The Yearbook purchased off of ebay arrived earlier this week. I finally had some time to sit down and scan away. The Fergie Jenkins and Jim Sundberg shots are my favorite. Those came from full page (8x10) photos. Great to find a real shot of Gary Gray in a Rangers uni and there were two for Nelson Norman. Wasn’t sure which I like best, so I’ll leave that up to the Rangers manager. Judging by the fact that Nelson hit just .222 in 147 games, I’m thinking Texas’ manager isn’t going to want to see him much at all. The Lyle photo was interesting, because he came over in a trade with the Yanks in the offseason, so they took the photo during Spring Training. Sparky must have been happy to grow his mutton chops back out, since his former employer (Steinbrenner) wasn’t too keen on facial hair.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Charlie Beamon’s new card is a colorization from a 1979 program scan. It was a small photo a bit larger than a thumbnail.
Jim Lewis’ card came from his Spokane minor league photo.
After finding out my original Lenny Randle card had Terry Whitfield’s photo on it I couldn’t live with myself. Okay, a bit melodramatic here, but it got me on a mission. It also got Tony and Jim on a mission too, but the best we could come up with was a blueish looking B&W photo issued as a Yankee greats card by the defunct electronics giant The Wiz (in NYC). We later found a small photo of him standing next to Roy White by the batting cage, but it was too small to use and too expensive ($29.99) to purchase. The next option was to see if I could find a good photo to do some airbrush/cut & paste magic on. I found a Seattle Marines photo of him taken in Yankee Stadium. Perfect photo and perfect location. Easy to change a Mariner hat color to a Yankee hat color and drop a logo. Ironically I found a great color shot of Roy White in pinstripes and I cropped out his jersey and dropped it on Len. I had to airbrush out the George Steinbrenner patch on Roy’s Old Timer’s day jersey + I had to colorize Len’s undershirt to Yankee blue. Original is below.
Monday, January 20, 2014
I went through my card collection and found the Bruce Taylor shot on his 1976 rookie panel card, so I scanned it at 1200dbi and hoped for the best. The Vasquez is a colorization of a B&W photo found in a 1979 Mariners program posted by Fat Jack on the OOTP Forum. I kind of like these B&W headshots and can’t wait for my 1979 Mariners program to arrive, so I can start scanning and colorizing. Merkle923 of that forum posted Hinton, Soderholm and Montanez. Jim Akre e-mailed me some custom cards that he made using the 3 Twins photos. Braves70 posted the Jerry Don Gleaton shot straight from the 1980 Rangers yearbook. I’m hoping my 1979 Rangers yearbook arrives tomorrow, so I can add some updates for that team set like I did tonight for the O’s. I thought for sure the Montanez shot would become one of those unfindable white whales, because he played the final month of the season with Texas and moved on to San Diego the following year. Judging from the picture the shot was taken during BP at Yankee Stadium on one of 3 dates (August 13-15). Interestingly he was traded by the Mets to the Rangers, so all he needed to do was hop a cab or jump the IRT to get up to the Bronx. The Mets just finished up dropping 2 of 3 to the Expos over at Shea the day before.
First update for the 1979 set. I got good news and bad news over the weekend. The 1978 Baltimore Orioles Photo Album that I bought of ebay arrived on Saturday. The bad news: Photos of the stars (Palmer, Murray, Singleton, etc) were ripped out. Good news: A rare photo of John Finn and a great shot of Terry Crowley (in orange) were still in tact. Even better news…the seller refunded my money and didn’t want me to ship it back. All in all I would call that a tactical win. In total I was able to add 12 new cards. 10 replace the original cards issued in 1979 and 2 replace the updates that I created in the first go round. I wish there were more shots with the Orange jerseys. Full disclosure, I’m partial to those jerseys since my softball team back in the late 80’s / early 90’s wore them.
Texas stayed in contention until mid August when they hit hard times and multiple losing streaks to drop below .500. Going 9-24 in August set them 8 game off the pace in a division that was very winnable. The Rangers rebounded for an excellent September, but the closest they could rally back to was 5 game out. The Rangers featured a balanced offensive attack, where only Al Oliver (.323-12-76) hit over .300. Everyone in the lineup seemed to hover between .275 and .290. Six guys hit double figures in homers, but no one eclipsed the 20 homer plateau. Pat Putnam, Buddy Bell and Richie Zisk all tied for the team lead with 18. Bell, who was acquired from Cleveland in the offseason hit .299 and had 101 RBI's. Texas' mid season acquisitions paid dividends as well. Former Yankee Mickey Rivers hit an even .300 in just 58 games. Eric Soderholm, who came from the Chisox, hit .272 in 63 games. The team was also able to turn a near tragedy into a long term win. On May 28th starting first baseman Mike Jorgensen was beaned by Andy Hassler (BOS). He was basically out of the lineup until July and by that point Pat Putnam had assumed the role as regular first baseman. Putnam had a great season and would hold down the job for the next few years. Jorgensen had headaches, which caused a seizure. It turned out to be a small blood clot in his brain, which under medical care was removed and he was able to return to active play. What doctors couldn't fix was the lack of consistent starting pitching that the Rangers expected to get from a staff that featured guys like Fergie Jenkins (16-14, 4.07), Jon Matlack (5-4, 4.13) and Doyle Alexander (5-7, 4.45). Unheralded Steve Comer (17-12, 3.68) turned out to be the ace. All the starters needed to do was get to the 7th or 8th and hand it off to either Jim Kern (13-5, 1.57, 29 sv) or Sparky Lyle (5-8, 3.13, 13 sv). Kern, who was acquired from Cleveland (like half the team) finished 4th in the Cy Young voting and had his 3rd straight All-Star appearance. Desperate for some sort of spark the Rangers rusher #1 draft pick Jerry Don Gleaton (0-1, 6.52) into action with hopes of getting some sort of spark to save their season, which did not happen.
Editor’s Note: I can’t wait for that Rangers yearbook that I bought off ebay to arrive. This by far was the toughest set to complete. Tony and Jim R did a great job finding me photos to use, but when the day was done there wasn’t much available for the outliers. I suspect I will be doing a huge update for the Rangers in the next few days once the book arrives. Here’s the work I had to do to at least get this set usable. Dave Chalk and Ed Farmer are complete airbrush jobs that probably would be on a par with what Topps would have issued in a regular set for this era. Gray, McCall, Mahlberg and Allard are photos from minor league cards with Allard’s being by far the worst of the bunch. Montanez is a BHNH shot from the 1980 set, which they undoubtedly airbrushed out his Met uni. Gleaton’s photo came from the rookie panel card from 1980. It’s so darn grainy and barely usable. Based on his stats, he won’t spend much visible time on the hill anyway ! My favorite of the bunch is the Danny Darwin photo, which came from a Baseball Digest cover. I airbrushed out the headline and captions which yielded a very decent result. Worst of the bunch is the Gary Holle photo, which was a very poor B&W shot that I attempted to colorize.