Saturday, June 30, 2018

First Look: 2018 Triple Threads

The late summer previews are starting to flood in with more Cutch cards being previewed in his new SF Giants gear.

Similar to other preview posts I will show off the Cutch card shown and will make a prediction if I add it to my collection.

The 2018 Triple Threads card shown for Cutch in the preview is the 1/1 Ruby parallel.  To date I only have 1 Ruby in my PC of Cutch who will be making his 9th year in the release.  The Rubys as you can imagine based on the fact they are 1/1s are extremely tough to get.  If the card hits the secondary market for a reasonable price I will likely pick it up.

I like the design for this year's look, but it has too many similarities to a flagship design for me.

Friday, June 29, 2018

I Was There!

There have been only 2 games I was at that have been turned into Topps Now cards.

I was also at a game that was used for Russel Martin's 2013 Topps Chrome card (and consequently seen in background). 

I also attended a game that was used for an Andrew McCutchen insert where he is signing a yellow Pirates helmet prior to a "Spring Training" game at Citizen's bank park. 

That's it though. Only 4 known games.
Only 2 Topps Now cards sadly.

The first lead to the most expensive Topps Now base card ever produced.  That was the 2016 season opener and the birthplace of the Now program.  Francisco Liriano was selected to be card number 1 as he was the first person to hit an RBI in the 2016 season.  Much like many other years I was at the Pirates home opener.

The second was Andrew McCutchen's return to Pittsburgh.

I was so happy they chose an image like this instead of a random batting photo.  This stadium was rocking!!!  It might have actually been louder than the 2013 playoff game.

Cutch would go on to have an outfield assist and go 1 for 4 at the plate with a double.

Have you attended any games turned into Topps Now cards? Did you buy the cards for the memories?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

9 1/1:Another Contest Response

Dan at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop is currently running a contest to celebrate his 9th year blogging.  9 YEARS!!!  That's incredible.

The theme of the contest can be anything, but to show off 9 cards.

I was stewing with this for a bit.  9 cards?


Well I did a favorite 10 cards of your favorite player contest last year so that is out.  The list has changed slightly, but not enough to warrant an entry in a contest.

Let's see....there is 9 letters in McCutchen and I have at least one card for each letter.  Maybe I show them off by letter for how many I have?
But then I started thinking about technicalities and are the two cards below considered to be Ns? The full letter isn't there.  And what exactly do I do with the A&G cabinet card that is my favorite card of all time.  How many Cs does that account for?

Clearly the letter thing wasn't going to work for me.

I thought I could show my favorite pairings at each position with Cutch.  There is 9 positions in baseball.  That would be kind of cool...but wait....we just did a blog bat around very similar to that.  I didn't have any catcher autos to show off with Cutch and honestly how many more times do I have to post this 9 patch relic of Cutch with Buster Posey, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Abreu, and Troy Tulowitzki.  Hasn't enough been shown already?

9 cards.  I needed to come up with 9 cards to highlight...
9 unique cards that I haven't shown off a bajillion times before.
9 cards of my favorite player.

Damn this is hard.
Then it hit me.

I will show off the 9 cards I have posted about that got ZERO comments on them prior to this post and rank them.

We can call case you missed it.

So here they are my favorite 9 cards you may have missed from this blog.

Teach me how to APBA


Cinco de Mayo

Dated Material 5-7-15

English indy Rock Tunes in my Head

Getting Ridiculous

Wait....I don't have 9 worthy posts that people didn't leave comments on?  You guys are super awesome on my blog.  Fricking super awesome!!!!

How about if I just show off 9 cards that feature the MLB Logoman?  Is that a cop out? To just show off 9 ridiculously sick patches in one post?

We all love baseball, right?
The MLB Logoman has been an iconic fixture in the sport since 1969.

This card has leaped it's way into my Top 10 favorite cards as it is a 1/1 with a logoman and autograph.  It is the only signed card with a logoman that Topps has produced of Cutch over the years.
Having the laundry tag from a workout jersey for Cutch's 1st All Star Game is pretty cool.
Having the sleeve patch from his first start at an All Star Game is equally cool.
The laundry tag from the same game? Sure...why not?
I love 2015 Strata.  I have almost 40 patches from the release of Cutch, but none are better than this one of one.

This next card is coming soon as there was a delay with my package from Probstein.  The Strata goes nicely with the rest of the collection and the card you saw above.

These 3 logomen below I have shown a few times in the past so I won't go into great detail about them.

So there is 9 1/1s containing a Logoman.
Thanks for the contest Daniel.  I had fun with yesterday's post and today's.

For anyone that may want a logoman, but don't have the money to lay down for a 1/1 I suggest looking into the 2011 Topps manufactured patch.  The cards look like the one you can see below.
The manufactured relic set features 100 of the game's greatest stars from the past along with the game's futire stars.  They are serially numbered to 50 so quantities can be limited, but the design is great.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Missing 7 of 9: A Contest Response

Daniel is holding a contest for his 9th year blogging.  If you aren't already reading It's Like Having My own Card Shop you surely are missing out.  It is a fantastic read and he has so many different kinds of collections.

Originally I thought I could use my Triple Threads cards to show off cards numbered to 9 and highlight my favorite card from each  specific numbering.

The problem? will see later.

Let's get this thing started, shall we?  Here we have a standard jumbo patch numbered 1/9.  No big deal, right?  The patch is from the 22 on the front of Cutch's jersey.

I had a few options for number two, but ultimately decided on this 2017 WBC Team USA triple relic.  I loved the WBC tournament so much and think I might try to see a game in person in 2021.

If there is one thing you should notice from all these cards I am going to be posting is that Cutch is a jovial fella and enjoys playing the game of baseball.  2015 Triple Threads was the last year Topps ran the patches in a straight horizontal line.  That means that the 2015 ASG would be represented on 2016 Triple Threads different as you can see above.  While the design isn't terrible I much rather see the patches line up.

The patches on this ASG workout jersey aren't the greatest as there is only one super unique patch (the star) in window 3.  I love the photo though as it is directly from Cutch's Home Run Derby appearance.  Cutch lost to eventual champion Prince Fielder in the first round.

This card is both awesome and bittersweet at the same time.  Following the 2013 season it looked like the Pirates were going to be set for success for a long time.  They had a perenial MVP in Andrew McCutchen, a budding star and constant Gold Glove caliber player in Starling Marte, and a top 10 prospect in Gregory Polanco.  #RunPMC never developed into the outfield the way Pirates fans had hoped and the Marlins, Red Sox, and Yankees outfields overcame them as the best outfields in baseball the past few seasons.  With Austin Meadows breaking out at the MLB level it looks like we will never see Cutch come back to the Steel City as a permanent fixture patrolling the outfield.

Another good 5/9 I have is a triple relic of Joey Bats, Cespedes, and Cutch.  The relics are meh and the saying is PURE GLOVE?  Huh?

I went all in on acquiring Cutch Triple Threads cards in 2015 for his 2014 ASG appearance.  The design for this year is my least favorite as it doesn't reflect much of the city the game was played in very well.

I don't have a 7 of 9

So I will just show this Unity relics from PNC Park that Matt from BobWalkThePlank traded me as our most epic trade we completed last year.  All three cards are numbered to 9.  It was part of 5 cards Matt sent me in exchange for these cards I sent him which you can see here, here, here, here, along with about half a dozen of "super rare" buyback Bob Walks I sent him to set the stage for the trade.

Boring jersey swatch, but at least it matches the subject's jersey color.  Oh and did you notice Cutch is wearing a Jackie Robinson jersey for the card? Can't go wrong with that.  The card also represents Cutch being selected to Topps All-Rookie team for the 2009 season.

The design for the 2014 Triple Threads celebrating the 2013 ASG is the best of all the ASG patch cards Cutch has appeared on.  The NY skyline in the background complete with a backwards capped dreaded Cutch and 3 unique patch windows make this card have more flav and swag than all the others.

So while i am missing a 7 of 9, how about if I show off another card numbered to 9 just to close thimgs out.
The above 2014 Triple Threads is numbered 8/9 and features patches of Cutch, Pedro Alvarez, and Gerrit Cole.  I miss these guys all being on the same team. 

So I tried to show off 9 cards numbered to 9, but failed.
Guess it is back to the drawing board tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Value from a Case break

I don't join too many player breaks because often times the reward isn't worth the risk.

However, sometimes deals just present themselves that are too good to pass up.

For $5 delivered I was the winner for an 8 box/1case player break of Andrew McCutchen.  My winning bid got me a base card and a blue refractor numbered to 150.
Here's the screenshot of the Cutch blue being pulled.

With no insert cards, no autographs, no relics, it's no wonder the break for Cutch went so cheap.  Basically people were gambling on pulling a color parallel.  For $5 delivered and 8 cases to break I knew I would hit at least a base card and it would be fun to watch the break unfold hopimg to see someone pull an Otani or Albies mojo hits.  At worse I overpay by about $4 for a base card.  I am willing to take that risk.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Let down your hair and throw on some leather

I'm just going to put this here....

....and it will be followed by this.....

.....and I will finish with this....


That my friends is 1/1 numbered 199.

It's from 2015 Gypsy Queen and is my first leather card in my collection.  I got to say after having wood parallels, metal parallels, acetate parallels, and flip stock parallels....these leather cards are fricking awesome.

I know where another Gypsy Queen mini leather is and am already in the process of acquiring it.  I would love to grab some more of these as they look awesome and feel awesome, but damn are they expensive.

This card was an item I had been making offers on for several months, but thanks to an enhanced eBay bucks offer I finally just did the B-I-N.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Number 11...the tale of another 1/1

The past two days looked like days that Andrew McCutchen should win the Home Run challenge for me.  He was facing two lefties (Clayton Richard and Jordan Lyles) that he has had a lot of success with against the past. Prior to the weekend series Cutch had 15 at bats against the San Diego southpaws.  He had 4 HRs of his 8 hits against them.  His batting average was over .500 and had an insanely high OPS.

I certainly didn't think Cutch would go just 1 for 6.

I just picked up 5 more of the HR challenge cards from Burbank Sports Cards.

I have currently used 11 of these challenge cards and have failed on every one regretably.  Fortunately people are listing the prized cards and I won one.

A series of cards that I haven't failed at?


Say hello to number 11

My 11th Superfractor is a sub par grade (only a BGS 9) from 2013 Topps Chrome Dynamic Die Cuts.

Obviously being a Superfractor it is a 1/1.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Road Trick

I don't watch a lot of "live" tv.  Quite honestly, I am usually too busy to make sure I am home at a certain time to watch something daily or weekly.

I am however a Netflix and chill kind of person.  Well....Netflix anyway.

One of the shows I have been watching lately is a documentary about Adam Trent called The Road Trick.  Adam is an American magician who takes his magic act to Europe and films his interactions with Europeans while he basically sees what that part of the world has to offer in terms of culture.

Man do I wish I had that guy's life just for 2 weeks.  In the first four episodes he has partied hard in Budapest, met one of the most recognized grafiti artists of Germany, spent an entire day courting a super model around, met a family run circus, and made one of those stoic royal guards actually smile and talk.

There is only six more episodes for me to watch and I am now considering watching his show in Atlantic City at the end of August.

His act is described as Justin Timberlake meets David Copperfield.  Seems appropriate.

The guy is a modern day illusionist.

I snagged another 2016 Optic Illusions parallel.

It is the gold numbered to 10 and joins the other three I showed what seems like forever ago last November when discussing the trailer for the Thor movie and linking the characters to cards of Cutch.

Friday, June 22, 2018

A little too tactful

None of us like to get cards damaged in the mail.  I remember getting a Bowman red paper 1/1 that got stuck in the machine. Fortunately the top loader took the brunt of the damage and the card was fine.

Sometimes though sellers use so much added precaution that it makes getting the card removed more in danger.

Such was the case with this card I received several months ago.

It's a 1/1 so I appreciate the card being kept safe as it would be impossible to replace.

It's from Cutch's 2015 All Star Game workout jersey.

I wish I had thought to take a picture of how it was secured.  There was so much bubblewrap and space dividers around it, you would think it was a grenade.

With 2 space dividers tightly wrapped around the toploader then covered in about a foot and half of bubblewrap, this card wasn't going to get man handled by no postal machines.  Not a chance.

Rather than use painter's tape or other nonsticky tape around the card this sucker was firmly entrenched with enough packaging tape to send your next wave of Christmas presents across the U.S.

The odd thing?

What is the most obvious way a card can come out of a toploader?

If you said ....the are correct.


Not that it would have had anywhere to go except a bubblewrap grave.

Thanks for the workout! I definitely got my cardio in with this fun exercise.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Kindness of a Stranger

A few weeks ago I received a message from a member on FreedomCardboard Forums saying he had an Andrew McCutchen card I needed.  It wasn't a mega huge hit or some extremely low numbered parallel, but the fact that he thought of me when he got it really made me happy.

He sent it to me free of charge. Didn't want anything in return.  Thanks CarolinaBosox

I don't post on any other forums as I have a hard enough time just trying to keep up with this blog.  Blowout forums might be the most popular to post on, but it seems to me like those people aren't true collectors.  Most of them are flippers and prospect hoarders looking to flip their cards at the perfect time.  That's not really my thing.

I am primarily a player collector now and while I still enjoy all things Pittsburgh I am not actively seeking to add 100s of cards of Jack Wilson or Jack Ham or Justin Schultz to the collection.  In short I don't give two jacks or one schultz about what my cardboard collection looks like.  It probably will never have more than a handful of other examples of players who have worn black and gold (or yellow for that matter) in it.  It might never see a Ronald Acuna or Shoehei Otani card hit a top loader.  And I guarantee that if I never find my stack of random 2011 cards, it will never be proud to show off a Mike Trout rookie.

And I am ok with that.

Andrew McCutchen has been my favorite player to watch since he came up in 2009.  He has reconnected my love for baseball.

And I thank everyone who has ever sent me a Cutch card out of kindness.

The kindness of a stranger goes a long way.

It's why I like to always surprise people at least once a week with paying their toll on the Parkway.  Nearly every time the person comes flying up behind me honking their horn and waving to say "Thank you".

A little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Be kind. Rewind.

I got a bunch of mailers going out Saturday to say Thank You to those who have sent me something in the past few months.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lot Of Great Things To Come

On Sunday night I faced the impossible task of trying to win 14 Probstein auctions that were all ending within 40 seconds of one another.

It appears that another high end Cutch collector is giving up as they have begun consigning their collection to the eBay powerhouse Probstein.

While I didn't win as many as I wanted I won enough to officially pass on trying to add more cards to the collection for a few weeks. There are going to be some monster cards coming to my collection in the next week.

I received this card in the mail late last week and it will go very nicely with one of the incoming cards from my eBay victory.

It is from 2015 Strata, a set that I fell in love with and currently have over 25 of the patches from.
By plugging the code into the MLB authenticator it indicates that this card was in fact from the May 2, 2012 game of the Pirates vs Cardinals.

The Pirates sent newly acquired AJ Burnett to the mound and he got absolutely lit up against the Cardinals offense, giving up 12 runs in 2.2 innings. 

Hot hitting Andrew McCutchen was given the day off so that another offseason acquisition, Nate McLouth, could get some playing time.  The former Pirate went 0 for 4 in the game.  He would be released a few weeks later having only gotten a few more plate appearances in a Pirates uniform.  Cutch wouldn't play in the game at all as he was given a full day off.

I remember this game so vividly. 

Much like the Pirates success after this game, my life got better too.  I broke up with my ex girlfriend shortly after this game after being in a toxic unstable relationship for a few years.  I got a promotion at work with a significant pay increase.  And I found someone who I enjoy being with every day of my life. 

Life got better after that game.

In a weird way, maybe my card collection will too....