By Todd Johnson
For some reason, I made more cards in July then I did throughout the rest of the year. I don’t really know the reason for that. But I do know that there were a lot of great action shots taken across the system. Part of the reason for so many cards might have been the new draft picks coming in along with some player movement and Eugene joining the fray.
Regardless, the variety and the quality of the cards were spectacular at times. About 10 days ago I began to whittle down the 130+ cards into a possible top 10. I knew it was going to be hard to do. I kind of knew which card would be in the top two or three right away. Narrowing the others 20+ cards into 10 took quite a bit of thinking.
The deciding factor this month was action. The movement of the players in the pictures really captured the essence of the game, the moment, and the intensity of playing baseball.
I can’t really put my own pictures I took in the top ten, but I can give them honorable mentions.
I really like the first card with the photo I took of South Bend’s Joe Martarano. I love how the light bounces off of everything in the picture. The second pic I used is of Luis Ayala. I am a sucker for the road grays of South Bend.
10 – 8
I really dig the alternate dark blue unis of Myrtle Beach. A rare picture of Duncan Robinson captures the young pitcher up close and in action. Rikk Carlson’s picture of Jose Paulino’s follow through is another good shot in which sunlight accentuates the picture. At number 8, Miguel Amaya is captured warming up with the sun at his back. I really like how Amaya’s body fits within the template of the card and how the sun bounces off his helmet.
7 – 5
For David Bote, I love how the colors of the uniform, outfield wall, and card mesh. It helps that Bote fits in the frame as well. At number six, Justin Steele is warming up at the Carolina League All-Star Game. I love the card because the uniform is different and it is also a different angle of the young lefty. Coming in at number 5, Jhonny Bethencourt goes airborne catching a throw on a stolen base attempt. I just love the action and the gold lettering on the Emeralds’ Friday night uniforms.
4 – 2
Justin Steele returns in this Larry Kave shot from the front that I love for the sunlight on his fac as well as the action. At number three, recent draft pick Ricky Tyler Thomas gets a nod in a card from an Emeralds’ Facebook picture that I love most because of how the background is split. Ironically, DJ Wilson comes in at #2 (that is his uniform number) in this glorious action shot by Rikk Carlson. I really like the action in the pic as well as the lines of the infield adding depth to the shot. Any other month, all three of these would have been number ones.
It was an amazing month as I made almost 150 cards. But when it came time to select the card of the month, it was a no brainer. Top prospect Jose Albertos is amazingly captured by the Eugene Register-Guard’s Rhianna Gelhart. Right now, it is my favorite card of the year and it is not even close. I love the colors, action, and objects captured in this frame – both in and out of focus.
If you want to see all the cards from this year. They are over on the Facebook Page. I started sorting them into different albums to load faster. So, August will have its own upcoming link.