The Legend

The Legend

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Johnny on the Spot

John Miller (Johnny's Trading Spot) is about as prolific of a trader you will find in card blogging community.  He recently sent a bunch of Priority Mail boxes in which I was a lucky recipient.  One of my favorite things about receiving cards from John is that they often lean heavy in the 1995-2005 time frame.  

What's better than Fleer....How about Fleer Premium.  It's even more Fleer(y).  I love how the baseball got cropped in on the top left.

This card actually hits my collection on multiple levels.  JR House is one of the most accomplished WV High School athletes of all time.  He owns just about every quarterback record you can think of. His Dad owned car dealerships in WV and FL so during baseball season he would transfer to FL and play there.

For a while it looked like he was going to be the catcher of the future for the Pirates, but he could never get his foot in the door at the MLB level.  He got a couple cups of coffee and then he retired.

Jim Tracy's tenure as manager was pretty rough.  Lots of reporting of in fighting and players bitching publicly about how he managed the roster.  All I know is I love manager cards!

McLouth was always a cool story.  Never much of a prospect (drafted in the 25th round!) he would hit his way to the MLB level.  The Pirates also timed his trade from Pittsburgh perfect as he never could regain the magic after breaking out to All Star level in 2008.  His trade also opened the door for Cutch.
I've been putting a lot of focus in finding all the Ramirez Pirate cards.
One of the best legend sets ever created.

Love this one! 
One of those weird cards where the card says Pirates, but features a different uniform.
Lots of great cards can be found in Ultra.

Not easy to find Pirate cards of Lofton.  This is just fantastic and might be my favorite card of the whole bunch.
I'm talked about that Kevin Young card a few times in the past. It prominently features the Homestead Grays uniform.

This is an eclectic bunch right here.  Love the Nunez.

Been really hoping for some new Cervelli cards this year.  Fingers crossed that he gets a Pirate auto release.

Could you imagine a collaboration between Skybox and Pacific.  You would probably have to wear special glasses just to look at the cards.

Matt Capps was probably the nicest player I've met in person.  Super funny and personable.

Pacific could even make Warren Morris look classy and cool.
Some great names here.

Quite a haul of Big and Little Poison.
The sliding Honus is my favorite of this bunch.
I'm always a sucker for the random reliever card.  Wade LeBlanc for the win!

RIP Toys R US.
Kris Benson not developing into an ace really killed the Pirates.

This was a cool Bay card and a perfect way to end what was a crazy fun bunch of cards to look through. You cease to amaze me John.  Hopefully I can find something cool to repay the generosity.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

You're Never the Only One

2018 has been one of the weakest in terms of new releases for the Pirates in recent memory.  Had my fingers crossed for Bowman Chrome this year, but even the prospect oriented set only had one Pirate first year auto.  The real gut punch was the checklist for Topps Pro Debut.  I don't often get excited for new releases, but this is the only set that has produced WV Black Bear cards over the first few seasons of the teams existence. Nothing to be found this year.  I guess Heritage Minors has an outside chance to produce a card, but that set tends to focus on the higher levels of the MiLB.

My WVU collection to the rescue.  While I collect all players from alma mater, I consider the core 4 Steve Slaton, Pat White, Joe Alexander and Devin Ebanks.  The first three were all high draft picks and have an absolute shit ton of cards out there.  I literally find a handful of cards a month that I had no idea existed. Ebanks was only featured in a handful of sets so new to me cards don't pop up too much.

Obviously Devin Ebanks is kind of an obscure collecting focus.  He was a second round pick that only saw a little playing time with the Lakers.  When rarer cards pop up I often think to myself that I should get a pretty good deal.....never really the case.  Someone else is always looking.

Last month a seller had two high end lots of Ebanks cards going off on the same day.  I was pumped. I didn't need every card in the bunch, but wanted both lots as it checked off several rare parallels that hardly ever pop up.  To my surprise the bidding on them was much more active than I anticipated. I put healthy bids on both lots, but only ended up with one......and barely got that one.

This is a picture of the lot that got away.

The lot sold for $45.  I had time to jump in again, but paying more than $5 a card was more than I would like considering some would be repeats in my collection.  My main interest was the /10 gold versions.

Here is the lot I won.

This lot ended up costing me around $25 which again was more than I wanted to go, but I really wanted the Absolute Memorabilia cards.  They are numbered to /5 and /10 respectively .  Been a while since I've seen them on auction so I wanted to pounce.

I really think if Ebanks played for the Bucks or some other team that doesn't have a big following these would be $10-$15 lots.  Either way I'm happy to end up with my most desired one, but a little disappointed about the amount I spent.  Obviously not outrageous, but I'm much cautious with my WVU spending than my Buccos collection.  I guess I can just tell myself I'm reallocating 2018 Pirate funds elsewhere.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

I finally wrapped up my stretch where I was on the road 5 of the past 7 weekends.  No complaints as most of them were extremely fun, but it will be nice to unwind at home for a stretch.  The weekends are often used for me to get a handle on my collection.  Between being gone and the JBF items you can probably see how I fell a little behind. Time to catch up! 

First up is my pal Doug (Sportscards from the Dollar Store).  Doug always sends well rounded trade packages, but he seems to specialize in finding great WVU cards.  

I'm a sucker for any card that features the player in a WVU uniform. This is just a sharp looking card featuring Geno in the gold WVU uniform with an on card auto.  

Charles Sims just resigned a one year deal with the Buccaneers.  My guess is he will continue with his 3rd down duties.

I've noticed an uptick in Tavon Austin cards since he just got traded to the Cowboys.

Fingers crossed for a healthy year out of White.
I've always been a huge fan of Contenders.  Probably top 3 for me in favorite football sets.

Nova's only certified Pirates auto!
Cutch hasn't had a great start to his Giants career.  I was watching a Giants game the other day and it just doesn't seem right watching him wear a different uniform.
Vasquez came to Pittsburgh in a small trade with the Mariners a couple seasons back.  I believe this is my first card of his and it is a very low numbered one!

Doug is contractually obligated to at least send me one Pens card or he loses his Canadian citizenship.

Pretty excited to see this dual auto of two guys that had nice tenures as Penguins.

Guessing Doug must have already had these in his mask collection.

I welcome all Sid cards!
Tom Barasso was a maniac, but fun to watch.
Happy to see Cole doing well in Houston.  Too bad the Pirates didn't get to fully tap into his potential.

Lots of big prospect names in the bunch of Bowman. Former WV Black Bear Kevin Newman is the likeliest to see MLB team this year.
Wish Cervelli had more Pirate releases.  He got off to a very fast start this year, so maybe if he stays healthy he could have a chance at an All Star selection.  That should generate a few more releases.

Nickname card!!!!
Mario Mendoza just looks like an world athlete.
You can never have too many Dock Ellis cards, right?!!!!

Doug was super quick in sending me the new Score Steelers.  The biggest get is the Mason Rudolph rookie.  I got to see plenty of him when he was Oklahoma State playing the Mountaineers.

This was a fantastic assortment Doug!  I have my work cut out for me to hit you back at the same magnitude, but challenge accepted.