The Legend

The Legend

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Walked Right Into it

Neil Walker was a steady contributor during his Pirates tenure.  Essentially the perfect type of player to surround guys like Cutch and Marte.  My only issue with him was that he was from Pittsburgh. I shit you not it was mentioned 3 million times a season.  My friends and I would just text each during random conversations "hey did you know Neil Walker was from Pittsburgh." I need to ask Brian if they do the same thing with Joe Mauer in Minneapolis. 

Let's get back on track. As for my Walker collection it is probably one of the more complete in my Pirates collection.  When he first broke through in the big leagues he had a bunch of autos and then for whatever reason companies stopped producing autos and relics of him.  This allowed me to go back and find many of the holes in my collection. 

Even though Walker s now a Met, I still actively search for cards. Last month I secured a big one. 

2010 Bowman Red Paper Neil Walker 1/1

Normally 1/1's  from Bowman of established major leaguers are just too expensive to chase, but this card had a noticeable mark in the top left. Right when I saw the card I put a high bid of $40 right after it went live and it held up to the end. The final price was $38.  So this is by far the most I've ever spent on a Walker card, but it is now the centerpiece of the collection. 

Did you know he was from Pittsburgh?  

Thanks for reading! 

Friday, July 29, 2016


When Jim decided to close up shop on GCRL I was admittedly a little bummed.  He and I were in a groove trading all kinds of good stuff.  Thankfully Jim went to work on his frankendodger project and stayed active between the two projects. Our gaps in trading are mainly caused by me having to always replenish my Dodger supply. 

Not everyday you get a Bowman Bowman card.  One of my favorite things to do when I receive cards of older, more obscure Pirates is look for stories of the players background.  Bowman was an accomplished jazz musician that played 4 instruments.  Now go impress your friends and that little piece of trivia.  

Jumpin Jack Flash was a fun shortstop to watch.  Upper Deck had some underrated photos.

This Cole is from Archives and /50.
Another great double play shot. Looks like Warren Morris is going no look with the throw.

As usual a great photo from Stadium Club.  This card also sums up the plight of the Pirates during the Giles era as no one ever came to watch this team play.
Who needs a glove!

I loved the Heroes of Baseball cards.

Nice job by me with the upside down scan.  While Maz has about a billion cards featuring his dramatic homerun in the World Series, they never get old. Suck it Yankees.
Shiny Buccos.  Man, the Pirates really are paying the price for the Neil Walker deal.  Jon Niese has been a mess.
I think it would be cool to have a modern spin of the mascot/player card.  The Field of Dreams Denny Neagle card is a classic.
The Cutch Heritage is my favorite of this bunch.

Oh Yeah!!!! The perfect card.

Thanks for the cards Jim. I'm working on finding more Dodgers for you.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

I Know a Good Lawyer

At least I know a lawyer who is good at blogging about baseball cards (I'm sure Tony is good at lawyering too).  Perhaps he is an even better lawyer than a caveman...

Tony L of the fantastic Off Hiatus Baseball Cards and I both got our blogs up and running at about the same time.  While Tony and I build our collections differently I feel we both have the same mindset which has made us a good match for a continuous blind trade.  We've never met a Brewers/Pirates card we didn't like.  Vintage, oddball or auto, you name it and we're happy to add to our collections.

That mindset is what makes our trades fun. Each envelop from Tony has a different tone to it each time. Check it out....

Brian Giles was soooooo good as a Pirates.  I heard he was a bad teammate, but I didn't care. The guy could flat out rake. I always liked the Leaf relics from this time period because they show a picture of the actual bat the shaving of wood is from.

Kind of cool.  

The Pirates used their supplemental pick last year to take former big leaguer Charlie Hayes's son Ke'Bryan. While he has missed a good bit of time this year Ke'Bryan is highly thought of because of his advanced approach at the plate.  In his first year of professional ball he had an obp over .400. That will get you noticed, especially since he was a high schooler the year before. The only thing that would have made this card better is if they featured Charlie in a Pirates uniform.

 Like Hayes above, Newman is a former WV Black Bear.  Many people thought the Pirates picking him in the first round was a reach, but he has responded well so far to professional baseball.  I'm sure this makes Keith Law happy as he was the only national evaluator who praised the pick.

 We have slowly been seeing the return of the oddball release with Walmart and New Era releasing special topps cards. How cool would it be if cereal got back into the oddball game.  I would happily make my return to eating sugar laden cereal if it would result in cards.
 Probably the best Phillies card ever created.....maybe Teke could give it a run for its money.

 The Ultra sets were always kind of underrated.

 Obviously Kendall is the gem, but a John Dillinger card is a close second.

 Some minis of the early 90's core.

 If only Adam and Andy Laroche were good enough to get sweet nicknames like Little and Big poison.
 AL Oliver still shows up to games in Pittsburgh quite a bit.
A lot of people want to blame Cutch for the Pirates mediocre season so far.  The real root of the problem has been starting pitching, especially Liriano.  If the Pirates want to even dream about sniffing the wild card they will need to straighten out big lefty.

Thanks for the cards Tony.  I'm sitting on plenty more Brewers to hit you back real soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Reaching the Summit

1996 Pinnacle Summit Artist's Proof Jason Kendall

It is funny how some sets just totally escape your mind.  Summit was only produced two years (95 and 96). From what I've read collectors just kind of shrugged their shoulders and didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it.  I vaguely remember this card design, but for the life of me I couldn't remember if I owned the Kendall from the set.

When this specific Kendall popped up I knew I needed it because it was the Artist's Proof. These were hard finds (1:36 packs) which was the equivalent of two boxes. This card was probably a pretty good score back in the day as Kendall was popular.

I purchased the card for around $2.50 as part of a bigger bulk order.  The card just had a nice look with the black and gold trim to match the Pirates uniform.  For the life of me I don't remember seeing these in the mid 90's even though I was an active collector at the time.  Any of you guys remember these?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Night Owl

I've had one of those days where things don't quite workout the way you planned. Today I had about 4 and half hours of car time with a couple coworkers to take care of a few last minutes items at the location of our work retreat next week. Turns out these items were already taken care of for the most part and the trip didn't serve much of a purpose. It was nice to be out of the office, but all of the work that was in the office today will unfortunately be there tomorrow.

When I got back from my trip my wife and daughter were going to join me at a Black Bears game. Sure enough it got rained out after we had waited there for about an hour. It was one of those days where your time was occupied but you accomplished little.

To make sure I ended the day on a good note I started looking through some recent trade packages. Greg of Night Owl fame may get the award for quickest return fire on a trade I've ever seen. I sent him a card early last week and three days later I had a return package.  That is cardboard dedication!

 Some cards just have a habit of bringing back memories.  This is the Opee Chee version, but anytime I see 90 Topps it reminds me of long car rides with my parents. This was in the day you could stop for gas and actually go inside to pick up cards. I must have traveled a lot during this time.

 I remember eating a lot of cereal during this time to get cards.  Oddballs rule!
 I forgot how thick these Heritage parallels were. This Cole is numbered to /999 and is a beauty.
 I think these late 90's sets are either loved or just confuse the hell out of collectors. These were right in my wheelhouse! The card designers at Skybox were obviously on acid.

 You may think the Snider card is out of place, but this was a big set need for me.  I'm pretty close to putting to bed Stadium Club.

Take some time and try to find something wrong with this Teke card..................trick question, nothing is ever wrong with a Teke card.

 I think I only have a couple of these Diamond Anniversary cards. I love the way the Correia cards looks. Just wished I loved the way he pitched during his tenure as a Pirate.

Jameson Taillon has been strong for the Pirates since his call up. You don't have to worry about licensing as much with catchers!

Thanks for all the great cards Greg. Looking through some cardboard can really save a day from being a total stinker.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Beer, The Kid and Piazza

I held an impromptu beer tasting at my house Friday. My pal Keith and I had been accumulating beer from our travels and thought it would be a good time to try a few.

"Bruery" beers are great for tastings as they can only be purchased in large bottles. This was a sour beer that was very tasty.
A friend of mine who recently took a trip to Portland Oregon brought this back for me. I believe most of the Hair of the Dog beers are named after people who work at the brewery. The was a barrel aged strong ale that packed a punch to the taste buds. 

 This is a beer I've been wanting to try for a while.  Foothills brewery is out of North Carolina and actually distributes to WV, but mainly only their core beers. Recently my parents and two brothers took a trip to the Outer Banks area of NC and my brother picked one up.  If you are a fan of malty ipa's this one is for you.  It was top notch.
 Founders is probably my favorite brewery. If I were to make a list of my top ten beers at least 3 of theirs would make the list.  This beer was by far the worst I've had from them. The beer is supposed to be a mango/habanero mix.  The actual taste was decent but mix of heat and weird mouthfeel was too much to handle.
 When I was in DC last week I always make a point to stop at a Total Wine. They are basically the size of a supermarket but all booze related! I always try and pickup a few DC beers.  This pale ale was actually on the darker side and had a great taste.  I'm pretty sure I grabbed this one right after the Mango beer to get us back on track.

I stole this pick off the internet as I didn't take one myself.  Redankulous was a red ipa and it was fantastic. Helped me forget the Mango beer.  

Overall a pretty solid lineup.  

With the HOF induction ceremony tonight I figured I would share a few cards. Griffey was by far the most influential player when I was growing up.  You weren't cool unless you had a Mariners had to turn around backwards. 

I loved watching Piazza. The thing that pops up second in my mind (first is Clemons throwing that bat) is all the opposite field mammoth shots he hit.  I don't think I remember another player that could pulverize baseballs going the other way.  

Congrats to Griffey and Piazza.  It was a shame Piazza wasn't a first ballot guy.  Hof voters are the worst.  

Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Baseball Every Night

A new trade partner! Baseball Every Night is a relatively new blog started by Darryl Strawberry fan Peter. A couple weeks back Peter commented on one of my posts saying that he had many of the Pirates from this years Topps. Being that a supply safe haven to any Buccos card a trade was born.

 Man, the Neil Walker trade has been a huge bust for the Buccos. The Bucs took a gamble and traded Neil Walker who had only one year of control left for Jon Niese who had a year left on his deal, but had two team options. The Pirates figured if that they could fix Niese they would have three years of control at a very team friendly price.  In theory it was a worthwhile gamble.

Long story short is that Niese has been terrible. He has already been taken out of the rotation and could be dfa'd before too long. In a candid interview Pirates GM Neil Huntington said the trade has been a disaster. He said that options were limited trading Neil Walker in that the return could have either been low profile prospects or low upside veterans. Huntington said they took the gamble on getting someone who could help right away, but it backfired. The ebs and flows of being a major league GM....

Of the actual cards the Marte is my favorite!

 Play at the plate cards are always top notch. I've found a few of the parallels for the Cervelli card. One of these days I hope he gets a certified auto in the Bucco uniform.

I was really happy to see Feliz and Stewart on the checklist for Series 2. I love me some Cutch, Marte and Cole, but it is refreshing to see some more of the unheralded guys on the roster.
 I've commented several times on Topps using the less than flattering picture of Maz at the end of his career. Seems like their should have been hundreds of better choices.

The Perspective cards were really cool. Very Stadium Club esque.. Reprint or not Clemente cards are always awesome.  He would be a shoe in for the Mt. Rushmore of cardboard. Right up there with Bob Walk!! 

Thanks for all the great cards. I'll be sure to come up with something to send back your way soon. As for everyone else please give Peter's blog a follow. 

By the way Peter I'm going to start sending you to Pirate games as you have a much better track record.  I'm freaking 1-6 this year. 

Thanks for reading!