Friday, May 31, 2019

2019 Prizm Player Break Results

I won two cases of Andrew McCutchen 2019 Prizm cards for roughly $3.  While I didn't score a ton of cards, I got more than enough value in the break to satisfy me.

All base cards went to a seperate auction, but I asked the breaker if I could get one base card from the break.  After verifying with the winner of all base cards, he agreed to send me one base card.

Below are the results
The big hit is the blue wave on the left. It's numbered to only 60 copies (more on that later).  I also got a base (pictured in middle) along with a red parallel (not numbered).

The main huge hit was the wave card due to it's low numbering.  But when I flipped it over to view the numbering, I was even more happy.

That my friends, is another Cutch22 for the collection.

I wasn't sure if I was going to chase the other parallels from this set since there is 27 (!!!!!!) to chase, but after getting it in my hand I can surely say I will go for it.

The following are the parallels I want to knock off my list with hopefully some help from you guys:
Pink (retail only I believe)
Zebra /99
Lime Green Donuts /199
Orange Circle Donuts /150
Red Mojo /299
Blue Mojo /399
Burgundy Shimmer /25
Cosmic Haze
Carolina Blue

Looking at all those crazy parallel names, I really hope they make a Bacon Maple next year.  I would love a shiny brownish orange card.  Ooooh imagine if it's a scratch a sniff?  (I'm very hungry)

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Joe Maddon, the Mad Scientist pt2

On Sunday Night, Joe Maddon had his Chicago Cubs team arrive in Houston wearing throwback basketball uniforms.  Since it's (Throwback) Thursday and the NBA Finals will kick off let's review what was worn.

We begin with Jon Lester sporting a Penny Hardaway pinstripe jersey and the old school Penny sneakers.
This may have been my personal favorite of the bunch considering that Penny was one of my three favorite basketball players growing up.  The others being Reggie Miller and Tim Hardaway.

I just showed off my Lester autograph last week when I questioned the impact prospects have on our hobby.

This wins best original concept award.  Cole Hamels as Jackie Moon sporting a Flint Tropics jersey made famous by Will Ferrell.  FANTASTIC CHOICE MR. HAMELS!

Here is another Just Minors dual signature card I have of Cutch, this time featuring Cole Hamels.

Also a printing plate featuring McCutchen and Hamels

Since it is Chicago, what kind of team would the Cubs be if they didn't support an All-Time Great and Chicago Bulls Legend, Michael Jordan?  Jason Heyward stepped up to the plate and he looks like he could actually ball.
Yet, another Just Minors dual auto card.

But wait, there's more...
Cutch, Heyward, another Maddon favorite, David Price

A dual History of Game card

And a printing plate from Just Minors

And a sexta jersey booklet

Want more basketball jerseys?  How about Albert Amora and Anthony Rizzo both sporting recently retired Dwayne Wade Miami Vice jerseys.

Plenty of Rizzo cards to go around which I've already shown off here.

And to wrap things up, the greatest act of all.  El Mago, the Magician Javy Baez, doing his checkups as the Doctor, Julius Erving.

And we finish with a sexta autograph booklet featuring autographs of Anthony Rendon, Javy Baez, Josh Bell, Ryan Zimmerman, Starlin Castro, and of course Cutch.

Who are you rooting for in the NBA Finals?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wow! The Marlins Are Bad!!!!

I was doing some early season All-Star predictions with a friend at work the other day and was looking at some of the bad teams to figure out who could represent their team at the midsummer classic.

 I was shocked that there isn't even a middle reliever on that team with an ERA in the 3s who could make a case to be included.  Former Pittsburgh Pirate Neil Walker looks like the most productive position player, but he plays the same position as two guys who are making MVP cases (Cody Bellinger and Josh Bell).  Former Pirate Prospect Harold Ramirez may make a case if he continues to rake at the plate, but with less than 30 major league at bats it may be too soon to announce he is the Marlins team All-Star rep.  I guess at this point, the only logical choice (if every team needs a representative) is pitcher Caleb Smith.  He has an ERA under 4 and a winning record for a team nearly 20 games under .500 in May.  He has to be the representative, right?

I mean it's not like the Marlins didn't get great value when they traded away guys like Christian Yellich, Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, JT Realmuto, Chris Paddack, Trevor Williams, Luis Castillo, Marcell Ozuna, Domingo German, Derek Dietrech, etc.  Oh wait, they're still a bottom third farm system after gutting their team?

Not every team wins every trade.
Then again not every team loses every trade either.

Unless you're the Marlins.

Had they kept their team they would be on pace for 102 Wins and only $110 million payroll.  Details of this super team can be found at The Athletic.

Wow! Are they a bad team!!!!
Above you can see a pair of box toppers that I have featuring Andrew McCutchen historic walk off homerun six hit game versus the Dodgers last year.

Both these feature the same box number.

The Stripling/Tomlinson/Musgrave is the rarer of the two versions.  To date I have only seen 2 sell since it's release.

Each player featured on the box topper back has two versions.  The rarer ones tend to sell for 5x the standard version.

And for those voting for the 2019 ASG, vote for Cutch!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

You ain't never had a friend like me...

Going to see the live action Aladdin with the girlfriend tonight.  It's been a long time since we went to the movies together and we both have been looking forward to this live action take on our favorite Disney property.

Genie was perfect when voiced by Robin Williams.  I am a little nervous of Will Smith living up to the insanely high expectations set forth by the late actor.

In anticipation of Genie and the movie in general, I have chosen to show off one of my favorite blue cards (base parallels only, so no relics) from each year Cutch was with the Pirates from his MLB debut (2009) to his final season in Pittsburgh (2017).  I didn't want to repeat brands a lot although I absolutely love the Prizm color parallels.  Including relics, I have 152 blue parallels of Cutch.  I also didn't want to show off high end releases like Museum or Tribute in this quick scan.
Top Row: 2017 Topps Fire, 2016 Topps Chrome Sapphire, 2015 Donruss Production Line

Middle Row: 2014 Finest Competitors, 2013 Prizm Band of Brothers, 2012 Prizm

Bottom Row: 2011 Elite Extra Edition Status, 2010 t206 Chrome, 2009 Topps Chrome (rookie card)

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day

Millions and millions of Americans will celebrate Memorial Day today.

Sadly, the true meaning of the National holiday has been forgotten and it has unofficially become the start of the summer.  For me it means relaxing by a pool or the shore and/or watching a baseball game while drinking beers and grilling some hotdogs and burgers.

Here are a pair of 2018 Flawless National Team USA cards I have.  Cutch didn't receive the Ruby parallel.  He is only listed for the Gold and Blue as seen in the picture above along with a black (never seen it available)
The back discusses how Cutch lead Team USA 18 under squad with the most walks and scored the second most runs for the team.  These traits remain active as he leads all National League players in walks, hits, and runs scored since his 2009 MLB debut.

What are some of your Memorial Day traditions?

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Swap The Color

Topps Heritage has been known to pay tribute to their previous designs and history of cardboard in a way that many fans young and old enjoy.

Sometimes the number of parallel error and variations to chase may get annoying, but this is one card release I greatly enjoy the chase for all of them.

1969 had several known printing errors that caused variations to chase in their,release.  One of the more famous was the player name color swaps.

As you can see from the 1969 Topps Gaylord Perry card has two versions to chase.  Images supplied by TCDB.  The yellow last name is the corrected version, while the white version is the lesser available version.

The same can be said for many other players including Reggie Jackson.

Topps paid tribute to these color swaps by making a team name color swap in their 2018 Heritage High Number release.
Above you can see the white team name color swap version next to the base.

The back makes the color swap version known by placing an identifier of the parallel by the card number.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Tier One Player Break Results

I entered a player break for a few cases of 2019 Tier One a few weeks back and although I didn't hit any autos, I did land two relics of Cutch (only going to picture one below as the other is going to Adam from ARPsmith with my next post office drop off.
The single relics are plentiful (and boring) in this product.
I had been on a pretty successful run of getting good value for my case break price.  This didn't yield equal results as the pair of single relic cards cost me $24 delivered (about twice what the two relics are worth).  For a chance of one of the 165 on card autographs Cutch signed for this product it was worth the gamble though.

One of the /5 jumbo patch on card autographs recently sold for nearly $400.  That would have been a huge coup had I gotten that in the break.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Snake Outta Compton

Like me say this very clear.
I LOVE bad SyFy animal terror movies. Every week following Discovery Channel's Shark Week is SyFy's shark movie marathon.  The underachieving acting jobs, the bad special effects, the spooky nature of all those movies combined with absolute ridiculous plots brings me a strange sense of joy that I truly can't explain.

That being said, I challenge everyone to try and get through the entire movie of Snake Outta Compton.  Wow!  I couldn't do it. I tried.  I failed.

Maybe it's because I just don't find snakes all that terrifying or interesting.

Maybe I watched it to give me inspiration for this post about my latest Andrew McCutchen baseball card.
This snake skin parallel is the latest pickup I received in the mail.  I have always loved Prizm.  It is my favorite Panini release and I was very excited to see 27 new parallels to chase.  Some of the new odd parallels are snake skin (/50) and lime green donuts (/199).  Of course there is the red and blue mojo among many others, but these two parallels grabbed my attention.

Maybe I should have used the Baroness from Cobra to inspire a post.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

I Wander What's Better? To have Moore or Lester?

I like being punny sometimes, but I was looking at the pre 2012 prospect ratings (Mainly because I was tracking Josh Bell's minor league lack of hype) and noticed a crazy name at the top of the list.

That name was Matt Moore.  Now granted he had just come off a memorable post season and was primed to be the next guy up in the long list of Tampa Bay Rays future aces.  Below Moore on the list were a few guys named Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.

Harper has been a bit of a disappointment excluding that one Ruthian season in 2015 when he had a WAR over 10 for the season.  Consequently that one season matches his other 6 years in WAR over his career.

Andrew McCutchen and the Phillies will face off against Jon Lester, who has quietly put together a Hall of Fame caliber career.  He will certainly get to 200 wins before he retires and if he can hold on and pitch for another 4 more seasons he should be able to become just the 4th left handed pitcher to amass 3,000 strikeouts.

Lester was a 2nd round pick in the 2002 draft, but never made any top 100 prospects lists until just before the 2006 season when he was ranked 22nd overall.  During the 2006 season, Lester would go on to exceed rookie status.  He is a 5 time All-Star and 3 time World Series Champion.  He has finished in the top 10 of the Cy Young voting FOUR times in fourteen years.

Other guys from the top 5 prospects heading into the 2006 season include: Delmon Young, Brandon Wood, Jeremy Hermida, and Stephen Drew.  To say those four turned in great careers would be a lie as the four of them equal what number two prospect, Justin Upton has compiled over his career.

This is my only Jon Lester autograph.   It is from an uncirculated 2005 Just Minors black printing plate that pairs him up with Andrew McCutchen.  Just Minors cards are great for getting dual (and even triple) autos of players you normally wouldn't expect to be paired up on a card together.
Prospects are a strange thing and oddly have become like stocks in this hobby.  People are paying outrageous prices to horde the next big thing.  Personally I can't get into it.

That being said I do have nearly 400 base cards of Lolo Sanchez that I got for about $50.  I am hoping to get a bunch of them signed this minor league season.

So to put it all in perspective, don't get caught up in all those prospect ratings.  Most fail to live up to the hype and some fail to get hype, but go on to have great careers.

I am still shaking my head that a Wander Franco autograph sold for over $20,000.  Some others have sold for over $10,000 recently on eBay.

 The kid is only 18 years old and hasn't played an inning above A ball yet.  I don't want to jinx the Franco kid or anything, but Gregg Jefferies put up much better numbers in the minors at that age.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Cutch is Clutch in the Windy City

The Phillies are playing a potential playoff matchup in the Windy City.

On Monday night, Cutch worked a 2 out 2 strike count to a walk forcing the tying run (Mikael Franco) into scoring position which lead to Jean Segura getting a bloop single to tie the game up in the 9th inning.  The Phillies would eventually win the game in extras due to a homerun by JT Realmuto.

Last night Cutch came up clutch again with a two run single with two outs in the 7th inning.  The Phillies eventually would lose the game on a walk off, but it was of no fault to Cutch.

Here are all my Cutch cards I could identify as being at Wrigley Field.
This card isn't easy to identify as being from Wrigley Field except for the identifiable jersey worn by Cutch.  It is a Jackie Robinson 42 road jersey.  Notice that Cutch is also post dreads.  The only post dreads Pirates road jersey worn on Jackie Robinson Day occurred on April 15, 2017 in Wrigley Field.  Cutch is circling the pillows as he just hit a go ahead homerun to give the Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cubs in Wrigley Field.  Details of the game can be. found here.

One of my absolute favorite cards ever printed.  This 2012 Topps Mini has Cutch leaping in front of the Wrigley Ivy trying to make a catch on a classic 1987 design.

2019 Donruss doesn't have a base card of McCutchen but it does have a jersey relic featuring him in a Pittsburgh uniform at the brick backstopped Wrigley Field.  There is also a bat relic /10 version to chase.

2015 Stadium Club was a great design.  The full bleed photo shows him off at Wrigley Field late September 2014 an route to a 5-0 victory (thanks Getty Images).  You can tell it's Wrigley by the brick backstop again.  There is a bunch of parallels of this to chase.

Another of my favorite photos of Cutch to be used on cardboard is this 2012 Gypsy Queen Sliding Stars.  There is a full size insert and a mini insert to chase.

2014 Finest features Cutch batting in front of the bricks again.  Lots of color parallels to chase for this set, but because of the design and lava lamp blurry backgrounds they are incredibly difficult to distinguish.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Thanks for Being a Loser, Greg Maddux...

Did the title of this post, get your attention?

I sure hope so, because had it not been for Greg Maddux losing a meaningless game to the Cincinnati Reds on September 28th, 2004 the Reds could have had a better draft position than the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2005 draft.  That Reds victory over the Cubs ensured that no matter what, the Pirates would be drafting ahead of the Reds even with a three game set to close out the 2004 season looming.

Of course it is well documented that the 2005 draft class was a great draft class with names like Justin Upton, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Ryan Braun, Alex Gordon, and the list goes on and on.

The Pirates had the 11th overall pick which they used on Andrew McCutchen and that pick transformed the entire organization.

The Reds used the following pick, 12th overall, on Jay Bruce.  Bruce was a highly touted prospect of his own and even cracked the top 5 overall prior to his call up.  An article was written on Blog Red Machine about Nick Senzel and the Reds prospect system since Jay Bruce made his debut.

Here are my cards of Cutch with Jay Bruce
 This dual on card autograph of Cutch and Bruce was released in 2012 Museum and is numbered to only 15 copies.

I also have a triple sticker autograph of Cutch, Bruce, and Troy Tulowitzki.
It is numbered 3 of 3 and was uncirculated.