Boston.

At some point, I plan on printing this and others I have created, as well as future planned custom cards. Thank you for reading and look forward to any feedback you may have.

 

A Far Out Mail Day

It’s been a crazy week since I last posted. No chance to play as I had freelance on top of work. Heck, even today — working from home for a dentist cleaning — work was too busy to escape to a different LCS I hadn’t been to in maybe 10 months. But alas, it was a good day because these goodies arrived in the mail.

I am putting together a vintage 70’s album with all the Topps I had in a shoebox and top loaders, plus my recent Hostess, Kelloggs pick ups, as well as a couple of other items. I realized while thumbing through some of the years there were a number of cards I wanted to add to this collection. This is the first batch of several coming to me this week and next.

Today’s haul includes two Hall of Famers, four MVP Awards, a collected 49 All-Star Game selections, sixteen Gold Gloves, and 10 Silver Slugger Awards — and a guy who was traded WITH a Hall of Famer.

72t_cey

1972 Topps Rookie Stars A.L.–N.L. #761

First up, this beauty of a high number! Ron Cey and Ben Oglivie’s rookie card. The Red Sox actually had three high number rookie cards in the 1972 Topps set, a tough one for team set collectors. This Oglivie, Rick Miller (#741), and John Curtis (#724). This will look nice alongside some of the other Rookie Stars I have from this set. Oh, and the guy who was traded WITH a Hall of Famer … Bernie Williams along with Willie McCovey, was sent to San Diego for Mike Caldwell after the 1973 season.

73t_schmidt

1973 Topps Rookie Third Basemen #615

Mike Schmidt’s rookie card and some guy Cey is crashing the party again. This is a card I already own in my 1973 Topps Set, but wanted another for the 70’s album. Price was a steal as it has a couple of soft corners and typical of the 1973 and 1974 Topps issues, is miscut. This cut is actually a smidge better than the one in my set yet cost me $65 less! Great coloring and no black printing marks to boot. We all know how Schmidt’s and Cey’s careers turned out but in reading about John Hilton I learned the following:

  • Was the 1971 #1 over all pick in the January Draft (they had two drafts back then) by the Padres. The only player worth mentioning in this January Phase that had any sort of a career was John Wathan taken third picks later by Kansas City.
  • Following his freshman year at Rice, played on a semi-pro ball team that had former Yankees OFer Bob Cerv as its manager along with future big leaguers Ron Guidry, Steve Rogers, and Phil Garner.
  • His first home run was against the Cubs’ Fergie Jenkins.
  • Hilton spent two-plus seasons in Japan, winning a championship with Yakult.

Seems Hilton was a solid defender as he won a couple minor league gold gloves as he bounced through the Blue Jays, Japan, Pirates organizations, and a Mexican League club. He now runs the Arizona School of Baseball.

74t_parker

1974 Topps Dave Parker #252

Next up, this rookie card of the Cobra. Two bucks got me one of the best right field arms in baseball history. If for some reason you have never seen it, I present you the Cobra Cannon. Gary Carter makes a wonderful play on the ball, but he had to in part because he looked shocked that Parker was even able to make a play a possibility. It’s the All-Star Game, so sure, he wasn’t used to that sort of thing first-hand out of Parker, but it sticks out. You look at Parker’s stats from the 1970’s and it’s easy to see why many thought he was one of the best, if not the best all-around player in the game. He played incredible defense, he could hit period, hit for power, stole double-digits, and had an OBA close just under .400. Just two bad drugs got in the way for a short while.

74t_aaron

1974 Topps Hank Aaron #1

And we close with a card touting the NEW all-time home run king even though he wasn’t yet. Yep that’s right, going into the 1974 season Hank Aaron’s homer count stood at 713. Of course, everyone knew he would break Babe Ruth’s mark, and Topps decided to dedicate it’s flagship issue with Aaron leading off as the number one card.

Hank Aaron’s notable home runs:

  • #1 … April 23rd, 1954 — Vic Raschi (St. Louis)
  • #714 … April 4, 1974 — Jack Billingham (Cincinnati)
  • #715 … April 8, 1974 — Al Downing (Los Angeles)
  • last and #755 … July 20, 1976 — Dick Drago (California)

And with that, off to round up some trade bait to post this week. If there are any Don Mattingly fans, ping me as I have some oddball stuff I will be posting.

Thanks for reading!

I Spy a Moe

40pb_mo_f

1940 Play Ball #30 Morris “Moe” Berg

Just a quick post here thanking fellow Red Sox Super Collector Mark Hoyle for the tip on this eBay auction! I definitely am buying you a couple of rounds one of these days. You see, this 1940 Play Ball card of Moe Berg right now on eBay runs at $105 on the low end all the way north of $750. This “Buy it Now” … $20.00 with shipping!!! Sure the corners are soft and the back has some paper loss and old glue — but this is a tough card to get! Landing it for the cost of an upcoming 2017 Topps Retail Blaster in two weeks, yes please! And hey, not everyday you get to land a card of a World War II spy too.

 

40pb_mo_b

Over the span of a 15-year career, Berg spent five of those years with the Sox from 1935–1939. Over the course of the 148 games in the Hub, he went .262/.289/.325 … pretty much your typical backup backstop. Three of his six career long balls came in his time here. Moe was an excellent defensive catcher. Possessing a strong arm, was adept at calling games, and his knowledge of the hitters put him in great demand around the league.

“… the strangest man ever to play baseball.”

– Casey Stengel describing Moe Berg

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

In 1934 Berg’s career took the turn that made him the stuff of legend. Now a member of the team of Americans that took baseball to Japan, he presumably walked the streets of Tokyo dressed in a long black kimono. At this point, if you’ve never read about Berg, here is a good overview on the real mystery of one of the game’s most interesting men.

moebergpic_17

MLB All-Stars Team 1934 Japan Barnstorming Tour (Berg in red circle)
Top Row, L-R: Doc Ebling, Earl Whitehill, Clint Brown, Eric McNair, Frankie Hayes, Connie Mack, Babe Ruth, Bing Miller, Joe Cascarella, Lefty O’Doul, Lou Gehrig, Umpire John Quinn.
Bottom Row, L-R: Earl Averill, Rabbit Warstler, Charlie Gehringer, Lefty Gomez, Jimmie Foxx, Moe Berg.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Storing Away My Thoughts

piles

So Jeff Katz (also author of Split Season) over at the new SABR Baseball Committee Blog shared his thoughts on how he organizes his baseball card collection. I left a lengthy post that I figured I should post here as well and see what other collectors and bloggers do with their collections.

I have often found myself battling how to organize my baseball card collection, even today(!!!!) when I am working from home. Most of the time the ideas I come up with

Here is what I have currently organized:

  • 6″ Album for my All-Time Red Sox Collection (one card of every player to have appeared in a Sox uni
  • Another soon to be fruition Red Sox odd ball album
  • A long graded box for my Pre-War, Vintage high-end graded Sox cards. Also in this box are Red Sox vintage oddballs not graded, relics, and auto cards
  • Sets in binders: Topps 1959, 1965, 1968, 1971, 1975, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1993, 2009, barely started 1955 Bowman
  • Another soon to be fruition 1970s/1980s food issue odd ball album
  • Another soon to be fruition No-Hitters/Perfect Games album
  • Everything else is either in stacks, 800, 1600, or 3200 count boxes. In general, these are somewhat organized by year or decade. But there’s some lack of organization within those boxes.

Also just for reference, my collection is technically within living area space, albeit out of site and not in a basement.

I often go through these boxes and pull cards I like for some sort of organized lot/collection/spur of the moment idea … only to have these remain in those said stacks of cards.

I often hit this roadblock over and over. From penny sleeves to top loaders to pages and the cycle keeps going around and around. Pages to semi-rigids, top loaders back to pages …. AAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHH! I have quite a bunch of vintage Topps super stars, leader cards, All-Stars, RCs, combo cards from 1952 to 1979 (and to present) that I don’t know how to organize. I like looking at cards in albums as well as just grabbing a stack of cardboard and flip through to enjoy five, ten, fifteen minutes for myself.

Do I put in pages by years or penny sleeves by years. Just some of what I’m talking about: 53 Bob Feller, 54 Duke Snider, 56 Williams, 56 Jackie Robinson, 58 Aaron, Mays, Berra, Matthews, 60, Musial, 63 Mantle, Koufax, 67 Gibson, Santo, Yaz, 70 Clemente, Gibson, Rose, 74 Winfield, 75 Brett, Yount, Rice, Carter, Aaron and on and on.

I think the one battle that in consistent in my thoughts, is how do I have all my favorite Topps — 1952 to present — in one spot all together. Is that in a large five-inch album or a 3200 count shoebox (kind where cards should be no)?

I just recently thought about taking my favorite Topps cards I have from 1952 to present and create sorta a type collection of Topps Through the Years. One 9-pocket page per year (maybe two if I couldn’t eliminate cards). It certainly would create some great posts for me (otwbbcards.wordpress.com) and would also include the one page each for all the Traded/Update sets (74, 76, and so on). I could add a page of subsets/inserts like the 1969 Deckle Edge too. But THEN, what do I do with the other cards??? What happens if I gotta bump a 1967 Topps Whitey Ford for say a 1967 Tony Conigliaro? Where does Ford go? In a box yet again? I suppose this route would help streamline my collection and extra stars and what not could help me acquire (through trade) other cards I desire more.

Open to other ideas for organizing as well … Would love to hear what other collectors do …