The Legend

The Legend

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Glimpse of What Could Be

Since I'm an active WVU collector it allows me to explore some football and basketball sets.  Of course with Panini having the NFL license you can get a glimpse of what their non licensed baseball products would look like. 

I don't attend for this to be a bash Panini post.  More of a "could you imagine how cool this card would look" post. I still enjoy picking up certain Panini products (National Treasures and Diamond Kings come to mind).  Plus they are much better including obscure players than Topps which makes for fun eBay pickups.  

While this is far from my favorite Prizm football card you can easily see that certain parallels would look sharp depending on the color scheme.

Prizm baseball is one of the more ridiculed sets Panini puts out.  While I've bought Prizm baseball on several occasions because obscure Pirates have received cards, the base set does look rough.

I actually kind of like the Hughes auto just because it is trippy and it distracts you from looking at the players picture.  The Cutch card is rough.  Like many Panini products they will get business because of quality checklists.

Here is a cool Optic auto from this past years football release.  Much nicer than the Glasnow auto for sure.  If they could just do something about the hats.  I think that is what bothers me the most. When positioned right the uniforms can be blocked for the most part.  That damn blank hat just looks so bad.

I think everyone should have a small sub collection where they can explore other sports. My WVU collection helps keep things fresh. It allows me to do stupid posts like this every once in a while.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 20, 2018


The Trinity kick continues....

2017 Leaf Trinity Shane Baz Clear Auto /10

Shane Baz was the Pirates first round pick last year.  Hopefully the hair was the deciding factor. I got a little worried when Shane was formally introduced last year with a more clean look. 

Thankfully he looks to be letting it grow out some.

This is important stuff folks, because if Baz can mimic the looks of the greatest pitcher ever to walk the know he is destined for greatness.

Baby steps Shane! Those shoes are hard to fill, but I respect you for aiming as high as you can. If a mustache starts coming into play he will be on top of every prospect list known to man. 

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Shortstop/Power Forward

I subscribe to a prospect oriented site called Pirates Prospects. While they have coverage of the big league team, their bread and butter is going into intimate detail on all the farm teams. Being that I have the NYPL affiliate Black Bears in my background it makes for a nice resource when learning about the new crop of players every year.  

The site becomes extremely helpful around the draft and trade deadline time.  Last year the Pirates didn't make a ton of moves during the season.  The only notable player shipped out was Tony Watson to the Dodgers.  The deal kind of flew under the radar since Watson struggled a good bit in 2017, but the return for the Pirates netted an interesting prospect.

2016 Bowman Chrome Oneal (Oneil Cruz) Auto
The card actually spells Cruz's name wrong.  It's "Oneil".....

When you trade struggling middle relievers you don't get sure thing prospects.  Often times you get players like Oneil Cruz.  The thing about Cruz that makes him unique is that he is a 6'6, 19 year old shortstop. The Dodgers were playing him at third base, but the Pirates seem to think the footwork is good enough for him to make the permanent switch.  At the time the article was written about Cruz it is believed that he may be the tallest shortstop in professional baseball.

The article made mention how teams are starting to ignore positional bias that certain body types are made for certain positions.  The average height for a shortstop now is 6'1 with a few stars being 6'3 like Correa and Seager.

Who knows what the future holds for Cruz.  He has a long way to go being that he is only 19 and still filling out his frame.  It would be cool to see him stick at the position.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Two Pops

This blind trade has been taken to another level....

These are courtesy of Dennis from Too Many Verlanders. 

Just getting this card alone would be a legendary haul.....BUT

Getting two Pops autos in the same envelope is just plain crazy.   Dennis really put his foot on the pedal this time around.  For obvious reasons Pops certified autos are not easy to come by.  They are generally numbered low and are inserted in higher end sets as cut autos.

I think most collectors despise manu-relics because card companies like to count them as "hits" in boxes. I would be included in that mix.  With that being said I'm happy to take Pirate variations in trade. These commemorate first career homeruns.

This is a solid looking non licensed card.  I feel like Diaz has been in the minors for about 15 years before getting the backup job this year.  The idea this year is to try and give Cervelli more days off to keep fresh.  Hopefully Diaz hits enough to warrant the playing time.

I wonder if Giles went on the DL after signing all those autos.....

I love crazy shit like this.  God bless mid 90's to early 2000's cardboard.  Some of it may make no sense, but at least it was different.
Exhibit 2 for my point above.  More cards should be burned out with a laser.  Also, this is about the most appropriate insert set name for a Pirate player ever.  I would like to have a dollar for every time I said (insert player) has been a bright spot in an overall miserable season.

Finest has long been a favorite.
A very unique Giles.
Lot's of shiny here.  Former WV Black Bear Will Craig makes an appearance as well as a very early card of Josh Bell.
A very early First Day Issue Stadium Club card of Al Martin.
Pitcher leader cards for the Buccos throughout the 2000's were soooooo sad.

A lot going on with this Porter.  You get the Steelers picture, but technically a Dolphins card.  My collection so my rules....counts as a Steeler.
I've been getting lots of West cards in trades lately which is so cool.  I don't get to buy much in the way of basketball since WVU doesn't produce much NBA talent.

Geno and Tavon put up a ton of points during their tenure as Mountaineers.
Bulger was such a late draft pick by the Saints that he didn't get a ton of rookie cardboard, but he sure made up for it with his Rams tenure.
Thanks a ton Dennis.  You really hit me hard with those 2 Pops autos.  Can't wait for the next round of trading!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Different Collections Different Rules

My Pirates collection is based around being a team collector. Of course I favor certain players, but I don't have a desire to chase every release.  I crave variety so I like to spread my money around. With WVU different rules apply.  While I have the same mentality, the player pool is much smaller. 

The core four in my collection are Pat White, Steve Slaton, Joe Alexander and Devin Ebanks. While I've always had a WVU collection, these four gave the collection the proverbial shot in the arm.  It allowed me to chase newer football and basketball releases that I had to ignore for the longest time because WVU had a significant gap in producing top round talent. Now WVU is producing top round talent on a more consistent basis so I don't accumulate as much of one player. 

Long story short the core four flamed out extremely quick.  While this is disappointing my collection is more based on my collegiate alliance than professional success. This creates a nice buyers market. The time period these guys were drafted (2008-2010) was also peak auto/relic time.  So I have tons of cards to chase and with the ~10 year time lapse I've accumulated a ton. 

While I'm no where close to having everything ever produced of these players, I am to the point where I'm adding mainly parallels.  Sometimes they are of the very unique variety like my most recent Pat White purchase

2009 Absolute Memorabilia Pat White Patch /5

That is a prominent Reebok patch.  While I enjoy adding autographs this is one of the more unique White cards in my collection.  If I'm going to spend a higher $ amount I normally favor players in the WVU uniform, but this was so unique I pulled the trigger. I'm happy to give this one a good home.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Space Utilization

I like collecting prospect autos.  Extra bonus if it is a player I've seen in Morgantown.   

Mitch Keller made his way to my neck of the woods last year for a short rehab assignment as he was building up his innings. You could tell he was wayyyyy too advanced for NYPL hitting.  He mowed down 6 hitters in what seemed to be about 30 seconds worth of pitching.  It was quite impressive. Guess it makes sense that he is the Pirates top prospect and is dominating every level. I'm guessing he may actually pitch in Pittsburgh at some point this year if the meteoric rise continues.  

2017  Leaf Trinity Mitch Keller Auto

I'm paying around $4 for Trinity Keller autos instead of $15-25 for the Bowman version. I like adding Bowman autos, but I usually have to focus on the fringe prospects instead of the big names.  I use sets like Trinity and Bowman's Best for the top 100 prospect types. 

Design wise I prefer the patch variations a little better than these base autos.  The patches cover up a lot of the wasted space left for the inscriptions.  Keller did a better job than a lot of the players of writing something unique.  Many of these just say "Go Pirates" or something of the like.  

It would be kind of funny if the players were allowed to be crude.  "Can't wait to hit Yadi Molina in the ass with a pitch" or something like that.   Lot's of space to be creative....

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Joy of Small Sample Sizes

I'm excited that the Pirates have gotten off to a good start.  Do I think they are this, but they can't take these wins away.  The narrative from the media after the Cutch and Cole trade was this team was looking like they were going into rebuilding mode.  The front office liked a more fan friendly term of retooling. Before the season I predicting to be .500ish and called them boringly average. Surprisingly they've been fun to watch.

For me the most exciting part of the season has been watching a healthy Jameson Taillon pitch. It is not a surprise that he is pitching well, the pedigree is there. He just hasn't been able to stay on the field. His young career has been cursed with injuries.  Arm injuries, line drives to the head and most recently his treatment for testicular cancer.  As a fan you just want to cheer for him a little more knowing his background.

2017 Topps Five Star Jameson Taillon Patch Auto /25

Taillon cards are dirt cheap right now so I can chase cards like this without breaking the bank. I'm guessing at some point his hot start will be noticed and he will start gaining some momentum. While I hope he continues his strong start, it was nice to add so many great cards for pennies on the $. 

Thanks for reading!