Monday, December 31, 2012

The year in two parts: part one - where we've been

As 2012 comes to a close, I am going to take the time, like other bloggers, to go back through the year and see where 2x3 Heroes has been, and then get an idea where it will go in 2013. We'll talk about 2013 tomorrow. Let's see how I did here in 2012.

So looking back on this little part of the 1s and 0s of cyberspace I created 8 and a half months ago, I had no goals. Nothing. I was just jumping into this group of people that I had been reading and watching for a few months and decided to join up with the group. The only real goals I had mentally noted to myself were to get better focused on my collecting and to get more organized. After that, everything was gravy.

Sweet, succulent gravy....
 So looking back, there aren't that many goals I can say I achieved, as I didn't set a single one. I can tell you that will change for 2013, but for this year, let's just look at what I accomplished and give it a grade. I'm going old school in my grading too - E, S, N, and U. If you don't know what those are, you are young, let me tell you. Or Canadian.

At least you're not Dutch. Oh yeah.....right.

So here goes my grading:

Blogging: I never made any mental plan on when or how often I would write. If it hit me, I would write. If not, I wouldn't force it. Trust me, I can write some crap. But somehow, 42 of you follow me, and that's nice. I believe there may be more that never hit the follow button but still read me on a regular basis. I hope I make a visit to 2x3 Heroes enjoyable. I certainly try. grade = E

Posts: Again, no plan on how many times I would post. I've published 150 posts since I started, about one every other day. Not too bad. I have 3 fairly recurring features (Sunday Stuff I Like, Throwback Thursdays and Repack Wars). For those that care, here are my top three viewed posts:

Honorable mention: A non-Ginter post - 228 views
3rd most viwed: Special Edition SIL: a tremor in the Force - 247 views (helped with a FB plug from Ben)
2nd most viewed: Obilgatory 2012 Topps Archives Post - 260 views (my personal favorite post - this is me in a nutshell)
Most viewed: It's the 'Merry Christmas' post - 518 views (driven by Strong Bad I am positive)

grade = S

Purchases: I wanted to stop being so flighty and get focused on what I like, as well as getting what I have turned into what I like. I was always buying just a pack here and there, never really committing, and in that I would fail to get anything. So I worked on buying just what I liked, and keeping away from the things that gave me no thrills. grade = S

Collection: One of the main unwritten goals was to get my collection in order. So I worked to a) organize what I have, b) organize what I don't want, c) let people know what I have I don't want and d) add to my collection. Part a is still a work in progress. I have a LOT of White Sox cards to get sorted and listed out - grade N. Part b was a big move to understand what I have and know which I want to get into other hands. I still have a bit more to organize, but I am well on the way - grade S. Part c is out there in both my trade bait and my PWE trade pages. I am hoping to get some more inquiries on either of them, mainly because I just don't want those cards! Readers should ask about stuff, I'm pretty open - grade E. Part d I did very well on. I expanded my Pierce collection greatly. I added a lot of cards to my Sox wants. I'm content. So we have N, S, E, E. Overall grade = S+

Trades: I have over 25 trades made during the year. Again - I had a goal of nothing, so I think I did well. I know I have a couple trades I still need to post (if I even remembered to scan the cards), but I did flip a lot of what I have into what I want. I did pretty well. grade = E

Community: This is probably an odd choice many of you are thinking, but I think it's an important one. How well you are viewed in the community of bloggers, your presence, your attitude, your trustworthiness - that matters. My mental goal was to somehow fit it. Find my place in the group and fill the hole to the best of my ability. My holiday giveaways were my way of thanking you that would take the time to click on a link to my posts. Granted, you may have closed the tab instantly (and who would blame you), but as I said above, thanks for reading. grade = E

I'll end there. Tomorrow, I'll talk about my goals for 2013. If this cold I have doesn't kill me before then.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday SIL: a rare autograph

Been a couple week's since I dove into my collection, so let's share something I have wanted, but it pretty hard to come by. We know the autograph card is a big deal in the hobby now. Hell - $500 boxes are sold that contain nothing but autographs. But it's nice that they will still slip them into packs the average collector like you and I can purchase.

Whoa buddy - I don't buy those cheap repack boxes.

It's always nice to find the checklist for a product and see what you may pull, should the gods shine upon your pack. And if they don't, well there is always eBay. When I first posted my most wanted off on the right, I completely forgot to add this player. And who wouldn't, because as much as a star he is in the league, there are very few licensed autograph cards released. Year after year, his name would be left off of the checklist, either because he was never asked, or because he refused. I highly doubt the latter, so I have to assume the card companies just felt to add other White Sox players to their certified autograph list. In fact, search eBay and you will find just 22 autographs of this player, and just 3 are certified card releases. The rest are TTM. So either someone is hoarding, or the card companies are just going a different route. Which is pretty surprising - I think a player with a no hitter, a perfect game, the record for most consecutive retired batters and 5 Golden Gloves should be a far more available pull.

It's not one of the nicer looking cards of Mark Buehrle. It's supposed to look like a painting, with the raised sections to look like paint. And I am not sure why it's off center like it is, but it is. But the back isn't off center.

The interesting setup of this card is that notch you see under the serial. The signature slides out, which reveals the licensing information.

I get that Trout, Harper, Darvish and others are the hot thing. And I guess there still is a market for Byrd, Quentin and Uggla. But give some love to Mark, would ya?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Repack wars: Return of the Ultra

First off, there are still quite a few cards available in my Christmas giveaway.  If you haven't picked your two, then get over there.

I was forced to hit Walmart for a few items. I was forced to go down the card aisle. I was forced to purchase a repack box. When you are told to do something, no matter the voice in your head, you should do it. So, once again, let's show the best card from each pack.

First up is a 2007 pack of Upper Deck Masterpieces. One of those sets I wish I bought more. And this four card pack didn't make picking the best card any easier. I passed over a card of Cal Jr. being honored for his games record, a card of the wizard of Oz mid-flip, and a card of Maris hitting the long ball to come to this great card of Clemente scurrying down the first base line.

Next is my bane in repack boxes - 09 O-Pee-Chee. I got two packs again, but somehow there are a couple decent cards to showcase. Here is the first, a nice action shot of Pedroia. It's a keeper.

2007 Topps. Geez, these things are UGLY. And the pack was just as bad. I almost picked the 7 year old gum as the winner, but figured this shot of Gathright reaching high was worth posting.

I have received rack packs in boxes before, but they are usually Goodwin, so not really a deal. This card comes from a rack pack of 08 Topps. So it's almost like getting a bonus pack in the box. Considering this photo of Lou wondering why the hell he took the Cubs job is what I think is the best of the 30 cards, it wasn't much of a bonus.

2008 UD X. I had two diecuts in this pack. The Griffey would have won, except these gold diecuts fall once in every 8 packs. So I beat the odds. Too bad the player on front, though.

2008 Upper Deck Spectrum. A very bland pack. I believe these Jeters are one per pack, so that will give you an idea of the rest of the cards within.

2010 Topps series 1. Nothing too great in this pack, so I have to give the nod to this very cool looking card. Hate the Yankees all you want (with good reason) -  their uniform is iconic.

Not one, but two packs of 2006 Topps were stuffed in the box together. Pack one was nothing exciting, so I am calling home field advantage and giving the win to Podzilla. But it's a shaky win, cuz what genius thought purple would look good paired the the ChiSox uniforms?

As I was ripping open pack 2, the back card was Jim Thome. Considering the meh of pack one, I was set to post the Thome, cuz frankly, it's Thome. However, the card just before Jim was this rookie of Prince Fielder. Ok, you win.

Back to a regular pack of 08 Topps series 1. I have to say - many of the packs in this box would have been painful to rip at retail price when you see the magnitude of nothing within. The last card of this pack was this sunset card of Piazza. That sound you hear is Nick from Dime Boxes sending me an email to ask for this card.

2005 Fleer Ultra, the pack that inspired the post title. I have never pulled a pack of Ultra from a repack box, so this was a nice surprise. I love the photos on the later Ultra cards, and this image of the Big Hurt putting the hurt on a ball is no exception.

2009 Upper Deck X. The diecut was Kerry Wood as an Indian, and there was a nice UD Retrospective card of Dave Winfield in the old brown and yellow Padres uniform, but I am going to pick this X2 sunset card of the Big Unit as the best of the pack. And there goes Nick sending off another email. You can hit send now - no more sunset cards, buddy.

2007 Upper Deck. I hate this design. It doesn't work at all, unless the card is horizontal. But that isn't the reason I picked this card over the others, though the others did suck. I love the sheered off bat handle in his hand. There's a binder project - cards showing a player with a broken bat.

2010 Topps Update. SCORE!!!! Strasburg RC. Granted, it's not worth that much, but still a good pull.

2009 UD Icons. Zzzzzzz. What a crappy pack. Only picked this card cuz it be shiny. Moving on...

2010 Topps series 2. Nothing too wonderful in this pack, but if you have been following garvey cey russell lopes' double play dump, this would fit right in. Except that his fascination with the play has inspired me to pull all the DP cards I can find. So sorry GCRL, this one is staying with me.

Another 09 OPC, and thankfully another semi decent card, this of future Triple Crown and league MVP Miggy. The card design itself is pretty bland, but we are talking 09 OPC.

2008 Upper Deck Heroes. I pulled two cards of this design, - the team names with the smaller pic of a player. Decided the black parallel deserved the honor more than the regular version.

We close out the box with two packs of 2008 Upper Deck. We start with a pack of series 2. And yeah, this was the best card out of 18. It was a poor pack, but at least the legacy card shows a Yankee loss to my White Sox. Gotta like that.

Saved the "best" pack for last - 2008 Upper Deck series 1. Yup, that's a hit. Jersey swatch from some player on Team USA. So how has Tyler Wilson done since 2008? Well, he is in the Orioles organization, currently assigned to their level A ball club. Yeah, this card will never be worth much.

And with that, another repack box is said and done. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Throwback Thursday - 12.27.2012

Every Thursday, I post a card showing a ballplayer wearing a throwback uniform from my collection. Hopefully, he will be wearing it well, with proper pants blousing. I'll try not to duplicate a uniform. The picture may be from the front of the card, or the back. Enjoy the uniforms from years past.

 Dennis Eckersley - 1993 Upper Deck - Oakland Athletics

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's the 'Merry Christmas' post

Yup - I am joining the bandwagon to wish you, your family and your loved ones a great Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah and any or all holidays you may celebrate this week. Be safe and may all your gifts be 2.5 by 3.5. If you haven't selected your gift from me from my card giveaway, get over and get picking - plenty of great cards available.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tis the season: Who won, and then the big one

Well, the holiday giving season here at 2x3 Heroes is winding down. I hope you all had fun. I hope the winners enjoy their cards, though I still gotta hit the post office - busy week here in my household, but I promise I will get stuff out very soon. For those they have yet to score anything, don't worry, because your chance is about to come.

But first, let's gives away two boxes of stuff I plain didn't like this year - 2012 Archives and 2012 Heritage. I am guess many of you didn't care, or didn't need, because the entries were less than the Allen and Ginter. No worries, I am just glad to get these out of my boxes. So, who are the lucky winners? Well, let's reveal the serial numbers.

And for a little bit of zoomage...

We have the Howard at #1052/1962 with the Braun at #915/1963. Can you believe it - just one person won both boxes?! Chunter is the winner, guessing 777 for the Howard (just guessing over DominicFDNY) and 1026 beating out...DominicFDNY. Dom, when I get Chunter's address, maybe you can convince me to forward it on so you can have a little talk with him, if you know what I mean. Chunter, I'll be in touch to get your mailing address. Congrats on guesses well made.

Alright folks, here's the big one. The idea for this was borrowed from another blog, and I can't remember who, but you know who you are and thank you for the idea. 2x3 Heroes is going to give away cards to those that ask for them - it's that simple. I have scanned 100 cards, which I hope many of you would enjoy to have. Pick 2. Pick 2 cards & leave a comment with the card numbers. I will reply to your comment that I noted your choices. Email me at 2x3heroesATgmailDOTcom with your picks by number as well as your mailing address. I will PWE your cards to you with enough protection they should survive whatever your mail carrier can do to the envelope.

This giveaway will last until a) the cards run out or b) 2013 arrives. So yes - Dec 31st 2012 at 11:59pm CST is the last day to make a comment and get a couple free cards.

If you are not sure about what a card is, just click on the image. You will get a bigger view, as well as a very short description of the card. Remember, put the image number in your comment below. You can put the player's name or description, but you MUST put the number down. Sound good? Well, let's stop the banter. Click on Santa to be taken to the Flickr set with all the cards. Happy shopping!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Throwback Thursday - 12.20.2012

Every Thursday, I post a card showing a ballplayer wearing a throwback uniform from my collection. Hopefully, he will be wearing it well, with proper pants blousing. I'll try not to duplicate a uniform. The picture may be from the front of the card, or the back. Enjoy the uniforms from years past.

 Jim Edmonds - 2004 Fleer Ultra - St. Louis Stars

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh Listia....

I am certain you all know who/what Listia is. Yes - I have "purchased" a few items over there. I have listed a couple, and should get some more up there for the main reason that I just don't like the items. I usually only browse the "sports cards" section, trying to find deals, and usually finding anything but. Maybe the steals and deals were a while back, because some of the things I find on Listia just amazes me.

The idea is that Listia doesn't use money, which is to say it does, if you want to purchase credits. You can earn credits through free actions (surveys mostly), but the only other way to get credits is to buy them outright from Listia, earn them through a purchase from a 3rd party vendor, or gain them from other people when you sell. Try as they may, there is a dollar amount attached to these credits. Sure, you have a way to earn some free, but these credits are just like the chips at a casino - a representation of real money. So in that train of thought, some of the things you find for sale just blow my mind. If you look at Listia's "buy now" of credits, you can, with simple math, say that $1 in Listia-land converts to 300 credits. Yes, you can buy in bulk to get that ratio different, but that will be my watermark in the basis of this post. Also, forgive me quoting Becketts, but we need some kind of firm-ish base to compare against.

Here are a few recent auctions that were on Listia and really made me scratch my head as to how much the seller is either incredibly stupid, or hopes the buyer is.

Let's start with a 1977 Topps card of the amazing superstar Milt May. I know, that was mean to say, as Milt was anything but a great star. But when the cost of a middle career card is over $6.50, he must be great, right? Not when Beckett considers this a common worth 12 cents.

OH MAN!!! A whole sealed set of Fleer update for the low price of $25. This thing is LOADED with rookies, cuz it must to be priced that high, eh? Just a Big Hurt rookie, worth two bucks at best in a set that is only valued at 4 bucks.

Okay - a 300 win pitcher. Hall of famer. Card issued the year after he won #300. Worth $16.66? Not for a card that you should pull from a dime box.

Oh look, a buy it now price of $50 for a $10 gift card. GIVE ME 20 OF THEM! I would ask for more, but I am saving my credits for the Brooklyn Bridge when it gets listed.

Math...math...math. That comes out to over $133 for a blaster of Chrome. My Target and Walmart are losing money selling them for just $20.

This auction is the one that started my crazy seller hunt on Listia. 222,222 credits for a signed 1969 Rollie Fingers card. It is in a hard case, but not authenticated nor graded. If you haven't done the math in your head, let me save you the trouble - 740 dollars, 74 cents. Becketts puts this card at $40 in mint condition. I wonder if Mr. Fingers realizes his autograph is worth $700.

Listia - the crazier version of eBay.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Repack Wars: The Goudey Fights Back

Don't forget I am giving away some 2012 Archives and Heritage right here. It's like "The Price Is Right" - except you can go over and still win. Plus I am not some bow tie wearing Libertarian.


Love me a repack box. But you all know that. So, let's take another trip through a 20 pack repack box for a buck a pack. As before, I will pick the best card of the pack. And away we go...

First pack out of the box is a 2010 Allen and Ginter. Nothing too amazing, but I sure do like me this Sherlock Holmes card. That's what is fun about A&G - the non-baseball stuff.

A 2009 Goodwin Champions pack is next. While it has an A-Rod mini and a Fukudome (who?) rookie, I like this Sparky Lyle card. Nice mutton chops, Sparky!

2010 Topps Series 2 next up. It came down to a '62 Maris CYMTO or the George here. I gave the nod to Mr. Sisler. The Browns deserve some props once in a great while.

2008 Goudey. I like this set more and more each day. Going to pick this Cepada card over the Chippah, Pujols Hit Parade of Champs mini and a Yankee Stadium legacy of Ruth. This style just works with the older players. Plus, windbreaker under the uniform. +10 manna!

This 2008 Upper Deck X made for a tough pick of best card. I am going with the X4 insert of Josh here, mainly because it's an insert. I am sure I could have posted the Miggy die cut and no one would have argued.

2010 Topps Series 1 this time. Very blah pack for sure. When a stadium shot of Fenway that is celebrating the DH is the best card, the pack is kinda bland.

Here is Upper Deck's lawsuit-creating 2010 offering. I could have gone with a David Wright Portraits insert, but it's kind of ugly. So I am picking Pauly.

Another Upper Deck, this time 2008 Heroes. Sure, it had a black bordered Donnie Baseball, but Ripken wins every time.

Upper Deck hot box!!! No really - it's just 2008 Timeline. Another A-Rod, another Yankee Stadium legacy and a Mauer old-timey card. But I like the action short of Teixeira here, so it gets posted.

The card before this Feller is a CYMTO of a '64 Eddie Matthews. That card was going to be posted, until .0037 seconds later when this card showed itself. Two words: striped stirrups.

Back to Upper Deck, the legal 2008 Series 2 edition. I am slowly finding Presidential Predictors in the repack packs that are not in my collection. I had a decent amount, but I love getting more of these. Kick his ass, Hillary!

Another pack of Upper Deck X, but from 2008 this time. The insert was boring. The die cut was boring. Russell wins. Side note: The 20 packs garnered me a total of 3 Martin cards. All three have him looking up, tracking a pop up. Can any Dodger fan tell me if his neck is permanently in this position?

This 2010 Topps Update pack made for a very tough call. Lot of good looking cards in the pack. This is an awesome picture, and too good to not show up. These are the pictures that win awards.

2009 O-Pee-Chee. Groan. I really hate these cards. Ugly as all sin. It says a lot when I will post a card and have the word "good" in the same sentence with a Cubs player (Soriano in fact). In fact, I hate this set so much, let me show another card from the above pack with the Matsui...

See - tough to choose a Matsui over a killer Turkey Red of Ichiro, but I did.

2009 UD Icons. A set that doesn't thrill me. I could have posted the Russell Martin checking out airplanes card I got from this pack, but I'll go with Chad here. Mainly cuz the white of the uniforms pop against that blue and beige background.

The first of two pack of 2008 Topps Series 1. Nothing too great in this pack, so I went with Lofton getting all muddy stealing a base. Yeah - it was the best of the pack.

Pack 2 of the 2008 Topps was about equal in it's low level of excitement. Clint's hipster groove patch puts this card at the top of the pack.

Going back in time to 2006 Topps. It has a Pierzynski as the top card, and that would have won, until a Kinsler rookie card showed itself as the last card of the pack. Everything inbetween was meh.

2007 Topps. The stale gum came in a very close second to this nice shot of Mike Cameron robbing someone of at least extra bases. Maybe a dinger. But this pack stunk otherwise. 

Oh hell no! ***cancel upload*** I am NOT doing another crappy pack of OPC. Let's go back to that really nice pack of 2010 Update.

WAY better than OPC. This was another card that Matsui beat out. Told you that pack was a hard decision.