Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bazooka Joe makes me want to....

I recently grabbed this 2010 National Chicle variant (Bazooka Joe back).  It got me thinking, how many more variants do I need?

With over 1,700 unique Cutch cards in my collection I am still at less than 50% of cards produced.  Ever since Topps started producing 2+ additional copies of every card exclusive to their store (5x7s and Gold 5x7s and 16x20s) my goal of getting a complete collection of every non 1/1 Cutch card has become almost impossible.

I don't mind chasing different backs like the one seen above.
I don't mind chasing different borders and color parallels.

But Beckett is now saying if you want to Supercollect a player you have to have these 200+ 5x7 cards in your collection.

Fuuuuuuuuuugettabout it!
Me and Bazooka Joe say no no no!
I want simpler times.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

All 80 of my Printing Plates

I was starting to organize my cards into my new Custom Case I showed off Tuesday and laid out all my cards into categories and sub categories.  Among them were all my 1/1s.
I started to organize my plates and put them by color to see if I have any colors I have a significant amount more of.

What I discovered which is completely unintentional was that I actually seem to grab them in fairly equal amounts.

Here's the breakdown

Black 16
Cyan 21
Yellow 20
Magenta 23

Not too bad.  I have an autograph printing plate for Black, 2 Cyan, 2 for Magenta, but 0 for Yellow.

The only plate not pictured above is my 2005 Topps Chrome Cyan Printing Plate Autograph.

I showed it off in my top 10 cards for my contest which is still running for another 10 days.  Be sure to join the contest for a chance to win a Craig Biggio Topps Dynasty Autograph Patch.

Friday, May 19, 2017

English Indie Rock Tunes are stuck in my head

Have any of you ever opened up a package and upon opening it you break out into song and dance?  Well that is what happened  when I opened up and saw this.

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby! 
Do ya do ya do ya do ya
Know what you're doing, doing to me
Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby!

The death of Chris Cornell has caused a great void in my musical pleasures.  Ever since I was 10 years old I listened to everything that Chris was affiliated with.  While going through the radio stations the other day I came across this band from England and now I can't get this song out of my head.

I don't even really like the song.  It's just so damn catchy.

I have many 1/1s of Cutch in my collection. Superfractors, Bowman Red Papers, Printing Plates galore, Patches, Logoman, Bat Barrels, Bat Knobs, etc

But one thing I didn't have in my collection was a Ruby parallel of the Triple Threads base set.....until now.

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Classic Cutch

Yesterday's post was very dark and pessimistic.  In all my years of being a Pirates fan in the Huntington era I always wanted to trust the process and believe in Neal.

I am still not sure what will happen come the last day of July, but announcer Joe Block reminded us fans yesterday that as recent as 2014, the Pirates had a sub .500 record of 7 games on this same date that year.  They would go on to have the 4th best record in the senior circuit and gain home field advantage for the Wild Card game.  Unfortunately, that was the year of Bumgarner's post season heroics and he would throw a complete game shutout.

I watched the Pirates game last night and came away with these three things.
1)Gerrit Cole is a freak and very under rated pitcher.  He could bring back a massive haul if traded.
2)Adam Frazier is a great leadoff hitter for this club and should find some way to be in the lineup every day.
3)Cutch looked like classic Cutch out there as he batted 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 stolen bases.  His 2 outs were hard hits at 'em balls to third base and centerfield.  The hot shot to third looked like it could have been a double play off the bat, but Cutch was hustling down the line like he used to so he wouldn't get doubled up.  The last time Cutch stole 2 bags in the same game...2014.

Cutch has always been a slow starter each year.
Once the weather warms up though, WATCH OUT!

Could last night's game have triggered a hot streak for the Pirates?

Will Cutch return to MVP form now that the weather is warming up?

Tune in today
Saaaaaaaame Bat Channel (ROOT sports)

Neeeeeeew Bat Time (12:35pm)

Today I wanted to show off an older bat relic in my collection while making a reference to the 66 Batman.  I don't have many bat relics of Cutch, certainly none that tie into a 1966 Batman theme.  The 1975 mini from 2011 Lineage was the closest I could get.

Topps hasn't produced many bat relics over the years, but Panini certainly has.  Cutch has had bat relics in National Treasures, Diamond Kings, and Donruss releases in the past two years.

I am starting to branch out my super collection of Cutch to include HomeRun tickets.
Here's one from 6 years ago today.
It was Cutch's career HR #36.  It also happens to be a Charlie Morton complete game victory.

Currently these are the tickets I have of significant Cutch moments.

June 4, 2009 MLB Debut
August 1, 2009 3 HR Game vs Nationals (HRs 4,5,6)
April 17, 2011 HR @ Cincy (career #31)
April 29, 2011 HR @ Rockies (career #32)
April 30, 2011 HR @ Rockies (career #33)
May 18, 2011 HR @ Cincy (career #36)
Aug 29, 2011 HR @ Houston (career #47)

If anyone comes across McCutchen HR ticket stubs and wants to trade them to me, I am open to offers.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

At the crossroads

I have to admit, I didn't think it could get this bad this quick.  I suffered through a 99 loss season in 2009 and over 100 losses in 2010.  The teams placed on the field were terrible.  I enjoyed rooting for the guys though and I thought Andrew McCutchen would turn into a superstar.  I was right.

For four straight seasons (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) Cutch would be a Top 5 MVP vote getter, winning the award in 2013.

Last season he looked lost in the outfield as the team tried some new alignments (playing shorter).  It earned him the Sabremetric stat of worse defender in baseball.  If you watched Cutch you could tell he wasn't the worse, but he was also far removed from being a Gold Glove outfielder.

At the plate, he still managed to drive in almost 80 and hit 24 HomeRuns. His batting average slipped to .256 though.

I really thought the Pirates and Cutch would have bounce back seasons.  Every game early in the season they were one timely hit away from winning.

After watching last night's game though, I look at the starting rotation, the bullpen, the position players and wonder to myself "How many of these guys could get us bigger pieces at the trade deadline for something to build a team with more than 3 winning seasons"

If we are going to run John Jaso out as an everyday right fielder and cleanup hitter, please commit to tearing everything else down.  It was hard to swallow seeing Jason Bay, Jack Wilson, and Freddy Sanchez leave, but there was a plan to build it correctly.  It made the 99 and 105 loss seasons following easier because we had something the team was building towards.

And for three short seasons the team was one of the best in baseball.

A lot of those guys are gone already and many were All-Stars during that time (AJ Burnett, Mark Melancon, Pedro Alvarez, Jeff Locke) and a few were really really good everyday grinders (Neil Walker, Russell Martin)

"Plunder the Lox"

Sell the Cutch, JHay, Cole Train, and ElemenTONY Watson.

Let's build this team back up.

Congrats to AJ from the Lost Collector for correctly guessing that Andrew would get 0 hits in yesterday's game.  You played the odds and as a prize will be getting the 5x7 Pujols I showed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Custom Storage Case Arrives

I'm not going to show off a card today.  Instead I am going to show off an awesome custom case that Corey from Themagcase made for me.  I asked for something to house my Andrew McCutchen higher end cards and Corey knocked it out of the park.  (No pun intended)

The case holds both magnetic one touch holders and all graded cards.

To take the picture I just temporarily placed a bunch of my mags and slabs in there.

I will likely get two more to house in the following categories.
3)Low numbered non Auto/non relic cards

If you have a PC I strongly recommend getting one of these cases.  He can make anything from Jersey numbers to team logos to league affiliates.

If you message him tell him Brian from Collecting Cutch sent you.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Arizona Splits

So I recently purchased 2 Stadium Giveaways from the Arizona Fall League Bowman Series. These cards were 5x7 Bowman cards given out to attendees of last year's games.  I can't find a lot of information about them, but according to Beckett there is a 25 card set featuring some of the game's best players.  On average, individual cards have been selling for around $10 each.

My main gripe with the series is that the players are featured in their MLB team uniforms and not the teenage/early 20s versions when they played in the Fall League.

Cutch is card #4 and features a cool bit of trivia on the back.
The card shows the Phoenix Desert Dogs as team affiliation, but the team is currently the Glendale Desert Dogs.  It changed  to Glendale in 2013.

Since it was a 2 card lot and I don't have much need for Albert Pujols, I will hold a 2 day contest to get this card.  It makes sense to split up these AZ cards after the Pirates just split a series in AZ.

I have placed a 2017 Matt Joyce basecard next to it to show the size difference.  The card will be shipped in a 5x7 Top Loader.

Guess how many hits Andrew McCutchen will get on Tuesday's game against the Washington Nationals and the first person with the correct answer wins the card. If no one guesses correctly, I will add it to the pile for Top 10 PC contest winnings.  Keep in mind, Cutch is currently batting under .215 at the nearly quarter stretch mark.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Seeing Doubles

I have discussed how Topps often uses Cutch when recognizing Roberto Clemente from older sets.  You can see my first Heritage Comparison post here.

Here's another example

And another example
The more recent cards of Cutch are similar design to the 1968 Topps Game pieces.

Here's 2016 nonDread Cutch compared to 2014 dreads Cutch in 5x7 format

And here's the gold 2014 5x7

With the backs of the 5x7s below

Saturday, May 13, 2017

All-Star Patches

With the All-Star game voting now available, I wanted to take this opportunity and ask everyone to vote for Andrew McCutchen.  I know his stats might not be elite, but .....

I want more patch cards!!!!

Each year Triple Threads puts out a subset of All-Star patches from the previous year's All-Stars.

I have all 5 All-Star patch cards /9 from Cutch's All-Star seasons (2011-2015).

Here they are as individual cards with a quick note about how Cutch did during the game.

Cutch had one at bat. He grounded out to the pitcher.

Cutch was looking to be an early season MVP as he batted over .360 with 18 Home Runs.  He was a late selection for the Home Run derby, but was eliminated in the first round.

This was Cutch's MVP season and he came in to the game as a pinch runner for Carlos Beltran.  He stole 2nd base as a Pinch Runner, but struck out in both his plate appearances.

Cutch started his first All-Star game and in his first at bat lined a ball up the middle that Derek Jeter (in his final season) made a diving stop to almost throw out Cutch.  He would later steal second.

Cutch was a starter again this year and blasted his first ASG HomeRun in his final at bat of the evening.

I have plenty more All-Star game cards of Cutch, but I will use the ASG FanFest weekend to show off those cards.

If you look at the standard counting stats, Cutch is having a terrible season, but if you look deeper into the numbers his BABIP (batting average balls in play) is almost 70 points below league average.  He has blistered a lot of balls that unfortunately have lead to outs.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Showing off some customs

Occassionally I will come across some custom cards for sale that strike my fancy.  I'm not a huge supporter of these kinds of cards, but if it features an old Topps design I liked or a unique moment I usually pull the trigger.

Recently I came across this custom

I picked up his "team set" of Team USA.

I loved this year's WBC and rooting for Team USA.  I have to hand it to Jim Leyland for winning the tournament and sticking with his core guys.  I felt like the team lacked the "Superstar" and "Hobby star" names, but as a team they did an incredible job.

When you think of the big names in the card collecting world, who on Team USA draws the most attention?
Buster Posey, probably.
All their other guys play on small market teams.  Miami, Kansas City, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Baltimore.  Most are low revenue teams.
Again kudos and Jim Leyland and the team.

I have also picked up a few other customs over the years.

This was a hand drawn sketch card that I thought looked really good so I had to pick it up.

These two were random impulse buys.

And to finish things off is this really sweet looking T206 Style Piedmont card.

The Mauer was a freebie the seller provided.
If anyone wants the Mauer let me know.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Bo knows

Bo from the blog Baseball Cards Come to Life recently posted a comment on my blog regarding a 2010 Topps Opening Day base card I needed. A day later I received this card in the mail.

It's number 1,695 unique Cutch in my collection.  I am nearing the 1,700 milestone with only a few more additions.

Thanks so much Bo!

As a reminder please don't forget my contest.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Dated Material 5-7-15

Something about being able to determine what game a particular relic is used in always makes me believe the authenticity more.

Years ago Donruss used to picture the relic they cut up on the back, but today we are often stuck with the phrase "This relic is not from any particular game, season, or event"

Panini had a subset in their National Treasures release where they tell you exactly when the material is from.  It was called Dated Material.

This is my Cutch card numbered 10/25

How did Cutch do for the day?

Looks like he did pretty well.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Contest Reminder: My Top 10 Inserts Edition

A few days ago I showed off my top 10 Cutch cards. Each week I plan on doing more top 10 subclasses to remind all readers to enter my contest.

Today I am going to show off my 10 favorite Cutch inserts
#10 2012 Bowman Cutting Edge Stars
The only die cut to make the list, this card features a Spring Training Photo and discusses Cutch's admiration of Ken Griffey Jr. on the back.

#9 2014 Allen & Ginter Pastime's Pastimes
This is likely the only card published in 2014 that discusses both Manny Ramirez and Eddie Murphy in the same sentence.  That causes this card to rank in the top 10.  The chalkboard effect adds a nice background.

#8 2014 Topps High Tek Tektonics
This ultra hip semiacetate 90s throwback is what great inserts are supposed to look like.

#7 Select Thunder Alley
What do I miss about cards these days compared to the 90s? The over the top flashy inserts.  In it's only recent year 2013 Select gave us a bunch of great inserts.  It was a toss up between Thunder Alley and En Fuego, shown yesterday.  Ultimately I chose ThunderAlley because of the back.  Pictured below are the Prizm (refractor) and base.

#6 Opening Day Stadium Scenes
This card is technically not an Andrew McCutchen card, but since he is featured and I was at this game it counts.  The shot from Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia was from the On Deck Series.  I recognize the helmet that Cutch is signing as I was able to get him to sign a ball for me that same day.  I must have been just to the right of the person taking the photo and not even realized one day it would be on a baseball card.

#5 2017 Topps 5 Tools
When these were previewed the general consensus on the 2017 release was "meh".  One thing that seemed consistent was that the 5 Tool inserts look great.  I have to agree, this card really packs a punch.

#4 2010 Upper Deck Supreme
This retail exclusive insert set was available in 2 different colors (blue and green).  The blue was slightly harder to find.  I am including both because quite frankly I just miss Upper Deck so much.  The scans don't do them justice.

#3 2014 Elite Face 2 Face vs Clayton Kershaw
What a great concept for an insert set.  Pick 2 of the best stars in the game and show how they have faced off against each other.  I would love to see this get done with Topps so we have logos.  How well has Kris Bryant done against Carlos Martinez? Chris Sale vs Francisco Lindor? MadBum vs Corey Seager? Thor vs Harper?  This insert set needs to be brought back.

#2 2014 Prizm Fearless
I miss Cutch and his dreads
 During 2013-early 2015 releases, Cutch had some awesome looking cardboard because of his long dreadlocks.  It gave him an image that was easily recognizable.  This insert set (and all its glorious looking color parallels) shows a perfect image of Cutch crushing a ball.

Finally is a mini that is my absolute favorite image of Cutch on cardboard.

#1 2012 Topps Mini 1987
I started collecting baseball cards in 1987.  Anytime you get Wrigley Ivy in the background with a leaping Cutch, just makes for some special cardboard.

Some honorable mentions
2013 Select En Fuego

2016 Topps Perspectives

2013 Opening Play Hard

2009 Topps Propaganda Victory

As a sure to enter my contest and show off your top 10 favorite cards of your favorite player.