The Legend

The Legend

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

SuperNova Plate

I've always had a love/hate relationship with printing plates. While they are a unique collectible, the looks of them leave something to be desired.  So in turn I've always collected them, but on  strict budget.  I also try to keep it to short term Buccos or guys that don't get a lot of auto/relic love.

2016 Topps Update Ivan Nova Yellow Printing Plate 

A perfect fit to my self imposed printing plate rules is this recent acquisition of a Ivan Nova plate. Nova came over to the Pirates last year at the trade deadline and has been absolutely fantastic. In the offseason the Pirates gave him a 3 year contract and he picked up right where he left off.  At one point this year he had more complete games than walks! As of right now it is looking like one of the better bargain free agent buys.

Topps Update is always one of my favorite sets each year because its where you will find all the recently traded players featured in their new duds.  Some of my favorite cards in my collection are low numbered parallels of short term Pirates like Derrek Lee and the second go around of Aramis Ramirez.

The above Nova cost me about $10 which is at the top of my budget for these plates, but still worth in my opinion.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Black Bears and Bagpipes

Last week I mentioned how excited I was that 2017 Topps Pro Debut was going to feature the first certified auto of someone in the WV Black Bears uniform.  Well, I had this waiting for me when I got home this evening.

2017 Topps Pro Debut Will Craig Auto

Since the autos are stickers and the fact that Will Craig hasn't done a whole lot to build on his first round draft status, prices are cheap.  I'll probably try to add a few parallels and will happily take any in trade if some of my card buddies pull some.  If for some reason one of the plates fall into my lap I may try and get the rainbow. 

Now on to Bob Walk the Plank Parts Unknown. 

This weekend my wives side of the family had a gathering at resort called Nemacolin Woodlands. It is only about 45 minutes from where I live so it makes for a nice getaway without having to spend to much time in the car.  The resort is probably best known for golf as it use to host a PGA event. I suck at golf, but my mother in law was nice enough to treat me to a round so I hacked away like a madman this morning.  I did manage a par which was a freaking miracle, but it was sandwiched between a bunch of 7's and 8's. Right when you want to quit golf forever you hit a good shot that makes you want to keep playing.  

Here is a few pictures I got. 

 The scoreboard on the 18th hole.

 A lone bagpiper was playing on Sunday night which was really cool.

 Some nice views.
 This was a nice duck dish I had.

This place must have a busy grounds crew.  

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend. Big thanks to any of you that have served over the years. 

Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Boring Side of NOW

Here is where I get a little more critical of Topps NOW.  Overall I really like the concept, but sometimes the delivery leaves something to be desired.  To me this concept should really capture the moment. This photo used to commemorate a very efficient "Maddux" complete game by Ivan Nova is just so boring. It might as well be his 2017 flagship base card.

I think I like the flagship card better.  I know Topps is handcuffed by what Getty gives them, but come on.  Maybe a shot of him and the catcher shaking hands.  How about him fist pumping coming off the mound.....Seriously, anything would be better than what they chose.

I guess the joke is on me since I still bought the card.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Gift

Last month the Pirates made history when they promoted Gift Ngoepe.  Gift became the first African born MLB player.  It was a feel good story that was made even a little more special when he got a hit in his first at bat.  Of course you know what that means.....

As of right now it is hard to see Gift as anymore than AAAA type of player because the bat is weak. The thing that will keep him around in short doses is that he defense is top notch.  If the bat can come around some then he may have a future as a utility infielder but right now I see him more as frequent short term call up.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Sometimes you see a new release that grabs your attention for whatever reason.  Such was the case with 2017 Topps Pro Debut.  I always like the minor league sets, but this checklist was even more exciting than usual.

The first ever certified auto featuring a WV Black Bears uniform! Last year was the first mainstream cards with Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer, but this year we get the Will Craig auto!!!!!  This picture is stolen from eBay, but I've already won the base auto and hope to add some parallels in the coming days. The Black Bears play about 5 minutes away from my house so I've made it a mission to accumulate all the cards released featuring the short season affiliate of the Buccos.

The one negative with this set is that it features a certain former Heisman Trophy winner so the prices for boxes will likely be higher than normal.  So it will be all eBay accumulating for the foreseeable future.

If you come across any Will Craig cards from Pro Debut I'll be happy to take them off your hands.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mean Cards

My Buccos haven't been very fun to watch the last couple of weeks so I figured I would take a break from showing baseball cards and dig deep for some Steelers.

I have a fairly large Steelers collection that has been dormant minus what I receive in blog trades. Only so much money to go around for cards so they were the odd collection out once I got married. Maybe once I become CEO of a fortune 500 company I can begin to scour eBay again.

The biggest part of my collection is Hines Ward, but I also made it a point to add some of the Steel Curtain era guys.

2004 Donruss Classics Joe Greene Auto

Joe Greene is one of those guys that signs a lot, but he has such a demand the cards still hold their value well.  Base autos are still going to cost you in the $30-$40 range. I have had this card for over 10 years so I'm not sure what I paid, but I'm guessing it was in that area.

Sad Pirate fact of the night....The starting outfield is Adam Frazier, Danny Ortiz and John Jaso :(

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Lost Collector Likes Bunting

It seems my good pal AJ has been sharing his love of Bunt with all the blogs.  Late last week I received a pwe of a nice sampling of the 2017 Buccos.

 It really is nice having a bargain set that people are really gravitating too.  I think people are a little sick/bored of Opening Day so Bunt has been a nice change of pace.  Here is a blue parallel of Marte. I'm sure there is some kind of joke about feeling blue and PED's but I'm not that creative right now.

 The base cards are so vibrant.  I know several blogs have discussed these in detail so I'll spare the wordy review, but needless to say I like them. The team oriented color schemes kind of remind me of what Donruss football does.

 The two big Bucco rookies.  Glasnow has struggled while Bell has been very good.  People worried about Bell's defense but he has been fantastic at first.  He is also showing more power than he ever had in the minors which is a good thing.

 Two well known regulars to finish out the Bunt.

Ugh....I'm starting to lose hope in Cutch going back to the player he was.  I know his babip is extremely low so his slow start has some bad luck, but metrics like bat speed are not painting a nice picture. I'm really hoping for a nice 6 week spurt or the Buccos are going to be in big trouble.

Thanks for all the cards AJ.  Love the Bunt set! I may have to buy a few packs myself.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

My First NOW Auto

Back before Spring Training started Topps sent out a coupon for anyone that was going to take the plunge on one of the 15 card Topps NOW team sets.  After some debate I decided I would take the plunge on the auto version since the checklist was Marte, Glasnow and Taillon.  I had my fingers crossed for a Glasnow since it would be considered a rookie auto, but it didn't end up like that.

Quick side note....Sells of these team sets were really poor.  One big reason besides the asking price had to be that Topps really dropped the ball on the checklists.  Many teams including the Pirates didn't have all 15 cards announced by the deadline.  Seemed like a really lazy mistake unless I'm missing something.  It wasn't a big deal for me as all the players I wanted to see were announced already but some teams only had about half listed.

 For obvious reasons this is probably not the most desirable card to get right now, but I didn't mind.  It had been a while since I've added a nice Marte to the collection and this goes down as one of the more unique.  This is actually one of the parallels, but since so few sets were produced I'm wondering if all the autos are short printed.  So far of the three signers I've only seen two Marte's on eBay. One was /10 and the other /25.

 Here is the base version.
 Love the Cutch card. It has a nice Spring Training feel to it. The Bell might turnout to be a nice rookie card since the set is so low numbered.

 Harrison for the win here.  Nice to see a David Freese Pirate card too.  He has only had a couple so far.
 Another Glasnow rookie and a rare Nova Pirate card.

Real life Pirate John Jaso.

Overall I'm happy with the purchase. Obviously it wasn't the best of times to receive a rare Marte auto, but either way it is a welcome addition to the collection. I was torn on whether I would have found these cheaper on the secondary market, but I feel I probably made the wise decision with ordering straight from Topps.  Right now I'm not even sure if the Glasnow and Taillon autos were produced and the Marte's I've seen are super expensive on eBay.  I just don't think many of these will make their way to the secondary market.  Time will tell I guess.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Upgraded to Section 36

Ron runs the Red Sox oriented Section 36 blog.  I feel like I missed out on my trip to Fenway by not sitting in that section. If you haven't checked out his blog, it is always a great read.  The guy loves his Red Sox. 

A few weeks back Ron contacted me about sending some Bucco cards my way. He then explained how he purges his collection every ten years.  When he opens packs he pulls out all the Red Sox cards and anything that can be sold on eBay.  He then boxes all the extras up by team and gets rid of them after 10 years. That my friends is some organization. I can speak for many of us that I would love to be that organized where I could do that. 

Since he does the 10 year system I inherited 2007 plus a few extras. 

 We could have used the Parrot behind the plate in 2007.  That season was an odd one for the Pirates. They had some decent position players, but the pitching was a train wreck.

 A numbered to /99 Pedro.
 This is a sharp looking manu-relic.  I usually hate these type of cards, but I actually like this one.

 Ronny Paulino and Ryan Doumit shared the catching duties in 2007.  This auto is numbered to /99. Paulino had a nice start to his Pirates career, but his defense went south in his second year.
 I do love manager cards.
 and team cards!
 Gold bordered Turkey Red cards are super cool!
 The Pirates uniforms always go well with gold or black parallels.

 Spring Training shot!
 About once a week I get reminded how cool UD cards were.  Love that Cota card.

 Tony Plush relic!
 The problem with the Buccos during the crazy long consecutive losing season streak is that for every solid player like Jack Wilson you would have three Chris Duffy's.

It is amazing how similar the four pitching cards are!

Thanks for the great cards Rob. I'll check your want lists out soon and hook you up with a thank you.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Big Fun Spoils

Wes brought out the big guns for the Big Fun Game. That is probably the least surprising statement in the history of mankind.  For those that know Wes, know for a fact that he is a madman.

I got a late number slot in the Big Fun Game which is good and bad.  The good thing is that it doesn't give much time for my card to get stolen, but the negative side of things is that the heavy hitters are likely not eligible to be stolen as they would have been passed around several times.

Well, things happened to work out for me....
 My prize was this cool printing plate of Casey Stengel.  A pretty cool card for just randomly picking a number!

Of course Wes threw in a couple of extras.
 An extra for Wes is a Pops relic.... Sweet Spot Classic was a cool set.  Great shot of the Pirate legend.
Cole Tucker was a first round pick for the Buccos a few years back, but was injury plagued from day one.  He seems healthy now and has really come out of the gate strong.  The Pirates need as many good middle infield prospects as they can get.

Thanks for the Big Fun Game Wes. You really outdid yourself.  Look forward to whatever else you got in mind.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Giant in Person Trade

One of the coolest parts of my trip to Arizona was getting to meet Daniel from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop.  Daniel's generosity knows no bounds. He had already hooked my brother and I up with great tickets when he handed me pile of cards.

 I cropped the scan a little bit, but this is actually one of those gigantic box topper jersey cards. Here is a better photo to see the actual size.

Takes up a good portion of the keyboard.

 Here is a Sweet Spot auto that has held up nicely over time.

 Now this is an awesome card. What a great looking card with a nice bold auto of the greatest Canadian ever to walk the earth.

 Some new base from Gypsy Queen.  Man, did Kang and Marte ever screw over the Pirates chances this year.  Marte got pinged for PED's and Kang likes to drink and drive.

 John Holdzkom pulled the pitching version of the Natural a few years back. He came out of nowhere and was one of the best relievers for a month when the Pirates were making a playoff push. Next year he got hurt and hasn't been back to the big leagues since.

I like the Bowman Chrome tallboys. Poor Taillon has the worst luck ever. He had recently went on the DL with groin discomfort which ended up being testicular cancer. The prognosis is good as it is being reported that the cancer was found early.

Thanks so much for the great trade Daniel.  It was fun chatting with you.  Hopefully our paths cross again.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Digging Deep

I think every team has that player that has been around for a long time, but for whatever reason lacks a decent amount of cardboard. For the Pirates this would be starting shortstop Jordy Mercer. He is well into his fifth season as a Pirate and other than some flagship cards here and there his card catalog is lacking.

2013 Topps Update Jordy Mercer Blue Sapphire /25

When I saw this parallel pop up on eBay I knew I wanted to grab it.  I also knew it would likely be one of those deals where I pay more in shipping than the actual card. I hate doing that, but the allure of adding a card of Mercer I didn't have was too much.  So here we are! 

Overall it is a pretty nice looking card. In hand the background doesn't look as green as it does in the scan.  Looks like he is playing in overgrown grass in that picture.  

Does your team have a guy that has been around for a long time, but lacks cards? Jordy's reason is that he wasn't a huge prospect. Those guys tend to not get the Bowman love. 

Thanks for reading.