Monday, June 30, 2014

McCutchen Monday: Sabremetric variant

Since Andrew McCutchen has become a national star, he is getting more and more variants in every one of Topps products.  We already have the Zoltan variant I showed off back in May.  In series 2, Topps released a sabremetric variant for the Series 1 card.

You can see the difference on the backs below.

It's nice to see Topps evolve with the times and including more of these analytical stats on the back of cards.
The front of the card features the same base image from Flagship Series 1.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

BayDay BayDay: Topps Chrome Heritage 2005

I'm very short on time today so its just gonna be a quick post to show off my newest Jason Bay. Its a 2005 Topps Heritage Chrome numbered out of 556.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Gerrit Cole Series 2 variant

Welcome Back Gerrit Cole!!!!

To honor the return of the young right hander, I'm going to show off a variant from Series 2.  It's the Futures Game variant.  Topps used some of the top players and their Futures game jersey variants from a few years ago for these Series 2 variants.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Many Americans watched the USA soccer team play Germany in yesterday's World Cup matchup.  I don't have any soccer cards, but I do have a Gerrit Cole 2011 Topps USA baseball cap patch numbered 10/25 to showoff today.

I was shocked to win this card many many months ago for around $12.  I'm excited to get Gerrit back tomorrow.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Vintage 1964s

As anyone that follows my blog knows my card collection consists mainly of the following:

  • Supercollection of Charlie Morton (over 90% of all cards produced)
  • Nearly 500 unique Andrew McCutchen cards including over 150 relics/autos
  • over 500 unique Jason Bay cards including over 125 autos/relics
  • an almost complete rainbow of Tony Sanchez 2009 Bowman Chrome Autos BGS 9.5 or higher
  • too many autographs, relics, shortprints of other Pirates to count
  • an attempted run of every Topps flagship Pirates card produced from 1952-2014

I was able to knock off 3 more needs from the latter and pick up 1964 Topps Pirates set by adding the following for the low price of $4.

Isn't it nice to know that I only need 4 more cards to complete the 1964 Topps Pirates team set.
They are
7 NL Leaders
342 Willie Stargell
472 Vern Law
570 Bill Mazeroski

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What became of eTopps? Why is everything digital?

I know that eTopps was a failed experiment by Topps, but it did produce some nice looking cards such as this 2008 eTopps of Charlie Morton.
2008 eTopps 130/749

Topps latest attempt to digital card collecting is Topps Bunt, but I haven't quite gotten into it.  I know that I should so that I can continue my conquest of trying to get 1 of every Charlie Morton card, but the reality is I'm not a big fan of digital card collecting.

As a matter of fact, I'm not a big fan of digital anything.  The other day I went into Best Buy and the entire CD collection was only 1 rack.  All country, metal, rap, soundtracks, jazz, etc was all together in one section.  This made me a little sad because I really enjoyed reading the cd booklets, looking at lyrics, reading the thank yous, who did recordings, etc.  The same is starting to happen to the DVD sections in electronic stores.  More and more stuff is going digital.  The day the world becomes a complete digital mess is the day I hope, I'm not around anymore.  I will not eat a digital pizza and I will not collect digital baseball cards.  Give me something I can hold in my hands.

I wanted the Pirates to give Charlie some run support today instead of him going 7 innings and allowing only 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 11.

Monday, June 23, 2014

McCutchen Monday: 2005 Just Minors Justifiable

As I begin marching towards my next century mark in pursuit of my 500th unique Andrew McCutchen card, I am still adding more base rookies and predraft cards of the young 5 tool talent and last year's NL MVP.

My latest purchase cost me $1.  Yup!  Only a $1.

I am now sitting at over 475 unique cards of Cutch.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Seeing Red: School Colors AUTO

My latest Tony Sanchez autograph is from 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition School Colors and is numbered 93/100.

It's my 15th unique certified autograph of the former first rounder.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Another 1 of 1 Charlie Morton???? WHY NOT???

Charlie Morton is on the mound tonight against the division rivals, Chicago Cubs.  As is often the case when the Flemington, NJ born Morton takes the mound I like to show off a part of the greatest Charlie Morton supercollection.  Today I am bringing you another 1/1 from 2013 Topps Update Black printing plate.  I purchased this card for $32 delivered earlier in the year.  Printing plates have been increasing in recent years as more and more super collectors are buying all copies of a printing plate up that they can find.

Truthfully though, I just like having them in my collection and feel that $32 is a fair price to pay for something that you are the only one in the world to own....especially if it is of Charlie Morton.

This is my 3rd printing plate of Charlie.  The 2011 Cyan can be seen here and the 2012 Black mini printing plate can be seen here.  I also have a copy of his 2014 yellow printing plate, which I will show off in the near future.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Tony Pena AUTO

A lot of social media places do throwback Thursdays.  My blog is going to head in that same direction.  Each Thursday I will show off a former Pirate.  Today's special guest is Tony Pena.  Below is the first autograph I own of the former Bucco and it cost me only $3 delivered.  The unlicensed 2014 Prizm sticker auto is one of four Pirates to have autographs in the 2014 Prizm set.  I've already shown off my Starling Marte auto from 2014 Prizm
2014 Prizm AUTO Tony Pena

Pena was a four time All-Star with the Pirates before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 1, 1987 for 5 time Gold Glover, 3xAll-Star, and 2 time Silver Slugger Andy Van Slyke as well as 1987 Gold Glove winner Mike LaValliere.  Pena was quite frankly before my time.  He did help mold me into the Pirates fan I became thanks in large part to Andy Van Slyke becoming a Pirate.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Still yelling timber!!!!

Prices of Gerrit Cole cards are continuing to drop and I'm continuing to buy them.  For $25 delivered I added my second printing plate of the young Pirates Ace.

It's a bit more than I was hoping for, but I am still happy to add it to my collection considering that some Gerrit Cole printing plates were as high as $50 prior to the start of the season.  It's still not as nice as the Yellow Printing Plate of the 2014 Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Newest PC is a 2014 MLB Draft Pick

Cole Tucker was viewed as a reach on draft day and I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I heard his name instead of Jacob Gatewood, Monte Harrison, Michael Chavis, Michael Kopech, or Spencer Adams.  To be perfectly honest, I had never even thought of Cole Tucker as anyone prior to round 4 due to where Baseball America,, and other analysts were expecting him to go.

That all changed an hour after he was drafted by the Pirates with the 24th overall pick in 2014.  After viewing a picture of him from his little league days wearing a Pirates cap and jersey on Twitter with the caption, "I've been waiting my whole life to be a Pirate." he instantly became one of my favorite players.  The  day in the life of Cole Tucker documentary helped too.

He was one of the first first rounders to sign from the 2014 draft class and one of the first Pirates to sign.  He signed for slightly below slot and there are numerous sources stating that the A's would have selected him with pick #25 if the Pirates hadn't drafted the fast switch hitting defensive teenager.

Because of all this, I am adding Cole Tucker to my latest player I hope to PC.  This is in addition to being a supercollector of Charlie Morton and having nice size collections of Andrew McCutchen (I've been lacking with this due to the massive amount of cards produced over the past few years) and Tony Sanchez.

The first card in my PC is a gorgeous 2013 Panini USA Baseball 18U Auto and Dual Patch card numbered 1/10.

This is hopefully the start of a very nice PC of one of the Pirates most exciting young middle infielders.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Blake Taylor to the Mets.

Blake Taylor was a 2013 second round draft pick by the Pirates.  He was recently announced as the PTBNL in the Ike Davis trade that happened earlier this season between the Pirates and Mets.  I mentioned on my Facebook when the trade happened that I suspected Taylor would be the PTBNL and nearly two months later I am correct.

He pitched very well in his professional debut going 21 innings and striking out 13 in the Gulf Coast League and projects to be a middle of the rotation lefty with good upside.  I'm not devastated by the loss of Taylor to our farm system, but the Mets have been doing a good job of recognizing where to send their players to if they want quality prospects in return.

Happy Father's Day!!!!

Happy Father's Day to all you proud dads out there.

The above Andrew McCutchen 2014 Panini Father's Day base card was recently purchased on ebay for $2. I don't have the card in hand yet because I literally just paid for it today, but figured it was a good time to show it off.  Happy Father's Day everyone!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Orange is the New Black

My girlfriend has been having mini marathons of the show Orange is the New Black.
Has anyone seen it?  If you have watched it, let me know what you think because quite frankly I haven't given it a chance.

Instead I bought an orange refractor of one of my favorite pitchers not named Charlie Morton.  The above card ran me $2 delivered.

Friday, June 13, 2014

World Cup vs. World Baseball Classic

The World Cup started yesterday and so many people throughout the world tuned in to watch their country's teams try to win the World Cup.  Why doesn't the World Baseball Classic generate as much credit as the World Cup throughout the World?  Is it because baseball isn't played globally?  Is it a lack of talent participating in the WBC?

As part of my ongoing quest to add cheap Jameson Taillon cards to my collection while he recovers from Tommy John surgery, I was able to add this nice patch card of the Texas native prospect for the small price of $8.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Prices are going down, and I'm yelling timber

Thanks to Tommy John surgery, Jameson Taillon autos are at an alltime low.  Gerrit Cole just landed on the DL for the first time in his young career with shoulder fatigue.  All preliminary reports are that it is nothing to worry about it's just precautionary.  With this news, I decided to grab one of the nicest on card autographs of Gerrit Cole on the market for less than the price of a blaster.  Hailing from 2013 Topps Five Star, this serially numbered thick card features an on card auto of the young Pirates ace in beautiful blue ink.
2013 Topps Five Star AUTO 139/359

I think I may have to continue to splurge on Taillon and Cole autos while the prices are so low.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Second Ever Superfractor

I finally added another Superfractor to my collection and it's of one of the Pirates top pitching prospects.

Nick Kingham!!!!

I got a chance to watch Nick Kingham pitch in Trenton last weekend and he was fantastic.  His fastball reached 97mph and his line really doesn't do it justice.  7 innings pitched, 3 earned runs, 6K/0BB, 6 hits.  I really like the idea of a nearly homegrown rotation in 2016 and beyond.

I don't think that Nick is a true ace like pitcher, but I can see him being a great innings eater with good strikeout rates and being very under rated in the league.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Black is the new Black: It's's really happening Gregory Polanco Black AUTO

Gregory Polanco will be making his much anticipated MLB debut tonight.  After posting video game like numbers in AAA for the early part of the season, the Pirates will be calling on the left handed right fielder to jumpstart their lineup as they try to push for another post season run.

One of my 2014 collecting goals was to get autographed gold parallels from Bowman of the Pirates top prospects each year.  After a few days of thinking about it, I quickly changed my thoughts and goals to the Bowman black autographs with silver ink.  These just look so much nicer to me and I already have shown off the Bowman Blacks for Tyler GlasnowJameson TaillonGerrit Cole, and Starling Marte.  I am hoping to be adding Reese McGuire, Austin Meadows, and Alen Hanson by the year.
2013 Bowman Black 5/25

The above Bowman Black ran me $125 which is significantly cheaper than what some of them were going for at the start of the season ($300 plus range)

Monday, June 9, 2014

McCutchen Monday: Dual Auto with George Springer 2012 Bowman Top Picks

It's one of my 2014 Collecting Goals to get to 75 certified autographs of Andrew McCutchen.  I purchased this dual auto of Cutch and one of baseball's top prospects, George Springer, awhile ago.  It marks the 72nd certified auto in my collection to be showcased on the PTR.
2012 Bowman Top Prospects Dual AUTO George Springer and Andrew McCutchen 23/25

Both Springer and McCutchen were selected as 11th overall picks in the amateur draft and both play one of the key defensive positions on the diamond, centerfield.  Springer showed last year a tremendous amount of power and speed as he was able to hit 37 homeruns and 45 stolen bases while batting .303.  He has struggled since making his MLB debut on April 16th this year, but has started to hit more consistently over the past couple weeks.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Another Starling Marte auto? For less than $4? OK!!!

Panini doesn't have a license.  It makes their cards less expensive and less desirable.  That's fine with me because I was able to grab this on card autograph of Starling Marte for under $4 delivered.

Yeah!!!! I like those kind of deals.  Despite not having any logos, this is one very sharp looking card!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Don't show any Merc(er)y!!!!

Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer has been on a mega hot streak the last 5 games.  During that stretch he has increased his .190 batting average to .232.  He has gone .545/.545/.864 with an OPS of 1.409 over the past 5 games collecting 8 runs and 6 RBI over 22 plate appearances.  That's video game numbers!  Jordy has always been thought of as having a good bat with gap to gap power, but has struggled mightly in the early 2014 season.  Hopefully his June numbers continue the way they've started.

I grabbed this camo version from 2013 Topps for under $3 delivered.  Really happy to add this to the collection since I've been following Jordy since I got a chance to meet him in 2010 when he was a member of the Altoona Curve.  Speaking of which, I'm going to see the Curve play against the Trenton Thunder tonight.  Hopefully I can come away with some autographs.  I went to the game last night and got a ball signed by a lot of the members from the team, but no cards.  Today's going to be a card day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A look back at the 2013 Draft on Draft Day

The Pirates 2012 season ended in disappointment. At the All-Star break they were one of baseball's best teams and it seemed certain that they would have their first winning record in nearly two decades.  Due to injuries and struggles by the pitching staff, the Pirates would end up with the 13th worse record in baseball and continue their losing streak.  That year, they also saw their first round draft selection, Mark Appel, return to Stanford as a college senior.
2013 Leaf Trinity Reese McGuire Inscriptions 10/10

Since the selection of Appel was a protected pick, that allowed the Pirates to draft 9th overall in the 2013 draft in addition to 14th overall.  Many reports linked the Pirates to high school catcher Reese McGuire prior to the draft.  When the draft day arrived and super talented five tool athlete Austin Meadows was still available 9th overall, the Pirates selected him.  When it came time to draft 14th overall, Reese McGuire was still available and the Pirates fulfilled those early discussions by selecting him.

The 2013 draft for the Pirates was a succesful draft, but much of the talk revolved around those two first rounders.  However, the draft included several other probable major leaguers.  The Pirates focused on left handed pitching and middle infielders in rounds 2-7 before stock piling right handed pitchers.  They were able to add to their farm system top 20 prospects like left handed pitchers Blake Taylor (2nd round) and Cody Dickson (4th round), shortstops like JaCoby Jones (3rd round) ,Trae Arbet (5th round), and Adam Frazier (6th round).

In a short time, the Pirates will be drafting with the 24th overall pick, something they haven't had to do in over 20 years.  It's nearly impossible to pinpoint one name they will draft, but I suspect that Neal Huntington will continue to draft the best player available even if that means drafting someone they doubt they will be able to sign that dropped due to signability issues (like Appel in 2012).  My personal preference if he's available is college first baseman Casey Gillespie.  I really like the bat he has and think that he will be a quick rise to the majors.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Card Show Pickups pt2: Vintage Edition

Yesterday I showed off some very cheap cards I was able to grab for under $1.

I was able to continue my success to one of my favorite parts of the hobby, VINTAGE!!!!
Nothing excites me more at these local card shows than digging through 50% off vintage and 5 for $10 bins.  I came away with a few steals in my search which I will immediately show off.

Up first are my $2 Roberto Clementes, I found in the 5 for $10 bins.  $2 for vintage Clemente????!!!! Hell yeah!!! Who cares that there is a major crease on Hank Aaron.  I sure as hell don't.

Next up are 3, yes 3 vintage Willie Stargells I grabbed for $5 each.

A trio of 1963 Topps I grabbed for $60 including a really nice looking Clemente

To finish up is four 1964s and four 1969s I grabbed for a total of $12.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Card Show Pickups pt1

Last weekend I mentioned that I was heading to the mall for some card show pickups.  I came away with a bunch of vintage which I will show off tomorrow and a handful of cheap under $1 cards to fill in some voids.  Up first are the cheap under $1 cards I grabbed.

 Nothing too fancy above.  Just a couple of inserts and a pair of 2014 Gypsy Queens.  Josh Bell was recently announced as an All-Star in the Florida State League (A+ ball)
These were the two cards I was most excited to see dumped in the quarter bins.  Both are numbered parallels of one of my favorite all-time ballplayers, Jason Bay.  The 2005 Donruss Classics on the right is numbered to only 100 copies.

If you're a fan of vintage cards, you're going to have to check out my lot tomorrow as I was able to grab a lot of cheap vintage including a Clemente for $2.  Whaaaaaaatttttt?????

Monday, June 2, 2014

McCutchen Monday: Chris Henderson sketch

Back in March I showed a 1/1 original hand drawn sketch card of Starling Marte drawn by the extremely talented Chris Henderson.  I mentioned how Chris has done work with Topps Allen & Ginter and many numerous companies.  During the time I purchased the Marte from Chris, I also set up two commissions.  This is the first of those two.
This sketch card rocks!!!!

Any ideas who the other player is I asked for a sketch of?