Saturday, November 27, 2021

32 Years In The Making?

If you've followed my blogs over the past decade you are probably aware that I have a deep nostalgia for all things 80s and the early 90s.  Well, there is a sequel that came out this year that has been 32 years in the making.  Well, not literally, but it sure felt like it.  

In 1989, Ghostbusters 2 was released following the huge success of the first film.  

A third movie was never released, but a few cartoon series were.  Fans were left waiting...and waiting....and waiting.

Rumors of a third movie began to surface, but nothing ever came to be due to the real life falling apart with stars Bill Murray and the late Harold Ramis.

The franchise is one of my favorite 80s franchises behind Thundercats, Transformers, and Voltron.

What is so cool about the Ghostbusters mythos is that ANYONE can become a Ghostbuster.

I finally got around to watch Ghostbusters: Afterlife.  I won't spoil anything, but I cried.  Not seeping tears running down my eyes like I was 5 years old and Optimus Prime died cried, but 40 year old nerd man crying at the deeper meaning of what this long awaited sequel means. 

Anyway, as stated this film (unlike the 2016 "female Ghostbusters" Answer The Call reboot) follows the canon of the first two films and picks up many years after the 1989 sequel.

Here are my cards with 1989 designs.

2019 Optic released an autograph MVP set to represent the 1989 Donruss MVP design.  Cutch was one of the autograph subjects and there are multiple parallels to chase after.  
I have the Pink Velocity, Gold Vinyl (Superfractor), Green, and base.
All cards are on card autos.
2014 Topps Chrome included a chrome version of a 1989 design of Cutch.  It came in a refractor and superfractor format.
I have both.
There were also Topps Mini diecuts released in 2014 Topps.  Cutch is one of the few who had multiple cards printed both in Series 1 and Series 2.
There was also a VERY thick patch relic die cut card using the 1989 design.  These are numbered to 25 copies and it is one of my favorite relic cards in my collection.
Bowman is Back Refractors used the 1989 Bowman.  Cutch's image is the same as his 2013 Topps Update All Star Card.

Were you a fan of the Ghostbusters franchise?

Do you plan to see the long awaited closure to the trilogy?

What is your favorite memory from 1989?

Friday, November 26, 2021

Black Friday Decoys

Is it just me or has it felt like Black Friday has been going on for a few weeks already?  

It seems like everyone has been having Black Friday deals going on from electronics to furniture to appliances in stores like Kohl's, Target, and Home Depot.

Maybe this has always been the case, but it definitely feels more unique to this year than year's past. 

There are a few things that I will be picking up for the new house today, which I am really excited about. 

Above is the 2016 Panini Black Friday Decoy parallel numvered to 50 copies.

Have you notice a surge of pre Black Friday sales?

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Gobble Gobble

Today is a day for giving thanks.

Obviously there are some things that I am thankful for that go without saying.
I am thankful for my health.
I am thankful for my family and friends health.
I am thankful for all that God has blessed me with this year.

There are of course some less obvious things that I am thankful for
I am thankful that very very soon I will have a place to properly display my Cutch Cave.
I am thankful that my commute to work each day will save me 2 hours daily once I move.
I am thankful for Topps releasing autograph cards with turkeys on them because turkeys are awesome.
I am thankful for all the food I am going to consume today.

I am thankful for Ghostbusters: Afterlife finally being released which I will be watching tomorrow.

What are some unique things you are thankful for?

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Man! What, a

Yesterday I promised I would show off one of my recent 1/1s I have acquired over the past few months.  

Well here it is, my first Logoman of Cutch in a pinstripe Phillies uniform.
Pretty stoked to add this to the collection as it looks much different than all my other Logoman cards.

The back is typical for what you'd see from a 2021 Topps Museum card.

If MLB was to update the MLB Logoman with a silhouette of a baseball player who should it be?

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Counting Stats?

I hate to say this, but my favorite athlete of all time is getting close to that retirement age.  Far too often we see players retire in their mid 30s.  Very few play until they're in their late 30s or early 40s.  Those that do are often legends and no doubt Hall of Famers.

Again I hate to say this, but I'm not sure there is enough on Cutch's resume to declare a no doubt Hall of Fame nod.

For every Lloyd Waner or Ralph Kiner in the Hall of Fame there are guys like Luis Gonzalez, Steve Garvey, Dale Murphy, Kenny Lofton, and Bernie Williams that never really came close to the Hall of Fame, but had really good career counting stats.

While Cutch certainly has had key moments in his career he never had that one career defining moment, that clutch postseason at bat or that spotlight on him.  Sure he's had the spotlight on him in his early part of his Pittsburgh career, but taking a franchise with 2 decades of losing records into the postseason three years in a row was basically just noticed by the fans of Pittsburgh.  I'm not sure the rest of the nation got a chance to see how special Andrew was to the franchise.  

He was one of the best hitters of the past decade, but largely goes undervalued and under appreciated by the casual fans.

Not to me though (obviously).  

Cutch was and is my favorite athlete ever.  I got back into baseball in 2005 when I attended a Pirates baseball game in Philadelphia.  It was the first time since the 1994 strike shortened season that I attended a baseball game.  

I fell back in love with the game and decided that I would start up a baseball card collection again and researched the Pirates future.  They had just drafted a teenager named Andrew McCutchen and I knew if he ever made it to the majors I would start collecting all of his cards.  I had no idea how difficult that task would become in the parallel era of collecting we are currently experiencing in the hobby.  I also had no idea how much the hobby had changed since 1994 when I gave up on collecting baseball cards.  There were so many rare low numbered cards that I never knew existed.  

I've been told that my player collection has helped inspire others to collect more heavily their favorite players and I'm honored that I have been able to do that.

Someone that inspires others can sometimes be called a luminary.
Andrew McCutchen helps inspire me.

Look closer at this 2021 Topps Luminaries autograph and you'll see why I am being inspired on a daily basis from my favorite baseball player.  

When it comes to my collection I have tried to keep pace with Cutch by having an equal amount of 1/1s to the number of Home Runs hit by Cutch.  They can be printing plates, Superfractors, color parallels (red for Big League Baseball, gold for Topps Now, etc), Logoman patches, sketch cards, etc etc etc...

This Luminaries card has a bold 243 on the front signifying that Cutch has hit 243 homeruns entering the 2021 season.
While this card isn't a 1/1 it does remind me of all the work I need to do to keep pace with Cutch.

Cutch had hit another 27 round trippers over the course of the 2021 season bringing his 270.  

Looks like I've got some serious work to do during the off season as I will need to add 18 more 1/1 cards to the PC prior to Cutch's 2022 debut as I am at 252 one of ones in the collection.

I'll show off one of my more recent 1/1 pickups tomorrow.

Do you keep track of your player collections compared to any of that player's numbers?  

Some examples could be 
Having an Ozzie Smith autograph collection equal to his Jersey number (1)
Having 355 Greg Maddux base cards equal to his career Win Total
Having 73 Barry Bonds insert cards (equal to the historic 2001 season
Having 1,271 Tino Martinez cards equal to his career RBI total 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Congrats to Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper won the NL MVP for the second time in his career.

I like Bryce Harper.

A lot!

I love the way he plays the game
Above are all my Cutch cards that also feature Bryce Harper.  

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Another Runner Up Performance

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.  
Isn't that the saying?

I'm not sure if that could be related to Cy Young Awards, but Gerrit Cole has to start feeling like that at this point in his career.

Despite leading the American League in Wins in 2021, it was announced Wednesday night that Gerrit finished second in the Cy Young voting.  

I believe that the "sticky stuff" conversations hurt Gerrit's chances of capturing his first Cy Young award. 

Since 2015 Gerrit has finished in 5th place (2018), 4th place (2015 and 2020) and 2nd place (2019 and 2021).
The 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates were one of my favorite teams to watch and sadly failed to win a single postseason game (eliminated in the Wild Card game).  They had a starting rotation of Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, AJ Burnett, and a resurgent Francisco Liriano.  They also had top pitching prospects like Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon, Clay Holmes, and Nick Kingham in the minors.  That pitching staff could have become legendary if they reached their ceiling of talent and stayed healthy together.

I really missed that 98 win team and the way the management tore down the position player core within a year and the entire starting rotation in 2015 was gone within 3 years.

One of the most famous pitchers to have an incredible career, but never win a Cy Young award is Nolan Ryan.

Through their Age 30 seasons here is a comparison of Cole vs Ryan
117 Wins
3.20 ERA
1,449 Innings Pitched
1,673 Strikeouts (10.39K/9)
1.12 WHIP
5 top 5 Cy Young Finishes
4 All Star Games

141 Wins
3.06 ERA
2,234 Innings Pitched
2,426 Strikeouts (9.77 K/9)
1.31 WHIP
3 top 5 Cy Young Finishes
4 All Star Games

The all time strikeout king had only SIX top 5 finishes for the Cy Young Award.  His career 4.7BB/9 may be a reason why.  He was always giving up free passes. For comparison sake yet again, Gerrit Cole's BB/9 is only 2.3BB/9 (twice as good as Nolan Ryan).

Do you think Gerrit will eventually win a Cy Young Award in his career?

Do you think Gerrit Cole's career will be tarnished by the spider tack allegations that occurred this past season?

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

1,178 Home Runs!!!!

I have been so extremely busy preparing for our closing date of moving into our new house.  

It has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions.  From the fun moments of looking at houses to putting in offers and the anticipating of knowing if the offer would be accepted to all other things this process has been extremely stressful and taxing mentally and physically.  Hopefully we will have everything finalized early in December and I can show off the new Cutch Cave early next year.

About 2 months ago I showed off a box of relics that I never logged or showed off.  I haven't had much time to go through all my boxes still as I prepare for the move, but did come across this nice card from 2015 Topps Museum.
What a beauty of a card!

The Cutch and Josh Donaldson patches are really nice!  I love the tiny sliver of silver from the Stanton patch too.

It's unfortunate that the Trout relic is just a boring grey jersey relic.  

Fun fact, this card has 1,178 career Home Runs between the 4 players featured on it.

Giancarlo Stanton leads the pack with 347 career homers.  He hit 35 last year leading the four featured players in 2021.  He won the NL MVP in 2017 and finished second in 2014.

Mike Trout has the second most career round trippers, but hit only 8 last year due to injuries.  He has 9 seasons of top 5 MVP votes.  He has played only 9 full seasons in the majors, winning the award three times.  He is this generation's greatest ball player.

Cutch has 270 career homers and hit the second most in the 2021 season among the four with 27. He has finished in the top 5 MVP votes in 4 consecutive seasons (2012-2015), winning it in 2013.

Josh Donaldson has 251 home runs and hit 26 in 2021.  He was the AL MVP for the 2015 season and has finished in the top 5 three times. 

Overall these are extremely impressive numbers for the four players featured on the card.  

How many of these guys do you think will be immortalized in the Hall of Fame one day? 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Look at that shine!!!

When it comes to modern baseball cards, many of us can agree that we love things that are shiny

The Superfractor has been one of the most prestigious parallels in our hobby for nearly 2 decades.  

Beginning in 2005 Topps Chrome, we have seen the champagne circles expand to many other sets like Topps Tribute, Allen & Ginter Chrome, Topps Heritage, Transcendent, among other sets.

Topps has been producing chrome parallels in their Topps Heritage set since the beginning of the product, but the Superfractor remained absent until the 2016 release.  Prior to that only the Chrome, Refractors, Black, and Gold Refractors existed.

With only a limited number of Superfractors produced for Andrew McCutchen Topps Heritage Chrome cards (2016, 2017, 2018, 2018 High Number, 2019 High Number, 2021) the chances of me getting one of these rare 1/1 style cards has been slim to impossible.  Only six McCutchen Heritage Superfractors exist in the past six years.  

Topps Heritage is THE MOST COLLECTED set of any hobby collectors.  It supports both the modern collector with current stars of the game along with a limited number of shiny parallels to chase after along with the vintage collectors that love the look and feel of vintage cardboard.  Unlike Flagship or any of the hit focused products, Heritage dives into the nostalgia fans because of that vintage design.  Heritage appeals to the original set design fans, player collectors, team collectors, set collectors, and master set collectors.  Lots of competition for the rarest of rare cards.

Well after many many many searches, I finally got one.
2021 Topps Heritage Chrome Superfractor based on the 1972 design.

It's so fricking sweet!
Check out the gold foil 1/1 on the back right corner.  

I grabbed this card a little over a month ago, but with the chaos of house searching, additional work hours, and prepping for the Save Second Base event I never got around to taking a picture of it. 

Do you have any Superfractors?

What kind of cards have you been looking to add to your collection for a few years, but you've never seen one available?

Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Last Catcher to Win MVP is Retiring

It's being rumored that Buster Posey will be retiring today.  I have some really amazing cards featuring Cutch with Buster Posey. 

This 2015 Immaculate Collection card features 9 (YES 9!!!!) patches of some the game's best (at that time) players at each position.
Pitcher- Clayton Kershaw
Catcher - Buster Posey
1B - Jose Abreu
2B - Robinson Cano
3B - Miguel Cabrera (he moved to 3rd so Prince Fielder could play 1st for the Tigers)
SS - Troy Tulowitzki
Outfielders - Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, Mike Trout

The card is limited to only 10 copies and is serially numbered on the back.
Troy Tulowitzki is the only player on this side to not win an MVP award.  The last shortstop to win MVP was Jimmy Rollins in 2007.  

Ribinson Cano is the only player on this side to not win an MVP.  The last Second Baseman to win the MVP was Jose Altuve in 2017.

Buster Posey had a tremendous 12 year career and looked to completely reignite his career after taking 2020 off for COVID concerns.  He finished his career with many accomplishments.
The biggest knocks on Posey will be only 1,500 career hits and only 729 RBI.  

Joe Mauer retired after the 2018 season and Yadier Molina is retiring after next season.  All three could be candidates for the Hall of Fame as they were perennial All Stars year after year.  The Hall of Fame ballot could get loaded with deserving guys in the next few years especially if the steroid guys stay on the ballot (Rodriguez, Ortiz, Manny)

Cutch and Posey were teammates in 2018 so I do have some relic cards featuring both Cutch and Posey.  
Among them are a few low numbered cards including the above 1/1 from Topps Tribute featuring a Majestic logo for Cutch and part of the Giants lettering for Buster.
By far though, this is my favorite Buster Posey card.  It's a triple patch relic of Brandon Crawford (featuring a bold Giants logo sleeve patch)
Buster Posey (featuring the R in San Francisco from a road grey jersey)
Andrew McCutchen (featuring a G from a white Giants home jersey)

Do you have any favorite Buster Posey cards in your collection?

Do you think he makes the Hall of Fame?