Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Phillies Sign....

News just broke that Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies. 

I will show off some Harper/Cutch cards next week...

But first let me do a double post today to celebrate Cutch in the red pinstripes because I love sketch cards!
Even if they only cost a few bucks and aren't licensed.

Jayson has lots of sketches on his eBay page and updates them weekly.  You should check them out johaboyse_o

I am sure he will draw a Harper during the Phillies press conference in the upcoming days.

#TBT: "Judy" of the Crawfords

Over the past 3 Thursdays I have shown off some of the biggest and most popular names in the former Negro Leagues.  Those names include Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and Cool Papa Bell.

As we celebrate Black History Month on this final day of February I want to take a look at a few more of the former stars of the Pittsburgh Crawfords.

I have shown a bunch of cards on this blog featuring the purplish pinstripe worn by the Crawfords and tributed by the Pirates over the past few seasons.

Topps purchased these pinstripe Crawfords Jerseys the Pirates wore and used them for multiple product releases over the past few years, most notably in Triple Threads.
We have seen it in Triple Threads by both Cutch and Gerrit Cole.
We have seen it used for the 2016 Scouting Report
The pinstripe even showed up for Cutch's Laser booklet relic. You can see the purple pinstripe to the far left of the window.
The pinstripe also appeared for the Sy Berger tribute for Berger's Best
And here is one more I have celebrating Cutch's MLB debut featuring a relic not from the game mentioned on the card.

The Pittsburgh Crawfords had a really cool design with their uniforms.  It featured a red hat and piping with purple pinstripes.  I am not sure where the idea came to use that combination, but it worked.

In addition to Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Cool Papa Bell playing for the Crawfords they had a rock of a third baseman in the name of William "Judy" Johnson.

I only have two cards of Judy Johnson and they both feature the same image of Johnson in a Crawfords uniform playing the hot corner.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Happy International Polar Bear Day!!!

Today is International Polar Bear Day
To those of you that forgot to mark your calendars, don't fret.  Hallmark hasn't popularized this day nearly as much as Valentine's Day or Mother's Day.  No one will be expecting a greeting card or friendly phone call to celebrate this day.

It is still pretty important though as we should all think about the dangers that global warming has on the arctic animal and do our due diligence to prevent future generations of this awesome creature from going extinct.

What better way to celebrate than with a Polar Bear back (Topps Mini)?
This SP mini is from 2009 Topps 206 series. It is a very tough to find rookie of Cutch.  The Polar Bear minis were inserted only two per hobby box.  There was a 300 card set of these to collect, making this very difficult to obtain.  The Cycle backs were numbered to 99 copies and were inserted on average 1 per hobby box.  It is suspected that these, although not numbered, had a production run of only 200 copies per player.
The Piedmont Mini is the much more plentiful and common back.

Anyone else have any polar bear cards to show off today? Post em up!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Another Dynasty?

The Giants had a mini Dynasty from 2010 to 2014 winning 3 World Series in 5 years.

With news that the Giants are still in on Bryce Harper, could they try to revitalize another mini Dynasty?

Andrew McCutchen hasn't been part of a Dynasty, but he will forever be linked to helping reinvigorate a love for baseball in the Steel City after TWO DECADES of irrelevance.

It's only fitting Topps used him in his Giants uniform for a product called Dynasty.

Dynasty is one of the best products puts out each year.  It features big bold on card signatures of living players along with big bold patches.  All cards are in one touch cases and sealed for protection.
When I heard that Cutch was going to be in a product like Dynasty I was EXTREMELY excited.  I have seen other player collectors load up on getting as many copies as possible.  With this addition I now know that there are 5 variations of Cutch.  This particular card discusses the rare heir that Cutch is in by hitting a trio of three homer games over his career.  Only Albert Pujols and Joey Votto have done that with him during his time in the league.

In case you missed my other two Dynasty cards I showed off already I have posted them below.  I still have a few more to reveal also.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Back In Time?

How did Andrew McCutchen, a player born in 1986 end up on a baseball card resembling a 1978 design wearing a Giants uniform he wore in 2018?

Is there some kind of Flex Compacitor funny play going on?
A Delorian was seen cruising McCovey Cove 

I have had this Cutch 22 card (a serially numbered card to Cutch's jersey number) sitting around unscanned for half a year.  It is from an online exclusive set Topps produced mid summer 2018.

Topps used their On Demand (similar to Topps Now) to produce a set of cards.  Details for the set can be found here.  It was at the height of Sho-Time when everyone wanted a Shohei Otani autograph and base cards were all selling for double digit figures.

The set included 30 base cards (guaranteed complete base set), 2 parallel cards, and 3 inserts.  Of the inserts were
Famous Flashback (set that features retired players accomplishments)

4 x player rookie card (4 rookies at each position) designed in the same model as the famous Trammel, Molitor rookie cards of same year

Then and Now (a player of 1978 with a current rookie player) in the same design from the 1978 Then and Now subset.

In addition 1 in every 2 packs would feature a sticker autograph.

With a print run of 2,040 sets produced there was a lot of neat parallels to chase down.

Cutch only appeared for the red /10 autograph set which I will show off in a future post.

If you are a fan of the 1978 design or last year's stacked rookie class you might want to see if you can find some cards from this limited release.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Getting Old Sucks

As I was scanning in some miscellaneous Cutch items I own I realized that my favorite player and myself are on the wrong side of 30.

It's easy to go back to those Fleer stickers of the 80s and say those are old logos or Rays, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Rockies didn't exist then.

It's another thing though to look at a Fathead tradeable card you have of a budding superstar for a team that hadn't had a winning record for nearly two decades.

There was excitement for the Pirates in 2011.
 Then the Jerry Meals blown call on July 26th, 2011 happened leading to the great collapse and another losing season (18 in a row!!!)

That all seems so long ago.
Look at these logos and it will seem even more in the past.
Astros in the National League?
The Miami Florida Marlins?
Who are the Jays? Oh wait is that the Blue Jays logo? That looks weird.

It's crazy how much has changed in 8 years.

Here is my other McCutchen Fathead tradeable I have.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Spin Master

It's Friday night.  Let's hit the club with Spin Master Cutch.
Cutch has always been a jovial player. Staying loose in the clubhouse is important to him.

Even when he is on the basepaths he is having fun
Celebrating after winning the MVP, Yeah lets do a lil jig
And of course let's show the world how fun the USA is

In today's modern analytics, Cutch is a master of the spin.  He has crushed curve balls over the past few seasons, leading all major leaguers against the curve.
In 2017 he had a 1.207 OPS

Thursday, February 21, 2019

#tbt: For Whom The Bell Tolls

In addition to Collecting Cutch, I also have a large collection of Charlie Morton cards, a growing collection of Hall of Famers (Roberto Clemente, Reggie Miller, Jerome Bettis) I enjoy collecting, and a love for Topps Heritage Pirates cards.

In recent years Topps has produced Throwback Short Print Variants to chase. 

Josh Bell wore the Homestead Grays uniform in a way that would make "Cool Papa" Bell proud.

On June 16, 2017 the Pirates and Cubs faced off wearing throwback uniforms from the Negro Leagues.

The uniform is referenced on the back of this Andrew McCutchen card I showed off a few weeks ago.

It is also referenced on the back of Josh Bell's 2018 Salute card.

In terms of actual Cool Papa Bell, this is the only card of his that I have.  When deciding on an autograph I wanted of the speedy Negro League star, I knew I wanted it to feature him in uniform with either the Grays or Crawfords.

"Cool Papa" Bell was born James Thomas Bell on May 17, 1903 in Starkville, Mississippi.  He was the forth born of seven children.

He worked at a creamery that is now Mississippi State University.  As a teenager he moved to St. Louis to live with his older brothers and attend high school.

He would pitch knuckleballs on Sundays and holidays while working as a packer during the week.

In 1922 he earned $20 a week pitching for a semipro team.  As a pitcher he started being referred to as "Cool" for striking out other Negro League stars.  He added "Papa" himself because it sounded better.

Bell transitioned himself into a speedy switch hitting centerfielder in the years that followed.  He would often bunt for base hits and once on base he would do things to mess up the pitcher's rhythm.

Stories are told of him scoring from first base on a single.

In the motion picture Cobb, starring Tommy Lee Jones a line is made in the movie of Bell's quickness.

"Cool Papa Bell was so fast that one time he hit a line drive up the middle that hit his head sliding into second base."

Bell would bounce around from team to team and eventually would go to play in the Mexican leagues in Latin America where he played ball with the fathers of Luis Tiant and Orlando Cepeda.

Upon returning to the US he caught on with the Homestead Grays winning back to back titles with the team.  As a 43 year old he batted .396 for the Grays who were on the verge of their 3rd straight title.

Satchel Paige, a teammate of Bell, said in his autobiography that Bell could flip the light switch and be under the covers before the room got dark.

The Sporting News ranked Bell the 66th greatest ballplayer in a 1999 article.

Bell passed away in 1971 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Negro League Committee in 1974.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Without Words Wednesday

When I was younger I used to get excited about heading to the comic book shop every Wednesday to pick up my latest stack of comics released that day.  I loved the art and the characters and of course the stories of my favorite super heroes.  Truth be told it was the art that kept me coming back more than anything else.  Over the course of 5 years I went to many comic conventions and met many of my favorite creators.  I was fortunate to get sketches of some of my favorite artists during that time also.  The ability to tell a story from these images created without using words is just mind blowing to me.  After all a picture is worth a 1000 words is a cliche saying for a reason.

I still enjoy getting sketches of my favorite super hero.  The only difference is that my favorite super hero is a real life superstar of a guy who brought fans back to enjoying baseball in what for the past two decades has been known as a football and hockey town.

I have a large collection of pack pulled Andrew McCutchen sketch cards.

I also have a large collection of Artist Proof commissions.  My favorite artist to get sketches from is Juan Rosales.  The detail he puts into all the commissioned sketch cards is mind blowing. To see other sketch cards I have gotten of this superstar artist click here
This Artist Proof is from a 2018 Museum Collection stock.  He perfectly captured Cutch waiting on deck and used the Pirates colors to create a stunning and simple background.  I could go on and on about the subtle details Juan put into this sketch, but I am out of words.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Karaoke Night with Bon Jovi

Woooooooaaaah We're halfway there....
I have the left side of the Majestic patch taken care of with numbers 2/4 and 3/4.  Now I just need 1/4 and 4/4.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Thinking of a Kitchen Remodel?

If you are considering remodeling your countertop in the kitchen, may I suggest 2018 Chronicles Cornerstones for some inspiration.
These could have very well been called Countertops instead of Cornerstones.

There are four parallels to chase Quartz (/49), Granite (/25), Marble (/10), Onyx (1/1) in addition to the base (/99).
As you can see I chose a blue quartz to compliment my green marble pattern.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Scripture Sunday Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways aknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.

Thought it would be a good verse in light of C.C. Sabithia announcing his retirement following the 2019 season.  I chose to use a 2016 Donruss Career Stat parallel conplete with Cutch's cross armband he has been proudly wearing since 2015.