Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The end of an era.

What do they say? "Life ebbs and flows like the waters of the ocean"? "The meaning of life is that it stops"? "It is not the length of life; it is the depth of life"? "Between birth and death, life happens in the blink of an eye"?

Life is like a box of chinchillas. Or something like that - I forget what Momma said.

For the past few days, I have been busy in my back yard tending to this:

That would be what is left of our pool. Best guess: there was some major wind activity the night before that tossed around the patio furniture. I picked it up, but it must have weakened it enough as it burst about 18 hours later. 30k+ of water rushed out. Bet it looked AWESOME! But that pool has been up for a good 12 years. However, the only one that still used it much was my wife (and the dog). The kids are all grown and don't swim anymore. 

On the positive side, home owners covered the replacement of it, so win win! Anyway, I need to get this post back to cards, so how about a quick posting of a PWE I received from Roy at Plain Gray Swatch. He joined up with Club PWE. Roy was kind enough to send something back, though I certainly do not expect it. If you join Club PWE, I will send you stuff and you never have to send me anything back. If you want to - awesome. You're sweet.

Like my favorite ribbon candy, honey.

What did Roy send back? How about...


Colored parallels.

And more. Topps really should have put this with a complete home uniform instead of the alts. 

Anyway, thanks Roy. And goodbye, Jacuzzi brand pool. I will never forget your coolness, your waves, your noodle fights, and your hard to manage pH levels.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


There's been quite a lot of incoming cardboard here at Plaza 2x3 Heroes. Been doing a lot of sorting and organizing. The binders getting the most activity have been the double play and the bunting binders. Not to say that throwbacks have been ignored. When I organize the DP binder, I try to put the players together, as well as the similar cards together. For example, three years of Ian Desmond are all in a row, and on another page, I have the gold of Mike Availes 2012 Topps right next to the orange refrector from Chrome.

Well, in organizing, I noticed I have the base, red and blue of Gordon Beckham's 2013 Topps.

I decided I am going for the rainbow. That's where you all come in - to save me from COMC or eBay. I will need to fill the remaining slots (and a 2nd page) with the following:

purple (Toys R Us)
silver slate blue (wrapper redemption)

And if possible:
printing plate (just one will do)

In one sense, I am lucky - Gordon is not in the Opening Day set, so that takes 3 cards off the list (base, blue and purple). If you have any of rest I need, please email me and let's make this happen.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Everytime I think I am close to having my desk back, someone has to go and send me some cards. What is with you people? Are you all on something?

Can you share, dude? Far out.

In all fun, nothing is better then walking in the door and seeing an envelope or two sitting on the table for me. Keep them coming! Got a couple I want to share. First is JD from Buckstore Cards. The guy loves him some repack, which gives him +15 manna in my book. Plus he likes hockey - 3% chance to deflect attack when struck. So a nice envelope filled with Blackhawks greeted me.

My daughter was fond of the middle card. Ahhh - 17 and hormones. 

Interesting choice by In The Game for a prospect card. I guess that's how you get around the lack of a NHL license. Matt Ellison was a bust as a Hawk, but a fantastic bust. See - he was part of the trade that brought Patrick Sharp to Chicago. Some nice Lysiak vintage at the bottom. 

Hoss and Bolly. I hate to see Bolland go, but his best years may be behind him with his recent rash of injuries. 

Ahhhh - good memories. Winning it all in 2010 was such a great time here in Chicago. It seems like forever since we hoisted the hardware. Oh wait - it was just 33 days ago!!! Thanks for the collection addition, JD.

Pat at Hot Corner hit me up again with a PWE. Since the last one was "interesting", let's see round two. Six cards in the envelope, so let's count them down.

Three Stadium Club bunting. I wonder if Espy on the end has ever considered suing EPSN?

Another bunter, but not Stadium Club. However, a really sweet throwback from that set.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursdays - 07.25.2013

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.

Alexie Ramirez - 2009 Topps Unique - Chicago White Sox

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Catching up before I head out.

Pack wars tonight at my LCS. My wife is coming along, partially cuz of the free food (I hope it's good), but mostly because she gets nothing but joy watching grown man act like fools and spend lots of money.

And to think she almost married this.

The first package I need to get up comes from Julie at Funner Here. Jules is the Halladay stalker, with a side of Cliff Lee. I drop dang near everything I pull with Roy on it to her about once a month. She sent back a nice assortment of cards that she said she owed me, and didn't want to transport here for the National.

Quick side note: Julie, nor any of you, ever "owe me" anything. If we work out a large trade, it just the trade cards. If I send you a PWE, it's cuz I want to send a PWE. If you want to send something back, that is your choice. However, I would send you a hundred PWEs and not think once about sending #101 if you never sent anything back. PWEs are great fun to get in the mail. Join my Club PWE if you haven't, ok?

Alright, back to the goodies. How about some set fillers?

2013 GQ insert (sorry Gary, my OCD puts you on your head) and a nice SP for my Heritage set. How about some Sale's?

I bought 2 packs of 2013 Bowman - I'm done with that, so it was nice to get a couple White Sox Bowmans from Julie. I also never pulled the Sale from last year's crappy (IMO) Heritage set. How about some serials?

Now that is how you ship a Museum card - no creases! And that Buehrle Chrome has the worst Chrome curve I have ever seen. It's a nice low number though - #19/199. How about some oddballs?

I am not sure if it is a running joke with Julie, but this is the 2nd time she has included cards that don't match anything. I am certain she mistook the Chacin as a White Sox. And the Bradley? Well.... The best part - I love these cards. I think I will start a "why did I get this in a trade" binder for stuff like this. :) And lastly, how about some awesomeness?

That would be Reed rookie auto #2 in my collection. YES!!! He, and Begley. are the lone highlights of this horrible season. And the sparkle Dunn is quite sparkley. Thanks again, Julie. See you in 2 weeks!

Now yesterday, I posted my Bip'ing from Pat at Hot Corner Cards. Pat commented there were more in the envelope, which is true. I always planned to show the other three cards - you just have to highlight a Bip'ng when it happens.

Two new additions to the DP binder, and a nice Topps 2012 insert I had yet to pull or receive. So thanks as always, Pat. See all the love in the PWE? Even with the Bip'ing, it ruled!

Friday, July 19, 2013


What follows is a photographic recreation of receiving and opening a plain white envelope (PWE) received at my household on July 18th, 2013. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Facts were altered slightly to fit the story. The outcome was not affected by these changes. The post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen, to run in the time allotted and edited for content. If you leave the line for any reason, you may only re-enter at the end of the line. Keep your hands within the boat at all times. Your mileage may vary.


Oh, very nice.

Let's get this out.

You rock, Pat!

What have we here?


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

From the mailbag

Sorry for the late post - still on the temp shift at our corporate office. It's nice and laid back. But I get home at about 6-6:30 as opposed to "getting home" at 3:30 (when I work from home). But that's neither here nor there. Let's talk about three recently received mailings here at castle 2x3. Couple were trades, and one was a nice inexpensive score from Listia.

From Listia, I was able to snag this Teddy ballgame Museum card for 1500 credits (like $5). Here is the one issue with Listia - learn to ship. You can see the two soft creases on the right side of the card. Either the seller shopped them out from the original listing, or those came from shipping. (answer: #2) Yeah - it's free. But still, I think you need to put a little care when you package. I still like the card, though.

Next comes Nick from TheLostCardFile. He put out a call for any 2011 Topps Lineage relics. I have had a Jason Bay jersey relic for the longest time. Don't really need it. What I did need was some set help.

Sorry you are on end, Junior, but thems the breaks. Yes, you Dodger fans - you all stole every frigging Kershaw GQ out in the world, so I had to go through a way cooler collector to get one. Yeah - you know whom I am talking to. My 2012 GQ needs are down to 3 cards. Anyone want to help me out? GCRL? Night Owl? Plaschke? I was just kidding about the Dodger reference.

The New Deal is that you all believe him.

Last package came from another non-blogger. Brandon, who tells me he hails from Sports Card Forum under the nick of "leiber88", had a hankering for a few relics. And when he told me what he wanted to send in return, I had a hankering to complete this trade.

Bradon threw in some Sox, like this Reed I did not have, as well as a couple more knocks to the set needs. But the best was yet to come.

White Sox relics? Why sure, Brandon. I pulled one of these All Star stitches from a repack box (and it's on my trade bait). I did not know a Sox player existed. The Bazooka blast makes a nice companion to the Jose Valentine of the same set I got in a trade months ago.

How's about some autos? Trayce has been working his way up thru the ChiSox minor league system. Maybe he gets a call up this year, considering what we are fielding at this point. Rauch is a former South Sider that has bounced to a few teams and is currently down in Miami. A nice addition to my binder.

Alright. These has me caught up except for a package from Jules at Funner Here. Maybe tomorrow. I need to keep my focus on this temp position and try to make it permanent. If I have to bite the head off a bat to make that happen, that's what I'll do.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Let's talk about the National

For starters, I apologize for the lack of posts this week. My company started me on a two month position in our corporate office - downtown Chicago in the Mart. So instead of waking up about 15 min before I start work (since I work from home). I am up at 5 to catch the 6:25 train and be at my desk at 7:45-ish. Then it's home about 6pm.

I frigging love it!

I have to figure out how I can NOT be sent back to the phones in two months. Doesn't say much about my current position when I work from home 4 days a week and I want out.

Anyway, I have a few small trades scanned and ready to post, and that was my intention today, ad then I got another out of the blue envelope from Julie at Funner Here (which I will post later), and it reminded me I was going to post about the National coming up at the end of this month. Being the hometown blogger (along with Dime Box Nick and maybe a couple others - Lifetime Topps?), any of you attending will be coming to our turf. I know Julie is in for all five days. I think Nick he was just doing one (Sunday, right?). Pat at Hot Corner Cards said he was just coming on Wednesday (wth?). I have all the days off, but my wallet it telling me just two days, so I think I am oily going Saturday and Sunday.

Soooooo.....who's coming in? Let's try and put together a blog roll hookup for dinner. I am thinking either Saturday or Sunday. Feel free to leave a comment here, or email me at 2x3heroesATgmailDOTcom and I'll get you on the list.

Also, if you are coming, or thinking of coming, and have any questions about the area, please ask. I've lived in this part 46 of my 47 years (I am still trying to forget about that year in Ft Myers).

I'll never forgot about that one steamy August night.

If you are not sure where to go, what to see, where to avoid - anything - just comment or send me and email and I'll give you the answer or opinion you desire.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One more, but still at four

Been a while since I made an addition to the Pierce Project. And technically, this isn't marking a card of the list. I still stand at 4 cards needed to complete the group. However, the team that wears uniforms that claim they are the Chicago White Sox (I'm not buying it with that record) did a Pierce giveaway a couple weeks back. I had done the Denver tour, so I did not have the money at the time to get a ticket and snag my own, but eBay came through for me.

Billy has one of the statues within the Cell, and resin copies were given away to fans. It was a given one of these would end up in my possession. This puppy is heavy.

And the cruddy picture does no justice to the pitcher. The seller even included the ticket stub - nice touch when I didn't even expect it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Topps - not even trying anymore.

Series 2 has been out a couple weeks. Oh Topps. Is it me or do they just not seem to give a crap when they work on cards? From the recycled images year after year (set after set), to the really poor math skills on backside of this year's offering, to out right ignoring whole MLB teams. It's like Topps got the exclusive license... and then hired the Three Stooges to design and produce the cards.

The boys display more Yankee prospects they will print instead of Astros.

I made mention last year about the annoying font issues. An issue that started right from the get go with the 2013 flagship set. I'm tired of beating that horse, but now something new has caught my eye.

Thank goodness - my thighs are burning.

I noticed this while collating a blaster and a couple rack packs of series 2, and it sparked my brain that I saw it in series one. Would the pattern would continue with series 2. It didn't. And it's really a striking, annoying OCD problem if you ask me. Here - just look at these two cards.

Nothing to do with the foil, the shine, the rainbow - nothing. We all know about the multitude of variations for the Chasing History insert set. Just look at these two cards. Hanley is from series 1 while Junior is from series 2. Got it? Good. Now let me turn them over and scan the backs.

Opposite directions. When I first put my series one cards together, I noticed the horizontal Chasing History cards were rotated 180 degrees from the normal orientation on wide cards. Topps usually has you turn the card 90 degrees clockwise to view the image. But series one has you turning the Chasing History cards counter clockwise. In series 2, however, they "fixed" the issue. Or did they?

Did Topps royally screw up series 1, or did they fail to follow their plan with series 2? Or, is the ultimate intention of Topps to make me lose what's left of my already fragile mind?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The box part 4: Hey - there's an unintended pun there!

Happy 4thof July to everyone reading. In the rest of the world, it's just a day that appears on the calendar, then is replaced in 24 hours. If you are in the US, it's the day we blow up crap cuz frankly, we're Americans and that is just what we do.

Pictured: American dream being lived.

While it was not the plan, the fourth, and final, part of the box from Hot Corner Cards Pat happens to get revealed on Independence Day. So before I head off to do fun things, let's go through the rest of the box. We are just going to call this part "and the rest" because....well, you'll see. 

For starters, Pat sent a stack of about a dozen players sporting throwbacks. I have actually used a couple of them for Throwback Thursday, but here's a few more.

I have wanted that Felder in the upper right since Nick showed it on Dime Boxes. Threw it in my cart on COMC. Now it's out of my cart.

Couple of broken bat cards in the box. Real beauties. 

MINIS!!!! Great set fillers. I like the one at the bottom from Obak. 

More set fillers. Those collision at the plate cards are a great insert set.

And the best of the bunch?

Oh wait, wrong side. Let me rescan that.

Ahhhh.... good old Comiskey. I have a few of these Fleer stickers, but none have the back of the old part at 35th and Shields. 

Thanks again for the great box, Pat. A the rest of you play nice.