The Legend

The Legend

Friday, March 31, 2017

Blog Bat Around: My Hardest Set

As most of you know I'm not much of a set builder.  I like finding team sets of the Pirates, but other than that I just don't full around with it much.  The only time I went full throttle in set building was 2014.  This is the year in which I had a tumor removed from my leg and kept pretty much bound to my recliner the whole summer.  Nothing makes you feel better than buying boxes!

I think that year I attempted Heritage, GQ, Donruss and Prizm.  Heritage and GQ are a huge money crunch and I vowed never to do them again.  I finished them more out of spite than enjoyment.  Those two are pretty much the whole reason I stopped looking to complete sets.  The sp's were maddening.

Donruss and Prizm were ugly sets, but really fun boxes to open for the price.  Right around the time of the National Card Show, Dave and Adams put Donruss on sale for an astronomically low price.  I think I bought half a case.  At that time I got the bright idea that I would complete the 2014 Donruss Signatures set. I pulled half the set myself and noticed that the remaining players were manageable. The set didn't have the likes of Trout and Harper and the older players were fun gets like Dave Parker and Don Baylor.  A few redemptions existed, but they were filled in record time.  Overall the set has 50 autos.


I had thought this Machado would be the hardest to find.  He was the biggest name on the list and carried the most value. Fortunately, it was easy and relatively affordable as Machado suffered an injury and his card prices came down.  The big issue turned out to be that some of these autos were unannounced short prints. SHIT!

As far as I know the Glaus, Castellanos. Flores and Laroche are all super short prints.  I was able to nab the Glaus, but have never seen the Castellanos or Laroche hit the open mark.  I know the Castellanos exists, but have never seen the Laroche.  Who knows if I'll ever find them. 

Here is the checklist.

1 Billy Hamilton
2 Dave Parker
3 Wil Myers
4 Jason Kipnis
5 Mike Zunino
6 Manny Machado
7 Bucky Dent
8 Kris Medlen
9 Chris Sale
10 Dusty Baker
11 Oscar Gamble
12 Willie Horton
13 Brandon Barnes
14 Martin Prado
15 Brandon Maurer
16 Alex Wilson
17 Andrew Brown
18 Starling Marte
19 Chris Rusin
20 Jordan Zimmermann
21 Evan Gattis
22 Mitch Moreland
23 Josh Donaldson
24 Bruce Rondon
25 Asdrubal Cabrera
26 Troy Glaus
27 James Shields
28 Jeurys Familia
29 Wilmer Flores
30 Didi Gregorius
31 Reymond Fuentes
32 Ivan Nova
33 Kevin Gausman
34 Jay Bruce
35 Michael Choice
36 Daniel Nava
37 Nick Castellanos
38 Lance Lynn
39 Taijuan Walker
40 Xander Bogaerts
41 Kolten Wong
42 Jurickson Profar
43 Mike Napoli
44 Zack Wheeler
45 Vinnie Pestano
46 Michael Morse
47 Jay Buhner
48 Oscar Taveras
49 Adam LaRoche
50 Miguel Sano

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Revolution

1999 Pacific Revolution Brian Giles Premiere Date 33/49

A few weeks back I showcased a Premiere Date parallel from the flagship Pacific set. As you can see they are not the most visually appealing cards. If you want to get wild an crazy you need to look for one of Pacific's acid taking sister sets.  Such is the case with this Premier Date Brian Giles.  

These are much more desirable on the secondary market because they just plain look better. A short print from a set that is wild and crazy....yes please! Fortunately for me Giles doesn't carry much value so I secured this one for $5 shipped.  

We are sooooo close to baseball!!!! 

Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


We are sooooo close to meaningful baseball games!  This is the time of year where everyone starts to overvalue spring training stats and worry about who the last bullpen guy is going to be. Every team has that one non prospect that comes out of the woodwork and knocks the cover off the ball. Lots of hot takes that go something like this, "I think x non prospect is better than x established mlb guy and should get a chance to make the roster." I'm speaking in terms of the Pirates, but I'm sure all of you have heard the same thing.

I figured I would go ahead and do my 2017 predictions.  My wife is out of town this weekend and I'm likely not going to get much computer time before the season starts. I'm sure these will look really stupid by the end of the year. 

AL East: Red Sox - The team has some depth issues, but on paper they are the most complete team in the division.  Injuries are already starting to pile up so its not hard to see it go to shit, but for now they are my pick. 

AL Central: Indians -  On paper this is probably the weakest division in baseball.  So the AL Champs look to be clear cut favorites. 

AL West: Astros - This one feels close, but I'll take the team with the best lineup. So many good young position players on that team. 

Wildcard 1: Mariners
Wildcard 2: Yankees

Best Record in AL:  Indians

ALCS: Astros over the Red Sox

NL East: Nats - They won a lot of games last year with Harper having a huge dropoff from his 2015 year. He will likely be better so they are still top of the heap this year. 

NL Central:  Cubs - I really don't see how they lose the division. They have so much positional depth. The only area you can be nit picky is the rotation, but then they have the means to go get a big time starter if they need one.  The scary thing is they could easily survive a bad injury to the likes of Rizzo and Bryant because they have Baez and Zobrist. 

NL West: Dodgers - Kershaw is liking have two aces.  They have 75 starting pitchers so depth should be ok as well.  They just don't have many holes. 

Wildcard 1: Mets 
Wildcard 2: Giants

Best record in NL: Cubs

NLCS Dodgers over the Cubs

World Series: Dodgers over the Astros

AL MVP: Mike Trout
NL MVP: Corey Seager

AL Cy Young: Masahiro Tanaka
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw

AL ROY: Andrew Benintendi
NL ROY: Dansby Swanson

AL HR champ: Manny Machado
NL HR champ: Giancarlo Stanton

There you have it.  These will be all wrong.  

The only teams that would surprise me if they didn't make the playoffs would be the Cubs and Dodgers. Cleveland could be in that mix too just because that division looks so bad.  

Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ultimate Signatures

I was digging through a box of my Pirate autos and came across two pretty cool cards from the same set.

 2002 Ultimate Collection Brian Giles Auto /220

2002 Ultimate Collection Jason Kendall Auto /220

Man, I bet the person that pulled these was pissed.  Ultimate Collection was one of the first ultra premium sets to hit the market. If I recall you got 3 or 4 packs a box with the retail price being close to a $100.  That is pretty standard today, but in 2002 that was mind blowing. From the looks of the checklist the rookies were weak, but the set packed star power. You name the player in 2002 and he was featured in this set. 

The black and gold trim is a nice touch and the autos are sharp looking. When this set came out UD was on top of their game. I never busted a box, but I would put the Ultimate Collection singles up against any high end Topps set. 

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Two Headed Monster

My trades with Dennis from Too Many Verlanders have taken a life of their own. What started out as a frequent blind trade has blossomed into a semi-frequent bombings of mass destruction.  You name it Dennis has sent it.

See what I mean!  This is a crazy two sided cut autograph of Pirate legends Lloyd Waner and Ralph Kiner that is numbered to 5.

I think Dennis and I are to the point where we are just trying to be creative as possible finding pieces that fit each others collection.  We both collect the exact same way so I think we we inherently know when something is a good match.  Such was the case with this bad boy.  WOW!!!!

Of course Dennis threw in some other cards too.

 Sage cards never scan well because of the sticker emblems in the background. I'll never understand why they made the sticker such a focal point.

 Alen Hanson is a weird case for the Pirates.  I feel like he has been a "prospect" since the Kennedy administration.  Since he is out of options he will either make the team or be put on waivers.  Going to be an interesting call.  Part of me hopes he gets a look, but I just don't see a scenario where he gets many at bats.

I always liked Bowman Inception as a nice alternative to Chrome.
 Elias Diaz will likely see some playing time this year as both Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are frequently banged up.

What a great looking patch!!!!

 Dennis always finds me great WVU cards. My favorite here is the Owen Schmitt.  It has been a while since I've added a card of the former fullback.  He currently owns a bar/concert hall in Morgantown.  It is actually a cool spot.  Perfect for getting one hit wonders going on nostalgia tours or up an coming acts heading out on their first national tours.

 I have my fingers crossed for a big year from Cutch.  I don't think I can stomach if he continues to regress.

Dennis knows I have a soft spot for crazy ass Pacific cards. I'm still convinced every design expert for Pacific was on acid.

Thanks for the great cards Dennis.  That dual auto was something else.  Glad I was able to hit you with a quick return shot!  Until next time my friend.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Big Winner

Big thanks to everyone for joining in.  It was a nice turnout of 66 people.  I randomized this list 3 times.

There were 66 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. mark hoyle
  2. matt prigge
  3. raz
  4. ketchupman36
  5. brett alan
  6. b man
  7. the angels in order
  8. nachos grande
  9. mr haverkamp
  10. captkirk42
  11. brads blog
  12. jedi jeff
  13. madding
  14. need more cardboard
  15. mark aubrey
  16. cardinalsfan16
  17. sport card collectors
  18. swing and a popup
  19. kevin papoy
  20. shoeboxlegends
  21. wilson
  22. adam e
  23. the dimwit
  24. section 36
  25. stealing home
  26. gcrl
  27. tony burbs
  28. tshenson
  29. greg zakwin
  30. john miller
  31. dions ip autos
  32. john hazen
  33. the lost collector
  34. mike matson
  35. ptown tom
  36. bru
  37. adam sanders
  38. richard
  39. jaybarkerfan
  40. ko rob
  41. richard nebe jr
  42. dennis
  43. irondequoit36
  44. john sharp
  45. nick
  46. defgav
  47. arpsmith
  48. kin
  49. brian
  50. doe mg
  51. jwilden27
  52. al kawamoto
  53. tim b
  54. peter k steinberg
  55. corky
  56. jon
  57. matt stupienski
  58. marc
  59. billy kingsley
  60. collecting cutch
  61. rob
  62. night owl
  63. jayp
  64. reds card collector
  65. rosenort
  66. jason t carter
Timestamp: 2017-03-26 04:00:42 UTC
You have randomized this list 3 times

Congrats to my buddy Mark Hoyle.  I'll make sure to find you something really cool!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Final Push

Looks like the entries are slowing down.  This is the last call for anyone that wants in the contest.  You can join here.   I'll draw the winner tonight.

Remember if you don't join...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Contest Reminder

I'm a little bummed about the WVU game tonight, but on the bright side of things baseball is just around the corner now.  I know I'm ready.

Click here to join my 1000th post contest.  Free stuff is the best!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Big 1000 and a Contest


This is actually post 999, but I figured I would go ahead and get things rolling.  First and foremost thanks to everyone who reads about my card exploits. The interaction is what makes blogging fun. I feel like I've gotten to know many of you without actually meeting in person.

For those who don't know the origins of this blog I'll go ahead and share a quick link here.  Long story short, my daughter was born very premature and spent months in the hospital. When she finally came home she was on oxygen for 7 months. During this time my wife and I had to stay up all hours of the night to make sure she didn't pull the oxygen from her nose.  This created a lot of downtime in the middle of the night.  In that time I started the blog.  She has grown up a lot!

Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

Now for the contest.  I'm only going to pick one winner, but it will have a BIG prize.  Like all my other contests I'll cater to your collection. I promise it will be awesome. To enter all you need to do is comment below. No need to promote or blog pimp. Just one entry per person.  I'll pick a winner once the comments stop coming in.

Thanks for making the last 999 posts so much fun!

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Blue Transcendent Monday

March is always a huge pain in the butt for me.  Historically I blog less, comment less, and trade less due to work responsibilities. While I planned ahead more this year by scanning some cards in bulk, my cardboard time is severely lacking. Thankfully by Thursday it will be smooth sailing and I'll celebrate by watching my Mountaineers play in the Sweet 16. 

New purchases have been lacking minus one huge WVU acquisition that I'll eventually showoff in the coming weeks. Baseball wise this has been the cream of the crop lately....

2016 Topps Chrome Transcendent 65th Party Starling Marte 1/1

I'm sure most of you heard all the hoopla surrounding the Topps Transcendent set. The whole 25k box of cards that included an invitation to a private party in which Kris Bryant attended.  At the party cards were given out to each participant.  Of course like anything card related many ended up on eBay. These special stamped 1/1's were about the only thing you could find a halfway decent deal on. 

This Marte sold for around $20.  I actually kind of regretted the purchase after I made it, but at least the card has a decent story and utilized the blue chrome card. This will probably be it for me with these stamped Transcendent cards.  One taste of how the other half live was enough....

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tony Pena, Croissan'wiches and Mountaineers

KO Rob is a frequent participant in our community without running a blog himself.  He and I have talked beer and swapped cards a few times over the last handful of months. I loved our first trade as it featured a lot of vintage Mountaineers.  This time it was a little bit of everything, but the main event was a couple of Mountaineer beauties.

 I love these tall Topps basketball cards.  Rob started off with a bang by sending me the most famous Mountaineer of all time.
 Rob apologized about the condition of this Rod Thorn.  I say it just has more character.

 This doubles as a sweet oddball and an excellent coupon!  I wonder if my local Burger King will honor it.  It is only 30 years old..

 Rob has a great feel for my collection. Always fun to see a card of former WVU great and Collegiate Hall of Famer Darryl Talley.

I've been neglecting my Jerry West collection for too long.  Maybe seeing these great cards Rob sent me will motivate me again.

 Now for the Pittsburgh portion of our show. The star of this bunch is the Harry Greb boxing card. Some guys just naturally look tough, I feel Greb falls into this category.  I feel like I would have had trouble even making eye contact with.

You really have to squeeze in everyone to fit a football team shot onto a card.

I had these six cards appraised. 7.5mil seemed a little light. Time to get Sotherby's on the phone. 

Thanks again Rob.  This was such a unique bunch of cards. Thanks so much for spending the time putting all these together.  I'll be hitting you back soon.  Shoot me an email sometime and we can talk about some beer trading too! 

Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Year 2 NOW

The Pirates got card #1 again with this Tyler Glasnow.  I wasn't even aware Topps was producing individual Spring Training NOW cards. I knew about the team sets and I figured they would go all in on the World Baseball Classic (which they have).  Thankfully a friend of mine gave me a heads up when this Glasnow went live.  I would have missed it for sure.  

I plan on experimenting with different ways of getting the Pirate releases.  I'll continue with eBay for the most part, but I may purposefully let a few go and see how much I can find them for a couple months down the road or even after the season.  I noticed several of the non rookies only selling for a few bucks on eBay. We'll see how this plays out. 

Hope everyone is enjoying March Madness.  WVU punched their Sweet Sixteen ticket this afternoon! Looking like we will have a date with Gonzaga. 

Thanks for reading. 

Friday, March 17, 2017


2016 Panini Pantheon Al Oliver Auto /25

It feels like Panini dumped a lot of similar looking high end sets near the end of 2016 into early 2017. Off the top of my head I can remember National Treasures, National Treasures Collegiate, Immaculate, Black Gold and Prime Cuts. I wasn't aware of Panini Pantheon until I found this Al Oliver card. 

I'm a sucker for certified autos of Pirates from the late 70's. The excitement of seeing a new Oliver autograph supersedes any other deficiencies the set may have. If this would have been a current Pirate I would have probably passed on buying anything from Pantheon.  The whole thing just seems a little dull.  At least with National Treasures you get on card autos.  

When looking through my Oliver autos I have in my collection I believe this is the first set he has signed for as Pirate since the 2007 Sweet Spot set. Way too long! Maybe Panini will listen to my request for more Phil Garner autos too. 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Veale the Hipster

The Pirates are my team so I would collect them no matter what, but it is nice to have some cardboard legends to chase down.  The likes of Tekulve, Parker, Madlock and Times Man of the Year Bob Walk makes things more exciting. Last week my pal Oscar from All Trade Bait, All the Time sent me a reminder of another great cardboard hero.

 Mr. Bob Veale! Just look at those glasses.  I can almost picture Bob sitting down drinking a PBR and listening to indie music.  Bob Clemente, Bob Moose, Bob Veale, Bob Walk......The Pirates bred Bob greatness.
 Pendleton and Hoak are linked by trade.  It was a deal full of sweet nicknames.  The Pirates sent Whammy Douglas, Pendleton, The original Frank Thomas and John Powers to the Reds for Harvey Haddix, Smokey Burgess and Don Hoak.

 Pretty much one of the coolest uniforms ever.

 Gene Freese had a couple stints as a Pirate and was born in West Virginia.

 Always fun to have a dual card in which both guys had nice careers.

I will never have enough Bay cards. He is my most frequently looked at auctions. Thanks to Oscar I have one less to look for!

Thanks for the wonderful vintage surprise Oscar!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Licensed Panini Baseball

As collectors we are always looking for ways to find the cards we desire at the best price possible. From scouring auctions to hitting card shows/shops, we are always looking for that great deal.  The best case scenario is when the card companies bring the deal to you!

2016 National Treasures Collegiate Gerrit Cole Auto /49

The last couple of years Panini has created a few collegiate oriented sets like Contenders and National Treasures Collegiate.  Both sets are really nice.  The thing is very few people care about college baseball. 

Obviously the big benefit is the licensing.  Photos of guys looking like they are wearing plain pajamas are replaced by bright, vibrant college uniforms such as this Gerrit Cole.  The issue is that this is likely eliminating a good portion of team collectors.  You can find singles of good players for pennies on the dollar.

For collectors like myself this is great.  I classify myself as a Pirates collector but in the loosest of ways. This is a cool card of  a current Pirate and I wanted it.  It only set me back $6. I know I saw several Kyle Schwarber Indiana University autos for much cheaper than the Cubs equivalent. Take a look, you may find something.  

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pirates in Order

It is nice to be trading with Tom from The Angels, In Order again! It has been way too long.  I've been sitting on a ton of Angels cards so it will be easy return fire.  

As usual Tom packed an envelope with an eclectic group of cards with several surprise autos!

That might be the most forced intimidating face ever, but I love it. John Smiley was won of the more underrated components of the successful early 90's teams. 

 Varsho is very aware of finding a good spot where his auto will be legible.

 I get my fair share of Wehner as he has been an announcer for the Pirates for the last handful of years. He would handle the away games and Steve Blass would take the home detail.  If I recall I believe Blass is retiring so Wehner will have a full time gig.  I will be using the mute button a lot.....
 You don't see too many guys have 15 year careers as a bench player like Bill Almon.

 You'll never get this Gary Redus card JBF!!!

 It is rare that I don't choose a Clemente card as my favorite, but I love The Waner Brothers card.

 The Pirates always release or trade their homegrown catchers like Tony Sanchez and Reese Mcguire. They use the Yankee pipeline to fill that need (Russell Martin, Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart).

Really hoping for big things from Josh Bell this year. Just hope he holds up defensively as he looked pretty bad last year.
 I love the old stock Jason Bay card.
 Gold Liriano!!!!!
This is the 94 Donruss Special Edition Van Slyke. I remember this set well as a 12 year old.  It was a big deal to get one back then (still is!).  Basically it was a gold parallel set of 100 of the best players in the league.

Thanks for the cards Tom! I'll be sure to hit you back with some Angels soon.

Thanks for reading!