Friday, February 26, 2016


So according to the people in the know, it's going to be mid 50's tomorrow in my neck of the woods and possible lower 60's on Sunday. That's why I have decided to drive up to the shores of Lake Superior this soon to be beautiful weekend and spend time in the cold and snow. The UP has plans on 3-6 inches of snow on Sunday.

61 degrees or 6 inches of snow?

Tough call.
Actually, I'm heading up with my wife to see our daughter. With luck, I should be home very late Saturday, so maybe I can enjoy a bit of the Sunday weather. So let's do a quick single image post.

2015 Stadium Clubs needs from the fellow Pierce collector Commishbob over at Five Tool Collector. With me ignoring the flagship release this year, I need to focus on my Wants lists, and '15 SC is high up there since there really aren't short prints to worry about. Love these three cards.

For my Hidden Gems collection, I really scrutinize a Stadium Club card as really the entire set could fit in there. Somehow I already had that Jackie card. I forgot to clear it from my want list. I decided that Jackie card deserved to go in Hidden Gems. I think it's a rarely seen photo that I gave it the thumbs up. According to Baseball Reference, that is either Ed Stevens, Preston Ward, Chuck Connors or Don Newcombe behind Jackie. I'm eliminating the last, not cuz of the bat in hand but because the color of the arm holding the bat.

I really want it to be Chuck Connors.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 02.25.2016

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 Munoz - 1993 Topps - Detroit Tigers

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Small things in big packages

Minis came back as an insert in when - 2006? We know of the '75 Topps mini set (Night Owl does). Topps even did micro sets in the early 90's. But it seems with the release of the Allen and Ginter line in 2006, minis really came back into the whole lexicon of the industry. From A&G, Gypsy Queen, Golden Age and Goodwin tobacco minis to Topps and Bowman bring back the '75 sized minis, you can expect them to be a part of the hobby for a while. I wonder what cards would have looked like in the junk wax era if Sony made cards instead of Walkmans?

I think that's a Griffey Rookie card. No, wait - it's a bread crumb.

And when it comes to minis, I know of no bigger collector than Duane over at Democratic Roadkill. I believe he has completed every mini set that A&G has released, including those really hard to find short printed minis. Correct me if I am wrong, Duane. When I rip my box for Gint-A-Cuffs, as well as any other pack openings, I earmark most of my minis to Duane. I only keep the White Sox and any of the odd ball cards in the set. And I try to build some of the mini inserts. But the rest head east. Duane dropped a hell of a package on me a week or so back - check these out.

Just a handful of the Chicago to be found. I try to get one of each version of the A&G cards for the Sox in the set. Base and A&G backs are usually easier to find, so any black borders or then some are very welcome. I have the base of the Goodwin Toews, so the mini fits right in the binder.

The damage done to my insert sets, however - WOW!!! My want list is horribly behind for the 2015 mini insert sets, so Duane decided to just throw a grenade on the 2013 and 2014 needs. I wish Topps didn't do the weird numbering on the 2013 set. However, with all the cards Duane sent, my 2013 insert set needs were cut more than in half. Ditto for 2014. I love the look of the Inquiring Minds set and having so many in binder pages looks cool.

Flipping to the horizontal, I received help on the Predators, Codes and Little Lions sets. I am so gung ho on completely Little Lions like I was for Man's Best Friend, but that can be attributed to my dislike of cats. But all these are almost done. I think I will make a push to clear all the earlier year insert sets that are financially viable to complete and knock them out by the end of the year. Maybe by summer.

RED!!! The newest edition to the colored borders for A&G was the mini boxes with these numbered to /33. I see in 2015 they upped the number to /40. All I know is the number 3 - that is how many red bordered White Sox minis I have in my collection.

Besides the 2010 mini set, which technically I am frankenset building, I just collect the minis from each year of the odd ball entries and specific players. So the random cards from Duane are greatly appreciated. I need to go through the checklists for the past few years and determine when cards I am missing.
It's not to say everything from Duane was tiny, He did add a few regular sized cards too.

I have so few 2006 A&G - I need to pick up a set of that as I will never be able to build it cheaply or slowly. Nice Quentin relic with a pinstripe. And in a non-Ginter card, we have a beautiful triple relic of the Big Hurt, including the very first piece of glove I have on any card.

So thanks Duane. I'll let you know right now - I'm in 2016 GAC and the minis are all yours. (BTW - change the font to try for a humorous post & holy hell is it hard to proofread!)


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Half down, half to go

I'm a glass half empty kind of guy. If the worst is going to happen, I'm expecting it. Mainly because if you lived in my shoes, you would realize is the norm and not the exception. So I have conditioned myself to always think the the absolute worst will happen. My logic is this: if you think the worse, and that is what occurs, you are prepared for it and can handle the crappy situation better. If something better, or even the best, happens, then the excitement is that much greater.

Hey - it's my logic. My schooling helped me develop theories like that.

The nice part about the other half of Wes' package is that you can count on some amazing things at the later stages. At least, in how I scan the cards. You saw the first part yesterday, and anyone that has ever received a mailing from Wes can attest that half of a JBF package is a hell of a great thing. But the glass overflows when you are done opening it.

There were a few more serialed cards from Wes, but here are some of the most interesting, and low numbered. Going around the horn - Belle is /2500, Lyons is /399, Lee is /100, Thome is /149 and that Magglio is /50. How low can you go?

Player collections were hit. Legends was a poorly designed card, but that is a hell of an image. The Aparicio at the bottom is a 1961 Post. First one I have ever seen with a perforated edge. Not sure if that means a cereal box or some other container. But it's the 16th card in the Aparicio Project. He's got so much stuff.....

Believe it or not, I never had that Pierce Archives reprint. Not sure how I have missed it all this time. I could have sworn I had it. I bet I find it the next big reorg I do. Bowman Heritage Iguchi makes 58 cards in that collection. Contenders Konerko bumps him up to 354.

Two for the bimders - Cabrera into the double play and a refractor Sale into the throwback. In reading some blogs today, I realized how few throwbacks cards are in series 1 this year. Someone said there will be an insert set in Opening Day. I hope so. Some nice uniforms need to be remembered on cardboard.

Two Press Proofs. What in the hell do those really mean? I mean - sure - the Donruss on the left is some silly, stupid name Panini gave it to try and make the card cool and unique. But was the same true back in the 90's and the Pinnacle press proof on the Bere?

Wes included not only a Ventura minor league card, but the entire 1989 team set, still packaged. The only other names I recognize on the checklist are Don Wakamatsu, Craig Grebeck and Rich Amaral. There is a trainer card in here - I really want to rip it open to see what it looks like. But ebay comes to the rescue and tells me it is nothing special.

Last card, and the big highlight, is this encased Daryl Boston on card auto from 2005 Topps Retired set. Considering the shape of the snap down (scratched and scuffed), I rescued it and put it in my autograph binder. It looks much better freed to the world.

Wes - #SuperTraders made a hell of a start at 2x3 Headquarters. Thanks a bunch as always. I hope I can make the White Sox proud in the group of nutballs.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Super duper cooper trooper grouper

There are things you can count on year after year. Taxes on April 15th-ish (18th this year). The Cubs getting fans tons of hope only to fall apart in September (4-1 odds all you want on them, then won't win it). That basket of single socks because the dryer eats one every single load. Kanye and Taylor feuding about something.

My agent says it's your turn to say something mean about me on Twitter.
One constant in the blogging world is Jay Barker Fan Wes and his bombs. And with his new group #SuperTraders, I get the feeling they will be coming more frequently, and from more directions. Somehow, I was recruited for the White Sox. I'm not upset by any means. But now this blue color guy has to setup it up with the big boys. We'll see if I can hold my own.

But Wes started the #SuperTrader activity on my locale, dropping a package a couple weeks ago or so - maybe longer. All the days bleed into the next. I'm going to break the goodies over two posts cuz I hate jamming a lot of images on one post. Unless they're of Kate.

I even look good with PLAY symbols in the way.

Three sizes of cards made it into the package. No tobacco sized White Sox. No complaints, mind you. I'm not sure if Harold kept the "cap under the helmet" style later in his career, but that look is so American Legion Little League.

A nice OPC Little. The "traded" wording is such a nice feature. Topps should bring it back on Archives or something. It's what I remember growing up. The green outside wall behind Lemon needs some paint. That sucker is faded from the sun.

I think I had a reason I scanned these three together, but I forgot. I can tell you Tyler helps me almost knock off the 2015 Sox team set. I think I am two Update cards short. I'm so used to see the 91 Topps with WINNER printed above the player name that I forget the base Topps Gold from that year.

More oddball-ish cards. The Garland is strange in that you see the wording is in blue. It's that way because it talks about how Jon was drafted by the Cubs and shows Cubs next to his name. He appeared in 10 games of Rookie ball with the Cubs before they traded him to the Sox for a middle reliever. Yeah - we got the way better end of that deal.

Upper Deck sure produced a lot of cards.

While I run a few player collections, now would be an impossible time to start collecting the Big Hurt. If I had to guess the number of Thomas cards in the Sox box, I would guess at least 200. And that would be a hell of a collection. But this is Frank Thomas we are talking about. Currently, there are over 3000 different Frank Thomas cards on COMC. That's filtering out the Pirates Frank Thomas.

I'll think I will stop there. That's a lot, and I have barely touched on the usually amazing stuff you can get from Wes, liked serialed and hits. #SuperTraders gonna trade, trade, trade, trade, trade...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


As I have mentioned enough times in the past, I do technical support for collision estimating software. I am fortunate enough to work from home, and currently I am one of 6 people that help support our newer chat feature. Ya know - instead of calling on the phone, you go to the website and start a chat with a tech.

Well, yesterday, just before the end of my work day, a user came into chat. After a couple other questions, the root issue was the desire of the shop to move our software to a different machine. With our program, you have a server that has the program residing (about 6.5gigs worth of data) and you have the clients. Technically, the server is just a data warehouse, meaning that the program runs on the client machines. All the server does is sit there until a client requests a file from it. The nice part of that is changing the server machine is as simple as dropping that huge folder onto a new machine and then rerunning the client setups so the other computers know where to get the database files.

Anyway, I was walking the tech on the other end of the line through copying the folder, and when complete, he chatted this back to me:
What now, oh great Jedi Master Jeffy Jeff
Which, needless to say, freaked me out. I mean, I have gone by the nickname JediJeff since 1999, when I first joined a Star Wars message board when TPM was coming out. As I got into the clubs and groups, along with the Rebel Legion and 501st, the name stuck. I heard stories of people mentioning my name, but others not knowing whom they were talking about until they rephrased me as JediJeff. I've had the email for 16 plus years. JediJeff is just who I am. So how a tech pulled that phrase out of the sky blew my mind.

In sports as well as around the blogs, we all have our own nicknames. Take DefGav from Baseball Card Breakdown. Recently he dropped a small PWE on me.

I sent a few Diamond sparkle cards for his needs and he helped out with a a few cards for my '15 A&G build like Mad Bum. A nice Beckham Obak. Supposedly, Beckham's nickname while at Georgia was "Slayer", though he denies it. Lastely, one of DefGav's customs, a sweet mini of Junior when he reprized his Upper Deck card for a Macklemore (real name Ben Haggerty) video.

Now the other mailing came from Jeff over at Wish They Still Came With Bubblegum. To my knowledge, Jeff doesn't go by a nickname - maybe we need a contest or something to name him. Jeff's PWE came with more goodness.

A nice blue Chipz of Southpaw. He has a name, but Topps continually calls him by the nickname "Chicago White Sox" or "White Sox Mascot". Getting old, Topps. In the middle is the Golden Jet, Bobby Hull. I have the all gold version of this Action Packed, which I found in a card shop in Colorado. I like this colored version far better than the all gold and they look good side by side in a binder. Lastly, a sweet Topps Tek on card auto of Micah Johnson. While Hawk Harrelson seems to create the nicknames for Sox players (Big Hurt, One Dog, El Caballo), he needs to get going on Micah. Thanks guys.

Friday, February 12, 2016


See? I finally picked up a pack.

This makes me cool too. Right? Cuz now I have some 2016 Topps of my own?

I just picked up a pack this morning at WalMart. Can I come back into the club now?

Oh com'on guys - please? Let me back in. I promise I'll get a pack of Gypsy Queen on the day of release.

There's my one pack. Even in hand it still looks like crap. And I get zero White Sox and a frigging Dodger hot pack.

And maybe I got the worst card of the set, but Perspectives is crap. The font is from a bad sales flyer for a bedding wholesaler.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 02.11.2016

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.

Tony Batista - 2003 Upper Deck Sweet Spot - St. Louis Browns

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A year in your pants - a small giveaway

Come August, my daughter turns 21. Like anyone else that has raised a daughter, you have varying levels of drama and joy. I have to say that we have a fantastic relationship. She's in school now, but I think back to times she was younger and wish I could have her ask to tag along to the grocery store just one more time. It's true you can never appreciate something as much until it's gone.

When she was little, and as a family we were out doing....whatever....there were numerous times she would ask me to hold something for her. A rock, some coins, a feather. Something catches a child's eye and they want to bring it home. Boys rarely ask you to hold stuff because clothing manufacturers know to give boys pockets in their jeans and shorts. But women, and young girls, it tends to not be the case. So Dad transported these small items home. For my daughter, I designated that little coin pocket you find on the right side of your jeans as her pocket. I didn't want to ruin whatever was handed to me by putting it in with car keys, change and all the other objects that make it into my pants. So I would show her it was going into that special pocket. In time, she would ask me to put something into "her" pocket, knowing it referred to that little coin pocket. By seeing it going in, she knew her treasure was safe.

I thought you handed me a flower!!
Today was a quiet one at work (thank goodness) so I had time to organize my desk. And in that cleaning, I found a couple stacks of pocket schedules. I not a collector of them per se, but when I am on vacation, pocket schedules make for great, cheap souvenirs. It's pretty tough for me to NOT grab a half dozen or so every time I see the little box in the convenience store, or on the counter at the gas station. And barring them being all gunked up, I seem to never throw them away.

But I am in clean up mode, so throw away the dupes I will. Unless one of you wants them. Yup - let me show you what I have destined for the garbage. Make a claim and I will drop whatever you want into the mail. Pick one or more. I have extras of a lot of them so just because it's claimed doesn't mean I don't have more. I'll list the total of each below.

When I found these Bulls schedules from last year, I noticed there were three different covers, so I grabbed one of each. And by one of each, I mean 5 of each (don't let me around "free"). So I am keeping a set for myself, but I have 4 more sets of these available.

The top two are both Wisconsin teams. When we meet our daughter sort of half way, we meet at a mall right next to Lambeau.

Nothing witty here. I'm giving them the finger.
While in that mall one time, I found the Rattlers and Gamblers schedules. I have two of the Rattlers and 3 Gamblers available. The Slammers are the local Frontier League club here in my hometown. Joliet is known for having a prison, hence the name Slammers. I've got 5 of last year's schedules up for grabs.

You would think I'd grab more Hawks schedules but I just have one each of 13-14 and 14-15. The Kane County Cougars used to be the minor league club of the Orioles. Then Marlins. Then Athletics. Then Royals. Then Cubs. Now it's the D-backs. The ballpark is not that far from my house (30 minutes), so there are plenty of Cougars schedules in the stores. Some how I have 9 of those available.

Ok - just comment below. I don't need anything in return, expect maybe your address if I don't have it. And if you know someone that collects and needs these, point them here. And lastly - if you want any schedules from the Chicago area, drop me an email. I am more than willing to find what I can for you and send them over. Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls & Hawks. Plus the Cougars and the Slammers if you would like those. I won't go nuts looking for them, but you can be sure I'll have some in my pocket should there be any on the counter. Maybe you can send me a schedule or two from your town in return?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hidden Gems #1: Kennedy & Blondie

Since I have cleared out my scan folder....Well technically, no - I just added two images, but those were PWEs I just received. They can wait. Anyway, since I cleared out my scan folder, I finally have a chance to start a new semi regular series here at 2x3 Heroes.

Recently, I took one of the many extra binders I scored from my local Goodwill (99 cents for a 3" D ring, baby) and created a collection I call "hidden gems". In my world, hidden gems are the cards that are gorgeous in their own right, but not the iconic cards in the trading card world. We all know of Gamble's afro, Luis Alvarado playing ball in a salvage yard, Munson in a cloud of dust at the plate and other fantastic rectangles over the years of cards. But there are others. Many others that are just part of a set and maybe because of the high volume of cards released or the change in attitude from set building to pulling the hit that they'ret forgotten.

Hidden Gems is the binder for them.

I will admit this is an idea based a lot on Night Owl's Cardboard Appreciation series. It was from reading his posts that I started to think about cards that don't fit my collecting habits but are still beautiful cards in their own rights. So in creating the binder, I was able to spend time going through my trade box to find those cards that I may have paused while sorting, thinking how great it looked though deciding it didn't fit my collection at the time. Now it does.

However, I wanted to go a little farther in these series of posts. Placing a song at the end of my posts became my trademark gimmick. I started it on a lark years back, but decided that it would be an identity for my blog. Also, it gives me time to hunt my brain and YouTube for a video that suits my mindset. For hidden gems, however, the song is not a tie in to the post subject per se, nor a wink and a smirk in an attempt a humor. In regard to the songs in hidden gems, they are just that - songs you may never have heard from an artist, but should. Whether some early cut, live show or buried in am album release, these are great songs to my ears.

Ok - I think I have set this up enough, let's see the card that really started this idea in my head.

I actually had to ask Night Owl for a copy of this card (thank goodness he had dupes). I am so enamoured with this card I talked about it when it first came out and made a custom card from the image. The only fault I have is that the badging at the bottom covers the feet. But really, when the card is this beautiful, you can quickly overlook a small flaw like that. My hope is that the over blurred 2016 cards are a one year thing because Topps is forgetting that a card is not just the player, but the environment around him. The palm trees, the 76 logo, the Muscle Milk ad, the small bleachers, the blue sky - all those are as much of the image as the position of the player and the shadows and highlights on his uniform. The best photos pull you into the scene, not push part of it into your lap.

For the first hidden gem song, this is a video that a coworker shared with me years back. When New York was the place and CBGBs was the club, a young band had a regular gig at the venue.

That is 30 year old Debbie Harry on stage with Blondie about 2 years before the re-release of their first album in 1977 gained some success in Australia and notice from Rolling Stone. That lead to their break out success in 1978 with the album Parallel Lines and their first hit "Heart Of Glass".

Lastly, Along with Radio 2x3, I have added the Hidden Gems songs to their own public playlist on the right side.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cross country mail trip

Technically, I have 4 recent packages I want to post in thanks for the mailing. I have three of them scanned and ready to post. The final one needs to be scanned, it being yet another bombing from Wes. Maybe not a bombing, but a decent sized hand grenading.

Just one point, Wes. Toss again.
 But when I look at the three packages that are ready to go, I realized they span the US, from coast to coast with a stop near the middle. So this post is a little more image heavy than I tend to write, but I hope you allow me to display a lot of pictures. Maybe I'll give you a bonus at the end.

We'll start in the Eastern time zone with a package from the Night Owl. Vintage is a staple in Greg's mailings. Miscut vintage is even cooler. I appreciate Greg sending over cards that fit in his collection (these being his Dodgers and his '75 mini set), but are not needed and make great additions to my miscut binder. Earl Weaver is going to kill the cameraman in his portrait on the mini.

I like goooooooooooooooooold. Two from last year's SC. Gold parallels, so into the Sox box they go.

I have no idea what vendor has such cheap vintage for Greg to purchase from, unless he is spending way too much on me. I cannot find a Pollet (or any other pre 70) White Sox card under a few bucks unless I luck out on ebay. Love the hack job on the Smith. I had to clean it up to get it into a binder page. And a Bazooka Chet Lemon comic. Yet another item I didn't know was a thing. I should have kept track of all the things I didn't know about that you readers have sent to me. Well into the hundreds I bet. Thanks for the cards. Greg.

Let's jump on the US Highway system and take parts of I-90, I-80 and others to end up in Peoria, the home of P-Town Tom of Waiting 'Til Next Year. Tom sent a couple team bags of cards which helped with some late 90's teams sets, as well as more Bazooka. Again - new to me. I really was living in a vacuum or under a rock for years.

Throwbacks and bunting. I love that set from the Topps Unique, but it must be a short printed set. I can never find any cards from it at a decent price point. I was glad to get this one. I believe that's two down from the set. That Larkin is not the original, nor the Berger's Best from this year but a Topps 60 card from 2010. Which means I need the one from this year for the bunting binder. And the original.

And more Post too. I believe Greg and Tom coordinated their packages. Well loved Post. BTW - I had Post Honey Combs cereal for breakfast this morning. Just a little peak into my life.

Tom didn't coordinate the relics with Night Owl, though. Two sweet bat relics. Rios never did fill in when Dye left. Ray was a nice solid second bagger for us who didn't get the recognition in the league I think he deserved. His bat wasn't much but he had solid leather skills. Appreciate the cards, Tom.

Continue west on I-80 for over a day and you finally arrive at the Pacific in the little town of San Jose, home of Fuji. Fuji and I pretty much just drop cards on each other from time to time. With all the teams he supports, there is always a relic or an auto I pull that will fit his collection. And in return, Fuji loads me up on Hawks and Sox, like the sweet cards of Big Hurt above. That is the first e-card of any White Sox player in my collection. I have pulled a couple from repacks, but never of my hometown boys. Man - did it scan AWESOMELY! Very 2014 Topps Finest. And while VJ Lovero photos are nice, they aren't in the same league as Walter Iooss.

Two for the Paulie binder. How many more frigging colors are in the Bowman Platinum? Years ago, I would have called the Baseball Greats set in the middle horrid, but either I am getting more mellow with age (no way) or its simplicity is really striking a chord. Either way, I was glad for the few of these Fuji added.

I would call these all busted Hawks, but I can't. Cleary left to win a couple Cups with the Dead Wings. Zhamnov came over from Phoenix when we traded Roenick and did pretty well in the Indian head sweater, even wearing the captain's C a couple years. Daze was a career cut short. He should have had many more quality years with the Hawks, but injuries shortened his time in the Madhouse on Madison. Normally, an auto or relic ends the mailing images, but there was one huge stack that Fuji sent over.

I'm guessing these came from a flea market find and Fuji dropped two unopened packs along with about 40 other sheets of these Topps rub offs. Here's the White Sox I found among the sheets - Fisk, Baines, Hoyt and Kittle. I believe I have just the Baines in my Sox box. Hoyt shocked me as an addition to the set, until I realized these are from 1984 and Hoyt nabbed the Cy Young in 1983. Fuji, thanks for the cards.

Ok - back on I-80 to Castle 2x3. And no, I'm not stopping. If you have to go you should have went before we left!

But we are picking up hitch hikers.....