Thursday, November 30, 2017

Welcome Steel McCutchen

As if Pirates fans (and Pittsburgh fans in general) couldn't love Andrew McCutchen enough, the star center fielder named his first born son, Steel.  News broke yesterday about Cutch's first born son.

He was born healthy at 8Lbs 15 ounces

Here's all my Triple Threads cards that reference Steel with images of Cutch.

Here's to a happy and healthy life for the newest McCutchen.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Thankful for FujiSan

Everyone else has already posted about their packages received by Fuji over the past few weeks.

This dude flat out destroyed people's PC needs and wants.  

Fuji, your kindness to all of us is greatly appreciated and I am thankful to call you a hobby friend.

With Thanksgiving being just a week ago, I wanted to begin thanking Fuji for all he has done for the blogging card collectors.

Here's what he sent

Ryan Fricking Doumit!!!!
If you followed my old blog, Pirates Treasure Room you know that I was a big fan of Ryan Doumit.  He wasn't the best player even on the very bad Pirates teams, but he was a guy that was extremely easy to root for.

His entrance song was Mother by Danzig.
Mother by Danzig \m/

Fuji also hooked me up with a smorgasbord of Cutch cards

including this SP photo variant which I may turn into a custom using a  game issued wrist band in the center of photo.

But also this 2013 Bowman Gold which surprisingly I didn't own

The best cards though?
These two Kellogg's 3-D SuperStars of the Pirates Zooteam.
Mad Dog and the Cobra!!!!

David Gene Parker never looked so good!!!

Thank you so much Fuji.  You are truly a legend among our blogging community.

I am very thankful and grateful for your kindness.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Miles From McCutchen

Mark of the many blogs Miles From Miller, The Yount Collector, The Rollie Fingers Collector, etc sent me a care package containingsome  awesome Pirates cards.

Up first the two newest Cutch cards to be added to my collection.  I still need a bunch of the parallels for this release so if anyone has them please hit me up.
Hall of Famers are always welcomed.  The Clemente I had, but the others are all new.

Next up are some current Bucs.  Because I only get the flagship Topps release each year I have been missing out on many of the other releases of Buccos.

Some former Bucs.  Jack Wilson was a defensive wizard that NEVER got the credit he deserved.

And some failed Bucs prospects

To finish off we have some color parallels.  I have never seen the unnumbered orange parallel that Neil Walker is on.  Anyone know about them?

Monday, November 27, 2017

When was Willie McCovey a Pirate?

I know errors have existed since the beginning of trading cards.  I accept that we aren't perfect and the people that get paid to do their jobs sometimes fail at them.

Because I primarily focus on just Collecting Cutch, Charlie Morton, Roberto Clemente, and Flagship/Heritage Team sets I often don't see all the unknown printing errors that may occur.

Making errors for low budget card sets is one thing, but for packs that cost hundreds of dollars for a handful of cards I feel there should be more quality control.

Panini put out their Immaculate release a few months ago and although I have some of the higher end hits, I finally secured one of the base cards, albeit the red parallel numbered to 25. I still need the base, blue, gold, and Platinum.

Recently Topps has produced some very high end patches upside and backwards in both their Triple Threads and Dynasty releases.  I'm grateful that my Cutch All-Star booklet patch from 2015 was produced properly.

One thing that really bothers me is when legendary players are spelled incorrectly.
This is how you spell Stargell


This is how Panini spelled Stargell on the back of Cutch's 2017 Immaculate card

Willie McCovey was a great ball player, but Stretch never played in the Steel City.  He also only compiled four seasons of 20 doubles and 20 hr seasons.

With Cutch's 2017 campaign he now has 7 seasons of 20 doubles and 20 round trippers under his belt.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Heritage Comparisons pt4

If you haven't seen my Heritage Comparisons before, I encourage you check them out.

Today I am going to be looking at the 2015 Heritage release which is based on the 1966 design.

Before we look at Cutch's solo card, let's first take note that he appeared on card #214 for being a League Leader in Batting Average.  It features Cutch as coming in 3rd place for the 2014 batting title. In 2014 former Pirate Justin Morneau won his 1st NL batting title ahead of Pirates All-Stars Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen.

Card #214 for the 1966 release shows the top three finishers of the 1965 batting title.  Pretty amazing card as it has three of the game's greatest National League outfielders of all time on the card.
In 1965 Roberto Clemente won his 3rd batting title ahead of Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

The back of the card shows that 10 players hit above .300 in 1965 and only 7 hit above .300 in 2014.

Now to the breakdown for these Heritage Comparisons, the solo cards of Cutch.

The 2015 Heritage card for Cutch was #300, the same as (drumroll please......) Roberto Clemente in 1966 Topps.

Let's compare how Cutch's MVP followup season compared to Roberto Clemente's age 30 season when he won his 3rd Batting Title.

All stats provided by Baseball-Reference

As is the case for all the previous Heritage Comparisons I am not stating that Cutch is better or on the same path as the great Roberto Clemente.  I am merely comparing cardboard because Cutch's Heritage card appears with the same numbering as Roberto Clemente's original release.

Approach at the Plate:
In 1965 Clemente put up a triple slash line of .329/.378/.463 for an .842 OPS
Cutch's 2014 season slash line was .314/.410/.542 for a .952 OPS
Advantage Cutch
Despite the higher batting average and winning the batting title, I have to give the advantage to Cutch.  He drew more walks and hit for more power as you can see in the 45 Clemente XBH vs 69 Cutch XBH.

Never known as a burner or stolen base threat, Clemente swiped 7 bags compared to Cutch 18.
Advantage Cutch

Team Dependant Manufactured Runs
So much of Runs scored and Runs Batted In is based on who hits ahead and behind you.
Clemente had only 65 RBI with 91 Runs scored.
Cutch drove in 83 and scored 89 times.
Advantage Cutch

The winner of this Heritage Comparisons battle goes to Cutch.  His age 27 season was better than Clemente's age 30 season.

Here are my other parallels from 2015 Heritage
Color Swap, Gum Stain Back, Action Variant
Gold Refractor /5
Refractor, Chrome
Hot Pack Purple, Black Refractor

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sapphire makes me Quagmire

Cutch appeared on 3 cards for Series 1 and 2 this year, thus there were 3 of the Chrome Sapphire to chase
These look significantly better than last year's release.  The blues are much louder and bolder than the previous debut set.

They make me say giggity giggity

Have any of you sought out these limited chrome parallels?

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.


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?