Archive for the ‘Joakim Soria’ Tag

History of Joakim Soria: 1998 Topps   2 comments

History Of Joakim Soria 1998 Topps Custom Card

“The History of Joakim Soria” is back with another one of the cards from the bland years of Topps. In the late 1990s and early 2000s it seemed Topps was in a bit of a rut. They weren’t cranking out bad designs, just a little bland and not very unique. You can see on this 1998 card the addition of transparent borders to try to liven the card up, what it does is make it busy and distracts from the picture, something I feel you never want to do. The name block has the team’s logo repeated several times in the background, another thing to make the card just look busy. I do like how the actual name of the player runs into the solid box possessing the team’s name though. My last comment; another solid gold border; yuck. Overall, not a good design by Topps.

Most of my re-creations of Topps cards are portrait cards. This one is a landscape card for a couple reasons: I want to represent certain years that did have sideways cards, not all of them did, I don’t think any base cards were sideways from 1972 – 1990. The second reason is some designs look nice in a landscape format. The last reason is simply I have pictures that won’t fit “up and down” on a card like this one.

History of Joakim Soria: 1964 Topps   1 comment

History Of Joakim Soria 1964 Topps custom cardI’ll just throw it out there right away; I think I nailed this one. It’s odd that the look of certain years of cards are hard to pin down but I got 1964 Topps here. As always it is pretty much always about the picture. I wanted a good high quality head shot of Soria and to crop it tight. I found a nice picture with a bit of a scowl on his face. I know this is a very basic design but I still think it is one of the better re-creations that I have done. I might have to throw in a few Custom Card of the Day’s in the 1964 format since I like it so much and see if it translates well with other teams.

The design of 1964 is very simple and plain. The one distinct thing about it is that the players head breaks the border of the top of the picture. This helps give the card just enough life to keep it from being boring. In 1964 there were obviously no Royals cards so what I usually do is take a Dodgers card to get my color pallet. The Dodgers have been around forever and they have a similar color pallet as the Royals would have had.

History of Joakim Soria: 1978 Topps   Leave a comment

History Of Joakim Soria 1978 custom cardAs the baseball season clock runs out there is sure to be fewer and fewer posts on this site but I plan to try to keep it rolling with projects like these. The History of Joakim Soria has now covered about 30 years so I am over halfway done posting. Today’s victim is 1978 Topps. Like 1971 Topps it is one of the very first cards I ever re-created.

I like the design. It is simple and appealing. It has likely one of the largest areas for uninterrupted picture of any year of Topps. It seems plain in many ways but still looks good. I really like the position in the baseball too, it is a nice touch.

Royals Report Card: Part 2   Leave a comment

Here is the second half of my 2011 Royals report card (aka the pitchers) If you missed Part 1 here is the link. I will reiterate that these are my options I have drawn from watching games and following the team from the outside. I have the same or less access to the team than anyone reading this.

Luke Hochevar – Grade C+

The Royals “Ace” progressed this year. He is still not pitching like a #1 guy, probably more like a 3-4 in the rotation guy. He was finally more consistent. He stayed healthy all year but the Royals still need more out of him.

Jeff Francis – Grade D+

He was coming off a major injury but the expectations were still higher than what he gave. He led the team with 16! losses and opponents hit .301 against him.

Bruce Chen – Grade B

He led the team in wins again and was a solid arm every fifth day. He isn’t going to impose the other team much on the mound but remained solid all year.

Sean O’Sullivan – Grade D-

O’Sullivan showed that he is likely a 5th starter at best. It appears he might just be another Kyle Davies; if that is possible. His 7.25 ERA was not major league worthy.

Kyle Davies – Grade F-

I know F- doesn’t exist but the Royals may have employed one of the worst pitchers of all-time. Luckily the Harim Davies days are officially over.

Vin Mazzaro – Grade F

His ERA is inflated from being thrown to the wolves in Cleveland one game but he still was inconsistent and unimpressive. You can’t shake the feeling that if he wasn’t “who we got for Dejesus” he would be gone and a non-factor.

Felipe Paulino – Grade B

His numbers weren’t great but a 4.11 ERA on this staff is actually pretty good. Considering he was a gift from the Rockies; he was great. He showed signs of being a solid starting pitcher and has a good shot at the rotation in 2012.

Danny Duffy – Grade C

Duffy’s 5.64 ERA was high for how he pitched. He had a standard rookie start but showed progression in many games. His curveball is great and when he learns how to pitch a little more he should be a front of the rotation guy.

Everett Teaford – Grade B-

Teaford had a very good rookie year. Because he is left handed he should be a Royal in the future. He pitched strong in 2/3 starts he made in September but really looks to be more a bullpen guy to me where he was very solid in 2011.

Luis Mendoza – A-

Fantastic in 2 big league starts and was AAA Omaha pitcher of the year. Short look in Kansas City but has a good shot at the rotation next year.

Nate Adcock – Grade C-

Long relief guy made a couple starts. Never impressed too much and wouldn’t have remained with the club if he wasn’t a rule 5 guy. He has a sinker good enough to get ground balls and be a Jamey Wright type of pitcher.

Joakim Soria – Grade C+

Despite horrible early season struggles he managed to put together an average year for a reliever, not great for a closer though. He ended up 27/35 saves/opportunities and with a 4.03 ERA. Those aren’t great numbers but indicate it may have been just a down season.

Aaron Crow – Grade C

Crow was the Royals All-Star in 2011. You would never know it by his second half performance. He had a great first half and was dominant. He lost a “baulk off” in Chicago and wasn’t the same pitcher after that. He should get a shot at the rotation next year but is where he belongs in my opinion.

Tim Collins – Grade C

Collins was the lefty specialist for much of the year despite not being very good against lefties. He had a 3.68 ERA and .211 batting average against but walked way, way too many. If he cuts down on the walks he could be a big part of the 2012 bullpen.

Jeremy Jeffress – Grade C-

Jeffress is a fireballer. He showed spots in KC of being dominant but ultimately walked 11 batters in 14 appearances. He will get a rotation shot next year but once again I think he is better suited to be a setup man getting groomed for a closer spot.

Jesse Chavez – Grade F

The fact that Chavez wasn’t released after 2010 angers me still. He isn’t effective and needs released.

Blake Wood – Grade B

Wood was surprisingly good in his 54 games. He was a rare guy out of the pen the Royals could count on. If the Royals got the same season out of him next year they should be happy.

Greg Holland – Grade A-

The most surprising Royals pitcher of 2011. A sub 1.00 WHIP and under 2.00 ERA over 46 games was fantastic. He has potential to be a centerpiece of the middle relief for the team next year.

Robinson Tejada – Grade F

Tejada had big expectations after showing real flashes the last couple seasons. He and Soria were the only locks for the bullpen coming into 2011 and Tejada only pitched 9 games for the team. The Royals wanted to deal him at the deadline for somebody but he diminished his value so bad nobody wanted him.

Kanekoa Teixeira – Grade C+

Just another middle relief guy the team parted with. His ERA was under 3.00 but opponents hit over .400 against him.

Louis Coleman – Grade A-

Coleman pitched great out of the bullpen all year. In 48 games he limited teams from getting a big inning and posted a sub 3.00 ERA. He showed great poise in his rookie season and should be a valued member of the bullpen in 2012.

Kelvin Herrera – Grade D+

Herrera didn’t have a fair shot to prove himself only pitching 2 innings but showed good stuff despite getting roughed up in his debut.

History of Joakim Soria: 1987 Topps   2 comments

History Of Joakim Soria 1987 ToppsI think that 1987 Topps has a lot of fanfare. I’m not really sure but I think a lot of people like it. It is very distinctive with it’s wood border and nice clean design. I think I am in the minority saying that I don’t like this set. I think it looks cheap and generic. It is iconic for the Bonds rookie and the classic Bo Jackson card but overall I think it is a miss by Topps.

For the wood border I had no choice but to use a nice clean jpg file and put my graphics around it as I did with 1990 Topps and will be doing with 1968 Topps when I get to it. The font on this card is sloppy. Both mine and the real one. The font I used is Marker Felt and it is close; I don’t think it is right but it is very close. On the bright side this was a very easy card to re-create. It is simple but doesn’t really impress me very much.

History of Joakim Soria: 1994 Topps   2 comments

History Of Joakim Soria 1994 Topps custom card1994 Topps is sort of a forgotten set that is actually not too bad. I have always wanted to incorporate the home plate shape into a card some how and this set sort of did it. The picture comes to a point at the bottom that makes it look a little like home plate.  I like the script font as well. The problem with script fonts is that they can be difficult to read. This font is no exception. It is not matched exact but thanks to fellow custom card-er Harvey Berkman, I was able to get pretty darn close. This font is Vladamir Script and is close enough if you are trying to re-create this set. The rest of the card is a lot of unnecessary flash; many gradients that don’t add dimension, they just add color.

Now to the picture. I have wanted to do this picture for a while. If you have been to a Royals game and got the pleasure to watch Joakim Soria enter a game you know why the picture is cool. Kauffman Stadium blasts “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N Roses and all the scoreboards around the stadium show flames. The crowd naturally gets into the moment and it creates a very cool environment not seen too often for a team consistently low in the standings.

The picture is not the best, normally the pictures I choose are a little cleaner than this one but it was all I could find. If you click on it you can see the pixelization but I had to use it anyway. The set fits well with the picture too. When I started the “History of Joakim Soria” project, this is the kind of card I had in mind.

History of Joakim Soria: 2000 Topps   1 comment

History Of Joakim Soria 2000 Topps custom card2000 Topps isn’t a bad looking set. It isn’t a classic or anything but it is simple and non-offensive. The transparency boxes at the bottom do little but take up space but they had a nice subtle color scheme to them and added just enough flair to the cards to keep them from getting boring. This set is in the middle of several very forgettable sets for Topps. The sets weren’t necessarily bad they just kind of washed in my mind. I you asked me what 2000 Topps looked like I couldn’t place it right away.

The gold foil wasn’t overkill and the cards had both the position and the team logo. Interestingly enough they decided not to spell out the team’s name even though they had lots of room. They even had enough room for the word “Topps” to appear twice on each card’s face. Either way 2000 Topps is a solid middle of the road design.