Ladies and Gentlemen, I now present the ten best Mint Condition customs of 2013. There was a crapload of competition, so I understand if I got a few picks wrong, but these are what I believe to be my best.
I absolutely love this shot, the lunge for the basepaths in full display. I really didn't have to add too many filters, but you can see the chalk lines disintegrating a little on the field. Still very proud of this one.
When in doubt, throw in a fun one. I love the batting practice hat in this one, especially since it's similar to the glove. Great shot, similar to the Yadier Molina catcher's mask one from a few years ago.
Nothing better than an awesome slide shot, especially when you can see the white lining fly as well as the dirt. Another great sideways shot.
I don't care if Crawford is one more bad season away from everyone giving up on him being a consistent star. This shot is one of my favorites, in that it's another fisheye, but you can see the practice swing. The fading blue of the sky is also amazing.
I imagine this would have showed up in Sports Illustrated or something the week after, so I'm glad I got to this photo first. Also, the best part of this is the lighting. The shadows on one half of the photo, and the lighting hitting the blue of his cap.
This marks the only time ever that that orange uniform has ever worked. Really, against that skyline, it rocks.
I swear, when I made this custom, I had no idea he'd be joining my team. I still love the overall mystique of this, even in a night shot. He's waiting for his turn, yet still silently watching the batter before him. This has a lot of emotion in it, and it's one of my best.
Sometimes it helps to dim down the color in the rest of the photo, just to make the central focus a lot bigger. Hanley had a great season, and this custom is enough to personify what is so great about his character, his personality. Another one that I absolutely love.
I was going back and forth in my head over what my number one would be, and I basically chose the one below on a whim, but I still absolutely adore this custom- I needed a final tribute for one of my favorite players, and I got one. I love how he smiles toward the crowd, like he knows he's leaving soon, and he's doing it as much for them as for him. I will always remember watching Mariano Rivera pitch, every ninth inning.
In the end, I had to go with this one, because I think it's the best custom I've ever made. Ever. It could rival my Ryan Howard custom from 2011 as my all time greatest. The timing really made this, as I posted and made this not too long after the Boston Marathon incident, at a time when Boston needed hope. Even as a Yankee fan, I couldn't ignore that. The 'Boston Strong' patch in the bottom right corner isn't even on purpose, but I'm glad it's in there. I love the shine on Papi's face, how the light reflects, how the shadows interact, the glimpse of the green monster. I love this shot, I love everything about this custom, and I love that I got to post it more as they delved deeper and deeper into the postseason.
Well, that's it. Aside from the occasional football customs, I'm done until Spring Training photos begin to surface. And until then, it might get a little dark around here.