Monday, April 6, 2020

Never Trust A Man Wiith Two First Names

It's been awhile since I have done a This Day in Cutchstory.

This Honus Bonus 1/1 commemorates Andrew McCutchen hitting a homerun off Kevin Gregg.  It was his career 129th homerun.
It was opening day 2015.  Johnny Cueto had been dealing zeroes through the first 7 innings, but the Pirates elelvated his pitch count.  The Reds brought in Kevin Gregg who was able to get two quick outs in only 4 pitches.  The Pirates were down 2-0 heading into the top of the 8th inning and former MVP Andrew McCutchen came to bat with 2 outs and Josh Harrison on first.

On the first pitch by Kevin Gregg, Cutch sent the ball sailing deep over the centerfield wall to tie the game up.

Gregg would be taken out and Jumbo Diaz would eventually come in to get Starling Marte to strikeout.
The Pirates lost the game 5-2.

I guess the saying of "Never Trust a man with two first names" applies to bullpen pitchers too.

Have you ever used the saying "Never trust a man with two first names?"

Do you know the origin of that saying?

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Here we are now...entertain us

Today marks 26 years since the passing of Kurt Cobain.

Kurt Cobain was the lead singer and guitarist for the Seattle grunge band, Nirvana.  He became a voice for many Generation X kids and one of the most influential musicians in the past few decades.

I will spotlight my 5 favorite Nirvana songs while also showing off a few Cutch cards and how they relate to Seattle, the city that Kurt was found dead at.

Cutch played in 9 games at Safeco Field in Seattle while as a member of the Pirates, Giants, and Yankees.  He didn't leave much of an impression at SafeCo Field as there always seemed to be Something In The Way.
His career slash line is .176/.282/.382 good for only a .664 OPS.  The only good stat was that he hit 2 HRs in only 9 Games.

While briefly a member in San Francisco, the Giants hosted the Seattle Mariners.
While researching playing career versus the Seattle Mariners I came across the above image and thought, well that looks familiar.

It's weird when I am browsing Getty Images I can often look at an image and think about a card that may have been used for.  It feels good to You Know You're Right.

And sure enough it is a familar card and I was right.

The image of Cutch as a member of the Giants batting against the Seattle Mariners was used for the 2018 Topps National Baseball Card Day card for the Giants giveaway.

Cutch didn't have a good day at the plate in that game going 0 for 4 with only a walk in 5 plate appearances in the 10-1 Giants victory.

His performance on the field was certainly In Bloom though as over the next week following that rough series versus Seattle, Cutch would come up clutch hitting at a .500 clip and collecting 2 walk off hits versus the Dodgers and Diamondbacks respectively.

Cutch has had another card image used while playing against the Seattle Mariners.  It is from his 2017 Definitive Collection.

Cutch always did well playing at PNC Park no matter who the opponent was.
In this particular game (July 27 2016) Cutch went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI falling only a triple shy of the cycle.  Opposing pitchers should have been warned and Stay Away from Cutch when facing him in Pittsburgh.

While Cutch was playing at PNC Park he started 669 games, collecting 751 hits, and hitting at a Hall of Fame level of .304/.394/.498 good for an .892 OPS.  With stats like that he might have been saying Come As You Are to any opposing pitcher, knowing he will likely own them in "The Burgh"

I hope you enjoyed this little tribute I put together featuring cards of Andrew McCutchen and my favorite songs by Nirvana.

Oddly enough Smells Like Teen Spirit falls just shy of being one of my top 5 favorites.  The generation anthem just doesn't strike me the way others do.

What are some of your favorite songs by Nirvana?

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Falco Files: Happy Belated Birthday Sergio

During the off-season heading into the 2018 season, the Pirates made a bold move by trading theface of the franchise, Andrew McCutchen, to the San Francisco Giants along with salary for Bryan Reynolds, Kyle Crick, and some international spending money.

While details of every dollar will never be made public for how the Pirates used that international money, there are records of who the Pirates did sign using international spending money available from that off-season.

One such player the Pirates pursuaded was Sergio Campana.  Sergio just celebrated his 18th birthday a few days ago.  He is not ranked as one of the Pirates top 50 prospects heading into the 2020 season.

Campana spent his first year in professional ball last year as a 17 year old.  He plays centerfield and projects to be a toolsy outfielder.

In his first professional season at Gulf Coast League, Campana swiped 24 bags while batting .281/.362/.374.  Again he did that as a 17 year old.

Cutch played in 45 games as an 18 year old in the Gulf Coast League where he batted .297/.411/.430 while swiping 13 bags.

The numbers are comparable, but it is a small sample size for teenage ballplayers.  Cutch went on to finish in the top 5 NL MVP votes four years in a row, collected 4 silver sluggers, won a gold glove, and played in 5 consecutive All-Star Games.  Campana has a long way to go to match that.

Sergio does have autograph and jersey relic cards available in 2018 Elite Extra Edition.  They are extremely cheap at this moment (usually under $10).

Personally the signature isn't very aesthetic looking and the lack of team information makes it unappealing too.
But for $14, I took the chance on this future outfielder.

Details of the Pirates signing the toolsy teenage outfielder can be found here.

At what level do you start paying attention to the prospects in your favorite team's farm system?

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Truth Is Out There....

With the growing pandemic of the Coronavirus making going outside the house more threatening everyday, I am catching up on a lot of old tv shows I used to watch.  (I am also doing a lot of silly impulsive buys)

One such show is The X-Files.  I don't remember watching the show weekly during the first season, but I do remember two specific samples of watching the show.

In 8th grade, myself and two of my closest friends were spending the night at my friend's house to "work on a school project".  School had just started up again and we were also looking to hang out.  This is before smart phones and before the internet in general.  It was a Friday night and we had the entire weekend at the house to ourselves.  Yup we were those kids that all said we were over others houses.  Looking back it wasn't the smartest thing, but we all lived within a mile of each other so I guess our parents were more trusting of us than I would have been.

Well in addition to "doing the school project" we also invited some girls over that lived nearby and we all watched X-Files.  I won't go into any further details of the night or some of the shenaningans we did as young teenage boys the next day, but the episode I specifically remember was Mulder was in Puerto Rico at an abondaned observatory looking for proof of aliens.  I remember my two friends were really into it because it was the season 2 premiere.  I confirmed that was the episode I so vividly remembered as a kid when I saw it again for the first time in nearly 25 years.

From that moment on, I was fixated on all things X-Files.  The premise of it with monsters of the week episodes and the ongoing story of Fox Mulder's sister missing and belief that there is truth out there had me glued every week for new episodes.

My grandparents on my dad's side would watch the show weekly too and when my parents wanted alone time, they would drive me over there to watch the show with them knowing how much I began to love the show.

I also collected all things X-Files.  I had the comic books, the series 1 and 2 trading card sets I put together myself, scripts that I bought at Suncoast video, VHS tapes, magazines featuring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny.  I found myself working with my dad on weekends so I could get money to buy more things X-Files.

When I moved out of the house after high school I chose to throw all things X-Files out.

I just made an impulse buy during the initial isolation week and bought a box of X-Files trading cards to open.  I haven't opened it up yet, but will be saving it for a rainy night.  It will hopefully bring me back to that joy of being in 8th grade and watching the season premiere again.

On a completely different subject, but tying into all things "X" here is a very difficult card to find from Ginter X.

 It is the red mini parallel
which is hand numbered on the back 2/5.

This is my only Ginter X parallel I have of Cutch for any year.  I have a few of the full size base cards and a few of the black Base minis.  I wish I could add more, but they so infrequently pop up for sale.

I would love to add a 2019 Ginter X red mini parallel as I think it would look really sharp with the Phillies colors.  However, I haven't seen a single one pop up for sale on the usual secondary market hotspots.

Until I see one for sale,
I Trust No One (Topps specifically)
but must believe that
The Truth Is Out There.

Have you ever been on the search for a card that you are certain exists, but have never seen on available?

Did you watch X-Files when it first came out?  Have you watched any of the newer season stuff?

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Make like a tree and get out of here

I have been watching some of my favorite movies and TV shows now that I am home more.
Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies.
It took old Biff a long time to realize the saying was "Make like a tree...and leave"

This then got me thinking about the old Leaf cards from 1990 and how I wish I didn't invest into them so much as they are practically worthless now.

This 1990 Leaf Barry Bonds has an interesting fact on the back.
Barry Bonds was only the second Pirate to post 20/20 seasons.

There are a few active Pirates players that could potentially be 20/20 guys with Kevin Newman being the most obvious choice.

The most recent 20/20 guys are no longer on the Pirates thanks to trades that shipped them off to NL West teams in 2018 (McCutchen to Giants) and 2020 (Marte to Diamondbacks).

With news that NECA toys is producing a line of figures for the 35th Anniversary of the film and (wait for it....)

I am going to show off 26 of my McCutchen cards with Starling Marte.
2014 Gypsy Queen Dual Button
2015 Museum High Number
2013 Museum

2016 Museum

2016 Museum

 2015 Triple Threads
 2015 Triple Threads
2014 Panini Classics Triple Jersey
2017 Stadium Club Photo Variant featuring Cutch and Polanco celebrating after a win.
2016 Heritage Box Loader

2016 Heritage

 2014 Museum
 2015 Museum
 2013 Museum
2015 Topps Heritage

Here is the card with in person autographs inserted into a 2018 Archives Top Loader.

And here are some base cards of Starling Marte that mention Andrew McCutchen on the back (cardboard cameos)

2020 Topps Series 1

2013 Topps Series 1

2017 Topps Chrome

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

RBICru7 doesn't fool around

I have gotten two nice cards in the past month from the online dealer RBICru7.
When I saw this card listed with a Buy-It-Now for $10, I thought it had to be an Early April Fool's Joke.
Base copies of this card tend to sell in the $15 range so getting the orange parallel was a welcomed site for only $10.

The 2019 Topps Chrome Rookie Gear relic card is the orange parallel numbered to only 25 copies.

Orange parallels of Debut Gear relics fall 1:2,896 hobby packs.

That is roughly 1 in ever 10 cases.

The patch on the card looks to be from a Yankees jersey that Cutch may have worn in 2018.

I will show off the other card I picked up via RBICru7 later this month.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Cardboard Cameos: Eyes on Bell 2020 Donruss

I am always looking for new cards that feature Cutch as a cameo while also keeping flagship sets of Topps and Donruss for all Pirates players.

Shortly after 2020 Donruss came out I noticed that there was a Cutch cameo on the back of Josh Bell's card.

I will be looking for all emoji parallels of JB's card.

So I will be keeping my eyes open for more wacky parallels like this.
The back of the card discusses how Andrew McCutchen was the first player to hit 3 homeruns at PNC Park.  Cutch did it as a rookie in 2009.
Josh Bell became the first Pirate to do it since Cutch.

I also have the 🔥 and baby shark emoji cards.
I need the 100, 1, presidential, all stat line, and all press proof parallels.