You have to love JBF. He could have just bombed my mailbox and left it at that, but the man has style. This is the third envelope that I opened that had a theme. This time around it is numbered football cards.
Wallace was a beast for the Steelers. He and Big Ben made a nice pair as Ben had the arm strength to his Wallace in stride on the vertical routes. Mike has had some trouble finding his footing after he left Pittsburgh via free agency.
Who would have thought Antonio Brown would become such a huge star. The guy is an absolute beast.
I have never seen these Gold Star cards before. They are super thick and have a silhouette look to them.
Mendenhall showed some promise with 1000 yard season in 2009 and 10, but the Steelers didn't think he was a long term answer.
Love this Franco!
Prime Signatures is one of my favorite football sets. Sometimes less is more. This was my favorite card of the bunch and a super cool low numbered parallel.
I don't know how you do it my friend. You are a cardboard factory. I've been contemplating my return. So many choices.....
A late night post tonight as once a month I play poker with a bunch of my brothers friends. It didn't go so well this time around, but I got to try a bunch of new beer and play ping pong. Not too shabby.
I'm going to have a big post from my recent mailing from JBF this weekend. I've been cherry picking a few of my favorites the last couple of days. That JBF is just so flashy!
Wes knows I have a weakness for Jason Bay. He has sent me a ton of his cards over the past few years. This time around he kept the overall number down, but the quality was through the roof.
If you live canvas cards, UD Masterpieces is for you. It would probably be in my top 3 base sets in the past 10-15 years.
Bay played during peak relic time. He was the lone Pirate during his tenure to get love from just about every set. To this day I still find a handful of his cards that I had no idea existed.
This relic is extra special because the All Star game was held in Pittsburgh. I was in attendance the entire weekend. One of the better sporting experiences in my life.
It would have been better if it said Bay. UD wasn't subtle with the brand acknowledgement.
You know my weaknesses JBF. So far I've shown shiny cards and Bay cards. I have soooooo much more to talk about. These were just the tip of the iceberg of awesomeness. Thanks again my friend. War is fun!
One of my favorite things in the world is spending the day at PNC park. An ongoing joke in my house is that my wife will never make me as happy as going to a baseball game and I can never compete with a good piece of chocolate. Baseball and chocolate were part of our lives long before we ever met.
With this in mind my wife decided to surprise me with Lexus Club tickets as an early birthday present. The Lexus Club is an all inclusive ticket (minus alcohol, but I decided to include it!) with seating right behind home plate. It is something I've always wanted to do, but carries a high financial commitment. It is a much easier decision when someone buys them for you! The tickets came with one condition, I had to take her. After hours of deliberating the pros and cons I decided that it was still worth it. I kid, I kid...I was super excited to finally get to have this experience.
I probably should have stolen a glass.
The formal dining area is huge. Since this was an afternoon game it was a brunch buffet. I don't think I've ever had a meal with so much protein. I have no shame.
After dinner you go upstairs to another lobby area. This area has all your normal ballgame food like hot dogs, pretzels and nachos. A full service bar was right next to this area. I need to get that Pirate Pretzel holder for my basement.
This was the view from our seats. It was absolutely perfect weather.
The Nationals got super pissy at Jung Ho Kang for pretending to catch a ball at third which induced a Bryce Harper slide. During the slide Harper hurt his hand and would later leave the game. Dusty Baker was shouting at the Pirates bench after checking on Harper. I guess I didn't really see the big issue as this done all the time at second base. Dusty is a big unwritten rule guy.
When Jung Ho Kang came up to bat the Nats pitcher threw one over his head. The umpire immediately threw him out and the benches cleared. For the most part it was a stupid baseball fight except for Sean Rodriguez (on the ground on the far left of the picture) had to be held back.
Cutch at the plate.
A picture of the pregame meal. Should have stolen a plate too.
Here are some pictures that I got on my phone. They will be much worse than the ones above.
Hey its Jesus....nope just Jayson Werth.
The Pirates went on to lose the game, but it didn't really matter. This was all about the experience. I hope the opportunity comes up again soon.
As most of you know I have a bitter enemy named JBF. I thought I was being sneaky went I gave him some Josh Willingham memorabilia, but he was playing possum. Little did I know he had been hoarding cards in anticipation of me sending him something.
This showed up at my house this past weekend......
I'll be showing off bits and pieces as the week goes on.
Here is a better look at the cards.
I forgot how weird some of the numbering was for Chrome cards. The Kranchick is /210 and the Burrress is /101. Both look great, and yes JBF I was very distracted by shiny things.
Here is a little preview of what is to come. The madman has even been toying with me on Twitter by posting priority boxes in his house. I'll have to think of something creative to fight back. Any ideas? I have a few....
How cool was that Dee Gordon homerun tonight. Lots of raw emotion. I'm still bummed about the whole situation. All my favorite national writers had great pieces on Fernandez today. The guy seemed to be universally loved.
Let's show some cards.
A couple weeks back long time trade partner Burt from Swing and a Pop-up hit me up with a bubble mailer. Burt and I swap a couple times a year. He always finds something cool for me at his regular card shows. I'm jealous!
Fair or not Pedro will go down as a pretty big bust for the Pirates. The power is legit, but his knack for striking and defensive limitations cost him. He is in the American League where he belongs now.
Does this count as a Griffey card too? I bet these driver super collectors mad.
I loved Jack Wilson. Jack was a great defender that probably should have got a little more love for some gold glove awards. The voters had no idea what they were doing at that time. It usually just went to one of the better offensive shortstops.
Gerrit Cole's health failed him a good bit of this year. For every one step forward it was two steps back for the young Pirate ace. I suspect a motivated Cole will be in for a big year next year. He is on top of my list to buy in the offseason as his cards are still very affordable.
The Pirates probably make for one of the more appealing no license teams as their black uniforms are easy to photoshop. Just wish Panini would be a little more creative with the hats.
Hockey is always welcomed in Bob Walk land. It is pretty much a blog only venture for me. It is so fun looking at the older cards. I would be scared to meet Tom Bladon in a dark alley. These guys were tough as shit.
Hat's off to goaltenders. That is a special kind of crazy job.
Thanks for all the great cards Burt. Hope you are getting excited for the playoff push with your Red Sox. I'm a big Mookie Betts fan so I hope he does well.
I don't really go out of my way to show pieces of my WVU collection until football season starts. I know many of you are active watchers of football so if there is ever an appropriate time to showoff some collegiate cardboard it would be football Saturdays.
This Tavon Austin card was the main event of my card shop purchase when I was in Rhode Island. Little did I know that all WVU football cards end up there. The good thing about this card is that it looks super fancy, but didn't carry a fancy price.
The Rams just gave Tavon a bunch of money but still have yet to figure out a way to get him the ball. I think this is mainly due to the fact that Case Keenum is their quarterback. Tavon has already scored touchdowns in his career via reception, rush, punt return and kick return. Get him the ball.
My true passion when collecting WVU guys is when they are featured in their college colors. This great card features Kevin White and Charles Sims. Both play a vital part in their respective teams offenses. The WVU gold always looks good in relic cards.
WVU is playing a neutral site game against BYU today in Landover Md where the Redskins play. This really isn't much of a neutral site for WVU as the DC area is the biggest alumni chapter for WVU and only ~ 3hrs away from Morgantown. Should be a solid showing from the WVU fans.
Enjoy the baseball and football today! Go Mountaineers, beat BYU.
I've been trying to sort through a handful of cards a night as I continue my quest to become an organized adult. I always have good intentions, but I get sidetracked easily. Here is how the process goes.
1. Puts a few cards in sleeves
2. Finds a couple cards that might be good blogging material
3. Starts to read blogs
4. Looks at Twitter
5. Checks Fantasy baseball lineups.
6. Texts back and forth about fantasy football trades.
7. Calls it a night, will pick up tomorrow
Of the few cards I did look through today, this Bonds relic was probably the most notable. Nice to see skinny Bonds compared to Hulk Bonds. In all seriousness I could care less about the steroid issue with him. The whole thing was so over the top with senate hearings and criminal investigations. Waste of time and money. The biggest issue I had with Bonds was that he was a miserable asshole.
This year when the Pirates played the Marlins, Bonds gave a pretty candid interview about his persona as a player. Basically saying that he regretted the smug persona he created for himself and that he regrets being known as a bad teammate and a huge dick to the media. I guess you get self reflective as you get up their in years. I'm not sure how serious you can take him, but from all accounts he has been much better with interview requests.
Now back to card sorting /picks up phone to play Words with Friends.
Take a look at this card. If you stare too close it will steal your soul.
2015 Goodwin Champions Austin Meadows Auto
I own this card because Austin Meadows autos are not cheap. He is by far the least represented of the Pirate top prospects in my collection. He had a good bit of hype out of high school and continues to make his way through the system quickly. He will likely be the Pirates top prospect next year and possibly a top 20 in all of baseball. Long story short, beggars can't be choosers.
The card does have the positive of having an on card auto. Austin also has a very cool signature. When it was all said in done this card cost me around $3.75. Cheap enough to look past other issues.
The other day I was emailing back and forth with some friends talking about who we thought should be the major award winners this year. Here are my winners for each leagues MVP, Cy Young and ROY.
1. Corey Seager (should be unanimous)
NL Cy Young - I struggled with this one because what Kershaw did in his limited innings was sooooo good. You have to penalize him some for falling short on innings. He is awesome so I'm still picking him.
Big drop off after those two. I have a feeling Bryant will win by a good bit.
This wouldn't have even been close a month back, but holy crap Gary Sanchez is murdering baseballs.
AL Cy Young.
Sorry Red Sox fans, no Rick Porcello for me. #killthewin
1. Mike Trout
2. Josh Donaldson
3. Manny Machado
The narrative that you have to be on a good team is a bunch of shit. Mike Trout is the best player in the world, but will get screwed out of another MVP. My guess is Donaldson will win.
Pretty much every stat about Mike Trout this day has him in the same company as Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby and Mickey Mantle.
When I made my card shop visit in Providence I went it with low expectations and came out with over 100 cards. Needless to say I had a good time. Most of the cards I came home with were WVU related so it doesn't make for the greatest blogging material. I'll probably show the notable ones on football Saturday's.
The Pirate cards I did come home with were low end autos and relics. The one notable outlier was this beauty....
1964 Topps Giant Bob Clemente
When I was getting ready to negotiate my final purchase price with the shop owner he brought one of these bad boys out to show me. The crazy thing was he had stacks of all the high end guys from this set. He told me a few weeks earlier an older gentleman came in looking to unload a ton of these Giant cards. The owner bought all of them, sent a bunch for grading and pieced out the rest for individual sell.
After some negotiation the owner decided just to give me the Clemente card because I had spent a good amount of money on all the other cards. I was pretty pumped up. Right as I was leaving I added the Yaz copy to my stack to give to Mark Hoyle when I met up with him the next day. He did have that card already, but he happily took my copy as it was in much better shape.
From what I understand this set use to be very expensive, but several years back a whole bunch of these were found and hit the market. Obviously the big names still sell, but as long as you are buying ungraded copies it is affordable.
I've mentioned a few times on the blog and Twitter about the cards Mark Hoyle gave me in person, but this time I wanted to make sure to fully acknowledge them with a trade post. I've been trading with Mark for a couple of years now and his generosity knows no bounds. The guy is top notch.
We had a good laugh because Mark told me I've probably given him most of the relics he owns and I told him he has single handedly gave me a respectable vintage collection. Our collecting styles make for easy blind trades with each other.
First was a new card that celebrates an old. Great looking card. I've been frustrated with Topps as they continually use unflattering pictures of Maz late in his career. This is a much better choice.
A true vintage card of the Pirate great.
This trade package was very Maz oriented! Maybe I should try and put this Maz tattoo on my daughter...
Recently I was reading an article and Maz that basically said Maz was an undeserving hall of famer. If you look at the numbers it is hard to argue his case. It helps to have one of the defining moments in World Series history to put you over the top. Maz's issue was his bat. While not a liability he never had anything close to resembling a hall of fame type of offensive season. His value was always tied to his glove. Probably the closest case in recent history to Maz would be Ozzie Smith, but Ozzie played a premium position. I'm glad Maz is in, but definitely understand where people are coming from saying that he is fringe at best.
I've shown this card a couple of times, but it is just so cool that I continue to show it off. I'm all for cigarette companies making cards again along with every other oddball type of issue. I agree with Mecca Cigarettes slogan on the bottom, "Perfect Satisfaction."
Thanks again Mark. Hopefully we can meet up again soon. You need to come to PNC next year.
When I first started blogging it blew my mind when I was approached for a trade by a non-blogger. You mean people actually look at this stuff! Fast forward to today and I still swap with many of these same people that either commented on my blog or sent me an email. I've even met one in person. Shout out to Mark Hoyle!
Recently Rob, who comments under the name KO Rob reached out and told me he had some vintage WVU guys I might be interested in. Obviously my interest was peaked and sure enough after a couple of emails I had a bubble mailer from Rob in my possession.
Rob went big right away with this one! WVU's most famous athlete. You know you had a good career if your image is the logo!
Ron Williams was one of WVU's first African American basketball players. He played 8 pro seasons and stayed in the game as a coach in the college ranks.
I love the tall cards! The only issue is they are so hard to keep in good shape. Ron sent me one that looks great!
Ron didn't stop the generosity with the WVU guys. He even threw in some baseball.
Manuel was signed by the Pirates but I don't think he ever suited up for them in the regular season. He had a nice long career as a Cardinal.
These two had nice careers! I actually just saw something about Parker. He has been suffering from Parkinson's for a few years now and has been doing various fund raising ventures in the Cincinatti area. He seems to be doing pretty well.
The only Pirate in the National Baseball CArd Day set was Cutch. Super cool for Rob to send one my way.
Tons of Bowman rookies. The only one I remember having played in Pittsburgh was Tike Redman. The Moises Alou STAR card was a nice trip down memory lane.
Thank you do much for the great cards Rob. Also, big thanks for commenting on the blog. Always fun to find new trade partners. I'll be working on a return package real soon.