Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tony Tuesday: Another Graded 9.5 & 10 AUTO

If you have been reading my blog for the past few years, you know that Tony Sanchez is one of my favorite players in the Pirates organization.  I had high hopes for Sanchez to one day become a staple in the Pirates winning lineup as a 2 way catcher who could provide elite defense and provide solid offensive numbers.  Tony has been on fire this spring training and has earned a spot on the opening day roster.

I am always on the look for adding Tony Sanchez high grade cards to my collection and for under the price of a blaster I snagged this 2009 Donruss Elite Status Signatures numbered to 50 copies graded 9.5 with 10 autograph.  It's my 6th graded autograph of Tony I have added to my collection.

Monday, March 30, 2015

McCutchen Monday: Remembering PreDreads Cutch

Last week, Andrew McCutchen made sports headlines by trimming off his iconic dreadlock look.  When I first started collecting Cutch in 2009 he had just started to grow them out to a noticeable length.

The very last card that I added to my collection in 2014 was this Just Minors autograph of Cutch from 2008 numbered to 25 copies.  I don't remember exactly how much it cost me, but I remember that I got it for under $40 which is typically what a Cutch autograph goes for now days.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #26: 2014 National Treasures Franchise

I grabbed this Andrew McCutchen because it accomplished several goals.  It was one more card to add to the Cutch PC in my Quest for 100 new Andrew McCutchen cards and it was another card I could add to my 2014 National Treasures Reverse Box Challenge.

This beautiful game worn jersey features some staining and is numbered to only 99 copies and was won with a winning bid of $22.22.  That's an eBay 1/1 kind of bidding right there as 22 is Cutch's jersey number.

There's been a lot of heat on Panini lately with their relic authenticity verification, but quite honestly I buy cardboard because I like it.  The above logoless card is beautifully designed and despite the lack of P on Cutch's helmet or jersey, the company used an image that doesn't need a logo.  The color choice for the Franchise tag on top fits in perfectly with the Alternate Black jersey the Pirates wear in recent years.

And to prove the authenticity of the jersey, we have a statement on the back that this is a game used relic.

If you haven't checked out my Reverse Box Challenge for 2014 National Treasures, click here.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Joey Bats Booklet Numbered to 10!!!

Jose Bautista is my favorite non current Pirate.  When I saw this awesome low numbered booklet (only 10 copies) with Joey Bats spelled out, I knew I had to add it to my collection for $11.

I've been wanting to add more Joey Bats cards to my collection this year and this is my first booklet of the former Pirate and former HR Champ.

I also pulled this card in a Target pack recently
If anyone has any Jose Bautista cards they are looking to unload...please hit me up!

Friday, March 27, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #25: 2014 All-Star Stitches Topps Chrome

I thought that I had purchased an All-Star stitches relic card of Cutch each year for the past four years, but just discovered that I still never got his 2013 All-Star game jersey card held at CitiField.  I'll have to add that one to my wants as my Quest for 100 New Cutch cards in the Cutch PC reaches the quarter century mark in 2015.

I was very happy to add this 2014 Topps All-Star card to my collection for a winning bid of $4.99.

Now, I'm going to have to track down that 2013 All-Star stitch

Thursday, March 26, 2015

#tbt: Then & Now Barry Bonds Dual Jersey

Barry Bonds was on the path to becoming one of the greatest baseball players ever in Pittsburgh Pirates history.  After much debate, I truly believe that he was on the path to a Hall of Fame career even if he didn't get involved in steroids conspiracies.

This card is a good example of Bonds Then & Now.

I grabbed it for $6 delivered as a personal consolation prize because I lost 6 Barry Bonds National Treasures auto/jumbo patch relic auctions over the past two months.  $6 is a much better price to pay compared to the $400+ that the Bonds auto/relics I wanted were going for.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #24: Prime Cuts AUTO

When I decided that one of my 2015 Collecting Goals was going to be a Quest for 100 new Andrew McCutchen cards to the Cutch PC, I should have established some restrictions.  I have gone wild adding Cutch cards to my collection through the first 3 months of 2015 and will likely reach that 100 card plateau before the Mid Summer Classic.

Instead of just adding 100 new Cutch cards, I should have tried to get 100 unique Andrew McCutchen autographs by year end.  That would have been a more difficult challenge as I am currently sitting just above 80.  Truth be told though, I'm not so sure that there are 20 more unique items on the market.  Cutch has been a limited signer in the past few years and most of his pre 2013 MVP season autographs I already have in my collection.

For $42 delivered I added this very nice 2012 Prime Cuts auto of Cutch serially numbered 7/25.  It may not have any logos and might be a sticker auto, but the price was right.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Black is the New Black: Rinku Singh Autograph

It should be no secret that I love Bowman Black cards which feature the on card silver sharpie autographs of baseball's top prospects.  Back in 2009, those did not exist, but Bowan Black parallels did in Bowman Sterling.

For $23 delivered I nabbed this auto of one of the subjects of the Million Dollar Arm, Rinku Singh numbered 13/25.  It's a longshot for Rinku to make the majors after having not pitched professionally since 2012 due to Tommy John surgery and several other injuries.

In 2012 he looked like a decent prospect posting a 1.25 WHIP along with a 8.1K/9 coming out of the bullpen.  If he is healthy, he could one day catch on with another club and make his MLB debut.  Singh will begin the 2015 as a 26 year old.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Just another McCutchen Monday

Here's a card that I purchased a long time ago, but never showed off.  Hailing from 2013 Panini Select is this Staticians insert commemorating Cutch on his 194 hit season in 2012.
I grabbed this for around $2 at a local mall card show last year.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Another Russell Martin Rainbow

I've shown off my 2013 Topps Chrome Russell Martin rainbow I was chasing in the past.  Earlier this year, I also showed off my 2014 Topps Mini Black printing plate of RussMart.  I'm going to attempt to put as much of this rainbow together as possible and since a seller had 2 of the colored parallels I needed I decided to grab both the pink and black parallels for $25 combined shipping.

You may recall that I showed the 2014 Topps Pink parallel of the base card back in October's Save the Boobies month.  That pink parallel was numbered to 50.  The mini featured above is numbered to 25.
Above are the backs of the cards and their low print run numbers.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


My latest addition to the National Treasures bonus reverse box I grabbed is a stunning ON CARD autograph and HUGE 3 color patch of Gregory Polanco.

What I like the most about this card is the extension that Gregory did when signing the card.  It will likely cause BGS to grade the auto less than a 10 because it's out of the allowed box he was supposed to sign, but I like that kind of stuff.

Check out this sick patch!!!  And AUTO!!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #23: 2011 Triple Threads Auto/Relic

The latest card of my Quest for 100 new Cutch cards by 2015's year end brings a nice image of PNC Park, a sticker autograph, and a jersey relic that ran me $35 delivered.

I now sit at 81 unique Andrew McCutchen unique certified autographs with several more on the way.  This year may see me reach close to triple digits.

I remember when Cutch would steal 30 bags a season and only bat in the .280s.  It's very impressive to see the player he has become since blossoming into one of the game's best.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

#tbt: There's a Cobra in the Mailbox

It's been a long time since I added a piece of cardboard signed by the Cobra.  You'll have to go all the way back to October 2013 to see that post.  I was able to meet Dave at this past year's PiratesFest and got a program signed by him.

My latest addition is a card that I aggressively tried to win on nearly a dozen chances and I kept losing it.  I finally bit the bullet and bought one for $29 which is about $5 more than what I was willing to spend on it.

Notable Nicknames might be my favorite group of autographs from the National Treasures release.

Dave Parker may never make it into the Hall of Fame despite having similar numbers to Hall of Famer, Jim Rice.  A great article was written in 2013 about the very similar career accomplishments by both.  You can read the article on 30 year old cardboard's blog here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #22: National Treasures Jersey Relic

When I was doing my 2014 National Treasures Reverse Box challenge, I was naturally looking for some nice Pirates cards to add to my collection.  By adding autographs of HOF players Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski along with bat relics of Roberto Clemente and Stargell, a diamond, and some sick autos/patches of the Bucs young core (Cole, Polanco, Taillon) I was very pleased with my results.  Fortunately I finished the reverse box challenge under budget by almost $150.  What did I do with it?

Well, I am still adding cards...

Like this Cutch I picked up for $12 delivered.
It's my 22nd new Cutch card I have added to my Cutch PC since January 1st as I am pursuing the Quest for 100 new Cutch cards by year's end.

I liked this card because it has Andrew's full name on the card.  Even though it's not numbered to less than 50 copies I am still going to count this in my Reverse Box Challenge results when I show everything off in the future.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the best St. Patrick's Day Insert Ever!!!

When I was looking for my National Treasures cards for a reverse box, I came across this Xander Boegarts card.  I knew that I had to have it.

There were initial reports in 2011 that the Red Sox were interested in trading for Joel Hanrahan and there was even some speculation that Xander Boegarts could be traded 1 for 1 for the Hammer.  Hanrahan would eventually be traded to Boston along with Brock Holt for 4 players including 2013 All-Star Mark Melancon.

The back of the card is actually interesting...check it out


Monday, March 16, 2015

McCutchen Monday: An Ebay 1/1

I never seek out "ebay 1/1s".  These are the first or last cards in a print run or the player's jersey number.  However, when an opportunity presents itself to snag a jersey numbered card of my favorite player for a reasonable price I will jump at it.  I managed to grab this Green parallel of Cutch back during COMC's Black Friday sale.  I'm about 3 months behind schedule with my posting of that lot.  Rest easy though followers, you will see some of them this month as part of the "Go Green Initiative" for St. Patrick's Day.
2014 Topps Finest was a great product.  I felt it was the best the company has put out in recent years.  It featured a fun amount of parallels, some great inserts, and of course those 1994 throwback inserts.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Go Green: More PG Greenies

January and February brought me some fine additions to my slowly growing PC of PG (Paul George).  The latest additions were cheap buys and features green yet again.

George will most likely miss the entire 2014-15 season after injuring himself during an intersquad game for Team USA basketball.  Because of this, the Pacers seemed to be destined to solidify a top 10 pick in next year's draft which I was hoping will be one of Kentucky's many young future stars and elite defenders.

However recent play has the Pacers 13-2 since February 1st and the #8 seed for the weak Eastern Conference.  IF PG is able to get healthy for the playoffs, I'm going to get very excited for another deep NBA playoff run for the Pacers.

The back of the card compares Paul George to Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.  The serially numbered to 199 card was purchased for $3.
If PG turns into a Hall of Famer, I'll be a very happy Pacers fan.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

McCutchen Mailday #21: Second Auto of 2015 added

I may not only add 100 new Andrew McCutchen cards to the collection by the end of the year, but I may come very close to reaching 100 unique certified autographs of Cutch by year's end as well.

My latest addition in the quest for 100 is the unnumbered green parallel Turn of the Century from 2014 Donruss Elite.  Cutch doesn't sign much anymore and it appears that he only has a handful of releases with Panini each year that he signs.  Last November I showed the gold version of this card /50 that I picked up for $50.  This green parallel ran me just $38.

I still miss the days when I could grab Cutch autos for $25 or less, but $38 seems fair for one of the top players in the league (even if it is a sticker auto)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Going Green: Best Mustache Award!!!!

I mustache you a question....

I remember listening to an interview with Jameson Taillon and Nick Kingham (who I featured in a card post yesterday) that they were growing team mustaches in 2013.  Because of that, Topps in their frequent tardiness captured both young men with their mustaches for the 2014 Topps Heritage Minors release.  I showed off the Kingham last year.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Going Green: Nick Kingham Autograph

My optimism for Nick Kingham might be higher than others in the sports card collecting world.  Maybe it's because I own his Superfractor or it's because I've seen his stuff in person and it is incredible stuff, but I think that Kingham will be a key piece to the Pirates success in 2015.

Nick has a unique signature which is actually kind of cool.  Check out this numbered to 100 sticker auto to see what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Going Green McCutchen Mailday #20: 2014 Bowman Chrome

Here's a $9 purchase of Cutch in my pursuit to add 100 new Cutch cards by year's end.

Hailing from 2014 Bowman Chrome, this numbered parallel is a wealth of information on the back.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Seeing Red and Going Green: JaCoby Jones Green Ink AUTO /10

This is a first time on the PTR folks.  We got ourselves a dual color feature card.  Combining the month of Going Green and bringing back the Seeing Red feature we have a very low numbered green ink autograph of Pirates prospect, JaCoby Jones.

Jones had a breakout season in 2014 when he belted 23 HRs and batted .288 as a shortstop in A ball.  Before Bowman introduced JaCoby to the sports collecting world with his autograph, I was fortunate enough to grab this from Elite.  It's my first green ink autograph in my collection.  I will likely show off my /75 JaCoby Jones autograph from Bowman this month as well, but this card has been in my possession for nearly half a year and I thought now was a good time to showcase it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

McCutchen Monday: Going Green 2013 style

I never showed these two parallels off when I got them in 2013.  Today seems appropriate.

Andrew McCutchen had a breakout season in 2012 and looked to be on the way towards an MVP season before he fell apart in September and ultimately lead to the Pirates finishing below .500 for the 20th season in a row.  He finished the year batting .327 just behind that year's MVP winner, Buster Posey.

Cutch was playing in his 3rd Midsummer Classic in 2013 and was the only player to steal a base in the 2013 All-Star Game.  Prior to the All-Star Game, Cutch had 10 homeruns and 20 steals batting .302 in the first half of the 2013 Pirates magical season.

Also in my collection is a 2013 Bowman Chrome Green Retail Exclusive which you can see below...

I think I probably spent no more than $3 for all three cards above.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Football Sunday: Going Green with Troy

I bought a total of 4 blasters and rack packs of football product in 2014.  One pack of Valor yielded me this awesome numbered green parallel of Troy Polamalu.

Troy is getting up in age, but his presence on the field is still incredibly strong for the Steelers defense.  He's a natural leader and when he isn't on the field for a game they have had a losing record since he came into the league.

I'd like to add an autograph card of his to my collection one day, but in the meantime I'll be happy with my autographed 8x10 plaque I got as a Christmas gift many years ago.
There's been a lot of talk about Troy retiring this season and if he likely doesn't retire, he will most certainly be cut for the 2015 season.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The 2 for 1 Reverse Box Challenge continues...

With only $37 left to complete my hotbox of Pirates from 2014 Triple Threads I happened to grab another Jumbo Relic/Auto.  It's not nearly as awesome as the patch/auto of Grilli numbered to /10, but it features a 5+ WAR outfielder who is on the cusp of having a breakout season soon.

I grabbed this emerald beauty for $13 last year and have been waiting until my Go Green month to show it off.

The 2 for 1 Reverse Box Challenge for 2014 Topps Triple Threads is complete.

Base Cards
Alvarez, Cole, McCutchen, Polanco, Piazza (ok technically I didn't complete the base card challenge, but I'm sure I can find some cheap base cards to say I did it if I really wanted to spend the money just for trade bait.)

McCutchen (emerald /250)
Clemente (emerald /250)
Polanco (gold /99)
McCutchen (Gold /99)
Alvarez (Gold /99)
Alvarez (Amethyst /325)
*Cole (gold /99)
*Cole (amethyst /325)
*The Gerrit Coles will be shown off in a future post after "Go Green" month is complete

Rookie Autograph
Polanco (/100) 

Triple Relic:
Beltre/Alvarez/Sandoval "Hot Corner" /36
Cutch/Bautista/Cespedes "Pure" /27

Triple Auto/Relic:
Lambo (Emerald /50)

Autographed Jumbo Relic
Marte (this post)
Grilli (prime patch /10)

Unity Jumbo Relic:
Cole /27 & /36

Friday, March 6, 2015

Going Green: Tyler Glasnow Autograph

I just don't know what to say about Tyler Glasnow that I haven't said already.  I flat out can't wait for him to get to the majors.  He's got incredible stuff.

For less than $12 delivered, I couldn't resist adding another autograph of the super pitching prospect to my collection, even if it is a sticker auto.

He made his Spring Training debut yesterday going 1 inning and striking out 2 batters.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Green and Blue: Gerrit Cole 4 card lot

Late last year I purchased a 4 card lot of Gerrit Cole 2014 Bowman Chrome Refractors for a ridiculously good deal.  Included in the lot were base, base refractor (/500), blue refractor (/250), and green refractor (/75).

I've been saving them to show off for this month.  I hope you enjoy.

Sorry for the crooked scan for the base, but it slid during scan and I didn't have the patience to fix it.

Cole pitched well in his Spring Training debut going 2 innings, striking out 3, and allowing a hit and walk.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Going Green McCutchen Mailday #19: 2008 TriStar

When I was planning out my posts for March 2015 I knew that I had to show off 3 Andrew McCutchen's that I purchased early in February, but would have to wait to highlight them to create the "Go Green Event" I have planned.  All March leading up to St. Patrick's Day I plan to highlight green parallels I've purchased over the past few months that haven't been shown on the blog.
 The green on this card really pops.
 This 7 year old cardboard numbered to only 50 copies ran me under $9 delivered and marks the only card I have of Cutch wearing the Altoona Curve uniform.

I will only be highlighting 3 cards this month in my Quest for 100 because quite frankly I haven't been able to add many greens of  Cutch in 2015.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Going Green: Paul George Game Film 5/5

My Pacers collection has been steadily growing over the past year.  With rising star Paul George out for the season, there hasn't been much to root for regarding the Pacers and their sub .500 season.  However, because of that I have been able to add some really neat cards to my collection for much less than they were fetching a year or two ago.

A year ago, this green parallel numbered to 5 of Paul George would have gotten over $100 on the market.  Purchased earlier in the year, I was able to snag it along with 3 other Pacers cards for under $50.
The above card features actual game film of Paul George as the Pacers marched to having the best record in the Eastern Conference for the 2013-14 season.
Thrown in as free bonus are the above 3 cards featuring my other favorite Pacer, David West on a numbered Gold Standard card.  The Jonathan Bender is my first autograph of the former Pacer.

George has started his first full practice so with the chance to sneak into the playoffs, I'm going to get a little more excited as the season winds down.

Monday, March 2, 2015

McCutchen Monday: Going Green, well...emerald to be specific

Last year I showed off a bunch of cards when I was doing a 2 for 1 reverse box challenge of 2014 Triple Threads.  I successfully put together 2 boxes of Triple Threads of only Pirates for the price of 1 box.  I even got some low numbered parallels which I was super excited about.  There were 3 cards that I have been waiting to show off from that reverse box challenge, but due to my plans for an All Green month of March I have had them on the backburner.

Wait no longer as this Andrew McCutchen joins the Roberto Clemente from yesterday to finish off my parallels in the reverse box challenge.