Monday, December 11, 2017

Let Me In Wonka!!!! (Congrats to Alan & Jack)

When you think of the 80s there are a lot of things that may come to mind.

Ask a kid in Detroit and he is likely to name a few Tigers and Pistons about his favorite memories.

Ask kids of the 80s their favorite candies and they are likely to rattle off a few of Wonka candies.

This got me thinking...
What if Will Wonka was in charge of Hall of Fame voting?

I am curious if Jack Morris and Alan Trammell would be elected over Dale Murphy,  Dave Parker, etc.

Do they have pure hearts?

Fortunately for the Tigers teammates that decision wasn't up to Willy Wonka.  It was up to the Veterans committee and both were elected yesterday.

Congrats to both on being elected to the Hall of Fame.  Both were some of the best at their positions in the 80s and deserve the praise they received.

As a Pirates fan I am obviously disappointed that Dave Parker was not elected.  Put his stats against Jim Rice and you will see why Parker deserves more consideration for the Hall of Fame.

I often wonder if one day after Cutch retires he gets elected to the Hall of Fame.

Could he be voted in by the writers as part of his 10 years on the ballot?

Will he have to hope to be voted by the veterans committee after dropping off the ballot?

If he ever is, I will be at Cooperstown for the ceremony.  He is my favorite player of All-Time.

I will make sure I have an official Golden Ticket to get in and celebrate with other Pirates fans.

Maybe my newest 1/1 will allow me access?
It's the Golden Ticket to Cutch's May 27th Walkoff HomeRun against the Diamondbacks.

I love adding these very rare Cutch cards to my collection.  I'm not to 200 1/1s yet of Cutch, but I am getting close.  I should be there by Opening Day 2018.

*No oompa loompas we're harmed for the production of this post*

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Did something happen yesterday?

Yesterday news broke that the Yankees had acquired Giancarlo Stanton from Derek Jeter's Miami Marlins.

I completely understand what Jeter and company are trying to do by shedding the massive contract.  I think that Marlins fans that are upset by the deal should recognize that the organization can't be sustainable over the course of time unless they build a winning foundation beginning in the minors and it transcends to the major league level.

As great as Stanton can be perceived as being here's some fun facts about the quarter billion dollars the Marlins got rid of from their payroll over the next 10 years.
He has only appeared in 150 games TWICE in his career. (2011 and 2017)
His strikeout to walk rate is 2.34:1 over his 8 year career.
He has never played for a winning team since his 2010 debut.

Having 267 career homeruns by age 27 season and then joining the Yankees for 10 years should put him on the Hall of Fame path.

Stanton is a great player, but he's not great for a new ownership in Miami.  He needed to be traded for the Marlins ownership to move forward with their plan and vision.

What are your thoughts on the Stanton to Yankees move?

Happy for the player to finally join a winning culture?
Mad at the Marlins front office for trading the face of the franchise?

I will leave you with all my Cutch and Giancarlo pairings (many of which I showed off during the 2017 WBC).

First though I will show off the two cards that haven't been featured on here yet.

I made a post about Probstein last week and how some of their auctions get shilled and go for more than what they should because they are a consigner.

This card was won for what I consider a fair price.  It's a triple relic of three members of the World Baseball Classic 2017 Team USA gold medalist (Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, and Giancarlo Stanton).  I have added quite a number of green Triple Threads cards this year so I am looking forward to showing them off next Saint Patrick's Day.

I don't know how many of you watched that tournament, but I had a blast rooting for Team USA.  Of course it helped that my favorite player was playing right field during the tournament.

Here's the rarer and "patchier" Gold version numbered to 9.

And here are the cards I have previously shown
This National Treasures quad booklet is awesome!  It features 3 of my favorite current big leaguers (Arenado, Rizzo, and Cutch)
 There's a few different parallels to chase for Immaculate.  I just have the standard bat relic for Stanton.  There is a patch version of both players available too which I believe is numbered to 10.
 The game's best pitcher (Kershaw) and the game's best hitter (Trout) are featured with the Stanton Cutch partnership.
 That bum who always sticks his tongue out, Yasiel Puig, joins Cutch and Bigfoot
 This card is just ridiculous.  It has 9 of the best players at each position from 2014 on it.  All patches or bat relics.  I only showed the back below, but the front also has Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Jose Abreu, Robinson Cano, and Miguel Cabrera (he was playing 3B because of the Prince Fielder signing).

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Red Pairs Nicely With Super

I showed off my latest Superfractor a few days ago.  This red refractor pairs nicely with it.

What a lovely pair
And just like that I grabbed the two rarest of the bunch.  Now only the refractor numbered to 25 copies remains.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Players I could never root for: Carlos Gomez

We all have that list of baseball players you just hate and can't stand.

It could be a moment where the player did something monumental in an important game to eliminate your team from reaching the Post Season.  I can't imagine too many Phillies fans wanting Joe Carter to come to Philadelphia.

It could be the way a player constantly upstages an entire team.  Jose Bautista will never be accepted by the Orioles fans.

It could be the way a player just destroys a division rival team because of his pure talent.  Paul Goldschmidt uses Giants pitchers as if they are throwing batting practice to him.

Or in my case it could be all of the above.

I hate Carlos Gomez.  Truly hate him as a player.

I get sick and tired of watching him pimp homeruns in meaningless games in April.  I hate that he swings the bat so hard he sometimes falls down and his helmet falls off.  I hate that whenever there was bad blood between the Pirates and Brewers he was always at the forefront of those battles instigating skirmishes on the field.
I truly hate Carlos Gomez as a player.
And yet I couldn't pass up this dual autograph from Just Minors numbered to Cutch's jersey number (22) for under $25.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Drafted for 5 months, Probstein rant

Sometimes I scan a card in and create a quick title and forget to post it.  My work schedule ranges from 48 to 60 hour work weeks beginning in October through February.  It's during this time that many of my posts are recapping cards I got during the summer.

Today's card is something I purchased nearly half a year ago.  I got shilled on this and it reminded me why I should never bid on Probstein auctions.  The card went for twice the rate I would have liked to pay for it, but I put in a crazy high max bid because I really wanted it.  I never thought it would actually go for what it did.
It's a great looking card from 2017 Tier One and is low numbered (/25).

The trouble with going through consignment services like Probstein is that you are always subject to having the auctions go for more than you would like to pay because the person who is consigning the card may be on the other pumping up the bids as the auction goes closer to the end.

Recently I purchased 9 more cards from Probstein, many of which are relic parallels from 2017 Triple Threads.  I was able to snag those for as little as $7.50 - $12.  This made me much happier than when I bought the Tier One above.  It had been nearly 6 months since I bid on  Probstein auctions because of that one auction.  You can expect a post on the 9 new additions sometime later this month (if I can get around to scanning them in).

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Year was 1984

Cutch has appeared in many older set designs thanks to Archives and Heritage.

Over the summer he got the 1984 treatment thanks to Throwback Thursday.

Celebrating the first ever MLB Players Weekend, is a series of cards with the best nicknames from the inaugural weekend.

If you want to see some of Cutch's other cards from the 80s designs revisit my old post here.

Since the holidays are approaching I thought it would be fun to look back to 1984 and what all the holiday shopping trends were like.

Here's a link to the website I took the images from along with a write-up of each toy.  Some we carried over from 1983 and some became more popular in 1985.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My Newest Samurai...I mean Superfractor

I was able to swing a deal with someone to purchase another Superfractor of Cutch.  Best of all, it's Cutch when he had his dreads so that makes it much cooler.

This brings my Superfractor total to 8 now.

When I had 7 I called them the Samurai 7 referring to the old movie and more recent anime series.

Now I have an 8th member.
While I don't know what to call them now, it seems like a good problem to have.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Isn't it Iconic, don't you think?

This may surprise some of you, but I love making puns.  I do it all day at work.  A lot of times my Blog Post Titles tend to be a play on words as well.

I was born in the 80s so when angry Alanis Morisette made her hit single Ironic on the 1995 Jagged Little Pill album I was just hitting my peek teen years.  While I was still getting over the death of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, I couldn't turn my head away from all the 90s version of emo girls that listened to Alanis' album.

And I went through all that blabbering because as I saw this EXTREMELY rare Diamond Icon /10 being added to my collection I broke out into some Ironic but called it Iconic.

The irony of the whole thing is that the card is a Diamond Icon numbered to only 10 copies in the world.  Boxes sell regularly in the $1,000 range.  And yet here's Topps giving us collectors a really nice Plain Grey Swatch on a very boring and bland card design.

The front of the card doesn't bother me as the jersey swatch, albeit a plain road grey swatch, actually matches the uniform on the card.

The back though, there is nothing iconic about it.

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Memento starring that other (guy) Pearce

Have any of you watched the movie Memento starring Guy Pearce and Carrie Ann Moss?

I love that movie, but I feel that it is a movie you can't watch too often.  For instance the last time I saw it was probably about 7 or so years ago.

If you haven't seen it I highly encourage you to check it out.  It's a thriller which stars a man who can't make any new memories.  He uses Polaroids to try to piece together things that have happened in his life.

I began thinking about the movie when I got my latest Cutch card in hand the other day.

Why, you ask?

Well because it had a Steve Pearce autograph on it.  I bought the card fairly cheap for a Cutch autograph (under $20) and it was a card I didn't have so I felt inclined to add it to the collection.

The problem is like all Just Minors autographs there is no information about the players on the card.

Steve Pearce, I thought.

I remember him.


The memories of a first basemen of the future began to surface through my brain as I remembered reading all about this prospect that rose 3 minor league levels in a single season and had 25+ HR pop with a strong hit tool that could cause him to be a .300 hitter.

In 2008 he was ranked the Pirates third best prospect below Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker.

Look at how he ranked for individual grades though.
Best hitter for average, best power hitter, and best strike zone discipline.  Those 3 tools should keep a first baseman in the majors for a very productive career.

But what happened to him?

Did we trade him before he reached his potential like we did with Jose Bautista?

No!  Delwyn Young happened.

Steve Pearce was finally healthy at the major league level and hitting really well (by 2010 Pirates standards) when DY through a ball so far away from the 1B bag that Pearce got injured trying to stop the throw from going into the visitor bleachers.  His bat never returned to be the same as he made adjustments to try and battle through more injuries over his career.

Steve Pearce like Guy Pearce in Memento probably goes through life now recollecting everything and trying to piece together what went wrong.  After 3 stints with the Orioles, 2 times with the Yankees, and many seasons of taking the bus from Indy to Pittsburgh, Steve caught on with Toronto last year and became the FIRST PLAYER in MLB history to hit 2 Walkoff Grand Slams in the same week.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Toys Toys Toys

When I was a kid I was spoiled for Christmas presents.  I had so many Masters of the Universe figures and Transformers and Thundercats.

I remember looking at the JC Penney and Sears Christmas catalogs every year and giving my wish list to my parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc.

My parents would always drop me off at my grandparents the day after Thanksgiving, now known as Black Friday, so they could go shopping.  I never caught on to this until I was a teenager.

I bet they spent a lot of time at Toys R Us though in the early and mid 80s when I was 8 or younger.

I bring this up because as the holiday shopping continues to set in I realize that not as many people are going to Toys R Us anymore.  With Amazon, eBay, and a host of other online options available are people still spending all day shopping at actual retail establishment?

I know I generally don't.

I hit up Kohl's for winter clothes and sometimes Target for DVDs at $5 or less, but that's basically it now.

Is Toys R Us still the go to place for children gifts?

I know I still like their purple parallels as seen above.  This card brings me very close to my 2,000th unique Cutch card.  I got a few big time cards rolling in soon in addition to some parallels that I have been chasing for awhile.  I wouldn't be surprised if I hit #2,000 by end of December.

Friday, December 1, 2017

COMC Purchase adds over 50 new Cutch cards

Back at the end of September I made a COMC purchase and added nearly 40 new Clemente cards to the PC (more details on that soon) in addition to over 50 new Cutch cards I needed.  It was a lot of base cards and parallels that I previously didn't have.

Here they are in all their glory.
 Silver and purple Bowman parallels, a red Inception, and hot box purple Heritage chrome stand out among this group
 Lots of base and easy to find parallels of Chrome

The pink Optic I showed off back in October when I mentioned I made a big COMC purchase.  The ginter mini is standard back.  Aqueos Test Donruss /49.
 3 cards stand out among this bunch.  The Green Tristar Crawdads is /50, the blue Ticket to Stardom is /99, and the Bowman Chrome Blue was a steal for $2.
 Retail exclusive Target Red and 3 WalMart Blue Prizms are the highlights of the non numbered group.
Statfoil Donruss, A&G mini back, some Chrome parallels, and a Gold Fire.

These were the highlights of the package though.  The Black Friday Progression Foil test, Inception Purple, Hot Box Ginter Foil, and 3 gold cards.  The Elite Status is /10 and I was able to get it for about half the price that I had seen the previous sell for.  Bowman paper gold is number to 50 as is the Stadium Club Field Access.

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?