A few weeks ago, a big box was sent to me from Jeff over at 2 x 3 Heroes. Quite a while ago, I had mentioned to him that the White Sox were my second favorite team. While I think that the current incarnation of the White Sox probably isn't my second favorite team (that "honor" might go one of the Texas MLB teams, or one of the small market teams that did well in the playoffs last season), one of my all time favorite teams was the White Sox. Their 2005 team to be precise.
So when he sends me Sox cards, that's the first thing I look for - cards that commemorate that incredible 2005 team. This Jermaine Dye card is the kind of card I love to see - no doubt that this is a World Series card. The Bobby Jenks card is actually from 2007, but if I'm correct, it looks like he has a World Series patch on his hat. It's kinda hard to tell, but even if it's not, Jenks was a big part of that Championship, so it's still good in my book.
Here's a couple of other guys from that '05 team, sprinkled in with a few guys from before and after that. I saw a MLB Network special that talked about the best rotations of all time, and the '05 Sox rotation that included Jon Garland and Jose Contreras was ranked pretty high. Carlos Lee was traded before 2005, but he's a guy that I remember seeing in a few games I went to when I was a missionary in Chicago. Scott Podsednik was a World Series hero with a walk off home run in Game 2. The Brent Lillibridge is a great looking card, and I got to see him last year play for the Round Rock Express, so that was kinda cool.
I thought these two cards were interesting, since it looks like they were taken a few seconds apart.
Jim Thome cards are pretty cool in my book too. The one on the left is a pretty cool shot, and it's kinda funny to me that Thome is included in a set that's called "Future Stars", especially towards the end of his career. Future Hall of Famer, right? Maybe? I don't know about Hall of Fame ballots anymore.
These were some prized cards as well. I was a big fan of Tadahito Iguchi during that '05 run, and I have almost all of his cards during his short stint as a Padre. I actually forgot that he was a 30 year old rookie in 2005, after playing eight years for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan. He only spent four season in America, between the Sox, Phillies, and Padres.
Addison Reed is a guy that I'm on the fence about collecting. Not chasing down autographs or relics or anything, but base cards and small stuff. He played college at San Diego State for Tony Gwynn, and he's got some pretty cool cards. Wouldn't mind branching out. However, being traded to the Diamondbacks may be too much for me to bear eventually. We'll see how his career goes, but these two were added to a binder. Think I'm closing in on a whole page of him now.
These three actually filled a page in my binder of Mark Buehrle cards. Mark Buehrle is ridiculous. In his 15 year career (14 full seasons), he has 14 straight seasons of 200+ innings and double digit wins. His best season was in 2005, when he went 16-8 with a 3.12 ERA. He is a five time All Star and a four time Gold Glover. He has gone six or more innings in 82% of his starts, more than any current pitcher. Felix Hernandez is second with 81% and Justin Verlander is third with 80%. Clayton Kershaw is sixth with 73%. Is he a Hall of Famer in my book? No. But I'd rather have him than Jack Morris or Bert Blyleven.
These three Ozzie Guillen cards gave me a whole page of him in my binder as well (man, this was a really productive box, thanks again Jeff!). Ozzie was the man behind the wheel of the 2005 White Sox. I know his reputation was tarnished pretty heavily during his time as the Marlins manager, but I gotta think that Sox fans still love him for what he did in Chicago, both as a player and especially as a manager. I dig the socks on his '89 Donruss card, but the real gem was on the back of his '91 Score card.
Look at all that throwback goodness. According to the write up, he also was named the co-captain of the White Sox in 1990. Are there any more captains in baseball? Seems like they've all retired (Konerko, Varitek, Jeter).
He also included some coins, which were cool, but not quite as cool as…
… the vintage. I have about three or four pages of non-Padres vintage cards, and in the packages I've gotten from Jeff, I've gotten more than double that amount. Haven't put them all in binders, so I'll be looking to pass on a few of them. Man, I really need to update my "for trade" page, that thing used to always be updated.
Here was one of my favorite vintage cards. Ed Herrmann played catcher for the White Sox for seven years, and was an All Star in 1974. His grandfather, Marty Herrmann, was also a baseballer, who played for the Brooklyn Robins in 1918. Really love the catcher's pose along with the stadium seats in the background.
While looking at the backs, I found out that Herrmann and Bob Spence were both born in San Diego. That's pretty cool. Even though I wasn't born in San Diego (I was born in Portland, OR), I lived there from the time that I was five until I moved out for college. The best info on the back, though, has to be learning that Russ Nixon "breeds Arabian horses in the off season".
While I liked the Hermann card, I loved this one. It's one of the checklists from 1960 Topps. I actually had to look online to figure out what year it was from, it's easily one of the oldest cards in my collection. It's only bested by a few vintage Jerry Coleman cards, some Mother's Cookies Padres cards from the Pacific Coast League days, and some old Bowman's I found for cheap at a card shop. Pretty cool card in my opinion.
Alright, this officially makes me a nerd (as if having a blog about baseball cards wasn't official enough). This was my favorite card, and it wasn't even close. This is my first White Sox card of Darin Erstad, and I can't believe it's taken this long. Although I think I'm wavering on whether or not to continue the Erstad quest (I'm trying to free up some space, and having 300+ cards of a guy who never played for the Padres might be more than I feel that I absolutely need to have - I know, I know, using "need" when it comes to a hobby like card collecting is a first world problem), I was really glad to see this one.
Receiving huge boxes of cards is one of many perks of operating this blog. Sure, just following blogs is fun too, but getting all this stuff just because I said I kinda like the White Sox? That's pretty cool.
I currently have enough extra White Sox cards to choke a horse, so if/when I run out of extra Padres cards to pass out to my first graders, I'll move on to White Sox cards. Thanks again Jeff!