Saturday, January 31, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #8: 2014 Topps All-Star Game Fan Fest

In my quest for 100 new unique Andrew McCutchen cards to add to my collection this year, I have already hit several older cards that I've been wanting to add to the collection for a long time.

Today is a very recent card that was only available in factory sets.

I'm a sucker for cards of Cutch with an All-Star logo and being able to snag this card for less than $5 delivered struck a chord with me.

The back of the card is numbered AS-1 and tells of his accomplishments in each of his first 3 All-Star games he appeared in.  He's currently 2 for 8 with 2 stolen bases over his 4 All-Star Games.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The First Charlie Morton Post of 2015

I can't believe it's already been almost three months since I last showed off a Charlie Morton card on the PTR.  With Morton expected to miss his first couple starts of 2015 due to the hip surgery he received, you can still expect about 30 new Charlie Morton posts this year once he recovers.  I've got a small stack of 2014 cards left over from last year that will need to still be posted.

2014 Topps Mini Gold 62/63
This gold parallel from 2014 Topps Mini ran me just shy of $6 delivered.

2015 Topps hits shelves soon and it looks like Charlie is part of Series 1. Oooohhhh parallels, here I come.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday: You Complete Me 1968

One of my collecting goals for 2015 was to complete 2 vintage team sets which you can see on my Vintage Needs.  I can now cross off almost two from the list and we are only a month into the new year.

Because of our work schedules and the hour difference between us, I didn't get a chance to see my mom on Christmas.  Instead it took us a few weeks into the new year to exchange gifts and enjoy some drinks and holiday cookies.

My mom went above all expectations and hooked me up with some vintage cards I needed to complete some team sets I was working on.  She filled in the remaining 5 cards needed for my 1968 team set by adding 4 cards sporting Hall of Famers (2 Clementes, 1 Stargell, and 1 Jim Bunning).

In addition to the 5 cards I needed for 1968, she also scored me a handful of 1962s which brings my team set needs for that year to only #10 Roberto Clemente.

Thanks so much Mom for knocking these out for me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A NEW HALL OF FAMER ENTERS THE COLLECTION, First Goal of 2015 Complete!!!!

Last year was a great year for my collection.  I completed my first 2014 Goal within a week and day of making my list by adding a Goose Gossage Pirates autograph.  This year, I followed suit and completed my first 2015 Goal within a few weeks of the new year.

Following the same pattern as last year, I sought out a new Hall of Fame autograph to add to the collection.  There's a long list of Pirates in the Hall of Fame that I currently don't have, but 1961 inductee Max Carey can now be crossed off that list.

Max Carey never received more than 51% of the votes for Hall of Fame eligibility during his 15 years post retirement.  However 3 years after his last year of eligibility he was inducted in by the Veteran's Committee.  The fleet footed outfielder won the Stolen Base crown 10 times while a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and still ranks 9th All-Time.

Carey finished his 19 year career with a .285 batting average, 2664 hits, and a patent for sliding pads to protect your legs and hips when sliding.  His numbers don't jump off the page, but during a ten year stretch he was one of the best in the game patrolling the outfield.

I've seen Carey autographs sell for as much as $200 in the past and I was very happy to win this auction with a best offer in the $50 range.  Obviously getting sticker autos or on card autos of many of the Pirates in the Hall of Fame besides Bill Mazeroski and the recently deceased Ralph Kiner are going to be tough to come by so I don't mind a cut auto when available.  However, I do have one rule for cut autos and that is it must show an image of the player.  I don't care if the logos have been cut out or it's unlicensed, but I want to see an image of the player.

McCutchen Mailday #7: 1989 Topps Mini

I'm adding Cutch cards like crazy the past few weeks as my quest for 100 gets me closer to double digits.  My latest ebay win didn't have to travel very far at all.  It had to go from Flemington NJ to Flemington NJ.  For $2.12, I won the below card with free shipping.

1989 was one of the most over produced sets of all time.  It's also one of those sets I fondly remember as a youngster just beginning to collect cards.

Speaking of being a youngster...Cutch likes to imitate some of the more veteran/retired players that he grew up watching.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Topps Tek Confuses the **** Out of Me!!!!

I love chasing parallels.  I supercollect Charlie Morton.  I've been buying parallels of Russell Martin's 2013 Topps Chrome since it's release.  I love parallels.  They're fun to collect.

Topps Tek, tho.....HELL NO!!!!

There are so many different variations and they are all so minutely different that I just can't keep up with all the shapes and diffractors, and refractors and images resembling tractors.

Take these two cards for example.  They look pretty similiar, right?

Yes they do.  One diffracts light a little bit different and that warrants a special numbering /25 copies.

The scan on the back is more evident of it's lightshow it gives off.

This type of parallel stands out much clearer to me.  It's black and white what kind of parallel this is.  If you don't get the pun, get the hell off my blog.

The three cards above were won for $27 delivered.  Overall it's not a bad price to pay for two cards numbered to less than 25 copies.

Monday, January 26, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #6: 2014 Topps All-Star All Access

Another addition to the Quest for 100 and I am $8.25 less in my wallet.  The All-Star Game Access cards are very tough to pull and are retail exclusives that I believe come 1:3 hangers.

The 2014 All-Star game saw the Pittsburgh Pirates send a starter to the All-Star game for the first time since Jason Bay in 2006.  Cutch would prove the fans right for selecting him when he hit a single up the middle, then went on to steal third base.

It's weird to think that Cutch is already a 4 time All-Star.  He's been one of the leagues best players the past few years and is turning in a very nice career as he begins to enter his prime years.

How are you guys enjoying my Quest for 100?  Should I continue to do single card posts and show the backs?  Should I group the cards in blocks of 5?  Does anyone care that I'm trying to add 100 new unique Cutch cards to the collection?

McCutchen Monday: A Pair of Prizms

Towards the end of last year I purchased a large lot of Andrew McCutchen cards.  Included in the lot were 2 Panini Prizms from 2013 that I needed for my collection.  I got the base and the Prizm parallel.
Of all the Panini logoless cards, Prizm is the one I dislike the most.  The inserts are cool, but the base cards just stand out like a sore thumb without their logos.

I have been finally updating my Andrew McCutchen cards I own to the Cutch PC tab on the page.  Click here to see all the Andrew McCutchen cards I own and have added to the database.  There's a small stack of Cutch cards that I never showed off in 2014 that will be shown off in future McCutchen Mondays.  Meanwhile I am attempting to add 100 *NEW* Cutch cards to the PC in 2015 which you can monitor my progress in The Quest For 100.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Reverse Boxin National Treasures 2014: Up First Roberto Clemente

For the past two years I have done reverse boxes of Topps Tribute and it has been an absolute blast trying to get only the cards I want for less than the price of a box.  Last year I also reverse boxed Topps Triple Threads in penny pinching form, combining two boxes worth of cards for the price of one box.

I stated in my 2015 goals that I would reverse box Topps Tribute again this year (unless I despise the checklist), but also wanted to reverse box another high end product.  I have been seeing a lot of hits pop up for 2014 National Treasures and gotta say, I'm hooked.

I will be doing a reverse box for National Treasures this year despite the $425 box price tag.  Every box guarantees 4 autographs, 1 booklet, and a combination of 3 other cards (auto, relic, gem)

Many of the jersey and bat relics are numbered to 99, but for some of the more scarce Hall of Famers, they have relics numbered to 25 or less.
2014 National Treasures 6/25 BAT RELIC

The very first card I received in the mail from my recent eBay winnings is none other than the Great One, Roberto Clemente Walker.  

This bat relic of Roberto marks my 15th unique bat relic of the Hall of Famer and is numbered 6/25.  It cost me more than the $53 allowed per card to make this a successful reverse box, but I have confidence that I can pick up some other Pittsburgh Baseball Club members for a significant amount less than that.  At only $9 over the limit per card, I am feeling pretty good about my chances so far.

That leaves me $363 more to complete the reverse box.  

Saturday, January 24, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #5: 2014 Topps Tribute Gold 16/25

For the past two years, I have been Reverse Boxin Topps Tribute.  In October, I showed off the final card of that reverse box with help from Kate Upton and Jason Heyward.  I finished that reverse box for $85 under cost. Since then, I have been upgrading my base cards to parallels.  One such upgrade was this 2014 Topps Tribute Gold numbered 16/25 that I snagged for $12.50 in my Quest for 100 new Cutch cards added to my collection in 2015.
Gold parallels look so good with those throwback uniforms from the early 70s.  This is one classy looking card from the front.
The back talks about some of Cutch's accomplishments prior to the 2014 season in which he put up MVP caliber numbers for the third year in a row.  Last year was the first year that Cutch didn't steal 20 bases in a season in his six year career.  He'll begin his age 28 season with 128 career home runs and 143 stolen bases.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Black is the New Black: Connor Joe Auto

Yesterday I posted a page worth of old Batman cards that I received as protection for an on card autograph I purchased.  Today, I'm going to show that on card autograph that was safely protected inside a thick top loader and those old Batman cards.

It's Connor Joe!!!!

Who you ask?

Joe was a supplemental 1st round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He's already 22 and has yet to debut in the minors due to injury problems.  He will be the last hope in keeping the legend of the Ricardo Rincon trade alive which I highlighted back in January 2012.  The legend of Rincon could potentially end with Connor Joe since all other pieces have since been traded or released and are no longer in the organization.  The trade that has just kept giving started in 1998 when the Pirates traded Ricardo Rincon for Brian Giles who later was traded for Oliver Perez and Jason Bay who netted Xavier Nady who later became Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Daniel McCutchen, Jeff Karstens, Craig Hansen, Bryan Morris, Andy LaRoche, and Brandon Moss.  Of all those players only Tabata remains in the organization and he's not even on the 40 man roster.

As many of you that have followed my blog in the past, you should know that Bowman Black is my favorite kind of On Card Autograph.  I've acquired a large portion of the Pirates over the years as you can see by clicking here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday: this is soooo great I need to post them...

I don't collect much nonsports cards anymore.  I used to collect all kinds of cards when I was a kid especially Marvel Flair, Fleer Marvel Metal, X-Men Ultra and the Skybox Comics Series (Marvel, Batman, etc).  When I ordered a high ticket autographed card I found these 9 cards protecting my beautiful on card auto.  However, I was more excited to look at these and remember, "I had this.  Oh man!!!  I remember this artwork."

It was a total blast from the past.
The above cards might have a resale value for a couple quarters, but I gotta say it was great to remember the joys of collecting again without needing giant swatches of relics, autographs, fancy parallels, or snow flake themed die cuts. The above 9 cards brought me back to my youth and for a brief time I remembered what it was like to just enjoy cardboard without attaching a huge dollar figure to it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #4: 2014 Topps Mini Jersey

My first "hit" in the quest for 100 new unique Andrew McCutchen cards to be added to my collection is a 2014 Topps Mini jersey relic.  The card isn't sequentially numbered, but does feature a nice piece of black jersey.

There's not a whole lot to say about the front of the card.  I like that Topps has included relics in their mini card set as well as the flagship release.  This card has a nice yellow border going around the fabric and also features the same curved eyebrow design we saw in 2014.  Did anyone name the set?  I know 2012 was the surfboard and 2013 was the turtle design.  2014 reminded me of an eyebrow.

The back of the card has your standard...we don't guarantee this fabric is from anything you think it's from disclaimer.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My new way of doing business on ebay

I recently decided that I'm going to buy in bulk.  I have been coming across some nice sized lots of players that aren't in my PC, but I still enjoy collecting and I have been buying them in bulk.  For $14 delivered I bought 35 cards of Pirates infield prospect Alen Hanson.  The lot included several refractors and even an autograph.

Did I get a lot of value out of the lot?  Probably not a lot, but to be able to add 14 new unique cards to my collection PLUS another Bowman Chrome Auto of the young switch hitting Dominican, I thought it was worth the price.

Among the numbered parallels were a 2013 Bowman Sterling refractor /199 and a 2013 Bowman Platinum Green Refractor /399.

I also got a lot of dupiclates in the bunch so if anyone is interested in some Alen Hanson cards, let me know.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere there's bubbles

Behold the beauty of a bubbles refractor.  For those of you that don't know, this is Topps/Bowman latest refractor gimmick parallel.  These actually look pretty neat though.

I mentioned last month that I would be starting a Willy Garcia PC.

McCutchen Monday: Lego my DayGlow

In Celebration of National Lego Day this week, I am showing off a card that made me think of Lego's and waffles.  Back in 2013 Topps decided that they didn't have enough parallels flooding the market so they created a parallel set called "DayGlow" for their 2013 Topps Archives.

Personally I didn't seek any of these parallels out because quite frankly I thought they looked hideous.  Fast forward almost a year and for the small fee of 2 quarters I grabbed this "DayGlo" variant of the Pirates centerfielder.

Happy Monday everyone...I'm going to eat some waffles. DayGlo my Eggo

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Leftover from the Save the Boobies event

Back in October I ran a month long event of all Pink Parallels I called Save Second Base.  The event raised nearly $100 donated to Breast Cancer Awareness.  One card that I planned to highlight during the event, but never showed off was a 2012 Leaf Draft /25 Pink Parallel autograph of Barrett Barnes.

Barnes was a 1st round Comp pick the Pirates received for the Twins signing free agent Ryan Doumit.  His pro career has been marred with injuries season after season.  In terms of depth, he's a nice player to have in the minors, but I don't think he will be making his MLB debut anytime soon for the Bucs considering he plays Centerfield and there are currently 3 true centerfielders on the active 25 man roster for the Pirates (Polanco, Cutch, Marte).

In 3 professional seasons, he's only managed to play in 101 games.  When he is on the field, he has good stats .271/.371/.425 with 12 HR and 24 Stolen Bases.  Getting Barnes to stay healthy will be the challenge and could decide if he can become a major league ballplayer or be a player hidden in the minors for years.

I mentioned earlier this month that I may consider doing  a "Go Green" event for St Patty's Day where I highlight only Green or Emerald cards for the month.  Would you all be interested in an all green event for March?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #3: 2014 Stadium Club Luminous Die Cut

In my quest for 100 NEW unique Andrew McCutchen cards to add to my collection, I came across this awesome die cut Luminous insert of Cutch from 2014 Stadium Club.

In a short time in 2015, I have already added 2 new diecuts of Cutch to my collection with a few more on their way.  I truly think that adding 100 new Cutch cards to the collection will be the most fun part of my collecting goals in 2015.

With a winning bid of $2.55 I was able to secure my 3rd new Cutch of the New Year and it's an absolute beauty!!!!  Stadium Club due to it's great photography and unique inserts was a great success in 2014.  I hope Topps brings it back for 2015 and improves on it.

The back, while not informational does feature a pretty cool background.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Triple Threads Reverse Box 2for1 Challenge Update

During the final month of 2014 I was closing on completing a 2 for 1 Reverse Box Challenge.  My most recent addition (a triple relic of Sandoval, Beltre, and Alvarez) brought my total to $91 and left me needing only a triple relic/auto, a jumbo relic/auto, and a handful of base/parallels.  With only $59 it would be a difficult challenge.  To further make it more of a challenge I decided to enhance my box with one extra hit by "pulling" an auto of Gregory Polanco instead of a parallel.

This great looking auto ran me an extra $22 delivered and brings me to only $37 left in the funds for a triple relic/auto and a jumbo relic/auto along with a few more base cards.  I've already grabbed the jumbo relic/auto for a very reasonable price so this crazy goal might actually work out.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday: My Name is Earl

Last Month, I attended the local mall sports card show that is put on every 8 weeks and grabbed a small amount of vintage needs, some supplies, and a few Jackson Jaguars cards for my brother as a Christmas gift.  

Among the overpriced Clemente cards I needed were these two vintage beauties stashed away in a box labeled 2 for $1.  Grabbing early 1960s cards for a half buck?  Count me in!!!

I needed both of these cards for my vintage needs.

There's not much on Earl Francis on the internet.  He was born in 1935, and passed away in 2002.  He was a member of the 1960 World Series Pirates, but wasn't part of the World Series roster.  He finished his career having pitched in 103 games for 405 innings pitched.  Based on what I can view from his Baseball Reference page, he was mainly a mopup middle reliever/spot starter with poor command (4.0BB/9)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #2: 2013 Black Friday Lava Flow

In my quest for 100 NEW unique Andrew McCutchen cards to add to my collection, I came across this Black Friday LavaFlow dating back to 2013.

IT'S WHEN PEOPLE SPELL HIS NAME WRONG (more on this later in the post)

I like cards that feature players in civilian clothes or posed shots.  Donruss Studio used to be one of my favorite sets when I was younger.  This card of Cutch features him looking like a rockstar sporting (most likely) some designer clothes and holding a baseball bat.  The lavaflow is one of my least favorite parallels that Panini puts out each year.  I hate how they scan and in person they don't look very good either.

It's almost ironic that the 2nd McCutchen I added this year is also numbered 2 in the set.

Many of us have complained about the quality control at Topps and how they often use the same player photos or put replacement level players in the same set with two different numbers.  Nothing irritates me more than when a company spells a player's name wrong though.  Almost 3 years ago I showed off a trade post I had with Drew where Upper Deck put Pat Maholm instead of Paul Maholm.  The same post also featured a Jose Tabata card with a Ronny Cedeno image.  I can overlook those because the players involved were not star caliber players.

2013 NL MVP



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Grill Cheese is Toast

Over the course of 2014 I added several Chris Henderson sketch cards to my collection.  For those that don't know Chris' work, he has done Allen & Ginter Highlight Sketches, some Rittenhouse sketch cards, among many other sketch cards for various companies.

Chris has an uncanny ability to capture the athlete perfectly in time and recreate it on a tiny trading card.  Need proof of his majestic prowess with art supplies, check out the Travis "I just got suckered punch in the eye" Snider.

I've had this sketch card in my collection for many months, but with the announcement earlier in the offseason of Grilli going to my hated Atlanta Braves, I felt now was a good time to show it off.  It's not like the other sketches I've gotten from Chris because this one is vertical compared to MortonMarteMcCutchenCole, Martin, and Walker.

Even though Grilli was one of my favorite relievers to ever put on a Buccos uniform, I can't cheer for him in a Braves uniform.  I absolutely loathe the Braves.

Monday, January 12, 2015

McCutchen Monday: a double pair of Gypsys

My Andrew McCutchen Collection has been taking off in recent months thanks to 2 major lot purchases at COMC and sportlots which when combined shipping ran me an average of around 50cents a card.

Up first are the base and blue parallel (361/499) of 2014 Gypsy Queen

Next up is a pair of minis (the regular and photo variant)

My goal for the end of January is to get a fully updated list of all Andrew McCutchen cards I own.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Beats by Dri for $1.29, The Next Episode ALREADY

Last Sunday, I posted my reasons for not wanting to continue Football Sundays since my Steelers were eliminated, however....
2014 Bowman Inception Jumbo Patch 19/25
I came across this Dri (pronounced like Dray) Archer for $1.29 and instantly listened to a classic rap song, the Next Episode by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.  For the low price I couldn't ignore the massive jumbo patch and in the words of the original Dre "YOU KNOW WHO'S BACK UP IN THIS MUDDAFUCKAH"

The rookie special teams/back didn't do a lot for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense which set some NFL History records with Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Le'Veon Bell.  I suspect that Dri will be used a little more in the 2015 season.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Who else got Cole in their stocking?

Having a massive card collection is great for getting Christmas gifts.  When people need to get you something small, it can just be a pack of cards and that will most likely make you happy.  If you get a gift card because they don't know what you have....well that makes it even better.

So because Santa left me a lil bit of spending money, I am proud to say

I got Cole in my stocking and I couldn't be happier.

For $15, I just couldn't pass this up.  It's numbered to 20, has a sweet two color stitching and features an autograph of the future ace of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Friday, January 9, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #1: 2012 Bowman Platinum Die Cut Cutting Edge Stars

One of my 2015 collecting goals was to add 100 more unique Andrew McCutchen cards to my collection that I previously didn't have.  As the cards roll in I will highlight them in a quest for 100 post.

I still have a bunch of Cutch cards to show off on the blog left over from 2014 which I will continue to highlight as part of McCutchen Mondays.  All NEW cards to the collection that were received in 2015 will be highlighted in McCutchen Maildays.

My first Andrew McCutchen added to collection in 2015 is a card that I have thought about purchasing for several years, but never pulled the trigger.  Thanks to the low price of $1, I was finally able to add a 2012 Bowman Platinum Cutting Edge Stars Die Cut.
The card features Cutch in (at the time) the team's new batting practice jersey in a unique die cut.

The back recognizes Cutch's idol, Ken Griffey Jr.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Rick Rhoden Auto

I've been on the hunt for a Rick Rhoden autograph for my collection for several years.  To my knowledge he had 2 certified autos available and quite frankly I hated them both.  Thanks to my patience and not much of a desire to settle for anything less than the best, I finally added The Man, The Myth, The Mustache to my collection.

Rhoden was a member of the Pirates for 8 years (1979-1986) and in 1984 he had an 11 game hit streak.  He was a 3 time winner of the Silver Slugger for his outstanding hitting abilities as a pitcher and was elected to the All-Star game twice (only once with Pirates).  He was a 151 game winner and finished his career with a 3.59 ERA.

Rhoden was part of the trade that sent a young pitcher named Doug Drabek to the Pirates from the Yankees.  While a member of the Yankees, Rhoden was used a designated hitter in 1988.

The above on card auto ran me $8 which is a little more expensive than the Topps certified sticker autos go for, but the fact that it's on card, low numbered, and features that bright yellow uniform and pill cap hat, well I think it was worth every penny.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dammit it's a Doumit: 1/1 I wear a First Base Glove and Catcher's Mask Printing Plate edition

January is an expensive month of highlighting new cards.  Why do you ask?  Well, cause quite simply it's featuring a lot of 1/1s. Already this week I showed off printing plates for Cutch and Tony Sanchez.
2005 Bowman 1/1 Magenta Printing Plate 
I've been wanting a Ryan Doumit 1/1 for a long time.  For a $30 best offer I was able to obtain this excellent 1/1 for my collection.  Best of all is that this card perfectly shows how I feel about Ryan Doumit.  He was a catcher, but in the card he's wearing a baseball cap, 1st baseman's glove, and a catcher's mask.  This shows why he was so tough to watch defensively.  One thing I loved about Doumit though was his clutch hitting especially in the House of Horrors, Miller Park.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tony Tuesday: It's Black & White!!!!

This week will feature a lot of metal. Last year one of my favorite musicians, Wayne Static of the band Static-X, passed away and I have recently been listening to a lot of Static-X.  I remember when I was in a metal/hardcore band back in the late 90s having my hair stand up identical to his before Static-X came on the scene.

I thought today would be a good day to show off some of my own metal that I've added to my collection.  It's a black printing plate to Tony Sanchez' 2014 Topps Update card.  It's my 5th printing plate of the former 1st round pick.

Oh and because metal is's a video of Static X

Monday, January 5, 2015

McCutchen Monday: Turkey Red Printing Plate

It's time for my latest 1/1 Andrew McCutchen.  This is a 2014 Topps Turkey Red printing plate that I purchased late last year.  I forget the price I paid for it, but think it was in the $50 range.
2014 Topps Turkey Red Magenta Printing Plate

I know that it's been awhile since I showed off a Cutch plate on the blog, but didn't realize that the last Andrew McCutchen plate I purchased for a baseball card was my 500th post (Dec 2013) showing off the black printing plate from Cutch's 2005 Rookie Auto.  Back in January of 2014 I showed off the 4 printing plates from his Beckett magazine cover.

I think I will need to add several more 1/1s of Cutch to my collection to make up for my failures in 2014.