Sunday, December 31, 2017

Moving up the Pirates HOF ranks

It's no secret that I love adding new Cutch cards to my collection.

It's also no secret that I seek out new autographs of the Pirates star.

I noted that I was looking forward to adding some of the hits in my Chronicles player case break.  While I didn't add any in the break I did snag three hits from eBay.

This autograph is obviously my favorite of the available cards that Cutch was featured in.

I previously showed off both Triple Threats jersey relics which are also from Chronicles.

The front of the card has the nice Prizm design that we have all learned to love if you collect Basketball or Football.

Unfortunately the auto is a sticker, but the placement of it isn't noticable.

The joy of this card is the back though.

Unlike many other cards, this card's back features information that's not on many other cards.

With Cutch's performance on May 17, 2017 Cutch moved up the rankings to be just behind Pirates Hall of Fame centerfielders Max Carey and Kiki Cuyler.

No matter where he plays in 2018 and beyond, Cutch has become one of the Pirates All-Time greats.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

You're the best around... nothing's ever gonna keep me down

Does anyone else still listen to movie soundtracks from 80s movies?

I'm not ashamed to say that the Transformers cartoon movie soundtrack along with the Karate Kid Soundtrack are two of my favorite albums ever made.

How about the Rocky soundtrack?  Anyone listen to that?

The 80s had great soundtracks, but this post is all about the Karate Kid.

Those songs get me jacked up!!!

You're the best
Nothing ever gonna keep you down

Ho Hum, it's another 1/1.

This cyan plate is from 2015 Bowman's Best.

It is my 3rd plate from 2015 Bowman Best.
All I need is the yellow.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Brad's Blog Bombing

Brad is a Philadelphia fan and for that I feel bad for him.  Him and I have sent each other just because packages over the past several years without expecting anything in return.

What Brad sent me a few days before Christmas absolutely blew me away.

Let's cut to the chase.

This 1/1 Andrew McCutchen 2015 Magenta Mini SSP printing plate was wedged between a stack of 14 Buccos and 13 Buccos.

This framed mini is absolutely fantastic!!!!  It also brings my total to 179 one of ones!!!!

Let's look at what else this fine gent sent my way.

A trio of minis including a purple Josh Harrison /250 from 2016 Gypsy Queen.  The always respected Roberto Clemente is next to the exiled Jung Ho Kang.

Rotation Ace Gerrit Cole is joined by veteran Ivan Nova and the fresh faces Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow who both debuted in 2016.  Last year the Pirates staff for the most part (excluding Jameson's cancer battle) stayed healthy as they only used 7 different pitchers to start games.  I liked what Trevor Williams showed down the stretch.  If the Pirates are to improve their record this year they will need Cole Taillon and Nova to return to their highest potential and the development of Glasnow, Kuhl, and Williams will have to improve.

Who called for a Marte Partay?  These cards scanned crooked.  Hmmmm....crooked? Marte?  Probably just a coincidence...moving on....

JHay looks like he wants to party

Here's a few guys no longer invited to party in Pittsburgh.

Confined to wear a mask because of his majestic look is Ryan Doumit!!!!!!  I wish I had PCed him more.

Jung Ho, get your $#@& together!

Kevin Newman is an interesting prospect.  When he was drafted Keith Law exclaimed the Pirates got the best player in the draft and ranked him very highly.  After a few seasons in the minors he has shown very little offensively besides being a slap hitter.  He gets on base at a decent clip but has very little power at this point his career.  He may become a super utility infielder like Josh Harrison depending on how the development of Adam Frazier, Cole Tucker, and Kevin Kramer go.

Speaking of JHay, there he is again looking fresh on a 1983 inspired Archives card.

I'm looking at these two cards of Gregory Polanco and wow, he changed a lot in a year...oh wait Topps screwed up.  That's not Polanco on the Gypsy Queen....that's Aramis Ramirez.  Shame on you Topps!

Let's finish with some Hall of Famer.

Nothing is better than that.

Oh and this is Andrew McCutchen, I'm sure you've seen me talk about him on this blog before.

Thank you so much Brad!!!
I am going to work on getting something to you in return.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

5 more Cole Cutch cards I forgot about

Yesterday when I was scanning in the Cole Cutch cards I forgot to crop 5 of them from my file.

Here are the rest of them.

Up first is this 2015 National Treasures All-star dual relic numbered 22/25.  I have been building up my 22/xx collection of Cutch cards more aggressively over the past year.

Next up a pair of 2016 Triple Threads.  Yesterday I showed the 1/1 Ruby.  Here are the base (/36) and silver (/27).  I am still looking for the Emerald (/18), Gold (/9), and Sapphire (/3).
The Harrison white swatch on the base actually has a bit of white stitching likely from a Jolly Roger sleeve patch.

And to finish things off are a pair of Museum Primary Pieces.
 The card above has a sleeve patch worn by the Pirates in 2014 for Gerrit Cole's swatch.  It is the tribute to Ralph Kiner after his passing earlier that season.  The Polanco piece appears to be from a throwback jersey.
There are a lot of cool things going on with this card besides just the aesthetic looking patches.  First up is Cole's camo jersey swatch.  The Polanco is a Jolly Roger sleeve patch worn on a black alternate jersey.  The Marte swatch is actually part of a nameplate (likely the "E").

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Cole in a Stocking?

Gerrit Cole, who grew up a Yankees fan, is rumored to be heading to New York.

For the past few weeks there have been lots of rumors going around about the former #1 overall pick being traded to the Yankees.  It seems that the Pirates are still trying to get top prospect Gleyber Torres in exchange for two years of the hard throwing righty.

I'm torn about the potential trade.

The team is significantly different than the 97 win 2015 club as the following players are no longer with the Pirates: Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, AJ Burnett, Francisco Liriano, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon.

So far only the Melancon trade has yielded a positive impact to the future of the club as Felipe Rivero is a nasty arm out of the pen.

I don't have much confidence in the team "winning" a trade with the Yankees.

I would rather see Cole pitch every 5th day for the next two years even knowing that the Pirates have ZERO chance to extend him. I saw him make his MLB debut which I will never forget.

Here are some of my Cutch and Cole relic combo cards.

Gerrit has always been one of my favorites and I would hate to see him traded.

I remember meeting him in AAA and was able to get his attention when the Indianapolis Indians were playing the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies AAA affiliate).  He signed maybe about a half dozen balls before the game.
When he turned to sign for me and I tossed the ball to him I asked if he could sign it on the sweet spot.  It never hurts to ask, right?

Cole laughed and said I don't think my agent would like that.

He tossed it back up to me.

I knew then that the Pirates had ZERO chance of signing him past his six years with the Bucs.

That's why I absolutely don't want to see him traded.  He is the Pirates best pitcher since the days of Doug Drabek.  He's consistent and has true top of rotation stuff.

I want Cole to stay with the Pirates for the next two years.

Don't give the Yankees another present this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

New Goal: Chasing 3,000

Hello friends,
Thank you for following this blog and for on average leaving a few comments on every post.  I greatly appreciate the friendships that I have made since becoming more of a PC player collector then collecting everything Pittsburgh.  Save those cards for Matt at BobWalkThePlank.

As you all have learned last week, I have eclipsed my 2,000th unique card of Cutch.  Looking back at the past 8 years of Collecting Cutch I have learned a lot of things about this hobby.  It's best to collect what you want to collect and not go into purchasing things for investment purposes.  Unless you are really good at predicting the future and are in this "hobby" to make money you will most likely fail.  There was a 3 year stretch where McCutchen cards were on fire!  Things were selling for crazy prices.  They have since cooled down because Andrew, the player, hasn't been performing up to the same expectations we as fans put on him after his torrid 2012-2015 seasons when he was a top 5 MVP candidate for 4 years straight, winning the award in 2013.

Andrew, despite his hot and cold stretches is still my favorite player to watch play.  Not just today, but of all time.

I grew up loving baseball.  I had an uncle who was close friends with Ken Caminiti so I got to see up close the Astros teams of early 90s several times a year when they came to Philadelphia (it was the closest stadium to where we lived).  It was the early 90s Pirates, Twins, and Blue Jays teams that I rooted for though.  I thought Barry Bonds was an absolute beast (he was btw).  I would go on to hate the Braves mostly because of my mother rooting for them in 1991.  When the Bucs were eliminated I rooted against the Braves so was cheering on the Twins in the 1991 World Series and the Blue Jays in 1992.  All of those teams, I am still a closet fan of.

The 1994 strike happened and I hated baseball.

I got really into music and began forming my own punk and metal bands.  To curb my nerdy side I got into comic books especially Image Comics.

I still liked to play baseball though with my friends, but I had no idea what was going on with the sport.  Sports as a whole vacated my life.

Barry Bonds insane Home Run season brought me back...for one summer.  I watched the month of September and October.  Then I stopped caring again.

In 2005, I was given free tickets to a Pirates vs. Phillies game by my employer.  This was my first time going to the new ballpark and it was a lot different then the Vet which the Phillies played in for many decades.  Watching the game in person from the outfield bleachers with my dad, brother, and ex girlfriend I fell in love with the sport again.  The sound of the bat, the smell of hotdogs, popcorn, beer, and fresh grass.  The way the sun falls on the field.  It was like heaven on Earth....but it was in Philadelphia.  I hate Philly.  The Pirates lost the game 4-3.

I decided then that I wanted to get back into baseball.  I did some research on who was good and who was bad.  What were the guys I used to root for up to?  Paul Molitor and Kirby Puckett were already enshrined in Cooperstown along with Dave Winfield representing my Twins and Blue Jays love.  Andy Van Slyke was retired?  Barry Bonds was still in San Francisco, but his career was on the twilight.  It was approaching an end.

Pirates are cool!  I thought.  Plus Jerome Bettis made me a Steelers fan.  Let's just go with an all Pittsburgh theme.  My aunt and cousins are just outside Pittsburgh.  Yup.  I'm going to root for the Pirates again.

I researched how bad the team was and how they basically had sucked the entire time I left them back in 1994.  Ok, who is their top prospects?  Well they just drafted this kid Andrew McCutchen out of high school.

Cool.  I'm going to follow his entire career I thought.

And thus it began.  I rooted for the Pirates and my favorite player became Andrew McCutchen.

I got to see the Pirates AA team play against my local minor league team, the Trenton Thunder around the 4th of July and remember him making an awesome catch and almost hitting a HomeRun.  He also beat out an infield single.  The dude could fly.

Now in terms of card collecting, I really didn't get back into that until late 2009 early 2010.  By 2011 I had just a few dozen autograph relics of Cutch.

Six years after starting the Treasure Room blog, I moved on to have quite possibly the biggest and best Andrew McCutchen card collection in the world.  I often battle with a few others on the high end 1/1s and even some of the mid /50 or less cards, but I know my collection kicks ass and have been buying other former collectors out of their collections.

The next K milestone in terms of Collecting Cutch is 3,000.  I am going to slow down a little with all the plain jersey swatch relics, but will still chase down the rarest of cards.  Printing plates will now have a set budget by year that I am willing to spend.  Autographs will always be sought out and I will always pay a premium for on card certified autos.

But as I get nearer to this 3,000 journey, I am reminded of the number 3,000 and what it means to Pirates fans.  It's because of this that I am going to start another.

Join me at Chasing 3,000 my new blog where I will be chasing down my journey to acquire 3,000 Roberto Clemente cards.  I am interested in everything Clemente.

It should be a fun journey.  I suspect it will be decades in the making.  I currently have a few hundred Clemente cards so there is lots more to grab.

As always thank you for reading my cardboard adventures.
Please add my new blog to your blogroll.  I will continue to post on both blogs as daily as possible.

Thank you for your friendship and continued support

Brian aka CollectingCutch

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Christmas message and a Christmas card

I recently purchased a Topps Mini Orange from eBay and it arrived in a bubble mailer.

This wasn't any average bubble mailer though.  On the back it had Acts 2:38 written.

This biblical verse is important to remember why we celebrate the holiday.

Upon review of the actual card I noticed it was a Christmas card.

Sorry Gavin, this one is staying with me.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Santa's coming, I know him!!!! (Daniel drops a Christmas gift on me)

Daniel from It's Like Having my Own Card Shop sent me a very unexpected Christmas present.

Included was a very nice hand drawn card that meant more to me than the gift itself.

In addition to the card he sent me this Gold Clubhouse Collection Relic from 2017 Heritage.

I didn't have this card so I am really happy to add it to the collection.

It didn't stop there.

He also sent me this 2014 Chips that I didn't have.

Thank you so much Daniel.

Merry Christmas to you and your family my friend.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Secret Santa is aMAZing

My secret Santa went the vintage route in delivering me a truly aMAZing gift.

With so much focus on adding new Cutch cards to the collection and really starting to increase the number of my Clemente cards, I have completely neglected my vintage needs.

The beauty of vintage though is that for the most part, the cards will always be available to get.  You don't have to worry about missing out on that silver blue dress variant numbered to /25 copies.  If you collect vintage because of the nostalgia and not about the grades you can always find some great pieces of cardboard.

Kevin of Card Papoy hooked me up with two aMAZing cards that I needed.

Bill Mazeroski was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001 and while many question his validation of being a Hall of Fame player here is some interesting stats.

Only Roberto Alomar and Ryne Sandberg have more gold glove awards at 2B then Maz.

Sports Illustrated ranked the 1960 Walkoff HR in Game 7 of the World Series the 8th greatest moment in All Sports in their top 100 moments in sports history.

Bill James wrote an article in 205 about how elite Maz was on defense.  He truly was in a league of his own.

Now let's get to the cardboard.  Santa surprised me with two Bill Mazeroski cards.

1960 was a pretty memorable year for Maz.

1969 saw Maz on the twilight of his career, but still contributing to the team.

Thank you so much for this great gift Kevin.  I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.