Tuesday, June 30, 2020

This Post is for Members Only

Prices have started to "go down" on the McCutchen 2020 Series 2 SP that the hobby went nuts over during the weekend.  I'm still going to hold out for one in the typical $10-$20 range that it belongs in.  Prices reached highs of nearly $400 with most selling in the $250-$300 range after ESPN's tweet.

I decided I was going to make a game of it and see what else I could purchase for my collection instead of buying one of those cards at the avg price of $275.

I made a bunch of purchases over the weekend and can't wait to start getting them in to show off.  The COMC purchases will be downloaded with the COMC watermark since shipping is still ridiculous for them.  Keep an eye open for all the cards I bought instead of the McCutchen swag photo variant.

On a completely unrelated note, today's card post I purchased back in May and I feared would be lost due to the early June protests and nearly 3 weeks of idle movement.  It did eventually show up last week unharmed.
2017 Topps Stadium Club offered the Members Only parallel at a 1:256 packs.  No official print run has ever been announced, but the 1st Day Issue cards were slated to have a print run of only 10 copies and fell at a similar rate of 1:239 packs.

In theory this means that the Members Only cards are likely in the print run of 8 to 10 copies per player.

It can quickly be said that many of these don't exist as it has taken me 3 years to get one.

Snagging a card this rare for only $12.50 was totally worth the hunt though.

Monday, June 29, 2020


Today, thousands of people paid tribute to the century mark of the Negro Leagues being formed.  From generational athletes like Ken Griffey Jr and Michael Jordan to former presidents Barack Obama, George Bush, and Bill Clinton to late night host Conan O'Brien and many many more celebrities across Twitter their caps were tipped for the Negro Leagues using the #TipYourCap2020

Andrew McCutchen began tipping his cap to his wife Maria after every homerun he hits because he saw it in the Jackie Robinson movie, 42.

Topps has captured the moment on the 2018 Series 1 card.

I thought I would show off a trio of cards to reflect on the Negro Leagues that were created and that helped pave the way for Jackie Robinson to eventually break the color barrier and started what should have been equal rights for people of all races.

Jackie was the first black player to play in MLB and suffered a lot of backlash and animosity in his playing career.

At his Hall of Fame induction speech he made a comment that he would be most happy when he could eventually see a black person managing a team.

It was clear that the Negro Leagues paved the way for Jackie and Jackie paved the way for managers like Frank Robinson and Dusty Baker.

It is also clear that in today's world there is still negative racism and we must work together to end it.

We can be the change we wish to see in the world, but it starts with all colors uniting.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Mad Bum gets mad

During the Coronavirus Quarantine I found myself looking for minor league cards of some of the best stars of the game over the last decade that have been teammates with Cutch.  I am planning on making a seperate shelf using old McFarlane figures and displaying them next to their minor league cards.

One of Cutch's former teammates that I have long been an admirer of is Buster Posey.
He could still be on a Hall of Fame path despite struggling the past few seasons at the plate.  He already has 3 World Series rings, a Rookie of the Year (2010), batting title (2012), MVP (2012), Comeback Player of Year (2012), 4xSilver Slugger, and 6xAll-Star.

Another player that I have really liked watching play is Madison Bumgarner.
Bumgarner went on one of the finest pitching postseason ever in 2014.  It (unfortunately for my Pirates) started in the Wild Card Game when he threw a complete game 4 hit shutout.  He struck out 10 and walked only one batter (Andrew McCutchen) in a dominating performance.

He continued to dominate into the Division Series, Championship Series, and World Series.  He put the team on his back and he shut teams down in a dominating fashion.  Collectively for the 2014 postseason, MadBum threw 52.2 innings and allowed only 6 earned runs.  45 strikeouts to 6 walks.  World Series MVP. NLCS MVP. 4-1 record and 1 save that postseason.


Collectively Posey and Bumgarner were the heart of the 2010 Giants teams.
They both might be Hall of Famers or they both might not be Hall of Famers.  Perhaps only one of them gets in eventually.

One thing is for sure.  They are two of my favorite Giants teammates that Cutch had in his brief time in San Francisco.

I didn't know this until I began writing this post, but Bumgarner opted out of his Topps contract following the 2017 season.  That is why there hasn't been any Topps products with Bumgarner since then.  Beckett made an article about the omission of MadBum back in 2018.  I find this fascinating as to the reasoning for Bumgarner not doing a contract with Topps.

I also came across a funny article written during Spring Training 2018 when Mad Bum got mad after Cutch hit a HR off him in live batting practice.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Too much swag!

A few people have already tagged me on Twitter regarding the 2020 Topps Series 2 photo variant Short Print of Andrew McCutchen.  A few coworkers who are also into cards text messaged me about the card too.

If you haven't already seen it I advise you to put on some shades because this card will blind you with it's swag.

The card community has gone absolutely nuts over this card and prices have varied from $12 to $100.

Many current auctions are in the $70+ range with days left.

The announcement that the season is moving forward and an extremely unique photo variant on a brand new release are definitely driving the price on this card.

I'm going to sit this one out for now though.  I'll let the prices drop back to the $10-$20 range which is where this card's value should be.

ESPN thinks it's a pretty cool card and I agree, but I can't pay those wild prices.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Big Leagues are Back

Ok people can say what they want about the low value, "budget" set that Topps has been releasing since 2018 called Big League Baseball, but I am going to just come out and say it...


If you are looking for a return on investment you can probably get it immediately after release because many player collectors (like myself) will immediately but a single for .99 B-I-N with free shipping PWE.

Hobby boxes offer 180 cards (18 packs x 10 cards per pack) and theyes are extremely affordable at $35 per box average price.

The base set offers a vintage flagship style design that brings back all the joys of set building and nostalgia I have for card collecting.
The backs feature your standard player information (bats, throws, birthday, height, acquired) but it also has career totals and season totals (or 5 recent teams).  In addition to that there is a Did You Know segment that gets more involved with the player than your traditional baseball stats.

The borders on the back are in team colors.

I also grabbed my favorite player of the current Pirates roster.

There are also fun inserts and autographs to chase and of course parallels.  I will need any color parallels of Cutch or Bryan Reynolds.

How do you feel about this lower budget release?

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

An Offer That Can't Be Refused

When it comes to CollectingCutch there are a few boxes I like to check off with each purchase.

Andrew McCutchen ✔
Shiny ✔
Pirates uniform ✔
Dreadlocks era Cutch ✔
Die-cut or unique design ✔
Game worn patch relic ✔

I love shiny die cut Pirates cards of Andrew McCutchen sporting dreadlocks with patches.

This crosses off all the boxes of Cutch Collecting except the autograph.

I mentioned wanting this card back in December when I created my New Want List.  You can revisit some of those cards here.

I previously lost a version of this card over 9 months ago when it sold for a ridiculously silly price of under $5. 

Recently another one became available for sale so I messaged the seller about my collection and offered the above screen shot as a reference point for pricing.

He obviously wanted to get maximum value and didn't think the $5 price was a fair price to sell his copy at.

I refused to let this card get by me again (knowing that there is less and less of these existing on the secondary market) and offered a price he couldn't refuse.
I paid 5x what it would have cost me last September, but this is one of those cards that I really needed to add to my collection.

We are nearing the halfway point of the year and I have picked up a few additional cards off that most wanted list.

First up is probably going to win my card pickup of the year

2019 Museum Collection 1/1 Jackie Robinson Patch Autograph
This card crosses off the "any autograph I don't have" category and also the "unique game used patches" category.

Another pair of cards I have picked up, but haven't shown off yet relate to the winter holidays.  You'll have to wait another 6 months to see those.  Sorry.

I have gotten a pair of unique memorabilia items in over the past few months as well.  The lineup card from Cutch's 1st HR and the foul ball hit right before an epic 12 pitch walkoff HR from 2018 highlight the memorabilia front.

Stay tuned as there is more cool things coming in as well.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hunting for more good racks

The picture below might lead you to believe it is October as everyone knows what I do for that month.

All pink cards.
All month long to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.

So is it already October?
Nope.  Not yet.  That is still a few months away.
Instead I am using the image above of the beautiful Olivia Taylor Dudley filtered to look like a deer to formerly announce:


Back in my early days of collecting I could get what was called a rack pack that featured at least one player picture on the front of the clear packaging so you knew what was inside.

Today, everything is factory sealed and the knowledge of knowing what players you are getting inside are tough to find.

Occasionally you will get retail exclusive parallels found for sets like Gypsy Queen or Allen & Ginter.

You may even get some promotional giveaways that are sealed with only 1 card showing on the top.

Much like the collectors of the 80s looking for sealed packs of their favorite stars showing I am looking for these kinds of packs that show off Andrew McCutchen on the front.
I had to do a lot of mangling of the cards to try and figure out who else may be in this pack as it is very tightly sealed.

The pack is a Topps giveaway for National Baseball Card Day in 2016.  It looks like Felix Hernandez was the card behind Cutch.

Do you go hunting for any sealed products that show a favorite player of yours on the outside?

On another note and similar to the opening picture, please give Bikinis For The Cure a follow on Twitter.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Happy Father's Day

I have shown off a number of cards relating to Father's Day over the past few years.  Panini has released a limited release set called Father's Day each year and Cutch was one of the few MLB players they selected for the set.  Cutch appeared in the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 releases.

It is likely that he won't appear in this year's release due to playing in only a third of the game's last year.

To keep the tradition of posting a Father's Day related card on Father's Day I am going to switch companies and show the 2018 Topps Update Father's Day blue parallel.

Like all previous years it is numbered to 50 copies on the back.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

It's not the heat, it's the humidity

Growing up I watched a lot of cartoons.  Cartoons eventually got me into comic books and I remember the first comic book I ever bought had Gambit on it.  Gambit was my favorite of the X-Men because of his cool powers and quick wit.

Oddly enough though, my favorite episode of the Fox Kids X-Men cartoon didn't feature Gambit at all.  It introduced viewers to a government sponsored group of mutants called X-Factor. 

X-Factor 100 was the second comic book I ever bought and it was because it had a shiny foil cover with Havoc holding a lifeless Madrox, the Multiple Man. 

Many other things would happen over the course of comics including the X-books, but I always remember the excitement I had when I grabbed those newsstand copies that featured some of my favorite comic characters. 

Cold Comfort remains my favorite go to episode of any cartoon (X-Men or other) and I just got done watching it on Disney+ a few moments ago.

Whenever it gets into the summer I always quote the first line of the episode "It's not the heat, it's the humidity" half a dozen a times.

In addition to introducing the viewers to X-Factor, the episode also introduced us to Bobby Drake aka Iceman.

For hoping for some cooler temperatures in the coming days, I am going to show some Ice parallels from Bowman Platinum.

2016, 2017
2018, 2019

Are there any cartoons you remember watching as a kid that you still enjoy watching as an adult?

Friday, June 19, 2020

He Draws Baseball Cards

If you like baseball cards (and I'm sure you do) you should be following  @mosley_mark on Twitter

He goes by I Draw Baseball Cards and he shows off some really fun cards almost daily.

I recently got in a pair of cards that Mark drew for me.

The one where Cutch is reading a Black Panther comic is an original design obviously.  Cutch is a big Black Panther fan as evidenced by his Instagram post stating he found vibranium to make his knee heal and was seen wearing a Black Panther mask inside the Giants dugout.

The 2014 Design is based on the 2014 Topps Chrome photo variant (which sells in excess of $80 by the way).

I put it side by side with the original.

The back of each card has Mark's signature along with a stamp and original marking.

How fun is that?

Thank you Mark for selling these originals to me.  They are awesome!!!

Any wannabe artists out there want to tackle drawing my favorite base card of all time?

Send me an original hand drawn card size pocture of McCutchen's 2005 Update Draft Pick card and I will reward you with goodies.  Digital printouts of something you do on Photoshop type platforms are also accepted.  Keep the cards to the standard baseball card size though. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Do You Have Any More Gum For Me?

One of my favorite movies of my youthful early teen days is Billy Madison.

I loved all things Adam Sandler.

I have mentioned a few times about my love for Billy Madison on this blog.

I discussed the cursive Phil Rizzuto line here.
"Rizzuto's not a word.  He's a baseball player"
"Perhaps you'd like to try the word BUZZ?"

And I talked about the complexed egos of shampoo and conditioner here.
"I go on first and make the hair silky and smooth. Shampoo is better. Conditioner is better....stop looking at me swan"

The movie has so many over the top zany moments and unforgettable quotes.  Literally I wish I could come up with a week long post schedule trying to tie in the quotes to my Andrew McCutchen card collection like what I did with Elf last year when counting down to Christmas.  You can revisit those posts here if you forgot about them.

For inspiration of future posts, I will start things off with the closing lines of the impromptu song and dance number that saw a clown get resurrected, Veronica Vaughn asking Billy if she has a nice rack, and closing out with everyone asking

"Do you have any more gum?"

Well one guy who always has gum on his mind is Matthew Lee Rosen.
He has made an art of designing cards to look like they have gum stains in the shape of items associated with that player.

You can visit his page here or find him on Twitter @MatthewLeeRosen

I set up a commission with Matt to do a few Andrew McCutchen gum back cards and they came out unbelievably awesome.
I will show each card in detail in a future post as I have a plan to include these as part of my Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Month of posts which I am sure you are all very familar with.
The detail used in creating this "gum stain" creations on the back of vintage style cards is truly incredible.

Please check out Matthew's site.  He has a few of the Simpsons character cards from the famous Homer At The Bat episode.

Some of his other cards that are available are this Ryne Sandberg 1986 card with Save Ferris on the back an obvious reference to Ferris Bueller's Day Off which came out in 1986 and saw the lead character head to Wrigley Field while skipping school.

Once again, check out his Gum Art baseballcard.art.

If you set up a commission or buy one of his originals he's already created, let him know that Brian of Collecting Cutch sent you his way.

What are some of your favorite Billy Madison quotes?

What pop culture references would you want to see on the back of a baseball card?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Lineup Card from McCutchen's 1st HR

Today I am not going to show off a baseball card.  Instead it is a piece of game used memorabilia, but not just any boring item.  This is probably one of the coolest items I have added to my collection this year and I have already shown off some pretty awesome pieces to the collection like the foul ball Cutch hit before his 12 pitch walk off homer vs the Dodgers on April 7, 2018.

I've shown some nice cards over the years that discuss McCutchen's first homerun.

Topps produced a manurelic medallion for player's 1st Home Runs and an insert set (with three parallels to chase).  I showed those cards off back in 2017, which you can revisit by clicking here.

Last year I showed off a card that Topps produced for 2015 Topps Tribute called Milestone Materials.  In that post, I showed a card that includes a swatch of a baseball used in a game with historic significance.  The ball is from a game between the Twins and Pirates on June 17, 2009 when Andrew McCutchen hit his first homerun.  It is likely that the ball is just a ball thrown in the dirt by Francisco Liriano to Eric Hinske (who was DHing for the Pirates that day), but it is certified as a ball used in that game.  Pretty cool piece of cardboard if I must say  And only 10 were produced so that's even cooler.

But, what I am going to show off today takes that volume button and cranks it up to 11 (I'm sure some of you will get that reference)

Above is the actual lineup card used by John Russell for the Pirates visiting the Twins on June 17th, 2009.

I won it on the 2020 Spring Premium Goldin Auctions.  Here is the original listing.

It is certified by JSA on the back.

This is the same auction house that sold a Mike Trout Bowman Red auto for nearly a million dollars ($900K). That card made national headlines for selling for so much money.  The card was talked about a lot here locally here in NJ, but also was discussed on Good Morning America, MLB Network, ESPN, among others.  The auction house also sold NBA Finals memorabilia of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

I can't roll with those types of auctions.

It may not make National Headlines, but this unique piece of memorabilia is perfect for my collection.

Even if it only earned 0.01% of the final price of THE BIG TICKET ITEM that made those headlines, I am very happy to have snagged this for $100.  I think the mistyped auction description (listed as 2019 in title instead of 2009) definitely helped.  The fact the 2009 Pirates were terrible and had an unknown manager like Russell helped too.

I plan to get it framed and am looking for a photo of the game to use with it.

If you had an item like this for your favorite player, how would you display it?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Let the kids play 2.0

MLB continues to lose fans with each day that the owners and Players Association can't come to an agreement.  The MLBPAA has begun to use the #WhenAndWhere hashtag.

The players want to play.
6 owners have said they,would rather not have a season due to costs of the business.  In order to move forward a vote of 22.5 (essentially 23) would need to be for the proposal of the players union.

Little league teams across America are trying to salvage a season and yet the professional teams can't come to an agreement.

C'mon baseball.
I miss you.

Bring baseball back.

"Do it for the kids"
This is my 2012 Sports Illustrated For Kids card from I believe the July issue.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Let The Kids Play

Remember when Rob Manfred was trying to get more youth into the game?

Remember how he tried hard to rewrite the "old rules" by "letting the kids play" through aggressive marketing campaigns?

Well, that was then...

now we are being told there is a great chance that there won't be a season this year.

MLB, the owners, the commissioner, and all those involved need to

"Let The Kids Play"
The 2012 Triple Play set was designed with kid collectors in mind.  Andrew McCutchen got a "When I was a kid" insert card talking about his childhood.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Legends of the Burgh

I have shown this card off on Chasing 3,000 but since that blog gets only a quarter of the views that this one does I thought it was time to show it off here too.
This card is awesome.  It features two Hall of Famers and Pirates for life in Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell.

It also features the pair of outfielders who,were most responsible for bringing a brief winning culture back to the Steel City in Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen.
The card is numbered to only 10 copies and pairs up nicely with these other 2015 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection cards in my collection.
Clemente, Cutch, Stargell /25
Stargell, Cutch, Marte, Polanco /10
 Clemente, Cutch /66
Stargell, Cutch /66