Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Cardboard Cameos: Eyes on Bell 2020 Donruss

I am always looking for new cards that feature Cutch as a cameo while also keeping flagship sets of Topps and Donruss for all Pirates players.

Shortly after 2020 Donruss came out I noticed that there was a Cutch cameo on the back of Josh Bell's card.

I will be looking for all emoji parallels of JB's card.

So I will be keeping my eyes open for more wacky parallels like this.
The back of the card discusses how Andrew McCutchen was the first player to hit 3 homeruns at PNC Park.  Cutch did it as a rookie in 2009.
Josh Bell became the first Pirate to do it since Cutch.

I also have the 🔥 and baby shark emoji cards.
I need the 100, 1, presidential, all stat line, and all press proof parallels.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Bad Social Distance Practices

Yesterday I showed off a card with good social distancing practices.  Today I am going to show off an example of bad social distancing.

In today's production of cards it isn't often that we see cards severely miscut like they were in the 90s and earlier.  Occassionally though there are a few cards that get through which should have been trashed.

This extremely miscut card of Andrew McCutchen and Rhys Hoskins from 2019 Bowman Platinum shows what bad quality control looks like.
Look at this.  Andrew and Rhys are literally on top of each other.

****Do Your Part! Stay 6 Feet Apart****
The back is just as bad.

Do you have any severely miscut cards from the past 5 years? 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Good Social Distance Practice

Matt from Sport Card Collectors suggested a post showing good social distancing and self isolation.  This is what I came up with.

Here is a card that practices good social distancing. 
It is the photo variant of Cutch for his 2019 Topps Stadium Club release. 

Cutch is roughly 5ft10 so his wingspan from fingertip to fingertip is likely just shy of six feet. 

Good job Cutch!

Are you all trying to practice social distancing?  Are you preaching to others to do it?

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Team WBC pickup

In addition to binge watching a bunch of TV shows over the past few weeks I also rewatched a lot of the Team USA games for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. 

Christian Yelich made himself known to the nation by batting in the two hole and being a main catalyst for the offense.  Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer were absolute studs for Team USA and Marcus Stroman pitched a masterpiece in the final game vs Puerto Rico. 

Cutch batted in the six spot for all the games he played and had a miniscule .559 OPS, but he did hit a few clutch hits including the go ahead RBI in the semifinals vs Japan. 

I had a lot of WBC cards already, but when I saw this card available for a very reasonable price,
well I just had to do a little dance

 and celebrate adding it to the collection.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Ground Chuck Update

Chris from The Collector suggested that I show off some other Pirates players I collect when I asked for some writer's block suggestions.  I figured I would honor that request.

Another of my main Player Collections is former Pirates pitcher and 2017 World Series Game 7 Winning Pitcher, Charlie Morton.

My reasons for collecting Ground Chuck are because he was my favorite pitcher of the 2009 Pirates pitching staff AND he was born in my hometown.

I haven't posted many Charlie Morton updates here since I predicted he would be the winning pitcher for the Astros in the 2017 World Series.  Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown even made a post about my bold prediction.

So because it has been a very long time since I showed off any Morton cards I thought I would share SOME of my Morton cards I have acquired over the past few years.  I won't bore anyone with base cards or standard parallels.

This is All Killer, No Filler
 2019 Topps Now Wild Card Game Used Base (featuring A's name on base) Autograph Purple Parallel
This is the back of the above card which discusses how Morton did in the game.
 2019 Triple Threads Patch/Auto blue parallel to 10 copies
Austin Meadows/Charlie Morton dual autograph, dual patch
2019 Topps Update /10
 2019 Triple Threads Triple All-Star Game patch /9
 2019 Triple Threads All-Star Game Majestic Logo 1/1
2018 Heritage 100 Anniversary /25
2 copies 2018 Heritage Magenta Back /10
 2017 Postseason Topps Now cards (I boldly predicted Morton to be winning pitcher of Game 7 World Series back in September 2017)

 2008 Bowman Printing Plates 1/1 yellow and black
2012 Topps Wood 1/1
I picked up a couple of the 2020 Archives Active Signatures.  They feature a blue label on top
I also picked up a few of the 2019 Archives Active Player Autos.  They feature a red label on top.

So theres a few of my Charlie Morton updates.  Prior to leaving the Pirates in 2016, I had every non 1/1 for the NJ born Morton.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Today is Opening Day (shortprints)

Today would have been Opening Day for all MLB teams.  Things have changed a lot since I started counting down to this day 3 weeks ago.  The economy is in turmoil.  Many people are working from home or have been temporarily laid off.  Sports entertainment has been non existant with the suspensions of MLB, NCAA, NHL, and NBA seasons.  Toilet paper has been trending on twitter daily.

The picture of the world we live in today is radically different and that is why today I am going to show off all my photo variants of Andrew McCutchen on Topps Opening Day cards.

Opening Day began making photo variant cards in 2013.  They featured a few members of the 2012 World Series Champions San Francisco Giants along with a few "big name" players who changed teams in the 2012 off-season.  Those cards mostly featured the players at press conferences and included guys like RA Dickey (remember when the Blue Jays traded Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for him?), BJ and Justin Upton, Prince Fielder, Josh Hamilton, and James Shields.  The following year (2014) Topps began using photo variants for the 25 most popular players among collectors.

My Eleanor. (Gone in 60 Seconds reference).  This card eluded for a few years until Nathan from Bucs Stop Here hooked me up with it for a bountiful of cards I sent his way.

This sliding catch of Cutch is one of my favorite images ever on a piece of cardboard.  The odds of pulling this card from a pack of 2014 Topps Opening Day is 1:222 packs or 1:65 jumbo packs.  The blue parallel of 2014 would be the last time that a color parallel gets numbered on the back.

The 2015 Opening Day photo variant features Cutch in the on deck circle at PNC Park with the beautiful city of Pittsburgh as the backdrop.  Retail odds for 2015 Opening Day variants were 1 in 2,375 packs and hobby odds were 1 in 307 packs.
****I still need the purple parallel for the rainbow****

The 2016 Opening Day photo variant features Cutch with the Roberto Clemente Award that he won in 2015.  Odds of pulling one of these are 1 in 393 packs.

The 2017 Opening Day Photo variant of Cutch features him in a throwback 1979 uniform.  Odds of pulling a photo variant is 1 in 256 packs.
****I still need the base for the rainbow****

2018 would be the end of Cutch's appearance in Opening Day (he didn't make the 200 card set for 2019 or 2020) so naturally it ended the streak of his 5 straight years of photo variants.  It's fitting that it features an image of him hitting his first Grand Slam of his excellent career and ultimately his final homestand at PNC Park.  The joy on his face as he celebrates the homerun is one of the many reasons he became such a fan favorite in every city he played in, but especially in Pittsburgh.  Pulling a photo variant in 2018 Opening Day is a tough pull as these fall 1 in 477 packs.
****I still need the base for the rainbow****

And Here are the identification codes on the back so that you can determine if you have a SP photo variant.

The top card is a standard photo card.
The bottom card is the code for the photo variant.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Jeremy Bentham and the LOST Penguin Connection

I am not sure what the rest of the world is doing in this concept of isolation, but I have been rewatching some of my favorite shows I haven't seen in nearly a decade.  From Veronica Mars to Lost to The Simpsons, I am on an endless assault of streaming.

One of my favorite shows ever produced is the TV Series Lost.  I made sure to watch every single episode each week.  The show became a mainstream success and one of the best "water cooler" shows to talk about each week.

Without giving away any spoilers, the show focused on a group of plane crash survivors and how their lives connected before the crash.  There were many great characters featured in the show, but one of the most polarizing figures was that of John Locke played brillaintly by Terry O'Quinn.

In the shows fifth season, Locke was revealed to be named another character, Jeremy Bentham.

To create a Lost style post I decided to make a connection to Locke/Bentham's birthday.

February 15, 1948

There is likely only one blogger I know of who can immediately recognize what baseball player was born on that day.

If you knew it was Ron Cey, congratulations.  I'm sure the Night Owl is happy that the former Dodgers 3rd Baseman got a mention on my blog.

Coincidence or maybe it's "The Island's way of controlling things" I sent Night Owl an autograph card of Ron Cey on Mr. Bentham's expired passport (December 17, 2017) date and he received it a few days later.

He posted about it here as it was his Secret Santa package for 2017.

It should be noted that Ron Cey was nicknamed "The Penguin" by his former teammates for the way he waddled around the bases.

On June 13th, 2017 Andrew McCutchen hit a homerun against the Rockies with the recent Stanley Cup Champions, Pittsburgh Penguins, in attendance.  The Penguins who clinched the cup just 2 days earlier were there to celebrate with the rest of the city.
Cutch made sure to step up for the celebration.

The image of Cutch looked familar in the final clips of the MLB video so I decided to do some research about the game and see what Getty Images had to offer.

Well that looks familiar...

That homerun was used for Cutch's swansong flagship Pirates card in 2018 Topps Series 1.

Here are 9 of Cutch's 2018 Topps Flagship Series 1 parallels.
Negative, Base, Purple (TRU exclusive)
Vintage /99, Father's Day Blue /50. Mother's Day Pink /50
Independence Day /76, Black /67, Gold /2018

Sorry for scanning them all grouped together and not following social distance rules.

So just as the great show Lost connected a sequence of completely ordinary events and showed how they all connect together, I was able to do the same via CollectingCutch.

Did you watch Lost when it aired?

Have you ever gone down an internet rabbit hole and tried to connect it to a baseball card?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Falco Files: Hey Mr. DJ...

I recently picked up this DJ Lemahieu autograph from 2020 Topps 1985 design through a coworker. 
It doesn't really fit my collection needs, but could always be used as future trade bait or a contest give away card.

In a very strange way it does fit into my collection as a Falco Files entry.
For those that forget what a Falco Files card in my collection is, it represents a player that replaced Andrew McCutchen on a team roster via trade, injury, jersey number.

Andrew McCutchen played 30 games (includes post season) for the New York Yankees in 2018.  In those 25 regular season games he was able to produce 0.9WAR down the home stretch of the season for the Bronx Bombers.

His traditional Jersey number (22) was occupied by Jacoby Ellsbury who hasn't played since September 2017.  Ellsbury missed all of the 2018 and 2019 seasons and was ultimately released following the 2019 season with two years left on his contract.

Instead of wearing 22, Cutch wore #26, for the Yankees in 2018.

When Cutch elected free agency and signed with the Phillies late in 2018, his jersey number (26) became available.

On January 24, 2019 the Yankees signed DJ Lemahieu to a two year contract and he became the team's most valuable player due to his gold glove versatility in the field and what he was able to do offensively.  He wore #26 for the season.

DJ became an All-Star for the third time in his career, won a silver slugger, was a finalist for a gold glove, and came in 4th place for American League MVP voting.  In 145 games with the injury riddled Yankees, DJ played 1st Base, 2nd Base, 3rd Base, Designated Hitter, and produced 5.9WAR.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Writer's Block?

I can only assume with more people housebound there may be more eyes on the blog due to extra downtime.

So as not to get writer's block during this time of a depressing sports free world, what are some things that would interest readers of this blog?
I have probably close to 40 1/1s that I haven't shown off and plan to sprinkle them into the blog throughout the year.

The card pictured above is an oddball card I have been dreaming of Topps to produce for years.  Ever since I saw these quirky player used pens cards I have hoped that one day Topps could produce a card with such a unique feature.  Obviously I wish it was a Pirates uniform, but I'm not going to complain about it.
This card almost didn't get to me.  Within an hour of being posted for sale I made the seller an offer and he responded with I appreciate your very fair offer but I am going to field all offers before I accept anything and he countered with the original Buy-It-Now price.

I didn't want to let this card stay on the market and said F It, I'll just buy it and clicked Buy-It-Now.

Fast forward 10 days and nothing...
No tracking info.
No responses to emails.

Life happens and I understand things happen to delay shipments.  This was an expensive card and I didn't care how long it took to get to me, I just wanted to make sure it would eventually get to me.

I even had a fellow McCutchen email him about a Buster Posey card he had listed to see if he was just filtering out and ignoring my messages.
Within 10 minutes my fellow McCutchen collector friend got a response.

I was very aggravated and decided to take legal action (now day 14 of being ignored)
I opened up a PayPal dispute and eBay nonreceipt dispute.

Within a few days I received a package from the city he lived.  The seller never responded to the disputes via proper protocol with eBay/PayPal and I was due to receive my money back.

I messaged him thanking him for sending the card and told him he needs to get better at reviewing messages because I got a notification that eBay found to be in favor of my case for a refund.  I contacted eBay to cancel my claim and provided them with proof of receipt so the seller didn't refund me my money now that I had the card.

Two part question time:
Have any of you experienced a similar issue with a seller who appears to go out of their way to ignore you?

What would be some fun ways to pass the time and read on the blog during this time of self isolation, any countdown or top X cards you want to see?

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Cards Without Rhymes

Prior to the Coronavirus outbreak I picked up a pair of 2014 needs for a very cheap price.

Coincidentally they feature color parallels that are difficult to get true rhymes with.
The 2014 Opening Day purple was an exclusive to Toys R Us packs.

The 2014 Topps Orange is a factory set exclusive.  These are very rare because most factory sets remain sealed and those that are opened only contain 5 cards of the 660 card set to be the orange exclusives.
McCutchen along with Kershhaw, Cabrera, Trout appeared on the cover of the box set for the 2014 Factory Set.  I still want to get one of those for my collection.  Sealed factory sets are ranging in the $100+ market.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Some Extra Green

Since we all missed out on celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year due to the coronavirus I thought I would show my favorite green parallel from last year.
2019 Tribute featured bold colors for their Certified Stamp of Approval cards.
In my experiences of collecting I have often liked the colors that are found in Topps Tribute designs.  While the relics are very plain and less impressive than other high end releases, Tribute often has the most popping colors.

Want proof?  Check out the other examples below that I have shown off in previous years.