The Legend

The Legend

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Few Drops Still Remain in the Well

2007 UD Black Jason Bay Bat Barrel Auto /10

Well, I had no idea this card existed. I'm probably tuned in to Jason Bay cards more than any other player in my Pirates collection, but this one still slipped through the cracks.  Obviously the low print run is the reason why, but I'm still surprised that I've never seen this card pop up.  I even searched UD Black a lot over the years because Tom Gorzelanny and Adam Laroche had some nice cards within the set.

Finding new Bay autos these days us pretty tough so when I first saw this I put a good sized opening bid in.  Bay cards don't sell for much these days, but I figured this one would at least approach the $15-20 range because of the high end set and rarity.  For whatever reason the card sold for under $7 and even with shipping stayed under the $10 mark.   That was a pleasant surprise. 

Bay is the only player in my collection that I have a completest attitude towards. I must subconsciously credit him for keeping my Pirate fandom alive even when the team was hard to watch. Thanks Jason Bay! You will live forever in my saved eBay searches.  

Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


The Pirates rotation at the start of the season.

  1. Gerrit Cole
  2. Francisco Liriano
  3. Jon Niese
  4. Jeff Locke
  5. Juan Nicasio
The Pirates rotation after the trade deadline.
  1. Gerrit Cole
  2. Jameson Taillon
  3. Chad Kuhl
  4. Ivan Nova
  5. Ryan Vogelsong.
I'll give the Pirates credit, it takes some nerve to change 80% of your rotation in the middle of the season. Thankfully, the Pirates were stocked with AAA pitchers and traded for Ivan Nova to help eat some innings for the younger guys. Nova will likely be gone at the end of the year via free agency, but the Pirates are probably pretty happy with the results from the trade. 

About 30 minutes ago Nova just pitched his 4th complete game of his career! Interesting side note is that the catchers for those first 3 were Chris Stewart who is currently with the Pirates.  Francisco Cervelli caught todays game, but also played with Nova during his Yankees tenure. The Pirates like former Yankees. 

2011 Bowman Chrome Ivan Nova Magenta Printing Plate

Right after the Pirates traded for Nova I started looking for a card to add.  This plate popped up with a BIN price of $10. That seemed pretty decent so I purchased it. 

With the slew of AAA ready arms I don't suspect the Pirates will make a play to keep Nova.  Free agent pitchers are getting crazy amounts of money on the open market. Nova has age on his side so some team might pay to get the 2013 version of Nova. I don't think I would want the Pirates to gamble on that. 

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Old Collecting Habits Mixing With New Ones (The Constant Space Issue)

My name is Matt and I'm a collecting addict.  For whatever reason I've always been a collector. I still to this day have toys in their original boxes from my childhood.  I guess I just liked the act of owning something that reflected my interests at the time, but never really had a desire to play with the toys. Here are a few things that I've kept over the years still in their original boxes.  Most of the pictures I'm stealing off of eBay as these are in storage in my basement.

 This was actually one of the last figures I purchased of wrestling.  For the longest time it held considerable value because the Blue Blazer (Owen Hart) passed away in a tragic accident at a pay per view. I think people realized their were a ton of these in existence so the value is minimal these days.
 One of my crowning achievements as a startling lineup collector was completing the coveted 1998 extended football set by actually finding them in store!

I really miss Starting Lineups.  The McFarlane figures are super nice, but the simplicity and price point of the Starting Lineups were key to me as a kid spending his hard earned snow shoveling money.
These three items pretty much sum up my other collections as a kid.  The only action figures I really got into were the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. By the time I got to junior high I was pretty much all in with sports related figures (Starting Lineups and wrestling figures).  To this day I still have all my starting lineups and wrestling figures.  Most of my Turtle figures have been given to family members in order for them to be actually used and enjoyed.

Fast forward to today and I'm still an active collector of all types of items.  I think most of us are in the same boat with storage so I don't add as near as much as I used to. I would say 90% of non card items added are of the stadium giveaway variety.  I probably have over 100 items just from the Pirates.

This is the most recent addition from attending a game this year.  Nice bonus with the camo jersey.

My non sports collections are pretty much nil these days (back to that space issue again).  My sole vice has been Walking Dead figures. I've pieced together the first two series of the Mcfarlane version.

I think they are on Series 9 or 10 now so I likely won't be trying to get all of them, but I do find them enjoyable and they make pretty neat pieces to showoff on a shelf I have in my designated collecting area of my house.

I'm kind of at a crossroads on what to do with the starting lineups and wrestling figures. My wife is super cool about my collecting habits, but I can tell she doesn't like every item that I've owned in my life still in our house.

As I continue to add cards, this will probably come to a head at some point. I'm not going to do anything drastic like pay for a storage unit.  At some point I will probably need to sell some stuff or just donate a few things to the children's hospital in town.  It will come to a point where I just want someone to enjoy them.

Will I ever stop buying these kind of items......probably not.  I'm such a sucker for stadium giveaways that it will probably be a constant problem.  The goal is to make sure I cycle through the old stuff that doesn't really fit my collecting habits, or I could just win the powerball. That would make things much easier in terms of space.  I can see my wife asking me if I thought about what I'm going to do with all those figures. I'll just point to my Powerball tickets and say, "problem solved."

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 21, 2016


I struck gold last month when a seller had several lots of Pirate parallels on sale at one time. As usual with the time period these lots include Brian Giles, Kris Benson and Jason Kendall.  Last week I showed off the SP red parallels. While those are nice finds, these SPX cards have a little more visual appeal.

The Radiance parallels from SPX are all out of /100.  They were tough pulls and the only numbered parallels from the set other than the SPectrums which were 1/1's.  If you are a fan of Prizm cards this parallel is for you.

The price on these were a little more than most of the parallels that I usually buy.  The Giles and Benson were about $5.00 a piece while the Kendall was more in the $3 range. Normally Kendall sells more than Benson so not sure what happened there. At least with combined shipping it helped hold the overall purchase price down. I figured a few dollars was worth it not to have to try and find these parallels again.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Separation Anxiety and Flashback

Today my wife left for a trip to London with her Mom.  This will mark the longest she has been away from our daughter so she is having a bit of separation anxiety.  She claims this is not for lack of faith in my abilities, but just motherly nature.  I think deep down inside she is worried what I can teach her during my time alone with her.  She is only 3, but I have her saying Go Buccos and McCutchen. She is in good hands! 

Last night I was organizing some scans of cards and thought I would share my favorite purchases so far in 2016.  One theme that I really noticed was that I've been staying away from active Buccos. I don't think it is from lack of trying, but more from just the amounts auctions go off for.  Guys like Marte and Polanco are having career seasons and the Pirates have graduated quite a few high end prospects which always creates a price jump. 

Kent Tekulve is cardboard gold.  He has several variants of these Topps buyback autos and I always try to keep my eyes peeled for them.  This is one of my favorite autos in my entire Pirate collection. 

I don't show a ton of my WVU cards on the blog, but I've every bit as active with the Mountaineers as I am with the Pirates.  The main difference is collecting philosophy.  With WVU I almost never buy new releases unless the cards are below the $10 mark.  Both NFL and NBA first rounds picks are notoriously overpriced and hardly ever hold their value.  For every one Andrew Luck their is 50 Geno Smiths.

Joe Alexander was a lottery pick and one of the bigger busts in recent memory.  Being that he was picked so high means you get high end card releases.  This has allowed me to pick up cards like the one above for pennies on the dollar.

This release kind of sums up my collecting theme this year.  I've made it a mission of mine to accumulate as many of these late 90's early 00's parallels as possible.  The Pirates didn't have any high dollar players so these are pretty easy on the wallet.

Gerrit Cole hasn't been his dominant self this year and card prices have reflected that recently.  Mix in the fact that his draft is full of pitchers who have flamed out has caused a buyers market for Cole. Cards like this cost less than the price of a blaster. 

 I love silver frame and acetate parallels.  This one is special because it is the biggest name Pirate I've found recently.

 Just look at these bad boys!

The first cards featuring players in the WV Black Bears uniform were guaranteed chase cards for me. I'm glad I jumped on the Kevin Newman plates early as his prospect status has been elevated some and is being fast tracked through the system.  The best find though was the Kevin Kramer true 1/1 on Just Commons for only $20 bucks.

I was getting a little bored with the Topps Now Pirate cards as the photos just weren't that exciting.  If you are going to charge $9.99 the picture should at least be unique. Thankfully the last handful of Pirate Now cards have been fantastic with this Bell being my favorite.  Also helps to purchase these Now cards on eBay for about a $3 discount.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 18, 2016


I had something weird happen yesterday while at home.  While talking with my wife I had a sudden asthma attack.  As a child I had bad asthma, but grew out of it my early teen years. It threw me off guard.  Well, after a trip to the doctor he diagnosed me with some weird form of seasonal asthma and give me steroid shot right in the buttock and a breathing treatment.

I don't know if it is global warming, Donald Trump or something of that sort, but I've been all out whack this year.

With all that being said I'm now on a big steroid cycle so I should have super human strength.  Maybe I should try to push big rocks and challenge people to impromptu arm wrestling matches.

Since we are on the topic of performance enhancing drugs lets tie it in with some cards.  The Pirates really haven't had many issues with steroids.  Obviously Bonds is the cover boy for performance enhancers, but by all accounts he started using as a Giant.

Current Buccos Francisco Cervelli and Antonio Bastardo were named as part of the Biogenesis scandal and each sat out 50 games back in 2013.

The only notable Pirate to be accused of steroid use during his actual Pirate tenure was Kevin Young. He was named on the Mitchell Report, but he was retired when the report came out.  

I'm proud to note that I didn't have roid rage in the office today.  I'll keep you updated if I decide to punch a hole in my office tomorrow.  

Thanks for reading.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cracker Jack Research

For most people starting a blog was a way to connect to other collectors, at least that was the case for me.  I needed a change of pace from my normal routine of buying a card and sticking it in a box. I figured their were other people like me and thus Bob Walk the Plank was born.

The trading and camaraderie has been fantastic, but I really underestimated how much I would learn from blogs. Individually we may all have deficiencies in our cardboard knowledge, but as a whole we are probably as good a resource as you can find on the Internet.

For every type of card question I could imagine I'm fairly certain I could think of another blogger that I would consider capable of answering with a high amount of expertise. Several times a week I'll read something about a certain type of card I knew nothing about.  Many times this leads to a purchase.

  1982 Cracker Jack Ralph Kiner

One thing I noticed not long after starting my blog is that I really underestimated the amount of oddball releases.  I was born in 1982 and started collecting during the junk wax era. The oddballs that I was familiar with consisted of store specific sets like Toys R Us, Ames and Kay Bee Toys, cereal sets and Sports Illustrated for Kids. The Cracker Cards of my childhood were of the mini variety. Thanks to blogs opening my eyes on oddball releases I knew I needed to dig deeper.

Now my collection is full of just about every type of oddball you can imagine. From local releases to vintage Kellogs sets I've found a little of everything.  The great thing is I've only scratched the surface, but thanks the blogging I at least know these cards exist.  

You may think a post showing off a random purchase is worthless, but people pay attention.