Wednesday, March 31, 2021

These are not the racks you are looking for

I missed an opportunity to highlight women this month so with only a day left in Women's History Month I present to you the history of the celebs I have had a crush on since my childhood. 

A top 10 if you will... (Listed in alphabetical order by first name)
Alexandra Daddario
Alison Brie
Evangeline Lilly
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jessica Alba
Jessica Biel
Kat Dennings
Kate Upton
Milana Vayntrub
Olivia Taylor Dudley

Now with all those great images of those beautiful women with the assets only slightly showing, but mostly sealed I thought I could show a recent sealed pack of cards with Andrew McCutchen on the cover.

Since rack packs don't exist in the traditional sense anymore, this is the closest I can come up with.
Above is the 2006 sealed set of Altoona Curve featuring Andrew McCutchen on the front and
Neil Walker on the back.

Do you miss rack packs?  Would the current hobby craze make rack packs impossible to keep sealed if Tatis, Acuna, or Trout were on the cover?

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A Carbon Copy?

I set a goal to add 50 new Pirates Cutch cards to my collection in 2021. 
This 2014 Bowman Chrome may look similar to another card I already showed off last Friday. It's not a carbon copy, but it is a carbon fiber parallel.
It is the black carbon parallel numbered to only 10 copies and were inserted into packs at 1:695 packs.

Monday, March 29, 2021

🔥I Am On Fire🔥

I have been on fire adding new Cutch cards from his Pirates playing days (2005 to 2017) over the past month having acquired nearly a dozen cards in 1 month.  This makes up for a slower February that I had.
Above is the 2017 Topps Fire Gold Minted parallel.  These are available only in blaster boxes.
I snagged this blaster box exclusive card for under $5 delivered after taxes and shipping

Have you picked up any cards on your want list for under $5 shipped recently? What did you get?

Sunday, March 28, 2021

70 Year Fatigue

As many know, Topps is celebrating their 70th anniversary this year and as such there are many insert sets and parallels in their various releases thus far commemorating the anniversary.

One such parallel is the appropriately named 70th foil parallel.  They use a similar technology to what we saw last year with the Bowman releases.  

I have gotten a few of the Andrew McCutchen 70th Foil parallels released thus far including the 1986 insert set seen below.
Each of these unique parallels are numbered to 70 copies this year and for the 1986 inserts, they are numbered on the back.
I also have gotten the Stars in Service 70th Anniversary parallel.
The serial number for this is on the front.

As Topps continues to celebrate their 70th anniversary I have a few questions that hopefully we can go into discussing around the blogs.

What are your 5 favorite designs in Topps Flagship releases over the past 70 years?

What designs would you like to see used more frequently for throwback inspired sets like Topps Archives or used as an insert set? 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Topps Series 2 Preview

Topps has already been active in providing me with new McCutchen cards released in 2021.  I've already got a few inserts released from 2021 Series One and have picked up a refractor from 2021 Topps Heritage and a green parallel from 2021 Topps Inception.  There's dozens of cards to chase already and Cutch hasn't even appeared in Flagship yet.

Topps did release the image that will be used for Cutch's 2021 Series Two card and it's a nice action fielding photo. 

Series Two will also feature Ke'Bryan Hayes official rookie card too.
The set releases June 2nd so I have some time to save up for the nearly 20 parallels to chase. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Purple Ice Ice Baby

I love getting Cutch cards from his Pirates playing days.  Prime Cutch is the best!!!

It's why I made it one of my goals this year to add 50 new Cutch cards to the collection from 2005-2017.  

I am keeping pace with adding roughly 1 new Cutch card to the collection from that era and it has been an absolute blast getting some of these rarer cards. 
Case in point is the exhibit above. 
2014 Bowman Purple Ice.  
For being a "paper" Bowman card, this card pops and shines almost like a chrome card.
The purple ice parallels were limited to only 10 copies.  Odds for pulling one of these aren't available, but they were hobby pack exclusives. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Prime Phillies Patch

Yup, I've added another Phillies patch card to my ever expanding Andrew McCutchen collection.  This particular card is from 2020 Topps Update and is numbered to only 25 copies.
It comes courtesy of @WillsCollection on Twitter
Will also included 3 other McCutchen cards as a throw in. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A golden opportunity

After nearly a decade of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, I have decided to take a step back at my job.  Working over 50 hours with an hour commute both ways on top and getting at best only one day off a week has broken me down mentally.  I took an opportunity to take a slight pay cut but relieve myself of all the stress that has been building up inside and at the same time get a piece of mind.  

I am also planning on moving in the next few month's so it seems like a perfect time to take a step back so that I can move forward in life.  

Call it a golden opportunity.

On a personal level it's more golden than this 2018 Topps Update gold parallel of the 1983 insert set.  
This change in life style is certainly more limited than the 50 copies of this card produced too.
But at the same token, it presents a far more greater possibility of what may come in the future.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Enter MechaCutchen

I love 80s cartoons and toys.  
I had a huge Masters of Universe, and Thundercats collection as a kid.  
I also had a bunch of Transformers, M.A.S.K., Ninja Turtles, and Voltron toys when I was younger.  

Unfortunately nearly all my toys were thrown out except my Piranha motorcycle and Sly Rax from M.A.S.K., my Tygra and Slythe figures from Thundercats, and a handful of my "bigger" Transformers like Jazz and Blaster.  I found them all in a red Lego bin when I was moving into my first apartment.

As an adult I recollected a lot of my Thundercats and Voltron toys I had as a kid.  

I also began buying some of the G1 Transformers reissues that Toys R Us produced.  

I don't want to get into the story of all my 80s toys collections, but I eventually sold them all.  

When the pandemic first hit last year I found myself reminiscing about the cartoons and toys I grew up loving.  This lead me to a rabbit hole that ultimately brought me to where I discovered the ultra talented artist KeroWack! who had created his own comic book based on the property M.A.S.K.

After viewing some of KeroWack's art (real name Brian) and seeing some of his YouTube streams I knew I wanted to get his take on my two favorite things merged together.

80s Cartoons like Transformers and Andrew McCutchen

This is what he came up with...
Enter Andrew MechaCutchen

This meched out version of Andrew McCutchen is so fricking amazing!  

Like ridiculously amazing!!!

You have a giant protector of the Steel City with weapon in hand (bonus points for being a Marucci bat), dreadlocks, sunglasses, and the PNC Park in background of a dusky horizon. 

Amazing job KeroWack!
Follow him
Twitter kerowackart

Monday, March 22, 2021

Hey! Can you give me a hand?

Every now and then I pick up an item for my Cutch collection that goes beyond cardboard and I get really excited about it.  I've shown off some pretty cool items in the past which I may go into a recap post in the future, but below is an item that is a first for me.

Above is my first pair of game used batting gloves.  They were both autographed by Andrew McCutchen and both have a game used inscription by Cutch.
They come certified by Hunt's Auctions.

Best of all though you can see Cutch wearing this style batting glove on a variety of his Phillies cards from 2019 to 2021.
2021 Topps 70 Years of Topps 1955 design insert
2020 Topps Fire green parallel
2019 Topps Heritage Throwback Uniform 5x7
2020 Topps Big League blue parallel
2020 Topps Series 2 Independance Day parallel
2020 Topps 1985 Patch relic red border
2020 Topps Museum
2019 Topps Tek purple
2020 Topps Triple Threads "Getting Started" gold triple relic parallel

How would you display an item like this? Shadowbox? Frame?
Both showing the signed side or one side,showing the game use? Should I put some 5x7s inside it? 
Give me your thoughts...

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Top Prospects

The Pittsburgh Pirates had a top 5 farm system in 2015 to couple with an MLB team with the 2nd best record in baseball.  Things have changed a lot since then as the MLB team and farm system has been gutted in just over 5 years.  

While things look bleak in current days, they looked even worse in 2006 when the team had a bottom 10 farm system and bottom 10 active MLB roster.  

If you follow me on Twitter you have already seen my unique item I am going to show off today. 

Above is a page from Baseball America that is signed by 9 of the 10 top prospects for the Pirates in 2006.  Andrew McCutchen and Jose Bautista are the two biggest names as they have 11 All Star game appearances between the two of them, but Nate McLouth and Matt Capps also had made an all star game appearance. 

Do you have any multiplayer signed photos, images, equipment in your collection? 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Would You Rather?

While I don't collect Wade Boggs cards to a supercollector status, I have been fascinated by some of the Wade Boggs Supercollectors because they share a similar mindset for how I go about CollectingCutch.  I discussed the other Wade Boggs collectors on a post last year during Shark Week.

One of the "Boggs trust" members, John aka WadeBoggsFan (his birthday was yesterday btw) on YouTube published a video where he took 2 pitchers and 2 hitters and without revealing their names asked based solely on the stats which pitcher or hitter would you rather have to build a franchise around.

I thought it would be fun to do a similar thing here looking at a random player from the early 2000s, Andrew McCutchen, and Wade Boggs.  

So here are some stats through age 25 season (keeping simple stats and slash lines)

Player A
328 hits
10 HR
4 SB
151 Runs/118 RBI

Player B
753 Hits
111 HR
117 SB
479 Runs/349 RBI
3 ASG, 2 GG

Player C
629 Hits
82 HR
98 SB
362 Runs/295 RBI
2 ASG, 1 GG

By those stats most people who look at Player B would say he is clearly on a Hall of Fame path.  As a matter of fact according to his Baseball Reference page his closest similarity scores for ages 22-26 are Duke Snider, Mookie Betts, and Barry Bonds.  Player A has a lot of ground to catch up and Player C is just slightly behind Player B in regards to simple counting stats.

Let's move on to their stats through their  Age 33 seasons now using the same 3 players as before

Player A
1,965 Hits
78 HR
15 SB
1,005 Runs/637 RBI

Player B
1,098 Hits
150 HR
143 SB
660 Runs/518 RBI
3 ASG, 2 GG

Player C
1,719 Hits
243 HR
191 SB
974 Runs/853 RBI
5 ASG, 1 GG, 1 MVP

As you can see above Player A has been racking up a ton of hits over the 8 seasons that followed the initial look through age 25 season.  Player B, originally lumped into "Future Hall of Famer" talks has completely fallen off and retired from baseball at age 32.  Player C is a model of consistency keeping up with a steady stream of hits, walks, homers, despite declining stolen bases over later seasons.

I found this to be a very fun excercise and think it can shed some light on why investing in sports cards can sometimes become a huge risk.  Player B was one of the hottest names in the sport in the mid 2000s, but injuries derailed his career and his autograph can now be had for about $5.  He finished his career in Tampa Bay and retired after his age 32 season.  

Player A got a late start to his career, but went on to join the 3,000 hit club as a member of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  He joined the Hall of Fame in 2005, the same year Player B had his first full season in the majors and the same year Player C got drafted.

The book is still open on Player C as he enters the 2021 season at age 34 and only has one year guaranteed on his contract.

While I haven't been buying many cards lately, I did manage to pick up this fold up poster from Lids that features Andrew McCutchen along with some of the bigger names in the sport at the time it was produced.  The names of players on this poster would make some interesting Would You Rather posts. With a lack of cards to buy, I am looking towards finding more things like this for the collection.  

Can you match up the 3 players in this exercise knowing two of them are Boggs and Cutch? 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Back in Black

One of my 2021 Goals is to add 50 NEW Cutch cards to the collection from his Pirates playing days (2005-2017).  That equates to roughly 1 new pre 2018 Cutch card each week.  I have been (barely) keeping pace with that strategy for much of this year.

The card you see below was my first purchase of 2021.  Because it was shipped via PWE there was no tracking on it and it took almost 9 weeks to be delivered.
This 2014 Topps Finest Black Refractor is Numbered 42/99.  I have a love/hate relationship with 2014 Topps Finest.  I both love and hate the design. 
Fun fact: Cutch hit a 5th walk-off homer for the Pirates in 2015. 

I can finally leave feedback for this January 1st purchase.
What is the longest you have had to wait for a card to arrive during this crazy times we are living in now?

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Gettin' Rich

Everyone wants to get rich with this hobby, right?  Well I literally did get Rich.

Rich Molinelli, that is. 
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that my profile pic/avatar is a sketch card of Andrew McCutchen.  That card was drawn by Rich Molinelli almost a decade ago.  

I wanted an updated version and requested Rich draw him in a Yankees uniform because quite frankly I just don't have enough Cutch Yankees cards.

This is the result of what Rich came up with.
It rocks!!!!  I love the #26 pinstripe jersey, the clean shaved Cutch, and the unique design he threw into the background.

Best of all, it was done on a 2021 sketch card, making this my first of the new season.
If you want to follow Rich here are some of his links

Now for some "get rich" puns
I am always looking to add gold border 2005 Update cards to the collection
I currently have 7.  I've gotten them as cheap as $5 and have paid as much as $20 over my collecting career.

I am shocked at how much these are going for in this crazy hobby world we live in today
$46-$56 is an insane price for these if you ask me, but I guess with a Trout base rookie selling for $600+ regularly now it only makes sense.