Friday, January 31, 2014

$5 Auto: Nick Kingham

At my local mall card show, I recently picked up a Nick Kingham Bowman Sterling Auto for a five spot.  Not a bad price, for the Pirates fourth best pitching prospect (Taillon, Glasnow, and Heredia are all ahead).  On most teams top 10 propects, Kingham has the stuff to be a top 3-5 prospect, but on a loaded farm system like what the Pirates have, he's currently ranked 9th.

Kingham posted a 2.89 ERA over two leagues last year (A and AA) with 144 strikeouts in 143 innings while allowing a low .233 batting average against.  The 21 year old will likely begin the season in AA with a quick callup to AAA when Jameson Taillon makes his MLB debut.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Best Ebay Lot EVER!!! Only 5 cents a card!!!!

While browsing for some good deals on ebay, I stumbled across this ridiculously cheap lot of 670 Pirates cards for $35 with FREE SHIPPING.  When you break that down, it's only a little over 5 cents a card.  Forget about your dimebox heroes, these are nickel heroes.

As part of the lot were 4 autographs from Francisco Cordova, the last Pirate to be involved in throwing a No-Hitter. Mike Kingery, Jon Liever, and Steve Cooke were the other signatures in the lot.

Also were 10 new Andy Van Slyke cards for my collection which I showed off yesterday.

It was overflowing with complete team sets from Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer, Donruss, Gypsy Queen, Pro Debut, etc.

It had over half a dozen minis.

Plenty of duplicate Andrew McCutchens (31 to be exact)

Plenty of new Andrew McCutchens (8)

More Jason Kendall, Brian Giles, Freddy Sanchez, and Jack Wilson cards than I will ever know what to do with

A Garrett Jones 2010 UD Biography card I've been chasing for awhile along with some more favorites that are all new additions to the collection

Several gold, blue, sparkle parallels (but my favorite is the blue Alex Presley shown below)

Oddballs and Diamond Kings

Some Hall of Famers

and a boatload of rookie cards for Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Gregory Polanco, Josh Bell, Luis Heredia, Tony Sanchez, Nick Kingham and Austin Meadows including a 2013 Bowman Refractor mini of Jameson Taillon

Of course there was junk in there, but considering that the cards were only 5 cents a piece, I think I got my money worth.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

10 new Andy Van Slyke cards

One of my 2014 collecting goals was to add 36 new Andy Van Slyke cards to my collection (3 a month for 12 months).  I recently made a massive steal of a card collection deal on ebay that included 10 new Andy Van Slyke, I somehow didn't have in my possession.

Last week, I showed off my 1st new AVS of 2013 to the PC.
11 down, 25 more to go...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

First Look at 2014 Topps with tradebait

I was in the mood for a $5 JanuarANY footlong at the subway near my house which happens to be inside of a WalMart and while there I decided to browse the card aisle.  I was surprised to see the 2014 Topps had just been packed out.

Here's some of the highlights of the blaster and hanger I bought.  With the exception of the Pirates, everything is for trade

First up is the Commemorative Patch I was guaranteed.  It's of the 2013 AL HomeRun champ, Chris "Crush" Davis.

Some cool inserts were found in the packs.  I purposely set the Big Papi 1989 mini crooked to give it that illusion of all those miscut 1989 Topps from our youth.

Because it's WalMart, there were blue parallels.

to go with the other color parallels

I'm not sure if every player in Series 1 has these parallels, but if they do, I will certainly be tracking down the Pirates team set.  Both of these are of the Pirates rival Reds.

And of course the mega hyped LA phenoms Yasiel Puig and Mike Trout

How did I do with Pirates in my Wal Mart adventure?
Well, I didn't strike out.
of the 4 Pirates I pulled, 2 were blue parallels (Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton)
I was f-ing pumped to see the Mortons!!!!!

Unlike previous years where sunglasses, celebrations, homerun robbing catches, and autograph signings are shortprints, this year they are part of the regular set.

Monday, January 27, 2014


I've been adding Andrew McCutchen printing plates since before the 2010 season.  Since then, the cost of a Cutch printing plate has gone up A LOT.  I remember still buying his 2009 Topps rookie card magenta plate off sportlots for $10.  TEN FRICKING DOLLARS FOR HIS ROOKIE PLATE!!!!

My recent purchase brought me in the way back machine as I was able to pick up 4 (that's right all 4) printing plates of Cutch for the Dec 2013 issue of Beckett Baseball.  What did these giant sized printing plates run me?  $50 delivered, thanks to a few spare ebay bucks that made the cost of shipping free. I'm very pleased to add these to my collection for $12.50 a piece.

Here's the plates individually.  Keep in mind that my scanner is only an 8.5 x 11 size scanner and these are all 10 x 11 size printing plates so about 2 inches from each plate are missing.

December 2013 Beckett Baseball Black Printing Plate 1/1

December 2013 Beckett Baseball Cyan Printing Plate 1/1

December 2013 Beckett Baseball Magenta Printing Plate 1/1

December 2013 Beckett Baseball Yellow Printing Plate 1/1
And this is what all the plates look like as a collective unit to give the end result of the printed cover.

And just for show, here's the plates all together.

All Four Printing Plates to Beckett Baseball December 2013 Issue (cyan, black, yellow, magenta)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

You Nearly Completed Me with a Play at the Plate

My Vintage Needs are decressing each month and I am getting VERY CLOSE to crossing off the 1956 Topps set.  I attended a local mall card show with my brother last week and was digging through the 50% off vintage bins.  For only $4.50 I managed to grab this 1956 Topps Dick Groat that features an awesome play at the plate (possibly with Roy Campanella?)

1956 Topps Dick Groat
The only card that remains to be added to complete my 1956 Topps Pirates team set.....
a second year card of Roberto Clemente.  Knowing that the Clemente was one of the cards and recognizing the slim possiblity that the Groat could be one of the 10 or so cards in the 1956 stack, I said to my brother "Should I even bother trying to see if Dick Groat is in here?"  The 2nd card in the pile was the excellent piece of vintage cardboard you see above.

The back is just as nice.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

This card reminds me of...

It's been a long time since I did a this card reminds me of feature so here's my latest interpretation of a baseball card.

Today's Subject:
2013 Panini Cooperstown Paul Waner (green parallel)

This card reminds me of....


Friday, January 24, 2014

Another Charlie Morton for the PC

I recently added yet another Charlie Morton to my always growing PC of the sinkerball pitcher.

2002 Bowman Chrome X-Fractor 94/150
I'm always looking on sportlots and COMC and ebay for some new Mortons to add to my collection and recently came across the above X-Fractor for $1.50.  It's been over a year since I saw one of these pop up for sale so I immediately snagged it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Are Baseball Card Collectors Crazy????!!!!!

While browsing for some parallel autos of the game's top prospects, it hit me...

Don't get me wrong, I love prospecting.  But there is no way I am going to pay over $500 for an autograph of a player who has yet to make the major leagues (even if there is only 50 copies of it in the world)
 Austin Meadows was selected 9th overall in the 2013 draft and did exceptionally well in his first taste of proball.  He's currently the 9th best outfield prospect in the game according to  He has a very legible signature and there's only 50 copies of the gold refractor in the world.  He may go on to have a Hall of Fame career and one day be immortalized with a bronze statue outside PNC Park.


What has happened is that I can go ahead and add one of the most iconic baseball player's rookie cards in excellent condition for the same price.

If you had an extra $500, which would you prefer?

One of my 2014 collecting goals was to get gold refractor autos for Jameson Taillon, Gregory Polanco, Austin Meadows, and Gerrit Cole.  I'm giving up on that.  Mark me down for a fail right now!

A new Andy Van Slyke card

One of my 2014 collecting goals is to add 36 new Andy Van Slyke cards to my PC.  The first few weeks of January lead to nothing, but I finally added a new AVS to my collection.

1 down, 35 to go...

This recent $3 pickup hails from the 2013 Hometown Heroes insert set, Rivalry and is my first unlicensed card of AVS in a long long time.

If you're not familar with the insert set, it features players that played for rival teams during their playing career.  Past fan favorites like Lenny Dykstra (NYM and Phillies), Roger Clemens (BoSox and Yanks), Orel Hershiser (Dodgers/Giants), and many others are featured in the set.

Above is a scan of the back of the card.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Start of Something Crazy

As part of my 2014 Collecting Goals, I stated I wanted to create a rainbow of graded cards for one of my favorite fresh faces of the Pittsburgh Pirates, backup catcher Tony Sanchez.

Thanks in large part to the girl I am dating, I can now get this collection off the ground.  The first card of my crazy rainbow project is the base version of the 2009 Bowman Chrome AUTO.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My favorite logo for the Pirates minor league system on a manupatch

Gregory Polanco might be one of the top 10 prospects in the game right now, but that's not the reason why I recently grabbed this 2013 Topps Pro Debut manupatch (numbered 59/75).
2013 Topps Pro Debut Manupatch 59/75
In fact the reason why I grabbed it was because of the logo of the Pirates minor league affiliate, West Virginia Power.  This logo is my favorite of the Pirates minor league affiliates.  It's a baseball making a Grrrr face wearing a bandana, gold earing, and top hat.  What is not to love of this?

For the price of a discounted blaster at a box store, I grabbed this manupatch of the funny looking gent that represents the Power and the Pirates' top prospect.  Sounds like a fair price to me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

McCutchen Monday: It's a short print for a short post

I'm nearing my 400th unique Andrew McCutchen card.  This card brings me to 371.  It's a short print from 2013 Topps Update that features Cutch and Pedro Alvarez at the 2013 All-Star game.