Monday, May 31, 2021

Remembering Memorial Day

Today is a day to remember those who lost their lives while serving our country in the military.

The Pirates have honored the military with military camo jerseys over the years and I am fortunate to own a few cards of Cutch featuring swatches of these camo jerseys.
Panini has used many of these jersey swatches over the years, but they look best in the brand National Treasures.
Growing up I never understood the meaning of Memorial Day.  I always viewed it as a way to welcome the summer, have a BBQ with friends and family, and if chose to work to get double time and half.  

It's not that I didn't know what the actual holiday's intended purpose was, it was just that it had escaped "hitting home" with me.  A few years ago I stated Happy Memorial Day and someone from the blogging community reached out to me reminding me that the holiday should never be viewed as Happy and that it is a day of somber to remember the fallen.

Since that email, I have always viewed the holiday differently and have never said have a happy Memorial Day again.  I have completely changed my viewpoint on the holiday and try to use my new found understanding of the holiday to share with others.  

So for those of you who are celebrating the holiday in the traditional BBQ and family party mindset, please take a few moments to remember those who lost their lives serving this country to allow us the freedom for such events. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Top 10 List: Gamers

I have been laying out a few maps and plans on where I want my collection to go and how I want it to grow in the next few year's regarding my Andrew McCutchen collection.  
You can see the other 2 categories of items I want to add to my collection by clicking on the below links

(I actually got a custom piece of artwork for the wall paying homage of Cutch's career thus far to an old issue of Amazing Spider-Man)

I will use these maps and goals to help stay focused and to stay away from the 
Gotta Catch Em All Pokemon mentality

The collection has grown to epic proportions in the past decade and I am extremely proud of what I have accumulated.  

While I have so many unique cards (over 3,000) and items (lineup card from 1st HR, actual dreadlock cut for charity) there is one thing I am greatly missing in my collection.

A Game Used Jersey

Sure, I have a bunch of my jerseys and I even own a Nike Phillies jersey that Cutch personalized and signed for me, but I don't own a jersey that he wore in a game.

But I want a jersey

I had an opportunity last year to get a Yankees pinstripe jersey, but passed on it because I instead opted to get a few more high end cards.  Looking back I wish I had the taken that plunge and grabbed the Yankees jersey as there aren't that many and it is such an iconic uniform.

If I had to rank them by team order, here is the list
2-Any Event Game Used (Team USA World Baseball Classic, All-Star Game, etc)

What items are on your hobby wish list?
Do you own any game used items?

Friday, May 28, 2021

National Road Trip Day (this is a fun ride and read)

You may not be aware, but today is National Road Trip Day.

I thought it would be fun to see if I can find cards of Cutch in various stadiums.

We begin with the best ballpark in Baseball, PNC Park in Pittsburgh
PNC Park is my personal zen zone.  Everytime I go there and take in the sights, sounds, and memories, I immediately feel like all my worries and real life drama is gone (even with the way the Pirates are currently playing).
On our way east we make a brief stop in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  It's not a long stay, just brief enough for a cameo.
Heading into Philadelphia we have Cutch making a catch in front of the NovaCare sign in left field of Citizen's Bank Park
But then he slid into centerfield for a few games in 2019 (before his season ending injury) to make this catch in front of the W.B. Mason sign
And of course no visit to Philadelphia would be complete without showing off Cutch in the dugout getting his swag on.

Heading up to the Big Apple
The large Verizon logo in the background and road memorial day uniforms makes me know that this image was taken at Citi Field in 2014.
Cutch was presented with the Roberto Clemente Award just before Game 3 of the 2015 World Series held in New York.
And of course he participated in the 2013 MLB All Star Game at Citifield.
Switching to the Bronx we see Cutch just briefly appear in a New York Yankees uniform.
And now we are shipping up to Boston where we see Cutch celebrate with teammates at Fenway Park for their 100 Win season in 2018

From there we are heading west...
And go to Cincinnati
where Cutch homered in the 2015 All Star Game.

Now we are going to another division rival by heading to St. Louis
I hate seeing all that red worn by the fans, even if it is July 4th 2016.

Next stop, Kansas City
Cutch participated in the 2012 Home Run Derby and also coming in as a pinch runner for Carlos Beltran.  He stole second base then got out in his only plate appearance of the night. 

Sticking with an AL Central theme, we are heading north we go to Minnesota
Cutch started in centerfield for the National League at the 2014 All Star Game.  He singled, then stole second base to lead off the game.

Next up on our random road trip we head to Milwaukee where Cutch hit his 200th career homerun
It's a shame we can't see Front Row Amy in this pic.

Getting Back on track with the NL Central, we go to the Windy City, Chicago
As a long time rival of the Cubs, Cutch likes to do his best Sammy Sosa impersonation while trolling the Chicago faithful

When I think of Wrigley Field, the first thing I think about is the ivy in the outfield.  The second is the brick background behind home plate.  It's timeless!!!
Moving from the Windy City to Motor City we have Cutch relaxing in Detroit as evidenced by the road pants and Tigers base.
We head southwest to Arizona where we can see Kirk Gibson making a cameo in the dugout
Next up is Colorado where Cutch goes on to hit 3HR at Coors Field in a game and get the Topps Now treatment

He would repeat the feat a year later in San Diego

Of course Cutch became a MLB commercial when he gave out some batting gloves to Pirates fans in San Diego 
Always Classy, Always Cutch!

Heading to Los Angeles we have a base from the 2017 World Baseball Classic Champions Team USA featuring Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen celebrating their victory over Team Japan.  Cutch drove in the first run of the 2-1 victory.  
Dodgers stadium is a nice location with the yellow seats 

Next stop San Francisco where Cutch delivers an epic 3 run 14th inning walk off homer to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers

We finish the road trip west in Oakland
This is a fairly obvious one as it shows the Athletics logo as part of the dugout.  This is the 2017 Topps SP photo variant.

Time to go back East!!!

We had to hop a plane to Miami
Then headed north to Atlanta where we celebrate the Pirates clinching the 2014 playoffs with this bottle of Fre champagne, signed by Cutch

On our way back north we stop at the Nation's capital.  I can only assume this is at Washington DC based on the limited teams the Phillies faced in 2020.  Only the Nats have red helmets (besides the Phillies) of the NL and AL East opponents they faced.

We wrap things up by returning to Pittsburgh
I love Pittsburgh

Have you ever looked at a player's cards to determine what city they were playing in on the card?  

If you want to confirm your guesses of the road towns, I suggest using Gettyimages.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

#TBT: The Final Thoughts?

For the past couple weeks I have shown off some of the Throwback Thursday sets that Andrew McCutchen appeared in.  In the three sets he appeared in, only one was a set that wasn't originally a baseball design.  

My thoughts on Topps reusing past designs have been discussed many times before.  I would love to add a Cutch card to my collection for each year from 1952-2021.  Topps has botched this opportunity as they continue to repeat Cutch many times over for some designs and not using him in others. 

My favorite of the three cards Cutch appeared in for the 2016 #TBT online exclusive set is the 1957 football design featuring Andrew McCutchen and Roberto Clemente.
The set that preceded this football design theme was 90210 (Topps would use it again a year later).
The set that followed the 1957 Football design was 1982 Topps (a design Cutch still hasn't been represented in)
That #TBT set only features Cal Ripken Jr. and looks at his career using the 1982 Highlights design.

There are so many fun nonsports Topps designs over the years.  I've already discussed my ideas for using the Dick Tracy Wanted stickers and 1990 TMNT movie cards for future #TBT card designs. 

How about the 1991 Addams Family?
Release it around Halloween and have it feature players wearing masks in the clubhouse or on field.
You could even go with players dressing up for themed road trips
I know I would find a Giancarlo Stanton as a pharaoh a fun card to add to my collection.
It could join this 2019 Topps Update Cole Tucker SP photo variant.