Thursday, August 31, 2017

150/150 Man

There are only 8 members of the 300HR 300 Stolen Base club.

Andrew McCutchen currently has played 9 MLB seasons.  Figuring that he will play a 15-20 year career, it is possible that one day he may join the elusive group.

Of the 8 members of the 300/300 club, only 2 are in the Hall of Fame (Willie Mays and Andre Dawson).  Two other players, Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds would be no doubt Hall of Famers if it were not for PED discussions.

There are 44 members in the 200/200 club.  Cutch is 2 homers and 30 swipes shy of joining that group.  It should be a safe bet that he will join that group before his career is done.

Regardless of what becomes of the rest of Cutch's career he currently is in pretty exclusive company with Pirates history.

I am still in search of the /18 Green version, but am happy I was able to grab the /27 version for under $10.  The other two (/9 and /36) I have had for awhile.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In need of a custom card maker...

I am in need of someone to design a card and produce it of Aroldis Chapman's record throwing 106 mph fastball to Andrew McCutchen.  I realize that the speed of this fastball has been disputed, but I think it would be awesome to get a dual jumbo booklet of Chapman and Cutch commemorating this pitch.

I have 2 jumbo relics that can be chopped up if needed.

You can see them below.

If anyone has any design skills and would be willing to create this dual booklet for me, leave a comment so we can get this card going.

Thank you for any help that leads to making this card a reality.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Triple autos for under $20

Last Friday I showed off all 125 certified autographs of Cutch in my collection.  That doesn't include my in person autographs I have from Spring Training and PiratesFest events I have attended.

2 cards I showed, but never spotlighted in my collection were a pair of Just Minors triple autos.
With the Arizona Fall League rosters announced today, it's important to remember that no prospect is a sure thing.

I had just snagged these triple autos /3 for less than $20 each a few weeks before that post.

Michael Bourn is the second most accomplished player on this card.  He enjoyed success when he was traded from the Phillies to the Astros.  With Houston, Bourn lead the National League in stolen bases from 2009-2011 and won two Gold Gloves (2009 and 2010).  He would later be traded to Atlanta during the 2011 season.  The following year he would become an All-Star for the second time in his career.  He would become a free agent and sign with Cleveland for the 2012 season.  Things recently have fallen apart as the speedster with elite defense hasn't played in the majors this year.  Through 2016, Bourn amassed 23.4 WAR over 11 seasons.

Chris Nelson has posted a -2.4 over 5 years with the Rockies, Yankees, Padres, and Angels. He hasn't appeared in the majors since 2014.

Drew Stubbs is the second most accomplished player on this card.  He has had a career WAR of 8.4 over his 9 year career with the Reds, Rockies, Rangers, Braves, Orioles, and Giants.  He has hit 92 homeruns and swiped 161 bags.  His best year occurred in 2014 with the Rockies when he batted .289 with 15 HR and 20SB.  He was viewed as a future 5 tool athlete while a prospect, but never could hit for enough average to stick in the lineup everyday.

Brian Dopirak never appeared in the majors and has been out of playing professional baseball since 2012.  Prior to 2005 he was the #21 best prospect according to Baseball America.  Over 10 minor league seasons, Dopirak hit 162 homeruns while slashing.279/.334/.482.  Those look like really good numbers, but Dopirak was a first baseman playing in the minors for teams that had Derrek Lee and Lyle Overbay/Edwin Encarnacion/Kevin Millar at the major league level.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Out of this world Tek

This would have been a good card to show off for the Eclipse.  Oh well...

Better to be a week late than a weak link...

Or something like that???
I don't know where this post is going...

Just enjoy one of my latest Cutch Tek cards.

I already have all the base card designs and am now starting to track down the different diffractor and color parallels.

It's numbered to only 25 copies and is my 2nd maze parallel I have gotten in the past 2 months.
The orange maze over the diffractor background really makes this card pop.  Something about it reminds me of 80s video games.

Someone who I used to perform metal/punk/hardcore shows with has owned an old school arcade for quite sometime.  With some extra days off for the upcoming Labor Day holiday, maybe I will take the trip to see him.

I got a sudden desire to play Amaze Maze

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Heavy Metal Cardboard

Has anyone ever asked you, if you could only have 5 CDs to listen to for the rest of your life, what would they be?

I decided to give it some thought and will reveal my answers with some Cutch cards.

One of my favorite bands of all time is Pantera.  When I interviewed Juan Rosales who did an incredible Artist Proof Sketch Card for me of Andrew McCutchen, I asked him what his favorite Pantera album is, knowing that Pantera was one of his favorite bands.

He couldn't answer the question, but I can.  To me Cowboys From Hell will always be one of the first albums that if I was stuck on an island it would come with me.  From extreme metal ballads like Cemetery Gates to thrash metal like Cowboys From Hell, this album is "from out of the darkness and into the light. Sparks fly everywhere in sight. From my Double Barrel, 12 gauge. Can't lock me in your cage".

A strange choice when considering the other 4 choices I will show, the Transformers Soundtrack from the animated 1986 movie is coming with me also.  Nearly every song, with the exception of "Dare to Be Stupid" could be considered a fight song.  While none of these will challenge Rocky Balboa "Eye of the Tiger," I dare you to listen to"Dare" (pun intended) and not get jacked up.  You'll feel Fearless.

Another of my favorite albums would have to be Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory".  When Linkin Park came on the scene, I was already in my own band trying to make an amalgam of screamo, white rap, and metal.  Needless to say Linkin Park did it much much better than our band.  They were creating the exact music I wanted to hear (and perform) on a daily basis.  While bands like Deftones, KoRn, and Limp Bizkit came first for me, it was Hybrid Theory that really made me appreciate the intricacies of blending so many different genres into one sound.  The sound that broke Linkin Park away from other musicians at the time was the DJ who would scratch and blend everything together, much like a 5 Tool Player in baseball.

At the core of who I am, I am a punk rock soul.  I like to argue and challenge authority for things I believe in.  In my job, it's called push back and it's actually encouraged by my supervisors because I tend to create new efficiencies in how we do things by not "conforming to how they are always been done.". My favorite punk band is Pennywise.  Long before I was wearing a New Era Pirates cap nearly every day, I would sport a Pennywise cap on a regular basis (when my liberty spikes weren't standing a foot tall of course).  In 1995, they released an album "About Time".  Holy cow did this album hit me hard like a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick.  I had just lost my great grandfather to suicide and was at a crossroads for my life.  The upbeat energetic tunes that came from my cassette player while playing this album might have saved my life on more than one occasion thanks to "Every Single Day"

To close things out is a band that is the most listened to CD I ever had in my possession.  Vision of Disorder's self titled album had so many songs I would listen to on repeat.  It was actually one of the very first CDs I remember owning.  I listened to this thing so often I didn't take it out of my CD player in my room for months on end.  They are also the band I saw the most growing up.  Seeing Tim Williams and Co. perform in NJ/NY/PA was a constant occurance whenever they were in those 3 states.

So there's my 5 albums I could listen to for the rest of my life.  What's yours?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The cheaper approach

Allen & Ginter is known for their minis, oddball inserts, and diverse  checklist.  To those that bust wax, they are also known for their rip cards.  Included in the rip cards could be special high number short prints, red ink autos, wood or metal minis.  I have unripped cards from last year, but I have started to grab the ripped (with caution) cards as a means to save a lot of money.  My collection has been downsizing a lot and I am only looking to add Cutch and Pittsburgh Hall of Famers going forward.

The double rip of Clemente and Cutch is going for an average of $300 on eBay unripped.  Some have sold for almost $500.  With only 15 copies produced and the allure of pulling an Aaron Judge red ink auto inside still high, trying to get one of these is extremely difficult especially if you don't want to pay a car payment equivalent for an unripped one.  

Lucky for me a ripped copy popped up with a best offer option.  I offered $20 and told the seller of my collection.  A few minutes later it was in my checkout and a day later it was in the mail being shipped.  

I am grateful that I was able to add this card to the collection.  I wonder though what was pulled from it???

I tried reaching out to the seller of the card but never got a response.  

Friday, August 25, 2017

All 125 Unique Cutch Autos in my Collection

Today is a wonderful day!!!

I've been driving a rental car for almost a month as I have been having extensive work done on my car.  Today I get my car back and am really looking forward to it.

To celebrate my auto coming home, I thought I would showcase all my Cutch autos.


All of them.
I have a few more hopefully on the way and maybe I can even work out a trade to acquire another that I need.

First up the 1/1 Printing Plates

Now to show them off by year begining with the most expensive autograph in the collection.
This beautiful BGS graded 9.5 with 10 auto is extremely tough to find as it was a redemption program card.  The card technically wasn't produced until 2006, but is classified as a 2004 Bowman Chrome Aflac All American card.  The card is numbered to only 125 copies, but it's believed that not all 125 were redeemed.

2005 was the year that Cutch was drafted and because of that he has several different autographs in Topps Chrome, Bowman Sterling, and Bowman Heritage.  Pictured on the Chrome side are a Base, Refractor, Black (/200), and Red XFractor (/25) along with a Cyan Printing Plate (1/1).  The Bowman Sterlings are again sticker autographs and also included are two jersey swatches.  The Black Refractor case is severely damaged but the card appears to be fine.  It'snumbered /25 copies.

Bowman Heritage offered the first On Card Autographs of Cutch in a Pirates uniform.  The Red Ink is hand numbered to 51 copies to celebrate the Bowman 51 release.

Amongst my other 2005 autographs are 5 Just Minors cards including a pair of Gio Gonzalez (/25 and /10 respectively), Cole Hamels (/25), Michael Bourn/Chris Nelson Triple (/3) and a base solo (/200). I also have a PSA authentic with Luke 14:11 inscription.

2006 included a lot of buyback autographs along with some Just Minors autos.  The Stubbs Triple is /5 and the Andrew Miller is /2.

A lil bit of Bowman and A LOT of Just Minors stickers autos.  The Golds are /10, Silvers /25, and Triple Black /5.

Only Just Minors released autographs of Cutch in 08.  Silver Heyward /25, Triple Gold /10, and Triple Black /5.

Cutch would make his MLB Debut this year.  By far my favorite of the group is the Go Bucs 22 inscription.  I believe it may be an unofficial 1/1 inscription.

I have built many rainbows for 2010, but haven't completed any yet.  The Triple Threads and Bowman Platinum rainbows are awesome looking despite not being complete.  This would be the first Cutch booklet autos too (both /10 or less).

This is a year that Cutch began being recognized as an elite talent.  He would be selected to his first All-Star game and appear in many releases with certified autographs.

I can not get the blue ink on the Marquee Frame auto to scan well.  It's a stunning signature though.  The Canary Lineage is /10 and the Gypsy Queen Auto/Relic is /25.

This was the year that Cutch signed for many many different releases.  It also saw a sticker dump from Upper Deck.  Among some of the dual autographs to appear with Cutch this year would be Ralph Kiner, Gerrit Cole, Jay Bruce, George Springer, and Alex Presley.  This year also released the hexabook which I showed earlier this year.

The National League MVP began getting fewer and fewer autographs in releases in 2013.  Arguably one of the game's top 5 tool talents he appeared in less than a handful releases with certified autographs in 2013.

There weren't many options for Cutch autos in 2014.  Elite offered a few color parallels and Topps used some sticker autographs on previously released cards including the Photo Variant Zoltan sign (/5) and Power Players (/25).

2015 saw even fewer autographs of Cutch hit the market.  Allen & Ginter booklets and All-Star Patch sticker autographs were the only releases.

Were it not for National Treasures, Cutch would have had no new certified autographs in 2016.  Numbered to only 5 copies these booklets with sticker autographs were the only offerings.

There have been a few Hits Memorabilia 1/1 autos released this year and I have one en route.  Immaculate just released a few autographs as well for 2017.  Is it possible we see more autographs from Topps soon?  I hope so.

So there they are all 125 unique Cutch autos in my collection.
Over half of them are numbered /50 and nearly 50% are numbered to /25 or less.