The Legend

The Legend

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

El Coffee

I lied about getting back to cards today.  What I do have is a new bobblehead! The extra bonus of the bachelor party weekend was that the game we attended was Gregory "El Coffee" Polanco bobblehead night.

This year the Pirates started limiting many of the giveaways to 20,000 so I was pretty adamant about getting to the stadium early.  A couple months back my buddy and I went to Jordy Mercer bobblehead night and missed out.  We stayed a tad too long at the bar.  Man, that still pisses me off.

The funny thing is the nickname has really nothing to do with coffee.  His coach when he was 15 years old said he looked and acted like another player that had the same nickname. It just stuck after that.  A+ marketing game by Dunkin Donuts to get on the sponsorship.

While it is not as cool as my tipping chair Bob Walk bobble, the coffee aspect makes it quirky and fun. Now I just need to find one of those singing Cervelli bobbles!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Going Out in Style

This weekend was spent celebrating the end of my brother in laws life....whoops, I mean single life. 

 Eight of us met up in Pittsburgh to play Scrabble and drink green tea.
 I was the old man of the group as I'm ten years older than my brother in law. My wife designated me the "responsible one" to make sure everyone comes back in one piece.
In all seriousness it was a fun weekend that was centered around 3 big events. First was our big dinner Friday night at the Hofbrauhaus. 

The Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh is modeled after the original in Munich. It is a great place to take large parties. Oh yeah, they have beer.....really big 64oz mugs of beer. 

 This place is where diets go to die.
 The "Haus Band"

Our second big event was a Pirates game.
 The Maz statue in the background.
 It started out as a really nice day.
 Our seats
 Mother Nature thought we were drinking slowly so she spotted us an extra 90 minutes or so....It turned out to be a really good game as the Pirates hit 3 homers in a win.  It was also Gregory Polanco bobblehead day so that was an extra bonus.

Before we left town on Sunday we decided to hit the preseason Steelers game.
 It was very hot clear day.

 We didn't stay the whole time because preseason football is boring and the heat was overbearing.  The casino next door has a very powerful air conditioner and free drinks. Holy crap did that air conditioner feel good.  I think my eyeballs were even sweating.  Note to self....Don't spend 48 hours partying and then expect to be comfortable in stifling heat.

We came out of the weekend unscathed so I consider the whole bachelor weekend a success. There might have been a few headaches and fatigue, but nothing some aspirin and your own bed can't cure.

Back to cards tomorrow!  Cheers to my brother in law Steven.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Extra Bases

I'm heading to Pittsburgh this weekend for my brother in laws bachelor party. Should be a good time full of drink, food and shenanigans. We are even hitting the Pirates game Saturday.  It is Gregory Polanco bobblehead night, so that is a nice bonus. The weird thing is I'll be the old man of the group. I'm ten years older than my brother in law so I get to see how young whipper snappers party these days.

The downside to being gone so much the last month has been cards. I have stacks ready to be sent out to a whole bunch of people.......just need to find a day to get the job done.  Soon, I hope. I figured I start showing a few of the cards Julie sent my way to at least get the ball rolling.

Let's all bask in the collective glory of 1994 Fleer Extra Bases

 Brian Hunter doesn't have many Pirate cards as he only spent part of a season in Pittsburgh.  Most remember him from his Braves days.

 I'm not quite sure about the design. /does massive line of cocaine. "Ok guys I'm picturing confetti and a toddler's attempt to cut out Rick White."

 I love looking for Al Martin cards because he played in the mid to late 90's for the Buccos. So much crazy stuff to chase.
 Cool bunting card of a guy who was known to be a pretty decent power threat.

 Nice shot of the 1994 All Star game patch.  The game was held at Three Rivers Stadium that year.
 My favorite card of the bunch. Andy Van Slyke was an easy guy to root for when he was a Bucco. Great all around player during his tenure.

Odd pitching face.  Cooke was probably in shock that he got someone out in 1994.  He did not have a good year.

Thanks for a trip down memory lane Julie. A big post showcasing all the other great cards will be coming early next week sometime I hope.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Brewing Up a Walker

2011 Topps Triple Threads Neil Walker Patch/Auto 1/1

A recently acquired Neil Walker card from a six year old set became topical again! The former Pirate who grew up in Pittsburgh (announcers will remind you at least 78 times during broadcast) recently was traded from the Mets to the Brewers. The Pittsburgh media overrated him a good bit, but he was/is a very good offensive second baseman when healthy. I suspect he will be a nice pickup for the Brewers who essentially just took on the remaining portion of his salary.  The Pirates are playing the Brew Crew this afternoon. 

As for the card itself this was a nice find. For anyone who collects Pirate cards, 2011 Triple Threads was a big deal.  It was one of the first high end sets to feature some of the "other guys" not named McCutchen.  It featured the likes of Walker, Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones. It was and still is one of my favorite sets to buy because of all the variety. 

Triple Threads is one of the rare sets that I actually like the regular jersey/patch cards better than the autos. The sticker seems to be more of an eye sore than usual on this one. Having the placement right on the torso is less than ideal.  With that being said I still highly desired the card because it adds a nice finishing touch to all the Walker's I own from this set. 

Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Let's Open a Pack of 2002 Donruss Originals

Time to dip into the rainy day pack stash. Up to bat today is  2002 Donruss Originals.  Nothing like a newer set that paid tribute to sets that weren't that old to begin with.  My brain still has a hard time realizing that a set from 2002 is 15 years old.

The whole idea of this set was to pay tribute to the 82,84,86 and 88 sets using 2002 players.

 Guys like Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols tortured the Pirates throughout the 2000's.  Edmonds was sneaky awesome for a long time. If he could have had one or two more peak seasons he would probably be a Hall of Famer.
 I want to go back in time and tell Dusty Baker not to overwork Prior.
 I didn't remember Hansel Izquierdo so I had to look him up.  He only had 20 career appearances in the show. His Wikipedia page also told me that he got a DUI in 2015 with a dual charge of child abuse since three kids were in the backseat.....yikes.
 I like to think Zito is playing an acoustic guitar on a beach somewhere right now.  He always seemed like the kind of guy that does that often.....
Last but not least is awesome TTM guy Juan Gonzalez being featured in one of the first sets I remember using my own money on to purchase.

If you want to find out more about 2002 Donruss Originals click here.  It is a big set with lots of inserts, sps, buybacks and autos.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Free Day....FREE DAY!

Last Thursday my wife and daughter were both extremely tired and were going to call it a day very early. I decided to make the quick ride to watch the Black Bears play host to the Brooklyn Cyclones. This was a little extra exciting than normal as Pirates top prospect Austin Meadows was on a rehab assignment.

 He really didn't do much in the game, but it was nice to get a front and center view. One takeaway I had is that he was much faster than I expected. Hopefully he can shake the injury bug that has been following him this past year. He would have likely made his Pittsburgh debut already had he stayed healthy.  Pirates GM Neil Huntington said that he won't get the call now and will likely be asked to play Arizona Fall League.
 It was kind of a yucky night, but it wasn't gong to disrupt FREE DAY!
 Tickets for these games run in the $8-14 range.  You really can't beat the price being that it is similar to going to a movie. Plenty of free parking available too as the stadium is tucked between several large commercial businesses.

Back to cards tomorrow as I hope to scan the contents from a big mailbox bombing from Julie. 

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Liking Lots a Lot

Other than my box breaks with Kevin from Card Papoy and Brian from HSCA, my main way to accumulate trade bait is buying lots off of eBay.  Either a box breaker is getting rid of his Judgeless loot in one mega lot or the seller offers great combined shipping rates.  My latest pickup was of the combined shipping nature.

 I won several non Pirates, but this one was my favorite. Bowman Inception is always a much cheaper way to get a high end prospects autograph or future Game of Thrones actors.

 Polanco cards are dirt cheap right now as he is getting really close to being labeled the dreaded "injury proned" player.  This only cost me $8, which is about half of what it would have been last year.

 This jersey/auto cost me $4. When Polanco was first called up these were in the $30 range.

I always mention how collecting the late 70's Pirates is really cheap.  Players like Madlock, Parker and Al Oliver all sell low.  This Topps Supreme Madlock only set me back $3.

If you are a frequent purchaser on eBay it may be worth your time to check the sellers other listings. Usually I see a Pirate card I like and put a bunch of low ball bids on other auctions.  You may be surprised what you end up with.

Thanks for reading!