The Legend

The Legend

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wes Sends me Back to College

Wes (aka JBF/Willinghammer Rising)  really needs no introduction. If you read my drivel on semi regular basis you know that Wes and I like to trade everything under the sun.  What started out as a normal blind trade would soon evolve into sending bats, jerseys, books, baseballs and action figures. I could start a side blog just to document our back and forth trading. 

This year Wes narrowed his collecting habits so I have had to anticipate his attacks and shop ahead.  Preparation is key to trading with Wes.  The man lurks than pounces when you least expect. I vowed to at least always have a couple cards on hand when that unexpected Priority Mail box hits my doorstep. 

Wes went the throwback route with his most recent trade by making it strictly cardboard. For this post I thought I would just share some cards featuring WVU guys.  I have plenty for a Pirates post and a Steelers/Pens. 

I feel bad for Kevin White.  At least as bad as you can feel for someone who signed for tens of millions of dollars as a first round pick.  He has been hurt 95% of his professional career. Whether it is fair or not he has been labeled a mega bust.  My hope is that he at least gets to have a healthy season to show his true talent.

With all that being said professional success plays no part on whether I collect a player. I want every WVU alum to have a nice professional career, but seeing them in college is why I collect.  Wes sent me a nice gold Topps Chrome relic.  These are tough pulls.

Here is someone that is getting a lot of press lately.  Geno Smith just recently was named the Giants starter this week which started a whole shit storm of bad publicity for Giants management. I think only WVU people are happy to see Geno get another opportunity.  The bad thing is this Giants team might be even worse than the Geno led Jets team.

I've long been a fan of the diecut Elite cards in both baseball and football.  Obviously this is a very low numbered parallel.   Extra bonus that the card features Gibson in his WVU uniform.

When WVU joined the Big 12 improving the baseball team became an instant priority.  Baseball is a big deal in the conference so WVU had to act quick in regards to infrastructure and personnel.  Jed Gyorko is really the only player in the old regime to make a name for himself.  I suspect WVU will produce a ton more professional players in the near future.

Can't go wrong with Triple Threads relics.  They are always unique.

Sims has held the 3rd down back responsibilities for Tampa Bay the last 3 years. I miss the original Press Pass cards with the collegiate logs and the sharp looking on card autos.l

Another low numbered parallel of Kevin White!

Now this is a sharp looking!

So many great Sims cards.  Museum Collection is fancy pants, so it is awesome that Wes sent some my way.  Nice to have a quality patch too!

Topps Supreme had some crazy relics in it.  I kind of like how these are done. Nice to see different designs on relics.
I'm now officially a Charles Sims super collector.

The Rams are rolling now, but it seems like Tavon is a non factor.  It wouldn't surprise me if the Rams try to move him in the offseason.

Another multi relic that includes a couple of nice patches.

I can't thank you enough Wes.  You cease to amaze me my friend.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Close Call and Trades Galore

I went into panic mode last night when my home PC started to falter on me.  Thought the hard drive was going kaput, but thankfully I was able to remedy the issue at least short term. I'm a little more prepared for computer failure than I was when I lost everything a few years back.  Cloud services and backup drives are used and in stock at my house now.

My work computer is a MAC, but it is hard to justify one for home use because I can run through about 4 PC's before I get to the price of one Mac. If anything it has made my wife and more diligent about backing up important files.

Back to the regular scheduled program.

This has been a nice week to receive some awesome trade packages.  Regular trade partners JBF and Doug (Sportscards From the Dollar Store) hit me hard this past week.

I'm always excited to add hockey hits.  I don't buy them as a rule just because my baseball and WVU collection takes up the budget, but still love them.  Doug always seems to hook me up with interesting ones.
This is really cool.  Kehoe was the Pens all time scoring leader before Lemieux came into the picture.  Now he is 5th behind the big four of Lemiux, Jagr, Crosby and Malkin.

The Pens best defenseman!

Doug continues his well rounded trade package with Steelers hits.
Strata autographs are super thick

Current third string quarterback of the Steelers Josh Dobbs is an interesting talent.  Some considered him a value pick in the 4th round last year.

WVU time!

Most people seem to be not that excited about Geno Smith being named Giants quarterback.  I think the WVU faithful are the only ones happy for him.

The Steelers are an interesting team this year.  They have a great record, but it just feels like they are destined to lose to the first good passing quarterback they play in the playoffs.
I think my favorite current Steeler to watch is Le'veon Bell.  His running style is so unique.

Pens time
A great shot of Kunitz playing in one of the outdoor games.

Always happy to receive some Sid cards.  One of these years I would love to add an auto, but they are so expensive.
Some more cards of current Pens including new Pens fan favorite Phil Kessel.
A nice St Patricks Day warm up jersey shot of Olli Maatta.

Now for some Buccos to finish things off.
My buddy and I always use to have a running joke about Ross Ohlendorf. Whenever he would pitch he would sweat so much that it would actually show through on his jersey.  We always said if you would buy a game used jersey you would have to throw the damn thing away because it would stink so bad.

Thanks for the great cards Doug.  I'll hit you back soon.  I just received a nice Mets card the other day from Topps as a replacement for a Pirate auto that was never fulfilled.  It will be nice start to my next shipment to Canada.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Fading Away

2004 SP Prospects Jason Kendall/Neil Walker Dual Auto /100

The seller of this card classified it as NM which I would agree the card itself is in nice condition.  What the seller didn't say was that the Kendall auto was beginning to fade. It was obvious from the picture in the eBay description so I limited my high bid to $5. While it irked me a little that the seller made no mention, the selling price of $4 seemed more than reasonable for the card. 

I have several card cards from this set as SP went crazy featuring high draft picks with just anyone they had a sticker of. 

For every higher end card like the one above, you would find about 30 featuring players that never made it to the Majors.  In some ways I kind of like those, because I always end up spending a few minutes researching the player to see where they wound up. 

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, November 26, 2017


2017 Donruss Starling Marte Patch 1/1

Cards like this are not really my cup of tea.  I appreciate a nice patch card, but whenever I buy one I always regret not putting the money towards an auto.  I've probably only purchased a handful of Pirate patch cards this year. With that being said, when the right circumstances come together I will happily pull the trigger for a unique card.  

Marte has the biggest variance for active Pirates when it comes to card pricing. I've mentioned before that it seems he has a few super collectors that try and hoard the really high end cards.  Many of which will go for over $100.  Once the dust settles from those guys he becomes much more in line with my spending habits.  Autos and patches will fall into the $5 to $15 range. 

This card was sitting around $20 towards the end of the auction.  While not a deal by any means it was still below the threshold of what most Marte 1/1's would sell for.  I put a final bid of $30 in which was more than enough to capture the card. 

The photo used is a nice one for skirting the licensing. Plus the gold border works well with the gold throwback uniforms.  The highlight is the nice Majestic tag which makes for a unique collectible. While not my favorite card in my Marte collection it does make for a unique addition.  At least that is what I'm telling myself so I don't have buyers remorse.  

Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

My Experiences With Both Panini and Topps Redemption Exchange.

This year I decided to clear all my pending redemptions with Panini and Topps.  The Panini portion of the exchange was a tough pill to swallow because my pending items were Andrew McCutchen autos.  I held out FOREVER with the hope that they would be filled, but finally it not so many words Panini customer service told me there was no chance.  

I'll give Panini credit.  After making email contact they did everything they could to give me cards that fit into my collection.  I wrote about it here......

My Topps experience was easy in the sense that all you do is click a button online, but the execution is probably a little less desirable. After you click that you want to exchange, it is up to Topps on what they send.  From what I can see they do a really nice job in terms of value but the system doesn't cater to getting you your chosen team.  It feels that Topps automatically assumes you pulled every redemption out of the pack.  This likely helps them weed through all the people that want Mike Trout autos in return for their Henry Owens redemptions. 

This Amed Rosario was given to me in exchange for a pending Garrett Jones auto.  Rosario is a highly regarded prospect, so in terms of value I have no complaints. Plus this will be a really nice card to trade to one of my Mets friends like Doug.  It just isn't a Pirates card. 

So both redemption experiences were completely different, but you really can't be angry at the results of either. If I had a higher end Topps redempiton I would have attempted to go the extra mile to make sure something I collected was sent back in the exchange.  Since it was just a Garrett Jones that I had no money invested in I was happy with pot luck.

Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Longball Leaders

This is a card I haven't seen in a long time. Snagged it up a few weeks back. 

2002 Donruss Longball Leaders Brian Giles /37

This is one of those cards where I paid 3 times more in shipping than the actual card cost. I really despise doing that, but the card is rare enough, and the overall price cheap enough ($4.50) that I decided to pull the trigger.

I'm such a sucker for these funky insert parallels. 

Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Must Have

I love seeing non star players get some cardboard love.  Usually when this happens I'm likely going to be thanking Panini.  They shine when it comes to checklist variety when compared to Topps.  

2017 National Treasures Don Hoak bat relic /10

I believe this is Don Hoak's first solo relic.  He was part of some triple relics in last years National Treasures set. As soon as I saw this card I knew I had to have it.  I paid $4.50 for the card and utilized the sellers combined shipping to pick up a few other Pirate cards. 

Hoak was on the 1960 World Series winning team.  He also is remembered for committing the error that ruined Harvey Haddix's perfect game in what was considered the best pitched game ever.  

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Secret Santa Should be Fully Operational

Everyone should now be assigned someone so please check your emails if you haven't already. Try to make sure you get your gifts out before Christmas. Have fun!

If for some reason you didn't receive an email from me let me know.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Beer and Bats

I've had a few of my ongoing blind trades morph into beer and card trading.  It is pretty much the best thing ever.  I highly suggest it. This time around it was my good buddy Jim aka GCRL who hooked me up.

I'm looking forward to trying these in the coming weeks. Mad Butch beer has a 10 WAR design in my opinion.  

I'm not sure if I have any of these HBP cards.  I knew about them, but it might be new to my collection.  Awesome!

A pair of Glasnow relics from high end sets.  Glasnow dominated AAA again this year, but sucked something awful in his Pirate starts.  Some scouts see him as a high end reliever so maybe that is where he will find his success.  I'm sure the Pirates will once again give him every opportunity to start before making the conversion.
It was cool to see Danny Ortiz get a card this year.  He only made a couple of appearances and likely won't have a clear path to the MLB again unless the Pirates have multiple injuries.

I'm thankful my blogging friends continue to throw some of the Fire cards my way.  I kept telling myself that I was going to buy some, but just never pulled the trigger. I know reviews have been all over the place, but I'm a fan of different and these are definitely different.

The lone football card is this numbered Willie Parker.  Parker topped the 1000 yard mark three consecutive years with the Black and Gold.

Thanks so much for sending me the brews and cards Jim. I already have one high end card for you, but need to fill out the package a little more before sending.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fuji Trade

My good pal Fuji surprised me with a package last week. From the looks of it around the community he might have hit everyone.  You've been busy my friend. 

I've always liked this card. Don Slaught is just chilling and taken in all the action.  My guess is he isn't coming up to bat anytime soon. Also Desert Storm cards are awesome!
Here we have international sex symbol Mike Spanky Lavalliere. The guy just oozes athleticism.  Spanky actually still helps out the Bucco catchers during Spring Training.

This is a very catcher centric start to this post.  Ryan Doumit played for the Bucs for parts of 7 seasons. He would often flash some great offensive skills, but ultimately injury and defense kept him from reaching a higher status. Once the saber crowd started fine tuning catcher metrics it would show that Doumit was a historically bad catcher.

With all the negatives I still enjoyed Doumit. He was a funny guy that was easy to root for.  One has to wonder if the Pirates had committed to a position change if his career patch would have been different.

I have a few of these in my collection.  It looks like Freddy put on about 30lbs in this sketch. 

Pinnacle is always fun and I love collecting Pirates from the era right after the playoff years.  The Kevin Young is my favorite.
I don't think I have any of these in my collection so I was happy to see these. This is arguably Panini's best set.

Great shots all around with the Jay Bell being my favorite.

I've been begging for some more Pirate related Bonilla cards.  Please put him in Fan Favorites.

Early Cutch!

Man, Myth and Legend to finish things off.

Really appreciate you including me in your mass mailing Fuji.

Thanks for reading!