One thing that's always constant at the end of a year, besides Dick Clark waving to the crowd while Ryan Seacrest upstages him from outside, is an array of lists. This blog does not wish to puncture the long-practiced tradition, as I'm making one of my own. This morning I went through the dozens of customs I've made this year, and picked out 30 of my favorites. But, like most lists, you're going to have to wait until the next installment for the really good stuff.
#30. Rafael Furcal, 1966. I've always thought double plays make great cards, and here is no exception. The yellow really makes things brighter.
#29. Jason Motte, 1976. 2nd finalist in the Excited Men With Beards competition. The look on Motte's face as he leaves the mound says it all. The card does this face justice.
#28. Yuniesky Betancourt, 1976. I've always liked this one. Not really a reason why, but maybe it's how the double play shot contrasts with the long name squeezing into the namebox.
#27. Nyjer Morgan, 1975. People have considered Mr. Morgan to be a bit of a wild card, considering that the man has cursed on live broadcasts to children watching everywhere. This card doesn't play against this fact- he's wild, he's bombastic and you never know what he'll do next.
#26. Chris Young, 1981. This was the year I began shopping new teams into old designs, successfully. This card is no exception. I love how the wall has its own gradient, and Chris has a bit of an outline.
#25. Tim Wakefield, 1977. If and when Mr. Wakefield retires, this card will be the ultimate tribute.
#24. Curtis Granderson, 1981.Two things I love about this one. 1. The way the navy blue almost looks black, and how the shine off Grandy's helmet defines the photo. 2. I made this card a few months before All Star Season, and the All Star marker at the top of the card came true. How do you like that?
#23. Matt Kemp, 1984. This card was a commission by The Fan, a guy that has been sending me requests for customs all year, requests I usually make possible. This Kemp really shines, and really reminds me of the actual set. One could mistake this for an actual 1984 card.
#22. John Axford, 1972. I held this card for two months after the Brewers lost. One must wonder why. This card is quite an achievement.
#21. Joe Mauer, 1971. I love this card. While Joe did not have the year we all thought, this card still captures the essence of Minnesota's Poster Boy.
#20. Joey Votto, 1976. Why didn't this card get the reaction I hoped for when I posted it? It's a photo that might have been used in the 1976 set.
#19. Miguel Tejada, 1964. Tejada did not have a great season, but this card makes you forget all that. It looks like he's flying off the card.
#18. Vladimir Guerrero, 1978. I've been a moderate Vladdie fan for a little while, because he seems like such a good player, and he can hit well too. This card is truly awesome. Not only does it look like a 1978 card, but it's a really cool night card that makes Vladdie look awesome.
#17. Alfonso Soriano, 1980. This card didn't get much response. It's quite beautiful, and it looks like it was colorized. At least that's what I was going for.
#16. Yadier Molina, 1976. Possibly one of the most badass cards of the year. Would you want to mess with that guy? Also, the reds and blues really mix well here. I thought this was awesome when I made it.
Tomorrow: 15 all the way to #1. Who will it be?