The Legend

The Legend

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


For whatever reason I love manager cards. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I opened about 10,000 packs of 1989 Topps as a child and can remember pulling the likes of Tommy Lasorda and Pete Rose.  I guess those memories fuel the present day desire to find modern Pirate manager cards.

My two biggest finds during my blogging time was this Danny Murtaugh auto and former white whale Gene Lamont. It seems kind of weird that a Gene Lamont auto would be so hard to find, but that damn card took 10 plus years to secure.

The last couple of years have been light in the manger card department. Topps released an auto set of GM's which featured Neil Huntington of the Pirates, but that was really the only thing of note in terms of Pirates. Thankfully 2016 Allen & Ginter came to the rescue.

2016 Allen & Ginter Skippers Mini Clint Hurdle

Of course this can't be a "normal" mini, but instead it was an unannounced case hit that fell 1:288 packs. Some of the bigger name managers like Maddon, Mattingly and Girardi sell in the $50 range. Thankfully Hurdle is a little on the cheaper side selling in the $20-25 range.  

Is it stupid to pay that much for a short print mini card?.... You bet it is, but I knew I wanted the card and eventually the well would dry up on these as so many people collect Ginter. At last check only one Hurdle was on eBay. So right before Christmas I bit the bullet and won the auction. My weird manager card obsession continues. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Replacements

This is a story over 4 years in the making. ....

I've been a frequent purchaser of redemption cards on the secondary market. They have always been a nice bargain if you are patient.  Usually by the time I make the purchase I already know the cards are live and being shipped out. For some reason sellers don't research it, or are just lazy to redeem them personally. Whatever the reason it almost always benefits the buyer.....almost always

I've only strayed from my method twice, and it was on the same card. Within a couple of months I purchased two redemptions for an Andrew McCutchen auto /49 from 2012 Panini Signature. I can't remember what I paid for them, but I'm thinking at that time it was around $15 to $25 a piece.  Shortly after that time Cutch developed into a bonafide superstar and for whatever reason  stopped signing Panini products.

These redemptions sat to the point where I knew they weren't going to be filled. Late this past fall I tried on two occasions to call Panini and sat on hold forever.  I left my contact information, but never received a call back. On to Twitter......

I sent a Tweet to Panini's main account and their Customer Service account and nothing happened. A retweet of that same Tweet finally got a response and a message to send an email to a specific customer service representative. Finally some help!

The customer service rep looked up my account and noticed I had four pending redemptions (2 Cutch autos, Paul O'neil auto, Kevin Jones auto). I already told the customer service agent that my favorite team was the Pirates, but was informed they would be unable to provide me enough in Pirate cards so I told them Penguins and Steelers. About 10 days later I received these cards.

This Marte auto is numbered to 10!
I was happy that Panini tried to give me cards that best suited my collection, they could have easily went the way of how Topps use to do things and give some sticker auto that had nothing to do with my collection. In Topps defense they have gotten away from that recently. Nice to hear some good stories about redemptions.

The next question is do I feel the cards are worthy replacements to the originals? I think so. I realize that I'm leaving some eBay $ value on the table, but I got four nice cards for the collection. I'm not one to get too hung up on $ value.

The biggest issue is the shear fact Panini was unable to get me a Cutch auto.  It is also a little aggravating that I know they have Cutch stickers on hand because he has some high end autos in the new National Treasure set. Between that fact and the hoops I had to jump through even get to someone who would handle my case leaves a bad taste. My hope is that they continue to improve the redemption process for other people down the road.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Walk, Papoy, HSCA Collaboration #17

The first package to arrive in 2017 was Brian from HSCA box break of 2000 Finest and 2004 Bowman. I was most excited for the Finest portion of the break as I've always been a huge fan over the years, but rarely broke any. Unfortunately each break was a little light on Pirates, but it was still a fun trip down memory lane.

 My brain still hasn't adjusted to the fact that the early 2000's was a long time ago.  This set is 17 years old.....yikes!

If you like chromey cards this is the set for you.

 I feel like if you stare at this one long enough a boat should appear.....

 I wonder how long stupid voters will make Chipper wait for the Hall of Fame once he is eligible.  Should be a first ballot guy.....should be.
 I love this card! Poor Andruw Jones career went off a cliff once he went to LA.  He was well on his way to become one of the best center fielders in history.  Now he will be stuck as a fringe candidate. One of the best defensive players in history, lots of postseason success, but the lack of counting stats will probably hurt him.
 JR House was a two sport superstar that was from WV.

Wanted to showoff an actual Expos card!
 We all had a nice laugh about the redemption for the Aflac set because we joked that Brian would pull it. It was destiny.

As is protocol, Brian threw in a bunch of extra cards.

 WVU great Jedd Gyorko looks really weird in that photo.

I think this is my first taste of Bowman Best. That set is always overshadowed by the flagship Bowman and Chrome, but offers a cheaper alternative for some of the bigger rookies.
 Marte rookie!
 I love the Turkey Red cards.  Extra cool to have one of the logo.

 Tony has a nice auto.  The catcher cards can skirt the licening issue very nicely.

 Kay-Jay once held the single game record for rushing yards when he torched East Carolina for 300+ yards.
 Mr. Robert Vernon Walk.
No pun intended, but the BIGGEST highlight of the package was this 1970 Topps Super Stargell. Also for whatever reason my daughter kept trying to grab this card. Maybe she needs to put this set together....

Thanks for the break Brian and all the extra cards.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Putting a Bow on 2016

I'm not one to give myself a lot of goals when it comes to my collection.  Last year I decided to eliminate impulse blasters and that worked out well.  I think I may have opened 5 retail packs all year. I expect more of the same with how I add cards to my collection.  Check new sets for interesting Pirates and fill in holes of interesting Pirate parallels from years past via eBay and lots of trades!

One area in my collection that continues to grow at a fast rate is vintage. I received so many great trades this year from fellow bloggers that have helped turned what was once my least represented area to a full fledged respectable collection. I capped the year off nicely by getting the Kiner rookie so maybe I look at finding a Stargell rookie this year! If I hit the lottery maybe Clemente!

It was another nice year for trading.  For the third year in a row I received over 100 packages in the mail. The true number is probably a good bit more because of JBF as he sends me about 40 at a time, but either way that is right on pace from the last few years.

My Stamps.Com account says I sent out 75 packages during the calendar year.  That number is down from years past, but still a nice number. Some of this is due to some bloggers taking a break from sending out cards and some trades being streamlined for cost efficiency.

Like everyone else, time is always the biggest issue with blogging. Balancing work and family sometimes can create some headaches, but I will continue to make time for the hobby I love. Hopefully I'll think of a few new things this year for the blog to keep things fresh.

Before closing on 2016 here is the last pending trade package of 2016 from Adam of Infield Fly Rule.

 You have my attention Adam!
 Another fun aspect of 2016 was that more and more bloggers started to send me WVU cards. I don't post about them consistently but I'm adding to that collection just as much as my Pirates.  Pat White is a legend in Morgantown and I hope one day WVU will retire his jersey.

 This was a fun bunch of cards with a few Pirate cameos and former Buccos.

 Looks like Doug Drabek better hurry and field that dribbler.

 The king always gets his lone scan!

 Stadium Club is beloved but same era Leaf and Ultra was every bit as as good. You even get cool skyline shots with Leaf....

Poor Stan is remembered for giving up the hit to Francisco Cabrera. At least he has a cool Leaf card.

 Only Gerrit Cole is still a Pirate of this bunch.

 Right here is exactly the type of card I chase for WVU collection. I'm such a sucker for a card if the player is represented in the college uniform.
 I'm hoping that Hurdle will sign for a set one day. For now I will have to settle base cards like this beauty from Heritage.
Former two sport superstar Dick Groat.  Groat was a Duke guy, maybe he can help control Grayson Allen!

Thanks for all the cards Adam. That was a unique bunch for sure.  This is my official goodbye to 2016 two weeks late! On to 2017 cardboard. As you can see things are piling up.

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Canadian Cardboard

My pal Angus hit me with a box of cardboard that had a nice Canadian theme to it right before New Years.  Are you still savoring that lone Browns win Angus?  Do you think they draft Deshaun Watson?  No fan base deserves to suffer that kind of losing. Being a Pirates fan I understand your pain.

Back to cardboard.....Look at these beauties!!!!!

 Canadian Goudey! When I first opened the box that Angus sent my attention was immediately drawn to the colorful Goudey cards. Upon examination I found that they were the Canadian version.  So cool!!! Thanks so much for sending these my way.

 Couple of Chrome autos highlighted by Nick Kingham and his unique penmanship. Kingham is kind of the forgotten man when it comes to Pirate prospects.  He was all set to make his debut in 2015 but blew out his arm. Thankfully he worked his way back last year and has shown no velocity drop. He will likely start the season in AAA, but will be one of the first calls if an injury or trade occurs.

 I'm such a sucker for Little/Big Poison cards. Such a great set.

 These double sided Leaf Limited cards are so interesting that you can make a post alone. My favorite is the Lou Collier card because he shares with a certain Yankee captain.....

 That is right....Lou Collier and Derek Jeter on the same card.

 Some more Canadian goodness with the colorful 75 OPC set.

 The Stargell and Kiner are Circle K oddballs!

 Almost World Series hero and forgotten Pirate Rajai Davis.

The biggest portion of the box Angus set was a ton of late 70's early 80's hockey.  These Penguin teams weren't that good. Thankfuly Super Mario wasn't too far way and helped put the franchise on the map.

 I can thumb through older hockey cards forever. The hairstyles are top notch!

 Quick break for a Jagr oddball!
 Such an Upper Deck Artifacts move showing a guy in his old hockey jersey....

 Pat Boutette sporting a bowl cut.

 It looks like Greg Millen is wearing a turtle neck. Also every early 80's hockey player looks tough.

To finish things out some sweet goalie action. Frank Peterangelo and Marc Andre Fleury probably have the two most famous saves in franchise history. Peterangelo's was probably the better save but Fleury's won the 2009 cup against the Red Wings.

Thanks so much Angus for all the great cards.  What a great assortment. You really bolstered my hockey collection.

Thanks for reading.