Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Supercollection just keeps growing

My Charlie Morton supercollection doesn't stop with cards found in packs.  It extends to give aways the Pittsburgh Pirates do as well.

Here's my latest addition.  It's a postcard size card of Ground Chuck that the Pirates gave away to fans at Fan Fest prior to the 2011 season. I attended FanFest that year and got one signed, but here's the unsigned version.

The Pirates and Orioles game got rained out again today. Charlie was supposed to pitch Tuesday then got moved to Wednesday. I wonder if he will pitch tomorrow on 7 days rest or if they will just skip his turn in rotation. Hopefully with the extra rest, the Bucs can start winning.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Seeing Red: Tony Sanchez 2011 Heritage Minors

I've missed 2 straight McCutchen Mondays and for that I'm sorry to those of you that care about that sort of thing. Last Monday I got into an accident that came a foot away from likely killing me. Yesterday I spent 14 hours car shopping before I finally decided on a used Pontiac Sunfire.

Since this is a card blog though I'll show off another Tony Sanchez for the PC.  This 2011 Topps Heritage Red Tint parallel ran me just a few bucks and is numbered 308/620.

2011 Heritage Minors Red Tint 308/220

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Starting to reunite the family...(again)

It's been nearly 3 years since I posted a Tony Sanchez 2011 Bowman Top Prospects printing plate and I recently purchased several from the same seller.  This marks the 2nd of the 2011 Bowmans Topps 100 Prospect printing plates of Tony that I own.  I have the cyan and now the yellow.  Gotta keep my eyes open for the black and magenta.

Tony is back in the majors due to an injury to Russell Martin. Let's hope he can jump start the Pirates offense.

I've noticed that I have a bunch of half started printing plate projects that never seem to get finished

Garret Jones 2013 Gypsy Queen Cyan and Magenta
Andrew McCutchen 2010 Topps Triple Threads Unity AUTO/RELIC Cyan and Black
Luis Herredia 2012 Bowman Black and Yellow
Andrew McCutchen 2012 Topps Archives Cloth Sicker inserts Cyan and Magenta

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Another Nick Kingham AUTO

Back in January, I showed off the $5 Nick Kingham auto I purchased at a local mall card show.  For $5.95 shipped, I added the refractor version numbered /150 to my collection.
Nick Kingham Bowman Sterling Refractor 87/150

My scanner is acting up right now, but trust me the card looks really nice in person especially for the low price I paid.

It will go nicely with the green refractor I won in a giant lot earlier in the month.

It's very likely that Nick will finish the 2014 in AAA as he continues to impress at the AA level.  In 96 AA innings between the end of last year and start of this year, Nick has amassed 88 strikeouts (8.3K/9), 1.34WHIP, and a 2.45 ERA.  He's still relatively young for the league at age 22 (average age is 24.5) so they will likely keep him there to lower the number of free passes he's allowing (3.8BB/9)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Black is the New Black: Tyler Glasnow is ridiculous!!!!

I've shown off several Bowman Black autographs in the past which you can see by clicking on their names below
Jameson Taillon
Gerrit Cole
Starling Marte

It was just a little over a month ago when I posted my Taillon Bowman Black and stated "Taillon is the one that most excites me."  Well Jameson is currently undergoing Tommy John Surgery and will likely not make it to the majors until 2015.  It's very likely that the young man I am showing off today could join him in that rotation at some point next season.

The below auto ran me $70 and is one of 3 black Glasnow autos that I currently own
2013 Bowman Black Tyler Glasnow 20/25

Tyler Glasnow!

This young right hander is exciting to watch pitch.  I got a chance to see him pitch for the West Virginia Power last year and he looks to be practically unhittable as evidenced by his 54 hits allowed against 452 batters faced.  Go ahead and read that again if you want.
54 hits allowed against 452 BATTERS FACED!  That's ridiculous, right?
Want some more numbers?
Ok how about of those 452 batters faced, he struck out 164 of them in only 111 innings.  That translated to a 13.3 SO/9 rate.  Insane, right?
Well how about the fact that he did all that as a 19 year old.
Yeah this kid is something special.  He makes his season debut tonight for the Florida State League Bradenton Marauders.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Another loss, another win

The Pirates opened the season 6-3 during their first three series.  Since then, the Pirates have gone 3-10 putting the team 4 games under .500.  The biggest reason for the massive swing in performance is the starting pitching.  Outside of Edinson Volquez, the Pirates pitching staff hasn't looked to be nearly as dominant as it was last year.  This includes the relievers.  Bryan Morris has been the highlight of the Pirates bullpen this year and many thought he didn't even deserve a spot on the roster.

Another reason for the Pirates lack of wins over the past 10 game stretch has been the ongoing issue of rightfield.  With Jose Tabata and Travis Snider both greatly struggling at the plate, the Pirates will need to upgrade their corner outfield position soon as Pirates right fielders are hitting .209 with a .272 on base percentage.  Snider has proved to be a valuable bat off the bench going 3 for 4 with a homerun.  Those stats aren't going to get the job done though for a player often hitting in the 2 or 6 hole of the lineup.

One possible solution the Pirates have is to call up Gregory Polanco from AAA.  I know that the Pirates don't want to start that arbitration clock too soon, but he has shown that he belongs in a higher class through the first 19 games of the AAA season.  Playing exclusively in right field, Polanco has been hitting .403/.439/.623 with 3 stolen bases, 3 homeruns, and 20 RBI to go with his 4 doubles and 2 triples.  Add in the fact that he is striking out in less than 13% of his plate appearances makes him look like a sparkplug for this Pirates offense.

I finally got my hands on a Gregory Polanco Bowman auto for less than $20 and am very happy to add it to my collection.

Let's Go Bucs!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Favorite Morton (one of them at least) and a life altering story

Anyone remember that TV show My Favorite Martian?

Well today, I'm going to show off (one of) my favorite Mortons.

I purchased this card a long time ago, probably close to 3 years ago right after Lineage had come out, but just never got around to posting it because that's when I was really struggling with family issues, health issues, relationship issues, and power outages.  I don't remember exactly how much it was, but I think it ran me close to $40.

There's that famous saying that if these walls could talk, well I've also heard people throw around the term, if this card could tell a story....

This card does tell a story.  I missed the opportunity to buy the first one that I saw, but was able to grab the second.  It not only represents how I was able to overcome all that adversity, but also how the player depicted was able to change his performance on the field from being one of the worse seasons historically by a Pirates pitcher in 2010 (-2.3 WAR, 7.57ERA, 2-12 record) to being a valuable part of the Pirates pitching staff for years to come (1.9 WAR in 2011, 3.26ERA in 2013).   It shows that no matter what life throws you, you can shine on (like a canary diamond or whatever silly parallel this is).

I got into a major car accident Monday (hence why there was no McCutchen Monday this week) and am fortunate that I am able to walk, albeit with a limp.

But like this card, my life has given me a second chance and I'm gonna shine bright like this card.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My latest Jason Bay AUTO

My 48th Jason Bay certified autograph cost me a low price of only $7 delivered.

This on card graph is from 2005 Topps Finest and reminds me of when Topps would produce nice looking autographs and you could believe their certification.  Look how bold Congratulations is.  Look how it says that all autographs are witnessed by Topps representatives.  This is before sticker autographs became easier for the card companies to use.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Katy Perry Presents: The Letter U

A nice set of tits is always appreciated, so in the style of Sesame Street and my favorite lady to ever wear an Elmo tshirt, I will allow Katy Perry to present today's letter (yes there are baseball cards in this post too)

Today's Letter is:

2007 SP By the Letter Jason Bay AUTO 7/25
You might be thinking there's no U in Jason Bay. Well Treasure Room fans, you are correct, but Upper Deck created a name plate of Bay that also spelled out PITTSBURGH. The above Jason Bay U marks my 5th letter in attempting that plate. I have the S B U R H.

2009 Upper Deck Team USA By the Letter  Jameson Taillon AUTO 42/100

The above 2 future front of rotation Pirates pitchers are from the Team USA by the letter line in 2009. Both Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are represented.  Speaking of Jameson Taillon, if you haven't already checked out the sick patch of his I have from the 2012 Futures Game go check it out by clicking here. It also features the letter U.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seeing Red: A Pair of Red Parallels hits the PTR

After last night's slugfest, the Pirates were seeing blood in the water as the Shark Tank proved to be better than the Brewers relievers. They ran over the Brewers 11-2 in an energetic PNC Park.  Most of the damage came in the 8th inning when they took advantage of Wei Chung Wang (a rule 5 draft pick from the Pirates).

I recently picked a pair of cheap red parallels for my player collections.

Up first is from one of my favorite images of Jason Bay numbered 49/50.
2006 Upper Deck Red 49/50
The above card, which cost me $5 perfectly shows why Jason was my favorite player for a very long time.  The guy hustled more than anyone else on the field, which eventually lead to his injury plagued years with the Mets and a shortened career.  While with the Pirates, it wasn't uncommon for Jason to go running into the left field wall to track a fly ball down.  He played with so much passion and emotion every single night. It's a shame that his career only had him playing for one and half seasons with a good team (Boston Red Sox)

And next is the only player I truly consider myself a super collector of, Charlie Morton.
2014 Topps Target Red Parallel
This marks my 12th different Charlie Morton 2014 Topps card.  Ground Chuck is on the hill tonight as the Pirates hope to gain more ground on the 1st place Brewers after last night's laugher win 11-2.  BTW...If you haven't checked out one of my favorite Charlie Morton cards, please check out yesterday's link.  It's a 2014 Topps Clear /10 and is one of the greatest parallels that Topps has ever done.  Everyone should grab one of their favorite player now!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


I hate losing!  Which is weird when you consider that a team I've rooted for a long time couldn't seem to win.  I'm extremely competitive when I'm at my job, or with my friends playing softball, but I'm equally competitive when trying to win auctions on ebay.  I hate to lose.  It happens though.  A lot of auctions I put bids on just as a flier.  You know the kind where you say, it would be nice to win this auction for this price, but I don't really need this card.

Such was NOT the case with the card you see below.  I had to win it.  The competitive side came out and I was bound and determined to add it to my collection, no matter the price.

 I had to show off the back of the card first, because it is just so unique looking.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that Topps has produced Clear Acetate cards in this style before.  They are absolutely beautifully done and very low numbered.
The above is the front of the card numbered 3/10.  I was so caught up on winning this auction, I remember everything that lead up to me winning it.  I was heading on vacation last month with my girlfriend and we had just gotten to our hotel when I got the alert that the auction was ending soon.  We decided to hang out outside her car before heading into the hotel as I pulled out my phone and watched seconds tick by closer and closer to 0seconds.  I put in my final bid with seconds left and sniped the shit out of it.  Winning the card for (what I belive to be good value) just under $27 shipped.  Not knowing if anymore would be popping up soon, I had to add this to the collection and now that it's in my possession, I am going to search for the other 9.

Charlie Morton is on the hill tomorrow trying to get the Pirates closer to 1st place.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It all comes down to this....

The Pacers had a HUGE win over the Thunder Sunday night, which means with the Heat losing to the Wizards, they will guarantee themselves home court advantage through the playoffs.

Lance Stephenson got his 5th triple-double of the season on Sunday, the most all time by a Pacers player in an individual season.  Stephenson has quietly been a solid contributor to the Pacers success all season long.  I picked this up earlier in the season when the Pacers were virtually unstoppable before the All-Star break for around $32.

Who do you think has the best chance of being NBA champions this year?  The Heat again?  Thunder?  I'm pulling for the Pacers, not just because they're my favorite team, but also because I think they will become hot at the right moment in time to really click and win important games.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday April 15th Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson changed American History

2012 Topps Triple Threads 22/36
This card shows Cutch wearing the #42 jersey in recognition of Jackie Robinson Day held every April 15th.  The card however is numbered with Cutch's actual jersey number #22/36. I've had this for over a year but never got around to posting it. To be honest, I don't remember what I paid, but I'm pretty confident it was less than the price of a blaster. Cutch is still looking for his first HR of the 2014 season, but his Pirates team mates are leading the NL in long balls as evidenced by last night's slugfest in Cincinnati where the Pirates hit 6 home runs in 6 innings.

Monday, April 14, 2014

McCutchen Monday: IT'S JUMBO SIZED!!!

It's Jumbo Sized!!!!

Yeah that's what she said....

For my 71st certified autograph of Cutch I recently picked up off ebay a 2013 Topps Museum Jumbo Jersey swatch and auto.  The low numbering (6/10) helps offset the sticker auto in my opinion.

Another auto that wasn't cheap to add to the PC, but needed a good home.  Please keep me in mind if you have any McCutchen cards in 2014. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

It came from the vault...

My latest Charlie in my pursuit to collect all the Charlie Mortons in the world has landed me another 1/1 Topps Vault gimmick card.
2014 Topps Heritage Blank Back 1/1 Topps Vault
The above card ended up costing me the most I have ever paid for a Topps vault card.  $42 delivered.  Have these suddenly become collectible or are people trying to outbid me knowing that I'm a super collector of the veteran Jersey born Pirates sinkerballer?  Regardless, I'm happy to add it to my collection as Ground Chuck takes the mound today against the Brewers in what has typically been the House of Horrors over the past decade.  Let's go Bucs!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Short on time today so just a quick post of some Pittsburgh logos

Up first is my favorite sport: baseball and the logo of the Pittsburgh Pirates
2013 Topps Andrew McCutchen Patch
Cutch is by far my favorite player to collect cardboard of so it's only fitting that I added another manupatch of the 2013 NL MVP.

Next up is my second favorite sport: Hockey
2010-11 Leaf Limited Nick Johnson AUTO Manupatch 54/299

It's been awhile since I added a hockey card to my collection so when I came across this Nick Johnson auto manupatch for only $5, I felt that I needed to pull the trigger.  Johnson was selected 67th overall in the 2004 NHL Draft (the same year that Evgeni Malkin was selected 2nd overall)

Friday, April 11, 2014

It's so tiny....

I grabbed my very first ever Gypsy Queen mini printing plate.  It's from 2011 and is the Cyan plate for card #214 Pedro Alvarez.  For the low low low low price of $8 I grabbed this from a friend at a local mall card show.

It's my first printing plate of El Toro.  He swings a big bat as evidenced by The 5 HRs he has already despite only 8 hits on the young season. He currently has one of the lowest baBIP in the NL (.125) but still has a 1.016 OPS. Despite the tiny average, El Toro is clubbing the ball opposite field and taking more walks. Its crazy that a guy who already has two 30+ HR seasons could be looking at 2014 as the year he officially breaks out nationally. If that's the case, I almost feel bad for pitchers of the NL Central. Then I remember the 20 losing seasons and that this was Neal's first draft pick and say "yeah wze deserve this."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Silence the Naysayers

A lot of Pirates fans weren't very high on Bryan Morris during the offseason.  Many were saying that he should be the odd man out of the bullpen as there were 3 very effective pitchers last year (Jeanmar Gomez, Bryan Morris, and Vin Mazzarro) all without options and only with 2 open spots.  Clint and Neal saw a lot of movement in Bryan's pitching in Spring Training and decided to send him north and have Vin sent packing.  Surprisingly, Vin didn't get picked up off waivers and has 3 days to accept an assignment to AAA.  This shocked a lot of people, but clearly Neal Huntington has a plan and is executing it very well.

It's great that the Pirates were able to keep the depth in bullpen arms, but has Bryan been succesful at the major leagues last year?  Well in only 7 games in the young season, Bryan has pitched in 3 innings with 2Ks, 0 walks, and allowed only 2 hits without surrendering a run.  In two of his three appearances, he's finished the games with a 1-0 record.  I'd say the last piece of the 2008 Jason Bay trade is providing quite a bit of value to the Pirates young early success.  Let's hope he can keep it up.

The 2013 Select sticker auto numbered 25/750 was grabbed for $1.04 off ebay.  Not a bad price for a quality middle relief guy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Feeling Blue: The Jamo Patch Story

It shouldn't be a secret to anyone that reads my blog that I have been a HUGE fan of Jameson Taillon since he got drafted 2nd overall in the 2010 draft.  I saw him make his Bradenton debut (high A ball), his Altoona debut (AA ball) and saw him make one of his first starts in AAA.  I already had mentally prepared myself to attend his MLB debut game this year no matter where it was.  Unfortunately that won't be happening.  It was recently announced that one of the league's top prospects Jameson Taillon will be going under the knife for Tommy John surgery.  As a baseball fan, I can't worry because so many other pitchers go through it and fully recover the next year.  But as a Pirates fan, I have to be worried.  Remember Bobby Bradley?

Does it suck? Yes!  Does it make his cards cheaper now?  Absolutely!
Did I just buy 2 high priced patches before the news?  Unfortunately, yes.

Last October I showed off one of the most badass patches I own.  It featured the crown from the USA part of the 2012 Futures Game jersey.  It was the second of the Futures Game patches I bought of Jameson Taillon.  The first could be seen here dating back to February 2013.

I decided though that two of those cards weren't enough and was out to get more.

By negotiating with the sellers offer prices, I recently just purchased the above two cards for an additional $115 shipped.  I should note that the asking prices on these two cards was $175.  This brings my total to 4 of the 25 card print run.
My favorite one pictured above is the letters T and A from the back of his jersey and is numbered 2/25

The other one I purchased features the letter U and is a part of a star from the front of the USA jersey.  This is numbered 15/25.

To show off the others see below

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This is Awesome!!!!

I set this up with Schwartz Sports for their March signing which included a ridiculous amount of talent from all 4 major North American sports.  There were lots of Hall of Famers, many members of the 2012-2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, the 1986 Chicago Bears team, and many many more.  The player I was most excited about though was Paul George.


Monday, April 7, 2014

McCutchen Monday: 2014 Donruss Game Gear

When 2014 Donruss came out, I tried three different attempts to win the below card.

The winning auctions started at $14 and went up to $22 delivered.  With patience, I found an auction that stayed in what I considered affordable and won it for $5.97 delivered.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Buy More, Save More

I don't buy into the concept of buy more, save more very often.  Bulk stores like Costco and BJ's Wholesale don't often offer much more value than your average supermarket's sale price.  I should know, I work at a supermarket.

However, I do find ebay lots to often offer incredible savings.  Take the lot you see above for example.  Reese McGuire, Alen Hanson, and Gregory Polanco all show up on most scout's top 100 prospects while Blake Taylor and Nick Kingham profile to be mid rotation innings eaters.

I managed to win all 6 cards for $39 delivered.  That's around $6.50 a piece.
Only 3 of the 6 autos are on card (Blake Taylor, Reese McGuire, Gregory Polanco)
Let's see how I was able to save on this lot.

Blake Taylor was a 2013 second round draft pick southpaw that put up very strong numbers as a 17 year old pitching in the gulf coast league in his debut season.  Due to the shortened season and signing late, Taylor pitched in only 21 innings, but had  a WHIP of 0.762 with an ERA of 2.57 while striking out 13.  His fastball reaches low 90s and many scouts think he will add velocity as his figure fills out.
These normally go for under $5 delivered which could be a steal in the future.

Reese McGuire was the second 1st round pick the Pirates had in 2013.  Reese is currently in low A ball and had a tremendous season last year after quickly signing.  He doesn't have much pop yet, but is highly regarded for his defensive skill set and contact at the plate.  In terms of his skill set, I see him being similar to Jason Kendall but with less HR potential.
These base autos typically start around $5 delivered and run up to $10.

Alen Hanson is one of baseball's most promising shortstop prospects.  He profiles as a typical leadoff hitter with solid line drive contact, some pop, and lots of speed.
The base autos for Hanson run around $7 delivered

Gregory Polanco is one of the top ranked prospects in baseball right now and his Bowman Sterling on card autos are by far the best value if you are looking to add an auto of the young 5 tool talent.
The base autos start around in the range of $10 -$18 delivered.  

The base auto for Nick Kingham normally start at around $5, but often run up to $9 delivered.  The real highlight of the lot was the gold refractor numbered 5/50.  This card averages to around $20 delivered.

Taking the highs and lows of the lot, the average price for this lot would be in the $52-$69 range.  That's a savings of $14-$30 for a lot of cards that were all new additions to the Treasure Room.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The similarities of these two cards

I was going through some of my smaller player collections and trying to organize my commons a little better when I realized that these cards are very similar.  Both feature the Pirates big bat swinging from the left side of the plate in PNC park with a Cubs catcher behind the plate while wearing #24.

Pedro hit his first (and second) homeruns of the season last night.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Walk it off....sometimes it's ok to be blue

The first two games of the Pirates 2014 season opened with walk off winners from former first round draft picks Neil Walker (2004) and Tony Sanchez (2009).  What's more interesting though is that these two walkoffs were both MLB firsts for the former first rounders.

One of my collecting goals for 2014 was try to and get half of the 2009 Bowman Chrome Tony Sanchez autos graded 9.5 or better.  I had previously shown off the base auto from January.

I've had this blue refractor for sometime, probably since the beginning of January or maybe even the end of December.  I remember getting it for a steal of a price, $40 or so if I remember correctly.

I decided now was a good time to show it off though as the Pirates just lost their first game of 2014 and I'm feeling a little blue.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My latest signed 1/1 Cut Signature

My most recent cut auto is of my main super collection player, Charlie Morton.  This 2012 A Sign of History slabbed cut auto ran me $7 + shipping.  Not  a bad price to be had for my latest 1/1 of Ground Chuck.

Charlie deserved his first win of the 2014 season last night when he pitched 6 scoreless innings giving up 4 hits, 1 walk and striking out 6 batters, but due to a rare Pirates bullpen blown save, that wasn't the fate. The Bucs still walked it off though thanks to a pinch hit single by 2009 1st round draft pick, Tony Sanchez

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Buc Hill Aces: 1961 Edition

The Pirates pitching staff looked incredibly strong last year lead by veterans AJ Burnett, Fransisco Liriano, and closer Jason Grilli.
Back in 1960, the World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, had 2 other aces that catapulted their record to the best in the NL with a 95-59 record.
The Pirates pitching staff in 2013 allowed 577 runs compared to the 1960 pitching staff which allowed 593 runs.  If the Pirates are going to continue their success in 2014, they will have to depend on the arms of Gerrit Cole, Fransisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, and the effectiveness of the bullpen.  It's only been one game so far, but it looks like the Buc Aces are back!

Here's hoping for success from the aces in 2014, so that the Pirates can be champions much like Vern Law and Roy Face pictured above.
I bought this card for $6 when I went on vacation in February.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jameson Taillon West Virginia Power Patch

Not long ago I showed off a Gregory Polanco West Virginia Power manupatch from 2013 Pro Debut.  I recently came across a Jameson Taillon West Virginia Power manupatch from the 2012 Pro Debut set and quickly picked it up for $17 delivered.  I'll admit time and time again that I don't like manupatches much, but when they feature the awesome logo of the WV Power, I'm going to pick them up.
2012 Topps Pro Debut Manupatch West Virginia Power (Jameson Taillon)

Even though he's having elbow issues, Taillon should be up mid season 2014 to help the Pirates continue to make a strong push for the playoffs.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what this kid can do.  It's hard to believe he'll be just 22 in 2014.