Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trade With Plaschke 2.0 & 2012 Trade Bait

This is my second trade with Greg from Plaschke Thy Sweater is Argyle.  We arranged this trade right before I got sick in August and then was without power for a stretch of half a month.  The card I was originally supposed to send Greg was the 2011 Topps Lineage Mini Jersey relic of Clayton Kershaw, but he had since gotten it in another trade so he asked for the Kershaw/Peavy I had on my trade bait.  In exchange for that card and a bunch of Dodgers, I received this #1 Overall Pick in the 2002 Bryan Bullington Autograph.  This is my first Bullington Auto I own and I am contempt checking it off my want lists.  Even though Bryan was absolutely terrible in the majors, I still wanted a certified auto of him for the memory of a terrible draft.

Taken after Bryan Bullington were B.J. Upton, Zack Greinke, Prince Fielder, Jeff Francis, Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, Jeff Francouer, Matt Cain, Joe Blanton, and Sergio Santos.  Seriously????? WTF?????!!!!!  I sure hope Gerrit Cole doesn't turn out the way Bryan (1-9 record in majors) Bullington did for the Pirates. 

Bryan Bullington is now pitching in Japan for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp

Here's the 2003 Bowman Chrome Certified Autograph of Bryan Bullington I got from Greg.  Sorry for the bad scan, but it appears that my scanner needs to be cleaned.

Since I'm talking about trades, how about some bait from 2012 Topps?
Retired Numbers Sandy Koufax

I do have more of the 1987 Topps Minis but am thinking about completing the set so those won't be for trade.  1987 was the first year I started collecting so I really like those minis a lot.  The blue parallel Wright is one of 16 Blue parallels that I have.  I will scan the rest of the blues later, maybe tomorrow.  The Gold Futures insert set looks a lot like something Upper Deck would have done as do the Golden Standard inserts.  I like the idea of the Timeless Talents, but it's been done before so many times that I was hoping for something more unique looking.
Here's all the Golden Greats I got.  I actually pulled a double of the Jackie Robinson already, but no Clemente yet.  Curse you terrible collation.
2012 Golden Moments.  I like the design of these a lot.  It's a lot better than the Peak Performance or "60" cards of recent years.  I may go after the set of these. Key word: MAY


Remember to put aside those 2012 Pirates for me.

My 2012 Topps Wants

I want your 2012 Pirates.  Even if I have duplicates or triples, I don't care. Base, parallels, inserts, hits.  Send them my way.
Here's what I have so far.

I'm missing base cards of James McDonald (have the gold) and Jared Hughes (rookie)
I need all the gold parallels except JMac and need all the inserts, but like I said I will gladly accept doubles of the Pirates base to try and get autographed.

$3.26 for a HOF bat? Yes Please

Today, I got one of my ebay winnings from last week.  A 2002 Fleer Classic Cuts Bat relic of HOFer Ralph Kiner.  The best thing about this card is that I won it for only $3.26.  Sometimes, it pays to be a Pirates fan.  LOL!  The card is nice and features the bat in the center of the card along with a picture of Ralph.  I just wish that card companies would use the Pirates logos from the right era when displaying the Pirates of Yesteryear.  Oh well, for $3.26 I can't complain.

On another note entirely, I was just at Wal-Mart and they have 2012 Topps already available for the public.  I bought a box and a blaster.  I'll show some of the inserts, parallels, and hit I got later in the week.  I'm not planning on collecting the set so I will be willing to trade anything that's not a Pirate.  I got some really nice looking inserts along with a bunch of base.  Leave me a comment with your wants.  First come, first serve.

Monday, January 30, 2012

One card - 6 hits

I recently saw this card on ebay and knew I had to add it to my collection.  I'm a fan of multiplayer relics unless they feature players that have nothing to do with one another.  Then I just scratch my head and say, um ok?  This card has one trait in common and that's about it....they all played for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  At no point were all these players on the same Pirates team though.  Oddly enough, none of them have anything that they did historically together either.  I went as far as to reseach if maybe they all might have lead off an inning with a homerun, nope.  So I can safely say the following statement is true and that's about it.  They all played with the Pittsburgh Pirates and are no longer a member of the organization.  Let's see whose on this 6 Bat relic hit, shall we?

Up first is Bill Madlock.  Mad Dog is a player I like to collect relics, autos, and parallels of.  He was really good with the Pirates.  Madlock came over to the Pirates in the summer of 1979 and was a key part of the offense that helped win the 1979 World Series.  Madlock would become a member of the 1981 and 1983 All-Star teams as a member of the Pirates.  Those same years he would win his 3rd and 4th batting titles.  Only Wade Boggs won more batting titles as a third basemen in his career than Bill Madlock.  Madlock's 1981 batting title made him the first player to win two batting titles with two different teams.  A lot of people remember Bill Madlock for his short temper which resulted in him getting ejected 18 times during his 15 year career. 

On the same side of the card is Kenny Lofton.  Sweet!!!!  When I was younger, I used to love watching Kenny Lofton steal bases.  I even got a chance to meet him really early in his career when he was a member of the Houston Astros.  I didn't know at the time that he would go on to swipe close to 60 bases a year during his prime as a member of the Cleveland Indians though.  Lofton joined the Pirates for the 2003 season and was past his prime and played in only 84 for the Bucs.  He put up decent numbers for a 36 year old, but would be moved to Chicago to close out the season.  During his 17 year career, Kenny Lofton played for 11 teams.  I remember there was even a commercial mocking Kenny for playing in so many different cities. 

At the bottom of the front of the card is my first "hit" featuring the surfer looking Craig Wilson.  Wilson started out as utility bench player for the Pirates in 2001.  He would finally earn the starting role in 2004 when he posted career highs in every offensive category except batting average.  Wilson was a power presence in the lineup, but would later be traded from Pittsburgh to the NY Yankees in 2006 where his career quickly collapsed.  The Atlanta Braves would sign him to a one year deal a year later, where he continued to freefall until being released by the team in 2007.  The most interesting thing about Craig Wilson is that he lead the league in hit by pitches in 2002 (as a pinch hitter too) and 2004. 
On the back are two Pirates who are still fan favorites in Pittsburgh, but who got traded when Neal Huntington took over in 2007.  They are also two of the more recent Pirates to win a major award.  Yes I'm talking about Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay.

Freddy Sanchez came to the Pirates from the Boston Red Sox and transitioned from 3B to 2B.  In 2007 Freddy lead the league in batting average to make him the most recent Pirate to win a batting title.  Freddy would be traded in the summer of 2009 for SF Giants pitching prospect Tim Alderson.  Alderson has yet to make it out of AA and looks like he is no longer considered to be a prospect despite being taken in the 2006 first round.

Jason Bay. Everyone here should know by now that I really like Jason Bay.  He's a classy guy and a really good ball player.  Bay is now with the Mets enjoying the big time money he received and performing like every other elite free agent that signs with the Mets.  Yup, he is not the Jason Bay of old, but that's ok because I remember him when he was good and remember seeing him in 2009 as a Red Sox.

On the bottom of the card is Jose Castillo.  Jose was supposed to be the 2nd basemen of the future for the Pirates.  In 2004 he was ranked as the number 3 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America.  2005 and 2006 saw injuries to Jose and he only had about 350 plate appearances each season.  His potential continued to impress the front office and he remained the starting 2nd basemen going into the 2007 season.  However, with the emergence of Jose Bautista at 3B and Freddy Sanchez moving to 2B, that left Jose Castillo to fight to remain on the Pirates radar and get playing time.  Castillo finished the 2007 season batting only .244 and would sign a contract with the Florida Marlins the following season after being released on December 6th. 


The 2005 Playoff Team Six six bat relic is numbered to 150.  This card features some good memories of the Pirates and some not so good memories of the Pirates.  Nevertheless it's a cool card for $10.  Not bad for $1.66 per bat.  After doing some research I see that there is a 4 relic card from the same series featuring many of the same players (no Castillo or Madlock).  I may have to pick that up to add to my Jason Bay collection.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Penguins cards: Crosby, Fleury, and Malkin!

The Penguins got some bad news this All-Star weekend when it was announced that Sidney Crosby has a vertebrate abnormality.  There was rumors before the season that Sid should just retire to protect his health.  I'm happy that the Penguins aren't rushing him back out there and despite other key injuries the Penguins are still contending and are bound for the playoffs. 

Evgeni Malkin has been looking like one of the best players in the league this year and has really stepped up to fill the void of Crosby.  James Neal has also been sensational on the offensive threat without Sid the Kid. 

Marc-Andre Fleury continues to be astonishing between the pipes.

I know the Penguins will make the playoffs this season and the most recent rumor is that Sidney Crosby, arguably the best player in the NHL, will return for the playoff run.  It's going to be a fun spring again.

Here's the rest of my Pittsburgh Penguins autograph/relic collection featuring Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin.

Up first is my only "hit" of Sidney Crosby I own.  But it's a beauty.  This 2007-08 O-Pee-Chee Premier Rare Remnants Triples features Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Evgeni Malkin all on the same card with different color fabrics featuring each player to spell out "PIT" The serially numbered card is 46/50.

Up next is a nice 2 color jersey swatch from goalie supreme Marc-Andre Fleury.  Much like I try to find the yellow patches for Pirates or Steelers cards, I like seeing the gold in newer Penguins jersey cards.  It's just so much more unique to see that color on a card than yellow, black, or grey.

2010-11 Upper Deck Ultimate Jersey 15/100

Same rules apply to this card.  There was a black fabric piece available for this card too, but I opted to buy the gold because it looks better with the colors of the card.  Not a bad pickup for $10.
2009-10 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics 79/100 JERSEY

I just love Malkin autographs.  I wish they weren't so darn expensive though.  This one was bought for like $28 I think.  It's an on card auto which makes it nicer in my humble opinion.
2010-11 SP Ultimate Signatures Evgeni Malkin AUTO

How many people out there collect hockey besides myself?
Anyone got Penguins cards to trade?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Zach Duke signs with Astros

Another former Pirate signed with a division rival today when 2009 All-Star Zach Duke signed a minor league deal with the Houston Astros.  Duke will also receive an invitation to Spring Training to try to make the rotation.  Duke wasn't a bad pitcher when he broke into the league, but his velocity decreasing over past couple years and lack of a stellar infield defense has really hurt Duke's numbers.  He isn't a power pitcher and only averages 3-4 K/9 over his career, but he is durable and will stay on the mound to save the bullpen.  Duke's biggest problem is his inconsistency on the mound.  Some days, he looks like a strong and solid number 3 pitcher.  Other nights, he looks like he should be throwing batting practice to little leaguers.  Best of luck to you Mr. Duke.

2008 Zach Duke Upper Deck Jersey

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Card store pickups: Cutch, Cobra, and Charlie

I swung by my local card store today and picked up a handful of cards for a grand total of $6.15
Here's my pickups.  It's not much, but it's all for the player collections I have.

Up first for .75 is the Charlie Morton 2011 Topps Cognac parallel.  Not much can be said for this card other than, it's kinda shiny.  I'm not a huge fan of these parallels, but they look good for the Pirates because of the shades of gold and black that refract off it.

Then there's the $2.00 Andrew McCutchen 2009 Upper Deck rookie card.  This card has escaped me for too long and for a couple bucks I decided to take the plunge.

Now the highlight of the trip was getting this bat relic of Dave Parker from 2003 Topps Fan Favorites.  For $3, how could I pass up a bat relic of the Cobra, Dave Parker?  It's simple....I couldn't.

Factor in 7% sales tax and that's $6.15
All in all, a good haul.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The greatest card in my collection and a rant

"Never say never" Neal Huntington said regarding a trade of Andrew McCutchen.  Ok, later on he goes on to say that the team interested in Cutch would have to greatly overpay, but c'mon the Pirates should be trying to lock up Cutch long term and encourage him to stay in Pittsburgh.  They shouldn't be even considering trading one of the league's top young athletes who still has 4 years of control left.  Saying things like this makes me question if Neal believes in his plan.  Andrew McCutchen should become a lifetime Pirate whose number is one day retired next to Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, and all the other Pirate greats.  This comment really pissed me off.

Not since Barry Bonds, have the Pirates had a legitimate young superstar outfielder.  Sure Andy Van Slyke was a gold glover and had 20/20 seasons, but Cutch brings so much flare and energy when he plays.  He's a future super star of the league.  He just turned 25 a few months ago, so he hasn't even hit his peak yet. 

I was waiting for something important to happen to highlight this gem, but you folks are getting it today.  I'm going to show off my favorite 1/1 of Andrew McCutchen in my collection along with a 2011 Topps Triple Thread card I recently won for $18 off ebay.

2011 Topps Triple Threads Future Phenoms Sepia 19/25 AUTO JERSEY

and without further waiting......

2011 Allen & Ginter Booklet 1/1 AGBC21
Andrew McCutchen BAT BARREL & PEDRO ALVAREZ multi lettered jersey

This is now my second Cutch booklet card.  I can't wait to get more, but it's going to be tough to top this one..

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kris Letang named to All-Star Game

I normally don't have 2 posts in the same day, but this announcement was worth posting immediately without waiting a day.

Kris Letang has earned his 4th All-Star invitation to replace the injured Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.  As a rookie and sophmore Letang skated in the All-Star festivals.  Last year he made his All-Star debut when he was one of the leading online vote getters.  Kris Letang is one of my favorite hockey players and the only player I have an autographed puck of.  I love the way he plays defense and has become a vital part of the Penguins success.  Congrats Kris on making the All-Star game!

Here's my very small Kris Letang collection.  If anyone has Kris Letang (or any Penguins cards in general) you're looking to trade, let me know. 

2006-07 Upper Deck Young Guns ROOKIE

2010-11 UD Game Jersey
 2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite Letang/Talbot JERSEY 84/599
2011-12 Zenith Winter Warriors

MLB.COM has Pirates all over the top 10 lists

In most people's eyes, the Pittsburgh Pirates have had a simple strategy over the past 19 years.  Lose a bunch of games. Draft someone. Bring them up slowly, then trade them to cut salary and get a marginal prospect in return.  While most of the above is true, the Pirates ship is sailing a new direction since Neal Huntington took over in September 2007.  Understanding that the Pirates had one of the worse MLB teams and a very poor farm system, Neal has begun to build and put together pieces through the draft and international signings.  Although, we have not seen many of these young draft picks hit the majors yet, last year we did see a few breakout performances from players that Neal traded for. 

In the Nate McLouth trade to Atlanta, the Pirates received Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke.  Both players had huge improvements on their development as Charlie lead the NL in groundball outs with his devastating mid90s sinker.  Meanwhile Jeff Locke made his MLB debut as a September callup after starting the season in AA.  Although Jeff has yet to earn his first major league win, he did manage to get his feet wet and I suspect he will be back in the majors come the summer.

In the Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady trade to the Yankees, we saw breakout performances from both Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen in 2011 as they solidified themselves as some of the most durable arms on the Pirates pitching staff.  Jose Tabata, also aquired from NY in that deal, signed a long term contract that could keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2019 season.

The 2 month rental of Octavio Dotel yielded us James McDonald and Andrew Lambo from the Dodgers in 2010.  JMac was a solid number 4-5 starter and saw career highs in nearly every category in 2011 and he also had a bases clearing double offensively.  Lambo struggled on his promotion to AAA, but still shows nice potential to be a good 4th outfielder/1B bench power bat.

Neal Huntington draft picks Chase D'arnaud and Pedro Alvarez saw time on the major league roster, while other 2008 draft picks were named all-stars in the minors (Jarek Cunningham, Jordy Mercer, Matt Hague, Robbie Grossman, and Matt Curry) 

With the Pirates flirting with a division championship through the July trade deadline, the Pirates even acquired Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick to try and improve the offense.  Unfortunately, the team became infected with many injuries to some of their top talents and finished with another losing season and 4th in the division. 

The biggest shocker to the prospect field came when the Pirates were able to sign high school 5 tool switch hitting outfielder Josh Bell away from college with a $5 million dollar signing bonus.  Josh had sent out a letter to all MLB stating that no sum of money would sign him away from his college commitment and was expected to be a top 10 talent in the draft.  Neal Huntington must have had elephant sized balls or some insider information when the Pirates drafted Josh with the first pick on the 2nd day.  As with most draftees, he waited until the last day to sign and has yet to make his professional debut.  I expect Josh Bell will be with the Pirates in 3 years or less because he is that good based on scouting reports I've seen.

There's hope coming in the form of the Pirates own homegrown prospects. 
MLB.com recently revealed their top 10 at each position and the Pirates have a top 10 talent in the outfield, 1st base, and 2 pitchers.  It's been a long time since the Pirates have seen this much homegrown success make these type of lists. 

Here's the rundown
Starling Marte ranks number 7 of all outfield prospects in baseball
Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole are numbers 3 and 6 respectively for top RHP prospects.
Alex Dickerson ranks as the 9th best 1B prospect in baseball.

It feels good to have top talent coming from the draft that can be added to the major league roster by as early as 2012.  I guess this is what Tampa Bay Rays fans have been feeling since 2008.  Let's Go Bucs!

Here's some of my unposted cards featuring the Pirates top 10 Prospects
Jameson Taillon 2009 Upper Deck USA Jersey Relic

Alex Dickerson 2010 Topps USA Baseball AUTO 3 JERSEY RELIC 191/219

Starling Marte 2011 Bowman AUTO

Gerrit Cole 2011 Elite Extra Edition Best Compared to Stephen Strasburg insert 18/499

Monday, January 23, 2012

Morton Monday & a HOF Bat

Continuing the Charlie Morton madness comes a serially numbered black bordered 2011 Topps Update.  This card is numbered 43/60 and features the same stock photo as all other parallels of the 2011 Charlie Morton base card.  I'm not a huge fan of parallels unless they are very rare like this one.  Only 60 in distribution is pretty rare, but that's not my rarest of the Charlie Morton cards I own.  I'm still hoping to get some 1 of 1s in the near future, but I do have a few cards of print runs of 50, 25, 10, and 5 in my collection.
Charlie was awarded a 1 year contract this off season to avoid arbitration. 

Up next is a 2000 Upper Deck Piece of History bat relic of Hall of Famer Paul "Big Poison" Waner.  Paul and his brother Lloyd are both members of the Hall of Fame and had played their best years patrolling the Pittsburgh outfield.  His lifetime batting average is .333 and he had 3,152 hits in his 20 year career that ended with the New York Yankess in 1945.  Paul and Chipper Jones are the only players to have had 14 consecutive games of extra base hits.  The 1927 NL MVp and 4 time all-star had his number 11 retired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007.  This is my first relic card of Paul Waner that I own.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just in from ebay, another Jose Tabata 1/1

Just in from ebay is another Jose Tabata 1 of 1.  This 2011 Topps Heritage blank backed proof was won for $15.  I now have 2011 Topps Heritage Blank Back proofs of James McDonald, Jose Tabata, Garrett Jones, Pedro Ciriaco, and Evan Meek.  If anyone comes across the McCutchen, Neil Walker, Paul Maholm, or Alex Presley please let me know.  I would love to make a team set of 1/1s.

One thing that bothers me greatly with the Topps license monopoly is that they use the same photo in different sets.  I'm ok with using photos from the same photoshoot, but the exact same photo? C'mon Topps!

Jose Tabata is my second favorite positional player on the current Pirates team after Andrew McCutchen.  My Tabata collection has been growing steadily over the past year as I have tried to collect some of his rarer cards.  With his ex wife's legal troubles behind him, Jose can focus on baseball and be a future fixture in right field for the Pirates.  He will be only 23 years olds entering the season, which is still relatively young by today's standards.  Recognizing the huge upside and five tool player that Jose may one day become, the Pirates agreed to a contract extension prior to the end of last year while Jose was on the DL that could keep the Venezuelan native in Pittsburgh through 2019.  It's a very team friendly contract similiar to the one that Evan Longoria signed in Tampa after his brief success that looks like a steal now.   

In 193 career games, Jose has 210 hits, 35 SB, and a batting average of .284.  His offensive WAR is only 1.5 currently, but I suspect that will improve when fully healthy and he develops more power. 

His fielding is also very impressive as he had lead all NL left fielders in his rookie campaign in range factor and fielding percentage.  Jose has committed only 3 errors in his career through 193 games.  Jose has asked the Pirates organization to move to right field to honor his idol Roberto Clemente. 

I just realized my thoughts were all over the place in this post and for that I apologize, but I'm feeling a little under the weather again.  To further make this post more random, enjoy this cheaply purchased Barry Bonds graded 1986 Topps rookie card.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Cobra hits

I recently won a Dave "the cobra" Parker 2001 American Pie bat relic on ebay for less than $10. 

Dave "The Cobra" Parker was an absolute beast in the 70s for the Pirates. 

Dave Parker was the first professional athlete to earn an average salary of $1 million per season when he signed a 5 year deal for $5 million in 1979.

While in the minor leagues, Dave Parker hit a ball out of the stadium onto a passing coal train that traveled from West Virginia to Ohio.  Talk about knocking the cover off the ball!  Well, yeah he did that too, when he hit the ball and caused the seems to rupture literally making half the cover fall off.

He won the 1978 MVP along with 2 batting titles (1977 and 1978) and won 3 Gold Glove awards for his brilliance in right field.  In 1979 He won the All-Star Game MVP for his bat and exceptional bullet like throw to catcher Gary Carter to stop the tying run, Brian Downing from scoring. 

He left the Pirates after the 1983 season and would play the next decade with the Reds, A's, Brewers, Blue Jays, and Angels. 

Although not in the Hall of Fame, Parker put up numbers similiar to other members of the Hall of Fame.  Not once though did he gain more than 25% of the vote during his 15 years on the ballot.  This could have been because of the cocaine allegations against him in the early 80s.  This will make this coming year's HOF voting very interesting to see if the voters hold the same type of grudge against more recent drug users (PEDs) like Bonds, Clemens, Palmierro, etc. 

If Dave Parker doesn't belong in the HOF then maybe neither does Al Kaline.  No disrespect to Al Kaline, but strictly looking at their stats in an average of 162 games played during their prime 10 year span, they are very similiar. 

Personally, I think Parker will get into the HOF by the veterans committee, but it will probably be much later in his life.  With that being said, here's the rest of my Dave Parker AUTO and RELIC collection.

 2005 Donruss Gallery of Stars 168/200
2002 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classics JERSEY (includes stitching)
2002 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classics BAT
2008 Upper Deck SP Generations JERSEY w/David Ortiz
2005 Donruss Diamond Kings JERSEY BAT 8/50
2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970s GAME-USED BAT

2004 Fleer Greats of the Game AUTO

I normally pick these Dave Parker relic cards up for around $5 since he's one of the most under rated players in baseball history AND was involved in criminal activities in the 80s. 

Long story short, I'm happy with my Dave Parker American Pie purchase.  I could have spent the same $10 and bought the American Pie DVD featuring Shannon Elizabeth getting naked, but I already own that 1999 classic.  LOL!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

5 more Andrew McCutchen jersey pieces

I got a super sweet mail day today when I saw 2 bubble mailer packages in the mail with my name on it.  I decided to add to my Andrew McCutchen relic/auto PC even more by picking up 2 cards not previously in my collection.  When Topps Marquee hit, I was starting to get very sick and didn't get many cards from the set until I was fully healthy and back to working.  However, I could only afford some of the less expensive hits of the Pirates (i.e. no Cutch).  I got the solo sigs of Neil Walker and Jose Tabata along with a few Tabata Acclaimed Impressions, but I really wanted those rare McCutchen cards numbered to 10.  They're continuing to escape me and it frustrates the piss out of me.

However, I have finally been able to pick up 2 Marquee Auto & Relic cards of the face of the Pirates franchse, Andrew McCutchen. 

This card of Cutch features his jersey number as part of the serial numbering aka an ebay 1/1.  I like the design of these Acclaimed Impressions cards a lot.  Very classy look.  Good job Topps!
This one was picked up for half the price of the above card, because it has twice as many made.  I'm not quite sure why the 3 piece relic/auto cards are numbered to 150, while the 2 piece cards are numbered to 70.  Every card numbered to 150 of McCutchen has a piece of a patch (name plate or jersey number?) on it.  This makes me want to get more.  Then I realize, there's really no point. 

So all in all I got 5 jersey pieces and 2 autos of my favorite player.  Yup, today was a good mail day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brock & Brooks

No, that's not the title of a lawfirm or a new clothing line.  It's two autographed cards of Pirates prospects that I won on ebay for less than $5. 

Brock Holt was drafted in the 9th round of the 2009 draft out of Rice University.  He's going to be 24 years old this year and will most likely start in AAA Indy.  Last year, Brock made his 3rd straight All-Star game in his minor league career when he lead the Eastern League second basemen in most hitting categories.  He will probably be used as a middle infield utility guy when he hits the majors, since Neil Walker has the 2B job on lockdown for the next few years.  I got to see Brock play a couple times last year with the Altoona Curve and he's an excellent top of the lineup bat.  He takes pitches, battles off foul balls, and runs really well.  I would expect Brock to get his cup of coffee in the majors as a September callup barring any trades or injuries.  Pictured above is a 2011 Bowman Chrome AUTO of Brock Holt.

Brooks Pounders is no longer viewed as a future power bullpen arm for the Pirates.  Why?  Well he was traded this offseason to the Kansas City Royals for Yamaico Navarro.  Navarro is most likely just going to be bench player for the Pirates.  He has shown power potential and can play most infield positions.  Pictured above is a 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Brooks Pounders AUTO numbered 711/844

Monday, January 16, 2012

Morton Monday: 2011 Silk Collection

Charlie Morton avoided arbitration today by agreeing to a one year deal with the Pirates worth $2.445 million.  Charlie is currently working through off season hip surgery, but showed his electric stuff last season by posting career highs in strikeouts, innings pitched, wins, ERA, WHIP, and complete games. 

Here's hoping to a speedy recovery from Ground Chuck and continued improvement in 2012.

To celebrate Charlie's arbitration victory, here's an ebay victory of my own.

Charlie Morton 2011 Topps Update Silk Collection #40/50
I think I won this auction for less than $5 shipping included.