Monday, November 30, 2020

Cyber Monday Buyback

It's Cyber Monday so I thought I should show off an extremely rare card recognizing Cyber Monday.
Two very important things become obvious after scanning this card.
1)My scanner bed is filthy
2)My scanner doesn't pick up foil cards very well

I decided to take a picture instead

This card is a limited buyback from 2015's Panini Cyber Monday exclusive packs.
Details of the set can be found here.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Texansfan Hookup

I recently made another Twitter purchase for a card that had escaped me for two years.
This 2018 Topps Gallery Masterpiece is the blue parallel.  These cards are limited to only 99 copies which you can see serially numbered on the back of the card.
I was able to acquire this card from @Kenneth60368818 who goes by the moniker Texansfan4Life on Twitter for $4 delivered.  

The artwork is by Evan Shoman who has worked with UFC and WWE a lot which you can see on his webpage

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Christmas Pairings

On Friday I received a 2020 Topps Gallery green parallel card (/99) of Cutch from a Mike Moustakas supercollector.  You can follow him on Twitter @d_moose8 

Because it was a green parallel and we just got done decorating our Christmas Tree, I thought it would be funny to tape it to the tree.
This got me thinking though.

What would a Christmas Tree look like with trading cards hanging from the branches?  

I think it would look rather unique and I may get a small tree for just myself to display such things.

I have already hung up a few Starting Lineups like this Mario Lemieux SLU.
Do you put any sports related collectables on your tree? 

Friday, November 27, 2020

A Strange Black Friday

It's Black Friday and things feel much different this year.

Thanksgiving was not the normal routine of getting together with family and me and Miss CollectingCutch didn't do our normal Black Friday rituals.

I actually chose to work today rather than use personal time off.  

I mean, why not? There's nothing to do.

Although I would like to get some new clothes.
This Black Friday card from 2013 features a very stylish McCutchen.

The back features a common incorrect spelling of McCutchen's last name.
I am not sure why people spell it as McCutcheon but many people make the mistake.

McCutcheon is of Scottish descent.
I don't think Cutch is Scottish.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving
Gobble Gobble!  Here is a base card from 2020 Topps Update Turkey Red insert.
The back features #fakenews.  Cutch began his 8 straight seasons of 20+ HR in 2011, not 2012.  Were it not for a season ending injury he likely would have hit 20HR in 2019 as he connected for 10HR in Only 59 games and duplicated that output in 2020 by hitting 10 HR in a 57 game COVID-19 shortened season.

Fun fact: Since McCutchen's debut season in 2009 only he, Edwin Encarnacion, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz have hit 10+ HR each season from 2009 to 2020. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Giving Thanks

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought I would give thanks by showing a piece of artwork that easily jumps up the charts to my favorite piece of artwork I own.
It's a simple sketch of the Pirates logo, but did you see who sketched it?
The 5xAll-Star, 4xSilver Slugger, Gold Glove, MVP winning centerfielder of the Pirates is the correct answer.

Yes I own a piece of artwork by Andrew McCutchen.  

Cutch is known as being a celebrity that will draw to assist any charity events and has even visited Pittsburgh hospitals to draw with the kids who are suffering from life threatening diseases.  

This piece of artwork was auctioned off for St Francis Food Pantries annual event.  By clicking on the link you can see some of the artwork that is going to generate money for this year's Doodle For Hunger event.

Here is the complete sketch framed along with a photo of Cutch and the nameplate from the event.  
It's not everyday that a former MVP winner does artwork to generate money to help food pantries, but I am grateful and thankful that I was able to add this to the collection. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Rays History: What Could Have Been?

The Tampa Bay Rays have steadily been a competitive team since 2008 when they advanced all the way to the World Series.  The fact that they have been a top 20% performer in terms of wins over the past decade despite having a bottom 10% of payroll shows that the upper management is one of the smartest organizations in professional sports.

This is further evidenced that the Rays despite only a $28.6 million dollar payroll advanced all the way to Game 6 of the 2020 World Series.

However, not everything for the Rays comes up aces.

Take Wade Townsend for example.

He was selected by the Rays with the 8th overall pick in that loaded 2005 draft class that produced many face of the franchise players like Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, Alex Gordon, and Andrew McCutchen.

But did you know that the Rays were considering taking the florida native McCutchen with that 8th overall pick?
Neither did I until I read the back of this 2012 Topps Museum card.
Imagine if Andrew McCutchen debuted in 2008 with Evan Longoria and joined a talented outfield consisting of BJ (Melvin) Upton and Carl Crawford?

Would a 2008 rookie nucleus of Longoria, Price, and McCutchen been enough to win the Rays at least one Championship? I have to think McCutchen would have fared better than Gabe Gross, Gabe Kapler, or Sam Fuld in the outfield during his "controlled years".

I am still on the hunt for the 2012 Topps Museum green parallel to 199 and the red parallel numbered 1/1 .  I have the blue, gold, and base. 

Monday, November 23, 2020


The Steelers are now a surprising 10-0 to start the season.  Amidst all this chaos that COVID-19 has caused this world, one thing this year has been consistent.  I have worn my black Troy Polamalu every Steelers game day this year.  It's a jersey I've had for about 10 years, but only wore it to in person game viewing.  With no in game attendance for much of the country, I subconsciously wore it in hopes that "things could get back to normal".  Then the Steelers won, so I wore it the next week and they won again.  Rinse and repeat 10 times and that brings us to the current state.

Is it superstitious?
Am I going to change my wardrobe this Thanksgiving when the Steelers face off against their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens?
Absolutely not!

I have a very small collection of Troy (only about 40 cards), which is sad because he is my 2nd favorite football player ever behind only Jerome Bettis (about 300 cards).

Here are a few of my favorites.
This on card silver ink framed card is from Topps last year of Museum football. It's weird that football fans miss Topps products and baseball fans want Panini to get an MLB license.  This is by far and away my best card of Troy, the others are just base and parallels.
Above are the 9 best other cards of Troy I own.  I chose them either for their imagery, uniform, or being a parallel.  Maybe I can use the 2 pink parallels for a future Save Second Base.
This red parallel Topps Triple Threads is numbered to 50 copies and features a very neat fact on the back.
Troy batted .550 as All-State baseball player in his senior year.  What an athlete!!!

And here is an Andrew McCutchen card with name cameo of Troy Polamalu on the back.  
It is the Stars of Summer insert from 2014 Classics.
That is a cool looking insert!

Do you have any superstitions relating to watch sport events?

Sunday, November 22, 2020

I Know My Calculus

Last week I put out a challenge to see if anyone could come up with a PG13 subject and try to stump me from associating it to an Andrew McCutchen collectible in my collection.  I entered all the suggestions into list randomizer and atop was calculus.

If you watched MTV in the early 2000s you may remember a fake boy band called 2ge+her which had a "hit song" Calculus.  That song tried to simplify the term Calculus by saying "I know my Calculus cause you plus me equals us".  While that could be considered a calculation, calculus is just a bit more complex than that.

Calculus is a mathematical understanding of changing values that relate to a function.  It is because of this that sabermetric stats use a form of calculus to look at different values of baseball.

Baseball cards as we know them in their current Topps format began with 1952 Topps.  

We are all familar with the design as Topps has used it many times over the decades since it's original release.
This is the black diamond parallel insert from 2011.
The back perfectly captures the original card backs and statistics shared.  Pretty simple calculations for hitting and fielding.  

Things changed in 2015 when Topps began to insert different card backs known as sabermetric backs.
The card fronts looked identical to a normal base card, but the card backs began to spotlight different statistics not normally on card backs.
These included stats like Onbase Plus Slugging, isolated power, weighted runs created, Wins Above Replacement, and percentage of walking or striking out.
These stats have become common talk among "newer" fans of the game who look at statistics beyond just batting average and Runs Batted In.

Topps took it to another step in 2020 when they released their sabermetric parallels that were serially numbered on back to 300 copies.
These statistics use the Statcast program at MLB stadiums to track a player's approach at the plate.  It looks at how many times the player barreled up a ball (regardless of outcome), % of hard hit balls (regardless of outcome), exit velocity, among some others.  These help to capture how well the player is approaching a pitch.  A barreled up line drive to an outfielder may result in an out, but a lil dabbled swinging bunt between the pitcher and third base may result in a hit.  Obviously it's betyer to get on base, but the player who hit the scorcher had the better approach at the plate.
As you can see on the card back, Cutch is still way above league average in many of these categories.  Remember he got injured early June 2019 and missed essentially 4 months of the season due to a torn ACL.

So there you go, a changing value of using integers to calculate a player's worth.  Sounds similar to calculus to me, so I guess I passed this exam.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

So Many Factory Set Parallels

Did you know that Topps has made even more options for rainbow chasers?

Topps has added to their portfolio with more factory set parallels. 

In the past there used to be red parallels, but that parallel was given to Target with an exclusive in 2012.  Then Topps used orange factory set parallels beginning in 2012 until 2016.  In 2017 Topps introduced foilboard parallels that were serially numbered and available as a limited pack inside their factory sets.

Then 2020 happened and everything got confusing and screwed up.

There are now 6 (yes six) parallels to chase in factory sets.  

Topps introduced the Walmart Green box factory sets this year which could contain complete factory sets in a number of 4 different parallels.

The most common is the gold star (1 in 3 factory boxes will have a complete set with the gold star).  The others include (non serial numbered) print runs of 299 (blue) and 99 (orange).  There is also a 1/1 complete set, but to my knowledge that hasn't surfaced yet.  

Inside the retail factory sets are Foilboard card packs with a pack of 5 cards each serial numbered to 264 copies.

The hobby foilboards packs are similar looking and limited to 229 copies.

Below are the 4 parallels I have so far.

Only the foilboard is serially numbered on the back.  It has a print run of 229 copies.
I still need the foilboard numbered to 264 copies which is a retail exclusive.  

Have you bought any of these Walmart Green box factory sets? Did you open it to see if you had a parallel set?

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Uncle Larry Collection

I have gotten a few items relating to the famous 2020 Topps card and have shown them off over the past few months.

Here is the complete collection.
11x14 Topps cards, 5x7 gold Topps card, 2 of the SP photo variant, a BGS authenticated autograph with inscription "Sat. Night Special", 4 sketch cards, and a 16x20 photo authenticated by Hunts Auctions.
The most recent addition is the bobblehead which I preordered back in August. The post got the attention of Cutch evidently because when I woke up this morning, I had this on my phone
That is pretty awesome and shows how humble and fan friendly he is. If you read this, thanks for following me back Cutch.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Sorry Fuji, you don't win

A few days ago I posted a challenge to try and come up with a subject to stump me from connecting a random subject to something in my Andrew McCutchen collection.  I have had fun with these kinds of posts in the past. 

In the past I have reached out to try and connect a random thought to an Andrew McCutchen card I own.  I've done this with everything from chimichangasbutterscotch pudding and quotes from Elf, with my favorite of that group being "Six Inch Ribbon Curls" and of course my yearly month long October SAVESECONDBASE event where I connect only pink shaded cards to pretty ladies. 

Mark aka Fuji is currently dealing with parent/teacher conferences and suggested that subject to stump me from associating it with an Andrew McCutchen collectible in my collection. 
Mission failed!

This is the 2020 Topps of the Class set card for Andrew McCutchen.  These cards were offered as hobby shop exclusives for children bringing in their report card.  A child could receive 1 free pack per report card and the set consisted of 100 cards.  There was also a foil set limited to 299 copies that featured 25 players.
The back of the cards resemble a notebook along with a few recent years and career statline of the player along with a bit of accomplishments the player has had in their career. 

Because I knew I could knock out a post like this I eliminated it from the suggestions. 

I took the other suggestions and randomed them off.

Looks like I will be keeping the school theme and try to show off something relating to calculus in the future.  This should be easy as there are many card back stats continuously changing. Stay tuned for this weekend to see that post.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

I got BUCKing Lucky

I was going through a stack of cards to mail out last week and came across a card that I had never put away for my PC.  

I bought this green parallel for only $1 with free shipping.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Give Me Ideas

In the past I have reached out to try and connect a random thought to an Andrew McCutchen card I own.  I've done this with everything from chimichangas, butterscotch pudding and quotes from Elf, with my favorite of that group being "Six Inch Ribbon Curls"

Give me some ideas to write about.

If not, I'll be forced to show cards like this
I am sure not everyone wants to read about a triple patch card of three Philadelphia Phillies.  I mean it does have the 2013 and 2015 NL MVPs on it and it is numbered to only 9 copies.  The foil pops brightly and the patch on the Cutch portion has nice color breaks, but who wants to read about the Phillies? Anyone? 

If you don't want to read about upper middle tier cards like the above 2020 Triple Threads card, leave a comment below something you want me to relate to something in my collection.  

I will choose a comment at random and if you can stump me, you will win a random prize.

Let's keep it PG13 by the way. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

A Rare Bunt

Remember when Topps was trying so hard to get fans to join their Bunt app that they produced physical cards with EXTREMELY LIMITED PRINT RUNS to entice fans to get extra Bunt points for their app?

Well, I certainly don't.  Then again I never had any interest in digital cards either.  I like to hold my cards in person.

This is a 2015 Topps Bunt Crossover cards with a print run of only 25 copies. 
Mine is still unscratched.

One is currently for sale on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $250 or best offer. The seller is another McCutchen collector so I think he is aware of how rare it is and is hoping that he can get myself or one of the other Cutch collectors to get into a war of adding this rare card to the collection.

I don't have a need for another one though amd don't play Bunt so I have no desire for that price point.

Prices on these types of cards are all over the place from the $5 DJ LeMahieu to the $291 Dee Gordon.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Let's Make This Card More Desirable

2020 Topps Museum used to be known as a high end product.  It has Museum in it's name for crying out loud.  That should be highest of quality.

Since Topps Museum debuted in 2013 there have been a number of releases that have eclipsed it as being a higher end.  

The most obvious is Transcendent which costs $26K a case.  Others include the 1 card per box products like Dynasty where you get a prime patch and on card autograph on a card sealed in a One-Touch.  Then there are other on card autograph products like Luminaries, Definitive, and even Five Star.

The short window Topps Museum had as being a top dog high end product are gone.  Nowadays it is upper middle class and that saddens me because I always liked the idea of a pack of Museum being a perfect lottery ticket.

You could get base cards (and parallels) which were perfect for set collectors. You had chances at 1/1 sketch cards or at least a reprint insert set inside every box.  There were guaranteed autographs (many of which were stars or rookies). And there were nasty patches to be had IN EVERY BOX!

Museum was a great product, but it has turned into being a Triple Threads boring younger brother. 

So let's take a Momentous Material Jumbo Patch of Cutch numbered to only 15 copies and discuss what would be needed to make this an even higher end release.
I love jumbo patch cards.  
Even if they contain sticker autos.

I think the card is awesome as is, but according to sales of 2020 autograph McCutchen cards it ranks below Triple Threads
As you can see cards like the ones below that are numbered to 18 or 25 copies sell for more money, which generally shows more demand and interest in those types of cards.
I prefer 1 jumbo patch than 3 smaller plain jerseys (or bats).

Would you rather have 1 jumbo patch of a player you collect OR 3 smaller plain relics (either bat or road grey jerseys)?

Friday, November 13, 2020

The Channel is Phil's Pulls

What's up everyone?

His name is Phil. 
The channel is Phil's Pulls
In case you are unfamiliar, Phil Hughes, a former top pitching prospect for the New York Yankees collects baseball cards and has a YouTube Channel.
I have a pair of Phil Hughes/Andrew McCutchen printing plates that were never released from Just Minors in 2006.

It should also be noted that the former World Series Champion also sold me a very special 1/1!

My 4th superfractor of my other main PC guy, Charlie Morton.
Phil sent this card in record time, receiving it only 2 days after payment was made.  Thanks Phil!

I had some packages go out today to the following zip codes 07044, 95119, 36618, 46516, 62450.
Elliptical Man, please email me your address to collect your prizes.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Where's that haystack?

2020 Topps Update has been out for a bit over a week now and I have to admit, I am shocked by how few parallels have hit the market for 2020 U-266
That's Andrew McCutchen's 2020 Topps Update card which looks back on his 2013 All-Star Game.

So far I have only received the gold foil parallel.
These fall roughly 1 in every 2 Hobby Jumbo packs and are exclusive to Hobby Jumbo packs.  I will be looking for all the other parallels to build towards a rainbow.

I like the look of this card and really want to add any of these dreadlock, Pirates, perennial MVP contender era McCutchen cards to my PC.  Keep your eyes out because as of now they feel like a needle in a haystack trying to locate.

Only 1 of the 50 pink parallels has hit eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $50.  Hmmmm HELL NO!!!

0 of the 99 Vintage Stocks have appeared on eBay

0 of the 25 Camo have appeared on eBay

0 of the 1/1 printing plates have appeared on eBay.

Where are all the breakers pulling these cards? What the heck is going on here?