Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tony Tuesday: 1/1 Red Refractor LAST POST BEFORE CHARITY EVENT!!!!

In my final post before I start the month long Save Second Base Charity event, I decided to show off a 1/1 Red Refractor of one of player collections, Tony Sanchez.
 The beautiful 1/1 ran me $28 delivered and helps me get closer to completing the rainbow.
The black can be seen here and the purple here

Monday, September 29, 2014

McCutchen Monday: 2009 Topps Chrome Blue Refractor

My last McCutchen Monday before my Save Second Base (the Boobies) event takes place is a 2009 Topps Chrome Blue Refractor numbered 89/199.  It cost me a cool $10 delivered and gets me very close to a historical 500 unique Cutch cards.  A contest for that will be held post October.

As a reminder please remember to participate (and often) for my 2014 Save Second Base all month long pink event at the PTR blog.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Football Sunday: Landry Jones Event Gloves

It's Sunday and that means one thing: FOOTBALL!!!!  The Steelers are playing the Buccaneers in week 4 and they should be able to improve their record to 3-1 on the young season.

One player who will not impact the game at all is sophmore player and 3rd string quarterback Landry Jones.  Jones was selected in the 4th round of the 2013 draft class.  He has struggled in his preseason opportunities with the team and has yet to dress for an official NFL game.

When the Steelers drafted Jones, they thought that he may one day succeed Big Ben as the Steelers QB of the future. He hasn't lived up to that hype and remains most likely a 4th round lottery ticket bust.

All that said, I really hope that Landry can catch on somehow and be given the opportunity to play in the NFL.  He's a devoted Christian and has a great video detailing his life and religious beliefs on the site iamsecond.com.

The card pictured above ran me a cool $8 delivered and is my first event worn glove card I own.  The stitching and three colors were too much to pass up for the price.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Epic Moments in Pirates Cardboard History: The Catch

The Pirates have been playing much better baseball since Clint Hurdle took over as the team's manager in 2011.  He vowed to bring winning back to Pittsburgh when he took over and in a very short time he has transformed a team that lost 105 games in 2010 to a team that has a winning record since Hurdle took over.  He has gotten the best of his players to perform at levels beyond what is expected of them.

One moment that defined that level of performance occurred on September 27th 2012 when Travis Snider climbed the Citifield wall in New York as if he was Spider-Man to rob Mike Baxter of the Mets from a HomeRun.

That moment was captured on 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Glove Stories.

I think I will try to make Epic Moments in Pirates Cardboard History a monthly feature as long as I have the cards for it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

And then there was two....

Due to the news of my favorite pitcher, Charlie Morton, having hip surgery that will take 6-8 months to heal, I figured I should show off a card that has haunted me for what seems like forever.

My pursuit to grab a copy of all Charlie Morton cards is nearing a close.  With the card below, I only need 2 more non 1/1 card to have a single copy of every Charlie Morton card produced.  They are the 2012 and 2014 Topps Factory Orange parallels.  PLEASE HELP ME FIND THEM.  A 2014 Factroy Orange ended a few months ago on ebay, but it was a one day listing that I didn't get my bid in on time with.

I will always continue to try and add to my collection, but this has been an absolute blast supercollecting someone born in the same town as me and playing for my favorite baseball team.
2002 Upper Deck Future Gems Quads 500/600
Pictured on this oversized card are Val Majewski, Joey Gomes, and Daniel Cevette.  Bonus points if any of you actually know any of these guys.

Unlike Drake starting from the bottom and now he's here, I'm going to start at the top and work my way around clockwise.  Val Majewski, like Charlie Morton, was born in New Jersey.  He attended Rutgers University and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 3rd round of the 2002 draft.  He played in a total of 9 games for the Baltimore Orioles from August 20th through September 8th 2004 and posted a .154 batting average playing centerfield, pinch hitter, and DH.

Charlie Morton...I kind of have talked a little bit about him during my time blogging.  Need proof?  Click here

Joey Gomes is a journeyman minor leaguer who never reached the status of his brother Johnny Gomes.  Joey last played in AA as a 31 year old in 2011.  I'm not sure why he was never given a shot at the majors as his numbers in the minors were all very good .300/.362/.460 with 101 HR over 870 games.  There's a great article about Joey and his continued love of baseball here.

Daniel Cevette is another minor leaguer journeyman who never got a chance to appear in a major league game.  I never realized until I got this card, how crushing it can be to get so close to your dream, but to never complete it.  It reminds me of Archie Moonlight Graham from Field of Dreams.  Cevette had good stuff as a relief pitcher in the minors posting 356 Ks over 380 innings with a 3.86 ERA.  His biggest drawback was a 4.1 BB/9 in the minors.  The Pirates actually signed him to a minor league deal and he had been ascending the minor league ranks last year, finishing the season for AA Altoona Curve where he pitched 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out 2, but allowing 3 hits and 1 walk.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gerrit Cole sketch card 1/1

Over the past year I have shown off several original 1/1 sketch cards by the incredibly talented Chris Henderson. Here's some of the other sketches that Chris has done for me (MortonMarteMcCutchen)
Chris's ebay store
Last night Gerrit Cole struggled in the early innings but went on to dominate the next 5 retiring all 17 of the last 17 batters he faced. The Bucs are going back to the PostSeason!!!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

McCutchen Monday: Another Slabbed Cutch

Here's my latest Andrew McCutchen slabbed 2008 Bowman Futures Game graded 9.5.  I got this for using up some ebay bucks that I had lingering from a few months back.  It only cost me $2.70 shipped after discount.

It's my 6th graded card of Cutch

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Football Sunday: Dri Archer Auto/Jersey

It's Sunday and that means football!!!!!

I'm going to be heading out tonight to see my mom and celebrate her birthday.  Because of that I'm just doing a real quick post today of the Steelers rookie back/receiver/special teams Dri Archer.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Save the Boobies Month!!!!! CHARITY EVENT CONTEST

In order to raise awareness for a good cause and promote my blog, I am going to be running an October month long charity pimpage at my blog.  For every comment left by my followers, I will donate $1 to help Breast Cancer Awareness.  For anyone that promotes my month long charity commitment, I will donate $5 to the event (1 donation per blog).  If you pimp my blog, please provide a link in a comment so I can keep track.  

We're all baseball fans, right?  Let's work together to Save Second Base.

I've been silently adding pink cards all year long and hiding them from my blog so that the entire month of October can be ribboned (pun intended) in pink.  In addition to making donations based on comments and pimping of my blog, I will also offer a select few of the cards up for random drawings and only the people that entered a comment/pimp will be eligible for that card's random giveaway.

To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness, I'm showing off my only autograph of the All-Time Hit King.  I purchased this very early in the year (January or February?) for around $30.  It's an on card autograph of Pete Rose numbered to 60.

Here's the back of the card.

Oh and let's remember what we're trying to save...

feel free to make your own suggestions of breasts to show all month long

Friday, September 19, 2014

Jameson Taillon: One Pitch at a Time

At this point in the Pirates season, I was really hoping that I would be talking about how Jameson Taillon came up mid June and helped to solidify the Pirates rotation.  It's hard to believe that the Pirates used a 5 man rotation consisting of Brandon Cumpton, Vance Worley, Edinson Volquez, Charlie Morton, and Jeff Locke at long stretches of the season and are with only a few weeks left in the season only 2.5 games out of first place.

I recently picked up this 2009 Team USA 17 under inscription of the former 1st round pick for $20 delivered.  With the season coming to a close soon, it's important that if the Pirates are going to push for another playoff run, they will have to do it "One Pitch at a Time".

Let's Go Bucs!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Cannonball coming....

If you've ever listened to a Pirates telecast or Roots Sports Pittsburgh highlights, you have probably heard Greg Brown's call of "Cannonball Coming!!!" everytime the Pirates hit a HomeRun.

It's been a long time since card manufacturers highlighted defensive skills in addition to offensive skillsets.  Back in the late 80s and early 90s though, these were commonplace for card companies to insert as part of the base set.  Yes, defensive talents were recognized as base cards.  Everyone that collected the set, got to admire highly defensive players skill level on the diamond.

Above is a collection of those highlighted.

As you all know, Andy Van Slyke is one of the main reasons I became a Pirates fan.  The dude could flat out play defense.  He was efficient with the bat too.  Bobby Bonilla, like Pirates current former 3rd baseman, Pedro Alvarez showed immense power at the plate, but also had a cannon for an arm.  Unfortunately like Bonilla, Alvarez doesn't know where it's going.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I like Ike

I recently got my first baseball card of Ike Davis as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club.  It's not licensed so it's not a true Pirates card, but for $1.99, I'll take it.  Hailing from 2014 Donruss Series 2 this bat relic is my first relic of the lefty slugger 1st baseman.

When the Pirates acquired Ike back in April, the Pittsburgh fan base was extremely excited and even gave him a standing ovation during his first at bat in PNC Park (very classy).  He hasn't lived up to his breakout 2012 season when he clubbed over 30 Homeruns, but there is no denying his true power.  It's going to be an interesting offseason this year with the emergence of Josh Harrison battling for a batting title (and his natural position being 3B), Pedro Alvarez having injury issues and no idea where he is throwing the ball from 3B, and a platoon at 1B that is due to get a raise in arbitration for substandard numbers.

Given the true choice between Ike and Pedro at 1B I would rather stick with Ike.  He's not afraid to walk and I believe he plays a better 1B.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Heeeee's baaaaaack!!!!

That's right, my favorite pitcher, Charlie Morton is back on the mound today facing the Boston Red Sox.  To celebrate his return here's an in person auto of him from his 2004 Rome Braves minor league card I just recently acquired.

Monday, September 15, 2014

McCutchen Monday: Face to Face with Kershaw

Both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers are in playoff contention for the National League.  Both players also have MVP caliber performers on their team in Andrew McCutchen and Clayton Kershaw.

I recently came across a lot of Panini Elite Baseball inserts that included 2 copies of the card you see above.  They are numbered 775/999 and 165/999.  I don't have much of a need for two copies so if someone is interested in ONE of them please let me know by leaving a comment.  Sorry for the terrible cropping job, but it's late and I am too tired to go back and rescan the cards.

Unless the pitcher is just downright filthy with an ERA in the 1.00s with over 25 wins with double digit complete games I don't think that pitchers should be considered MVPs.  Don't get me wrong, without Kershaw the Dodgers probably aren't nearly as good as they are, but let's be real he plays in only 20% of the games and at best of those 20% of games he's only playing in 80% of the innings for those games.  Most position players perform in 150 games and often times for 9+ innings of those games.  If you completely disagree with me, feel free to leave a comment.

BTW...who do you think wins the NL MVP this year?  Could Cutch repeat?  Is Josh Harrison a possibility?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Epic Moments in Pirates Cardboard History: September 14th A-Mays-Ing

Normally I would show off a football related card on Sundays during football season, but since the Steelers already got their asses kicked by the Ravens, I'm going to start a new feature called Epic Moments in Pirates Cardboard History.  When I come across cardboard of Pirates players that define a season, career, etc I will show them off....the first entry is none other than the self dubbed Tony Plush aka Nyjer Morgan

On this day in 2007, rookie Nyjer Morgan made an A-Mays-Ing catch that was reminiscent of Willie Mays.  The Bucs would go on to win the game 4-3 improving their record to 66-81.  The following night they would lose and go on to ensure their 15th straight losing season.  The above 2008 Topps Autograph ran me $2 delivered nearly a year ago.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Reverse Box 2014 Topps Tribute...I might as well do it

Last year I made a 2013 Topps Tribute reverse box and it was a lot of fun.  To see all the cards I grabbed click here.

Earlier this year, I thought about making a reverse box of 2014 Topps Tribute because I thought I could get a lot of nice low numbered cards for under the value of the box.

I've already shown off
a few Gerrit Cole relics
a Starling Marte /25 autograph
a 1/1 Jason Grilli inscription auto

I had already committed $103 of the $225 for 2 relics and 2 autos (both low numbered)
That left me with $122 to add 2 autos and 12 base cards.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cooperstown Gum Caps

In 2013 Panini put out a series of cards celebrating the enshrined members of Cooperstown in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  One of the more unique inserts they had was "gum caps" that resembled Pogs.  The front of the "cards" look like what you see above.

Many know of Pops and Goose, but not many people know of Waite Hoyt.  To be honest I had to look up his stats myself.

In looking up his stats, nothing really stood out to scream Hall of Famer.  He finished a 21 year career with 237 Wins and 182 Losses (winning percentage .566).  Over the course of 3762 innings he only struck out 1206 batters and had a 3.59 ERA.  Again, not very dominating numbers.  I thought that maybe he didn't allow many walks or hits and that's why he was elected, but his WHIP was 1.34.  By today's stats, there are a lot of guys who would be elected in the Hall of Fame if those were the standards for enshrinement.

Does anyone know what impressive stat Waite Hoyt may have to be considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time?  If so, please let me know cause I am failing to see it...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Football Throwback Thursday: Jack Lambert Sketch on a 1984 Topps Card

This is it!!! Football season is back and the Pirates are still relevant.  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  .

I really like the Steelers chances of making the Post Season this year.  They started out 0-4 which hurt their chances of the playoffs, but came on strong at the end of the year and were just a Kansas City Chiefs field goal kick away from making the Playoffs.

I've shown off some incredible Chris Henderson hand drawn sketch cards in the past.  He's drawn some of my favorite current Pirates players including Neil WalkerCharlie MortonAndrew McCutchen, and Starling Marte.  Chris continued the tradition of great artwork by buying a bunch of old Topps blank front error cards from the Topps Vault and drawing sketches on them.  He had a ton of 1980s stars for sale a few months back including Ozzie Smith, Dan Marino, George Brett, Barry Bonds, and many more.
I came across this beautiful hand drawn 1984 Topps blank front Jack Lambert that Chris drew an intense image of the Hall of Fame Linebacker on the front.  I've praised Chris' artwork many many times but this is just insane the amount of detail he crammed into a tiny card.

The back of the sketch card is an actual 1984 Topps Jack Lambert card that was miscut and used as a proof.


I'm off to root for the Steelers to beat those damn Ravens.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I dream of the Post Season....

The 2013 season was a magical season for the Buccos.  2014 looked like it would be an absolute disaster in the beginning of the year with the terrible start of the season, losing a few top prospects to injury, and the lack of proven depth in AAA.  As September comes closer to an end, the Pirates are still in a chase for Post Season play.
Pedro Alvarez 2013 Post Season Relic Patch 72/100

Earlier in the year, Topps produced a series of jersey relics called Post Season Relics.  The Pirates were represented by NL MVP Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez.  Alvarez became the first player in baseball history to collect an RBI in each of his first 6 postseason games.  Unfortunately he wasn't able to knock in the tying run in Game 5 when he struck out on an Adam Wainwright breaking ball.

It was just announced today that El Toro will likely be out for the rest of the season. Its unclear what his future with the Pirates is and with the emergence of Josh Harrison this year, the decline of Alvarez at 3B, and having a variety of cheaper options at 1B (Davis, Sanchez, Lambo, Bell) he could be non tendered.

One of my ongoing goals that started in 2013 was to acquire jersey relics of my favorite Bucs with a piece of the Jolly Roger sleeve patch.  This is my first Pedro Alvarez logoman relic.  You can see my others by clicking on the name below
Tony Sanchez Bradenton Marauders Jumbo Patch
Jason Bay
Joel Hanrahan
Neil Walker
Starling Marte
Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen, Freddy Sanchez, and Jose Tabata

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Only 8 more to go...

Way back in April I posted a 2014 Topps Clear Charlie Morton numbered 3/10.  Getting such a rare Morton for my collection was extremely exciting at the time and I feared I wouldn't see too many of them pop up.  So in my haste to add the card to my collection, I grabbed it for $27 delivered.

A few months later would lead me to another, which I happily purchased for $9.99 delivered.

I stuck a piece of cardboard behind the card to show how translucent the cards are.  In addition, check out the negative side of the card below.
I went to the Pirates game in Philadelphia last night and sure enough my main man Charlie hooked me up with an autograph batting practice baseball. Charlie is the best.

Monday, September 8, 2014

McCutchen Monday: 2013 Topps Triple Threads

I don't consider myself a super collector of Andrew McCutchen.  It's not because I don't want to be, it has more to do with the fact that I'm not insane.  Since his MLB debut in 2009, McCutchen has become the face of the Pirates and thus has more cards produced than any other Bucs player.  Add to the fact that he is one of the most talented outfielders in the game, and it's no wonder why his card prices have gone up astronically over the past few seasons.  While I will never be able to collect every parallel of the five tool talent, I do try and grab most base cards including one of the parallels from high end series (Tribute, Museum, etc)

The above card is my most recent addition to the Cutch collection and I now sit at 488 unique Andrew McCutchen cards.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Football Sunday: David DeCastro Auto

Let's hope that David DeCastro can avoid injuring his own players this year.  I liked the DeCastro pick a few years ago, but he's failed to live up to the expectations when he was selected 24th overall.
2012 Crown Royal 
Pictured above is 2013 Crown Royal autograph that I grabbed for under $5.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Trade Post: Phungo, It's where the fun goes...

I recently made a trade with Paul of the blog Phungo, a Phillies card blog.


Paul had posted his thoughts on a rack pack of 2014 Allen & Ginter he bought back in August and had pulled an Andrew McCutchen mini.  I instantly jumped on calling dibs on it.

In addition to the A&G mini, Paul sent a package with his usual Phungo cards he produced himself.  Some of my all time favorites were included.

He also included a bunch of new cards I didn't already have in my Pirates collection including the well worn, but brand new to me 1993 Fleer Atlantic Collector's Edition Andy Van Slyke.  All 10 cards pictured above are new to my collection except for the Cutch which I have one signed in person.  The 75 mini of Al Oliver and Bowman Heritage Aramis Ramirez are probably my runner up favorites to the playing card of Barry Bonds.  I just love those unique oddball items featuring players from the 80s and 90s.  I wish they would do stuff like that again.

He also included this unique 2007 Upper Deck NL Central Pennant Chasers insert of Freddy Sanchez.  The Bucs actually had a shot at winning the NL Central Pennant in 2007 despite having a losing record.

Paul thank you so much for the awesome cards.  Your package should be arriving next week.  I went to a card show last weekend and got some extra stuff for you.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday: the Candy Man can

John Candelaria was a force in the late 70s that never got the recognition he deserved.  He never put up huge strikeout numbers because that's not the kind of pitcher he was.  He was however, a finesse pitcher that painted around the strikezone and got lots of outs.

Prior to his age 35 season (last year of being a primary starting pitcher), the Candy Man had an ERA over 4 only once when it was 4.01 in 1980.  The reason I didn't include his last 5 years as part of that was because as a relief pitcher, one bad outing can drastically cause your ERA to skyrocket.

As a starting pitcher for 14 seasons, Candy was an All-Star once and received the 5th most votes for the 1977 Cy Young.  How good was he in 1977?  Well he finished the year with a 20-5 record, a 2.34 ERA, and 2.66 strikeout to walk rate.  The four guys that finished above Candy in voting that year all had higher win totals, but worse ERA, strikeout/walk ratios, and WHIP.  As we all know, the voters looked at stats a little bit different back in those days.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking anything away from Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, or Tommy John, but I think Candelaria could have been ahead most of those guys for the 1977 season.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Neil Walker sketch card by Chris Henderson

Despite the tough loss and sweep the Pirates suffered today, Neil Walker had a great game at the plate today going 3 for 3.  He's putting up career highs at the plate this year despite several extended periods of time missed due to injury.
Because Neil Walker is a favorite of mine, I wanted Topps sketch card artist Chris Henderson to commission a sketch card for me of the Pittsburgh Kid.

I've shown off some Chris Henderson sketch cards in the past, but I think this may be his best yet.
Here's some of the other sketches that Chris has done for me (MortonMarteMcCutchen)
If you're interested in purchasing some of Chris' artwork be sure to visit his ebay store

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Going into the Archive files

2014 Archives was released a few months ago and I normally let the market die down a little before I go buy the singles or team sets.  Because of the different designs used for Archives, I sort the team set in my player collection binder instead.  I find it much easier to find my 2014 Archives of the 1989 design Gerrit Cole sorted with all my other Coles than trying to remember what design was used for what year.  Besides, I only have binders for team sets of Flagship Topps, Allen & Ginter, Topps Heritage, and Flagship Upper Deck.  Everything else gets sorted by player alphabetically.  If the player is a fan favorite or active player it goes in the binder.  If not, it gets organized alphabetically in a long box.

Enough about my crazy organization though.

Here's the players for 2014 Archives.

First up the inserts.  Ok.  I'm going to be very frank about this....I love this year's Pirates insert selections.  First up is a deckle edge of Andy Van Slyke, a guy that I have been building a PC of since 1987.  Having an insert of one of my favorite long retired players is awesome!!!! Next up is a fired up Jason Grilli All-Star card.  As much as Grilli struggled this year, I still love the guy.  And finally is Cutch.  Nuff said!

 Of the designs used in this year's Archives, the 1986 design is my favorite.  Pedro Alvarez is the only nonSP to be featured using the 86 design.

 The 1980 design is another favorite of mine for one reason...it was Rickey Henderson's rookie card.  I had a Henderson rookie card as a kid and lost it on the school bus when I brought it in for show and tell.  At the time it was going for around $100 according to Beckett and Tuff Stuff (remember that magazine?)  Recently I was able to grab a decent copy of one for $10 at my local card show in the mall.  Andyway, Marte and Clemente share the 1980 design which is great because I see Marte as having a similar style of play to Clemente, but with many less career hits.
I can't begin to tell you how many boxes, rack packs, wax packs, etc of 1989 Topps I opened as a kid.  Way too many.  Stargell and Cole represent the design I like the least.

 The 1973 might be one of my least favorite designs from the 70s and the player selection for this design is poor.  Grilli is gone, Lambo was still in the minors until a few days ago, and Kiner has passed away.

Monday, September 1, 2014

McCutchen Monday: Translate this....

I am getting so frustrated seeing the so called shark tank not be able to hold the games tie or blow leads this year. It makes me want to say $%&# this. I feel the same way with this card back. I have no idea what this card says without looking at the English version.

It's just my latest unique Andrew McCutchen variant to grace the Treasure Room.  Hailing from 2011 Topps Lineage, this Venezuelan variant ran me .50 at a local mall card show.