The Legend

The Legend

Friday, June 12, 2020

Quarantine Projects

Hello old friends!  Figured it was about time to do a post before my blog gets lost in the ether.  Hard to believe I retired the blog almost two years back. 


The retirement was not in vain as I continue to strive towards my goal of organization.  If you follow me on Twitter I've been posting periodic updates.  Quarantine has provided a unique opportunity to make a serious dent on a goal that at certain points seemed unattainable. 

Forever the elephant in the room was a crawl space full of cards that had been packed away after multiple moves.  With some prodding from my wife the project was tackled in early April.  It took a month of consolidating and moving but all the cards are finally in one place.  The task at hand now is tackling all those monster boxes and get the Pirates in binders and trade bait separated. 

Obviously the project had some fun moments.  As I was consolidating all these cards to the monster boxes my eyes locked onto a few unique finds. 





The only card that was kind of a surprise was the Kobe.  When I found a 500 count box of mid 90's, early 2000's basketball I took the time to go ahead and see what was in there.  When I was initially going through the box it seemed more likely that I would unearth an early Lebron James instead of Kobe, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a Topps rookie. 

Silver lining now is that I've started to send out packages again (4 last week!).  Many of the cards unearthed are from a time period in which many people weren't collecting (early 2000's) so it should make good trade bait. 

With the organization projects I haven't spent much time adding new cards to my collection.  I have a large amount ready to ship on COMC, but they seem to be running at a snails pace so I've let those sit.  I think I've only utilized eBay two or three times since the calendar switched to 2020. 


The biggest addition came via box break from the Card Papoy and Brian of HSCA.  I kind of thought we hit our high point when I pulled Kevin an Aaron Judge auto last year, but then he pulled me the above Ichiro.  Needless to say I was excited to get such a unique card.  I actually have it on a shelf next to my some of my higher end Pirate cards.  Box prices are so out of control now that Brian, Kevin and I put the brakes on our breaks.  Trying to workout a possible reverse box in the near future just to keep up our normal trade correspondence.


I have a fairly big collection of unopened boxes.  A lot of the junk wax era stuff was bought in the early 2000's at auctions and packed away in a Rubbermaid container in my crawl. The late 90's stuff was accumulated by rounding out purchases on Steel City over the years when buying boxes for our breaks.  Nice to have everything in one place now to have a better inventory.  Interesting to see the renewed interests in some of these sets.  I think many player collectors realize those insert sets from the 90's are much rarer than low numbered auto cards now.


Lots of loose packs too.  Many of these were courtesy of Wes as part of his 1056335645545 packages he sent my way over the years.  I often joke that I have a whole wing of my house devoted to items he sent my way.  As I continue to go through things that joke quickly turned to reality.  Wes has a heavy footprint in my collection. 

That is pretty much the full update collecting wise for me. My wife and I have cancelled any travel this year so we instead got a new porch on our house.  Helps make the stay-cation a little more relaxing and provided a little more quarantine square footage.  I try to fill downtime with Zoom happy hours with my out of town friends to stay in touch.  While not ideal it helps pass the time and have a social outlet.  Things are starting to open up again in my town, but with my daughters health history we have been avoiding most in person contact as much as possible. 

Hope everyone is doing well.  Big virtual cheers to all my old blogging pals.  Later







Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Boo

Well hello there old friends.  Didn't mean to scare you.

It's your old friend Matt providing a proof of life.

Thought it was an appropriate time to provide an update so Google doesn't throw my blog in the trash. Being that my last post was in October the death blow could have happened any day.

Thankfully I don't feel as cardboard isolated as I was expecting when I shutdown the blog. Twitter has given me a nice platform to stay in touch.  While nowhere near as fun as blogging I can at least give proof of life to my old friends.

Like most social media Twitter is a vast wasteland of festering garbage, but over time you can make it a handy tool.  You just have to learn to navigate the 1000 people trying to sell you crap and "trendsetters" trying to tell you what you should be buying.  As you can tell by the use of two gifs Twitter has already polluted my brain.

Collecting wise I have had some fun developments over the past months. I had mentioned that I was close to finishing my WVU organization project.  Happily I can say that it is complete.....at least the first stage.  I have everything in binders in alphabetical order.  Some players had so much that they got their own.  While I'm still not at the Excel sheet or Trading Card Database level of organization I can at least open a binder and see if I have a card in a short amount of time.  The long term goal would be Excel sheet level, but baby steps.....

Back in October I had also made reference to planning the great Pirate sorting project.  While I still have no idea what the hell I'm doing.  I'm giving it the old college try.

The sorting trays are at least helping me see what players are best represented.  This has allowed me start binders for some of the long term Buccos like Cutch, Marte and Bay.  Its a big project....like 10 monster box and multiple plastic storage containers big, but its rewarding to see things taking shape.  I also enjoy doing it which helps. Everything just comes down to time.  Sorting is one of those things that in order to clean up a mess you have to make a mess. 

Between all the organization projects I've still managed to add some cards.  The majority of my focus has been my Jevon Carter collection. 




Basketball collectors go crazy over Prizm, but so far my favorite additions have been the Rated Rookies and Certified Material parallels.  I guess I like cards that if you stare at them long enough may cause a seizure. 

The Pirates will always be the main focus, but honestly I haven't bought too much in that area. I still scour checklists for guys getting their first cards, but the majority of the acquisitions have been potluck/obscure.



I'm a sucker for obscure autos like this.  Sets like Topps Lineage and Heritage have some great names and I've been making my way through the lists.  This Bob Del Greco and Gair Allie is my most recent acquisition. 
He has a terrible auto, but I don't care.  Look at that beauty. Bonilla and Manny Sanguillen were always the top of the list for needing Pirate certified autos and finally over the past two years both have came to be. Now we just need the Holy Grail.....BOB WALK


When I first started blogging I had made reference that I use to collect everything under the sun, but consolidated to make the Pirates and WVU the main focus.  A fun loophole is adding dual autos like this Trevor Story/Josh Bell auto. 


How about an obscure patch card! When I saw this it was a must buy too. 


If you like to "prospect" but don't want to spend crazy amounts of money, alternatives exist.  If I were to buy the Bowman alternative to this Contenders card it would cost $100's.  This cost me less than $10. With that being said I love Bowman cards and try to get all the Pirates that I can.  In my experience their is almost always a lull in which to prices come down to a more manageable amount.  For every Trout/Harper you have tons of other guys that either get hurt or don't perform at some point that causes said player to lose some prospect luster. 

Obviously I'm speaking as a Pirate collector but I'm fairly certain this holds true across the board.  Even the "hot" players now like Austin Meadows, Cole Tucker and Tyler Glasnow had points you could pick up autos on the cheap.  Tucker and Glasnow were at $5 for extended periods of time.  Tons of stories of Aaron Judge autos selling for less than $10. Patience is always a big thing if you want to save money.   

I saw a superfractor 1/1 of former Pirate prospect and current Blue Jay farmhand Reese McGuire sell for over $1300 back in March.  His ceiling is likely of a backup at the MLB level.  Even if he turned into an everyday player that is still a crazy amount.  You could literally buy an auto of Trout, Pujols, Harper, Jeter, Betts and multiple other people and still have money to spare.  You could even get a Mike Trout Bowman Sterling auto for about $1300.  That is always what is mind boggling. 

The beauty about collecting is their is no wrong way.  My thought process is always going to be as a collector rather than an investor.  So it probably is true that when you get that big player it more than pays for tons of misses.  I just have a hard time grasping the gold auto /50 of a guy that is not even rated as a "top" guy in that system going for $1000's.  I just feel if you waited at least 6 months past release you will save yourself a lot of money.  I guess its the Mike Trout/Albert Pujols syndrome.  The fear of missing out on the next big thing. 

Ultimately my inability the grasp the thought process behind these purchases doesn't mean they are wrong.....In some ways I do enjoy the attention these bring to the hobby.  The overall sportscard catalog is vast.  If you can't find something you like you probably need to take a long hard look in the mirror.   Its reasonable to question the direction the hobby is heading but trends generally come and go.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride. 

Enough of that.  See what card Twitter has done to me. 



Travel wise I've been pretty dormant over the winter.  That is about to change here in a month as I'll be in San Diego and Orlando in May.  Baseball trip and the cartoon mouse will be a lot in a short span, but both will be fun in their own way.


Hope everyone is enjoying the baseball season.  The Pirates can't hit worth a damn, but the pitching has been awesome so things are going pretty well.  Probably not sustainable, but I'm enjoying the ride.

Thanks for reading. 


















Monday, October 8, 2018

Hello Neighbor

Hard to believe its been close to four months since I announced my blogging retirement.  I do miss it, but the work reasons I cited for leaving are still very much present.  With that being said I figured I do one of those back to school things where I talk about my summer.  It will also help the blog from becoming totally dormant when/if my current schedule changes. 

Most of my hobby time over the summer was spent organizing.  I got the majority of my WVU collection in binders which like any organization project took ten times longer than I hoped.  Initially I figured it would take 5 binders, but quickly figured out about 3 times that was needed.  I have way too many Steve Slaton cards!

I'm in preliminary stages of planning out my Pirate organization project.  I feel like I'm going to need several industrial engineers on retainer. Right now my thinking is getting long term Pirates like Cutch, Marte, Neil Walker and Jason Bay in binders while organizing monster boxes for shorter term guys.  Time will tell.

New arrivals into the collection have been WVU dominated.  2018 was an odd year for Pirate releases. Checklists continued to be dominated by the likes of Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte.  While I like collecting each guy, I'm more than set on having a nice rounded out collection of each.  Just type in Starling Marte in trading card database.  SO MANY CARDS!

In some ways its kind of a throwback to the early/mid 2000's when most of my new additions were retired players. 

I bought this redemption not long after Archives released.  This has always been a nice way to save a few bucks over the years.  As I expected, the turnaround was very short so the gamble paid off. 

As the summer ends in Morgantown everything shifts to football.  While football will never be a favorite sport for me I do enjoy this time of year.  I live within walking distance of the stadium so our house becomes somewhat of a meeting ground for all my out of town friends during home games.


 As usual with most of my posts over the years I just throw a bunch of pics with complete disregard to timing and subject matter. 

I rarely buy non core collection stuff these days, but made an exception for this Bill James auto. 

 Four years ago my wife and I decided to have a combined birthday celebration in which we hosted a few friends for an Oktoberfest themed tailgate. Fast forward to present day and that celebration has blossomed into a huge party which we had close to 60 people over.  The sausages were direct from Wisconsin.  Its a good bit of work to pull this party off now, but we love it. 

 As I mentioned above, the WVU collection has taken center stage since my retirement.  The fact that former WVU point guard Jevon Carter actually has cards is a big deal.  I enjoy college basketball a ton so I'm glad I'll have something to look for besides straggler Joe Alexander and Devin Ebanks cards.
 Good lord I'm jumping around like crazy....

The obscure retired autos from Heritage can be tough to find and expensive.  I've been trying to dig up some stragglers that I've missed over the years like this Harding Peterson.

 Back in the early summer I picked up a handful of Will Grier cards from the Leaf Army set knowing they would be too expensive once the season starts.  I'm glad I did.
 One of the few 2018 cards I picked up.  Loved the Homestead Grays uniform pic too much not to buy it.
 I went to Asheville NC in August.  If you like craft beer I highly recommend a visit.  They have almost 40 breweries within the city limits. 
 Asheville is also famous for being home to America's largest home, the Biltmore. 

 With so many breweries in Asheville you have to do things to set yourself apart.  Of course having great beer is always number 1, but good food is nice too.   This was dubbed Spanish surf and turf featuring bone marrow and octopus.
 Cool mural at Green Man brewery.


 This is a shot of Canaan Valley in WV. 

 Cool shot from a Black Bears game in Morgantown. 

So, while I'm not blogging I'm still very much involved in all my usual shenanigans.  At the very least this might help reduce the amount of Viagra and "make money at home" comments on my old posts. 

Hope everyone enjoyed summer! For those still lucky enough to have their chosen baseball teams still actually playing, good luck!



Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bob Walk the Plank is Retiring

You may have noticed I haven't been commenting on blogs as much nor have I been trading. The last couple of months I've had some drastic shifts in my job that really narrowed the time I have for extra curricular activities.  The workload has been stressful and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

With my free time I've decided to not spend my time in front of the computer.  A little more family time, travel and experiences.  At some point the opportunity may come up to get things rolling again, but for now the blog is closed.

I figured this was a symbolic time to shut things down as tomorrow marks my daughters 5th birthday.  As many of you know she is the reason I had the time to start the blog.  She was born at 25 weeks weighing only 14oz.  It was touch and go for a long time.  When she finally came home after months in the hospital she was on oxygen for an extended period of time.  This caused my wife and I to be up all hours of the night making sure she didn't pull the cannula out of her nose. Lots of long nights helped me get the blog up and running.

 This is her holding a picture of herself in the hospital

  Sharing a dance.

While the blog will be closed, I will continue to collect.  My Twitter account will be active showing new cards and I'll still trade.

I never thought in a million years this little blog would turn out this way.  I've met some great people (even in person) over the years.  While its an end of an era, just remember I'm not going away.  You just won't be seeing cards on here everyday.

Big virtual high five to each and everyone of you.  When I first started many of you made me feel very welcomed and I hope I made a few of you feel that same way over the years.  Let's continue to trade, keep in contact via email/Twitter and buying cards.

Bob Walk the Plank signing off.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Circling Back Around

As most of you know I'm an unapologetic Topps Now collector.  I got in early so I have several of the hard to get Pirate cards including the very first NOW card produced Francisco Liriano.  Since I've been quiet on the new card front, I decided to see if I could fill a hole in my collection.

Until just a few weeks back the Pirates only had two NOW autos that were both related to the Spring Training set from the beginning of last season.  When the set was announced I used the coupon that has been given each year and got a nice discount.  I was lucky enough to get this parallel Marte autograph.

The original checklist had originally announced three signers (Marte, Glasnow and Taillon).  As it turns out the production was so low that the Glasnow was never produced to my knowledge.  So the hunt was on for the Taillon.

I finally tracked the Taillon down last October

That left the base Marte auto to finish out the Pirates auto set.  I had seen a few hit eBay, but for the longest time I didn't care.  Basically it took a seller marking the price way down on a BIN or best offer.  The seller took my first offer and here we are.
Not too shabby! So far the NOW ride has been pretty fun.  The Pirates have had the perfect checklist since the start of the program.  They fall right in the middle in terms of cards produced and have only had one auto that wasn't Spring Training related (Austin Meadows).  I took a gamble and jumped on it quick as they sold out super quick.  Hopefully that one doesn't bite me in the ass.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pitcher/Singer

2015 Steven Brault Elite Extra Edition Auto /25
I'm still in recovery mode from the Flogging Molly/Dropkick Murphys concert.  I had a little too much fun. I'll be a bit more brief than normal as I deal with a bad headache.  

I was sorting some cards this afternoon and came across this Steven Brault auto.  Nothing really notable about the card other than the fact its a diecut.  The reason I'm posting it is that it reminded me of a unique event.  Brault is singing the national anthem before tonight's Bucco game.  Its been mentioned several times by Pirate announcers that Brault is a talented singer. He'll get a chance to showcase his talent tonight.  Fingers crossed for a cool Topps Now card.

Thanks for reading.  

Monday, June 18, 2018

Yay


2006 SPx Paul Maholm Auto 1/1


I've been on a nice run of keeping my overall card spending down.  The card above is the most I've spent on a baseball card in over two months ($15).  Kind of funny its Paul Maholm.. 

Every so often I talk about having eBay tunnel vision when something pops up that I know I want to add.  This was one of those cases.  I have an odd fascination with the pitching staff from the Jason Bay era Pirates.  Guys like Maholm, Zach Duke, Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny are all guys that I really enjoy collecting.  I have most of the "common" cards, so my hunt usually consists of lower numbered parallels. 

When dealing with these players usually your main worry is that the shipping will probably cost more than the card itself.  With this being a 1/1 I knew I was going to spend a little more money, but you just never know how high things will get.  Thankfully $15 was a manageable amount.  In my mind I was thinking $10ish, but I wasn't going to let $5 stop from getting a nice addition.  

Thanks for reading!