The Best of our 2011 St. Louis Sports Photoshops

29
Dec
2011

The sports calendar year is coming to a close, which means it’s time for internet writers across the world to compile as many lists, rankings and year-end recaps as humanly possible.

We’re going to comply with this internet mandate and provide a one-stop-shop for some of our best Photoshop cartoons from the past twelve months.  There’s no particular order below.  Some were the most-viewed, some were the most-bizarre.  Okay, fine.  They’ll all pretty damn bizarre.

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Even before the Cardinals negotiations with Albert Pujols halted in Spring Training, things weren’t pointing in a positive direction.  With most baseball news sitting dormant in January of 2011, Albert Pujols re-branded himself and his personal website.  The resulting logo featured many similar aspects of another hero that left his home town in the dust.

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One word become synonymous with the 2011 St. Louis sports year: Albertageddon.  Origins date back to the first week of Spring Training in March and a word with that much passion and intrigue needed a movie poster to highlight some of the key players.

And, you see, St. Louis.  We didn’t die.

Just like Ben Affleck; he survived.

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Following the first round of Albert Pujols negotiations/dryhump, we put together a collection of our favorite Pujols fans for a festive Opening Day desktop wallpaper.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the whole Pujols/Anaheim thing is that, somehow, all of these jerseys are even more ridiculous than they were in March.  We’re not sure how that’s possible.

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Former Cardinals, um, “pitcher”, Mark Mulder joined the ESPN “Baseball Tonight” staff as Spring Training drew to a close.  By all accounts, he’s a tremendous addition to their team, however, we’re told that ESPN’s budget for ice and compression sleeves went up 550% since he joined.

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With a new rotation of crappy local commercials for the new Cardinals season on Fox Sports Midwest, we bid farewell to some familiar favorites.  This included the Sonic commercial featuring Rick Horton and future World Series MVP David Freese.

Even though the commercial sits dormant, Ricky still gets a kick out of Fredbird.

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With Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker, Ryan Theriot, Daniel Descalso and approximately fifteen other small white guys that visited the Cardinals roster throughout the year, we introduced official “Scrap-e-grams”.  Scrap-e-grams should be printed out (on recycled paper, obviously) are given out to fellow friends and family that have demonstrated hard work and courage in the face of adversity.

More scrap-e-grams here, here and here.

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The annual series against the Kansas City Royals is always a blast because it provides a legitimate excuse to make a plethora of 1985 references.  Mixed with a solid reference to “Oregon Trail“, this was one of our favorites this season.

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References to the 1985 Cardinals usually involve screen caps from the epic “Heck of Year”.  A real piece of cinematic brilliance, there.  We’ve seen the film over 1000 times, but we don’t remember Jack Clark saying that.  Hmm, guess we’ll have to watch it again.  And again.

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Fact: when Albert Pujols trots home after a game-winning blast, he imagines being surrounded by 24 other Albert Pujolses (we’re not sure if that’s the correct plural form of “Pujols”, but we’re running with it).

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Being a sports journalist is tough work.  It takes patience, dedication and an eye for detail.  Derrick Goold is one of the best in the business and demonstrated his unparalleled chameleon abilities during a mid-June clubhouse interview Matt Holliday.

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This season we also introduced “Hybrid Cardinals Baseball Cards”.  Yeah, things got a little weird this year.  Nevertheless, the collection included a mash-up of Skip Schumaker and Mark McGwire – which unlocked the inspiration for 1987′s film “Harry and the Henderson”.

More hybrid baseball cards here, here, here and here.

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Franky, this one needs very little introduction.

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Yadier Molina went a little nutty in an August game against the Milwaukee Brewers.  The nuttiness featured Molina yelling/spitting in the face of umpire Rob Drake in the 10th inning and resulted in an eventual suspension for the Cardinals catcher.

Spit + baseball + over-reactions + “guy named Drake” = a Seinfeld inspired Photoshop.

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August 22nd was Matt Holliday Bobblehead Day at Busch Stadium.  Like most Bobbleheads, it looked nothing like its human counterpart and left something to be desired.   We conceptualized what it should have looked like.

A updated copy of this graphic would inevitably include a moth in Holliday’s right ear.  And probably another Creed reference.

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Beast Mode” became the mantra of the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers.  Even before the Cardinals extinguished them from the 2011 playoffs, we outed this slogan as fraudulent.  Hey, it’s what we do.  Other writers around town are breaking news about contracts, trades and injuries.  Our efforts are in demonstrating phony Pixar movie references.  Everyone has their place in this industry.

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The World Series provided its own highlight reel of memories, but we need not forget about the six-game NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers – which was filled with the most postseason hatred since 1987′s series against Jeffrey Leonard and the San Francisco Giants.

When it ended, Yadier Molina provided us with a photo that simply could not be left untouched.

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Our favorite thing about football season in St. Louis is Tony Softli, an analyst for 101 ESPN.  He’s also the former VP of Player Personnel with the Rams, but frankly, we enjoyed him in “Toy Story 2″ the most.

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Following the Cardinals 11th World Series in franchise history, the rumor mill heated up (again) regarding Albert Pujols’ contract status.  As it turns out, no one really knew anything until the Angels entered the bidding roughly 24 hours before signing Pujols.  Before that, it was a cornucopia of heresy and speculation.

To make the “news” a little less nauseating, we created an exclusive BINGO card.  Unfortunately, there were no winners.  We were all losers through this mess.

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So, the St. Louis Rams.  What can you say about a franchise that has gone 9-37 the past three seasons?  As it turns out, not much – which is why we created the following motivational poster.

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Albert Pujols’ departure was tough on a lot of people, but no more than Yadier Molina.  As a touching parting gift that left several clubhouse observers in tears, Molina presented Pujols with this special gift.

Hand-made sentiments are always the best.  Especially when they’re made with bubble paint.

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Albert Pujols career in St. Louis will forever be remembered for two World Championships, three National League MVP trophies and a countless number of Jose Oquendo stop signs ignored.

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