Sunday, January 31, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #34: It's so shiny

Staying the course of adding one new Andrew McCutchen card per day, brings me this incredibly sparkly Sapphire sparkle variant of Cutch's 2013 Update
While not nearly as rare or expensive as the 2013 Topps Update Gold /2013, this card actually features a much lower number (/25)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #33: All-Star Jumbo Patch Autograph /6

I might have the best personal collection of Andrew McCutchen cards available on the internet, but that's not going to slow me down from adding more cards that pop up.

My recent addition is another big hit (similar to the past few Cutch additions in 2016). 

Numbered to only 6 copies and featuring a jumbo All-Star Workout Jersey patch from "L" in National, this 2015 Update All-Star  Jumbo Patch Autograph has a sticker auto of Cutch.

This All-Star game will be memorable for me because it's the year that Cutch hit a HomeRun.

Friday, January 29, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #32: Dual Button Relic w/Adam Jones

This is without a doubt one of the highlights of my Cutch PC now.

I know what my top 5 cards in the collection are and this is in the talks to be in the top 10.

I was very excited when I added a dual button relic of Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano last year because I didn't have any Pirates relics with Francisco.  Being able to add this is up there in terms of my excitement. 

Cutch is on a path for a Hall of Fame career and Adam Jones will be an Oriole legend if he finishes his career with them.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Another Mini Rainbow to start

AJ Burnett was one of my favorite players to ever put on a Pirates uniform.  When he announced his retirement after the 2015 season, I was hoping to grab some awesome cards of Batman in his final season.  With all the Cutch cards I was buying last year, I put off buying a lot of AJ cards.  Now that it's the offseason and he's no longer active and likely not Hall of Fame bound, I can refocus on adding some great AJ cards to the PC.

For example this one

Numbered 1/5 and snagged for only $3.50

I also grabbed the black numbered /10, but am still waiting on it's arrival.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #31: My 50th Printing Plate of Cutch

This yellow 1/1 printing plate of Cutch from 2015 Triple Threads first showed up the day the product was released.  After several months of a ridiculously high B-I-N price and not accepting any of my reasonable offers, the seller finally listed the item in an auction.  For $35, I was able to add this nice looking plate to my collection.

It marks my 50th Printing Plate/Press Proof of Cutch that I own.  I'm hoping that by the end of 2017, I can get up into triple digits as Cutch has become the main focus of my collection.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #30: My 8th Cutch Strata Patch

My Cutch Strata collection has gotten another prime patch added to the PC with my recent /25 pickup.

This marks my 8th overall Cutch Strata and my 3rd patch /25.  Only 22 more to track down and win. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sick patch from Tyler Glasnow in Immaculate

Immaculate Collection has some incredible patches in their card sets.  The problem with most of the nonstars or prospects is that they aren't game used.  They aren't even event used.  Nope.  Instead they are player worn.  This means that the player put the jersey on while doing a signing for them, quickly took it off, and it got hacked up. 

Some of the recent Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow, and Cole Tucker patches that they have put out include patches celebrating the 1979 World Series team or Three Rivers stadium. 

Gorgeous part of an "S" from the Pirates home white jersey

Unfortunately like I said...
Player worn...

Regardless of what the jersey is from, the patch looks incredible and it features the #2 pitching prospect in baseball. Hopefully Tyler can come up midsummer and just dominate hitters as the Pirates look to push for another playoff bound season.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #29: Ginter Booklet Part Deux

Last December, I showed off a gorgeous 2015 Allen & Ginter autograph and prime patch booklet numbered to 10.  Another one recently hit eBay so I picked that up as well. 

The previous booklet (shown below) I had numbered 4/10 appeared to be the "P" on the Pirates front alternate black uniforms. 

This appears to be the top part of the "P" from the same uniform.

Another awesome addition to the Cutch PC as I have continued to grow it to record levels the past few years. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #28: It's a Real Baseball!

The Andrew McCutchen PC continues to grow daily as today brought home another unique and awesome relic to the Cutch Collection.

Hailing from 2015 Topps Tribute Special Edition is this game used baseball from the game which Cutch hit his 1st career MLB Home Run.  The back details some of the game's events where Cutch lifted a 2 run Home Run off current team mate Francisco Liriano.

This is an awesome card and my first baseball relic to feature Cutch.  I have shown off a few other game used baseball relics in the past and I think these are some of my favorite types of relics.  If I had to rank them in terms of basic relics (not counting premium patches or bat knobs, etc) I would say baseballs, unique clothing (cleats, hats, etc), jersey, bat would be my order.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #26 & 27: Cutch 22 and His Amazing Friends

Anyone remember the cartoon, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends which starred Spider-Man teaming up with Iceman and Firestar while at college?  It was a fun cartoon in which they had a tripped out apartment and fought villains of the week.  I don't own any of the episodes on dvd, but I remember having the episode where they fought Magneto on VHS. 

I bring this up because as my Andrew McCutchen grows (almost daily) I come across cards that feature Cutch with past and present stars.  My absolute favorite combination to pair with Cutch includes cards with Hall of Famers.

Every baseball fan knows of Roberto Clemente.  He's one of the greatest rightfielders of all time.  He's a Pirates legend.  He's the superstar that opened the door for latin players in America.  He's also one of the most tragic stories in sports.  I love grabbing Clemente cards.  If Clemente is on the card with Cutch, I feel I owe it to myself to grab it.

One player who many fans put high hopes and expectations on who never lived up to the hype was Pedro Alvarez.  Pedro was cut from the Pirates future plans when they chose not to go to arbitration with him.  He's a one tool player (power) with terrible defense and poor plate discipline.  He doesn't get enough credit for his base running ability for being a big guy.  What I mean by that is that he will never likely have double digit steals, but was very good at knowing when to try and take the extra base. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #23, 24, and 25: 3 More Strata Cards (All Parallels)

Today was a good mailday as I received 3 new Andrew McCutchen 2015 Strata cards.  This will likely be the last bunch of Strata cards I add for a while because I am focusing on some of the higher end stuff coming out of National Treasures.

This brings me to 7 total Strata cards in the collection which between the /25, /50, and /75 is only 3.5% of the patch print run.  I would love to increase that total, but considering that many of these go for $40 - $90 a pop it will be extremely difficult.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Starting a Mini Rainbow (literally)

So I am in the process of starting a John Holdzkom 2015 Topps Chrome Autograph Rainbow and will now start the 2015 Topps Mini Rainbow.

Here's two of the harder cards to find
 1/1 Gold
2/5 Red

Together these two cards ran me $28.  The other cards missing are the black and base.  Shouldn't be too hard to grab those though.  I think that Holdzkom will be a key piece for the Pirates bullpen this year.

Monday, January 18, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #22: Laundry Day!!!

It's time for another Laundry Tag of Cutch

Way back in May 2013 I showed off the brother of this card numbered 1/6.  This particular piece of laundry tag is numbered 4/6.

This is my 3rd laundry tag of Cutch. I am currently ahead of pace for adding more Cutch cards than I did last year. Who knows, maybe I will be at 1,500 unique cards of Cutch by year's end.

McCutchen Mailday #11 - 21: Lots of low numbers, rainbows, and an another Strata

I have over 1,000 unique Andrew McCutchen cards.  Of all those, I have started many rainbows, but have only completed two officially.

My recent purchases which ALL arrived on the same day contained a lot of needs for my Prizm, Bowman, and Topps rainbows. 

It felt like Christmas opening all those packages.  There was so many cards that my girlfriend was actually calling me Jimmy Fallon based on the movie Fever Pitch.  "Wow Jimmy, looks like you got some more cards in the mail today" is one of her favorite phrases when I have big maildays like this.

Some of the key cards were
 /5 press proof of Studio 13
/10 Father's Day Element
/25 Prizm 2014
/60 Prizm 2015
/75 Bowman 2014

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Football Sunday: Le'Veon Bell 1/1 Nike Swoosh

How crazy was the ending to that Steelers/Bengals last Saturday?  My emotions during that game went from high to really high to very low to very high.  Wow!!!!  The Bengals proved that they are their own worse enemies as they lost the game due to terrible penalties in the closing minute. 

I'll take the W!!!

I've been showing off some amazing Killer Bees cards in recent football days.
Unfortunately since showing them off, the players (Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown) have both gotten injured.

To not doom Martavis Bryant, I will show off my favorite current member of the Steelers who is already injured. 

Much like the MLB logoman for baseball cards, the Nike or (formerly) Reebok symbols are some of the most sought after football cards.  When I saw this pop up for sale, I knew that I must add it to my collection.  It's such a beauty!!!!

This is by far my favorite football card in my collection besides the Troy Polamalu Museum Frame I showed off earlier in the 2015 season.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #8-10: Golden Archives from Sportlots

Dave Parker was a fan favorite while playing for the Bucs back in the 70s.  The below Topps Archives Dual Fan Favorites card has been haunting me subtly for a few years.  I've been wanting to add this card to my collection since I first saw it and passed up on adding it for the $4 range many many times.  Since 2014 I haven't seen them hit eBay or COMC for less than that though.  Fortunately one finally popped up for $1.50 on sportlots.  For a little over $2 shipped, I finally had gotten it.  Strangely enough, this card was something that I got more excited about than many of the patches from Strata I have received this year.  Weird, right?

Along the same lines as the above card, is the desire to complete the 2015 Topps Archives rainbow since I grabbed the base, silver, black border 1/1, and 2 of the printing plates shortly after it's release. 

One card that I kept losing was the gold version /50.  I must have lost nearly 10 auctions for it with many of them going well over $10.  I refused to pay more than that for the card.

After looking on blowout, comc, ebay, and sportlots I finally came across one on sportlots for $4.  I couldn't have been happier to add it to my cart along with a few other Archives that I needed.  Coming from 3 different sellers, but all arriving on the same day made this McCutchen Mailday a happy day for this Cutch supercollector.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ke'Bryan Hayes Purple Craze

When Ke'Bryan Hayes was drafted by the Pirates I immediately started to grab a bunch of his Team USA cards.  I couldn't wait until Bowman Draft became available so I could start to buy up as many color parallels as possible.

The problem with that though was that all the high end lower numbered parallels were selling for crazy amounts of money.  The Superfractor for over $1.5K?  Are you kidding me????

Don't get me wrong, I think Ke'Bryan will be a very good player in the majors.  He'll probably be similar skill set to Josh Harrison, but slower on the base paths.  He can play solid defense and hit for average, but hasn't shown his power yet. 

If I'm going to pay over a $100 for an autograph of a Pirates player, it's going to be someone established like Cutch or Cole.  End of story.

So Ke'Bryan, but all I can afford from you now in terms of color Bowman is purple.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #7: This card is rarer than you think

It's not often that a card numbered to 2013 is more sought after than a 1/1 or actually rarer than /62 blacks, but such is the case for this gold parallel of Andrew McCutchen from 2013 Topps Update.

What makes this card so rare?

Well, as legend has it, a large portion of the print run was horribly off centered and very few actually made it into packs.

I was finally able to add this slightly off centered gold to my PC.

It's not quite as rare as a No Name on Front Frank Thomas 1990 Topps, but in terms of my Cutch collection, it helps fill a two year void.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chasing the Rainbow: John Holdzkom Edition

2014 was a memorable season for the Pirates as they set out to prove that their double decade long losing streak being broken in 2013 wasn't a fluke.  There was a breakout campaign by Josh Harrison as he came close to winning the batting title.  Andrew McCutchen had another monster year as he contended for MVP discussion again. 

One of the truly amazing stories though was career minor leaguer turned independent ball gamer to urban legend reliever, John Holdzkom. 

While watching him in his brief stint in the Pirates minor league system I grew a fascination to make Chuck Norris like jokes about how legendary he could become. 
Striking out 3 batters on 3 pitches. 
Batters don't swing the bats against Holdzkom in fear of embarrassing themselves

He instantly became one of my favorite pitchers on the mound.

When Topps announced that he would have an autograph in Series 1, I instantly knew that I had to add that to my collection.  When he was announced as one of the signers for Chrome, I kept my eyes open for any lower numbered cards, but never saw the Superfractor pop up for sale.  I wasn't going to overpay for the other parallels and patiently waited.  Waited longer.  And finally a lot of 5 became available for $20.

Behold the start of my John Holdzkom 2015 Topps Chrome Rainbow.
 Refractor (463/499) Blue (137/150)
Purple 206/250) Green (80/99)


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #6: Gold and Red

All-Star stitches are year after year, my go to jersey relic for Cutch as he has appeared in 5 straight All-Star games and started in the past 2. 

I finished last year by adding almost 400 new Cutch cards to the PC. I think I will come close to that same total this year, which is just insane and awesome at the same time. Q

Monday, January 11, 2016

McCutchen Mailday #5: Behold the Art of Rich Molinelli

As most of you know, I am a huge fan of sketch cards especially if they feature my favorite athletes or comic characters.  This image of Cutch looks to fall into both.  I can just imagine this image inside of a comic as he discusses how to save the city....which he essentially returned it to it's baseball glory.

Rich Molinelli is the artist and I am now fortunate to own two sketch cards he did for 2009 Topps.

The other one is seen below.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Gem Mint 10 Honus Wagner

I've been looking for some oddball vintage cards recently and while browsing, I came across this 1953 Brown & Bigelow Joker playing card of the greatest shortstop of all time, Honus Wagner. 

The art on the  card is what drew me to it.  It's such a beautiful image of an older Honus signing a baseball for a young fan.

I probably overpaid for it because it was a Probstein auction, but considering that I have never seen this image of Honus before, I couldn't pass it up. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Football Satuday: Antonio Brown Bumblebee Relic

Last Sunday was an incredible day for football for me.

I got to see the Jets lose and the Steelers win within minutes of one another.
Antonio Brown has proven that he is the best Wide Receiver in the game year after year.  He came up with a huge catch against Cleveland last week to ensure the Steelers would go on to have playoff football again this year. 

I said last week that I wanted to get a hit of each of the Killer Bs wearing their "Bumblebee Prison" uniforms.  Nothing will top the Big Ben Auto /10, but this Antonio Brown jersey relic depicting the NFL's top wideout making a sensational catch is a good start to continue the theme.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

McCutchen Monday #3 & 4: Trip Trip Triple Threads

Here's a pair of cards I recently grabbed for just a few bucks delivered.

The 2011 Triple Threads Gold is numbered 1/99 and the Emerald from 2010 is numbered to 240.

Through day 6 of the New Year and I have added 4 new Cutch cards already. Looks like another 400 Cutch cards could be added to the PC this year if I pick up the pace a bit on the older releases.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

So long Tony

Today, the Pirates officially announced the signing of former Rookie of Year, Neftali Feliz but in doing so they released Tony Sanchez.
As someone who has collected Tony since he was drafted and thinks he is incredibly fan friendly, this move saddens me a bit. However, as a Pirates fan, I love this move. Feliz could help make the Pirates bullpen even stronger than it has been for the past few years. Caminero, Watson, Melancon are all solid at the back end. Hughes is a ground ball making machine and if John Holdzkom can get healthy he will no doubt be another flame throwing strikeout guy. Recent signing of Juan Nicasio helps sure up the pen too.
So even though Tony could clear waivers, its very likely that his Pirates career is over.
Here's a Superfractor Test Proof I picked up last year for around $10. It's not signed or numbered, but is a cool piece of cardboard.
And here's a few more from my Tony Sanchez collection