The Legend

The Legend

Monday, March 31, 2014

Great Opening Day for Neil Walker

I took off work today to watch the game with my brother and we were treated to quite the pitchers duel. Francisco Liriano and Jeff Samardzija were both on top of their game.  Thankfully the Pirates got the last laugh as Neil Walker hit a walk off homer in the 10th inning to give the Buccos a 1-0 victory.  He is becoming quite the thorn in the Cubs side as he hit a grand slam on opening day in Chicago two years back.

This is a book auto from Museum Collection numbered 5 of 10.  I purchased this card from Ebay last year.

It is good to have baseball back!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Trade: Too Many Verlanders

I really enjoy following Dennis's card collecting exploits on Too Many Verlanders.  He and I have already made several deals where I sent him some Detroit/Michigan cards and he loaded me up with Pirates/WVU cards.  Check out the latest package I received on Thursday.

 Awesome Doug Drabek Archives auto.  Thanks for sending this one!  He was a favorite of mine and doesn't have a ton of certified autos and memorabilia.
It's kind of hard to see but this is numbered 3 of 5.  Goes nice with this card that I featured on a post in early March.
Like Dennis I have a love for college sports and my alma mater WVU.  This is an awesome auto of Noel Devine from Upper Deck Sweet Spot.
Anthony Becht had a great career at WVU as well as a long pro career.  Lots of good memories following Becht when I was a high school student in Morgantown.
Last but not least is an Owen Schmitt auto.  Owen is a legend at WVU for his punishing running style and over the top personality.  He just recently opened a bar/music venue in Morgantown.

Thanks for all the great cards Dennis.  I've said it before but if you haven't completed a trade with Too Many Verlanders shoot Dennis a message.  You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Trade: The Chronicles of Fuji

Fuji and I have been exchanging cards left and right.  I've been able to put a good dent into some of his PC's while he has been loading me up on Pirates.  Recently I had posted an Elroy Face 1/1  in which Fuji commented that he had an auto to send me.  A little over a week later I got this in the mail....

I love the card Fuji!  Makes a nice addition to the collection.  I'm a sucker for the vintage player autos. Fuji also added a few more cards....

Ross Ohlendorf is an interesting guy.  He is an ivy league grad (Princeton) who did his senior thesis on the return on investment for the major league draft.  As a Pirate during the offseason he interned for the Department of Agriculture.  Smart guy.

Thanks for the trade Fuji!  Always enjoy our random deals.  Lets keep it going!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Trade: Dion's IP Autos Only

Dion may be the easiest person in the world to trade with.  If you have autos he'll make a deal.  If you have anything setting around shoot Dion an email and he'll send you a huge list of what he has available.  I sent Dion a few Gypsy Queen Autos and he returned a couple certified Pirate autos along with several bonus cards.

In some ways I feel sorry for Daniel Moskos.  He will always be remembered as the guy the Pirates took instead of Matt Wieters.  Looking back at the old Pirate drafts is enough to make me sick.

John Grabow was a very effective reliver for the Pirates in the mid 2000's.  I believe this is his only certified auto.

The last picture shows some in person autos of several Pirates.  I really like the Randy Tomlin!

Thanks for all the great cards Dion.  Look forward to more deals.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Trade: Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle

I have been following Greg's blog for a long time.  When I decided to start one of my own he was the first person I contacted to get some pointers.  Having a nice backlog of Dodger cards I began sending care packages to Greg as a thank you for helping me out and plugging the blog.  On Monday I received a nice surprise in the mail.  Check out some of the stuff Greg passed along my way.....

Brian Giles had a great career with the Pirates.  A while back I went and researched his stats and they were crazy good his entire run as a Pirate.  What makes it even sweeter was the Pirates got him for basically nothing from the Indians.   Love the Topps 206 Auto.

This card has a very interesting back story.  Patel and Rinku Singh are the first Indian nationals to sign with an American sports team.  They won an Indian Reality show called Million Dollar Arm and were signed by the Pirates without ever playing baseball.  The story is being turned into a movie starring Jon Hamm from Mad Men.

Greg sent me some cool minis as well.  I really appreciate the Martin because he doesn't have much in the Pirates uniform.  I'm really hoping for some autos and relics in the upcoming 2014 releases.

I'm glad Jose Bautista developed into a great player.  Just wish it was with the Pirates.  We basically gave him away for a minor league catcher.  If you are wondering why a Jedd Gyorko is mixed in here it is because Jedd went to WVU like myself.  I have a big WVU collection to go along with the Buccos.  

Mike "Spanky" Lavallliere!  Love it.

Thanks again for all the great cards Greg.  Look forward to future deals.  If you have some extra Dodgers shoot Greg a message. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Ocho

This card has been tucked away in a showcase in my basement or I would have featured it sooner.  It is an octo-patch from Topps Five Star and is numbered out of 5.  It features a lot of the top outfielders in baseball including Andrew Mccutchen.  If you get a chance take a look on Ebay at some of these cards.  Some cool combos of players young and old.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures I've been posting lately.  Most have been straight from my phone as I have a young daughter who doesn't allow me much time with my desktop computer and scanner.

As always hit me up if you want to trade.  I have lots of cards that haven't made it to my trade bait link, so just ask if you are looking for a certain player or team.

Thanks for reading!  I'll soon be having a contest as a thank you to everybody who checks out the blog on a regular basis.  Just need to figure out what the prize will be.  Everybody has been awesome in helping me gain followers and establishing trade partners.  Look forward to continued fun and reading about all the great cards everybody has.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cutch Me if You Can

I haven't showcased a Mccutchen card in a long time.  Like most of the Pirate collectors I know Cutch purchases have really slowed down over the past year as prices continue to skyrocket.  I'm still an active watcher of auctions, but most end well past my comfort zone.  Most of my successful purchases have been negotiated best offer prices on some low numbered, high end cards such as this one.  The above card is from 2013 Bowman Platinum and is numbered 2 of 5.

The countdown is on to opening day.  I'm excited to have baseball every night beginning on Sunday. Anybody have any bold predictions for the season?  Not sure if I see any team coming out of the woodwork this year.  I would have liked to pick the Royals, but I don't think they have enough starting pitching.  Would love to hear some predictions for the upcoming season.  MVP's? Rookie of the Year?  Anybody have any traditions for opening day?  I take off work to meet my brother and friends at a local sports bar to take in the game and eat delicious artery clogging bar food.

Thanks for checking out the blog.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I Have a Conundrum

Last week I hashed out a trade with Matt from Cardboard Conundrum.  When browsing Matt's trade bait I found a few Pirate and WVU cards that I wanted so I sent an email and that got the ball rolling.  Matt was super easy to deal with.  Take a look at Matt's blog and set up a trade with him.  You won't be disappointed.  He has a lot of interests and a well stocked trade bait link so contact him to set something up.

Check out the cool cards I received....
2011 Bowman Sterling Starling Marte rookie auto.  I'm a huge Marte fan and a frequent buyer on Ebay. Always glad to add an auto to the collection.

2013 Topps Tier One Pedro Alvarez jersey.  Pedro doesn't have a ton of relics or autos so I'm always trying to add them to my collection when available.  Pedro is looking to build off his all star campaign last year.  

2013 Topps Platinum Stedman Bailey auto.  Stedman was part of the three headed monster at WVU with Geno Smith and Tavon Austin.  He was a third round pick of the Rams.

2007 Upper Deck Artifacts Marc Bulger jersey.  Bulger held a lot of the passing records at WVU until Geno Smith rewrote the record books before being drafted in the second round by the Jets last year.  Bulger had several good years with the Rams in the mid 2000's.  

What a great mix of Pirates and WVU.  I really appreciate the trade Matt.  I'm sure this won't be our last deal.  Hope you like all the cards heading your way!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nice Patches

Triple Threads is one of my favorite sets so whenever a nice Pirate card pops up I try to get it.  This is a 2010 triple All Star patch of Freddy Sanchez /9.  I've owned this card for a couple of years so I don't remember the exact price, but my guess is around the 35-45 range.

Freddy was a personal favorite of mine as he accomplished a lot in his short time in Pittsburgh.  He had multiple All Star game appearances and a batting title.  It was a shame the Pirates couldn't keep Freddy, but he was traded to San Francisco in 2009.  He played a key role in helping the Giants win the World Series in 2010.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Retail Box Surprise

Last night I was looking to get out of the house for a while so I figured I would visit the local Target's card aisle.  I was looking for Heritage, but could not find any so I settled on a box of 2013 Allen and Ginter and some Opening Day.  The OD was what you would expect a retail box to be.  I hit a few inserts and numbered cards while adding some new Pirates to my collection.

The Allen and Ginter was the big story.  Long story short I pulled this...

I don't get too excited opening cards, but this got me pumped.  It really broke the odds as the frame autos fall about 1:140 packs in retail.  I believe this is only the 2nd retail auto I've pulled (don't think I've opened since mid 2000's).  This is also my first non player auto that I've pulled.  Never thought I would pull a Bud Selig auto.

Thanks for checking out my blog.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cole Train

I really like this card.  Don't get me wrong the lack of a license is annoying, but I think the uniforms at least resemble Pirates colors.

I purchased this card off Ebay a few weeks back for around $40.  Cole autos are getting expensive and look to be even pricier if he builds on his rookie campaign.  It is so nice to have a homegrown power pitcher in the rotation.

I've touched on Josh Bell on some earlier posts.  The Pirates broke the bank the sign Bell out of high school in 2011.  Injuries plagued Josh early in his career and his prospect stock took a hit.   Thankfully he rebounded last year and has been a trendy breakout for the Bucs system this year.

Enjoy March Madness and have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Short Stay Mr. Lee

Derrek Lee had a very short Pirates career.  He was obtained at the tail end of the 2011 season right before the Pirates had a team meltdown and tanked the rest of the season.   Only a couple of games after his debut, Derrek broke a bone in his hand and had to sit out the a good part of the remainder of the season.  He only had 100 at bats for the Bucs.  During the offseason the Pirates attempted to resign Lee, but he chose to retire.  

One of the weirder things I love to collect is finding rare cards of players who had short Pirate careers.  This printing plate from 2011 Topps Update is a great example.  I think the only Pirate with a shorter career to have a "high end" hit was Benito Santiago.  He had an auto in the Pirates uniform with only 23 at bats.    

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Trade With Play At The Plate

I recently made a trade with Brian from the blog Play at the Plate.  It was a fun deal in which I sent off a bunch of Rangers cards and Brian returned the favor with a boat load of Pirate cards.  Above is a sweet Joe Randa auto from Donruss Signature that Brian included in the bundle.

4 Purple Chrome Pirates including an awesome Cutch.

Good ol' Kris Benson.  I think his crazy wife was in the news more than his pitching.

I love the Tony Womack card.  Pretty sweet action shot!  Also check out the Jason Kendall/Mike Piazza "Deja Vu" card.

 I was always a huge fan of the Stadium Club cards because of the great photos.

Thanks again Brian!  This was just a small sample of the cards Brian sent. Lets keep the cycle going.  I'll put some more cards in the mail for you by the end of the week.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

#1 Prospect

Gregory Polanco is the Pirates #1 prospect in a loaded minor league system.  He will make his debut at some point this season in right field as he seems to be major league ready.  The Pirates have been rumored as of today to be shopping around Jose Tabata so that would seem to fast track Polanco even more.  My guess is Polanco will be staring in right field by early June.  He is good enough to break camp, but the Pirates have a strong precedent of slowing the service time clock by holding their prospects a couple of months. Gerrit Cole was handled the same way last year.

The above card is from 2013 Leaf Trinity.  If you like prospects cards this set was for you.  While Leaf does not have a license I feel this was one of the best prospect sets of the year.  The cards had nice on card signatures and the patches were large and unique.  The checklist was strong as well.  I cherry picked most of the Pirates from the set for pretty reasonable amounts.  If you are a Pirates fan this set was for you. To go along with Polanco the set featured Austin Meadows, Reese Mcguire, Tyler Glasnow and Alen Hanson.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Garrett Jones

I'm a huge fan of Triple Threads.  It is by far my favorite high end release  I'm always looking for Pirate hits, most notably from the 2011 edition.  Several months a go I made a purchase of around 30 different relic/auto cards from the set and have made it my mission to see how many of the "triple play" combos I can make.  Each card had 3 variations numbered the same.  I just recently completed all three of the Mccutchen jersey variations numbered to 9.

The card shown is a 1/1 Garrett Jones auto bat piece card.  Garrett had a tough path to the majors as he was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1999 and released after 3 years in the system.  The Twins picked him up and he slowly made his way up in the system but being a first baseman he was blocked by Justin Morneau. He made his major league debut in 2007, but his time was limited.  After the 2008 season he became a free agent and was signed to a minor league contract by the Pirates.

Garrett instantly became a fan favorite in Pittsburgh as he hit the ground running when he got his chance to play.  He blasted 7 homeruns in his first 12 games and was named NL rookie of the month for July.  Garrett was a mainstay in the middle of the lineup through the 2012 season.  Unfortunately he struggled in 2013 and the Pirates non tendered him after the season and he went on to sign with the Marlins.

At least Garrett can say he is the only Pirate to do this...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Elroy Face

Elroy Face is not a household name, but he revolutionized the reliever position in baseball.  Making his debut in the 50's Face became a workhorse for the Pirates.  Throwing multiples innings a game and often during it 3 or 4 times a week he easily broke the appearance record in a season for the Pirates.  When his career was over he held the NL games appeared record all the way until 1986 when Pirate Kent Tekulve broke the record.  Elroy still shows up at some Pirate games and local charity golf events at the age of 86.  

The above card is from Panini America's Pastime and is a 1/1 cut signature.  I was excited to see this card as Elroy doesn't have much in the way of certified autos.  It is really clean and sharp signature.

If you get a chance take a look at Elroy's Wikipedia page as his career is very interesting.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ugly SP

2012 SP Signature Edition was not an attractive set.  Sure you had lots of big names and the promise of 8 autos a box, but they were all stickers.  I cherry picked a lot of the Pirate because the price was right and the checklist was full of guys who didn't have many certified autos.  Pedro Alvarez, Casey Mcgehee and Colton Cain were all represented in the set.

This Gerrit Cole/James Taillon dual auto was an impulse buy last year because of the price.  Taillon and Cole have other dual autos together that can go for pretty big amounts.  This card was purchased for around $40-50 if my memory serves me correctly.  Pretty cheap price for two first round picks and hand numbered to ten. I guess if you can say one positive thing about the set is that it is somewhat of a bargain now.  I think the price has fell all the way down to $85.  I think that is more than half the original cost at debut.  For those who do group breaks this might be an interesting choice.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Museum Quality

I'm a pretty big fan of Neil Walker.  I've touched on this in a past post.  I own several versions of this card but this one has the nicest patch.  Museum Collection is the perfect set to cherry pick your cards as it is pretty rough on the budget.  I watched a few case breaks and I saw some people get really burned.  I'm always too nervous to spend that kind of money on a box.

Anybody going to open some Heritage.  I don't open new releases as a rule but Heritage is one that always tempts me year after year.  Decent amount of Pirate hits this year too.

Hope everybody has a good weekend.  If anybody feels like trading shoot me a message.  I just came into a bunch of auto and memorabilia cards that is all trade bait.  Shoot me a message and I'll see if I have your team/player.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Trade With The Dutch Card Guy

It was fun receiving a package from Holland! Jeroen from the blog The Dutch Card Guy and I recently made a deal where I helped him with some of his player PC's and he loaded me up with a ton of Pirate cards.  Above are some of my favorites, but by no means was that even close to everything.  It was a fun bunch of cards to look at.  My two favorites were the numbered Freddy Sanchez spectrum and Mclouth Topps Finest.

If you haven't checked out Jeroen's blog please go do it now.  Take some time to look at his pitcher collections and work out a trade.  Jeroen loves to trade and will make it worth your while.  Thanks again Jeroen!  Look forward to our next deal.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


A couple weeks back I was doing my normal searches on Ebay and came across this dual auto of Van Slyke and Mclouth from 2005 Upper Deck Update.  Being a frequent reader of I'm usually in tune with most of the Pirate autos and relics.  This one caught me off guard.  It seemed this one had fell through the cracks as it was the first time I had noticed it.  Numbered out of 25 it is rare, but not rare enough to avoid me all these years.  I had to have it either way.  For a shade over $20 I'm now the proud owner.

I always had a soft spot for Mclouth.  Part of me wished the Pirates had kept him, but trading him away had a lot of benefit for the Pirates.  We received Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke from the Braves and the open area in center was taken by some guy named Mccutchen.  It turned out the Pirates traded Mclouth at his absolute peak as he has not come close to his All Star numbers in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Starling Marte

Starling Marte broke onto the scene last year for the Pirates and helped solidify left field for the Buccos.  It is looking like Marte, Mccutchen and Pirate top prospect Gregory Polanco will be manning the outfield for the foreseeable future.  I'm sure the Pirate pitchers will be happy to hear that, as all three grade out as plus defenders.

This card is from 2012 Topps Debut and is numbered out of 50 and features autos of Marte in his Altoona Curve jersey and Grossman in his Bradenton Marauders uniform.  Marte was an international signing who took some time to work his way through the system, but the Pirates patience paid off. He is a sabermetrics darling who accumulated 5.4 WAR (baseball reference) in his first full season. A lot of his value is tied up in his defense. According to many of the defensive metrics he should have won the gold glove.

 Grossman was part of the deal that brought in Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros.  It looks like both Grossman and former Pirate prospect Rudy Owens have a chance to break camp with the Astros.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mega Patch

Pedro Alvarez doesn't have much in the way of high end cardboard, so I was pretty happy to get my hands on this card.  The quad patch has a huge chunk of the Pirate logo and is numbered 5/5.  When I first started the blog I featured the other copy of same card I own as well..

I'm not the biggest Pedro fan as I feel he is a one trick pony.  Pedro is good at hitting homeruns, but lacks in many other aspects of the game.  If he can learn to take a walk and cut down on the k's he could be a perennial all star.  Also, the defense is lacking as he always among the leaders in errors at 3rd base.  The Pirates will have an interesting decision to make as Pedro approaches free agency in a few years.  Pedro is a Scott Boras client so the chances he tests free agency would be pretty high.  The market tends to overvalue power hitters so it would be hard for the Pirates to resign him.  My gut feeling is the Pirates will take the year to year approach.  If Pedro has peaked as a player, I would assume the Pirates would just let him play out his current contract and let him walk.  If he shows signs of improving as a hitter they may try to buy out a few free agency years like they did for Cutch.  The Pirates are on record as to saying they want to resign Pedro and Neil Walker so it should be interesting.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Premier Time

Dug up this dandy out of the closet today as I was searching through some cards in my never ending quest to get organized.  This box was full of mid 2000's goodies.  I must have really liked 2008 UD Premiere as I found a ton of cards from this set.  Must have had a decent amount of Pirates in the set.

Jason Bay had a few cards in earlier sets with Holliday, but as far as I know this is the only card featuring Bay and Pence.  As always I wish the autos were on card, but it is still a pretty nice card.  I've said it before that I love collecting cards like this as it gives me a chance to accumulate some autos of other good players while still using the excuse of a "Pirate" purchase.  A couple weeks ago I featured a Buster Posey/Tony Sanchez auto.  I like Tony Sanchez, but I really wanted that Posey auto.

I'm slowly adding links of some my collection on the blog.  The site I'm using is called and it is pretty user friendly.  They are currently upgrading to a new server so the links may be out of order for a few days as they get integrated.  Man I wish I was more organized when I was younger.  Hopefully the blog will help motivate me to continue my quest to be organized.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Trade: Sportscards From the Dollar Store

I recently made a trade with Douglas from Sportscards From the Dollar Store and it was awesome! Douglas contacted me about wanting a card from my trade bait link and that was that.  Once he told me that he had an Alen Hanson Sterling auto I said I was game.

As you can see that was just the tip of the iceberg as he sent me a ton of Pirates and even WVU guy Geno Smith!.  I scanned some of my favorites, but there was a ton more.  I loved the old Bob Walk and Van Slyke cards.

Please take a look at Douglas's blog and start working out a trade.  He has lots of interests so I'm sure everybody can find something he needs.  Believe me you won't be disappointed. Thanks again Douglas. Shoot me a message if you even want to deal again.