Sunday, April 30, 2017

Smooth as Silk

Topps has recently done away with their silk collection cards in the flagship release.

This has caused me to start to grab the Allen & Ginter Silk collection cards from older releases.

This is all the Silk cards I have.

2010-2014 Topps

2015 - 2016 Allen & Ginter

I will be looking to add other Silk cards as I come across them, but am placing them fairly low on the want list.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Time to panic?

I am getting tired of people saying trade Cutch and bring up the Meadows kid.
Austin Meadows as hopeful as we can be of him is no more than a Nate McLouth clone.
Andrew's hardware and pedigree should speak for itself, but if you need some we go....

Andrew is often a "slow starter" as his April career numbers will show.  He is currently hitting .263/.333/.438 with 3 HR and 12 RBI.

In 2012 he didn't hit his 1st HR until May 8th.  He would go on to hit 31 that season and finish second place for the batting title.

In 2013 Cutch was batting .217/.284/.370 and only 2 HR.  He would go on to win the MVP that year.

In 2014, the Pirates had the 3rd worse record in baseball at this time.  They would go on to have the 3rd BEST records in the National League.

The not so distant past shows that the Pirates and Cutch will be ok this year.

I am not panicking!

I bring up the term panic because as card companies often fail to guarantee their items from being any particular game, season, or event Hits Memorabilia has an online vault you can see the materials used to create the cards. This reduces the panic.

I have been adding a few of the Hits Memorabilia cards recently because even though they are unlicensed they have some beautiful looking cards that often times sell for significantly less than Topps or Panini releases.

Here are 2 more examples of Hits Memorabilia Mint.

Sweet looking, right?

As I mentioned in a previous post these card's jersey were used in a 2016 Spring Training game vs the Rays when Cutch hit his 1st HR of the year.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A New Contest: The Top 10 Cards in my PC

I am doing another contest.  Congrats to defgav on winning the last contest and dubbing "The Cardboard Insider" segment which I will spotlight next week.

This is going to be an easy and fun one.

Show off your 10 favorite cards of your favorite player and mention/link my blog in your post.  The contest will end May 30th.
Everyone that participates will get entered for a selection.  The prizes are all very nice and will be displayed at the end of this post.  Additional rules will appear below also.

Without further ado, here's my top 10 in order.
#10 2013 Dual Relic/Dual Autograph Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen
This card just doesn't pop up for sale very often although there is one on eBay right now in the $350 range.  2013 was a great season for the Pirates.  They broke the streak of 20 losing seasons and made the playoffs.  Cutch and Cole were a large part of the reason the team was so successful.  They were both going to be the future of the franchise as Cutch had just signed a very team friendly deal to stay in Pittsburgh through 2018 (if the options were picked up).  Gerrit Cole when pitching right is one of the best NL pitchers.  Together they are my favorite players of this millennium to wear a Buccos uniform.  I have other Cutch and Cole cards and some may be more expensive, but this is my favorite because of it's release date and the joys I had rooting for the Pirates during that 2013 season.

#9: 2013 Triple Threads Booklet
Ask any kid growing up in the 90s who their top 5 favorite baseball players are and Ken Griffey Jr is sure to be on that list.  No one disliked "the Kid." Cutch has stated in numerous interviews that Griffey was his favorite player growing up also.  Having 2 Hall of Famers, bats from Kemp and Bo, and 2 great looking patches for Bryce and Cutch make this booklet one of my favorites.  Only 3 exist and there are plenty of Harper, Griffey, and Bo fans that can be jealous that I own this one.

#8: Gypsy Queen Adam Jones and Andrew McCutchen Dual Button
I mentioned a few weeks ago that this card was easily in my top 10.  After looking at all my cool Cutch cards, I realized "I got a lot of cool Cutch cards."  Adam Jones is one of my nonPirates favorites so that definitely helps this card break the top 10.

#7: 2015 Topps Triple Threads All-Star Game Sleeve Patch 1/1
I realize this should be higher and maybe I am putting emotional significance on the top 5 higher, even though this card is just absolutely sick looking.  It's my list though and in terms of cards I would say that since each year Topps Triple Threads seem to do something like this, it doesn't hold the same WOW factor to me as it probably should.  It was Cutch's 4th All-Star Game.  He didn't win an MVP during that year (finished 3rd though).  It's a great looking card and looks incredible in the custom case I got for it, but the others mean more to me.

#6: 2009 Bowman Chrome Superfractor 1/1
There's going be nothing but 1/1s from here on.  When it comes to collecting Bowman cards, there's 2 kinds that people collect: a player's 1st Bowman Card (often found in Bowman Draft) and the player's Rookie Card.  The little RC logo adds a lot to the desirability of a player.  A 2005 Bowman Chrome Superfractor would be another Holy Grail card for me, but for now this Bowman Chrome beats all other 6 Superfractor in my collection for top parallel.

#5: 2012 Triple Threads All-Star Game Laundry Tag 1/1 booklet
Cutch's first All-Star Game was in 2011 at Arizona.  He was a replacement for Carlos Beltran.  He only got one plate appearance which was a check swing groundout to the pitcher.  Regardless of his performance in the game, this workout jersey is still from his 1st All-Star Game.

Note: I also have his laundry tag booklet card from 2015 Triple Threads for his 2014 All-Star Game (the first game he started)

#4 2005 Topps Chrome Cyan Printing Plate Autograph 1/1
I was able to grab this from someone that pulled it in 2014.  It was my 500th card of Cutch.  I am now near 1,700.  That shows how much of my collection has changed so that I could solely focus on Cutch.

#3: 2016 Immaculate Bat Knob 1/1
Unlicensed or not.  This was one of my favorite cards I got so far this year.  Featuring a bat knob that was PSA authenticated before Panini got it, it's a sense of relief to be able to verify the authenticity of the card.

It took awhile for my favorite product to get featured, but Allen & Ginter finally makes an appearance.  Combining a Cutch bat barrel nameplate and a Pedro Alvarez jersey nameplate, this 1/1 booklet was one of my first big cards I ever purchased.

#1: 2016 Allen & Ginter 1/1 Box Topper Nameplate
Quite literally one of the biggest cards I own, this massive and beautiful designed card shows the first part of McCutchen's nameplate from a home white jersey.

So there's my top 10 cards.
How do you like the way I ranked them? Would you rank them differently?

Honorable mentions (the just missed list):
Any of my 3 MLB Logoman cards

Any of my 3 Majestic Logo Cards

A pair of Autograph/Patch Booklets from Allen & Ginter that form the "P" on the alternate black uniform.

Any of these Superfractors could have earned a top spot, but the saying Chrome is King refers to Bowman, sorry random Topps products.

Triple Threads All-Star Game Patch cards /9 for each of Cutch's All-Star Games (so far)

How about this 1/1 Triple Threads Team Logo card with Jung Ho Kang and Gerrit Cole?  If it were not for Jung Ho's reckless behavior this card would have made the Top 10.  As more and more is becoming known about his character and actions, it is becoming harder for me to root for the guy.  Had this card been just Cutch and Cole it would have made the Top 10.  Need proof, go back to the top and see #10 for my reasons.

Now...onto the contest.

1)Leave a comment below with your link mentioning this contest and show off your 10 favorite cards of your favorite player.  They don't have to be mega hits.  You can like a card for it's photography, the joy of getting that card as a gift, whatever the's your list.


2) All participants will receive tbeir blog entered into as a result of participating.
Assuming there are at least 5 people who show off their top 10 here is the prize for the result winner

1-A Craig Biggio Topps Dynasty autograph/patch card.

All other participants will receive one of the following cards

If less than 5 people participate, the Biggio will not be randomed off and I will just send you ONE of the above cards for participating.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Trade With It's Like Having My Own Card Shop

I will admit, I am difficult to trade with since changing my focus to solely be on Andrew McCutchen.  I have a lot of cards of Cutch, nearly 1700 unique cards.

Every now and then though someone will find a base card I still need or best case scenario, a low numbered Cutch.

Daniel came through in the clutch by getting me a Clutch Cutch.

Numbered 14/25, this 2016 Stadium Club celebrates Cutch's walk-off HomeRun against the Cardinals just before the All-Star break in 2015.  If I had to rank it amongst my favorite games of the McCutchen era, it would be my second favorite game only trailing the 2013 Wild Card Game victory.

This card is Clutch!!!  I had the base, but not the gold /25 version.

Thank you so much Daniel.  I hope you enjoyed your cards I sent in return.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 26: This Day in Cutchstory

A year ago today, Cutch blasted three HomeRuns to help the Pirates beat the Rockies 9-4.

Here's the Topps Now card from last year highlighting the feat

And here are some other cards that mention Cutch joining Hall of Fame Pirates Alumni Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, and Ralph Kiner as the only Pirates to ever accomplish the feat.

To say Cutch isn't one of the greatest Pirates ever would be a huge injustice to the career of Cutch.  He made baseball relevant again in Pittsburgh.  Sure players like Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, AJ Burnett, Francisco Liriano, and Russell Martin all helped, but it was Cutch who was a top 10 player in the league for a 4+ year stretch that made them become a playoff team.

Let's hope he can get his form back and lead this team to a playoff push.  The team has been in almost every game this year, only getting beat badly once.

The starting pitching has been strong and the bullpen despite giving me minor heart attacks has done it's job. The offense needs to take a step forward to remain relevant though.  The Pirates were 5 games under .500 on this date in 2014.  They went on to be a playoff team.  It has happened before.  It can happen again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A 1/1 Signature

Having nearly 1,700 unique cards of Cutch I am now looking for any inscription cards that appear to be different than other autographed cards by the former MVP winner.

I have been slowly buying another collector's Cutch inventory.  This was one of the main cards I was interested in.

It's not numbered but an inscription like that makes me think that not many are out there like this.  Only one has popped up for sale in the past 5 years and it was sold to the guy I bought this from.

The back is exactly the same as the standard autographed version.
After the embarassing game yesterday, the Bucs could use some cheering.

Let's Go Bucs!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Clemente vs Cutch Heritage comparison Pt 1

Over the years, Topps has used Heritage to bring the current stars of the game on designs from the past.

Cutch has appeared using the same numbering as Pirates Legend Roberto Clemente a handful of times.

I want to preface these segments and state that I do not believe that a single season of Cutch can take away from the greatness of Roberto Clemente's life or his baseball career.

Each of these Heritage comparisons will take a look at a card of Cutch and compare it to the design's original numbered card.

I am going to start with the 2014 Heritage release because of all the parallels I have.
The 2014 Heritage card release is based on the 1965 design.

Cutch's 2014 Heritage card is numbered 160 the same as Pirates Legend and Hall of Famer, Roberto Clemente.

To pay homage to the original Clemente Topps even made a super short print error variant to recognize the misspelling of Pittsburgh (Pittsburfh) on the back.

As will be customary for these Heritage Comparisons I will take a look at the standard counting stats typically found on the back of a baseball card for the players previous year.

Slash Lines
Clemente in 1964 went .339/.388/.484 for an .872 OPS
Cutch in 2013 went .317/.404/.508 for .952 OPS
Advantage Cutch

Plate Discipline
Clemente had a 1.70 K:BB rate (87:51) during his 2nd batting title run in 1964
Cutch's MVP season showed one of his best career rates when he had 1.29 K:BB (101:78)
Advantage Cutch

Extra Base Hits (XBH)
Clemente had 40 doubles, 7 triples, and 12 HR in 1964
Cutch had 38 doubles, 5 triples, and 21 round trippers
59 v 64
Slight advantage Cutch

Runs Scored and Runs Batted In
Runs scored and RBI are based on who hits in front of you and who hits behind you.
Clemente scored 95 runs and drove in 87 in 1964.
Cutch scored 97 runs and knocked in 84.
It was almost a draw (182 v 181), but a
very slight Advantage goes to Clemente

Hardware and awards
Clemente won his 2nd Batting Title, 4th straight Gold Glove, and was elected an All-Star
Cutch won the MVP award, his 2nd straight Silver Slugger, and was elected an All-Star
Advantage Cutch

I hope you enjoyed the comparisons made based on the Heritage and original design numbering.  I will continue to do these segments if there is enough interest in them.

Now I will show off the parallels I have for all my 2014 Heritage cards.

First up are the black retail exclusive border with the black chrome /65 border below it.

Now from top row Base & Logo Variation
Middle Row Chrome & Purple Chrome
Bottom Row WalMart Blue & Pittsburfh back

The only variations I need are Superfractor 1/1, Gold Chrome /5, Refractor Chrome /565, and Topps Vault Blank Back 1/1,

Please let meknow what you think of these segments.  Are they are a cool and fun idea to look at cardboard?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

An oddball is added

Herodecks offers fun caricature designed playing cards of your favorite athletes, celebrities, etc.

I was given Steelers and Penguins ones for Christmas a few years back, but my true sports love is the Pirates and baseball.  Thanks to some eBay bucks I still had, I decided to finally grab the Pirates one.

The cover features 3 very memorable outfielders of the Bucs.

Inside, the playing card suits are broken down by the eras they played.

Cutch and the millenium Pirates (2000-current) are spades.

Some of the other eras you can figure out by looking at a few of the cards below.

Sorry Matt, no one can draw Bob Walk.  His majestic look is no match for card games.

The Poison brothers and the Pittsburgh Poison Takers can be seen below.

If you are into oddball cards, look at these hero decks to add to your collection.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Derek Jeter!

Being a New Jersey native, I have had the pleasure of seeing future Hall of Famer play a few times.  I recently saw that Bald Vinny, key contributor to the Bleacher Creatures in New York is getting an autograph card when Archives hits.  I don't like that at all.  I bring this up because everytime I hear Derek Jeter's name I think of those chants at Yankee stadium.

Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter

The Pirates have a home series against the New York Yankees this weekend that I hope they can win.

I don't have any dual autos or relics of Cutch with current Yankees players (besides a Jacoby Ellsbury in a Red Sox uni quad relic with Cutch, Jones, and Trout) so I am forced to show off a card I recently snagged off eBay.

It's the Derek Jeter 2015 Prizm parallel.  These are insanely hard to come across.  As a matter of fact, only the Jordan Zimmerman, Cole Hammels, and Dee Gordon ones are for sale on eBay and COMC as I type this.

Mine is numbered 1/2 and I know who has 2/2.  I won't ever be able to get that away from him though as he also has the Black Infinite 1/1 to complete the rainbow.