Monday, June 25, 2012

McCutchen Monday: A Fun Card for a rough day

Things are still crazy and stressful at my household.  I really don't want to get into all the details here, but I am having relationship issues, family health issues, AND an abundance of work overload that are taking up a lot of my time.  Because of that I'm showing off one of my favorite 2012 Andrew McCutchen cards today.  This card makes me smile.  Just a fun looking card of Cutch with a giant wiffle ball bat getting some batting practice in with the Pirate Parrot while wearing the Homestead Greys uniforms. 

In recognition of the continuing theme of the blog, I am posting this thread for the Let's Go Bucs Contest! where you can win some free Phillies cards.  It's a four game series, so I'm offering up 4 Phine Phillies cards for this series if the Pirates win at least 2 of the 4 games.
Joe Savery 2012 blue, Jayson Werth 2011 Heritage Relic, Antonio Bastardo 2012 Black (22/61), and a 1976 Steve Carlton

B.A. Benney has already been entered for saying Let's Go Bucs before this post.  I will leave the thread open thru Tuesday afternoon since I am posting it just an hour before gametime.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

What a week for Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole had quite a week this past week.

He made his AA debut after nearly dominating A batters in recent starts.  His AA debut went very well and was perfect through 3 innings.  His ending line was 5 innings pitched, 5 hits, 2 runs, 6 strikeouts, 0 walks.  On top of that he threw 56 pitches of 74 for strikes.  He looked like everything the Pirates hoped he would be when selected as last year's number 1 overall pick.  His offspeed pitches were nasty and his fastball topped out at 98MPH.
2012 Gerrit Cole 2012 Prime Cuts Draft Pick AUTO /249

On top of that him and former Bradenton Marauders teammate Jameson Taillon were selected to represent the Pirates in the 2012 Futures Game.  The Pirates are one of only 3 teams to have both their number 1 and 2 prospects represented at the Futures Game this year.  The other 3 teams are Seattle, Baltimore, and Toronto.

Friday, June 22, 2012

OOPS!!! I forgot to open a thread for the Tigers series

I'm currently dealing with some family issues and saved this as a draft and never posted it.  Since few of you probably knew that the Pirates were facing the Tigers in Pittsburgh this weekend, I'll give everyone a bonus win today.  The Bucs are already ahead in the series 1-0.

If the Bucs can win one of the next two games against the Tigers, someone can win the two cards below.

The Pirates will face off against Max Scherezer and Justin Verlander in the final two games.


Last night's victory against the Twins sealed the series win.  I will post the winner tomorrow and email past winners delivery confirmation numbers of packages by the middle of next week.  I just have a lot going on right now.  Sorry for the delays.

I figured I should show off a Pirates card so how about this one?
The NHL draft was today.  The Penguins selected defenseman Derrick Pouliot with the 8th overall selection which they acquired from the Caronlina Hurricanes in exchange for Jordan Staal.  I'm going to miss Staal.  However, I trust Shero and think his analysis is far better than mine of this draft selection.  One selection the Penguins didn't get wrong was Mario Lemieux who they purposely tanked the rest of the season so they may get the number 1 overall selection back in 1984.  A little known fact is that Mario didnt' shake hands or wear the Penguins on draft night because he wasn't happy being drafted by Pittsburgh and their attempts to reach contract negotiations with him before being drafted.  Now Super Mario is the owner and has brought the franchise from being near obsolete to being an NHL powerhouse.

The card above is a In the Game Cityscapes card featuring a patch of Mario Lemieux and jersey of Jason Bay.  I've had this card for awhile and am just getting around to showing it off.  It's a nice looking card of two of Pittsburgh's franchise faces when this card was made in 2007. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Malkin Wins Hart Trophy! I win Malkin Cards

I recently purchased a lot of Evgeni Malkin at my local card show.  The cards were in the $1 bin or 10 for $7.  Needless to say, I went the 10 for $7 route to pick up a few extra Geno cards for my small but growing Malkin collection.

I love that Top Guns insert card.

Congrats on the Hart Trophy Geno!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

More Pirates AUTOs

I've been adding quite a few autographs to my collection lately. 
The first four cards I will show off are this blog's residential cardboard heroes:
Andrew McCutchen and Jason Bay.
I picked up a few other Andrew McCutchen autographs for my ever growing Cutch collection.  This 2008 Just Minors is numbered 40/50 and features a pre-dreadlocks Andrew McCutchen.  $12 shipped and it's another Cutch in my collection.
Topps Museum is one of the nicest things that Topps has ever put out.  The card design is gorgeous and truly does mimic museum quality cardboard with their nicely framed designs.  The player selection is great and nearly every card featuring a jersey has a patch on it.  Great job Topps.  I couldn't resist picking this up for $25 when I saw it on ebay.
This brings my Cutch autos to 46 cards. 

I had my eye on this card for a long time.  What's not to love about a dual auto featuring Dale Murphy and Jason Bay?  Well, for one thing the $40 price tag the seller had been asking for it.  Recently a few more have been popping up on ebay, but all with buy it nows around $30.  When someone decided to list the card with a no reserve auction, I had a feeling I would finally add it to my collection.  And add it I did, for a measly $16.50 shipped.  Under $10 a signature seems fair to me.
I also picked up another dual auto this time featuring 2 former Pirates: Jason Bay and Bobby Crosby.  Bay and Crosby won the ROY awards in 2004.  Bay went on to have a successful career after leaving the Pirates in Boston before becoming injured in NY.  Crosby's career went downhill after winning the Rookie of the Year with Oakland and signed a 1 year deal with the Pirates in 2010.  He lasted only half a season in Pittsburgh before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Once he arrived in Arizona he played in only 9 games before being released by the team.  He has not played professionally since.   This was picked up a few months ago for around $15 if I remember correctly. 

Jarek Cunningham is an injury plagued prospect with upside of being a utility middle infielder in the majors, but will most likely just be organizational depth.  The 22 year old is currently in AA Altoona where he has put up only a .183 batting average in 22 games.  While Jarek will probably never be a star or even a regular in the majors, I just couldn't pass up this card for $0.99 shipped.

This was probably the card I most overpaid for because he was last year's number 1 draft pick.  However, I am still happy to add this on card auto of Gerrit Cole to my collection for $30.  It's not low numbered.  It's not even licensed.  It is however a future ace pitcher with a triple digit fastball and great command (46K/13BB in 45 innings).  He's currently in the top 10 of all advanced A pitchers in nearly every pitching category and looks like he will be earning a promotion to AA in the very near future.  He draws comparisons to Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander and may be the Pirates first Cy Young candidate since this guy...

Doug Drabek was one of my favorite pitchers when I was younger.  He could flat out pitch.  He didn't blow people away with high 90s heat, but his command was some of the best in the majors.  He even won a Cy Young in 1990.  This 2012 Archives Fan Favorites on card AUTO was picked up for $15 off the bay. Doug's son is currently pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays organization and was a key part of the Roy Halladay trade.

The Twins and Pirates will face off tomorrow in the rubber match looking to take the series win for the Bucs.
Let's Go Bucs!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

1/2 way to making my own baseball cards

Last night Jeff and Greg  made a joke of how I am going to embark on a reprint business because of my extensive number of printing plates I've been picking up lately.  Here's 4 more!

I saw some Luis Heredia 2012 Bowman printing plates on ebay fairly cheaply and decided to pick up 2 of the 4 plates available.  I'm now half way to making my own cards.

Here's the black printing plate numbered 1 of 1.  Picked this one up for $19.99

And here's the yellow that I bought for $14.01 shipped.

Now I just need the cyan and magenta

Similarly I saw 2 Andrew McCutchen 2012 Archives printing plates so now I have half the plates of the Andrew McCutchen 2012 Topps Archives cloth sticker insert.

These two cards were picked up for $46 total.

These are the cyan and magenta printing plates used to make the cloth sticker insert of Cutch.

Not only are printing plates extremely rare since they are all 1 of 1s, but they are also quirky enough that people who don't collect cards think they're unique.  For instance a friend of mine who doesn't collect cards saw a Willie Stargell bat relic I have and wasn't phased, but having two printing plates side by side impressed him enough to say "that's awesome"

Monday, June 18, 2012

McCutchen Mondays: Express Edition

Short on time so I'll let the card speak for itself.

It's a Bowman yellow printing plate of Andrew McCutchen's 2009 Bowman rookie card.  This marks my 8th printing plate of the speedy centerfielder.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Another Contest Winner: Free Tribe Cards go to....

The Pirates beat the Tribe today 9-5.  Yesterday, they won 9-2.  Pedro Alvarez now has 4 homeruns in his last 7 at bats.  I hope he's starting to heat up again because he can carry this offense when his bat is hot. 

Since the series was three games I'm going to randomize the entries 3 times

 Our winner is Coronado2010

You will be receiving the 4 Indians cards for this contest's winnings.

Since today's father's day I thought it would be nice to show off some recent pickups that remind me of my father.  When I was younger, my dad would always buy me baseball cards if we went out together.  There was a thrift store near the barber shop that would sell baseball stickers.  Every time my dad or I got our hair cut he would take me there and buy me a pack.  While I don't have any of the old stickers from the 80s or 90s, I did manage to recently buy a complete team set of the Bucs for $1.99 off ebay.  Stickers are fun!  They remind me of my childhood.  Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

The Pirates are off tomorrow then will head back home to Pittsburgh to face off against the Minnesota Twins.  I'm excited to see Ryan Doumit back in the burgh.

Here's what's available if the Pirates win the series against the Twins.
2 jersey relics: 1 of Christian Guzman and the other of 2012 draftee DJ Baxendale
a 2012 Heritage rookie card, a TC Mascot card, and a Miguel Sano top prospect card

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there.  Enjoy the day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why does this keep happening?

"I felt terrible for Jason," manager Terry Collins said. "As he always does, he plays the game only one way -- all out. Never backed off anything, didn't back off the wall, didn't back off the broken rib. He still dove and still played the game the only way he knows how." 

Jason Bay was placed on the 7 day DL with concussion like symptoms.   The video from the game is here on the Mets site. 

Jason Bay is one of my favorite baseball players ever.  The dude flat out plays hard.  Two years ago he got a concussion in LA making a very tough catch in left field.

Since joining the Mets he has been absolutely plagued by injuries.  It's such a shame to see a player with his talent level keep getting injured.

Here's 4 new Jason Bay hits added to my collection.
2007 UD Exquisite Imagery AUTO 8/25
This great looking photo was part of the 2007 UD Exquisite Imagery line.  It's a sticker auto that cost me less than $16 shipped.
2009 UD Ballpark Collection AUTO JERSEY
This card was picked up off ebay for about $12 shipped and features another Bay auto, a white jersey swatch, and an image of Jason in a Pirates hat.
2005 UD Milestone Materials
I picked this up for $2 shipped.  It's a plain grey jersey relic.

2005 Prime Patches BAT 48/150

Here's hoping that Jason recovers quickly through this injury.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dimwit break and trade bait

I participated in Dimwit's group break and chose the Pirates.  The thought of getting something nice like a Roberto Clemente or Willie Stargell cut signature was just too enticing not to participate.  Unfortunately I got shut out in terms of getting any hits.
 The biggest hit for me was this 2012 cloth sticker of Andrew McCutchen.

I also managed to get 9 other Pirates cards (some of which are new to my collection)
The Bays, Clemente, and Stargell are available for trade.

The Mets cards produced some numbered parallels, a gold Archives Ike Davis, and a mini straight cut Gypsy Queen mini of Ike Davis.

It also gave me 16 Mets cards total for trade.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Large Pirate Collection Update with a SICK CUTCH PATCH!

It's been a while since I have done a major update and looking at the stack of my cards needing to be scanned, I'd say it's way overdue. 

The Pirates got swept by the Orioles this week.  The team is now just 2 games above .500 as they continue to face off against interleague opponents for most of June.  The only team in baseball close to the Pirates consecutive losing season streak entering this year was the Orioles.  I really wanted to sweep those damn birds.
2008 UD Premier Combos (dual patch) 22/25 Jason Bay & Nick Markakis

Jason Bay hit a HR for the Mets today.  It's nice to see him starting to find his swing again.  I don't remember how much I bought the dual patch card above for during the offseason, but I think it was under the price of a blaster and was part of a lot of other Markakis/Bay base cards.  Basically it was the hit of a pack of duplicate Bay/Markakis filled packs.  I'm good with that.
The Pirates have continued to sign many of their top 10 draft picks.  Some of the most interesting include supplemental round pick Barrett Barnes, second rounder prep catcher Wyatt Mathieson, and third rounder prep pitcher Jon Sandfort.  In addition to those three included are college seniors Jake Stallings, Pat Ludwig, and Eric Wood.  The Pirates have saved roughly half a million dollars on underslot signings in this draft class so far.  This means the Pirates can offer above slot money to Mark Appel or 11th round and later draft picks.  Personally, I don't think that Appel should be offered too much more than 3.1 million.  If the Pirates go above their draft pool they risk losing a pick next year.  Appel as good as he is isn't a once in a generation pitcher worth losing that type of risk over.
Mark Appel 2011 Bowman Sterling USA Dual Jersey Xfractor 170/199 purchased for $7
Let's hope the Bucs sign Appel for slot prior to the signing deadline.

The most depressing news for the Bucs today is that Charlie Morton who had a breakout season last year through the first half underwent Tommy John surgery.
2008 Bowman Sterling Gold Refractor 17/50 purchased for $0.99
 Morton was placed on the DL earlier in the month and stated that he felt fine on numerous occasions during his workouts to rehab.  This is a huge blow to the Pirates starting rotation.  With Jeff Karstens already on the DL, and Brad Lincoln struggling in his spot starts the Pirates will most likely have to call up a starter from AAA.
2012 Bowman Chrome AUTO and Redemption AUTO purchased with printing plate below for $24.73
Jeff Locke 2012 Bowman Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 purchaed with lot above

Last year, when the Pirates faced starting rotation depth issues, they called upon Jeff Locke (who like Morton was traded from the Braves for Nate McLouth).  I would love for the Pirates to call up Jeff Locke again this year.  He is a top 10 prospect in the Pirates organization and projects as a back end of the rotation starter.  The Pirates could use some stability in the back end of the rotation right now.

From depressing news to great news.
Many analysts are saying that at this point in the season, Andrew McCutchen is putting up MVP level numbers.
Topps Museum AUTO/Logo Patch 8/10
I've talked about getting the Pirates logoman on cardboard before and picked up this super sick auto/jersey Topps Museum card for an amount I would rather not talk about.  Let's just say it went into triple digits. 

The Pirates lost the series to the Orioles and will go to face off against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland for the weekend.  The cards available for this contest are some of my better offerings.

How about a 1961 Golden Press Tris Speaker, and 3 jersey relics?  CC Sabithia, Ellis Burks, and Jim Thome ought to be nice for this series.  3 game series, 4 cards.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Time to get back to using the Zoltan

The Pirates are most likely going to lose the series against the Orioles.  They're down 7-1 in the 9th inning, but as long as there's 3 outs left to play, there's hope.


WTF? Am I talking about?  It's the sign the Pirates were using when they were raking their opponents with stellar clutch hitting, top play defense, and incredible pitching.  Not to mention smart baserunning.

Let's right the ship and get back to winning

What will $12 get me?

$12 doesn't get you much in terms of super hits these days, but dedication to online auctions can net you a bat relic card featuring a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest sluggers the game has ever seen.

But it doesn't end there, you can also get a silk collection card of one of your favorite players

and a low numbered jersey relic of another favorite player

Yup, I'll buy stuff like that every chance I get.