|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 […]
With this year’s Topps Heritage set less than a week away, Topps has begun teasing images of what’s to be found in this year’s remake of the 1965 Topps set.
Now that the 2014 Topps Heritage final checklist is out, it’s time to guess what the product’s 1965 error variation cards might be.
The final checklist for this year’s edition of Topps Heritage has been released, and there are nearly 60 different signers on the autograph checklist alone as Topps turns back the clock to 1965 in this long-running brand.
It’s easily a driving force in the hobby, a mainstay of collecting and it’s got nothing to do with the current card companies’ creations, the headlines or even much to do on the field today. It’s vintage.
One of my favorite things to do is put together checklists for custom sets. A checklist I’ve been
trying to figure out—before Topps announces it in the next few weeks—is that of 2014 Topps Heritage.
From on-checklist in-jokes to creative checklisting decisions, Heritage proves interesting on an annual basis. And as I’ve gotten back into collecting new cards, it’s usually my favorite set of the year. 2014′s offering is especially fun, as it will undoubtedly celebrate the 2013 Boston Red Sox. Plus, its basis (1965 Topps) is one of the few vintage sets I’ve completed. Needless to say, I’m ready to complete the master set and pair it with my ’65 set.
So as I put together my Heritage checklist, a few questions arise. First and foremost, how many cards will Topps allot to each team? I see this resolving in one of two ways:
• Each team gets 16 cards (including a manager card, a team card, and one doubleheader rookie card)
This option allows for 390 individual player cards, 30 managers, 30 team cards, 30 doubleheader rookie cards, leaving 20 “free” cards, 12 of which are league leaders, at least 6 are World Series, and probably the final 2 are “MLB Rookies” or AL or NL–specific doubleheader rookies.
• The teams original to 1965 Topps (Yankees, Orioles, A’s, Angels, Twins, Rangers (Senators), Twins, Red Sox, White Sox, Tigers, Indians, Reds, Cubs, Mets, Dodgers, Giants, Pirates, Phillies, Braves, Astros, and Cardinals) will get more cards than those teams that post-date the original set (Royals, Padres, Nationals, Brewers, Rockies, Marlins, Rays, Mariners, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays)
In this second option, only those teams original to 1965 Topps would get team and manager cards, and only a manager card if that team had a manager in the original set.
Either way, I don’t see Topps including actual checklist cards on its Heritage checklist, and instead including four different checklists randomly as pack loaders. The checklist space is too limited, and the pack value is too high to waste a card slot on a checklist.
Second: League leaders will be on #1–12. World Series cards will be on #132–138. But which players will be assigned the iconic numbers from the original set? There are only a few guarantees, I think. Here they are:
#100 – Andrew McCutchen (2013 NL MVP)
#140 – Max Scherzer (2013 AL CY)
#150 – Miguel Cabrera (2013 AL MVP)
#300 – Clayton Kershaw (2013 NL CY)
#340 – Wil Myers (2013 AL ROY)
#460 – Jose Fernandez (2013 NL ROY)
It gets murky once you’re beyond the award winners. Here are a few more guesses:
#350 – Derek Jeter
#200 – Bryce Harper
#400 – Mike Trout
#500 – David Ortiz
Here are my guesses for the titles of each World Series subset card:
|132||Sox Crush Cards to Take Series Opener||WS Game 1|
|133||Wacha Carries Cards to Victory||WS Game 2|
|134||Cards Win in Wild Finish||WS Game 3|
|135||Sox Tie Series on Gomes’ HR||WS Game 4|
|136||Lester Wins Pitchers’ Duel||WS Game 5|
|137||Victorino Powers Sox to Title||WS Game 6|
|138||The Champs Celebrate at Fenway||WS Summary|
Thanks to our intrepid readers, The Baseball Card Blog is back! Not sure what happened there, but you may have seen this in your blogroll today…I may not have blogged in a while, but no, I didn’t up and change the topic of the blog. I’m actually stil…
Yes indeed… Having successfully fished for artistic complements, now we’re going to do an actual, honest-to-goodness trade post. I’m no good at getting these up even when I trade regularly, but here goes. These come to us from Brad’s Blog. Let’s have a look! Love dat Ichiro, although I’m unsure where exactly they pulled the […]
Just because I’ve given up on trying to complete Topps Heritage doesn’t mean I’ve given up on trying to complete the Braves sets. As with all Braves team sets, I’m almost positive I have some of these hiding in Braves boxes but here’s what is not actua…
Topps Heritage is getting a limited High Number update series again this year, sold exclusively through Topps’ online store. The 100-card box set will retail for $99.99 and each box will include one autograph card. The regular set features two Mets cards: H532 John Buck and H568 Zack Wheeler. Wheeler is also one of the […]
Card #76982007 Upper Deck # 747Abraham NunezComments on the card: The last several years of Upper Deck were filled with dull designs like this.When acquired: Summer 2012 How acquired: In trade during the Great 2012 Summer Clearance Trade Player’s seaso…
Topps Heritage High Numbers are back this year and some of the top rookies from 2013 will be included.
It’s time to turn the clock back to 1965.
It’s no secret: my interest in collecting sports cards waxes and wanes like the cycles of the moon. But there are certain things about the hobby that pique my interest. Here they are for the week of July 28, 2013.
1. I’ve had another epiphany about my…
I bought yet 2 more Fairfield 100-card repacks in early June. I just got around to forcing them open to see what was inside. I bought two of them because each was showing a card I didn’t have.2012 Topps Heritage Black #37 Nyjet MorganI had bought a fai…
Surprise, surprise—I’ve been thinking about next year’s Topps Heritage set. This morning I had some time and put together a “probables” list for the Real One autograph set. It’s fascinating to me that we as collectors will pay a premium for autograph…
It’s no secret: my interest in collecting sports cards waxes and wanes like the cycles of the moon. But there are certain things about the hobby that pique my interest. Here they are for the week of June 15, 2013.
1. I’m still marveling at the profil…
Heritage is headed down to the minors for the third straight season.
For every season, there is a passage that a baseball fan must go through. In summer, it is uplifting hope; in autumn, it is crushing disappointment followed by uplifting hope; in winter, it is boredom, followed by uplifting hope, and in spring, i…
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