Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Very McCutchen Mailday

Even though the 2018 season is in full swing, it's still a little bit of an adjustment to see Andrew McCutchen not on the field for the Pirates.  Cutch was a fixture on the field, but also sort of carried the spirit of the team.  As I catch up on 2017 cards and the first few releases of 2018, I'm savoring the Cutch cards that come in, knowing they'll be the last releases in black and gold until he inevitably pops up in Archives sets hopefully mans seasons down the road.

I've had a steady stream of packages from bloggers and my team collector pals coming into the mailbox, so much so that I've been having trouble keeping up.

It's been fun seeing what I missed out on while taking a little hobby vacation.

Seeing Topps Gallery make a comeback brings out some mixed feelings.  I typically love art-driven products, and it always seemed a little odd that Gallery *wasn't* an art set in its early years.  Heck, on of my favorite pieces in my collection is the original painting from Jack Wilson's 2002 Gallery card.

 But these cards?  My feelings are split.  I love the clean white borders, which is a nice change of pace from Topps' usual hyper-busy design.  The art though?  Meh.  The McCutchen looks alright, while the Josh Bell leaves a lot to be desired.  I think it's the colored pencils that are making it tough for me to love these cards.  They just don't have the smoothness of a painted set.  The art in Topps' Living Set shows what these cards could have been.
 The package also had an auto of Bucs top prospect Mitch Keller.  Hopefully Keller can rise up the ranks successfully and avoid the Tyler Glasnow fate or imploding in the majors.  This is my first autos of his, so I'm glad to have this one queued up whenever he hits the bigs.
 One of the things I love about our team collector group is the sheer variety of cards that come in.  Some guys are box/blaster/case breakers and will dump the latest releases on you.  Others, like myself, are more likely to resupply for the other teams at a show.  I had a nice stack of inserts and early 00's refractors that I was able to scoop up at the show this weekend to fill out packages for the other teams.

Now it's just a matter of carving out some time to sort through all these cards and start building my 2017 and 2018 binders.

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