Thursday, July 20, 2017

Just A Lil Hope

It it is sometimes said all you need is hope...

I hope to see the Pirates make a serious run for the division.  They are playing very good baseball right now.

Above you can see a card I picked up a few weeks back.  It's a 2011 Hope Parallel.  Because it's from the Mike Trout RC flagship series, finding these are actually very difficult to find despite the high numbering of 60 copies.  There were some set builders trying to complete the Hope parallel sets.  Did I memtion that this card is from the 2011 Update Series which has Mike Trout RC?

I don't know what inspired this short lived parallel, but these pop in person.  If you have a favorite player from 2011, you should try and find a Hope parallel.  They're gorgeous in person.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Remembering the Biogenesis Scandal

As is customary for me every day on my lunch break, I was browsing eBay for more McCutchen cards to add to the PC.  I stumbled across a seller who had a bunch of Just Minors cards with Cutch's auto for under $20.  I tried to convince myself that I didn't need them.

I don't think I tried hard enough as I added 6 cards to my cart for checkout.

I'll show off some of the others in future posts, but these two were a reminder that no prospect is a guaranteed thing.  The MLB draft signing period is over and the trade deadline is just around the corner.  Many teams will begin selling off veteran established players in hopes of adding future cornerstone of a franchise.

The New York Mets thought they had two top outfielders in Carlos Gomez (stay tuned for a future featured hate rant on him in the next few weeks) and Fernando Martinez.

What they actually had was a guy who would be out of baseball by 2013, finishing his career as a .206 hitter.  Fernando Martinez was recognized in the 2013 Biogenesis Scandal and served his suspension.

I snagged both of these autos for $30 combined shipping.  It helped knock off a few more Cutch needs while giving me some great material for a blog post.
The Pirates are currently in the middle of a 4 game series with division leaders, Brewers.  Both teams will likely look to make small upgrades at the trade deadline.  Could we see some future PED prospects get moved that were once highly touted?

Clearly both the Pirates and Brewers are forgiving when it comes to PED tests.  Starling Marte made his return after serving his 80 game suspension and got a standing ovation from the fans.

Francisco Cervelli who was a key piece of the Pirates winning last night's game was also involved in the Biogenesis scandal.  Pittsburgh loves him.

Oh and let's not forget Ryan Braun.  He was involved in the Biogenesis scandal also and publically shamed a UPS driver to try and cover up another of his failed drug tests.  Milwaukee still loves Brauny tho.

Are guys who take PEDs forgiven too quickly by fans?

What about the wrongfully accused?
Gio Gonzalez was mentioned in the Biogenesis scandal but was later acquitted of the charges.  Yet he will forever have that blemish on his resume.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


No, the chickens aren't getting restless in the henhouse.  That's all I paid for two of my latest Cutch parallels.

3 bucks delivered

The first is a nice green parallel of the maze design from 2016 Topps Tek /99.

The next is a blue paper parallel from 2017 Bowman
Nice new additions of the hottest hitter in the NL since Memorial Day.

Monday, July 17, 2017

It's no Honus Wagner, but I got a super rare T206

In my endless pursuit to add more McCutchen cards to the PC, I finally added a 2010 Red Chrome T206 to the collection.  I tried in two previous attempts in the past two years to add this card to my collection.

It's numbered 10/25 making it a rare early years Cutch card for the collection.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Class Act

I was picking up a pair of minor league releases of Cutch via eBay and got the most welcomed surprise when the cards arrived.

Inside was a not saying "Brian-We had a mistake in listing. 2008 International Top Prospecting listing showed a picture of 2008 International All Star (a common Ebay malfunction).  To avoid a problem, I included both cards."

Upon scanning the cards and getting ready to file them, I realized I actually needed both.  My minor league release cards now appear closer to being complete.  I was amazed at the generosity and will always support JS Sports Cards for any minor league releases I may need in the future.  If you are in search of some cardboard check out JS Sports Cards

Here's my Cutch minor league releases (excluding all the Just Minors cards as I am saving them for a future post).

Starting off with the Low A affiliate, Williamsport Crosscutters

Then High A, Hickory Crawdads

AA Altoona Curve

And a Top Prospect for AAA, Indianapolis Indians

I will show off my Tristar and Just Minors cards in a future post, but I believe my Minor League card collection to be almost complete.
There is a 2006 Hickory Crawdad card available at Stadiums for a team set release that I am still looking to add.  There is currently one listed on eBay for $75, but I am determined to find one under $20.  That card is Cutch's first team issued card.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Topps you cheated me of a back!!!!

The title might make you believe I just got "ho hum, another 1/1" Blank Back Vault card.  Unfortunately, thats not the case.

Instead I got in a bunch of color parallels from Topps Museum.

These cards look great as a set.

And the lot included this Canvas Collection sketch reproduction card.  Sweet!!!  The artist for this year's chosen Cutch card is Carlos Cabaleiro who I did an email interview with back in March.

But wait, the back says the same thing as the base Museum cards?
Not only is Topps recycling images.  Now they are recycling the text on the back too?

C'mon Topps!  Mix it up a little especially if it's a high end release like Museum.  The inserts are meant to draw attention.  Tell us about the artist of this reproduction sketch card and why this one was chosen over other sketch artists.

I didn't want to make this post so negative.  How can I change it?

Oh look.

Ho hum, it's another 1/1
The Emerald

Friday, July 14, 2017

Grey vs. Gray

I finally got one of the last remaining parallels I was chasing from 2017 Heritage.
The grey back SSP (far right)

I've previously shown shortly after release the following
Gold Chrome /5
Flip Stock, Bright Yellow, Color Swap, Blue Border, and assorted chromes
Throwback SP yesterday

The issue I had when cataloging this particular card, was the spelling of it.

I always spell it grey, but Topps labels it as a Gray back.  Cardboard Connection has it listed as a Gray Back also.

In doing some quick research, both Gray and Grey are acceptable ways to spell the neutral color.

Despite the confusion with the spelling, I am extremely happy to cross this off the list.  I only need 2 chrome versions (Superfractor 1/1 and Purple Hot Box refractor).

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Throwback Thursday: 4 Months Late

Sooooooo, back in March I was showcasing all my 2017 Heritage cards I had acquired of Cutch.  I mentioned I didn't like the photo used and that I had a monster case hit card that I would show off in the upcoming days.
4 Months later...
I finally got around to scanning it in.

This extremely short printed Throwback uniform is found 1 per case.  With nearly a dozen different subjects for the Throwback cards, getting a Cutch is not an easy task.

I like the look of this card a lot.  The Jason Kendall era road greys (or grays depending on spelling) look great and are a nice refresher from all the 70s throwbacks the team has worn over the years.

I didn't realize I had never posted about this card until I was putting together a post for my most recent Heritage acquisition recapping all my 2017 Heritage cards.  You will see that post tomorrow.

Here are links to my other 2017 Heritage Cards
Gold Chrome /5
Yellow Back, Astd Chromes, Flip Stock, Color Swap

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Spider-Man Wall Climbing

Spider-Man came out over the weekend and as is customary for me to do on Wednesdays, I will be going to my $6 matinee.  I have stayed away from all the spoilers and am really looking forward to seeing how this movie ties in with the other Marvel films.

Here's a card of Cutch showing some wall climbing abilities
I have the base, but also the Superfractory version of this Black Friday Elements card numbered to 10.

It even references Spider-Man on the back

Here are a few others of the Cutch doing his best Peter Parker impersonations.

Up first is one of my all time favorite images  of Cutch on cardboard.

Next up are a pair of cards from 2013 Chrome and Flagship.
Both are SP photo variants, but the chrome version carries a substantially higher secondary market.

As I look through my binders I will see if there are any other webhead wallcrawler references.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The HomeRun Derby Cutch Style (A New 1/1)

Back in 2012, Andrew McCutchen was added to the HR Derby as a substitute for the injured Giancarlo Stanton.

In the 1st Round he hit 4 HomeRuns, 1 shy of eventual winner Prince Fielder.  During most of his at bats the focus was on Derek Jeter if I remember correctly.  It was a huge disappointment for me to see my favorite player finally start to get recognized and get overshadowed by not talking about him while batting.

Topps made a HR Derby in Updates and Highlights for Cutch and I have several of the parallels including one of my latest 1/1 plates.  Ho hum, another 1/1
The orange parallel (Top Row Middle) is very tough to find despite a large number produced (210 copies).  This is because you can only find the oranges in Factory Sealed sets.  A special pack of 5 cards were placed inside each complete set.  Trying to track down the orange is tough.

Cutch also had his 2013 Triple Threads All-Star Relic feature an image from the Derby.

I fell asleep early last night so I couldn't watch the Derby in its entirety.  I hear Aaron Judge was impressive to watch though.

Back in May I showed off my All-Star Game patches which you can see by clicking here.  I showed the 2013 above.

I wanted to show off my other Cutch ASG cards over this week, but haven't gotten around to being in the mood for scanning cardboard.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Artist's Proof Addition

For a very small Abe Lincoln I grabbed my 1, 756 unique Andrew McCutchen card.

It's a blue Artist Proof from 2013 Pinnacle.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

One man's junk is another's treasure

I bought a baseball card that was intentionally ripped in half TWICE!!!!

I own a few rip cards of Cutch, but they are all still sealed.

I wanted to put one in my binder so I bought this double rip Allen & Ginter Stargell/Cutch.
It ran me $10 delivered which seems like a lot for a baseball card that is damaged.

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 8th: National Video Game Day

So a bit of weird circumstances happened yesterday.  I posted a Diamond Marshall Gold card /10 and had a title called Cops and Robbers.  As I was driving home I got a ticket for distracted driving because I had reached for my cell phone as a cop passed me.  Now I have a mandatory court appearance for my first offense and up to a $400 fine.  Oh the irony of a blog post.

Today I hope to lighten things up with a video game post.

Andrew McCutchen was the cover athlete for MLB The Show and would have his name mentioned on cardboard throughout the years citing the accomplishment.

I have previously shown my signed copy of the game

I thought there was more that I could find but only found these two cards while quickly browsing my Cutch binder of non hits.

Not relevant to the post, but here are the fronts

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cops and Robbers

Sometimes as fans of the game we get lost in trying to over think things and wonder "what if?". This can lead to us living in the past or future without taking in the present.  I know as a Pirates Fan I had to endure a lot of those moments.  Two moments come to mind for me.

The first is Game 5 of the NLDS in 2013.  The Pirates chose to go with rookie Gerrit Cole to take the mound vs Adam Wainwright in the deciding game.  I had a bad feeling about that because 1)it was shorter rest for Cole than the original scheduled starter AJ Burnett and 2) AJ historically never pitched 2 bad games in a row. 
The moment the Cardinals got on the board I immediately went in to thinking about what could have been if Cole didn't start and AJ did.

The second happened very recently.  Andrew McCutchen was coming off the worse year of his career.  He started the first two months of the 2017 season barely hitting above .200.  I never lost hope in my favorite player returning to his glory though.  I did start thinking about "what if he's traded at his lowest value? What if the return for Cutch nets us guys worse than Andy LaRoche?  Could I stomach that?". 

I bring this up because while it's ok to imagine you have a Delorean and can time travel, don't get caught up missing the joys (as few as they may be some weeks) of rooting for your favorite teams and players.  
Every time Cutch and JHay do a celebration at home plate even when the team is losing is just as special as when the team is winning.  

Don't rob yourself of the joy of sports.
Robbing is wrong.

The Diamond Marshall
Andrew McCutchen

The above card is another one I have had on the radar for a few years.  It's extremely rare as it's numbered 8/10.  This is the Gold Parallel which I must say looks awesome in person as it really makes the badge pop.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Batman vs. Superman

When it comes to super hero movies, I will forever be a Marvel guy.  Even the ones that got bad reviews (Daredevil, Punisher, Fantastic Four 1, Wolverine Origins) I still enjoyed because quite frankly I just like the characters more.

Now when it comes to DC movies, I never liked Superman.  I always feel that he had it too easy.  Batman though, yeah Batman is cool.

I bought 4 Bowman Chrome Mini Wave Refractors from a seller who has been selling off his collection to me slowly.

When I layed these cards out I thought of Batman vs Superman because of the color scheme.

They are numbered as following: red /5, black /25, gold /50, blue /99.

I guess the color scheme could also have been for Pirates vs Phillies.  Let's Go Bucs!!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ooooohhhh McCutchy you so fine you blow my mind

I sent out a few more packages today.  The following zip codes can expect something in the next few days.

If you entered my contest and have not received a runner up package, please email me your address so I can get something to you.

I got my first 2017 Topps Finest card in the mail last week.

Cutch was a SP in this year's set.  His base is selling in the $5+ range.

This is the orange parallel numbered to 25.

I have an 8 card lot en route that contains the SP base card along with some other players that I will be sending out in trade packages.

Cutch won his 5th career Player of the Month award for June 2017.  After hovering around .200 through April and May, Cutch is now batting .288 on the year after a ridiculous stretch of games where he batted .411 for the month of June (best in league)

Only Albert Pujols (8) and Miguel Cabrera (6) have more Player of the Month awards than Cutch (5) among active players.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"Today We Celebrate Our Independence"

I know the true meaning of July 4th, but honestly is there a better quote for today than the quote by Bill Pullman in Independence Day?

Series 2 offered a bunch of Independence Day cards (flags, logo patches, inserts).  I don't own any of them or the parallels yet but I do have the red /25 Independence Day insert en route to my mailbox.  If anyone wants to grab me any of the manufactured relics (base or color parallels) I will gladly trade for it.

Independence day relics are not new to Topps.  They produced a line of manufactured relics bearing team's cap logos back in 2010.

Here's my Cutch from that series.  I also have a Garrett Jones from the same series.  They're numbered /99 copies and have a 229 player checklist.  That's a lot of cards to chase.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Jersey of a Champion

Andrew McCutchen may never win a Championship with the Pittsburgh Pirates (although I certainly hope he does), but he will forever be a member of the Gold Medal championship team of the 2017 WBC.

I had so much fun watching the WBC this year, not only because my favorite player was a participant but also because it is always so much fun seeing the different cultures compete.

This is my first WBC jersey relic of Cutch although I did show off a base relic that showed Cutch on the front and mentioned him on the back.

If anyone knows me and my Cutch collection I will be seeking out other cards to add to this unique part of Cutch's career.  The jersey swatches for this are all plain grey swatches.  Obviously I would love to add some nice patches or letter nameplates or something to the collection.

I will be attending the Pirates at Phillies game tonight wearing my Cutch WBC jersey. Look for me on TV.  4 of the past 5 games I've attended, I've been seen on TV.