Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday Shopping?

I have no problem shopping on Black Friday nor do I feel any sympathy for those retail workers.  That might sound harsh, but I work in the Supermarket business and every year before Thanksgiving I am working close to 10 days straight of 10-14 hour days with an hour commute each way.  I deserve this, is what I tell myself each year.

Don't get the wrong impression though.

Here's how it usually goes down.  I shop at midnight until about 4am.  Fall asleep and go into a mini coma until it's time to return to work on Sunday.

One thing that I have been enjoying for the past several years is seeing if Andrew McCutchen is in Panini's Black Friday set release.
The 2012 is my favorite of the bunch

With the exception of 2014, Cutch has been in every release since 2012.

I still need a lot of the parallels that I hope to add over the next few months as prices for these are very low right now.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

Here's all my Andrew McCutchen Turkey Red Cards.

2009, 2010
2013, 2014

And the magenta printing plate from 2014

What is everyone doing for Thanksgiving?
I will be devouring plates of food at the misses grandparents' house, watching football, cleaning the dishes, then doing the midnight Black Friday thing (more on that tomorrow).


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Not a specific game relic celebrating a specific game

We all know the story

This relic is not from a specific game

The front of the card celebrates a specific game though.

How could a relic become better?

What if Topps started inserting lineup card relics in their products from specific games?

Topps Now has been very successful with putting base relics for their cards.  Could lineup cards or scorecards or programs be equally successful?

Leave your comments below. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Pair Of Clubhouse Collections

I've been feeling very under the weather lately so I haven't been in the mood to scan any cards in.  Add to the fact that I have been working 12 hour days with an hour commute each way has really made me not have much new things to talk about.

Here's a draft I made a few months ago and never showed off.

Heritage High Number

The Gold is numbered to 99 on the back of the card.  Both swatches feature plain black jersey relics.

Blah

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Check out the ass on this card

I showed off a lot of sexy ladies last month.  Many of them focused on their chests because I was raising awareness for Breast Cancer, one of the nation's largest causes of deaths each year.

I'm not just all about the fronts though.  I also enjoy a good backside like the card you see below.

That's the very tough to find pink/red back from 2016 Archives 69 Supers.

The front is the same

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Cardboard Cameos : The Rocker

Chase d'Arnaud may not be a household name even among baseball fans.  He has bounced around from the Pirates to Phillies to Braves to Red Sox to Padres in his utility bench player career.

When he was drafted by the Pirates he was expected to be the "shortstop of the future."  He was an above average fielder with a bit of pop and a lot of speed.

I got to see Chase win the Eastern League Championship in 2010 as a member of the Altoona Curve.  That was a year after him and the Crawdads had won the A league championship.  He felt like he would help bring winning ways to the Steel City.

Chase made his debut in 2011 and in an interleague matchup against the Red Sox in Pittsburgh, Chase laced a triple off Jon Lester for his first MLB hit.  I thought that Chase would help anchor the infield and get rid of Ronny Cedeno at shortstop.
Injuries and bad plate discipline made Jordy Mercer slide into the "shortstop of the future" and Chase has begun to follow his other dream, music.

His band may one day make him a household name.

For now, he will appear as a Cardboard Cameos for my Collecting Cutch blog.

Here's a video for his song "Sucker"



Friday, November 17, 2017

M-V-P Thoughts

Over the year's Topps has produced some manupatches and manurelics and manupins etc.
This year they decided to make miniature MVP awards in their flagship release.

Of course there are various color parallels to chase too.  So far, I only have the base award though.  The black, red, and gold are still out there for me to chase.

With the MVP awards being handed out last night, there seemed no better time to show off my latest piece of Cutch cardboard.

Many thought that the AL race would be very close, but it was actually the NL race that was extremely close, one of the closest of all time in fact.

I have no problems with who won the awards, but the basis of which they won made me do some head scratching.  Let me clarify and say no disrespectful things to Jose Altuve or Giancarlo Stanton, they are both fantastic athletes and superstars in the league.  Personally though, I think voters got it wrong for who is the Most Valuable.

Stanton seemed to have won the award based on the number of homeruns he hit, but Aaron Judge who posted one of the best All-Time Rookie seasons in the history of the game got very little MVP love, amassing only 3 first place votes.

Altuve who exceeds at all aspects of the game got a lot of admiration and received 27 of the 30 1st place votes.  Nolan Arenado who is this generation's best defensive third baseman and is constantly one of the league leaders in homeruns and RBIs continues to get overshadowed because he plays in Colorado got very little 1st place votes.

Here's how the top 5 MVP vote getters played out and how their teams would have done without them according to WAR on Baseball-Reference page.

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Altuve had 8.3 WAR and the Astros won 99 games.  With Altuve missing from lineup, the Stros still make the playoffs by winning their division.

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees.
Judge amassed 8.1 WAR and the Yankees won 90 games.  Without Judge, the Yankees don't make the playoffs.

The rest of the AL MVP debate wasn't as close as the NL so I am leaving out the likes of Trout, Ramirez, and Lindor.

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Stanton posted monster power numbers, but he did it for a team celebrating their 9th losing season.  Stanton did lead the league in homeruns, but his 77 win Marlins failed to make the playoffs (obviously) despite his 7.6 WAR.  They would still be a non contender without him.

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
The Reds finished with one of the worse records in baseball having lost 92 games.  Votto and his incredible strike zone discipline and above average defense compiled a 7.5 WAR.  He was just one of a handful of qualifying players who had more walks than strikeouts and did it by a +51 rate.  That's mind blowing in today's age where everyone is so prone to the punch out.

Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Goldy might be one of those guys that never wins an MVP award but is always deserving of being in the conversation for one.  Without his 5.8 WAR, the DBacks still make the playoffs.

Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Arenado had 7.2 WAR for the 87 win Rockies.  Without Arenado, the Rox go from being a playoff team to missing the playoffs.

Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
Chuck Nazty and his 6.0 WAR make the Rockies miss the playoffs, but they still post a winning record which is something that can't be said without his teammate Arenado.

There's many things that goes into the MVP voting.  I don't think anyone will ever give a definitive answer to what makes a player most valuable.

How did Clayton Kershaw who appeared in 16% of the games and only impacted less than 13% of the innings played for the 2014 Dodgers win an MVP award?  Was he dominant for those 13% of the Dodgers innings?  Yup.  Was the other 87% of the Dodgers season that meaningless in comparison to what Kershaw did?   Probably not.

Why wasn't Carlos Correa or Mike Trout who both missed large amounts of time, but still posted above 6.2 WAR each considered more heavily for what they were able to accomplish in a short period of time?  Are they not Valuable to their teams?

I showed this card off after the Astros won the World Series.  This card officially features four MVP award winners now.

Above is another parallel that I have and below is the back.

What are your thoughts on the MVP?
Did the voters get it right?

Personally I would give the awards to Judge and Arenado.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Researching the Image

One of my favorite features on here is to highlight #tbt cards, cards that feature Cutch wearing older uniforms.

In 2012 Topps released a photo variant for card #497. It featured Cutch and the Pirate Parrot doing a little batting practice before the game.  Cutch was dressed in the old Negro League uniform of the Homestead Grays famously worn by Hall of Fame legend, Josh Gibson aka "The Black Babe Ruth".

After some quick researched I determined that the card's photo is from a July 23rd 2011 game between the Cardinals at Pirates.  The Cardinals would go on to win the game 9-1 according to Baseball Reference.  All the pregame wiffleball batting practice didn't do him much good as he went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts.  There wasn't much to cheer for in the game as Brandon Wood knocked in the Pirates lone run.  Rookie Tony Watson pitched 3 scoreless frames in relief of All-Star Kevin Correia who gave up 7 earned runs in the first 4 innings.

It sure is fun to go back and research some old boxscores.  Ronny Cedeno batted second that day and Joe Beimel got the final out to avoid the Cardinals from putting up double digits.

Have you ever researched the games that appear on the cardboard you collect?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ho Hum, a graded 1/1

I picked up the final card to my 2016 National Bowman Chrome pack redemption rainbow.

For $88 I was able to secure this 1/1 which looks like a prism refractor and x-fractor had a baby that is actually a black refractor.

Details about the redemption pack program can be found here.

It is my 168th numbered 1/1

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Beltran vs. Cutch: A Cardboard Comparison

Carlos Beltran, a twenty year veteran announced his retirement yesterday.  He finished his career with 2,725 hits over 1,500 RBI and Runs, 435 HR, and 312 Stolen Bases.  He is just the 4th switch hitter with over 400 HRs and 5th player to be a member of the 400/300 club.  He won 3 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Slugger awards.  He won the Rookie of the Year award and also was the recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award.  He never finished in the top 5 for MVP voting, but did receive votes over his years.

Andrew McCutchen was on a Hall of Fame career path before falling off slightly in 2016.  With 9 years in his career by age 30 season let's compare Cutch's career to Beltran's through their age 30 seasons as you will see Cutch and Beltran's careers through age 30 are very similar.

Beltran had 10 years as an official big leaguer on the back of his baseball card by age 30 compared to Cutch's 9.

Games played
Beltran 1,320
Cutch 1,346
Cutch has been more durable throughout his career thus far then Beltran was.

At Bats
Beltran 5,113
Cutch 5,033
With less games played Beltran had more at bats.  This mainly is because of Cutch's plate discipline to take a walk.

Hits
Beltran 1,433
Cutch 1,463
Fewer ABs and more Hits lead Cutch to have a higher batting average .291 vs .286

Doubles
Beltran 278
Cutch 292
Cutch has the slight advantage with singles and doubles.

Triples
Beltran 58
Cutch 44
Beltran has a bigger advantage here

Homeruns
Beltran 236
Cutch 203
Beltran hit more homeruns by age 30 and would go on to hit another 199 before he chose to retire.

Stolen Bases
Beltran 250
Cutch 171
Beltran was a member of the 30-30 club and would go on to steal double digits bags through his mid 30s.

Walks
Beltran 591
Cutch 685
Cutch is the better hitter in terms of plate discipline.  It's also because he has been in lineups that don't have much protection around him.

OBP/Slugging/OPS
Beltran .354/.496/.850
Cutch .379/.487/.866
Very similar stats here folks.  Beltran has slightly more slugging, but Cutch has the higher on base percentage leading to a higher OPS.

As you can see Cutch's career path to this point is very similar to the (potential) future Hall of Famer Carlos Beltran.

In the 2013 All-Star game Cutch came in to pinch run for Carlos Beltran.  As Beltran left CitiField (a place he called home for nearly a decade) he received a standing ovation.

Cutch quickly took aim to leave his mark on the city by stealing second base.

With Beltran's playing career now over, do you think he makes it in the Hall of Fame during his 10 year limit on the ballot?


Monday, November 13, 2017

A PC in a PC

I don't put much emphasis on Collecting Cutch jersey numbered cards (22/xx) but whenever I get one it makes me feel a sense of accomplishment more than just a random 62/99 card.

Here's my latest 22/XX card.

2017 Bowman Platinum Orange numbered 22/25.

I have only 2 of these Bowman Platinum cards this year.  The back looks like something I read before.

That's not possible though, is it Topps?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Oops I forgot about you

Back on July 30th, Cutch hit his 3rd three homer game of his career.  I highlighted a Topps SP photo variant where Cutch was carrying 3 bats in the Oakland A's dugout.

The feat got the Topps Now treatment and I received the card middle of August.

I completely forgot to show it off.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

I got a Fathead

The title of this post isn't deceiving.

I have a big dome.

My fitted caps are 7 3/4.  That's a fathead.

This is a fathead too.

Check out the back of this 2011 5X7 Fathead Tradeables.

It has the Florida Marlins, not Miami Marlins.
It also has the defending World Series Champs in the National League.

Friday, November 10, 2017

No Tits, Just Hits


In case you missed it, for the entire month of October I showed off only pink (and magenta) parallels.  I didn't even show off ALL the pink parallels I have.

Thanks again everyone for supporting the blog over the past month as I showed off exclusively my pink/magenta cards of the Pirates centerfielder while trying to bring awareness of the terrible disease of breast cancer.

Throughout the month of October I had a COMC order arrive in addition to many eBay purchases.  It will take me some time to post them all so I will start us out with this.

Here's a fairly recent pickup, 2012 Tribute Orange /25 autograph.  This puts me over 130 unique autograph cards of Cutch.


I will be doing a recap of all the pink cards (including the ones I didn't show off) next week, but wanted to get back on track with the blog.  I am looking for 5 names to appear on that post that didn't appear as part of my Save The Boobies event.  Jennifer Love Hewitt has already been selected as one of the candidates.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

A New Cornerstone in the Collection 1/1 Auto & Button

I love bad puns

Hits Memorabilia released one of their latest series, Cornerstones, and they have made some even more beautiful cards.

The latest 1/1 for my collection features a button from a 2016 Spring Training Game that he hit a HomeRun in addition to a Panini sticker autograph.

The card is encapsulated in a One touch for protection along with a tamper proof sticker on top.

There have been awesome looking Hits Memorabilia cards released with Cutch, but unfortunately like Topps they all feature the same image of Cutch's back to avoid copyright infringements.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cutch: Ragnarok!

I have always been interested in Norse mythology.  I think it started when I went to Epcot as a kid and got to ride the Viking ship.  The part of the ride that suddenly goes backward was so much fun when I was just 11 years old.

I bring this up because Thor: Ragnarok was released over the weekend!!!!  I'm a huge Marvel Cinema fan and am really looking forward to this movie, which I am on my way to see soon.

Let's take a look at some of the key characters from Ragnarok and see if I have any Cutch cards that can tie into the movie.

Thor, God of Thunder

This was a no brainer.  This 2013 Select Thunder Alley (and all the color parallels) lends itself perfectly to the main character.  I showed it off last Friday so it may look familiar.

Hulk

When you think of the Incredible Hulk there are probably two words that come to mind, "Hulk SMASH!!!". The Hulk is green just like this 2015 Donruss Dominator insert numbered to 999.

Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme

The Sorcerer Supreme is a master of the mystic arts.  Conjuring up a variety of astral images, the Doctor is clearly into Illusions, just like these 2016 Optic Illusions inserts and parallels.

Loki

The step brother to Thor, Loki is a shape shifter that is known to cause mischief and havoc while being very manipulative.  I was trying to find a card where Cutch was up to some mischief.  This 2012 Topps photo variant looks like Cutch and the Parrot are up to no good in the outfield.

Thor Clone aka Ragnarok

The Thor Clone will be appearing in Thor: Ragnarok as one of the featured villains.  There's a circuit board design in 2015 Topps Tek that features a really cool background that's perfect for the villain.

Lady Sif

One of the greatest female warriors in the Marvel Universe, Lady Sif knows how to swing a sword to defeat her enemies.  This 2012 Bowman Cutting Edge Stars has the same razor sharp edges as the Asgardian Warrior.

Valkyrie

Also known as Brunnhilde, Valkyrie was selected by Lord Odin to lead the Valkyrior.  The sword wielding warrior is like a Marshall for the Asgards.  I've shown this Diamond Marshall before, but it represents her role nicely.

Hela

When you think of Hell, you likely have images of fire and pain.  I have a few readers that have sent me some 2017 Topps Fire cards in the mail, but for now I am going to just show off the insert from last year's Update Series insert.

Thanks everyone for checking out my Cutch cards and how I see them relating to some of the key characters from Thor: Ragnarok.

I encourage anyone to do a post featuring a card and try to make it have some Thor: Ragnarok tie ins.  Please no spoilers about the movie here though.  I won't be seeing it until tonight.



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I thought I lost you...

A little over a month ago I showed off my Allen & Ginter Full Size Relics from the 2017 release.  Cutch has 2 versions this year highlighted in back by the numbering FSRA and FSRB for Full Size Relic A and Full Size Relic B.  Amongst the two different pictures used were various different swatches used for each relic.

These relics tend to sell much cheaper than the mini framed relics so I decided to seek out the different jersey swatches of both the A and B versions.

I completed the "A" set by grabbing a Home White, Black Alternative, and Road Grey (with pinstripe from a Throwback jersey)


The "B" set has been a little bit trickier to track down.  I had ordered a white swatch from a seller and it appeared to be on it's way until it was "misplaced" at a post office.  The item was purchased for $3.99 at the end of July and arrived mid October.  Fortunately the seller was cool by mid August and just refunded me my money saying for $4 it's not worth the hassle with the post office and eBay.  When the item finally arrived I asked him if he wanted me to repay for the card to which he said "No.  It shouldn't have taken that long to get to you."

I feel slightly blessed that the seller was so cool about it and let me keep the card.


Monday, November 6, 2017

The Cardboard Insider: Acker v Hassey

I love the old backs of cards that have trivia questions on them.  Topps Archives and Heritage both have been doing a good job of staying true to the designs of yesteryear.  Sometimes I will research the names on the backs of cards that may not be household names and provide some quick inside information on the players referenced.  This segment is called The Cardboard Insider and was named by Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown.

Andrew McCutchen received a 1985 design in 2013 Archives.  You may recall I showed this card off when I did a showcase of all the cards made of Cutch from designs beginning with my birth year.


The card is numbered 101 which originally belonged to Jim Acker, pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.  Acker would go on to have a ten year career with the Blue Jays, Braves, and Mariners.  He was on three American League East division winners while a member of the Blue Jays.


The back of Cutch's card also has a trivia question.

"Who is the only player to catch 2 perfect games"?

With less than 25 perfect games recorded in the history of the game, one would have to have caught for a long career.  If Ron Hassey was the first person that came to mind, congratulations your baseball trivia knowledge is MIND BLOWING!!!!

Ron Hassey who also had a card in the 1985 Topps set is the only catcher to have caught two perfect games.  The first was caught in 1981 for Len Barker's perfect game and the second was Dennis "El President" Martinez's perfect game in 1991.  Hassey was a member of the 1989 Oakland A's World Series Championship team.  He finished his 14 year career batting .266 and 71 HRs.


Now after researching the 1985's original card number (Jim Acker) and the card's trivia question answer (Ron Hassey), the next question is did these two Insiders ever battle on the baseball field.

After researching Baseball-Reference we learn that Hassey stepped to the plate 7 times versus Acker.  It yielded a .500/.429/1.000 slash line good for an OPS of 1.429!!!!!  Hassey had a HomeRun and sacrifice fly in those 7 plate appearances, amassing 5 RBIs in only 6 at bats (remember sac flies don't count as a AB).

Small sample size or not, Hassey owned Acker.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of the Cardboard Insider where I take a random Andrew McCutchen card and research some of the names on the back.

The Acker and Hassey 1985 cards were taken from COMC images.  I do not own those cards, but was using the images for this Cardboard Insider segment.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Six Degrees of Bacon

I'm sure some of you know the game six degrees of separation and some may have even played six degrees of Kevin Bacon, which is to take any random person and try to connect it to Kevin Bacon.

Well, I thought I would start a blog bataround where we can try to connect some of our favorite players to Kevin Bacon.

I had a lot of fun doing the research for this one.
There is a website called The Oracle of Bacon which will do the work for you and only use movies.  I prefer the old school IMDB method of looking at different actors/actresses.

So without further Ado here we go.

We begin with my favorite player, Andrew McCutchen

Who is a teammate of Sean Rodriguez from 2015-2017

FIRST DEGREE

Who was teammate with Johnny Damon in Tampa Bay (2012)

SECOND DEGREE

Who appeared multiple times in the movie Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore

THIRD DEGREE

Who was in Whip It with Ellen Page

FOURTH DEGREE

Who starred in X-Men:Days of Future Past with Jennifer Lawrence

FIFTH DEGREE


Who appeared in X-Men: First Class with Kevin Bacon

THAT'S THE SIXTH DEGREE


Now time to celebrate!!!

Why don't you join us, Serpico?

On a side note, he's only a marginal player, but I love cheering for Sean Rodriguez.