Thursday, February 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday - 02.27.2014

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.

Aroldis Chapman - 2014 Topps - Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Trade Me Tuesday #1

Welcome to a new feature here at 2x3 Heroes. I am borrowing an idea from the awesome Nacho Grande run by Chris. I hope Chris won't mind me altering slightly his "Trade Me Anything" feature. Mine is not like his, as cool as his TMA is. I hope to do this each Tuesday, but that's not a set in stone idea.

Here's how this works. I will post 6-ish cards each Tuesday. If you would like them, first to claim in the comments takes them. The cost for the cards is 1 (one) card of my want lists. It could be a need from my general wants, my A&G wants or something that I don't have in my bunting, double play, throwback or broken bats binders. You can find the cards currently in those in my Zistle account. Any card not shown is a card I want. Hey - if you would like to send me something for one of my active (or inactive) Projects that I don't have, that would be lovely too. Random White Sox and/or Blackhawks cards, however, are not allowed.

After you claim the stack, email me at 2x3heroesATgmailDOTcom. Let me know your mailing address - the cards will go out the day I get your mailing address (unless I already have it in my database). Here's the main key: DO NOT TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE SENDING! I enjoy a good surprise.

There's the basic ground rules. I'll repeat them each time I post. So let's jump right in.

Here's six 2001 A&Gs I pulled from a dime box that are dupes. Don't need 'em. Who does? I will say this - the top two have slight bends in the lower left corners. Not horrible, but noticeable when in hand. If you look close that the Mary Rose, I think the scan picks it up.

First commenter claims this group. Email me and we'll exchange addresses (if needed).

Quick side note: I was searching for the right theme song for this feature. Sometimes, it's not so bad when you get really off track on YouTube, cuz you can end up with the great Rev. Al Green, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave (my personal favs), Howlin' Wolf, and The Isley Brothers, and more. However, I think I am going to stick with the Godfather of Soul....

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blogger meetup at a card show (aka dropping Lincolns)

Dime Box Nick commented on how jealous his was that I found some nickel boxes at my local card show a couple weeks back. He had some birthday money burning holes in his pockets, so he took a drive down to my neck of the woods to hit the biweekly show that I attend. My wife was quite kind to let me go back to the show so quickly so Nick and I could meet up. For me, this was a great chance to see the elusive dime boxer in his natural habitat.

Which way to the quarter boxes?

Nick got there just before me, so I made my usual rounds before trying to find him. First, I hit up my '64 vintage guy. Usually, I score about 15-20 cards, but I think someone beat me to his 3 for a buck bin - I only pulled out five 1964s and one miscut gem. So I kept hunting. I found a few well stuffed dime boxes, so I pulled up a chair and started digging. A lot of recent releases in the rows, but older stuff could be found for my collections.

A large amount of bunting cards. In fact, my search for double play cards is going much slower than I expected, while the number of cards with a players laying one down is picking up quickly.

That's not to say DPs were missing from the boxes. 

Some nice oddballs too. The Heritage Classic is from the 2011 Canadian National Hockey Card Day release. There were a few more boxes to be seen with this guy, but I got a text from Nick of where he was. Considering the subject matter, I finished up the box, paid my $3 and went to find him.

These three represent about 20 cards I bought from the seller Nick found. Nick picked up about 130 cards. I also picked up one card from this guy for a quarter. All total, it cost us $2. I'll save you the math - one penny per card. Yup - Nick found penny stacks. Technically, the guy owed me about 30 cents in return, but I said to not worry about it. You can see from the quality of these three the edges are rough and some rounded corners. But a penny a card!?! The best part of this scan is I missed out this past week on both the Millan and the Kelleher during my virtual dime boxing. I think both cards went for 20 cents each. I paid two copper Lincolns. I also paid 2 cents for these.

Who's getting Bipped?????

From there, I went to a staple vintage guy at the show. I was on a mission for one specific card (obtained), but I also was looking for some Fox's. I found one I was willing to pick up, though it's a little rough.

I never knew Nellie did the evil goatee look. I also picked up a Douglas. Ya know - Whammy Douglas.

I bought the '58 on the left. The '59 buyback on the right a buddy from pack wars last night pulled and gave to me. I have an unstamped '59 of Whammy. These are also the only two cards ever released during his playing career. Douglas Project COMPLETE!

Mmmm - delicious miscuts. Top left came from my 3/$1 vintage guy. The ruboff on the top right came from the above Douglas dealer, as did the fu-manchu Fox. I went to him to get one $4 card. I ended up getting that card, the Fox, the Douglas and this miscut for $4. So free basically. And yes, Night Owl, those bottom two are '75 mini miscuts. Nick found a dealer with a few '75s. How many was his selling?

Look at rows center and right. Yup, pretty much all of those were minis. Yes, Night Owl, you can sleep on my couch.  Anyway, this dealer hooked me up with some more '64s.

Wood rookie for a quarter, just a little miscut. And a Boog for 50 cents. All total I spent $15 this trip. But I didn't leave with just my purchases. Nick was kind enough to bring along a couple team bags filled with goodies.

Throwbacks, miscuts, bunting and double plays - oh my.

And a lot of Chisox additions. My first '91 O-Pee-Chees. 

Another great time at the card show, plus a chance to hang with a fellow blogger and an all around great guy in Nick. We were going to hang out after for lunch, but other plans got in the way. No problem cuz there will always be another time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Final Tis the Season post, and some updates

I can say that ALL the packages from the holidays have shipped. The last 16 or so left today. So, if you signed up for something, you should see a small box or envelope next week. For a recap, it was expensive fun. The highest cost of any one shipment was $27. You know who you are, Canadian hoser. All total, I think shipping ran me about $200. Yeah - ouch. But again, I hope you all like what you receive and find a lot of cards you need.

Club PWE update: since Tis the Season is over, Club PWE is starting up again. I have envelopes going out to those that recently signed up but yet to receive a PWE from me. Except for 3 of you. One of you were in the last shipment of TTS, so I will hold off a month. Another of you is a trade I still need to complete - look for stuff very soon. But the third of you signed up, then never told me your favorite teams. So reader, if you initials are JR with a zip of 40475, sign up again and let me know who you like. Thanks!

Lastly, pack wars tonight at my LCS. So spoils (with luck) tomorrow. Peace out.

Trust me on this video, BTW. It's worth the click.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Got me some brag swag

When I was a yoot, we had our own colloquialisms of the day. We didn't hurry, we booked. You didn't get sick, you ralphed. Overly excited people were spazs. After a long day, you just wanted to veg out. Cool stuff was gnarly, fresh or rad. Bad stuff was heinous, grody or bogus. Just like the terms nowadays make no sense to us, our parents thought we, as teens, were L7s.

Today, as a parent, I have to deal with cray, YOLO, swag, whatevs, douche....the list goes on. It's only for the amazing-ness of this post that I use "swag", a term only less hated because of the creation of YOLO. Basically, kids today are dorks. But a little background.

Thursdays, I head into the office. I drive me wife to her job (school) and head off to mine. Then, on the trip home, I pick her up. Simple. On the rare occasion, a coworker will take her home. Yesterday was one of those rare days, which couldn't have been better timed. I had my yearly performance review, so I left work 30 minutes later than normal. Luckily, my wife left me a phone message that she had a ride and not to bother picking her up. Ok, instead I will head directly to pick up my daughter from her job. She is having some car issues right now, and her work is right along the path home. Because of the rain yesterday, I didn't get off the expressway until 5pm. Daughter is picked up at 6. It's still a good 15 minutes from the exit to my house, so I would really just get home for maybe 20 minutes before I would have to head back out. Better to just go get her directly, but how to waste a half hour?

By sheer luck, my LCS is RIGHT OFF the expressway. So I was forced to go there to blow of time. Yes - FORCED! I figured I would price out some Fox vintage and maybe pick up a couple things. Well, Fox stuff isn't cheap, at least the quality my shop had was too high to warrant me purchasing any cards. I don't need fresh out of the pack cards. So I spent time digging through a few other boxes, grabbed some vintage Aparicio and a box of '92 UD junk wax to rip ($12). Heading back down to the packs, I picked up another jumbo of 2014 (I'm an idiot). Jeff, behind the counter, knows I am a hockey guy and mentioned Upper Deck SPx just came out. Ten bucks a pack. I usually buy a few higher end packs of hockey during the season. I made mention that I will probably pull some nobody relic, cuz I always do. My pack of SP Game Used from the week prior is a prime example.

No pushing! No shoving!!!!! LINE FORMS TO THE LEFT!

Yeah, quite unspectacular. But still, with my good raise and bonus, I'm going for a pack of SPx. Even without those, I would get a pack. So I picked my poison and checked out. I always like ripping the higher end packs in store. When I ripped, it was kind of weird. The other clerk behind the counter noticed, just at the time I did, there was a card already in a penny sleeve in the pack. So I got a hit.

Oh boy, did I get a hit.


On card buy back autograph of the Great One, numbered to 24. It's a buy back of the 1996 SPx hologram cards. The card was in a penny sleeve so the COA would not get lost. 

I can say I have loved blogging, because along with acting like an idiot, I get to share in everyone's spoils, and get only the slightest twinge of jealousy at the monster hits. Now I have a monster of my own.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday - 02.20.2014

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.

John Smoltz - 2003 Donruss - Atlanta Braves

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Time for a new project

If you have been around here a while, you remember the link above for the Billy Pierce Project. If you have been here recently, you know that Pat from Hot Corner Cards completed that project. Pat wondered what would be the next project. Years ago, before the blog, when I first started appreciating vintage, I started to work on a '59 White Sox team set. This was pre 2005 when we captured the Series. Also, around that time, at the flea market (a crappy one compared to what Fuji gets to shop at) I found an old Wilson ad of Fox and Aparicio, which has hung on my wall for years.

Well, one of them would be the pick, and since I was a 2nd baseman when I played ball as a teen, I will start with Jacob Nelson 'Nellie' Fox. This project should be slightly bigger than the Pierce Project, but interestingly enough, Fox's first general release didn't come until a '54 Bowman (which I plan to pick up this Sunday should my bargin box guy be there). Currently, I have four cards of Nellie.

The '59 came from Ebay many moons ago. I forget where I got the '60. May have been a card show. Or one of you guys.

The '58 All Star was a nice gift from Jim at GCRL while the base '58 came from Adam at ARPSmith's Sportscards.

So here we are. Four down - 24 to go (25 if you count the white whale). Trades are always welcome.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

USPS slowing down (plus another Tis the Season update)

How about we just talk about Tis the Season first? Another group of mailings went out yesterday and today. Or maybe it was Sunday and today. But a lot of mailings have gone out. I am about 2/3s through the entire mailing, with the dump, dupe giveaways and the rest. Definitely under 20 packages left to ship. Should be making another trip maybe this weekend. Next for sure. What has the card dump taught me? Holy s*** postage rates are up. I can tell you, for as fun as this was, the hell if I am doing something that big again. Shipping costs are surprising the heck out of me. To think what I could have purchased. Look at your collections. Now realize mine sucks, and it's all your faults.

You still have me, sweetie.

In all seriousness, I don't mind the giveaway in the least. I hope when you get your cards, you find a lot that fit into your collection. 

Now, for some grand reason, my post office has decided to change up the routes. I no longer get my mail between 11-11:30am. Which I can understand, and I would be fine with, if I would get my mail at a reasonable hour, if at all. Since the change about 3 months ago, I figure my new delivery time is about 3pm or so. However, over a dozen times it have been delivered after 5pm (a no no), with about three or four of those after 7pm. No lie. And I would say I have not received any mail in the box about 8 times over that 3 months. In the prior 15 years here, I think I had days with zero letters five times. What - no junk advertizements??? Clearly, something is very wrong with my delivery. I filed a complaint, and got a nice form letter response. I got mail today, which was nice because the last time anything showed in my box was Friday.

Luckily, here's a few things that have made it here even with the really crappy service. First comes Pat at Hot Corner Cards. He heard my plea for any DP, bunting or throwback from 2014 flagship and sent in these 4.

Ok - 3 are from 2014. The Topps Gold just fits a need. The Night Owl sent a return package cuz he and I just mail each other for no reason on a regular basis.

We wear our softball tops too much. I like them, but we still wear them too often. He also included these.

I love that 206 mini. I have seen the actual photo that comes from a few times. Need it for my wall. However, I bring attention to the gentlemen on the right. That's a sticker of Wayne Nordhagen. I am coming to the realization that the N.O., in retaliation for the sick joy I get sending him Dodgers that ain't Dodgers, is loading me up with Nordhagens. I believe the game is afoot, nocturnal fowl!!

Finally, my buddies Chris and Kyle from Old Foul Cardboard proved to me, yet again, that if I want anything awesome at a great price, get the hell out of Dodge. Err....Chicago.

I'm guessing these probably set them back less than a coffee. I can tell you I wouldn't be able to touch either of them for under $5 here, maybe more for the GQ. Thanks as always.

As a quick, final note: before I posted this, I was going through the blogroll and noticed, from The Writer's Journey that Bob Casale of Devo passed away. I cannot say I was a huge Devo fan, but I always enjoyed their music, and they are a band that always redefines themselves. It's a loss for sure.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

John Handcock's galore

One part of my collection that has expanded the most since I started blogging are my autographs. I had a very scant "few" before I have been able to make trades for many, as well as gaining more from pack pulls. Also, as you make trades, people seem to find things that get you interested, and then it's this huge arm twist to make a trade.

 Trade me your A&G as back minis now!

Brandon, who I think is blogless at this time but can be found at Sports Card Forum as leiber88, sent me an email about a card he thought I would be interested in. Luckily, I was able to dig into the non-listed trade bait (yes, I have a few) and we were able to make a swap. For my #/10 Bard auto I pulled from a retail pack in 2012, I was able to get this beauty.

Still encased. I have seen these a plenty and wanted at least one of them. To get a White Sox, and a nice one like Black Jack McDowell was something I would not pass. I see many people cracking these open. I haven't decided what I will do yet. Thanks a bunch, Brandon.

With the Panini Past Time I recently won, I gained a lot of great trade bait. Jeff at My Sports Obsession alerted me of another blogger that won a box. I commented on the hits pulled, and then he, Dion, made an ask about the Ortiz auto I pulled. And then the trade grew from there.

Dion runs the really sweet Dion's IP Autos Only. Now, one can always be worried about autos that aren't certified, but it takes about 2 minutes to see that Dion's are nothing but legit. So what started as a one for one trade became 9 for 9. Dion dang near cleared out every autographed card on my trade bait page. However, they were on there cuz they didn't fit my collection. In return, I was able to score 9 great autos.

From Dion's list, I mostly jumped at hockey. I remember Sittler being a hot prospect, but he never panned out due to numerous injuries.  Dionne had an average career for the 5 or 6 years he was playing. Ollie the Goalie had a great long career with the Capitals. Biron just retired at the start of this season.

BOOOOOOOOOOG! What more so I need to say. Sure, I don't collect football, but I won't pass up a Singletary signature. Goulet has quite the auto - barely had the pen on the card. I read somewhere he can be tough to get, so I jumped at that one. Nikolishin played a year in the indian head sweater, but one must have a sweet card of the Whalers jerseys. However, the auto that started it was this...

I'll give way that Ortiz may get voted into the HOF when his career ends, but trading his auto now for this AMAZING signed picture of one of the top players ever on the hot corner was a no brainer. I have been a Robinson fan for a long, long time. And while I never actively sought out his cards, relics or autographs, I would love to obtain a lot of them. All I need is a frame to get this proudly displayed on my wall. Dion - thank you so much for this trade.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Card show visit (or how two different forms of crack got me stuck on I-80 for an hour)

Yesterday, my wife was kind enough to let me go visit the local card show. And by local, I mean 24 miles away in Orland Park. The thing about that card show: after I leave I MUST go to Winston's Market for a few loaves of Irish soda bread. Now, you may have eaten Irish soda bread in your life, but until you eat Winston's, you haven't eaten the best. Well, it was snowing yesterday (shocking) and getting out of Winston's heading west can be a chore (159th is a bear to cross midday on a Saturday), so I headed east, jumped on Harlem going south and got on I-80. About 5 miles up the road, the brake lights started. Then we stopped. For almost an hour. When we finally moved, it was a car vs. van vs. semi we got to look at as we slowly drove by. The car lost big time.

Sitting there, I got to enjoy my spoils in a relaxed, comfortable seat. I was going to live tweet a few cards, but the snow made my phone's net connection really unreliable. It appears only one made it out. So you will have to just view the rest here.

First stop was my 1964 vintage guy. Technically, he was stop two, but more on that later. I dig through his usual 3 for a buck box and pulled out $6.33 worth of '64s for my set. I think I am getting to the point of needing to make a want list so I don't pick up doubles. That Choo Choo is a bit miscut, but it stays in the '64 stack until I find one that is better centered. Then into the miscut binder it goes.

I said $6.33 worth of 1964 Topps because these two took up the other .67 cents worth of the $7 I dropped at his tables. Two for the bunting binder. That McAuliffe is a bit beat up, but I'll take it. Next stop, my dime box guy. He cracks a lot of wax, so you can easily set build with him. The only issue is that all the commons by set are not together - you have to dig through a few boxes to find them all. But he has a good ten 5000 count boxes for a dime a card, so it's worth it.

Got some nice throwback binder additions. That Pujols is a 3rd year card - go figure.

I think I will need to add pages to the bunting binder with all the pickups yesterday. Yes, Nick, not only is that a pitcher at the plate, but also a batting cage shot. If there were two of them, I would have picked you up one to go with all the other stuff I found for you. Sorry. I always love seeing the huge players laying one down like Sandoval. All total, I picked up 52 cards from him for $5.

There was a new guy there I had never seen (or noticed) before. I gave his boxes a look through, and I wish I picked up the above cards for a 10 each. However, I actually paid a nickel for each one. Yup - this seller had 3 boxes of nickel cards. And the quality? He is my new favorite vendor.

Topps Finest? Nickels.

Museum and Triple Threads? Nickels.

Vintage? Nickels. Hell - I bought a buck thirty five worth of vintage from him (27 cards if you don't want to do the math).

Hostess? Yup - still nickels.

Even oddballs for a nickel. Total of $5 worth of cards from him at a nickel a piece. The same seller had a quarter box with some nice items in it as well.

I guess the star value of the Kellogg card made it a silver Washington each. And I couldn't pass on a Kell Tribute for a quarter. However, the find of the box came from the nickel purchase.

Not a true rookie, but dang near close enough. Only time will tell who ends up being the better player to wear 66 for the Dodgers.

If you are doing the math, up to this point I have mentioned/shown $19 worth of purchases. I said earlier that I actually made one stop before my '64 vintage supplier. The last show I went, I talked about the super sweet ancient cards I picked up. Well, that vendor was there again, and I ended up making him the first and last purchases of my visit. For $6, here's what I grabbed.

A buck each for these. Gilliam goes into the bunting binder. Furillo? I just couldn't pass it up for a dollar. These are the first purchases yesterday. I kept going back to his table because he had a couple '54 Bowman Nellie Fox cards, needed for the new Fox Project. I just couldn't pull the trigger on either, and I bet I kick myself later. But I dropped $4 for the following cards as I headed for the door.

I did tweet out that '39 PlayBall on the right of Demaree. I think, as a collector, you should grab at least one card from every set every produced. At least pre 1980. And I didn't have a PlayBall until now. On the right, another loved 1933 Goudey. I do not get what the hole punches were in the corners. I guess you displayed your card however you could.

Total spent: $25. Yet another perfect "blaster". Plus. I have 3 loaves of delicious Irish soda bread to eat. Well, 2.5 loaves now.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Final thoughts on 2014 (plus a Tis the Season update)

Before I get all cranky, let me get the update out first. I have started shipping, so if you are in any of these zip codes: 68702, 60060, 49001, 17402, 85255, 91320, 46561, 63303 or 12967, you should be getting something this week. I hope to make another group of shipments tomorrow (maybe). So there.

Ok - I purchased some 2014 flagship so I can rightfully bash the product. I figure if you buy it, you can complain about it. So let's talk about all I think is wrong with the release, plus the one thing I think they got right. Yup - I said "right". You give props when it's earned.

1) design and cropping

Plenty have said that the 2014 design looks like Bowman. I'll agree with that statement. However, when you combine really poor cropping with a design that is misweighted, it's a disaster. For some reason, Topps used a zoom lens on most of the pictures. And then, with whomever is in the room laying out the cards, the drive was to have the player's face centered left/right on a great majority of the cards. In that, you can see in the scanned cards above how that places the images of the players incorrectly within the frame. The Ramirez and the Melky are both too far right, and with the stupid team name side box, the cards are really heavy to the right. The Guthrie has the same poor framing, however this card is less of an issue with the bleed out of frame to the left. The name sort of balances the image, but in actuality, it doesn't in my opinion. Most of the horizontal cards work well within the frame, but that team name is a real bother.

2. more colors

What - blue and red were not enough, along with the black, cammo, platinum, silver, blah, blah, blah...? This is a money grab for those that like to build rainbows. Also - yellow and green? Why not a couple worse colors like burnt umber and smurple?

Smurple FTW.

3. red sparkle

Silver worked. Gold worked. Green worked. Red does not.

4. Inserts

I'll talk about a couple of the inserts. This one is famous for the really pathetic pithy sayings above the player's name. If you are unsure, just read this.

Horrible layout. A ton of wasted space. It's like they came up with this card in five minutes.

Upper Deck called. They thank you for stealing one of their really bad designs. Here's hoping 2015 Topps borrows from '95 Fleer.


So what, in my opinion, works? Probably the one thing most people dislike.

When I saw the images, I thought these die cut minis would be dreadful. However, getting one in my hand (even if it's Donnie Baseball), these are really neat. It's a far better way to showcase probably the most over printed set ever by Topps than putting it in Archives or another product. Let's play arts and crafts here at 2x3 world.

The edge is a lot wider than the original '89's, plus a change in the logo and the window of the image below the ribbon, but otherwise it's a fun way to use that design as a mini with the shaping of the card. That being said, I'm still only collecting the old timers and White Sox minis.

So there's my final opinion on 2014. A big miss in my book. Feel free to have your own comments on my thoughts, but in the end I'm right, cuz it's my blog and what I say goes!