Saturday, December 10, 2016

Who's steering the ship?

I have trusted Neal Huntington since he took over a team with nearly two decades long of losing in addition to one of the worse farm systems in the league. He had a five year plan to get the Pirates relevant and in 2013 they were.

It was largely due in part though to one of the most exciting players in the game emerging as a consensus top 5 talent.

That player was Andrew McCutchen.

I have changed my cardboard collection to strongly emphasis becoming a super collector of Cutch over the past year.

Without question he is my favorite player of the past two decades.

He wants to stay a Pirate for his entire career.

The question will be, if he bounces back to his MVP numbers and the Pirates are within contention, what would GM Neal do?  I guess if both those things are in place, it will be a great season for the Buccos and Cutch.

I was very happy to add the Black and White "Negative" version of the Pirates' Mateys card featuring Cutch and JHay. Even when the team is struggling and losing, these guys know how to have fun.

Here's the regular version and card back.

On a side note I have a game used Josh Harrison Bible armband similar to the one he is wearing in the picture.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Dex and Cutch: A Tale of 2 Cities

The 2016 season brought radically different perceptions of two similar profile Centerfielders.

Dexter Fowler was asked to play back more and was rewarded with excellent defensive metrics. His offense was his average annual results. Double digit HR pop, nearly 20 SBs, an average around .280, and a lot of runs scored.

Dexter's performance and clubhouse comradery led to him getting a five year $82 million deal that includes a No Trade Clause.

Andrew McCutchen was asked to play closer to the infield and that resulted in him being ranked the worse centerfielder defensively in the game. His offense took a turn for some career lows as the perennial MVP struggled early in the season with injuries and strike zone discipline.

Cutch's struggles resulted in many offseason rumors of the Pirates eagerly trying to move his 2 year $32 million contract.

Both players are roughly the same age. Cutch has more pop and Dex is the better baserunner. Both players play an average centerfield by the eye test.

I picked up a complete set of 2006 SAL prospect cards. Included in the set was some former prospects that never grew into their true potential (Gaby Sanchez, Jose Tabata, Austin Jackson, etc) It also included guys like Cutch and Dex.

It's hard to think of these guys as prospects ten years ago.

Not a bad pickup for $6

I think I have all of Cutch's minor league release cards.

I really like when you guys leave comments and discuss cardboard, baseball, and life

Discussion starter:
For the player collectors out there, do you seek out minor league cards also?


If your job made a prospect card of you, would you have lived up to expectations ten years later

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A One of a Kind Tribute

I feel like having nearly 1,400 unique cards of Cutch is a pretty good tribute to my favorite ballplayer. That being said, I don't even have half his produced cards. Each day I am on the search for more and more cards to add to the PC.

What is the number for us collectors to hit for that "Wow! What a collection?" 

Is 1,400 unique cards of a player enough for a guy who made his MLB debut back in 2009? 

Is having 3 1/1s of a release not enough of a Tribute? 

You decide

Above are the 3 1 of 1s I have from 2016 Topps Tribute. The Black 1/1, Superfractor, and Yellow Printing Plate.

Obviously I am still looking for the Cyan, Magenta, and Black Plates in addition to the Topps Vault Blank Back. This just proves how hard it is to complete a true rainbow. Even with 3 One of a Kind cards from a release I am still under 50% for giving it a true tribute in terms of 1 of 1s.

Have any of you completed a rainbow including all 4 printing plates?  How close have you come?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fashion sense

Christmas season is upon us. I am stuck with the undaunting chore of trying to find gifts for family members, friends, and the significant other.  Everyone needs clothes, right?

That's where I get a little clueless. I am a jeans and hoodie kind of guy. I don't know what fashion trends are currently sweeping the country by storm. I don't know if buttoned shirts are meant to be tucked in or untucked. I am clueless.

Since Panini doesn't have their MLB license anymore they have been using top stars dressed in casual clothes for their yearly Black Friday release. This year they used Cutch in a horizontal backshot of him hitting the ball in PNC Park.

In previous years they gave us a cool card like this though.

Does anyone else have trouble clothes shopping for Christmas?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pikachu in my head

I officially considered myself an Andrew McCutchen supercollector when I pushed my cardboard total greater than Cutch's career hits.

I won't stop though.

There is a lot of supercollectors out there with far superior collections to mine.

I want to rival some of those big guns who have 200+ plates or are pushing 500+ 1/1s.

I currently have 60 printing plate 1/1s of Cutch in my collection. They are fairly even in terms of colors. My most common of 1/1 plates is Magenta with 18. My least common is Black at 13. Cyan and Yellow weigh in at 14 and 15 respectively. 

The most recent plate added to my PC is a Bowman's Best black plate from 2015.

When I got this, the lyrics to Pokemon got stuck in my head by thinking "I wanna be the very best like no one ever was..."  What's funny about that as a reaction is that I have never watched an entire episode of Pokemon in my life. My family had one TV in the living room and my younger brother would turn Pokemon up very loud after school.

Never saw an episode.
Can tell you the words of the theme song easily.

As I continue to build up my Cutch collection I hope you will continue to follow, comment, and enjoy my new blog.

The journey "to catch them all is my real test" should be a lot of fun. Join me and if you see any low numbered Cutch cards, let me know.

I  would like some opinions on the look of the new blog too. Should I keep it simple regarding colors, backgrounds, etc?
Should I make a tab with the cards I have?
Would a Google Docs link for my PC be enough?
Should I make a top 10 of cards I am looking for?
Should I do a show and tell when it comes to certain brands, different styles of relic cards, etc?

What would you guys like to see as I show off nearly 1,400 unique Cutch cards?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Art of Anticipation

For the past week news has been surfacing of the Pirates trading the Face of their franchise Andrew McCutchen. I am absolutely torn thinking about my main PC player, Andrew McCutchen playing for any other franchise. It  would be similar to seeing Sidney Crosby suit up in a Washington Capitols uniform.

If Cutch is traded to the Nats, what would the return be? Is Victor Robles and Joe Ross a realistic expectation for the Bucs?

I want to believe that Neal has a plan to make the team better.
I also want to see my favorite player of the past two decades retire as a Pirate.

I am torn.

The art of patience will bring each hour and day a new level of anticipation as I wait to see what uniform my favorite player wears in 2017.

I have never bought a print card from sketch artist Edward Vela, but this one stuck out to me.  It sums up my feelings about Cutch going to another team.

The thought leaves me broken, much like the bat being sawed by the contact of the ball.

Where's the ball going to go?
Where is the Cutch going to go?

The art of anticipation....

It's numbered 1/25.
I might pick up a few more of his sketch prints. The guy does beautiful work.