The Legend

The Legend

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ushering in a New Season

September expanded roster baseball is the absolute worst.  Its not so bad when two playoff teams are competing against each other, but you are in for a long evening when the bottom dwellers are playing. The mid inning pitching changes make me cringe.  Coaches love matchup baseball and if they have a bullpen full of specialists you better believe they are using them.

It continues to boggle my mind that baseball hasn't changed the roster expansion rule. The idea is to reward certain minor leaguers and to give managers some roster flexibility towards the end of the season. Today many of the call ups are more AAAA fringe major leaguers rather than prospects. These are the type of guys that usually fill up a 40 man roster spot instead of the mega prospect sitting in AA. You will see a ton of bullpen specialists, pinch runners and defensive specialists instead of high end prospects. It is so odd to have such a drastic rules change at the end of the year.

Every year a ton of articles will come out on ways to fix the roster expansion rule.  Some will argue that it should just be eliminated while others think giving the manager a certain number of players that can be considered "active" for the game that day.  I think I could get on board with the "active" roster.

I think this marks the third year in a row where I wrote something about roster expansions. I'll go back to screaming at clouds in the sky now.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Expanding my Cardboard Legacy

1997 Flair Showcase is confusing as shit, but has tons of cool cards in it.  At one time the parallels were fairly easy to find, but I've noticed an uptick in interest the last few years on eBay.  Makes sense as interest in cards from the mid to late 90's has gone up across the board.  Thankfully the Pirates only have a few lower end type of players that got featured in this set.  So for me a card that would have normally sold for .99 might be $3.  For a Griffey or Jeter collector it might be $20 to $80.

Where Showcase gets confusing is in the "Rows" and "Sections." If you want to learn more about the set here is a link.  Basically the whole idea is that each player in the 180 set had 3 different levels that had different designs.  That is where the "rows" come in.  The "sections" were parallels offsets of the rows.  See what I mean about confusing.....

A couple weeks back I found a seller that was breaking up an entire Showcase Legacy Collection parallel set.  Kudos to whomever put that together as these are all /100. The seller at the time had the Jason Kendall, Al Martin and Jose Guillen for the Pirates.  I ended up with Guillen and Martin.

Quick side note, 1997 Flair Showcase was the first set to have a true 1/1 parallel called "Masterpieces."

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Counting Backwards 313 to 312

I have to admit I'm a little more excited than normal about a recent purchase I made. Thanks to Greg from Plaschke Thy Sweater is Argyle with the assist on this one.  First a little build up....

Vintage cards are not in my comfort zone.  Before starting my blog I had very little in the way of vintage Buccos.  Now that I've been around for a little while and have some great trade partners, my collection has turned pretty respectable.  The gradual additions via trade has led me to more and more purchases. Back in early 2016 I made one of my favorite purchases.

This is the 1936 National Chicle fine pen premiums R313 featuring the Waner brothers catching a piggy back ride from Big Jim Weaver.  It is just so cool and unique. I feel in love with it the first time I saw it.  It took a little time for me to find one in decent condition, but eventually I snagged one.

Fast forward to a couple weeks back and Greg sends me a Tweet with an eBay link.  When I first saw the link, I thought it was for the same card I already owned since I only took a glance at the description.

1936 National Chicle Premium Pastels R312

It turns out the link was for the pastel version of the card! I'm super pumped that I have both versions and that they are in relatively good condition.

Thanks for the assist Greg!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I Can See Clearly Now

I'm a big fan of clear/acetate cards so when I saw the preview of Topps Clearly Authentic I knew I would chase down the Pirates. Thankfully nothing crazy was on the checklist Pirate wise (Taillon and Glasnow) so tracking them down will/has been easy.  Last week I was able to add the Taillon for around $6.

 2017 Clearly Authentic Jameson Taillon Auto

This is a product I would never open, but if you like acetate cards you should take a look at the checklist.  Lots of lower end autos in the set that can be had for less than $10.  When I purchased this Taillon I noticed the seller had a lot of autos from this set on auction.  I tried for a handful of different ones that would have made great trade bait, but only came away with one additional card....

Hopefully Ptown Tom hasn't picked this one up.  Either way since he is super collecting I don't think he'll mind having a second one.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Please Make Fun of me

The beauty about collecting cards is that no wrong way exists. Most are just bound by finances and time. People that worry about the way others collect have their priorities messed up. Sure it gets annoying seeing people on Twitter who PC Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Steph Curry at the same time, but too each his own.  It's your money and if you want to collect the flavor of the week so be it. The unfollow button is just a click away if it bothers you.

My collecting style is all about variety. I like to jump set from set trying to accumulate cards that interest me. Every so often I go back and look at cards I've accumulated and one will pop out that leaves me with that "what the hell was I thinking" feeling.

Such was the case with this card.....

2014 National Treasures Flawless Honus Wagner Dumb as Shit Diamond Card /20

I'm probably one of the least critical people when it comes to card design. I often look past aesthetics if it is a Pirate that is rarely featured on a card or from an obscure set.  Sometimes a crazy look is what draws me to a set (like any 90's insert). These Flawless diamond cards are just too much for me. 

Maybe I had too many bourbon barrel stouts one evening and was trying to shop for myself and my wife at the same time.  /chugs beer "pretty diamonds....oh this Honus Wagner card is nice too." I remember finally getting this card in the mail and just shaking my head.  Usually I would showoff a unique Honus Wagner card, but the buyers remorse was just too much for me.  It had to be relegated to my basement for 3 years. 

Now I can at least look at this card more from a comical point of view.  Maybe even as more time passes I'll view it like some diecut, lightning bolt/hologrammed card from Pacific. Who knows, if times get tough I can pawn the actual diamond for the .37 it is likely worth.  Someday when I die my daughter will look through my cards and realize that the reason she couldn't go to a nice private college was that Dad bought cards with diamonds in it.  Sorry honey, hope you enjoyed your time at University of Northwest Southeast Delaware Trucker Tech.  

Alright guys let me have it.  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Player Specific Lots

I recently found a seller on eBay who creates player specific lots from newer sets.  Some of the starting bids are a little high but some decent deals can be had on rookies.  I took advantage of a Tyler Glasnow lot that had a $5.99 starting bid.  That turned out to be the only bid.

The auto was the centerpiece of the lot.  I've been adding a decent amount of Glasnow cards ever since he got sent back down to AAA.  He has been dominating down there so maybe he can stick around for good when he gets called back up in September.  

Some high end base rookie cards.  The copper is an unnumbered parallel.

This aqua parallel is /299.
A nice sampling of base.
The pink parallels are not numbered. They actually look kind of weird in person.  Not sure if it is a good or bad weird.
The last card in the lot was "the rookies" insert of the Bucco pitcher.

All in all not a bad lot and a nice easy way to accumulate a sampling of cards from two higher end sets. The auto was just icing on the cake.

Here is a link to the seller on eBay.  You might be able to find some deals especially if you buy multiple lots to save on shipping (I assume with 100% feedback he does this).

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Direct Orders

Hey, its an actual post about cards. I feel like in the summer this blog turns into a travel/beer blog, but I guess it helps keep things fresh. Hard to drum up a lot of excitement for a new Jason Bay addition. Guess it proves I'm an actual person that doesn't sit at home thumbing through junk wax cards 8 hours a day. By the way that is not a bad thing, I just like to get out of the house. If my wife would let me I would happily thumb through junk wax 18 hours a day!

A couple weeks back Julie from A Cracked Bat sent me a huge box of cards with specific instructions on the pattern to open.  The first team bag labeled #1 was the jumbo Extra Bases cards I showcased last week.  The rest of the cards are in order of how they appeared in team bags labeled #2-7.  Tons of cool stuff here. 

When I was actively collecting Steelers my two favorite players to collect were Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu.  Always cool to receive cards of one of the better defensive players in team history which is saying something considering the teams history.

I liked watching Wallace as a Steeler because he seemed to only run go routes.  He was pretty much the "down and B" play on Tecmo Bowl.

The Platinum Roethlisberger is one of the more shiny cards I've seen. 

One of the team bags was stuffed to the gills with Topps Mini cards.

Love this card!
It seems like I talk about Topps Total a lot on my blog.  I still think the set would have a place as a retail only option.  That way Topps wouldn't have to worry about the case busters not getting an Aaron Judge auto.
Julie just throws around cards worth $5000 like a boss.
Not exactly murderers row, but I do like this card. The sun looks to be in Aramis Ramirez's eyes.
I know Pirate fans get sick of their stomach when they think of the Jose Bautista trade.  While it was completely unnecessary who knows if he would have actually broken out.  Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.
License or not, DK will always be a favorite of mine.
Triple Play was a staple of my childhood.
Jim Leyland smoking in the dugout was also a staple of my childhood.  I'm such a sucker for manager cards.

Vintage stock featuring Cutch and real life Pirate John Jaso.

Optic cards are more attractive than the normal Donruss base so that is saying something.
Young Cutch!
Kind of hard to see but this is numbered out of /10.  Holdzkom kind of pulled the Natural with the Bucs as he came out of nowhere to help us make a big playoff push and then disappeared.

This is a super cool Little Poison bat card! Panini has created a ton of cool new cards of the Waner brothers recently.  Love that they focus on a lot of  pre war players.

Former Black Bear Will Craig! He has had a much better season this year so I'm hoping he may get a late move to AA this year.

This card says Adam LaRoche, but that is most definitely his brother Andy.

I joked at the beginning of this post about always showing Jason Bay cards....

This is a super cool patch featuring the rare red jersey worn by the Pirates in the mid 2000's.
Some high end base of Cutch!
Pretty much a perfect card.

I'm a fan of the crazy looking Inception base cards.

Andrew Lambo kind of pulled the Henry Owens by being in every set for a while without really deserving to be. Man, I wish Finest was just a little cheaper. I really love that set.

It looks like Nick Kingham was practicing writing his name in Japanese.
Steve Blass cereal card!

Thanks for all the great cards Julie.  These were a blast to sort through.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

El Coffee

I lied about getting back to cards today.  What I do have is a new bobblehead! The extra bonus of the bachelor party weekend was that the game we attended was Gregory "El Coffee" Polanco bobblehead night.

This year the Pirates started limiting many of the giveaways to 20,000 so I was pretty adamant about getting to the stadium early.  A couple months back my buddy and I went to Jordy Mercer bobblehead night and missed out.  We stayed a tad too long at the bar.  Man, that still pisses me off.

The funny thing is the nickname has really nothing to do with coffee.  His coach when he was 15 years old said he looked and acted like another player that had the same nickname. It just stuck after that.  A+ marketing game by Dunkin Donuts to get on the sponsorship.

While it is not as cool as my tipping chair Bob Walk bobble, the coffee aspect makes it quirky and fun. Now I just need to find one of those singing Cervelli bobbles!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Going Out in Style

This weekend was spent celebrating the end of my brother in laws life....whoops, I mean single life. 

 Eight of us met up in Pittsburgh to play Scrabble and drink green tea.
 I was the old man of the group as I'm ten years older than my brother in law. My wife designated me the "responsible one" to make sure everyone comes back in one piece.
In all seriousness it was a fun weekend that was centered around 3 big events. First was our big dinner Friday night at the Hofbrauhaus. 

The Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh is modeled after the original in Munich. It is a great place to take large parties. Oh yeah, they have beer.....really big 64oz mugs of beer. 

 This place is where diets go to die.
 The "Haus Band"

Our second big event was a Pirates game.
 The Maz statue in the background.
 It started out as a really nice day.
 Our seats
 Mother Nature thought we were drinking slowly so she spotted us an extra 90 minutes or so....It turned out to be a really good game as the Pirates hit 3 homers in a win.  It was also Gregory Polanco bobblehead day so that was an extra bonus.

Before we left town on Sunday we decided to hit the preseason Steelers game.
 It was very hot clear day.

 We didn't stay the whole time because preseason football is boring and the heat was overbearing.  The casino next door has a very powerful air conditioner and free drinks. Holy crap did that air conditioner feel good.  I think my eyeballs were even sweating.  Note to self....Don't spend 48 hours partying and then expect to be comfortable in stifling heat.

We came out of the weekend unscathed so I consider the whole bachelor weekend a success. There might have been a few headaches and fatigue, but nothing some aspirin and your own bed can't cure.

Back to cards tomorrow!  Cheers to my brother in law Steven.