After being drafted 11th overall in the 2005 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, 18-year-old Andrew McCutchen soon found himself on a Bowman baseball card as part of their Heritage set. He was also pictured in other sets that year, and they’re all considered his rookie card, even though he didn’t make his big league debut until four years later.
Here’s the front of the 2005 Bowman Heritage card. He was one of 25 players drafted in 2005 to get a card in the set.
Here’s the back of the card
As you can see, they used a 1951 Bowman design for the card set (notice the print date at the bottom). You can also tell that the set was put out after early August, because McCutchen was promoted in mid-August to Williamsport, where he played 13 games to end the season. There is no mention of that second team on the back, so the final design of the card was likely set by August 15th. You’ll notice that his weight is 175 pounds. That’s 20 pounds lighter than his current playing weight.
As noted on the card, McCutchen batted .297, with a .411 OBP and 13 steals in 14 attempts. He played in 45 games in the Gulf Coast League that year and he had an .842 OPS. In the New York-Penn League with Wiliamsport, he hit .346/.443/.442 in 62 plate appearances.
I’ll also note that McCutchen has two other cards in the set. There’s another base card. I don’t like the pose as much, which is why I didn’t feature it. This one was the short-printed variation, though it’s considered to be the “regular” base card, while our featured card is the base variation. Both cards are #330 for some odd reason. The set contains 350 cards.
There’s also an autographed card from the “Signs of Greatness” series. This is a much tougher card to find than the other two versions and therefore it commands a higher price.
There are also other variations of the regular base card in the set. Each card has a mini card, which is exactly what it sounds like. A slightly smaller version of the same card. There is also a mahogany version, which looks like it’s an aged version of the card.
The are two very tough variations as well. There is a red McCutchen card out there, where the white border is red, and Bowman only printed one copy. You can also find a a printing plate card, which is a version of the card without the color process added. These two variations are impossible to price because whoever owns sets the price.
Here are the previous Card of the Day articles. Eventually we will have a better way to organize them, as opposed to just a continuously growing list at the bottom of each article:
2020 Topps Living Set Josh Bell
2020 Roberto Clemente Topps Throwback
1887 N172 Old Judge Art Whitney and Dog
1981 Topps Pirates Future Stars
1936 R312 Honus Wagner and Arky Vaughan
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.