The Legend

The Legend

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I Totally Miss You

This card is #871 in the set  That was the beauty of Topps Total. Just a crap load of players in one set. You name the obscure backup catcher or the middle reliever and he was likely to be in there. If you were a bargain hunter and a set collector this was the perfect set.  

I've talked about Topps Total a few times over the years and it always leads back to the same question. Would it work now? The set featured the huge base sit, a parallel of the base (the card pictured is the silver parallel inserted 1 a pack), 2 inserts and a small auto/game used selection.  I like to think with a little tweaking you could have a market for Total again.  The unfortunate thing is that I think Topps would fall into the same traps it does with every set. Too many Sp's, photo variations and mega hits would dominate it.  Heritage is dubbed a set collectors set, but it costs a small fortune if you try and get SPs. Something with the budget collector in mind would seem like a nice option. 

Either way it is fun set to go back to every once in a while. Long live Total! 

Thanks for reading. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Confusing Cards

A couple weeks back I talked about a Leaf Sportscasters Clemente card that Card Papoy sent me. The card is extremely cool, but made no sense when trying to understand the numbering. Well this was a common occurrence for Donruss/Leaf in the mid 2000's. They had four such sets that had crazy numbering 2004 Leaf Exhibits, 2005 Leaf Sportscasters, 2005 Studio Portraits and 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads Polo Grounds.

After sorting through some cards yesterday I found some Polo Grounds weirdness.  Check these out.

Pretty Confusing right!

The insert set has 100 cards and 45 parallels!  The numbering is determined by the two phrases in each corner. This is cut and pasted from

  • HIT Long Fly (serial-numbered to 85)
  • BALL Long Fly (serial-numbered to 75)
  • HIT Long Fly (serial-numbered to 75)
  • STRIKE Long 3 (serial-numbered to 75)
  • STRIKE Long Fly (serial-numbered to 70)
  • BALL Long Fly (serial-numbered to 65)
  • HIT Long 3 (serial-numbered to 65)
  • HIT Long Fly (serial-numbered to 65)
  • STRIKE Grounder (serial-numbered to 65)
  • STRIKE Short 3 (serial-numbered to 65)
  • STRIKE Long Fly (serial-numbered to 60)
  • BALL Long 3 (serial-numbered to 55)
  • BALL Long Fly (serial-numbered to 55)
  • HIT Grounder (serial-numbered to 55)
  • HIT Short 3 (serial-numbered to 55)
  • HIT Short Fly (serial-numbered to 55)
  • STRIKE Foul (serial-numbered to 55)
  • STRIKE Long 2 (serial-numbered to 55)
  • STRIKE Long Fly (serial-numbered to 50)
  • BALL Grounder (serial-numbered to 45)
  • BALL Short 3 (serial-numbered to 45)
  • BALL Short Fly (serial-numbered to 45)
  • HIT Foul (serial-numbered to 45)
  • HIT Long 2 (serial-numbered to 45)
  • HIT Short Fly (serial-numbered to 45)
  • STRIKE Bunt (serial-numbered to 45)
  • STRIKE Short 2 (serial-numbered to 45)
  • STRIKE Short Fly (serial-numbered to 40)
  • BALL Foul (serial-numbered to 35)
  • BALL Long 2 (serial-numbered to 35)
  • BALL Short Fly (serial-numbered to 35)
  • HIT Bunt (serial-numbered to 35)
  • HIT Short 2 (serial-numbered to 35)
  • HIT Short Fly (serial-numbered to 35)
  • STRIKE Long 1 (serial-numbered to 35)
  • STRIKE Short Fly (serial-numbered to 30)
  • BALL Bunt (serial-numbered to 25)
  • BALL Short 2 (serial-numbered to 25)
  • BALL Short Fly (serial-numbered to 25)
  • HIT Long 1 (serial-numbered to 25)
  • STRIKE Short 1 (serial-numbered to 25)
  • STRIKE Short Fly (serial-numbered to 20)
  • BALL Long 1 (serial-numbered to 15)
  • HIT Short 1 (serial-numbered to 15)
  • BALL Short 1 (serial-numbered to 5)

Pretty freaking confusing. 

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rapid Fire

Kin from "I Feel Like A Collector Again" hit me with another bubble mailer this past week. I've been working on a return package, but now feel like I need to find a few more things for him.  Don't worry Kin, I'll hit you back soon enough.  I already have all your missing cards from your 86 Topps set.  So that is at least finished! I might have to go Andrew Shaw shopping or something....

Now for the cards Kin hit me with.

 1996 Collectors Edge President's Reserve is a fancy looking set.  All the base cards are numbered to 20k and have an acetate look.  Fun to see some of the mid 90's names from the Steelers like Bam Morris and Levon Kirkland.  These were a cool surprise Kin, thanks for sending them my way.

 A lot of Mountaineer fans were upset when Wendell Smallwood decided to leave school early for the draft. It probably was for the best as his skill set would have never warranted a top round draft choice. He ended up getting drafted by the Eagles and saw a fair amount of playing time and helped return kicks.
 Kevin White was a beast in college, but just can't stay healthy in the pros.  He has already lost the majority of his first two seasons.

This cool relic is from the Panini Black Friday promotions.

Crosby is having his best goal scoring season of his career.  The overall points battle should be fun to watch as Crosby fights with Connor McDavid.

Thanks so much for the cards Kin.  These were a nice surprise. So cool seeing that old Collectors Edge acetate set.  It had been a while.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 25, 2017


I think I have about 9000 variations of this card, but I still get excited when I find a new one.  For obvious reasons this one is extra special.

2006 Donruss Diamond Kings Jason Bay Dual Relic 1/1

The fun thing about collecting a lot of players that lack big time appeal on the secondary market is that you can chase cards like this and not worry about the price. Most Bay 1/1's these days will cost you in the $10-$20 range.  I would happily sacrifice a blaster for a card like this. 

Bay at one time had a lot of hobby interest when he broke out as a Pirate and was traded to the Red Sox. Unfortunately his big free deal to the Mets was dominated by injury and his career faded fast. For me he will always be a top target for my collection as he continues to be number one on my eBay search list. 

Long live Jason Bay! 

Looking forward to the Pens/Flyers outdoor game tonight.  Go Pens! 

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fancy Names

1998 Jason Kendall Fleer Ultra Platinum Medallion /100

Jason Kendall is a cardboard God. I guess his hard nosed style was easy to capture.  Whatever the case he is one of the more enjoyable players to find rare parallels of during my favorite time period. Case in point this Platinum Medallion from Ultra.

I was excited to see one of these pop up for regular auction on eBay.  Quite a few are listed but have high BIN prices. The card itself has a textured feel and the nameplate area really pops.  I think I actually like the base card a little better, but this version is so unique that I had to have it. 

The price range for these tend to be in the $5-$10 range for non stars and can reach well over $100 for the mega stars. This is where it helps to collect Pirates. Kendall and Brian Giles were just about the only ones worth chasing. 

Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Damn You Mike Trout and Your 25% Off Coupon

Topps Now has been a bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of interest for me. I was intrigued by the concept when it first started and purchased the first handful of Pirates released. Soon after I became bored as I was upset that the many of the photos being used were just run of the mill. To me that seems to defeat the purpose of capturing unique game moments.

A little before the All Star break I got rejuvenated when the Pirates started calling up some high end prospects and the corresponding photos were much more unique.  About this time I discovered that I could save a few bucks by purchasing cards from eBay instead of Topps.  Back to feeling good again!

While I think I'm in the minority within our community, for the most part I ended up liking Topps Now. The Buccos were middle of the road in terms of cards released so the financial commitment was minimal. It was also cool that the Pirates received card #1 in the set (Francisco Liriano).  I missed out getting the card at release, but got one via eBay before the price really took off.

Going into this season I really hadn't thought about if I'm going to partake in year 2. In my head it seemed like just a good idea to just start cherry picking rookies and unique photos. Of course Topps knows many people are on the fence like me and sent these out last week.

Topps is producing a Spring Training set for every team with a "sticker price" of 49.99.  If you purchased a Topps Now card last year directly from Topps you should have received this fancy Mike Trout coupon that gives you 25% off.  Knowing myself I'll likely cave and purchase the set.

Is the set overpriced? I think most reasonable people would say yes.  You could make the argument that the best deal for some teams is to buy the autograph edition for $99.99  where you get the team set plus an auto. I've seen a few of the signers have been announced and the checklist looks pretty good. In terms of Buccos the signers are Marte, Taillon and Glasnow. It would be tempting had the checklist included Cutch or Austin Meadows.

Is anyone else going to buy one of these sets? Am I the only sucker.  Feel free to make fun of me below.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bargain Prospecting

2014 Bowman Black Cole Tucker Auto /25

I don't fancy myself a prospector, but enjoy chasing after rookie Pirate autos.  Sometimes prospect hype leads me away from the Bowman sets and towards Panini and Leaf, but that is fine with me. Unless the player is super hyped like Bryce Harper you can almost always find a lull to pounce on the higher end cards at a later time.

Cole Tucker was never an expensive autograph to begin with.  He was a Pirates first round pick back in 2014, but only had moderate hype because of his slim build and distance from the major leagues. While injuries has slowed him down, Tucker's stock has been slowly rising.  Many believe he can stick at short which automatically makes you a hundred times more attractive.  My guess is Tucker will start at high A this year with the hope of a promotion to AA Altoona around the mid point of the season.

With all that being said Cole Tucker is still relatively unknown and his card prices reflect that. This Black auto only set me back around $13 which is a nice price considering the product. Now he just needs to turn into Francisco Lindor or something like that....

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A New Kind of Trade

When you constantly talk to other bloggers you begin to learn about other interests beyond cardboard.  Just off the top of my head I know we have artists, music lovers, literature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. While we all can talk about the intricacies of 90 Donruss with ease, it is easy to see we are all much more than just cards.

Beyond cards and live sporting events it is travel and craft beer for yours truly these days.  Before my daughter was born I was knocking out books and hunting new music all the time, but certain hobbies had to be prioritized. Today if I'm not talking sports, I'm talking travel and beer. To me nothing beats exploring a new area and the food and drink it offers.  When I travel I often accumulate local beers for my tasting group in Morgantown.  It has been a fun venture that has yielded some great brews.  We call it beer evangelism.

A couple weeks back I was having two separate conversations with fellow bloggers Oscar of All Trade Bait, All the Time and Peter from Baseball Every Night. Oscar and I have talked beer for a couple of years now.  Recently he was at his local brewery and sent me a picture of the tap list. He told me to pick a couple and he would send some samples my way.  I was so excited.  It reminded me of looking at the old JCPenney catalog to make my Christmas list.  Here is what arrived at my door a few days later.

The picture is probably not doing the size of these cans justice.  The brewery calls these bad boys Grumblers. They are 32 ounces of adult beverage goodness.

 The first one up to bat was a gose named Santa Muerte.  For those not familiar with gose beers they are best described as crisp and a tad bit salty.  While it sounds weird they are often very refreshing and make for great summer beers.  This one was outstanding!

 I was most excited for this beer as "Fat Henry" is a barrel aged imperial stout.  This one was aged in a Jack Daniels barrel. The bourbon taste was prominent but not overpowering. The finish was quite smooth.

Thanks so much for the beer trade Oscar.  I look forward to sending you a well curated selection!

Next up is my pal Peter.  Both Peter and I are frequent users of the Untappd phone app that tracks all the different beer you consume. We often comment on each others beer choices.   A couple weeks back Peter and I were emailing back and forth discussing some breweries.  One such brewery was Trillium that happens to be in Peters backyard. Long story short Peter volunteered to send me a sample.

 Here is the haul from Peter!

My daughter appreciated all the bubble wrap.

 Trillium's specialty is the NE style ipa that is super hazy and utilizes a ton of hops.  The taste was very citrus forward.  It was delicious.
 Scaled up kind of looks like urine, but it tastes delicious.

Saison's are a unique in that they taste a tad bit peppery.  I like them, but they are very much an acquired taste.

The only one I have left to try is a Boston style stout.  Looking forward to it!

Big thanks to Oscar and Peter for sending me a taste of LA and Boston.  Such a fun treat to sample these small local breweries.  Keep an eye guys because I have some fun stuff in store for each of you.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rob With the Assist

A couple weeks back Rob who runs the Collecting 1982 Topps blog shot me a message on Twitter that he had some extra 2017 Series 1 Pirates.  In case you don't know Rob, he is a big Baltimore Orioles fan. Follow his blog and start trading with him!

The weirdest aspect of 2017 Topps in terms of Buccos is that Cutch wasn't in the base set. Of course in today's collecting environment that doesn't really mean much because he is represented in several other inserts within the set. Rob was nice enough to send me the 87!!!

 Pretty sharp looking card!
 Series one featured two rookie releases in Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow. Bell is expected to be the everyday first baseman.  The biggest worry with Bell is his defense as he looked very shaky. If he can hold his own the sky is the limit as his hit tool is very advanced.

 With the injury to Alex Reyes of the Cardinals you can make the argument that Glasnow is the best MLB ready pitching prospect.  With that being said he is far from a sure thing.  Command is a big issue with Glasnow and will likely be what stands between him being a top flight starter or a power reliever. The Buccos will give him every opportunity to reach his ceiling.

 Helmet tipping cards!
 Matt Joyce and Neftali Feliz are already gone.

My favorite Bucco card from Series One. Definitely a unique shot of Polanco.

Thanks for hooking me up with some great cards Rob.  I'll be sure to hit you back soon with some Orioles.

Thanks for reading! .

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Zippy Zapped

My good pal Kenny (aka Zippy) and I make for good trade partners.  We both love the NY Penn League and he super collects future Pirate catchers! Recently Kenny made a few tweaks to his collection and now is really focusing on the Chunichi Dragons. Feed him all the Matt Stairs cards you can find. 

Zippy is well known for his "Zippy Zappings" (trademark pending).  I've been fortunate enough over the years to receive so many great cards from Kenny. According to my records I believe we have reached double digit Zaps.  Check out this most recent addition.  

 I'm sure it was bittersweet when the Padres selected Luis Torrens in the Rule 5 Draft. On one hand he leaves the Yankee organization, but on the other he will be given every opportunity to succeed on a rebuilding Padres team.

 Jedd Gyorko has been one of the most successful WVU baseball players in the teams history.  He was an absolute beast here.  It is nice to see him carve out a nice MLB career too.  He had a nice season with the Cardinals last year and looks to be the teams starting second baseman this year.

 Tyler Webb was a long time Yankee farmhand that was just recently claimed by the Bucs.

Former Black Bear great Kevin Kramer.

 I've seen Casey play several times.  Tons of power, but no patience.  Hopefully he can improve his approach as the Pirates were very high on him when they drafted him in the 3rd round.

 Waddell stock is on the rise after a nice breakout year last year.

 I'm really hoping Josh Bell can play serviceable defense because his bat is very advanced.

 Love the NY Penn League top prospect cards.

Kingham is kind of the forgotten man in the Pirates rotation plans. Before his arm injury he was projected to be in the Bucco rotation.  Interesting to see if he can still make it to Pittsburgh.
 Bay's Mets days were rough.  Injuries really derailed his career.

 Cutch wrote a nice piece earlier in the week discussing his bad season and his switch to right field. He was very candid and honest about the whole process.

Love the rare bunt pic of Cutch on the Opening Day card.

Rounding things out are some cool shots of 3 former Buccos.  Happy that Steve Pearce carved out a career. He was a minor league stud for the Buccos and had every opportunity to be the everyday first baseman.  Each time he received a chance he would get injured.  So much so that the Pirates cut him loose.

Thanks for all the great cards Zippy.  Look forward to hitting you back soon!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tom Sends Cardtoons

Tonight was poker night for me.  It is always kind of funny because I'm the odd man out being that I'm the only non police officer. Feel sorry if someone ever tries to rob that game.....

Late night cards.....

Long time trade partner Ptown Tom decided to sneak in a plain white envelope my way late last week. Check these beauties out.

I always have to laugh at cardtoons cards. I'm pretty sure the players association sued cardtoons and it was caught up in court forever.  From what I've read cardtoons won the lawsuit but disappeared shortly after. What a shame. We need the garbage pail kids version of baseball! 

Not everyday you get an auto via plain white envelope. Rudy Owens had a decent amount of prospect pedigree for the Bucs.  He was a late round draft pick by the Bucs but was pretty successful in all his minor league stops. The Bucs traded him to the Astros in the Wandy Rodriguez deal and he had a hard time gaining his footing after that point.  As of late 2015 I'm not sure where Rudy ended up.

Tyler Glasnow is the ultimate wild card for the Buccos.  Now that Alex Reyes is getting Tommy John surgery you can easily make the argument that Glasnow is the highest rated MLB ready pitching prospect.  My guess is that he will start the season in AAA but could easily crack the rotation if all goes well in July. The Pirates are likely to be pretty conservative with Glasnow as he has had command issues in the past.  Glasnow's 6"8 frame may take a while to develop.  I think every Pirate fan has their fingers crossed that he can develop into a high end starting pitcher. 

Thanks for the nice surprise Tom!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Keeping My Kuhl

So much happening at BWTP headquarters, so little time to enjoy it. I have had one of my better weeks accumulating trade bait since I've started my blog.  That is why I love holding contests. It gets me motivated to send out cards to people. I also finally hit send on a large COMC and Just Commons order.  Hopefully a bunch of trades and my contest packages get out the door this weekend!

Along with all this trade bait has been a nice run of incoming trade packages. Zippy, Ptown Tom, Rob and Kin your packages have arrived safe and sound.

Here is a quick preview of something unique that I've been working on with a few other bloggers.

These aren't just any beers, they are BEER TRADES!!!!!  I'll go in more detail after I actually consume these, but a couple of my craft drinking pals offered to send some local beer my way. They arrived today in great shape! I'll be sending a well curated list to each very soon.  Review posts in the coming weeks!

New card time.....

2016 Bowman Chrome Chad Kuhl Purple Auto /250

Kuhl flew under the radar in the Pirates system, but he was successful at every level he pitched. He was drafted in the 9th round so he is just now starting to receive some cardboard love. His Bowman Chrome rookie comes after he already made his MLB debut last season. 

Kuhl looks to have the inside track for a rotation spot. Only Cole, Nova and Taillon are guarantees so as it stands he looks to be the next guy in line.  Easy to root for guys that didn't start out with major prospect pedigree. 

This auto set me back just under $10 which I thought was reasonable for a color parallel out of Chrome. 

Thanks for reading!