In case you missed it, Boston has received so much snow in the last few weeks that everything and everyone—including me—is at a breaking point. The MBTA doesn’t work, the government is encouraging people to stay indoors and off the roads, and there are no signs that the cold and the snow will let up anytime soon. Which has given me plenty of time to stew in my thoughts…
I would really like to see colleges offer an intercollegiate stock car racing circuit, if only to see cars and fire suits covered in logos and emblems of universities and names of individual departments. Maybe the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chair in Automotive Engineering?
I haven’t bought any 2015 Topps Series One yet, but I’m digging the acetate parallel. It reminds me of the Slideshow insert set from 1995 Leaf. An idea’s an automatic winner in my book if you need a functioning lightbox in order to enjoy the cards.
And while we’re on Series One, the sheer volume of opened cards listed on eBay right now is staggering. Massive lots of hand-collated sets, “unsearched” (yeah right) lots of base cards, parallels, inserts, autographed cards, game-used swatches, and more. Didn’t it just release a few weeks ago? It gets me thinking about collecting in Bachelor terms—here for “the right reasons” versus the wrong reasons. While all this stuff on eBay is great for cheapskate collectors like me who just want to see the cards, it’s also off-putting. Why would someone buy so many cards in the first place if they’re just going to try to flip them for pennies on the dollar? Is it really all about finding the case hits?
I finally put my 1969 Topps set in pages. Got me thinking, did Ultra Pro decrease the quality of its nine-pocket pages? The ones I bought seem flimsy.
Also put my Heritage High Numbers set in pages (with the rest of the Heritage set). Looks good. Wish I had disposable income enough to assemble Heritage every year.
Scott Crawford on Cards has a great idea about collecting over the course of a year: only focus on certain sets and interests during certain months. That way your individual collections each receive attention and your interest doesn’t flag. For me, it would be
Jan/July: 1970s Topps basketball
Feb/Aug: Adding new players to my Red Soxlopedia
March/Sept: 2014 Topps Heritage Minis
April/Oct: 1969 Topps variations
May/Nov: Mega master set additions for 1978, 1986, and 1987
June/Dec: 2015 Topps Archives (only cards of players depicted in the 1976 style, and only those players who also had a card in the original 1976 set)
The much-discussed decline of blogging in the sports-card-collecting hobby is sad to me. There are literally scores of YouTube users who post box breaks but don’t seem all that interested in the cards they find—unless those cards are serially numbered or autographed—or have anything to say about the cards. Blogging about cards allows for more than just posting images of the cards. It allows you to say what you like about the cards, about why you collect. It’s important that this outlet doesn’t disappear.
Lastly, with all these stamped buybacks, Topps has finally released the Archives: Commons set I predicted back in 2007.
With plenty of popular retro brands, there are plenty of new options to revisit the old, and we want to ring in the new year with 20 Questions on both pieces of this collecting puzzle.
Every team has those players who define the team. Players who came up through the ranks and became a part of a team’s mythology. For me, a Phillies fan, I’m talking about Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts and Del Ennis in the 50’s, Richie Allen in the 60’s…
Card #101242008 Topps Stars #11 Derek JeterComments on the card/player: The original Topps Stars was a set which Topps issued around the turn of the century. This Topps Stars was a 25-card insert in Topps in 2008. Holographic green foil.How/When acquir…
A few baseball-card-related thoughts as we approach winter…
2014 Topps Heritage card #497 is the first time that outfielder Curtis Granderson appeared on a baseball card as a member of the New York Mets.
It’s 1965 one last time this Wednesday.
The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals pulled the first blockbuster trade of the off-season on Monday with a four-player deal that sent pitcher Shelby Miller to Atlanta and All-Star outfielder Jason Heyward to the Cardinals.
The 2014 Topps Heritage High Numbers set is expected to show up next week (though the final checklist remains a company secret, apparently.) But that’s ok… see, I just recently picked up the two Mets cards from last year’s Topps Heritage High Numbers set. John Buck was already a former Met by the time this […]
I’m still working on my 2014 Topps Heritage Mets team set, but I’m a bit closer to finishing it today thanks to a surprise envelope from Jeff of 2x3Heroes.com.
Here’s what I’ve been collecting lately… I found this on eBay. (Great back, too.) I’m a big fan of test prints, overprints, miscuts, blank backs, wrong backs, and misprints in general. I bought six similar test-print 1951 Bowmans sometime last year a…
There were actually 40 players selected in the first round of the 2004 draft. Here are 21-30. The two winners in this group are Glen Perkins and Phillip Hughes.2004 Topps Traded #73 Greg GolsonPick #21 by the Phillies. Golson made his ML debut with the…
In Part 1, I covered the first 10 picks of 2004. I think we can agree that Justin Verlander (the #2 pick) is the stand-out player of that group. Let’s look at picks 11-20.2010 Topps Allen & Ginter #117 Neil Walker#11 pick by the Pirates. Neil playe…
I’m still working on the Mets team set from the regular release of this year’s Topps Heritage set, but that’s probably not stopping Topps from giving me a few more cards to chase next month. For the third consecutive year, Topps will release a limited edition 100-card Heritage High Numbers update set in October. For […]
Topps is turning back the clock to 1965 once again this season.
There are just 14 games to go in the Mets’ season, and I’m still putting together my 2014 Topps Heritage team set. One of the readers of my website was kind enough to offer to send me four of the cards that I still needed – Terry Collins, Jenrry Mejia, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee. […]
Marc, who runs the Astros-centric blog Remember the Astrodome, offered to send me a couple of baseball cards from my wantlists last week. In return, I knocked a bunch of cards off of his 1980s Astros wantlists. Until I opened Marc’s envelope, I’d forgotten that I never finished this year’s Topps Heritage Mets team set… […]
Next year’s Topps Heritage baseball set means it’s 1966 all over again.
|2014 Topps Heritage Mini – Zack Greinke|
If you’re collecting Topps Heritage this year, here’s something you may not have realized. Just like in the sport it depicts, there are varying degrees of star popularity within the set. Here’s what I mean. There are 13 different non-relic/non-autograph cards of superstar Mike Trout in the set. There are nine cards of Zack Greinke. By comparison, there are seven different cards of Alfonso Soriano. And just one card of guys like Mark Teixeira, Tim Lincecum, and Alex Rodriguez. And others, too. Paul Konerko has only one card. Matt Holliday and Shin-Soo Choo? One card each. Same for Jose Altuve, Anibal Sanchez, Josh Donaldson, and David Price.
Asking why there need to be so many different parallels and inserts for a set like Heritage is a question with no good answer. Instead, here are the different versions of non-relic/non-autograph cards:
1. Base card (500 cards)
2. Chrome (100 cards)
3. Chrome Refractor (same 100 cards as Chrome set)
4. Black Chrome Refractor (same 100 cards as Chrome set)
5. Gold Chrome Refractor (same 100 cards as Chrome set)
6. Purple Chrome Refractor (same 100 cards as Chrome set)
7. Walmart-exclusive Blue Border (25 subjects)
8. Target-exclusive Red Border (25 subjects)
9. Retail-exclusive Black Border (same 100 cards as Chrome set)
10. New Age Performers (20 subjects)
11. Base Action variation (25 subjects)
12. Base Logo variation (25 subjects)
13. Base Uniform variation (25 subjects)
14. Mini (100 subjects)
(I’m not counting the Black Back version of the base set, as every card on the base-set checklist is included.)
Some cards are easier to find than others. For instance, base-set SPs are seeded around one per three packs, while Mini cards show up one per case. And only some players are in some of the insert sets. For example, there are three cards in the Chrome sets that do not appear in the Mini set—Alfonso Soriano, Xander Bogaerts/Jonathan Schoop, and Nick Castellanos/Billy Hamilton. They are replaced in the Mini set by Jason Grilli, Austin Jackson, and Derek Holland.
So what gives with all this? Why are some players included in nearly every insert and parallel set, and others not represented anywhere? Well, Teixeira’s been hurt. A-Rod’s a pariah, banished for the season. And Lincecum has been mired in middle relief, a star in name only. But for the others—like the new-to-the-national-spotlight guys like Altuve and Donaldson—there are no good reasons for their exclusion. It’s just a quirk of this year’s set, one that will probably be corrected in 2015’s edition.
Much like the “traded” sets from back in the day, the high-numbers set is mostly a showcase of young players and XRCs—although with so many draft, prospects, and minor league sets these days, there are virtually zero players who could have an XRC—with fewer traded veterans in their new uniforms. It’s also a way for Topps to produce cards of players not included in the regular series. But with a checklist of only 100 cards, Topps has to be choosy about who’s represented.
I recently purchased a box of 2013 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues. While I was not a fan of the Major-League edition, I am a fan of this version. The lightweight, too-smooth card stock and low-resolution photography don’t bother me here. I like that I got practically the entire base set, not to mention a smattering of inserts, from my one box. Here are a few other great things about this set:
|Rio Ruiz needs to change his name to “Rio Bandita.” Amiright?|
1) The team names are not in a uniform color. Now, I have not heard of many of these teams. And their Major-League affiliations? Forget it. But it doesn’t matter. My Heritage-programmed brain saw two cards of players on the Quad Cities River Bandits (the Houston Astros’ Class-A affiliate in the Midwest League), each with “River Bandits” in a different color, and immediately thought one was a variation. Once I saw that this was true for many other teams, my love for it increased. It was not a variation! It was just a quirk of the design to add a little spice into the set. Awesome.
2) There are many teams represented, and not just at the same level. Granted, the set is supposed to highlight the 225 best players (or most hyped) minor leaguers in the system, but it’s still fresh to open a pack and get a handful of players from different levels. Also, some of the team names are just ridiculous. Drive? Power? Storm? C’mon. At least at seems some thought went into “Lug Nuts” and “Blue Rocks,” although both are smirk-ready for a bus full of 19-year-old jocks.
3) Each player smacks of potential, upside, whatever you want to call it. Not every one of these guys will star at the Major-League level. Heck, most of these probably won’t even get to the Major Leagues. But that’s what makes a set like this great: You can smell the optimism when you open the pack.
4) The traditional Topps “magazine-cover” design of the 1964 base set really works for some of these cards. They look like how a classic baseball card should look. You know what I mean? This card of Michael Choice is what I’m talking about. Actually, many of the cards achieve this effect, but those with bats leaving the frame work the best.
5) I counted four sons of ex-Major Leaguers on the base set checklist who shared their dads’ famous names. And then there’s Mike Piazza. Born in 1986, he’s too old to be the son of Mike Piazza, right? This is some “Baseball’s Two Hal Smiths” territory here, folks.
6) If I have a son, I will definitely give him a weird name. Because if today’s crop of 20-year-olds is any indication, an off-the-wall name will give him better than a fifty-fifty chance of achieving professional sports stardom—or at least a shot at making the cast of a reboot of American Gladiators.
Though it’s been off primetime network TV for a few years now, Law & Order can still be felt in pop culture. A great example is the hype and trickery surrounding 2014 Topps Heritage. A lot of noise has been made about the many hard-to-find variations in this set—found in three tiers: action, logo, and the mega-rare “throwback” uniform—so much so that collectors have become attuned to looking for them. To make things more difficult, Topps threw a handful of red herrings into the base set.
Like the slumlord who shows up at the courthouse in minute 35 can’t possibly be the murderer (there are 25 minutes left in the episode, for crying out loud), these red herrings look like the variations we’ve all been chasing, but in fact are just these players’ regular base cards.
Below are five red herrings, with a little explanation.
Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics – There are two throwback uniform variations featuring A’s players—and both are shown wearing yellow jerseys—but neither of them is named Derek Norris.
Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins – Cards with logo variations are a bit harder to notice, but again, they feature just top stars of the game. Guys like Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Robinson Cano, Andrew McCutchen, and Giancarlo Stanton. But it’s the fact that Stanton is included as a logo variation that makes the logos on the other Marlins in the base set interesting. Some are shown with a white M with “Miami” below, and some are shown, like Ozuna, with a black M and “Miami” below. Stanton’s logo variation has just a white M, no “Miami.”
Ryan Ludwick, Cincinnati Reds – If you’re an avid Topps Heritage fan like me, you spent more than your fair share of time studying the sell sheets for this year’s set. And if you did, you’ll remember that the throwback uniform variation of Joey Votto was prominently featured. What make’s it a throwback uniform? Votto’s cap’s logo is the same old-timey “Running Man” patch seen here on Ludwick’s sleeve. Yes, the logo is featured on other Reds’ players’ base cards as well, but no other card has it featured front and center. Well, except for the mega, ultra rare throwback uniform variation of the team’s biggest star.
Adam Eaton, Chicago White Sox – Eaton is not one of the game’s brightest young stars. But his teammate Chris Sale is. So what gives? Well, although Eaton is definitely shown here in a throwback uniform, he’s a red herring: it’s his regular base card. This is important because it’s a cue to collectors to be on the lookout for another player who is shown in the same throwback uni style (Sale).
I only bought a few rack packs of Topps Heritage this year. I got lucky and pulled a relic from one of them, but I didn’t get too many Phillies or Astros. So off to eBay I went.I picked up this Domonic Brown relic for just a dollar, that’s it, a single…
Million Dollar Question -How Many Short Prints Is Too Many Short Prints?? As a team and player collector, I don’t have the same worries that a set builder has. Especially if said set builder is trying to put together a … Continue reading →
The minor leaguers are turning back the clock to 1965.
Just the inserts I got in the 3 rack packs and 2 basters I bought. With one exception, same as in past years (at least what you might expect to get in a blaster.Topps Heritage Blue Border #444 Yu DarvishAs they’ve done for a few years, Topps has includ…
I’m apparently not the only one who’s had trouble finding Topps Heritage in the big box stores. Does anybody know the story behind that?I managed to snag 3 rack packs at Walmart last week and finally over last weekend, 2 blasters from Target. The rack …
Join Beckett Baseball’s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into two boxes of 2014 Topps Heritage in this latest edition of Box Busters.
I opened three boxes of Heritage yesterday, and here are my thoughts:
Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds as he rips into hobby boxes of 2014 Topps Heritage baseball cards and chat with you in the latest edition of Box Busters Live.
Join us right here at Beckett.com/news this Friday for the latest Box Busters Live at noon Central as we rip into several boxes of 2014 Topps Heritage baseball cards on the day of its release in a live video chat.
Card #238042001 Bowman Draft Picks #68 Jason LaneComments on the card: Overall not a bad design but I never liked the way Bowman put the facsimile autos on their sets. This year wasn’t too bad but some years the frosted auto area covered close to a thi…
So it’s been reported that 2014 Topps Heritage will pay tribute to the various errors and uncorrected errors found in the 1965 Topps set. Perhaps the most well known uncorrected error is the misspelling of Jim Kaat’s name on the front of his card (Jim Katt).
In anticipation of the release of 2014 Topps Heritage (now since delayed to March 14th), Topps made the set’s checklist available on their website. Because I enjoy deconstructing checklists in my free time, here are my first five thoughts:
1. It’s weird to me that Topps didn’t follow their own checklist from the original 1965 set. In the original, the reigning NL MVP (Ken Boyer of the Cardinals) was put on card #100, and the reigning AL MVP (Brooks Robinson of the Orioles) was put on #150. Instead, the Heritage checklister went the straight team-to-team route, assigning #100 to Cardinal pitcher Adam Wainwright and #150 to the Orioles’ current third baseman, Manny Machado. If they had followed the script of the original, reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates would be #100 and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers would be on #150.
By deviating from the original, the meaning of the set changes. It’s no longer a retelling of the original 1965 set, but rather an ode to the idea of the 1965 set. This is especially weird considering…
2. Topps has hinted that there will be base-set errors and variations in the spirit of the original set. What’s especially odd about that is that two of the most well known variations in the original are on checklist cards themselves. Checklist cards aren’t even assigned checklist numbers in the Heritage base set, so I’m guessing that these variations won’t be included in the new set.
3. There are no team cards, and only 17 managers are represented. Also, teams are not represented equally. The Cardinals clock in with 19 individual cards (18 players plus manager Mike Matheny). On the other side of the spectrum, the Astros have 10 players and no manager. The highest-numbered Astro is Dexter Fowler at #394, which means there are no Astros in nearly a quarter of the set, including the desirable on-checklist chase SPs.
4. The high-numbered on-checklist SPs (#426–#500) are all big-name players, including Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Derek Jeter, and Yasiel Puig. As far as Topps went to deviate from the original 1965 set, they went even further away from the spirit of previous Heritage sets with this move. Honestly, I’d be surprised if future Heritage sets don’t go the full Allen & Ginter rip-card route for the final 75 cards.
5. Finally, when did the idea of the “Real One” autograph subjects list change to include retired players not represented in the original set? Around 10 years ago, when the Heritage brand was a fresh idea, the autograph checklist was made up of players from the original set from that year, with only two or three current players. But guys like Bo Jackson? Bret Saberhagen? Rafael Palmeiro? Dave Concepcion? Isn’t this why Topps rebooted Topps Archives? These players should not be all together in a Heritage set until the year 2036, for Topps Heritage ’87. (I almost forgot: not one but two different Keith Olbermanns…. Sheesh.)
Really loving the eye black on #FaceOfMLB #DavidWright card in #2014HeritageBB #March7 http://t.co/5EVuO5OjrH— Topps Company (@toppscards) February 27, 2014 This year’s Topps Heritage set was originally scheduled to be released today, but it’s been pushed back a week. The Mets have 15 players and manager Terry Collins in the main set. Thanks to the magic […]