Friday, June 23, 2017

Ho Hum, another 1/1

A few weeks back I showed off a pair of Topps Vault Blank Back cards and AJ from the Lost Collector made a comment that really put my Cutch Collection in perspective.

I added my 1/1 to the collection the other day.  It's a Red Parallel for Topps Bunt Infinite.

I had shown off a few of the other color parallels just a few days ago.

Here's the others

While it is nice to add another 1/1 it is just another color parallel that looks great with its brothers.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Allegheny Armada

For the past few years the Pirates have had some unique team cards in the flagship release.  From River City Rakers to Pirates Mateys to this year's card "The Alleghany Armada"

Picturing the new dreaded hero of the team, John Jaso, with the former dreaded hero, Andrew McCutchen, this card has some bash brother vibes to it.

So far I have the Vintage Stock/logo and Mothers Day parallel, but am hoping to add many more.  I need help adding the other parallels.

It will be very interesting to see how the Pirates perform over the next month.  They are just a few games back of winning the division, despite a sub .500 record.  Cutch has been playing out of his mind since moving to the 6 hole late May.  He's batting over .400 with over 20 runs and 25 RBI with 8 HR since then.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Flagship Logos

Cutch had his official Rookie Card in 2009 Topps despite having a draft prospect card in 2005.  Since his 2009 Flagship debut, Topps has mostly kept with the "P" Pittsburgh logo.  However in 2011 and 2012 the team was represented with the Jolly Roger logo.

You can see them below

Cutch will appear in Series 2, but I don't have a base yet.

Even though Cutch has 5 All Star cards and League Leaders cards I decided to only show 1 card each year.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bunting Colors

My good friend AJ from The Lost Collector sent me a PWE with 2 Cutch cards I didn't have.  I was already in the process of adding the color parallels to the PC.

Here's the rest of my Bunt cards for 2017
Up first the Infinite insert

The back

Now for the base set

This is how I like my color parallels.  Bold and in your face color variations.  You don't have to squint to see if this is Ice or Lava or Blue or Amethyst parallel.  It is clear these are different from  each other.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Who's Your (Craw)Daddy?

I love when I come across Cutch minor league cards.
I love when I come across rarer parallels even more.
I love my father even more than all the baseball cards I own.
Today is a day of love for our fathers.

Let's celebrate with a low numbered Cutch in a CrawDAD uniform.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there....even the crawdads

Saturday, June 17, 2017

This Day In Cutchstory: 1st MLB HR

I wonder if Andrew took a few jabs at Francisco Liriano when he signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent during the winter of 2012.

If I was him I probably would have said something about "Welcome to Pittsburgh.  Thanks for letting me get my 1st Homerun off you"

Andrew is a bigger and better person than me so I doubt that happened.

Anyway today is the 8th anniversary of Cutch's 1st HR.

I am still in search of an actual ticket for that game, but I have these for now.

A manurelic

And 3 parallels

And here is the back

Friday, June 16, 2017

And All The Diamond Kings men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again

First up, the following zip codes should be receiving prizes from me within a day or few for the Top 10 contest I held.
85338,11572, 49002, 83651, 84043, 62450, 55110, 80020

The next wave will go out either Saturday or Tuesday.

Anyone remember that commercial a few years back where Cutch met Humpty Dumpty in the outfield?

I remembered it when I added my 5th parallel of the 2014 Donruss Diamond Kings insert.  And all the kings men...

I now have the following parallels
Single Season Stat, Career Stat, Base
GOLD press proof, Silver Press Proof

Here's the back for a recap

I miss when Cutch used to have a bunch of national commercials.
Some others included his 2013 The Show, #THIS (walkoff HR), #THIS (giving kids in San Diego souvenir), Plunder the Lox Sportscenter, I Play For October, and so many more.

Cutch has been swinging a very hot bat since moving down in the lineup to the 6 hole.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

P > E

Back when I got my first job I had to wear a full length apron with the symbols and letters "P > E".  It stood for Performance is greater than Expectation.  It was drilled into our heads that if you expect to do great things you will.  It was also said that if you expect to fail, you will fail.

During Cutch's sophomore year, Bowman released an insert set called Bowman Expectations.  It paired prospects with rising stars.  Former 1st Round Draft Pick Tony Sanchez was paired with then rising catcher star Brian McCann.  There was also a card that paired Jose Tabata with Andrew McCutchen.

Cutch got the front

And Tabata got the back

Let's look at how their careers turned out.

Andrew McCutchen was a former 1st round draft pick out of high school. By his 21st birthday he was one of the game's top prospects in all baseball (12th overall).  Since his MLB debut at the age of 22 he has posted a WAR of 37.6 (one of the top 10 in MLB since debut).  He has won an MVP, Gold Glove Award, Roberto Clemente Award, 5 All-Star Appearances, 4 Silver Sluggers, and became the face of a franchise.  Cutch will have a team option at the end of this year and could join the over crowded Free Agent class of 2018.

Jose Tabata was a highly regarded prospect in the Yankees System (2nd overall) and by his 20th birthday was a Top 100 prospect in baseball.  He made his MLB debut at age 21 and in only 5 MLB seasons has amassed a WAR of only 1.8.  Never developing the power that was EXPECTING to come as he matured he has only 17 career HRs.  Used primarily as a pinch hitter and platoon player by his age 24 season, Tabata is now earning $5M in the Blue Jays minor league system and won't become a Free Agent until 2019.

Based on the P>E model I would say that Cutch performed greater than expectations while Tabata has failed to meet his expectations.

Puzzles!!! Grrrr

I hate putting puzzles together!

I am not good at it!

I don't have the patience for it!

And in my life I have never put together a puzzle consisting of over 50 pieces.  Never have!

Fortunately for my hobby love, I won't feel overwhelmed when trying to put card puzzles together.  They are numbered on the back and fit nicely in my Ultra Pro pages.

The 9 card puzzle set looks exactly like his base card from 2012 Triple Play.

The back has some fun trivia too.

Baseball cards are fun.
Puzzles are not.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Awhile back I showed off my Gypsy Queen casebreak I participated in.  I managed to get a nice Glassworks box topper as a result.  I liked it so much I have started to seek out the color parallels.

Here's my latest

The Red /25

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Topps Heritage has been producing Bazooka theme cards in their line for the past few years.

Here's my collection of the past four years of Cutch bazookas.

As you can see 2014 to 2016 have VERY similar designs and sizing.  The 2017 design was much different.

Here's the backs.

Nothing too special, right?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Don't Fail This Draft

Since Neal Huntington took over he has focused on projectable tall, easy delivery, hard throwing pitchers and up the middle defensive line drive hitters.

Prior to Huntington taking over in 2008 there really wasn't much of a prototype the Pirates used in their first 3 rounds.

The last first round pick prior to the new regime (owner, GM, President of Baseball Operations) was used on a highly controversal pick in 2007 when the Pirates selected left handed pitcher Daniel Moskos instead of Matt Wieters.

MLB recently did an article where they redrafted the 2007 class.  Their redraft had Giancarlo Stanton falling to them at #4 after Bumgarner, Price, and Donaldson came off the board.  Stanton would have been a nice pick.

I won't knock Daniel on this blog because he is an extremely nice guy all the times I got to see him in the minor leagues.  He also got the last out when the Altoona Curve won the 2010 Eastern League Championship (which I attended).  However, pitching only 24.1 innings at the major league level SIX years ago hardly warrants recognition for the 4th overall pick.

I have a few Moskos autographs in my collection.  This is the only one that pairs the pair of New Millenium Face of the Franchise with Most Hated Draft Pick By the Fans.  It is numbered 4/10 and is one of my many Cutch pairings that I have been able to get very cheap because the second player devalued the card.  Wait until I show off my Billy Rowell dual autos.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A 1/1 and 2/3 of a print run

Sometimes I feel like I belong locked up in Arkham Asylum.  I am borderline crazy when it comes to adding new Cutch cards to the collection.  Speaking of Arkham, I have been binge watching the heck out of Gotham.  I am on Season 2 episode 20 so no spoilers please.  Anyone else watch that show?

These are my latest additions.

A pair of Allen & Ginter High Number Mini Metal cards /3 and the 1/1 Wood Mini.

Should I be locked away?
I'll say hi to Ed Nygma for you.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

In Need ofthe Best Burger

With the summer heat here and weekend BBQs in full effect, I am craving a good burger.  Not the Nickelodeon movie either.  I am talking a big thick burger loaded with toppings.

What kind of toppings do you guys put on your burgers?

Oh, here's a relic card for Berger's Best from last year.

Friday, June 9, 2017

More Bowman Heritage Autos

A few days ago I showed off my Buyback Bowman Heritage card

Here are my other two oncard  Bowman Heritage autos of Cutch.  There is a buyback with the short print photo variation that I am still in need of, but I don't know if I will ever be able to add that to the PC.  Very few were made.
 The Red Ink was numbered to only 51 copies to represent the 1951 Bowman design

Here's the back.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Trying to keep my Kuhl

The Pirates bullpen which has been a part of the team's strength since 2011 has been abysmal this year.  Without looking at any stats I have to think they are near the bottom in holds.  There has been too many blown saves late innings.

A player I really like a lot is Chad Kuhl.  I feel like he would be perfect for the bullpen.  I still need my first autograph of Chad Kuhl.  If anyone comes across a Bowman auto of his for the cheap, keep me in mind.

Speaking of cool.

This Cutch card has a lot of swag.

It's the sunglasses variant from 2013 Topps.  Other players to have these variants include Justin Upton, Adam Jones, Tim Lincecum, Bryce Harper, Yu Darvish, Mike Trout, Felix Hernandez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Josh Reddick.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Pair of Vault Treasures

I just got home from a matinee on my day off.  I went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.  I wasn't expecting much from the movie and was rewarded with the film exceeding my expectations.  It helped bring all the previous films together while still having that campy adventure of Jack Sparrow as the focal point.  I'm sorry. Captain Jack Sparrow.

The film has a moment where Jack...Captain Jack Sparrow is breaking into a vault.

Oddly enough I came home to find my second package from the Topps Vault mailed to me in the past 30 days.

Behold my two latest 1/1s.

Straight from the vault.

I hope everyone has had a good week so far.  I sent a few packages out today with more to follow this weekend.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Buyback Heritage

Another of my recent purchases as I continue to buy out a former Cutch collector's collection.

Extremely rare buyback that shows the begining of Cutch's shorter autograph

Check out the  back

Cutch was dominating Gulf Coast League before he was even an adult.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Original Digital Cards

Before the Topps Bunt app, there was eTopps.  Topps made online portfolios available to show off fans' collections.  Fans could then have the cards shipped directly to them for a fee.

One of Cutch's rarest on card autographs, this eTopps rookie was limited to only 50 copies

I am not sure what determined which serial numbers would be hard signed, but the original eTopps card is numbered 853/999.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June 4th: This Day in Cutchstory

It's no surprise that Andrew McCutchen's MLB Debut would get some cardboard blogging love as part of my This Day In Cutchstory segments.

To start things off, here is a ticket from Andrew's MLB debut game.

Now let's take a look at some cards that look at Cutch's MLB Debut.

Topps Unique was a set released in 2009 that was sold as a high end set.  Each base card was numbered.
Did you read Cutch's Unique Rookie Moment?  I bet you didn't know that prior to today.

Topps made an insert set last year to pay tribute to some of the best.  The cards were available in different color parallels (of course), a medallion coin, and a relic version also.

The color variations may be difficult to see, but this is the bronze and silver editions.
The back mentions his unique stat.

The relic is from a Homestead Grays throwback Negro League uniform.

The medallion makes for a very heavy card.

Today Cutch faced the same team he debuted against.  The only player still with the Mets organization that played with the Mets June 4, 2009 is David Wright.  On the 8th Anniversary of his debut, Cutch went 3 for 5 with 3 RBI, 3 Runs scored and his 9th HR of the season.  Even though he is having another down year he is still leading the Pirates in Homeruns and RBI.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Lost Art of Bunt

AJ from The Lost Collector hooked me up with the base and blue parallel from 2017 Topps Bunt over a week ago.

I have some of the other parallels starting to roll in.

Friday, June 2, 2017

It's Ok To Be Last

Julie from the Blog A Cracked Bat is running a cool contest where Last Place is actually the Winner.

As a Pirates Fan, I know all about Last Place all too well.  The Pirates are currently the cellar dwellers in the NL Central, but are surprisingly only 4 games out of first as no one (including the defending champs) are running away with the division.

The last time the Pirates finished in last place they secured the #1 overall pick and used it to get Gerrit Cole from UCLA.

Sometimes it's great to come in last!!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The contest winner is...

Back at the end of last month I ran a month long contest asking for people to show off their Top 10 favorite cards of a player they collect.

The main prize of the contest was this 2016 Topps Dynasty (on card) Autograph Patch of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio

Thank you sooooooo much to all those who participated.  We had 26 participants and some amazing cards and amazing stories about cards.

I was overwhelmed by how many people participated and will over the course of the next week be mailing out the prizes.

To recap here's the blog of who participated along with the PC player they chose.

There were 3 Hockey Top 10s and 1 Football.

This was definitely a lot of fun to review everyone's lists.

BobWalkThePlank - Jason Bay
The Lost Collector - Pacific Tino Martinez
Chronicles of Fuji - Tony Gwynn
Nachos Grande - Barry Larkin
Brad's Blog - Ryan Howard
Baseball Cards Come to Life - Mike Pagliarulo
All Cardinals All the Time - Ray Lankford
John's Big League Blog - Bill Freehan
Wrigley Roster Jenga - Mark Grace
Diamond Jesters - Ellis Burks
I Feel Like Collector Again - Andrew Shaw
Not Another Baseball Card Blog - Justin Morneau
5 Tool Collector - Brooks Robinson
Baseball Every Night - Darryl Strawberry
Sports Card Collectors - Ken Griffey Jr
Night Owl - Ron Cey
Raz Card Blog - RA Dickey
Its Like Having My - Paul Goldschmidt
Yadier Molina Cards - Yadier Molina
Infield Fly Rules - Todd Helton
Baseball Card Breakdown - Tony Gwynn Autos
Cardboard Catastrophies - Paul Blair
$30 Week Habit - Joe Sakic
Bump and Run - Barry Sanders
GCRL - Steve Garvey
PlaschkeThySweater - Ryan Getzalf

Without Further ado...I entered every person's name who entered into the contest based on their original comments.
Here are the results as entered by

Congrats to Raz for his R.A. Dickey entry.  It provided the win.

For everyone else who participated, if I haven't sent you a package in the past 3 months please email me your address so I can get some free cards sent out to everyone who joined this fun contest.

Send email with address and favorite teams to bstryker81 (at) gmail (dot) com