Sunday, June 26, 2016

Nimmo! Reyes! mfc SALUTES Jim Hickman!


                                                                 What a crazy couple of days. 
We stopped Atlanta from bleeding us alive. Did you see that play by Loney? And he's hitting too.

The Nats are hitting a big bump (7 game losing streak) and the Mets are right back in it. When they were six games back I was ready to throw in the towel. At least I was the day that Noah Syndergaard left with the sore elbow. I feared the worst. But things are starting to go our way again. Damn, I love baseball.




And not so shocking news: Conforto goes down. He was lost the last few. I was hoping they would let him work it out up here. I understand why he was sent down and I won't argue.
He'll fix his swing and his head and he'll be back, don't doubt it. Conforto's gonna be an all-star caliber player. The kid's hit a World Series home run for crying out loud! Of course he'll be back, and better.




I'm not making a card for him going down. I'm sure he would rather I make one for when he returns, and make it soon.

And Brandon Nimmo comes up! This is logical still I was caught by surprise. I hear so was Nimmo. Brandon, a former first-round draft pick of the Mets in 2011, was batting .328 with 16 doubles, seven triples, five home runs, 37 RBI. He's packing a .409 on-base percentage in 63 games for Las Vegas this year.


Best of luck Mr. Nimmo and welcome to the Mets. Here's your mfc rook.
Rated, no less.

And whats this other bit 'O news? Jose Reyes returns to New York!?
If Wright can return before the seasons over AND we make it to the big show again, this time with Wright & Reyes, for me this would be a dream come true. A storybook ending.


 It's not for me to forgive Reyes his past indiscretions. They are now a matter between he and his wife, who are still together and trying to work things out. I hope Jose find success here as his career winds down.

Don't get me wrong, Reyes is not replacing Cabrera at short. He's been far too valuable. Walker at second? Same deal. Third? He should be a better alternative then Flores, although I haven't seen enough of Matt Reynolds ( I will make a 1st MLB HR card for Matt soon).

 I picture Reyes off the bench, pinch hitting, pinch running, giving the IF guys a breather. But the way things are going this year...you never know. A sudden injury could put Jose right in the thick of things.

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We lost an original Metropolitan this past week. Jim Hickman, who played for the Mets from 1962 through the end of 1966. "Gentleman Jim" spent five seasons in New York, then went on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1968), Chicago Cubs (1968-73) and St. Louis Cardinals (1974).

He was an All-Star in 1970 when he hit .312 with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs. This was the year I became aware of him because I saw the Mets play the Cubs a lot in those days. And of course Hickman drove in Pete Rose in the famous play at the plate to close the 1970 All-Star Game. Everybody remembers that one, where Rose steamrolled catcher Ray Fosse. The National League won that game 5-4 in 12innings.
 

After his playing career Jim was the Reds minor league hitting coordinator from 1987-2006. 
RIP Jim Hickman.


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On a side note I have not been making cards or blogging lately. My PC croaked and I'm working on saving all my graphic work and transferring it to a new PC. There are other things going on in my personal life and I have not been able to make this a priority. 

I wanted to make a Familia RECORD BREAKER but those blank borders have yet to be transferred. I hope to be back on a regular basis real soon.

I have to get back. Too many things need cards this season. Oy!

Monday, June 6, 2016

mfc SPECIAL: HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY! The mfc Bud Harrelson Collection 1965-1975


 Happy Birthday Buddy Harrelson!!
Derrel McKinley Harrelson celebrated his 72nd birthday today. May he continue to live long and prosper.









I can honestly say that Bud had a lot to do with me anchoring my fandom to the Metropolitans. In 1971 Harrelson became the first Mets player ever to talk directly to me. I've told the story before of how Buddy gave out pre-autographed postcards while boarding the team bus out in back of Shea. He was giving the cards out while he walked in a line with Mets players. Just as he mounted the first step onto the bus he turned to me, gave me the remainder of the postcards and instructed me to give them out to the crowd, which I did. This was one of those things that cements you to a team. I was 12 years old and Buddy spoke to me! That made my whole summer! It was a small thing, but this was one of the major contribution factors that have made me a lifelong Mets fan.
























No 1976 mfc Harrelson card yet. I did prepare this 1977 card in 2014 for the Mets 1977 mfc pages (which have yet to be constructed), and this is the Buddy Harrelson mfc collection as it now stands.


There will be more Buddy Harrelson mfc cards in the future. I might even make a rare exception and create a Bud Harrelson Phillies card. That's how much I like Bud Harrelson! I'd dirty my hands making a Phils card.














Saturday, June 4, 2016

ALI :(

What can be said for the man who said everything he had to say himself when he had to say it? He floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.
He really was The Greatest.
R.I.P. 
Muhammad Ali


I know this is based on the 64t design, but it's my favorite Topps border of the 60's, so I use it here in tribute.



^The best photograph in the history of boxing by the great Neil Leifer. If I make a third card, I'll probably use it again.


:(

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

mfc Poster-The Dark Knight Rises/ Loney/ Flores/ OPERATION WRIGHT!

We've had 2 solo mfc Matt Harvey Pocket Posters so far.


Below was the first Harvey Pocket Poster  that commemorated opening day. This was posted at the end of March.

The Dark Knight Opens
A few alterations turned this one above into the one below, which was created to show Metropolitan fans support of Matt Harvey through his most recent rough patch. This was posted and shared through facebook 
just last week.


Again I took the same layered save and reworked it. I'm not only a custom card maker, I'm also a scavenger artist. That's because I take stuff and turn it into something else. Sometimes it's stuff off the internet, and sometimes it's stuff that I originally created.

So taking the same works from above and making some more radical changes we now have The Dark Knight Rises Pocket Poster. Hey, I know you'll be reading that phrase all over today, but it has to be "rises". Just too perfect.

The Dark Knight that I scavenged from the new Batman vs. Superman flick was replaced by the great Frank Miller's Batman from The Dark Knight Returns. Not only is Miller's TDK my favorite comic book series of all time, it also solidified the nickname Dark Knight.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES mfc POCKET POSTER
Harvey pitched like good ol' Harvey yesterday. He got past the 5th & 6th inning blues and went 7, allowing only 2 hits while striking out 6. He only walked one while securing the 1-0 win. Has The Dark Knight returned? Too soon to say. But he did rise and show us that he still has it in yesterday's game.

We all know the tale of how Harvey picked up the nickname Dark Knight. Sports Illustrated christened him TDK in 2013 issue in which he graced the cover. How about Batman himself?

Batman was called The Dark Knight 
in the very first BATMAN No.1 as written by Bill Fingers.

Cinematic Sociology: Social Life in Film 
theorizes why Batman is also known as "The Dark Knight":
" Screening the Face says Batman wears an upper-face mask similar to a knight's visor. The book writes that the mask justifies Batman's "status as a Dark Knight, the paradoxical (both dark and knight) lynchpin of the recurring, and hence mythical, Batman narrative".

Miller's "TDK Returns" spoilers below



In his 1986 graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns",  Frank Miller chose the name for a reason, 
"In this case, 'dark' is not so much referring to the fact that he works at night or that he wears a black suit. Instead, the 'dark' here refers to the soul of the Caped Crusader which may or may not be every bit as tainted as those he captures."




This scene with the Joker from TDKR is one of the most powerful ever contained within the pages of a comic book, or as they soon came to be known after the release of this groundbreaking series, graphic novels.
The nickname had been used before, sparingly. But ever since Frank Miller's TDK books Batman and his dark nickname have always traveled together. That's a pretty extreme change that Miller made to the Batman universe.

Here are some Dark Knight graphics from the past. These were done in 2013 (right before I started this blog) when Matt first came up. He had already acquired the nickname and being a big '66 Batman fan, that was how I first approached it. And calling him Mattman fit the whole deal nicely.

I'm posting these especially for @Gus the Donut Man, although I do not know if he views this blog. Don't matter, he's a '66 Batman fan too. Maybe he'll google Batman someday.






I might not have ever posted this one above from when we were playing the Diamondbacks in '13. I can see I have the upper left Mattman chest symbol wrong. That was from an earlier version of the work, before I came up with the Matt signal. In a rough draft of the very first poster at the top of this page I went with a '66 Batman, but I felt it didn't pack the punch I needed. I wanted that to be a serious Batman.

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METS GET JAMES LONEY!
Let's get Loney an mfc card!
Jame's acquisition was a no brainer. He cost a bag of balls and some such considerations. Always liked Loney on the Dodgers but lost track of him when he left L.A..
He will be an asset.


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I was all for Wilmer Flores taking first base until Duda returns. Well, not enthusiastically all for it, but over the years he has grown on me and I felt he could rise to the occasion. Looks like with Loney arriving he won't have to. I think Flores best position is third base, and he might see a bit of time there as David Wright recovers (more on The Captain's injury at bottom of page). 


I was not a fan of Wilmer. Early on I nicknamed him "Flatfeets". I ridiculed him for his slobbering gait. His shortstop play was erratic as was his hitting. He'd pop one from time to time so I didn't ride him too hard. But I just thought of him as "the guy" playing short until we got a real shortstop.

Here's what I said about him on the mfc Celebrates New Years post:


Flores was improving in the field and swatting more four baggers and this helped me not dislike him, but I still thought we needed a better player for that position.




"The Crying Game" didn't change that much. Sure, I felt for him and what he went through there, but I still wasn't all in on Flores. I did like him a lot more as a person after that pretty bazaar night because I felt we had something in common. If I was a Mets player and they traded me, I'd have cried too.


But little by little, as it usually happens when a player stays in orange and blue,  I began to become a fan of Flores. Sometimes he did amazing things.




Not long after "The Crying Game" came "The Walkoff Game".
And I became a full time fan of Flores. And it wasn't the walkoff itself that won me over.



It was the way he grabbed his jersey as he approached his teammates waiting for him at home plate, pulling at the scripted Mets insignia across his chest. He was saying to them, as well as to us fans, that he was still a Metropolitan. That clinched it. Because we both have yet another thing in common. We both love the Mets.


 I was waiting on making a 2016 mfc Wilmer Flores regular issue card but I didn't know what for. And then I ran into this photo yesterday and realized why I waited. His gets a blue orange inner border because he is a true Met. If your card flipping that card gets you credit for orange or blue.


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Crap. 
Unfortunately we will have to update David Wright's injury chart as The Captain is suffering from a herniated disc in his neck. I hope we don't lose Wright like last season. And if we do I hope he can return before the seasons end (saying postseason would be a jinx), and if not, even next season. When Davids on the field he is still a vital asset and if he has to hang 'em up early I will be bummed.

The David Wright Injury Chart circa 2015



First inkling of a back injury in 2011.



2015



2016


I will wait a few days to compile more info before I post the updated Wright injury chart
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Last year while waiting for Wright to return I put out some funnies trying to keep it light. Unfortunately this back problem is serious business.








I can't wait until I can post the above graphic again, and I hope David Wright's return is more sooner than later.


So I haven't added the herniated disc to the Wright Injury Chart yet  yet. These .gifs take a bit of doing. When will Wright be back? There's talk of the D.L. but nothing solid yet. Hopefully Wright is back and healthy ASAP.

Let's go Mets!