MLB

No One Looks as Cool as the Phillies’ Andrew McCutchen on a Baseball Card

The New York Yankees are still “old school” when it comes to looking neat and professional while on the job. If that policy is going to change any time soon, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would be one of the leading candidates to push it through.

That’s because no one has ever looked as cool as McCutchen does on his 2020 Topps Series 2 baseball card.<

Andrew McCutchen would like to see the Yankees ease up

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Andrew McCutchen made news this week by politely suggesting that the New York Yankees back off their relatively strict policy regarding how players wear their hair.

“I definitely do think it takes away from our individualism as players and as people,” McCutchen said on The Sports Bubble podcast. “We express ourselves in different ways.”

McCutchen arrived in the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009 and has been a five-time All-Star as well as the nearly unanimous National League MVP in 2013. He’s a career .286 hitter with 233 home runs in 1,560 games. He had a brief tour of duty in 2018 with the Yankees, where he had to cut his hair and remain clean-shaven to stay in the good graces of the ownership, which began enforcing its grooming policy in the 1970s under George Steinbrenner.

“I feel like maybe there should be some change there in the future — who knows when — but it’s just one of the many things in this game that I feel that there just needs … it needs to be talked about, and to be addressed,” he said. 

Andrew McCutchen looks almost too cool to be an MLB player

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Baseball fans have had nothing to get excited about on the field thus far with the false start to spring training, followed by an interminable hiatus while players and owners have negotiated a post-pandemic plan for finally starting an abbreviated season.

Business in the hobby community has remained robust, however. Interest in Kobe Bryant after his death and Michael Jordan because of The Last Dance documentary boosted interest in basketball collectibles, which has trickled down to baseball as well.

And though it’s not a particularly valuable item, a 2020 Topps trading card of Andrew McCutchen has suddenly become one of the “must-have” cards of the summer.

McCutchen appeared in only 59 games for the Philadelphia Phillies last season due to a torn ACL suffered in early June. As luck would have it, Topps apparently had not shot photos at very many Phillies games by that point in preparation for its 2020 card sets. When they did catch up with the team on July 27, 2019, the Phillies were wearing throwback uniforms.

The circa-1979 uniforms were burgundy and they zipped up the front rather than having buttons. McCutchen would have looked very stylish if he had been fully dressed out. But with his season more or less over, he was decidedly casual in the dugout that day.

The Topps card captures the veteran outfielder with the zipper halfway down, donning sunglasses, wearing a heavy chain, and holding a 16-ounce paper cup. Former MLB great Dick Allen caught wind of it late last month.

“Congrats to @TheCUTCH22 for securing what may be the coolest baseball card ever,” Allen tweeted.

Not the first of his cards to interest collectors

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According to a hobby publication, the Andrew McCutchen Series 2 card has been short-printed, meaning it will be a bit more difficult to find than most cards in the set. A few have reportedly sold for more than $100, and eBay showed one being offered for $300 this week.

It’s not the first time a card with McCutchen’s photo on it has generated interest among collectors. In early 2009, when McCutchen was on the cusp of reaching the majors, Andrew McCutchen’s photo was mistakenly placed on the front of a card for Indianapolis Indians teammate Daniel McCutchen in a set issued by TriStar.

That flub is only worth a few dollars but is relatively hard to find.