Theoretically, this should be right up there in my “Hamilton Card of the Year” Sweepstakes awards that only I care about. However, it leaves me feeling a bit empty. There were some amazing pictures taken during the Home Run Derby this year. A lot of them were of Josh Hamilton. Why, oh why did Topps use a faraway shot of Hamilton almost blending into the crowd and not showing his face? Were there not photographers on the side of the field where he was looking? With a little bit of inspired cropping (from the waist up), even this photo could have been used. I realize Justin Morneau actually won the event, but I think 35 homers should get you a nice head shot as well.
Hamilton has 4 different base cards in Topps Update, and you can’t see his face clearly in any of them. One of them is even a straight shot of his back. In this vein, I went searching on the interweb, and decided to see if I could do better. Here’s what I came up with.
Now, I freely admit I am biased, but to me – bigger, bolder pictures are always better. Both these shots are still obviously from the Home Run Derby, but they make a much sharper looking card. As a bonus, the card on the left is one of the best shots I have ever found of Hamilton using the same type of batting gloves I added to my collection earlier.
There’s my little flashback / attempt at improvement. If you want to see some really sweet custom cards, check out Travis’s new blog over at PunkRockPaint. He’s done two custom cards that I featured on my blog, and he’s got a bunch more great examples of his work at his blog.