Saturday, January 2, 2021

My favorite 20 in 2020

They say hindsight is 20/20 and all I can say is I am so glad 2020 is in the rearview.

I thought it would be fun to look back at my favorite 20 cards released of Cutch in 2020.  

Now let me first state that it's a little disappointing that Cutch wasn't included in sets like Topps Chrome (and the Ben Baller variant), Allen & Ginter (Allen & Ginter X and Allen & Ginter Chrome were exclusions also), Gypsy Queen, and Topps Archives, along with every Bowman product.

These were all upsetting exclusions for different reasons.  
Topps Chrome is king of licensed Chrome parallels.
Allen & Ginter is my favorite release each year and I really wanted to see a Chrome version.
Gypsy Queen has been stale the past few years, but including Nick Williams over Cutch as part of the Phillies team set is a headscratcher for sure.
Topps Archives is a fun retro designed inspire set and all the designs this year would have allowed me to add a bew Cutch on a vintage design....if only he was included.

So here are my favorite cards released in packs that I personally own in my collection from the year 2020.  

It should be noted that a lot of these cards have not appeared on the blog yet so you are seeing them for the first time today.
Call it biased, but Andrew McCutchen still looks best in a Pirates hat.  From the moment he made his MLB debut in 2009 he became my favorite athlete.  With the COVID shortened season, Topps had to modify their Update release since there weren't many Rookies to release in the set and there was obviously no All Star Game.  Topps promoted the Update Series by featuring recent fan favorites in their All Star Game uniforms of years past.  There was also an autograph/patch release similar to the All-Star Stitches we have seen in the past.  I have the /25 version, but that card just features a basic jersey swatch.  This /10 version has a nice chunky patch.
Did I mention I like Andrew McCutchen cards in a Pittsburgh uniform?  Well I do.  I also like autographs. And 1 of 1s.  And laundry tags.  This card covers a lot of my favorite things from a Cutch card.  Only thing missing is dreadlocks and an on card signature.

Chunky patches and autographs are pretty awesome.  They're less awesome in a Phillies jersey, but I can't complain about adding another Andrew McCutchen autograph to the PC.  
This card is cool.  The laundry tag patch says so.  The patch is colossal and it features yet another autograph.  Serially numbered to only 3 copies is fantastic!
I have a weird fascination for Topps Gold Label.  I lovethe different classes with the different images used for each class.  Often times in traditional cards of Cutch he is in a posed batting stance, not even an action shot.  I really like fielding cards of Cutch.  Gold Label Gold parallels are all numbered 1/1.  I try to get at least one of these each year. The Bret "The Hitman" Hart glasses he's wearing are a nice added touch of his on field swag.
Speaking of swag?  This card made a lot of top 10 lists for best sports card in 2020.  Do I need to talk about this anymore?
Cutch received another SSP in Series 2 featuring him tipping his cap to his wife after a Home Run, but the 2020 Update SP features him at his Phillies press conference.  There was a clear version available numbered to only 10 copies.  I took a picture instead of a scan so you can hopefully see the legs of the bobblehead behind it.  

The Topps UK release was produced with plans to only distribute it in the United Kingdom, but many of them were sold to US buyers.  The set in general is kind of boring as it just features the Union Jack under the Topps logo.  Of course there were parallels to chase, because's 2020 and it's Topps. My favorite parallel is the Big Ben parallel because it brings the concept of the UK together.
2020 Stadium Club had a really nice design this year.  The base card had an image of Cutch running home, but the 2020 Stadium Club Chrome release had an action shot of Cutch diving to catch a fly ball.  Cutch has been criticized for his defense in recent years, but if you watch the games you can tell he still goes maximum effort on all plays.  There were many parallels for this set as well as my favorite is the wave refractor.  
Giant patch ✔
Limited print run ✔
Topps Museum ✔
There's a lot to like about this card
Red and Phillies go so well together so getting a 1/1 from Topps Triple Threads has been on the want list since he signed with the Phillies.  
Bryce Harper is either the most overrated or underrated player in the game depending who you ask.  Personally I think he gets a bad rap because he openly speaks his mind and in his first decade of playing in the majors hasn't broken every offensive and defensive record in the history books.  The amount of hype he got as a 16 year old is something the aport had never seen.  He may not be Mike Trout, but he is still one heck of a ballplayer and likely a future Hall of Famer.  The Cutch patch on this /9 Gold Triple Threads card is a nice touch.
Seeing Cutch back in a Pirates uniform in a 2020 release made me so happy.  I've picked up a few of the parallels and AJ sent me the base, but I'm going with the vintage logo/card stock parallel as my choice because Cutch in 2013 All-Star Game was vintage Cutch.  He won the MVP award and helped the Pirates to their first post season in 20 years.  
Red border parallels on cards with Phillies make for excellent pieces of cardboard, but that is not the reason I chose this card.  The United States was going through some rough racial times during the summer and tensions were at peak levels.  Baseball came through to properly honor the Negro Leagues and support Black Lives Matter.  Andrew McCutchen was at the forefront of it on Opening Day and on the day the MLB honored Negro Leagues by wearing patches or vintage uniforms, Cutch hit a homer.  This Topps Now card recognizes it.
1971 Topps is a gorgeous set with very tough grades.  Getting a modern player on such a classic design is something Topps Heritage has been doing for nearly two decades.  Cutch was a SP in the set.
I wasn't around in the hobby when Sweet Spot was all the rage, but Panini captured the essence of the idea with Absolute Baseball. This Cutch ink looks like it will fade in the future, but for now I am going to enjoy it as it is just one of six copies.
How nice is that patch?  1985 Topps is an awesome design.  Adding a massive patch to the card makes it pop!
This scan is terrible and I promise I will get a better scan for October when I show it off again.  It's a pink hyper plaid parallel from 2020 1986 design autograph.  Best of all it's number 2/2.
Year in and out, Cutch always gets a matching uniform swatch to the photo used on his Topps Definitive card releases.  I doubt it's intentional as many other players don't get the same treatment, but a double red pinstripe jumbo jersey relic makes my list of favorite 20 Cutch cards added to the PC in 2020.
If Topps used spell check or proof readers, they would be a really good company that produces nice cards.  The design of this 2020 Triple Threads Sapphire /3 is perfect.  The triple bats for three of the Pirates All time greatest hitters is a nice touch.  It's only blemish?  Andrew's name has a "d" in it.

So in no particular order, those are my 20 favorite 2020 Cutch cards I picked up in 2020.  

What are some of your favorite pickups of the past year?


  1. Yeah, the dug-out card is nice. I also like the retro '85 with the patch and the UK card.

  2. "Anrew McCutchen". Seriously, Topps? I mean, I do own a card of "Willie Mayes", but that's a junk wax oddball from some two-bit manufacturer. This is inexcusable. See also the Bowman cards which someone pulled recently which were numbered "Blank/499". I don't mean there was a blank there; I mean literally the word blank appeared where the number was supposed to go.

    Anyway, aside from the rant, it really is amazing how many primo Cutch cards you manage to track down. Bravo.

  3. Wow! Such awesome cards. Really envy your collection!

  4. A. Your collection rocks! I love just scrolling down and seeing all of these awesome cards.

    B. I cutback on spending... and outside of a few small sets and non-sports autographs... there's nothing that really comes to mind. That being said... I did receive my very first true superfractor from a very generous blogger. Thanks again for the awesome Kurt Suzuki!

  5. Wow! Awesome additions to your collection and all from 2020.