Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another collecting goal for 2012

The Pirates logo worn on their sleeves is badass!  Need proof?  Look at this guy!

I would like to get a card of some of my favorite Pirates players of the past decade with a patch featuring the Pirates logo.

So who are some of my favorite players of the past decarde that might actually have a card with the logo on it?
  • Jason Bay
  • Ryan Doumit
  • Brian Giles
  • Jason Kendall
  • Andrew McCutchen
  • Freddy Sanchez
  • Jose Tabata
  • Neil Walker
  • Jack Wilson
  • Oliver Perez (but only for a season and a half, hahahaha!)
Finding Giles, Kendall, and Doumit will most likely be the toughest ones to find.

I recently picked up a Freddy Sanchez to jumpstart my collection which you can see below.
Check out the nice patch of the Pirates logoman's earing.  LOVE IT!
The card was picked up for about $20 if I remember correctly.  The card is numbered 2/50

I already had 2 cards featuring the logoman of Cutch which I will show below as well.
 This one features the bottom part of the Pirates logoman bandana and bat.
In the part of this card that says "1st 2" it features the bats of the left of the logoman.

I'd still love to add another logoman of my favorite player Cutch

Last year I picked up a Marquee Jose Tabata auto/dual jersey card with the beard of the logoman in the first swatch. That's just a nice looking card with the beard and biting lip of the logoman.  Having a Tabata signature on it makes it even better.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MLB Debut: Jordy Mercer & LET'S GO BUCS WINNER

I started watching the rain delayed game yesterday between the Reds and Bucs.  Once it became 4-1 and Charile Morton was yanked, I said forget it and turned off the game.  Hot hitting prospect Jordy Mercer was promoted yesterday as utility fielder Yamaico Navarro was optioned to AAA.  He managed  to get one at bat as a pinch hitter in the 8th inning to get his feet wet and grounded out to shortstop.

Today, Jordy had his first MLB start batting in the 2 hole and playing shortstop for the offensively struggling Clint Barmes.  I said before the season started that I thought the Barmes signing was a bad idea and that the team should have seen what they had in Chase D'arnaud, Jordy Mercer, Jeremy Farrel, and Josh Harrison.  I've seen Jordy play several times since his time with the AA Altoona Curve and he's a phenomenal defender with some pop in his bat.  He lead the Pirates minor league system in homeruns last season.

Jordy went 1 for 4 today getting a hard hit single in his first at bat in the first inning.  He made some nice above average plays at short and deserves to continue to start until he proves he is no better than Barmes.

Since the Pirates held onto win another 1 run ball game today, the Pirates took the series from the first place Reds and improved their record again to .500. 
Fun fact: The Pirates have not lost a game yet where they are winning after the 7th inning.  That shows how good the Pirates backend of the bullpen is.  
Joel Hanrahan and Jason Grilli both struck out two batters a piece.  Grilli now has an impressive 35 strikeouts in only 20 innings pitched, while the Hammer has 24 Ks in 19. 

Since the Bucs won, let's see whose getting some Reds swag.
drumroll please...
 Three game series so I have to randomize it 3 times
 Sorry Greg, but you came close twice...
But the winner is The Diamond King!
Diamond King is a first time winner of the Let's Go Bucs contest.

The Bucs have an off day tomorrow, but will head into Miller Park to face the Brewers on Friday.  I hate the Brewers!  Absolutely despise that team.  I'll have to come up with something good for this series. 

Maybe a Paul Molitor rookie or a top prospect Taylor Jungmann auto?
I'll let the winner decide. 

Remember to cheer for the Bucs by leaving a comment prior to the start of the series saying Let's Go Bucs! Beat the Brew Crew!!!!  If you're the Brewers are your favorite team, let me know so that you can be entered twice. 


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A unique item added to the Treasure Room

Baseball card manufacturers have used jerseys, bats, and patches as box hits for well over a decade now.  Very often, these cards feature an image of the player not wearing the same style jersey on the card as what's contained in the card.  This can become frustrating, but let's admit it we still love those plain white jersey cards that are guaranteed 1 in every 24 packs.

Upper Deck has always been thought of as being innovative in the card collecting industry.  Remember in 1989 when they debuted their first baseball card set and they had holograms in the corner.  FUCKING HOLOGRAMS!!!  Damn, that was cool.  As collectors sought out game used materials for their card collections, Upper Deck continued to innovate what was placed in our cardboard collections.

While this card won't get an induction into the Baseball Card Hall of Fame, I have to say this card is beyond cool.

Pictured on the card is Brian Giles and Aramis Ramirez of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Giles is swinging and ARam is fielding.  In the direct center of the card is a piece of officially game used baseball complete with some red stitching and faded letters of AGUE BASE.  The card has nice symmetry with the two players and even pictures both players wearing the same style home uniform.

The card is not numbered nor do I know the print run.  Upper Deck was a great company for baseball card collectors and it's a shame that we don't get to see their unique items year after year anymore.

The Pirates had a rain delay earlier today which caused the game to start a bit over 2 hours after it was scheduled.  Charlie Morton was pulled after only 4 innings and 61 pitches.  They are currently losing 4-0.  Let's hope for a big late innings rally by the Bucs to gain some more ground on those first place Reds. 

With so many posts about Archives, how about Fan Favorites?

Quick post today as I don't have much time

A lot of people have been making posts about Topps Archives, but I haven't bought a pack yet.  There wasn't a lot in there that interested me except for picking up the Andrew McCutchen cards.

Topps has been making Archives and Fan Favorite cards for some time now. 

I don't normally pick up the base cards because a lot of them are basically just reprints which I have ZERO interest in.

However, I do like jersey relics
Dave Parker was certainly a fan favorite for the Pirates back in the 70s when he was one of the most talented outfielders in the game.  It even allowed him to become the first player to receive an annual salary of $1 million dollars.  That's right, you heard that correctly.  The Pirates gave out the first $1 million dollar a year contract.  The Pirates who are thought to be a cheap ball club. 

I like the design of this card a lot.  It flows nicely with the Fan Favorites script, jersey relic in the center and the 6 baseballs atop the player's name, position, and team.  Job well done Topps.

Monday, May 28, 2012

McCutchen Monday: Redemption Time!!!

The Pirates swept the Cubbies yesterday marking the Pirates first sweep of 2012.  If the Pirates can win the series against the Reds starting today, that will put the Bucs at .500 for the season.

The team is currently last in nearly every offensive category through out the major leagues.  Take away Andrew McCutchen and his .342/.402/.544 line and this team looks absolutely embarrassing offensively.  Cutch is putting up numbers that may get his name nominated a few times for MVP this year.  He also has double digits in steals and has been one of the league's best defenders the past couple seasons in center field. He's an electrifyng personality and one of the game's most exciting young players.

Topps Museum issued an autograph redemption in their product this year and I saw one of the redemption cards online for $12 shipped.  A few short weeks later, this beautiful on card blue pen auto arrived at my doorstep.

Numbered out of 299, this card is gorgeous in hand and the signature really pops.  If you have a chance to pick one up cheaply like I did it's a worthwhile investment if Cutch continues to play at the All-Star level he's shown in just under 50 games so far this season.

Let's Go Bucs!  Beat them Reds!  Get back to .500

On another note, the 1st place Orioles recently extended Adam Jones for an additional 6 years with a full no trade clause and part of his annual salary will go to Orioles charities.  It's nice to see the Orioles locking up a stud athlete like Jones for the foreseeable future.
I think it's appropriate to show off this Jones/McCutchen dual auto that I picked up during the offseason.  Nice looking isn't it?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

MLB Draft prediction and Lets Go Bucs Contest Winner

The Pirates have been closely associated with Deven Marrero being their 1st round draft pick in the 2012 MLB draft.  While I would rather the Bucs select a player with more offensive upside, I do like the pick because Marrero could be a future gold glove shortstop.
I bought the above card for $1.25 off ebay a couple weeks ago when scouts and analysts started talking about Marrero as a future Buc.  I saved on shipping too because I had bought several other cards from the same seller so I figured the card was well worth the price even if he didn't end up in black and gold.

There are about half a dozen names that the Pirates have scouted heavily recently including high school southpaw Max Fried.  The Pirates have taken a number high upside pitchers over the past 3 drafts and have the best minor league 1-2 punch in terms of stuff in Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon.  Both Cole and Taillon look like future aces.  The Pirates may be thinking a positional player with the number 8th overall selection.

Marrero is a glove first shortstop who projects to stay at the position throughout his career.  Going into the season he was perceived as a top 5 pick, but his offensive stats have taken a dip this season.  If Marrero isn't selected by the Bucs, it's predicted that he will fall to the Reds at the 14th overall selection.  I can't wait for the MLB draft as I honestly have no idea what the Pirates are planning on doing or who may fall to them.

The Pirates just swept the Cubs in a 3 game series so someone will be winning the Cubs cards. 
For those that have won these contests, could you please do a post about your winnings or send me an email so I know that the cards have been received. 


Let's find out who our winner is this time...
nope it's not Greg
or Jeff cause I have to randomize it three times
We have a first time winner for the Cubs series.

Dhoff of the great blog Coot Veal and the Vealtones is our winner of the 3 Cubbies cards.  Enjoy!

The Pirates are battling the NL Central leaders Cincinnati Reds at home for a 3 game set.  Let's hope the Bucs can beat them Redlegs to put them back to at least .500
Let's Go Bucs!!!!

Normal rules apply..
if the Pirates win the series, one person wins the cards by
must say Let's Go Bucs in the comments section (along with anything else you have to say)
If the Reds are your favorite team, you get entered twice (just let me know that you root for the Reds)

Here's this series offerings...
 a Frank Robinson 2004 Legendary Cuts Significant Swatches jersey and a 1975 Topps Joe Morgan


Friday, May 25, 2012


I couldn't resist picking up 3 Jason Bay hits that were combined in a lot on ebay for $25 shipped.
This is the largest autograph card I own.
 Who says size doesn't matter?  Here's the front compared to a standard size baseball card.
This is the back of the card.  The card is an 8x10

 The other two cards in the lot were a 2005 Diamond Kings Crowning Moment bat/jersey relic #33/100
 and a 2004 Team Topps Blue Chips AUTO

On another note, the Pirates released Nate McLouth today.  My post yesterday seems eerily Nastrodamus like considering it was titled GO AWAY NATE MCLOUTH!  Weird.
The Pirates have recalled corner infielder Matt Hague to start at 1B today.

The Bucs just held on to another 1 run win and now have the lowest ERA for all bullpens in baseball.  Go Bucs!
Jason Grilli has been untouchable lately raising his strikeouts to 33 for the year in only 18 innings pitched.  Yup that's a 16.5 K/9 folks.  I'll say it again 16.5 K/9.  Crazy numbers!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Go Away Nate McLouth

I'll admit I was wrong.  I got excited to see the Pirates sign Nate McLouth to a minor league free agent deal.  I thought that this would give the Pirates an extra left handed bat off the bench and provide more depth in the outfield.  Nate could also be used as a defensive replacement late in games or as a pinch runner.  On top of that he's incredibly fan friendly and WAS a fan favorite. 

Nate McLouth in 2012 isn't even close to being what he was in 2008. 

Nate currently has a worse batting average in the month of May than 2 of the Pirates pitchers.  Yup 2!!!!! 
For the year he has 18 strikeouts in only 57 at bats (32% of the time).  He's been bad defensively too despite having a 1.000 fielding percentage he has taken lots of bad routes which have lead to base hits. 
To put into perspective how bad he has been, he is 13th on the team in OPS (on base plug slugging).  Very closely behind him are three Pirates pitchers. 

Quite honestly, whether he's ready or not, I'm ready for Starling Marte to make his MLB debut.  I'm sure it will happen in June so the Pirates get an extra year out of him before he goes to arbitration by being a Super Two.  When I did my interview with Phungo I stated that Marte wouldn't be called upon based on how he's doing, but more than likely how poorly Presley or McLouth might be.  Presley has already been sent down to AAA.  I suspect McLouth won't be with the team come July.

Earlier in the year, I did pick up a few Nate McLouth cards that I didn't have in my collection previously.  They were bought very cheap which in hindsight I'm still happy about.

picked up for $2.99 shipped (.99 with $2 shipping)
Not a bad card featuring a steroid user MVP
picked this up for $0.75 shipped
miraculously it was shipped in only a penny sleeve between 2 pieces of cardboard and arrived safely
This was the most expensive of the bunch costing me $4.25

Overall I am happy with picking these up for under $10, but wow is Nate McLouth terrible now.

Gone are these type of memories seen in the highlight film below
One thing is for sure though, the dude picks awesome entrance music to walk up to the plate to. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

1st Goal of 2012 Complete!

I finally picked up the last letter needed for my Daniel McCutchen Topps Finest Nameplate.  The letter E had been escaping me for about 4 1/2 months as only 2 became available during that time.  I didn't want to get a different print run like /50 or /25.  I wanted them all to be the same.  For the price of a Subway meal, I picked up this DCutch "E" completing my nameplate.
The Pirates are currently down 1-0 in the rubber match against the Mets.  The Bucs will need to win this game to win the series.

Tomorrow is an off day for the Pirates followed by a 3 game series against the division rivals Chicago Cubs.  The cards available for the Let's Go Bucs Contest will be some vintage and a throwback manupatch of the Ryno.

Cheer for the Bucs by leaving a comment.  If the Pirates win the series, one lucky person will randomly win these cards below.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MLB Debut: Gorkys Hernandez

Last night, Gorkys Hernandez made his MLB debut when he pinched hit for Erik Bedard in the 5th inning.  Gorkys struck out in his first MLB plate appearance.

Earlier in the year I did a prospect profile on Gorkys which you can read here.

2012 Autograph ebay snipes

How about a haiku to show off my new cards?

Ebay sniping fun.

Neil Walker auto was cheap.

But Holmes was cheaper.

I picked up the 6 cards you saw above for $32 shipped.  Not too bad, huh? 

Some packages went in the mail today.
Here's the zip codes for those that may be expecting something from me...

Monday, May 21, 2012

McCutchen Monday: Slabbed Rookie Edition

I'm not a big fan of collecting graded cards, but I do enjoy having a rookie card graded of my favorite players to wear a Pirates uniform.  This latest edition features none other than my favorite player in the major leagues today, Andrew McCutchen. 
I've been after this 09 SP Auto for a long time since copies of it can run for up to $60 and I wasn't really interested in it for that much.  Thanks to a terrible spelling mistake on the seller (McCuthcheon really?) I was able to pick this beauty up for $20.

The Pirates won today 5-4 vs. the Mets.  Go Bucs!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Massive Massive Massive Jason Bay Update: Now with 81 hits

The Pirates lost to the Tigers today 4-3 thus losing the series.  To recap, the series it went like this.

Justin Verlander throws 8 1/3 no hit innings as Pirates get killed 6-0.

No one on the Pirates scores except Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen as Cutch goes yard twice for 2 2 run homers.  Pirates win 4-3.

Pirates get lead by solo homeruns by Rod Barajas and Neil Walker then a bunch of blooper base hits and up the middle singles gives Tigers a 4-2 lead, until the 9th inning when Josh Harrison scores on a sacrifice fly by Rod Barajas.  Oh and Max Scherzer struck out 15 Pirates in 7 innings.  15 in 7!!!!  WTF!?!!

As much as I wanted to see the Pirates win this series to get closer to that .500 mark, they are heading back to Pittsburgh for a 9 game home stand.  Up first the New York Mets. 

Jason Bay who is one of my favorite players to collect will not be returning from the DL that has kept him out for most of the season.  I do however have a whole bunch of Jason Bay cards to show off that I've been adding over the past couple months.

The below autograph cards cost me a total of $46 shipped.  Less than $8 a card.  The Prominent Numbers is the most limited as there was only 38 copies produced in recognition of Bay's jersey number.  My favorite of the bunch is the Upper Deck Etched in Time numbered 49/250.  It has a futuristic steam punk look to it that I really enjoy.  I miss Upper Deck producing baseball cards.  They made some awesome stuff.

I have also added 2 new patch cards of Jason Bay to my collection.
What's funny about these cards is that they cost me more per card than an autograph.  This makes little sense to me as I think an autograph would command a greater price that a piece of a player's uniform.  These were purchased off ebay for $22 combined.  

And lastly a few jersey cards and a pair of bat cards.
The 2006 Highlights Jersey card from Topps recognizes Jason Bay homering in 6 straight games.  There was another Highlights card that had a bat relic and different picture used.   These were all purchased for less than $3 a piece. 

I now have 81 hits in my Jason Bay collection.  That's fricking crazy!!!! 

I'm going to open up the Let's Go Bucs Contest for the Mets series.  Below are the cards that are up for grabs if the Pirates win the series against the Mets.  Some vintage and a game used Jose Reyes jersey from 2012 Heritage.
I'm really hoping for a sweep to put them at .500.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kerry Wood Retires the way he began

The sudden retirement of Kerry Wood showed a class act of the Chicago Cubs by letting him go out and face one more batter.  On 3 pitches, he struck out Dayan Vaciedo and exited the game the way he began.  Kerry Wood finished his career with a ridiculous 10.3 K/9.

Here's a nifty dual patch card featuring Kerry Wood and Kris Benson.  The 2003 Fleer Press Clippings card is numbered 20/150.  I love this card because of the patches and the numbering of this particular card celebrates Kerry's 20 strikeouts in a single game.

Congratulations on a great career Kerry Wood!