Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Battling the Aftermath of Hurricane Irene

I just wanted to let everyone that has a pending trade with me know that I haven't forgotten about you. Im dealing with this hurricane aftermath and still don't have power since Saturday night. Im typing this on my droid using my car to charge the phone. Oh Mother Nature, you can be so cruel sometimes.
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

the most expensive Andrew McCutchen in my collection

I just received the most expensive baseball card I have ever bought.  It's a 2010 Bowman Platinum Andrew McCutchen AUTO/JERSEY numbered 2/10.  The card features part of the Jolly Rodger patch worn on the sleeves of all Pirates players.

Keeping with the Bowman Platinum theme is a Rudy Owens AUTO that I pulled in a pack and just haven't posted yet.  Rudy was on pace to be a midseason call up for the Pirates this year.  He had previously won the Pirates Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and 2010.  He's currently on the DL and will most likely be out for the rest of the minor league season. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Elvis has entered the building

Alex Presley aka Elvis is back in the big leagues.  Alex won Pittsburgh's Minor League Player of the Year in 2010.  He hit very well in AA & AAA last year before becoming a September call up and legging out a couple bases.  He continued being a hitting machine in AAA until being called up when Jose Tabata when on the DL in late June.  He was the most consistent hitter the Pirates had during their incredible July run to become leaders of the NL Central.  Shortly after Presley and Chase D'Arnaud went on the DL, the Pirates started to skid out of contention.

Now Alex is back in the lineup along with Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.  That's a lot of speed patrolling the outfield.  In addition Chase D'arnaud has rejoined the team.  The team's speed is back in the lineup and I suspect that they will start to get back on track and end the season at or very close to .500.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I have been busy trying to update everything to my Picasa webpage to show all my Pirate treasures, but lack of a fast quality scanner and lack of time has disabled that goal.  Here's some older ebay winnings from earlier in the year that didn't get posted until now.

First up a Paul Maholm silk card

a Freddy Sanchez 2006 Topps Update All Star Game Jersey

 Brian Giles Prime Patches SHOE JERSEY HAT

Chase D'arnaud Tristar AUTO

a dual relic of Willie Stargell & Dave Parker

2 game used bat relics & an auto of Al Oliver

an Oliver Perez AUTO

 Dave Parker Topps Archives BAT

an Andy Van Slyke jersey relic

A Maury Wills Jersey relic 44/350

a Pedro Alvarez manupatch and triple signature of the Vanderbilt stars (Mike Minor, Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Flaherty)
a Ross Ohlendorf UD Signature Stars AUTO

2 Zach Duke jersey patches

and a Joel Hanrahan 2010 Peak Performance AUTO

I currently have several trades in the works so expect updates on that soon.  Also my birthday is approaching so I will probably treat myself to some cards to celebrate.

I will add all my Dave Parker, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, Bill Madlock, and Jason Bay cards soon.  I promise.

On a completely different note, my favorite pitcher Charlie Morton is on the mound again tonight so LET'S GO BUCS!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Finally Aaron Thompson makes MLB Debut


Ok, I understand that this isn't going to impress a lot of people or get national coverage like Stephen Strasburg's debut, but I am VERY excited for this.  Aaron was a 1st round pick of the Florida Marlins out of high school in 2005.  When I was younger, I really liked the Marlins a lot mostly due to Gary Sheffield.  My brother is a Marlins fan so I've been keeping up with the team and their prospects over the years.

During the offseason this past year, the Nationals released Aaron Thompson and the Pirates picked him up.  He pitched the very first inning of spring training for the Pirates and struck out all 3 batters he faced.  Granted it was an exhibition game against a college and the Pirates mostly sent out non roster invitees to the game, but Aaron and the Pirates won that game by a ridiculous amount of 21-1.

Fast forward a couple months and Aaron is in AA pitching for the Altoona Curve.  I went to every Curve game played against the Trenton Thunder this year and I think the players started to recognize me.
Starling Marte, the Pirates top positional player, saw me in the first row behind the dugout and said "Hey man, you want a bat?"
"Are you serious?" I asked
"Yeah, but it's cracked. You want it?"
"Hells yeah" I said rather excitedly
"Come after the game and I'll get him to sign it for you" Starling said as he slid the bat up over the dugout.

I was slightly confused by that comment as I thought I was getting his bat, but when he handed it to me I saw that it had said Aaron Thompson  Pittsburgh Pirates.  Aaron had just pitched the night before and the bat still had fresh sticky pine tar all over it.  There were only 2 other Pirates/Curve fans at the game and all night long, one of them was offering everything from his popcorn and peanuts to a Dave Parker autographed baseball he had at home when he saw that Starling had given me the bat.  That bat wasn't going anywhere.

After the game was over, Matt Curry had made the last out and as is typical he tossed the ball to the fans.  That fan happened to me.  So all in all it was a good haul that night.  An Aaron Thompson bat and a game used Eastern League AA Minor League ball.

I didn't get a chance to meet Aaron after the game by the buses because I was running late for work, but I did manage to buy an autographed photo off ebay for $12 shipped.

All in all, I wish Aaron the best of luck today against the hottest team in baseball.  I'm rooting for you.  LET'S GO BUCS!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Gerrit Cole goodness

Here's my 3 newest Gerrit Cole cards acquired through eBay.  Two more jersey relics and a dual auto with Matt Barnes (1st round pick by Boston RedSox).  I'm very happy to be adding the future ace of the Pirates rotation to my collection. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Trade with Too Many Grandersons

Dennis at Too Many Grandersons was looking to unload some Pirates.  Who am I to turn down some Bucs' cards?  Here's some of the highlights of the box I received.

Pirates love gold and I love gold numbered parallels.  Steve Pearce makes the funniest faces
Also in the group of cards he sent me was a bunch of cards I needed for my player PCs.  I got a Ryan Doumit 2008 Bowman Gold I needed for my Doumit PC, 3 Jason Bays I needed for my Bay PC, and 2 nice Barry Bonds cards for my Bonds Pirates PC.  I'm also happy to see a Roberto Clemente and strangely enough Oliver Perez in this box.
Dennis also included about a dozen Brian Giles cards and close to 30 Jason Kendall cards.  Above are some of my favorites from the lot.  I really like the 2 Brian Giles celebration cards.  Brian Giles was a powerhouse when he was with Pittsburgh.  I also decided to show off an Aramis Ramirez minor league card and a Topps Chrome Mike Gonzalez rookie card.
Now this is the centerpiece of the lot.  These are all numbered cards that Dennis put together that he said he wouldn't miss anything of.  The Victor Black auto is numbered to 50.  He's currently in A ball pitching in relief for the Bradenton Marauders.  The highlight for me of all these cards is the Chase D'arnaud refractor.  I've talked about Chase in the past and how he is my favorite of the Pirates positional prospects.  I was very excited to see that card in the pile.  I'm thinking I might add Chase to my players I collect. 

Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOO much for the awesome cards Dennis.  I hope you enjoy the cards I sent you too. 

Morton Monday & 2 Brad Lincoln autos

Charlie had another quality start his last time out on the mound on August 20th.  It wasn't his strongest outing against the Reds, but he kept battling and was in line for the win until another blown hold by Chris Resop.

Brad Lincoln, a former first round draft pick of 2006, is making the spot spot start for the Bucs tonight against a double header with the Brewers. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kemp, Cutch, Upton, Heyward, Pence, and Braun

This is a really awesome booklet featuring some of the NL's best young ball players.  This is my first booklet and I gotta say, these things are sweet.  The card features Justin Upton, Ryan Braun, Hunter Pence, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, and Jason Heyward.  I recently won this card on eBay. 

The card is serially numbered 4/16.

Chris Duffy patch cards are too tough to pass up for $5 shipped, so I had to pick this one up off eBay too.  I was never a big fan of Duffy, but the card is nice looking enough to add to the collection for $5.  This card is numbered 49/50.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pirates extend Jose Tabata

The Pirates have extended one of their youth core by signing Jose Tabata through the next 9 years buying out his arbitration years and first shot at free agency.  The deal is worth a total of $37M but keeps Tabata in Pittsburgh through 2019.  Jose has stated his passion for the Pittsburgh Pirates and admiration for Roberto Clemente.

Click here for details of the extension.

In 176 career games, Jose has 104 runs scored, 34 stolen bases, and an average of .286. 

I currently have 3 Autos, 2 relics, an auto/relic, and a manufactured bat barrel of Jose.  Pictured above is a selection of my "hit" Tabata collection

I decided to also post 2 of my Dave Parker jersey relics.  Dave was an MVP for the Pirates in 1978 and was the 1979 All Star Game MVP.  During the 70s, Parker was one of the most feared batters in the National League and also won 3 gold gloves (1977-1979).  I have about a dozen Parker relics, but only 1 auto.  I plan on scanning them all in later in the month.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I want to be &%$@ing Batman too!

You're probably asking yourself, what the hell am I talking about?
Well I went on COMC about a week ago looking to buy a good size lot of Pirates Prospects cheap.  I find that I can find the cards on eBay, but most sellers overcharge for shipping.  If you do it right on COMC, you can pickup a lot of cool cards from the same seller, which I guess you can do on eBay too, it just takes longer.
Anyway, enough of blah blah blah.  Here's some of the cards that I manged to pick up for the price of a blaster and rack pack (about $30 shipped).

I really like that Colton Cain card a lot.  Here's why:
1) Colton Cain is a cool name and his signature is legible
2) Colton has a 3.64 ERA in 106 IP in A ball this year.  He also has a 81:31 strikeout to walk ratio.
3) I want to be Batman too

The second card on the top is a USA Jersey card of Robbie Grossman.  I've talked a lot about Robbie over the past couple weeks and yesterday he made minor league history.  He was the first minor leaguer to have 100 Walks and 100 Runs in a season since Nick Swisher in 2004.  Best of all he hit a game winning home run last night too.  Robbie is going to be an amazing athlete if he can continue this success in AA and above.

The Jordy Mercer auto is my first Jordy Mercer card I actually own.  I've seen Jordy play a couple times this year with AA and AAA.  I also got to see him play in Citizens Bank Park during an exhibition game between the Pirates and Phils before the season opened.  I think Jordy has the potential to be a very solid utility ballplayer with some pop in the future.

The dual bat relic of Robbie Grossman and Quincy Latimore is really neat especially since it was less than a $1.00.  Numbered 61/250

I didn't have any Jarek Cunningham cards other than the Bradenton Marauders team set card.  This card is a numbered parallel 83/199.  I got this card for $0.55

Also on this scan is 2 Tony Sanchez Bowman cards for the PC.  

At the top of this scan are 2 Daniel McCutchen autos and a Jeff Clement auto. These on card autos were all had for $5.08.  How could I pass that up?  Daniel McCutchen has been pretty solid as a long swingman throughout the season.  He has also been used as a setup man from time to time.  Jeff Clement was part of the deal that sent beloved Jack Wilson to Seattle.  Jeff was selected by the Mariners as a power hitting catcher, but he was never able to live up to the hype that made him such a desired prospect.  After struggling for most of last season and then getting injured twice last year, Jeff is back in the Pirates AAA Indianapolis Indians.  In 13 games he has a .342 average with 4 extra base hits.  Yesterday he went 1 for 1 as a pinch hitter. 

On the bottom row is an autograph of pitching prospect Colton Cain and utility man Steve Pearce.  I like how Steve is blowing a bubble while running.  Really classy there Steve.  I also decided to pick up a Mark Buehrle jersey card.  I used to enjoy watching the ChiSox play when they had the Big Hurt, Ventura, and Black Jack together in the early mid 90s and still watch their games from time to time on MLB network.  This card of Buehrle is nice looking though because he's wearing a throwback uniform.  I love throwback uniform cards.

Last but certainly not least is another Robbie Grossman card.  This 2009 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads features a piece of Robbie's high school uniform and is number 7/250. 

There you have it 14 cards for $30 shipped.  Of that 14 I got 7 Autos, 4 relics, 2 player PC, and a numbered parallel.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Today would have been Roberto Clemente's 77th birthday had he not died tragedy in a humanitarian act December 31, 1972.  Clemente was loved by many young kids and especially the Latino heritage during his playing career in the late 1950s - early 1970s.  Known as the Great One, Clemente has a statue outside PNC Park commemorating his life and playing career.  Inside PNC Park, there is a 21 foot tall wall in right field to honor Clemente's number and former position.  He has had countless books, magazines, comics, and general publications go into great detail about his life.  I'm not here to do that.  I'm here to pay tribute to one of the greatest Pittsburgh Pirates players ever through the art of cardboard.  Enjoy my small collection

As of now I only have 3 Jersey Relic cards of Clemente.  I would really love to get some more, especially a nice patch card.  The card directly below is from Triple Threads.  I really like this card as it has 2 pieces of jersey and a bat relic. 

The 2005 Donruss Champions bat relic directly above is my favorite of the bat relics I own featuring Clemente.  Donruss had a habit of putting a relic anywhere it fit on the card which became very annoying aesthetically.  However the card above is framed nice with the team colors and shows Roberto getting ready to swing the bat.

See what I meany by random placing of relics?  The card above shows that Donruss doesn't know how to place relics on cards.  It looks even worse on the back. 

Directly above is the oldest card I have of Clemente.  It's from 1959.  Unfortunately mine is slightly off centered, but the corners are nice and there are no major blemishes on the card.  I am actively seeking to trade for vintage Clemente.  I'm even looking for the mid 80s Donruss Puzzle pieces so if you have anything pre1987 of Clemente let me know.