Friday, June 30, 2017

Heritage Comparisons: Clemente v Cutch pt2

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 Roberto Clemente a handful of times.

You can view the first Heritage Comparison of Cutch and Clemente here.

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.

The 2011 Heritage card release is based on the 1962 design.

Cutch's 2011 Heritage card is numbered 10 the same as Pirates Legend and Hall of Famer, Roberto Clemente.

Oddly enough, the card backs were printed flipped differently than the original 1962 backs.

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.

Slash Lines
Clemente in 1961 went .351/.390/.539 for a .949 OPS
Cutch in 2010 went .286/.365/.449 for an .814 OPS
Advantage Clemente

Plate Discipline
Clemente had a 1.68 K:BB rate (59:35) during his 1st batting title run in 1961
Cutch's 2010 season showed a 1.27K:BB (89:70)
Advantage Cutch

Extra Base Hits (XBH)
Clemente had 30 doubles, 10 triples, and 23 HR in 1961
Cutch had 35 doubles, 5 triples, and 16 round trippers
63 v 56
advantage Clemente

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 100 runs and drove in 89 in 1961
Cutch scored 94 runs and knocked in 56
Advantage Clemente

Stolen Bases
Cutch's main advantage over Clemente was in Stolen Bases 33 to 4
Advantage Cutch

Hardware and awards
Clemente won his 1st Batting Title, 1st Gold Glove, and was elected an All-Star
Cutch had no hardware victories in 2010
Advantage Clemente 

4 to 2

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.

To close out here are my 4 parallels of the 2011 Heritage card I own.

Chrome Refractor, Chrome
Retail Black border, Green border chrome

Thursday, June 29, 2017

#tbt No Sleeves and Pinstripes

The Pirates have always been uniform innovative leaders.

They were the first team to wear an emblem of the team's nickname.

They were the first team to wear double knit fabrics and one of the first team's to wear sleeveless uniforms (2nd behind the Reds).

They would go on to reintroduce the sleeveless look in 2001 until 2010.

Here are my 2010 Bowman paper parallels showing off some 2009 images of Cutch wearing the pinstripe sleeveless uniform.

The back of the card

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

This Day In Cutchstory: June 28th

Elvis came to the building and then he left quickly.

If you read the back of this card, you will come to one of the following conclusions.
1)The Pirates didn't play many interleague games on the road between 2009 to June 2011
2)The Pirates were a bad baseball team during that span.

If you chose number 1, I encourage you to look at the Pirates 2010 season.  Wow!!!! That seems so far in the distant past that they were relying on Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby, Andy Laroche, Paul Maholm, and Sean Gallagher.

When this card first became available it was Alex Presley's only certified autograph.  He was a rookie still in 2011, making his debut at the age of 24 the season prior as a September callup.

It was very fun watching him play his first few months in the league though because quite frankly the team wasn't very good.

To my knowledge this is the only pairing of Cutch and Presley on cardboard in autograph form.

Presley was a key piece of the trade that landed the Pirates Justin Morneau from the Twins in their magical 2013 post season.  Since being traded to the Twins he has also played for the Astros, Brewers, and Tigers.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Teach Me How to APBA

No, the title of this post is not some new hiphop dance moove sweeping the nation by storm.  Instead it's about a card game that I recently discovered existed, but seems like something I would love to get involved with.

APBA is a cardgame that as far as I can tell challenges participants to play as a team from one era vs a team from another era.  Want to know who could be the Murder's Row Yankees?  Want to pit them against the 1990 Reds Nasty Boys bullpen?  Do it!

I picked up a teamset of the 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates for $3 and have absolutely no clue what I am looking at.

This is the player card.

This is the back.

Here are some cards with players nicknames on them
Jared was only a nickname?  I never knew that
I honestly have never heard Francisco Cervelli called Gazoo before.  #themoreyouknow

Anyone know how to play this game?
Where can I get other team sets?  I would love to grab the Pirates team sets for 2009 to 2015 so I can add the Cutch cards.

Monday, June 26, 2017

"M" I ever going to get updated?

Here's a card I have had scanned for close to 8 months.

And yet I never got a post for it.

This lead me to ask the question, "M" I ever going to get my entire Cutch collection updated for all to see?


Happy MonPunday everyone!!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

My Newest Hit

I've shown a few Hits Memorabilia cards in the past.  Some are huge patches like these letter patches from Hits Mint.
Some are tiny pieces of fabric with other superstar outfielders like Trout, Griffey, and Harper.

This is my first triple patch combo of Cutch and it's from 2017 Accolades.

It looks like an offspring of Topps Triple Threads and Topps Supreme.  I like the bold 2013 NL MVP with the 3 patch pieces.  If this were a licensed product, it would likely run in the $100 range.  Because it's not licensed it cost only $27 (best offer submitted)

I'll gladly pay that for a nice piece of cardboard.

It's super low  numbered too.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Best 99 cent auction I ever won

I am always looking to add more Cutch cards to the collection.  Since his 2009 debut I have been focusing more and more of my collection on him.

Now that I consider myself a supercollector of him  (over 1,700 unique cards) I am having difficulty tracking down some of his older cards (2010 and earlier).  

When I saw a 2 card lot hit ebay with an incorrect title for a single card I needed I played the 99 cent gamble, hoping the card pictured was included.

It was listed in the description properly, but the title was wrong.

I'm not sure if it was the compressed auction window, the bad title, a bad picture, or the fact that Cutch was struggling to hit above .200 but for me to win this 2009 Topps Unique Gold /25 for only 99 cents!!!! is a huge victory for my ongoing Cutch quest.

Behold the beauty of this rookie card.

Pretty sweet score, huh?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ho Hum, another 1/1

A few weeks back I showed off a pair of Topps Vault Blank Back cards and AJ from the Lost Collector made a comment that really put my Cutch Collection in perspective.

I added my 1/1 to the collection the other day.  It's a Red Parallel for Topps Bunt Infinite.

I had shown off a few of the other color parallels just a few days ago.

Here's the others

While it is nice to add another 1/1 it is just another color parallel that looks great with its brothers.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Allegheny Armada

For the past few years the Pirates have had some unique team cards in the flagship release.  From River City Rakers to Pirates Mateys to this year's card "The Alleghany Armada"

Picturing the new dreaded hero of the team, John Jaso, with the former dreaded hero, Andrew McCutchen, this card has some bash brother vibes to it.

So far I have the Vintage Stock/logo and Mothers Day parallel, but am hoping to add many more.  I need help adding the other parallels.

It will be very interesting to see how the Pirates perform over the next month.  They are just a few games back of winning the division, despite a sub .500 record.  Cutch has been playing out of his mind since moving to the 6 hole late May.  He's batting over .400 with over 20 runs and 25 RBI with 8 HR since then.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Flagship Logos

Cutch had his official Rookie Card in 2009 Topps despite having a draft prospect card in 2005.  Since his 2009 Flagship debut, Topps has mostly kept with the "P" Pittsburgh logo.  However in 2011 and 2012 the team was represented with the Jolly Roger logo.

You can see them below

Cutch will appear in Series 2, but I don't have a base yet.

Even though Cutch has 5 All Star cards and League Leaders cards I decided to only show 1 card each year.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bunting Colors

My good friend AJ from The Lost Collector sent me a PWE with 2 Cutch cards I didn't have.  I was already in the process of adding the color parallels to the PC.

Here's the rest of my Bunt cards for 2017
Up first the Infinite insert

The back

Now for the base set

This is how I like my color parallels.  Bold and in your face color variations.  You don't have to squint to see if this is Ice or Lava or Blue or Amethyst parallel.  It is clear these are different from  each other.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Who's Your (Craw)Daddy?

I love when I come across Cutch minor league cards.
I love when I come across rarer parallels even more.
I love my father even more than all the baseball cards I own.
Today is a day of love for our fathers.

Let's celebrate with a low numbered Cutch in a CrawDAD uniform.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there....even the crawdads

Saturday, June 17, 2017

This Day In Cutchstory: 1st MLB HR

I wonder if Andrew took a few jabs at Francisco Liriano when he signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent during the winter of 2012.

If I was him I probably would have said something about "Welcome to Pittsburgh.  Thanks for letting me get my 1st Homerun off you"

Andrew is a bigger and better person than me so I doubt that happened.

Anyway today is the 8th anniversary of Cutch's 1st HR.

I am still in search of an actual ticket for that game, but I have these for now.

A manurelic

And 3 parallels

And here is the back

Friday, June 16, 2017

And All The Diamond Kings men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again

First up, the following zip codes should be receiving prizes from me within a day or few for the Top 10 contest I held.
85338,11572, 49002, 83651, 84043, 62450, 55110, 80020

The next wave will go out either Saturday or Tuesday.

Anyone remember that commercial a few years back where Cutch met Humpty Dumpty in the outfield?

I remembered it when I added my 5th parallel of the 2014 Donruss Diamond Kings insert.  And all the kings men...

I now have the following parallels
Single Season Stat, Career Stat, Base
GOLD press proof, Silver Press Proof

Here's the back for a recap

I miss when Cutch used to have a bunch of national commercials.
Some others included his 2013 The Show, #THIS (walkoff HR), #THIS (giving kids in San Diego souvenir), Plunder the Lox Sportscenter, I Play For October, and so many more.

Cutch has been swinging a very hot bat since moving down in the lineup to the 6 hole.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

P > E

Back when I got my first job I had to wear a full length apron with the symbols and letters "P > E".  It stood for Performance is greater than Expectation.  It was drilled into our heads that if you expect to do great things you will.  It was also said that if you expect to fail, you will fail.

During Cutch's sophomore year, Bowman released an insert set called Bowman Expectations.  It paired prospects with rising stars.  Former 1st Round Draft Pick Tony Sanchez was paired with then rising catcher star Brian McCann.  There was also a card that paired Jose Tabata with Andrew McCutchen.

Cutch got the front

And Tabata got the back

Let's look at how their careers turned out.

Andrew McCutchen was a former 1st round draft pick out of high school. By his 21st birthday he was one of the game's top prospects in all baseball (12th overall).  Since his MLB debut at the age of 22 he has posted a WAR of 37.6 (one of the top 10 in MLB since debut).  He has won an MVP, Gold Glove Award, Roberto Clemente Award, 5 All-Star Appearances, 4 Silver Sluggers, and became the face of a franchise.  Cutch will have a team option at the end of this year and could join the over crowded Free Agent class of 2018.

Jose Tabata was a highly regarded prospect in the Yankees System (2nd overall) and by his 20th birthday was a Top 100 prospect in baseball.  He made his MLB debut at age 21 and in only 5 MLB seasons has amassed a WAR of only 1.8.  Never developing the power that was EXPECTING to come as he matured he has only 17 career HRs.  Used primarily as a pinch hitter and platoon player by his age 24 season, Tabata is now earning $5M in the Blue Jays minor league system and won't become a Free Agent until 2019.

Based on the P>E model I would say that Cutch performed greater than expectations while Tabata has failed to meet his expectations.

Puzzles!!! Grrrr

I hate putting puzzles together!

I am not good at it!

I don't have the patience for it!

And in my life I have never put together a puzzle consisting of over 50 pieces.  Never have!

Fortunately for my hobby love, I won't feel overwhelmed when trying to put card puzzles together.  They are numbered on the back and fit nicely in my Ultra Pro pages.

The 9 card puzzle set looks exactly like his base card from 2012 Triple Play.

The back has some fun trivia too.

Baseball cards are fun.
Puzzles are not.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Awhile back I showed off my Gypsy Queen casebreak I participated in.  I managed to get a nice Glassworks box topper as a result.  I liked it so much I have started to seek out the color parallels.

Here's my latest

The Red /25

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Topps Heritage has been producing Bazooka theme cards in their line for the past few years.

Here's my collection of the past four years of Cutch bazookas.

As you can see 2014 to 2016 have VERY similar designs and sizing.  The 2017 design was much different.

Here's the backs.

Nothing too special, right?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Don't Fail This Draft

Since Neal Huntington took over he has focused on projectable tall, easy delivery, hard throwing pitchers and up the middle defensive line drive hitters.

Prior to Huntington taking over in 2008 there really wasn't much of a prototype the Pirates used in their first 3 rounds.

The last first round pick prior to the new regime (owner, GM, President of Baseball Operations) was used on a highly controversal pick in 2007 when the Pirates selected left handed pitcher Daniel Moskos instead of Matt Wieters.

MLB recently did an article where they redrafted the 2007 class.  Their redraft had Giancarlo Stanton falling to them at #4 after Bumgarner, Price, and Donaldson came off the board.  Stanton would have been a nice pick.

I won't knock Daniel on this blog because he is an extremely nice guy all the times I got to see him in the minor leagues.  He also got the last out when the Altoona Curve won the 2010 Eastern League Championship (which I attended).  However, pitching only 24.1 innings at the major league level SIX years ago hardly warrants recognition for the 4th overall pick.

I have a few Moskos autographs in my collection.  This is the only one that pairs the pair of New Millenium Face of the Franchise with Most Hated Draft Pick By the Fans.  It is numbered 4/10 and is one of my many Cutch pairings that I have been able to get very cheap because the second player devalued the card.  Wait until I show off my Billy Rowell dual autos.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A 1/1 and 2/3 of a print run

Sometimes I feel like I belong locked up in Arkham Asylum.  I am borderline crazy when it comes to adding new Cutch cards to the collection.  Speaking of Arkham, I have been binge watching the heck out of Gotham.  I am on Season 2 episode 20 so no spoilers please.  Anyone else watch that show?

These are my latest additions.

A pair of Allen & Ginter High Number Mini Metal cards /3 and the 1/1 Wood Mini.

Should I be locked away?
I'll say hi to Ed Nygma for you.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

In Need ofthe Best Burger

With the summer heat here and weekend BBQs in full effect, I am craving a good burger.  Not the Nickelodeon movie either.  I am talking a big thick burger loaded with toppings.

What kind of toppings do you guys put on your burgers?

Oh, here's a relic card for Berger's Best from last year.

Friday, June 9, 2017

More Bowman Heritage Autos

A few days ago I showed off my Buyback Bowman Heritage card

Here are my other two oncard  Bowman Heritage autos of Cutch.  There is a buyback with the short print photo variation that I am still in need of, but I don't know if I will ever be able to add that to the PC.  Very few were made.
 The Red Ink was numbered to only 51 copies to represent the 1951 Bowman design

Here's the back.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Trying to keep my Kuhl

The Pirates bullpen which has been a part of the team's strength since 2011 has been abysmal this year.  Without looking at any stats I have to think they are near the bottom in holds.  There has been too many blown saves late innings.

A player I really like a lot is Chad Kuhl.  I feel like he would be perfect for the bullpen.  I still need my first autograph of Chad Kuhl.  If anyone comes across a Bowman auto of his for the cheap, keep me in mind.

Speaking of cool.

This Cutch card has a lot of swag.

It's the sunglasses variant from 2013 Topps.  Other players to have these variants include Justin Upton, Adam Jones, Tim Lincecum, Bryce Harper, Yu Darvish, Mike Trout, Felix Hernandez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Josh Reddick.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Pair of Vault Treasures

I just got home from a matinee on my day off.  I went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.  I wasn't expecting much from the movie and was rewarded with the film exceeding my expectations.  It helped bring all the previous films together while still having that campy adventure of Jack Sparrow as the focal point.  I'm sorry. Captain Jack Sparrow.

The film has a moment where Jack...Captain Jack Sparrow is breaking into a vault.

Oddly enough I came home to find my second package from the Topps Vault mailed to me in the past 30 days.

Behold my two latest 1/1s.

Straight from the vault.

I hope everyone has had a good week so far.  I sent a few packages out today with more to follow this weekend.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Buyback Heritage

Another of my recent purchases as I continue to buy out a former Cutch collector's collection.

Extremely rare buyback that shows the begining of Cutch's shorter autograph

Check out the  back

Cutch was dominating Gulf Coast League before he was even an adult.