Monday, April 30, 2012

McCutchen Monday

Last summer I made Morton Mondays.  Well, Charlie Morton has only had 1 card release since that started so Morton Mondays were put on hold.  However, my favorite player in the majors has a ton of cards I can spotlight.  This year, I introduce you to McCutchen Mondays where I will highlight an Andrew McCutchen card every Monday.

Today's first post for McCutchen Mondays features a 2011 Topps Triple Threads numbered 6/18.  It's the red parallel version with on card auto and jersey swatches.

A nice addition to my Cutch Collection

Group Break with JABO

I participated in JABOs 2 box Gypsy Queen break and chose the Pirates.
No major hits, but I did get an almost complete team set (missing Neil Walker) and some cool minis.
Here's what I plundered from the break

 2 minis of HOF Ralph Kiner.  The Moonshots series is really nice.  I like that purple border going around the cards.  The black bordered Tabata is 1:12 packs.  Jose had a nice 2 RBI night last night against the Braves and went 3 for 4 at the plate.

There's 3 HOF Pirates players in the team set (Clemente, Stargell, and Kiner).  It's nice to see some of the greatest Pirates get recognized although I wouldn't mind seeing next year's set include guys like Arky Vaughan, Bill Mazeroski, or Paul Waner since they don't nearly enough recognition.  

I still need the Neil Walker base card, Ralph Kiner moonshots insert card and athe SP image variants, but I'm happy with my near complete team set.  I am really happy the Pirates traded for Casey McGehee during the offseason.  He's providing some offense for a team that is struggling at the plate in the early season.

The Andrew McCutchen sliding stars insert is really interesting card.  On the back it gives a cool fact about Cutch.  "Only 17 players in Pirates history have stolen three or more bases in a game.  McCutchen has already done it twice in three seasons.  The first came on August 11, 2009 when the rookie swifted third two times and took second once in a victory over the Colorado Rockies."  I love reading the backs of these Gypsy Queens cards.  Soooo much neat information for my brain.

Indians throw combined no hitter

It was almost two years ago when I first saw Justin Wilson pitch the Altoona Curve into an Eastern League Championship.  Watching guys on that team get promoted last year to the Pirates was very exciting for me as I knew the Pirates were bringing in young talent who wanted to win at the big league level.  However, the Altoona 4 as they were dubbed didn't do much at the AAA level last year and some missed considerable time with injuries.

Justin Wilson who was the ELCS MVP was moved to the bullpen due to early struggles in the 2011 season.  Once moved to the bullpen he started to post better results and at times was clocking in at 99MPH on the radar gun which is crazy fast for a lefty. 

This year the Pirates started Wilson again at AAA and he has been more consistent in his former starting role.  Last night, Wilson combined with two other pitchers for a no hitter for the Indianapolis Indians against the Durham Bulls.  He pitched 7.2 innings and struck out 9 while walking only 2.  Two other pitchers were used to finish out the game.

Congrats to Justin Wilson!  Hopefully we'll see you in Pittsburgh soon.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Black Diamond added to my Treasure Chest

The Pirates lost to the Braves 4-3 today on account of some terrible clutch hitting by the Pirates bats.  On top of that, Andrew McCutchen went 0-4 and committed an error in centerfield which lead to an additional 14 pitches needing to be thrown by starting pitcher Kevin Correia and an unearned run scored in the 3rd inning.  Cutch got hit in the hip in the 1st inning which may have caused him some discomfort throughout the game causing him to not perform well.  It's only a game though, and with James McDonald going for Pittsburgh tomorrow, I think the Bucs have a good shot at splitting the series.
I added this beautiful black diamond dicut Andrew McCutchen to my collection this weekend.  The serially numbered card (51/60) still has it's protective layer on top.  The scan can not do this card any amount of justice no matter how many times I attempt to scan it.  Absolutely beautiful card of my favorite player.
The card given away for the St. Louis Cardinals road series is the same card I offered up last week when the Pirates hosted the defending champs.  Check out the Yadier Molina black parallel 2012 Topps numbered 49/61 that's up for grabs if the Pirates win the series against the defending World Series Champions.  LET'S GO BUCS!!!!

All previous contest winners cards will be going out tomorrow.

Some sweet COMC Pickups

I saw a very limited dual auto of the Pirates 2010 Top Draft Picks (Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie) on COMC and decided to use some of the money in my paypal account to pick up some other fun cards for my collection.  So for the price of two blasters, here's what I got.

a couple presteroid cards of Barry Bonds.  Notice how much bigger his head is compared to his body before going into San Fransisco.  LOL! I also got a Jay Bell(hop) card which just looked fun.  Well worth the price of a gumball for all 3 cards.
I picked up just a few cards for the player collection with not a single card costing me more than .55 which includes an Andy Van Slyke 1985 Topps Rookie Card
I also got a couple Heritage cards I needed getting me closer for my team sets to being completed.  I picked up 2 of Nate Baker because I'm hoping to get one signed at a future AA Altoona game.
I couldn't pass up these numbered parallels for the asking prices.  They ranged from .25 to $1.15.
Bonds 1125/1992
Taillon 284/309
Milledge 1595/2010
Vogelsong 573/2006
The above 4 autographs were all picked up for less than a $1 each.  Sure there's no HOF candidates in there, but it's nice to get on card autographs of Bucs from yesteryear. 
Tony Womack is 99th on the alltime steals list with 363 (122 in a Pirates uniform).
Kevin Young is 10th All Time on the Pirates HR list with 136 HR wearing a Pirates uniform. 
Al Martin is 18th all time on the Pirates HR list with 107 HR wearing a Bucs uniform. 
Brad Eldred...he was the first Pirate to hit a HR that my girlfriend and I attended a game together.  He also has 240 minor league homeruns which is ridiculous numbers.
I finished off 2 Topps team sets from 1971 and 1973.  I also got two nice looking vintage Gene Alley cards.

A COMC box wouldn't be complete unless it had some Jason Bay jersey cards in it so I picked up 3.  I'm really digging that 4 piece Canada jersey from 2006 Sweet Spot Sweet Beginnings.  The 08 Topps and 07 Sweet Spot cards were had for $1.99 and $2.50 respectively.

This was the big hit of my COMC purchase.  A dual auto from 2011 In The Game Heroes & Prospects of 2010 1st round draft pick Jameson Taillon and 2010 2nd round draft pick Stetson Allie.  This card had a print run of 15, but is not numbered.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Is this a 1/1 auto? Probably not...

The quality control of baseball cards is terrible.

I notice a lot of companies even ones that are named Topps make an awful habit of screwing up names for Pirates players.
Who the hell is Pat Maholm?
Why is that bum shortstop Ronny Cedeno pictured on the future right field star Jose Tabata's card?
Why is Andy pictured on Adam LaRoche's card?  Andy and Adam despite being brothers don't exactly look alike.  I don't own the above card, but would like to add it to my collection one day through a trade, but I'll be damned if I'm going to spend money for a card with Andy's face and Adam's name on it.

But this card below absolutely baffled me so bad I had to overpay for it.  I already have a lot of Daniel McCutchen autographs.  I almost have his nameplate from 2010 Finest completed (just need the E).  I've got about half a dozen other autographs from him on top of those 8 lettered autographed cards.  I made a promise with myself after my last trade with Greg that the only other DCutch auto I would buy would be that darn letter E to complete the nameplate.  I don't care if it's a $1 I'm not buying it.  Well, I apparently lied to myself and just had to buy this 2009 Tristar autograph that features Andrew McCutchen pictured on Daniel McCutchen's card.  The card cost me $2 shipped, but I think it was worth it for the chuckles.

On top of screwing up the front, Tristar also screwed up the back by saying that he was drafted by Pittsburgh.  DCutch came over from the Yankees as part of the Xavier Nady trade in 2008.

To further clarify my black and white point of needing better quality control at card companies I present the below image which shows Andrew and Daniel together during their time with the Indianapolis Indians when this card would have been produced.  They don't exactly look similar do they?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A new Jason Bay manupatch AUTO

I bought this card a couple months ago and just got around to scanning it now.  It's a neat looking manupatch showing his ROY campaign with a nice looking auto on the bottom of the card.

Jason was recently put on the DL with rib cage issues.  It's such a shame to see his talent get derailed by injuries since joining those Mets.  I wish Mr. Bay a speedy recovery and hope that he can bounce back to the player he was in Pittsburgh and Boston.


The Pirates have struggled in Atlanta since the Sid Bream slide game in the final game of the NLCS back in 1992.
Since that slide, the Pirates have failed to put together a winning record for a season.  It looked like things were going to change heading into last season.

Last year, the Pirates were off to a great start leading the NL Central at the All-Star break until a terrible call was made very early in the morning on July 27th in the bottom of the 19th inning in what has become known as the Jerry Meals game.  That game started the fall of the Pirates decline from the top of the NL Central.
Jerry Meals may have made the worse call in baseball history.  Way to go asshole!

As a result of the upcoming series versus the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta and my hatred of the stupid tomahawk chop I am sweetening the giveaways by giving away 3 JERSEY RELICS OF BRAVES GREATS.

Normal rules apply, if the Pirates win or split the 4 game series some lucky person gets free cards.
If you leave a comment and say Let's Go Bucs, Beat The Braves! prior to the 1st pitch of the series you get entered into the randomizer.
If the Braves are your favorite team and say Let's Go Bucs, Beat The Braves! you get entered twice (just let me know that the Braves are your favorite team).
Because pimping ain't easy, if you pimp the contest you get entered an additional time provided you leave a link to the pimpage in the comment section.
Here's the bonus though, if the Pirates sweep the series I am giving away this Andrew McCutchen/Jason Heyward dual auto rookie from my personal collection.  Yes, I hate the Braves that much that I am willing to part with a piece of my Cutch collection and give out a HUGE HIT.  I just recently won this McCutchen/Heyward dual auto on ebay but will happily give it away if the Pirates can sweep a series against the Braves in Atlanta.  The above card is numbered 20/25.



As always, I'll end with a recent pickup from the bay of E.
Pedro Alvarez had a good day yesterday as he went yard twice.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another Trade with Plaschke

This marks my 3rd trade with Greg from Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle.  I sent him a handful of jersey cards and a Madison Bumgarner auto for the below cards.
You can see the first trade we made here and second here.

Aramis Ramirez was just an up and coming star when the Pirates dumped him to the Cubs with Kenny Lofton to shed some salary in the 2003 season.  During his six seasons with the Pirates, Aramis hit .263 with 76 HR.  Defensively, he was below average at third base.  He finished his 6 year Pirates career with a total 1.0 WAR.  Once he was traded to Chicago, Aramis became one of the top 3B in the National League and has composed a 23.7 WAR over his 9 year career with the Cubbies.  His 15 year career totals include an average of .283, 315 HR, and 1127 RBI.  He's now playing with the Milwaukee Brewers and struggling early in 2012. 
I have a lot of Daniel McCutchen autographs.  Not nearly as much as his no relation partner, Andrew, but that's probably a good thing.  DCutch is a great signer at games and evidently Topps seems to recognize his willingness to sign anything too as he appears in a couple autograph releases each year by the monopolized baseball card company.  Of all the autographs I have so far of Daniel, I think this is my favorite though.  In my opinion, nothing beats on card framed Allen & Ginter autographs (except maybe 2012 Topps Tribute's release). There's currently only one other AUTO of DCutch I'm seeking to add to my collection and that's the darn letter "E" for completing his 2010 Topps Finest nameplate.  Other than that card, I think I'm done with DCutch autographs for awhile.

I had posted that I wanted this card from ebay earlier in the year and asked for anyone's help obtaining it.  Greg was kind enough to pick it up for me in exchange for a Madison Bumgarner auto from 2011 Lineage.  I'm still not sure why a Dodgers fan wants a Giants auto though.  This serially numbered Jason Bay is 14/83. 

Next up some nice vintage of Pirates 1960 Award Winners
In 1960, the Pittsburgh Pirates had the NL MVP and NL Cy Young Winner.  Dick Groat and Vern Law won the awards respectively and Greg included 1960 and 1962 Dick Groat Topps to my collection in addition to a 1962 Vern Law.  I'm making a lot of progress on completing the team sets from the early 70s, but anything prior to 1968 needs serious attention.  The 1962 are only my 4th and 5th cards from that set so I still have a LOOOONNNNNGGGG WAYS to go.

In addition to a collection of random Pirates goodies, I got 2 Bowman rookie cards.  The Jason Bay is going immediately into my Jason Bay binder and I'm happy to be adding a shiny chrome Bronson Arroyo rookie to my collection.  I didn't collect much in the late 90s so I never had an Arroyo rookie card...until now.  I give Bronson a lot of credit for his strange mechanical pitching technique as I can't do that high leg kick he does once let alone 100+ times every 5th day. 

Thanks again Greg for the awesome trade especially the bonus vintage.  As always, looking forward to our next trade.

And the Free Rockies card winner is....

The Pirates beat the Rockies yesterday 5-4 after coming back from being behind twice.  It was an adrenaline filled game to watch and I was happy to see the Bucs pull it out.

Today marked a double header which started with James McDonald carrying a no-no into the 7th inning.  There were lots of careless baserunning mistakes made by the Pirates that cost them that game.  The Bucs lost 2-1 in the opener of the double header despite JMac throwing a one hitter over 7 innings.

In the second game, the Bucs bats were dormant like they had been all season until the 5th inning when everything clicked and Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez lost a couple fly balls in the sun.  The heart of the Pirates order made those mistakes pay as Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez hit back to back homers to put the Bucs up 4-0.  The Pirates would eventually win the game 5-1 and my favorite Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton got the win.

So...what's that mean to my followers?  Someone's getting a free card.

Since I didn't show off the card prior to the contest, I will show it now.  It's a 2009 UD USA Baseball jersey relic of 2010 first round prospect Drew Pomeranz that was the key piece of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade.  Drew has had a shaky start to the 2012 season, but could still be a key part of the Rockies rotation for years to come.

Now to enter the info into

 here's the randomization once


and three times the charm since it was a 3 game series.


The Pirates are off tomorrow but will be heading south for a 4 game series against the Atlanta Braves

Since I'm talking about the Rockies, I figured it would be a good time to show off a 2 for 2 trade that I made with hiflew from Cards From the Quarry.  Below you can see my shiny heritage pickups that I got for a Todd Helton relic and Randey Dorame AUTO.  The Bullington is my first and likely only jersey relic I will ever own of the former #1 pick.  It's a shame that the card came a little roughed up by the USPS.

Be sure to check out my future posts for a chance to win a Jason Heyward AUTO when the Bucs go to Atlanta.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Heritage Celebration

I decided to make this post showing off my Andrew McCutchen 2012 Topps Heritage cards I own.

As anyone that follows my blog should know Andrew McCutchen is my favorite player and I collect as much as I can get.
 I like when my Cutch has some chrome on it.
 I got the base card, color swap variant, and Target red border parallels

 I have the base auto
and the red auto (18/63)

Here they are all together, but I still need the Clubhouse Collection bat or jersey relic though.  Anyone have one for trade?

BTW...don't forget to root for the Pirates to beat the Rockies to win some free cards!
Let's Go Bucs!

Thank you Panini

About two months ago, I won an auto redemption of Jose Osuna.  It took the seller a little longer to ship than I had initially expected and I didn't enter my redemption immediately.  3 weeks after entering the code at Panini's website I received this Jose Osuna Aspirations di cut signature numbered 10/100. I won the below card for $2.24 shipped.  I'm still trying to figure out how that signature says Jose Osuna, but I'll take it.

Very few people know about Jose Osuna yet, but his name might one day become one of the Pirates top prospects.  Prior to the season starting Osuna didn't even crack the Pirates top 20 prospects.  However, as a 19 year old playing and succeding in A ball so far this year, he may reach the majors by his 22nd birthday and be fully capable of handling his own as an everyday 1st basemen.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

LET'S Go Bucs contest UPDATE

Pirates face off against the Rockies in a 3 game series tomorrow. LET'S GO BUCS!
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

This card is bad ass!

 Another Andrew McCutchen booklet for my collection
How awesome is this card?
Booklet? Check
Favorite Team? Check
Favorite Player? Check
Vintage Uniform used on card? Check
Auto? Check
Jersey? Check
hint of a color patch? Check

Yup, this card is badass!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Trade Post with It's Like Having My Own Card Shop

Dan from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop is a Diamondbacks fan.  I like the D'backs.  They're a good young team and have a really solid pitching staff. Dan and I set up a trade in exchange for a Justin Upton jersey relic I had purchased earlier in the year.  In exchange for the Upton jersey amongst other D'backs I sent him, I received some really nice vintage for my ongoing Topps team sets needs. 
2 nice vintage cards (58 and 59 Topps) of the 1960 MVP Dick Groat and a World Series Celebration card from 1961 featuring a very happy Maz.
Dan also included some other Pirates cards.  These were my favorites.