Thursday, January 28, 2016

You know, but you don't know

Being around this group of weirdos and nut cases (all y'all), you quickly learn not just what someone collects, but their tendencies. So when that person mails you something, you have a pretty good idea what's going to be inside after the 4th or 5th time their address is in the upper left corner. It could be a boat load of commons, junk wax, set filler or odd balls, but that never takes away from the fact that the person thought enough to gift you with cardboard.

You really like me.
So when I received a manila mailer with the familiar location of Matt from Bob Walk The Plank, I was fairly certain there would be a hit or two within the envelope. Matt is a gracious duplicate of JBF Wes and always seems to find relics or autographs to send to Casa 2x3. How was I to know the mailing was nothing BUT relics and autographs.

It's sad that Alexei will not be in the six hole come 2016. In fact, there is no interleague game between the Padres and Sox, so the only place to catch him in Chicago will be Wrigley (pass). Reed is doing well out is Arizona, but I have pity on him considering the..... things....the D-Backs will sport this coming season. Lastly is a relic from Kenny's half season stop on the south side. I'm doubting that particular bat was held while wearing black.

You can see both the Garcia cards list him as a Philly, but you and I, and Matt, know those are White Sox swatches, and I will gladly put them in my collection. Freddy was solid during the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the Pale Hose. Jenks straight up scared the hell out of batters during 2005.

These two oddballs are just that - odd. As nice and low numbered as the Buehrle is, the swatch is blue and you can see the material. My guess is this is from a warm up top, but the Sox never wore blue warm ups during Mark's time. Luckily, the back tells us this is from an All Star event, so that would make this a piece of this uniform top. The Ordonez? From a contest I never knew about - Big League Challenge. Basically, the Home Run Derby. But you see the uniforms had the player's name on the front. 90's - amirite?

What? It was from 2001-2003? Ok.

Fine - I just become a Sale collector. :) Actually, no I won't, but I do like getting cards of Chris, and I really like the autos. Santos never panned out in the Cell. He's currently in the Bronx. Davidson - we'll see where he ends up with the signing of Lawrie and Frazier.

So I thought 1 or 2, I got 11. Totally not what I expected. Thanks Matt.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Post hiaku

A one image post
Mailing from GCRL
Come look at the cards

Camaneris bunt
Buyback for the frankenset
Koskie in throwback

Thank you so much Jim
I'll send something back real soon
Now watch some music

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2015 revisedt: Dilemma

When I did my recap of 2015, I realize I never mentioned what I would consider as my pull of the year. With all the cardboard I ripped, what ranked at the top of the list of my big hits? The problem with the hit of the year is what to do with it. Yeah - there is the obvious - sell it. But how? We'll talk in a bit about that, but first, let's have a story:

Not the time you were stationed in Hanoi again....
I stop by my LCS in early October. Heritage High Number was just released as well as Chrome was in the store. I stopped in for some ripping, looking to yank out the Bryants in the sets so I can make money on those ebay fools (you know who you are). I decided on 9 packs - 3 Heritage, 3 Chrome and 3 Bowman. I announced to Chris I was pulling Bryant autos from all three sets.

I didn't.

But that's not to say I didn't do well. The Bowmans were a total bust, but the 2nd pack of Heritage High and the first pack of Chrome did yield me that dude the northsiders seem to think will save the world.

Bryant-wise, I only care about Stadium Club for the set build. I didn't build Heritage (ugly) and I never build Chrome. But to have these two come out was nice. My hope was to regain some of the cost via ebay, but the cards bottomed out, so I ended up never even listing them.

Anyhow, as I mentioned the first pack of Chrome had the Bryant you see. I flipped it over to Chris on the other side of the display case as he had not seen the card yet. As I collected it back to slide the 4 cards back into the wrapper, I noticed the card that was just behind the Bryant. As you know, in the 2015 flagship, Topps put out a Gallery of Greats insert set. They continued that set in Chrome. The Pujols Chrome GoG I pulled didn't catch my eye well as the Bryant card that fell out, but the light of the store caught the card a little better heading back into the foil wrapper.

What refractor is that? And then I did a double take. What serial is that?

Yup. Super refractor. It's a 30 card insert set. The Super refractors fall 1:28,138 packs. Odds wise, this is a bigger pull than my Gretzky auto. For safety sake, I got it graded.

So now the dilemma: when to sell? I would love to get the cash I am able as soon as possible, but in the same regard, I wonder if cards have a "season" on ebay. Would I be better served holding this until April or May? Or does each passing day potentially lose me greenbacks? It's a star player, and I'm certain there are plenty of Pujols collectors out there that would like this card.

Opinions? The floor is open. And no Gavin - I am not randomizing this.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Old and new

I'm certain I don't need to talk about old card and new cards with you folks. It's a given that as collectors, we gravitate to what we like, whether we are a prospect hunter or a set builder. Putting together a rainbow of a current super star, or building a collection of a old time player.

I had stopped by mt LCS today and was just hanging out with the owner, his son and one of the regulars there. Someone stopped in to sell an old collection of cards (which Brian bought) and we looked at some of the cardboard. Now Chris, the owner's son, is really well versed in book value and actual value (since we all know book is BS), while Tony - he is a prospect hunter. So as the three of us are looking at the stuff Brian bought, Tony was not sure the price of many of the cards. Stuff like a '57 Mays, '61 Gibson, '73 Clemente - yeah, there was a lot of nice cardboard in the binder, But the most amazing thing was some loose leaf pages at the front where it was listed the price of the card. Not sure if it was the price paid, or the value of the card, but needless to say, the prices were old. Like a '51 Mays at $7. Or a '61 Gibson for $1.50. How about a buck for a '73 Clemente? Other names and prices on these sheets included $4 for a '64 Brock and listed (but not in the binder) was a '65 Mantle for $30. Either the seller nailed the prices, or those pages were really old.

Old and new comes with traders too. I have an old trader in Kerry with Cards on Cards. One frigging year I will win a prize in his football contest, but I'll have to settle for a semi yearly package from Kerry. And that is a good consolation when the envelope is packed by Kerry.

What else is getting old is Topps lack of ability to find Southpaw's name and print it on his Opening Day card. They had it right in 2007 and 2010 (I think - I cannot find photographic proof). But from 2011 on, he's White Sox Mascot. Topps - IT'S RIGHT FRIGGING HERE!!!! Main page > Community > Southpaw. Sooz, can you help them out?

How about some old players on newer sets, like Nellie in the Ted Williams release? And a new Paulie for my collection.

Hits are a guarantee in a Kerry package, it seems. Nice Appling foil for the Cooperstown binder. Yup - I put the 2 sets into a binder. I'll scan it when I get the insert sets done. My first pink of any White Sox player with Scott Carroll. And a nice relic from a quality 2nd baseman. Thanks again, Kerry.

In the new side, we have a first time trade with Greg over and the new-ish My Baesball Card Comeback. Newish as Greg doesn't blog much, but you should really check out his site. Go over there now. I'll wait......

I hope someone brings me back a donut while they're over there.
Ok, as I was saying, I forgot how I found Greg, but I caught a post where he was looking for '92 UD cards. I had recently ripped a box of that from my LCS and had a crapton of dupes. Then I misplaced the cards I set aside for him. Greg was on the j-o-b dropping me some cards, and fortunately I found the stack and sent it over. Greg knows how to fill and envelope with cardboard.

Old uniforms on new cards made to look like old cards. I am 7 cards away from completing the Queen's Throwbacks. Four are currently in the hands of USPS from a Sportlots order.

Tons of set help from Greg. These three are just the icing of the 3 tiered cake of set needs. Gotta say this - that Chavez is kind of a boring Stadium Club shot. Right?

NICE!!! I'm going to miss Alexei in the hole come 2016. I understand the reasoning, but that doesn't mean I won't miss him at shortstop. I think he is underrated defensively at the position. That sweet auto in the middle of the last man ever to wear 3 for the White Sox is the third in my collection of Harold. It's the replacement for an auto/relic I currently have in the Project 2005 collection. That card is fine, but I think this one from Greg is much cleaner. Greg, I look forward to more mailings in the future. Cuz anything I receive is all new to me.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Dream job

As you can expect, I am like the rest of you and still a working schlub, not raking in any of the cash from the monster Powerball. Anytime those drawings get high, you dream of what to do with the cash. I've always wanted to own a movie theater. Single screen, balcony, beautiful sculpted ceilings and a grand entrance. A cinema like they used to build when movies were the go to for entertainment, instead of the 16 screen multiplex with 3D, motion seats and all the other crap that goes with going to a flick nowadays.

Butter in the middle of your popcorn, sir?
I know I run a music video at the end of every post, and music is truly a huge part of my life. But movies always came first. Two hours of escape into another world, whether action, drama, science fiction, fantasy, mystery horror or musicals. I would build a one screen palace and be in heaven for my remaining years.

For option 2, I would love to have a card shop. At least, invest in one. I do enjoy spending time just hanging at my local shop. It's like going to a bar without the pretzels (they have the beer, even if it is shitty Coors Light). A while back, Dan from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop sent me back a mailer in thanks for a bunch of Goldschmidts and other D-Backs I sent over. Looking at Dan's "card shop", I would definitely be a customer, and maybe help open another location.

From what I see at Dan's shop, he's going to have tons of older boxes to dig through, and it will be glorious. I remember that Bell Homerun Heroes card. I believe the set was exclusive to jumbos of Upper Deck. I just remember it, and now I must build it. The Big Shots of (not related) Belle is an insert I have never heard of. I'm not quick sure the park Albert is larger than life in, but that isn't Comiskey. Plus a One Dog in a Pinnacle Museum Collection? So funky and fresh!

Dan's card shop is filled with all these sets I have never seen. I do have another Domination, but I didn't have Kip up there. But Diamond Debut and Changing Stripes? First time I have ever see those inserts. I thought I hit the jackpot with a horribly off center of Magglio, but that is the design. Yes - Ordonez is a member of the "White So". These had to be near the end of Leaf's history, cuz who would approve that thing? Other teams in the Sunday Dress set include the "d Athletic", "ork Mets", "ton Astros" and "ago Cubs".

With luck, Dan has a lot of discount boxes to dig through too, cuz stuff this cool never shows up under a dime around here. Only Contreras doesn't make a binder, as he is not a player collection. Red framed Crede and the Authentic Speed Iguchi hit the one binder and two for the Paulie. Again - Leaf, what's with the design? Thank goodness for the (mostly) crappy scan, as it helps you see the Sox logon in the arrowhead at the lower left. Trust me - in person you can't make it out. It's a black blob. I thought maybe the card was heat activated. Oh man - wouldn't that be cool?? Gavin, make that happen!

Dan, I thank you for the new additions. Let me know when you cut the ribbon for your shop.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

En fuego

NBA Jam.

I would, for the most part, kind of call myself a gamer. That being said, I prefer an arcade over PS, XBox and the like. Sure, I had Pong and Atari growing up, but I spent summers at Western Trails in Oak Lawn, playing 8 Ball Deluxe, Gorf, Track & name it. Between NFL Blitz and NBA Jam, I'm sure I pumped far more quarters into Blitz, but NBA Jam was so much more fun. Pushing, flagrant fouls, goal tending - I am not sure if anything is more enjoyable.

For those who forgot, or never played, after 3 buckets in a row, a player is "on fire" and has some super human abilities until the other team scores. The game was over the top fun, and as much as there are other games out there now I would play (I did play COD:World War when my son was home with his PS3), the good ol' days plunking quarters/tokens into a stand up machine was great living.

I bring up NBA Jam because if you view certain league standings on ESPN, you can find this:

That's 162 if you convert it from binary to decimal.
Being my blog, I get to play favorites. And since baseball is 31 days away, I am talking about my Blackhawks, who have decided enough is enough and took over the Western Conference lead from Dallas. Many of the recent mailings here at 2x3 Headquarters contained Hawks cards of one or another that added much needed cardboard in the Hawks box (doesn't have the same ring :( ).

Ok - not Hawks. Thought technically, Bolland was, and did score a pretty famous goal for Chicago. These cards came from Jeremy, who I believe does not run a blog but has an Instagram account named semi_pro_set. Jeremy singed up for some free hockey cards last year (let's do that again - soon) and was kind enough to email me and send me cards to help with my 2015-16 UD build, bringing me to needing just 2 cards. Jeremy, being the stand up guy that fits right in with all the other generous people that have dropped cards to me, added in a few more additions.

O-Pee-Chee!!!! This is one of the best parts of sending cards back and forth with hosers. Older OPC are difficult, to near impossible, to find around here. In fact, besides a couple lucky finds in some repacks, I can't think of a single OPC Blackhawks card I have found at a card shop or show that is pre 1990. Thankfully Jeremy said he would keep an eye out for more. Much appreciated.

Dave, from Wax Stain Rookie, also dropped a nice PWE on me filled with Indian head sweaters. Three Cup winners here. Stosh bringing one home in '61, Steeg getting his name twice on the Cup (spelled correctly once) in '10 & '13, and Hoss in '10, '13 & '15.

If I recall, Titanium was a Canada only release in 2014. My LCS got a couple boxes, but only after buying off the second market, so I never ripped any. For all of Panini's missteps, Titanium is not that bad a set. Top row are a couple UD Portraits from this year's release. I believe they fall 4 to a box, so I don't have many. Both we gladly accepted.

More UD inserts. Shining Stars are foil, and as usual, my scanner hates them. But my scanner LOVES Upper Deck Exclusives. Hard pulls, as I have only ever pulled one in my life. Yeah - and not even from a box. The only one I ever found was in a rack pack. Crow got a killer image in Upper Deck this year. Thanks for all the cards, Dave.

Last up is my monthly (it seems) mailing from DJ of Sportscards From The Dollar Store. With all the fantastic repacks he finds up north, I seem to get his Hawks cast offs. No complaining when cast offs look like a Fleer Retro Hull, a Masterpieces Kane and a Pinnacle Hossa. I really need to find a recent box or two of Pinnacle to rip.

If I ever start my Toews PC, I'll put it in the same binder as my Sale PC, which as you recall does not exist! Also, does Crown Royal not look like something Pacific would have put out?

One day, I will put together a throwback binder of hockey cards. Loved all the 75th Anniversary sweaters worn around the league in 1991. The best part of the Sopel card is seeing some fans in the background applauding the Cup. Philly gets a bad rap - deserved, unfortunately. But win or lose, give the winners their due. I remember watching the Cup presentation in 2010 and there were plenty of boos. So good to see plenty of good sports in the stands as well. DJ - I look forward to our next mailing.

Ok - Hawks go for win 11 in 5 minutes. Is it the skates?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 01.14.2016

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.

Mike Jackson - 1995 Score - San Francisco Seals

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Welcome to the neighborhood

Anyone ever read the book Rules of Thumb? In the original book, the authors cobbled together the opinions of people to come up with base rules of life. Like the distance between your finger tips on your out stretched arms is equal to your height. Or if you button your jeans and then lay them flat, if you wrap the waist band around your neck, then ends should just meet. Basically, the diameter of your neck is half the diameter of your waist.

One rule that has always stuck with me was this: Five moves equals one house fire. The rule of thumb was that you threw out enough things in five house moves that it would add up to the same amount of stuff you would lose if your house caught fire. I have no idea why that one stuck with me.

I hope the couch isn't too wet.
Julie, over at A Crack Bat, recently moved from Florida? Georgia? Somewhere down south I think. Anyway - that doesn't matter. She moved to the Midwest and recently dropped two packages on me. One was a large stuffed envelope, which was mighty fine, and then she goes and seals the deal as a cool Midwest chick with a Christmas card.

Not 'chick'? Ok -She's a hip honey broad. Where's my Four Loko?
So much White Sox goodness was within.

Let's start with glorious junk wax. As I have mentioned in the past, My Sox box is shockingly short of cards in the mid 90's to early 00's. Granted, some of what I have scanned here are out of that range, but you get the general idea how my Sox box is filled. While I did rip a bunch of Collector's Choice, I ripped less of Leaf, and Pinnacle. I think I opened the inaugural release, then nothing. So Pinnacle Express? First time I ever seen or heard of that.

Binders got a few additions. Man, that Cline is a beautiful miscut. And Bazooka Joe makes the binder as a new non-baseball addition. Even on it's side, Bazooka Joe isn't funny. Too bad they didn't cut off enough of the card where we could have filled in our own joke to bring back the humor. Lastly "Dear Topps, This is how you properly frame a card. Signed, Upper Deck".

Packed filled with action!!!! It's amazing so much action can be contained in so small a place. They are Action Packed Men!

New releases made it in the mailer too. Diecuts of future Sox stars are always welcome. What would be welcome is a team that will silently do so well that the media will spend all their time talking about the amazing club on the northside that they fail to notice the quality of play on the south. Oh wait - that's Chicago sports coverage anyway.

Gooooooooooooooold!!! And fooooooooooil! And snow cammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmo! First Sox foil card I have, btw, with the Beckham. Same as the first snow cammo with the Shuck, though I have received a 2nd of another player.

Before I decided to turn my love of buy backs into a frankenset, I just asked for them, and Julie sent along that sweet Johnny Podres. I think that is his sunset card, eh Nick? Actually, COMC says no. He has a '69 as a Padre. I'll let the joke write itself. I didn't know you ripped high end, Julie with the Tier One. That's right, you can afford to buy houses, so of course you do. Though, I do have to deduct 2 points for the reminder that Canseco was a White Sox. We really had some shitty teams at the turn of the century.

As I mentioned, Julie followed up this package with a Christmas card containing two more cards.

OH YEAH! Player collection additions. I have been hunting for that Turkey Red Iguchi relic but never found one at a price point I was willing to pay. For Crede, I have a couple of the Boys of Summer auto cards (which I love), but those have the team shopped out ala Panini. It's nice to see him, while not as a full blown White Sox, in the farm club colors.

Thanks again for the cards, Julie. I guess I better find some more Kelloggs cards out in my neck of the Midwest.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Tis The Season: sticking a fork in TTS3 and welcome to 2016

Well, it has finally arrived. We are at the last random for the last stacks of cards in the 3rd annual card giveaway. I hope it was fun, even if you never landed in a winning position. All the cards are sorted into team bags. I just need to throw them in envelopes, run some postage all over them and hand them to my mail carrier. Oh won't she be happy with the number of padded manila envelopes coming her way. Anyhow, let's see who will be receiving some A&G.

We have three stacks, so two at the top, Madding and GCRL and Wilson at the bottom. And I don't believe any of them won a previous giveaway, I think we are safe from having to go to an alternate winner. In that regard, Brandon won both yesterday's A&G (2013 & 2014) and the stack of Chrome/Archives/ Hometown Heroes. He stated he wanted the A&G, so we will go to the alternate winner for that stack. In this regard, 2nd place will be considered the runner up and assume the duties of Miss America.

That will be Shane over at Shoebox Legends.

I think it is all said and done. I will do a full review of all the winners and see if I missed any more duplicates and deal with them if the arise. I need to hire an administrative assistant for TTS4.

You can-a leave early, Mrs.-a Wiggins.
As others have, and as I have in the past, let's look forward to 2016 and give myself some direction on paper pixels to see how my collection as well as my home here at 2x3Heroes will go.

Organization - I am quite pleased with how I have everything organized. I'm starting to move some sets to binders for easy access and better viewing to appreciate what I have. I'm going to continue getting sets in binders. I plan to build a long, low bookshelf for a wall across my office to give me not only far more space for binders, but I will have basically a long shelf on the top for display.

Sorry Tawny, your bed is getting moved.
I talked last year of getting cards from the Sox box into Zistle. I'm going to put that into my 2016 goals and try and make that happen. I think I know what scares me: so much of Zistle is no images, and that doesn't work for me. Every time I add a card from the double play, throwback, bunting or player collection binders, I have to scan front and back if they are missing. In that regard, I know updating all the Sox into my Zistle collection will be a LOT of scanning. I just need to bite the bullet.

Sets - I am really going to stick with this one this year, guys and gals. I swear it! While the prerelease images of 2016 Topps look great, I am not going to build it through packs or boxes. I am sure I'll buy some packs here and there. But if I like it, I will pick up the factory set. I just cannot afford to build that set in a pack purchase or box purchase fashion. I will build A&G again. Also Gypsy Queen. Heritage is a maybe. And I'll just wait out and see what is released in 2016. I do need to work on my Wants pages. It's not like I can't complete many of those sets. If I don't pack build flagship, I can use that cash at COMC, Just Commons or Sportlots. The key is to stay focused. I have to remember the prize and..

Oh crap.
Also, I want to start moving on the larger purchases for my 1964 set. The Mantle, Mays, Koufax, Rose, Clemente - those cards. I would like to have a couple of them by the end of the year.

Player Projects - I need to get moving on Fox and Aparicio. I let them languish in 2015. As did the Petrick binder. I want to have Ben over 100 cards by the end of the year - very doable. I'm not going to put a goal on Fox and Aparicio - I just hope I can cross a few numbers off the checklist for each.

Cost - I talked about this a couple paragraphs ago, but I need to bring it up again. I should be focused on how I spend my money and spend it wisely. That rush of opening a pack would be better replaced with the rush of opening an envelope from at Sportlots seller that will do nothing but remove numbers instead of fill space in a dupe box. I have enough free money to collect cards and should better allocate it.

Trades/Blog - The goal on both is basically the same, so I'm combining them. And the goal - no goal. I'll trade when I can. I hope to send out cards often. Similarly, I will blog when I can. I hope to post often. I have thoughts of one or two new semi regular themed posts here, so I hope to make them happen. I do need to get the 1964 blog out of mothballs. I started ambitiously, but I slowed down mainly because of the format I was taking. I am researching and summarizing the player and that is intensive. I think I will view some of the other year specific blogs and change future posts slightly to simplify each card. No planned date, though, when I will get to that.

Collection - Lastly, I will continue to have fun with my collection. Every thing I wrote above is pointless if I am not having fun just being with my cards. And no, that does not sound creepy.

Help me build my '69 set?
I have one major-ish project I am adding to my collecting. It's a new frankenset, and I teased it yesterday.

Remember us?
Yup - I am going to try and build a frankenset of Topps buybacks. Any year will do - it just has to be an older card that is foil stamped and reinserted into a pack, which means the A&G 10th anniversary cards are part of this frankenset. So I know I have asked before, but I will ask again - if you get any buy backs and don't want them, let me trade you for them. Unless they are '75s. Then talk to Night Owl first. I also hope to add some autographs to the 2005 project. Half a dozen will do, and that also if very doable. What won't be doable is that many will probably not show the player in a White Sox uniform. There are just so few certified autographs out there of the players and they are not good TTM returners. so I will need to get them in different team colors. Oh well.

So let's me look - yup. I have the required one scanned card image; this post qualifies for publishing. Oh wait. I need a 2016 theme song.