Category Archives: Topps Heritage

Random Cards From My Collection #75

Card #39942
2003 Just Prospects #2 Josh Anderson

Comments on the card/player: These used to be pretty common in repacks and that’s where I got this card in 2013. Anderson was the Astros 4th round draft pick in 2003 and eventually had a 3-year career with the Astros, Braves, Tigers and Royals.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.04/card for a 100-card Fairmont repack in 2013.

Card #31660
1991 Donruss #536 Jose Canseco

Comments on the card/player: Canseco had his second highest home run total of his career in 1991, with 44.
How/When acquired: Don’t know.

Card #4963
2005 Classic Clippings MLB Game Worn Jersey Collection #31 Omar Vizquel

Comments on the card/player: Vizquel played for 24 years and won 11 Golden Gloves.
How/When acquired: From back in the days when nearly every blaster box came with a relic. Paid $0.32/card for blaster box of Classic Clippings on 5/1/05.

Card #5121
2004 Topps #344 Albert Pujols/Todd Helton/ Juan Pierre

 Comments on the card/player: I always liked the design of these leaders cards from 2004 Topps, especially the backs.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.26/card for a blaster of Topps in 2004.

Card #32008
2012 Topps Heritage #269 Justin Morneau

Comments on the card/player: From 2006 through 2009, Morneau averaged 117.5 rbis per season. He hasn’t had more than 84 in a season since.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.30/card for a blasters of Topps Heritage in March 2012.

Card #10323
2008 Topps Opening Day #9 Ken Griffey Jr.

Comments on the card/player: These cards were red, scarlet, vermillion, crimson, ruby, cherry, cerise, cardinal, carmine, wine, etc.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.16/card for a blaster in March 2008.

Card #4252
1998 Upper Deck #246 Kevin Brown

 Comments on the card/player: Commemorating the first no hitter of 1997. Brown was 16-8 for the Marlins in 1997, helping to lead them to the 1997 World Series win.
How/When acquired: Don’t know.

Card # 9254
1989 Topps Traded #54 Ken Howell

 Comments on the card/player: In early December 1988, the Dodgers traded Howell to the Orioles for Eddie Murray. A few days later, the O’s traded Howell to the Phillies for Phil Bradley. The Phillies then signed Howell to a 4-year, $4.7 million dollar contract. He was 20 and 19 in his first 2 years with the Phillies but injuries ended his career after the 1990 season.
How/When acquired: Don’t know.

Card #13884
2009 Topps 206 #284 Alexei Ramirez

 Comments on the card/player: The front of these cards were OK, but the set is ruined for me by the identical fake stain on the back of each card.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.44/card for a hobby box in December 2009.

Card #5613
2001 SP Legendary Cuts Game Jersey Tommy Holmes

 Comments on the card/player: I love this card. Holmes mostly played for the Boston Braves in the 1940’s. I love that this is a swatch from a woolen uniform.
How/When acquired: Paid $4.66 in May 2005 from eBay.

Finally Freddy

Anytime that I am able to knock a name off of my list of Orioles autographs that I need is a good day, and today, I am happily knocking Freddy Garcia’s name off of that list. 

Freddy made his Orioles debut back on May 4, 2013 and served as the Orioles fifth starter for about two months before being shipped to the Braves. I never got his autograph during his time with the O’s but he had a few certified autographs out there, and I purchased a Mariners auto and plugged it into my collection.

Even though he was an well-traveled MLB veteran he was only in Baltimore for about two months, so I figured he wouldn’t be featured in any sets as a member of the Orioles. Then on November 14, 2013 Topps released their Heritage High Number set, with Freddy pictured as an Oriole. No matter that he hadn’t been an Oriole for nearly five months, and he finished the season with the Braves. Topps made me add Freddy’s name to my need list.

Then Freddy spent the entirety of the 2014 season pitching in Taiwan. So I had no chance to get this card signed. And as far as I know, he still lives in his native Venezuela in the off-season, so obviously I wasn’t sending him a TTM request that way. Freddy seemed out of reach, possibly permanently.

But then, the Dodgers signed him this past March 30th to a minor league deal. A window of opportunity to get this card autographed opened and I sent it out on a consignment via a connection on SCN. And there it is, a beautifully autographed Freddy Garcia Orioles card. And it was signed none-too-soon as Freddy was released on April 22, mere days after this was signed. And now, I don’t have to worry about Freddy Garcia anymore.

Joe Panik PC Pickups from JustCommons!

Hey everyone, Drew back here! About two or three weeks ago, I made my first purchase on As many of you may know, I am a big fan of, and I even have a store on their site (shameless plug, couldn’t help it). However, I’ve since learned that ordering base cards tends to add up quickly on COMC, and that I could find cheaper base cards on other sites. I have heard a lot of people talk up this site, and decided to give it a shot. For about $15, I was able to acquire cards of all of my PC players, as well as some set needs and much more. The purchase netted me with 7 new Joe Panik cards, which is the subject of today’s post.

I finally got a hold of Panik’s first Bowman card, from the 2011 Draft Picks & Prospects set. Joe started the season struggling at the plate, but he’s been picking up for that over the past week. He is now batting .281 this season with 3 RBI.

From everything I’ve seen of Joe’s past performances, his speciality seems to lie on the defensive side of the ball. He obviously made a fantastic diving stop in the World Series to start what would be a double play after it was reviewed, but he’s frequently known to flash the leather and it’s impressive to watch! He appears to be a pretty one dimensional threat at the plate, but is a pretty good contact hitter at that. Panik doesn’t appear to have much pop in his bat, but as long as he can get hits he’ll have a spot in a lineup for years to come.

Panik’s 2014 Topps Heritage High Number card is his official rookie card, whereas all of the previous cards are considered prospect editions. It is my favorite card of his that has come out so far, and I would love to get my hands on one of the autographed copies. This will certainly do for now.

Finally, we have his first card of 2015, out of Topps Heritage once again. I can’t wait to see his flagship debut that hopefully will be in Series 2, because this card doesn’t do much for me. It is nice to have a card of Joe in his home San Francisco uniform rather than in batting practice or minor league jerseys!

With these 7 pickups, I now own 11 unique cards of Joe’s in my collection. If you have any cards of his for trade, take a look at my checklist and feel free to email me at!

See Ya!

Card Evolution 1990

It occurred to me while I was doing my series on card brand evolution in the 1990s, that I could have approached it in a different way by showing in each post, a card from each year from the 5 brands. So if you can stand to see some more 1990s cards, I’m going to do that. I’ll try to pick a card of the same player from each brand if I can. Let’s see how 1990 cards fall on the evolutionary scale.

Bowman – Stage 1

Donruss – Stage 2

Fleer – Stage 2

Score – Stage 3

Topps – Stage 1

Upper Deck – Stage 3

Lucky Pull of the Opening Day Ace!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Things are starting to get a little bit busier in my life, which is obviously welcomed. I haven’t had a whole lot to do lately with a relatively laid back Spring semester, but I just got a job and am starting to look into summer internship possibilities and even studying abroad in the future. I’m really excited for all of the future opportunities that could be coming my way, and although this may affect my time on this blog I’ll do my best to stick around.
Along with the Walking Dead packs I displayed here on Sunday (excellent finale, may I add), I bought one pack of 2015 Topps Heritage to check out the new design. Heritage is still one of my favorite products despite the repetitive gimmicks, and the cards are fantastic for holding autographs. I figured with my pack I could add a card or two to send out through the mail during the season, and although that didn’t work out too well in terms of consistent signers, I did much better!

In my only pack, I managed to pull the chrome refractor of our Opening Day ace Masahiro Tanaka! This is numbered to 566, and the shine is fantastic! It is easily my nicest Tanaka card to date and I was astounded that I managed to get perhaps the best non-hit Yankee card from the set!

The rest of the pack was relatively nice, but nothing came close to topping Mr. Tanaka for me. I guess I won’t be needing to buy any more of this now, so I can go out on top with one of my favorite all around releases of the year! I know Topps had some problems with the Tribute product that are pretty inexcusable, but outside of that they have been improving just about everything else.

Now if only I could get my replacement cards for my 2011 Tier One set…

See Ya!

Random Cards from My Collection #71

Card #33338
1992 Stadium Club #267 Edgar Martinez

Comments on the card/player: Martinez lead the American League in 1992 with a .343 batting average and 46 doubles.
How/When acquired: In June of 2012, I bought a 36-card, unopened box of 1992 Stadium Club for $5.00. What a deal!

Card #30456
2011 Topps Cognac Diamond Anniversary #67 Vladimir Guerrero

Comments on the card/player: I’m not sure that I really liked this foil background but I do like the silver foil shields.
How/When acquired: On October 2011 I bought a hobby box of Topps Update and the seller sent me two boxes. Oops, my mistake, the seller said, just keep the second box. I’m not normally a set collector but I have this whole set.

Card #39014
2009 Topps American Heritage American Presidents #6 John Quincy Adams

Comments on the card/player: Our 6th President. From sets like this I’ve got a lot of different presidential cards. I may do a post or two. Maybe for the 4th of July.
How/When acquired: I bought just a few packs of this product in 2009. I wish I had bought more.

Card 2207
2003 Fleer Tradition Update #279 Albert Pujols

Comments on the card/player: This was a subset card in the 2003 Fleer Update set. 2003 was one of those monster years Pujols used to have. He led the league in runs scored (137), hits (212), doubles (51), batting average (.351) and total bases (394). And he hit 43 home runs.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.25/card for 5 packs of Fleer Tradition Update in November 2003.

Card 900
1996 Pinnacle #390 Bob Abreu

Comments on the card/player: Abreu was just “Bob” with the Astros in 1996 and 1997 without much playing time. He got drafted by the Devil Rays in the 1997 expansion draft and then traded to the Phillies for Kevin Stocker. Bobby had a breakout year with Philly in 1998 and a fine career.
How/When acquired: Acquired in my 2012 Summer Clearance Trade.

Card 4292
1989 Fleer All-Stars #12 Julio Franco

Comments on the card/player: This was a 12-card insert in 1989 Fleer.
How/When acquired: I bought entire set for $1.83 on eBay in July 2003.

Card #20466
1992 Studio #77 Mickey Morandini

Comments on the card/player: The second year of Studio. If Panini wants to bring back old Donruss ideas, how about a new Studio set?
How/When acquired: Don’t know.

Card #25633
2011 Topps Heritage #273 Chris Perez

Comments on the card/player: Based on 1962 Topps. But you knew that.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.32/card for 216-card box of Topps Heritage on eBay in March 2011.

Card #20814
1994 Triple Play #173 Lenny Dykstra

Comments on the card/player: In an interview last year in the New York Times, about a year after he got our of prison for grand theft auto, Dykstra is quoted as saying “My life for the past year has been my sons, community service, and don’t forget, peeing in the cup.”
How/When acquired: Don’t know.

Card #43454
2013 Hometown Heroes #85 Yadier Molina

Comments on the card/player: I picked up a handful of packs at a card show in November 2013. I really liked this set but Panini did not repeat for 2014.
How/When acquired: Paid $0.40/card for 3 packs of of Hometown Heroes in November 2013.

2015 Topps Heritage Base Card Breakdown

I can’t say I’m real thrilled with 2015 Topps Heritage. For one thing, the 1966 set design was pretty dull. I bought 2 blasters, a rack box and 2 rack packs which yielded 147 different cards. Of those 147 cards I have doubles (or even triples) for 28 of them, which I think is high. I also didn’t see any of the variation cards, no blue backs, no black backs, not even a lousy gum stain. For 30 cents/card, I’d expected a bit more. The rack packs yielded some of the foil cards which I’m suspending judgement on. I get 1 chrome and 1 chrome refractor. We’ll let’s break down this bunch of cards.

Smiling faces – 67

Howard is coming off a few rough years and injuries. Let’s hope he has something to smile about this year.

 I think we’ll give the best smile to Torii.

Non-smiling faces – 64

The smiling guys just edged out the frowning guys. Moustakas is the most annoyed non-smiling guy in the bunch.

Guys without hats – 20
I few years ago, Topps Heritage was over run with guys with out hats. Not so many this year.

Men with beards

Beards out numbered clean shaven by 89-66. Only a few beards were truly extravagant.

Men outstanding in their field

 8 guys just standing around with their arms crossed.

Guys with Bats/Gloves

Guys with bats just outnumbered guys with gloves 40-38.

Suspected Photoshop cards

There were 3 cards which I suspect are Photoshopped, including this one. Heyward played the entire 2014 season for the Braves. He was traded to the Cardinals last November.

Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Heritage

I have this love / hate relationship with Heritage baseball. It’s akin to a Jeckyll / Hyde scenario. There’s that sweet feeling of opening packs, looking at cards, sorting them, building the set.
Then there’s the harsh reality of needless short prints, stupid gimmicks, and questionable parallels and inserts.

Topps has nailed the card stock with Heritage. They should do away with that plasticky, glossy crap that they use on the base set and use this. Can you imagine the bliss?
But too many collectors want that, so Topps will never do it.

Since I already started building the flagship set, and I still haven’t finished any other Heritage sets, combined with my ambivalence of the ’66 set itself, I was going to forgo starting this year’s Heritage offering.
Still, I had to buy a few packs, right?

There was a box open on the shelf at the last trade night at one of my local shops. They opened two packs, and pulled the shiny purple parallels in each pack. Hot box! Wooo!!!!

Um. No.

They then pulled the box off the shelf for store use and opened another box for pack sales.


Not cool.

Moving on…..

Out of the new box, I took the top three packs. They felt good. Clean. Crisp. Gently tearing open the first pack of this new box there is this smiling back at me.

One last hurrah.

Maybe I will chase this set, but I doubt it. At least, not for awhile. I can’t find many trade partners for flagship, so I figure Heritage would be doubly tough.
Besides, what card can I pull that will be better than this?

First 2015 Topps Heritage Card

Last year, many people were complaining that Topps Heritage wasn’t showing up in their local big box stores for weeks after its issue. Here it is the week of the official release of 2015 Topps Heritage and it’s already in the local Targets and Walmarts in my neighborhood.

Here’s the first card out of a 20-card rack pack.

I only have a handful of actual 1966 Topps cards, and most of them are Phillies, which featured a gray colored slash and bottom bar. Not exactly an exciting design.

I bought two blasters, a 20-card rack pack and a 35-card rack box. I think that will be enough (probably too much). More to follow.

Snowbound and Stir Crazy

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.

Updated Food for Thought: Hot Stove Edition

A few baseball-card-related thoughts as we approach winter…

If Jon Lester signs with a team other than the Athletics—which is how it seems things will shake out—does that mean we’ll never see a card of Lester in an A’s uniform? This probably happens a lot, but the two players who come to mind are Reggie Jackson (Orioles) and Don Baylor (Athletics), both in 1976. Another guy who could fit this bill is Yoenis Cespedes, the slugging outfielder the Red Sox obtained in exchange for Lester. The Sox have a logjam in the outfield and the feeling is that Cespedes walks after next year.
This also brings up an interesting take on the purpose of end-of-year series like Topps Update and Topps Heritage High Numbers. Topps Update is a showcase for All-Star cards, rookies, and guys who fell through the cracks in the regular set. Heritage High Numbers is chock full of rookies and other end-of-the-bench guys who didn’t get cards in the regular series. Gone are the days when traded players get cards of them in their new uniforms. Were it up to me, High Numbers and Update would be a more traditional mix of rookies and traded players. This would solve the problem of guys like Lester, Cespedes, and Nelson Cruz (whose year on the Orioles probably won’t be recognized in 2015 Topps Heritage)…
…An insert set that didn’t seem to hold its value is the mini set in 2014 Topps Heritage. Despite being the case hit and each card being numbered to just 100, eBay prices have fallen in the last few weeks. All of this is good news for me, as I now have 47 of the 100 subjects…
…Is Topps’s design for 2015 a subtle homage to 1990’s design? It’ll be the 25th anniversary of that set, which could mean a possible “no-name” error, right?…
…I promise this is the last Heritage item I’ll bring up for now: I’ve decided that the ultimate card from the Heritage set is the Maury Wills Real One autograph card. For one thing, Wills is shown as a member of the Dodgers. Secondly, he wasn’t included in the 1965 Topps set, so—barring custom cards—this is as close as you’re going to get to a 1965 Topps Maury Wills card. 
…Are there great card blogs still out there? From what I’ve read recently, collectors are more interested in posting images of their “hitz” on Twitter than talking about the bigger picture in the hobby. Is that how others see it?

Finally, I almost forgot. Remember my post in November 2013 about the future of price guides? (Read Average Real Pricing: The Future of The Price Guide.) Well, if you subscribe to Beckett’s online price guide, it looks like they incorporated something like average real pricing into their tiered offerings. They’re calling it the Beckett Online Price Guide Plus (very original). If it’s anything like my idea for average real pricing, this is a step in the right direction. Hey Beckett, you’re welcome.

Recent Stuff

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 and have those framed. This one is just sitting on my desk. Can’t remember what I paid for it; doesn’t matter. I don’t think it was more than $10…

…I bought a collection of basketball cards on eBay a couple of months ago. I paid about $15 for it. I had seen the Walton rookie and the 1986-87 Fleer Wilkins in the listing photo, so I thought that was a bargain for $15. There were a few other highlights. Here are some of them:

…I’ve completed the master set of 2014 Topps Heritage, as well as the Action variations subset, plus the red Target and blue Walmart subsets. I’m actively collecting Heritage chrome and mini subsets. The minis are proving to be a fun subset to collect. I will probably never complete it, as the Trout card has consistently pushed the $350 mark, and even the Jeter and Puig cards are too rich for my blood. But fun nonetheless…

… I’ve been actively testing out “new” sets for a future round of Junk Wax Battle. I opened a box of 1987 Fleer, one of my favorite sets that was always out of reach as a kid. The collation was excellent; no doubles in a whole box! Probably not good for a game like Junk Wax Battle. I also opened two boxes of low series 1992 Upper Deck baseball. An excellent set with enough fun cards and great photography to keep it interesting. Another one of my favorite sets that I couldn’t really afford as a kid. We’ll see what we end up doing for future rounds of JWB.

The Wrong Kind of Star: Quirks in 2014 Topps Heritage

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.

2013 Topps Heritage Baseball – coming soon

Product released 6th March 2013

Topps Heritage is a throwback to the Topps 1964 baseball card release, featuring the top MLB players of today and retired legends from the past.
BASE CARDS (1-500):
Base Cards (425 Subjects): Veterans & Rookies in the 1964 Topps Design.
High-Numbered Short-Printed cards (75)

Base Card Variation: – Error Short-Prints Cards reproducing errors from the 1964 set. Limited – Throwback Colt .45s Variations – All Houston Astros players will have a base card variation featuring them in their throwback Colt .45s uniform used during the 2012 season commemorating the last year they were named the Colt. .45s. Limited

Venezuelan Parallel:The card back color changes from Orange to Black

Then and Now:Statistical comparison of a 1964 player vs. a 2012 player who were the leaders in statistical categories.
Baseball Flashbacks:Flashback highlights from the 1964 season.
News Flashbacks:World news moments from 1964.
1964 Topps Complete Set Redemption:A redemption card for a complete set from 1964.
1964 Topps Tattos Buybacks:These original tattoos from 1964 will be framed.
1964 Bazooka Stamps Buybacks:These original stamps will be framed.

1964 (Box Loader):Parallels of selected base cards that are included as 3-card strips with an advertisement back.
1964 Topps Originals (Box Loader):Original cards foil-stamped and inserted in 1-card penny packs. 1964 JUMBO Box Loader: Styled after the 1964 Topps over-sized cards.

24 Packs Per Box, 9 Cards Per Pack


2013 Topps Heritage 1964 card design

So there is a great deal of talk about 2013 and what that means as a collector.
Put aside all the other sets that I am trying to complete, that are accumulating year on year – for me 2013 will be all about Topps Heritage and the 1964 design.
If I try to ignore the 75 short prints, the Action Image variations and Colour variations and just aim for the 425 base set, there is a chance that I can complete before 2013 is out. (Funny I remember saying something very similar about the 1980 design in 2012 Archives). It will be difficult to ignore the Venezuelan parallel, as this black back variation was actually available in 1964, as opposed to the mini parallels and chrome parallel rubbish.
Some of the inserts look interesting too-1964 Baseball Flashbacks, 1964 News Flashbacks, Then and Now 1964/2012 and let’s not forget the 1964 Bazooka and Tattoos. 
So anyone else going to ‘show the love’ for 2013 Topps Heritage or is just me?

First look: 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor

The long-running Topps Heritage baseball line is taking a trip this summer.

A trip down to the farm.

Topps unveiled the basic product information and preview images for a new Minor League Baseball line on Tuesday afternoon, 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League Edition, which will arrive in mid-September with three very notable inclusions.

Bryce Harper, Bryce Harper’s autographs and Bryce Harper’s first professional non-1/1 game-used Relic cards.

Each 24-pack box of this hobby-only product that carries the design of the 1962 Topps set will contain two autographs, one Relic and four numbered parallel cards.

Read more and see additional images after the jump.

Harper’s Real One on-card autographs will be limited to just 54 copies with the following signed on-card parallels: Printing Plates, Black border (1/1), Green Tint (/5), Red (/10) and Blue (/25).

There will be a single Harper signed jumbo patch card while his standard Relics will include a piece of a base from his debut game in the Arizona Fall League. There will be a Black 1/1, a Green (/5), a Red (/50) and a Blue (/100).

The base set will consist of 200 cards with 50 short-printed All-Star cards found one in every four packs.

The set will be paralleled just like the Harpers via printing plates, Blacks (/62) while the set will be divided by Blue tints, Red and Greens each limited to 299. Only 50 cards from the set will be on Greens, while the other two colors divide the remaining cards in half.

The autograph cards checklist will include more than 30 players each with printing plates, Black 1/1s, Greens (/10), Reds (/25) and Blues (/99). The Relics will be found with 1/1 patches, Blacks (/5), Green (/50), Red (/99) and Blue (/199) tint parallels.

Among the signers for the product are Brett Bochy, Dickie Joe Thon, Jordan Pacheco, Jordan Swagerty, Nolan Arenado, Steve Geltz, Stephen Lombardozzi and many others.

The full preliminary Relic checklist includes Stetson Allie, Lonnie Chisenhall, Wil Myers, Christian Colon, Adys Portillo, Rymer Liriano, Jason Kipnis, Travis D’Arnaud and Anthony Gose.

Among the All-Stars on SPs are Dustin Ackley, Chisenhall, Randall Delgado, Grant Green, Harper, Manny Machado, Jesus Montero, Mike Montgomery, Myers, Jurickson Profar, Miguel Sano, Donavan Tate and several others.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


Anatomy of a Fake-Out Bipping

One man among us has perfected the art of the Bip, and he is Chris Harris from Stale Gum.
He has been known to send a package my way from time to time. A week (or was it two weeks?) ago was one of those times. I’ve been Galarragaed by Stale Gum, as well as Bucked. What was in store for me this time?

Not to disappoint you, but this turned out to be merely Bip League Psych Out Stuff. Actually, this was quite a nice surprise. My heart rate started to rise, but in the end I got a few nice Brew Crew cards out of the affair. Let me walk you through the steps of an effective Fake-Out Bipping.

A. Fair warning.
This dummy slab lets the recipient know that behind it, there could be just about anything. Ye Be Warned!

B. Mini-Bip
The sense of dread takes over at this point. Four Rickie Weeks Heritage cards portend the possible existence of more beneath. Step lively, collectors.

C. Complete Asshole
If there are any more Sheffields under here, it will completely ruin my day.

D. Yount Cards I Already Have
This a a requisite phenomenon for any unsolicited Brewers package. No, really. Anytime you send me some random Brewers cards, there must be at least 3-5 Robin Yount cards I already have stuck somewhere in there.

E. Cards That Done Been Scritched ‘Stead Uh With a Real Picher

F. Hooray!
The tenderloin of this package emerges with a Prince Fielder card I didn’t have yet.

2011 Topps Heritage Stamps Fielder/Hart (14/62)

The only downside of that last awesome card, and I ‘m really stretching here, is that these stamps are only considered legal postage by the Magyar Posta (Hungary) and certain impoverished Eastern Caribbean island nations. So, I you receive an anonymous postcard from St. Lucia, it might be from me.

Thanks again, brotha.

Frank Robinson 2008 Topps Heritage ‘Flashbacks’

Frank Robinson 2008 Topps Heritage ‘Flashbacks’

I love sets like this!!!

The set tagged as ‘Flashbacks’ takes us back to some incredible moments in baseball history.  This card here pays homage to Frank Robinson hitting for the cycle during the 1959 baseball season.

On May 2nd of that year, Robinson and his Red team was battling the Dodgers, and it was Robinson who stole the show.  A single, a double, a triple, and a home run was the fuel that helped lead the Reds to an easy 16-4 rout of the Los Angeles Dodgers!

Black Heritage Parallels: Pretty Cool

The other day I picked up what will most likely be my only Topps Heritage cards this year. I can’t say I’m that excited about the 1962 design, but I was still curious enough to purchase one of the three-pack dealies that Target started selling. What interested me was the additional three-card black parallel pack that was included.
I got:
C55 Lou Marson, C51 Xavier Nady, and C36 Josh Beckett

Any of these are available for trade, should you so desire.

How I’m collecting Topps Heritage

2011 Topps Heritage Mike Pelfrey card

I finally got my hands on some Topps Heritage cards towards the end of last week. I love the Mets cards – Topps did a great job capturing the feel of the original set.

I find the non-Mets cards completely uninteresting, with few exceptions. I approve of the decision to use cap-less photos for most of the Mets and Astros, but I wonder if the folks at Topps now really understood why the old sets used those types of photos. If it’s not a misunderstanding,how else do you explain why players like B.J. Upton and Fausto Carmona are cap-less, while Rafael Soriano is pictured in a digitally-altered Yankees cap?

And don’t get me started on the pointless parallels and shortprints.

So I’ve decided to collect the Mets cards that appeal to me, and ignore the rest. My 2011 Heritage team set will include 20 cards:

7 Carlos Beltran
26 Josh Thole
29 Terry Collins
85 Ike Davis
94 R.A. Dickey
181 Dillon Gee
183 Mike Pelfrey
213 Angel Pagan

2011 Topps Heritage Terry Collins card

256 Ruben Tejada
293 Jonathan Niese
308 Jason Bay
333 Lucas Duda
421 Francisco Rodriguez
436 Jose Reyes (SP)
464 Johan Santana (SP)
478 David Wright (SP)
495 Rookie Parade Pitchers (SP) – with Jenrry Mejia
496 Rookie Parade Catchers (SP) – with Mike Nickeas
NF-8 News Flashbacks insert – New York Mets Join National League
any one of the original 1962 Mets featured on a buy back boxtopper card

I’ll leave the chrome cards, green, red & blue tints, relics, stamps, coins and autographs for others – they either don’t interest me or they’re out of my price range.

So far, I’ve acquired everything I wanted except the Santana and Wright shortprints and the buy back card, though I don’t have them all in hand yet.

2011 Topps Heritage Rookie Parade Catchers

Filed under: Baseball Cards, new york mets Tagged: Baseball Cards, topps, Topps Heritage

Still haven’t found any Topps Heritage cards

I had to pick up a few things at Target, so I stopped in the card aisle. Still no Topps Heritage cards.

Instead, I bought a couple more packs of Opening Day. I only got one Met, but it was the one Opening Day card I really wanted:

2011 Topps Opening Day Mr. Met

Not bad, not bad at all.

Filed under: Baseball Cards Tagged: Baseball Cards, mascots, Mr. Met, topps, Topps Heritage, Topps Opening Day

Interesting Topps Heritage Cards Showing Up On eBay

I got an email from Ritchie to let me know that some original Mets have certified autographs in this year’s Topps Heritage set. So far, we’ve spotted Ed Bouchee and Frank Thomas. The Bouchee cards seem a bit more plentiful than the Thomas ones right now, but one still sold for $37.50 a little while ago.

The hand-numbered red ink versions go for even more – a Thomas card has a bid of $79.99 with two days left.

As much as I’d like to add them to my collection, I think there are some better ways to use my money. Both players are good signers through the mail, so you’re paying for the Topps Heritage insert card – not the autograph.

There is also an interesting Frank Thomas stadium memorabilia relic card in the set. If anybody has the card, can you tell me if it specifies what stadium the “memorabilia” came from? I’ll have to try to get one if it’s the Polo Grounds, but I’ll pass if it’s from Shea or Forbes Field.

As a very casual coin collector, I’m interested in the 1962 Mint cards, but I will probably pass at current prices. Frank Thomas shows up again, as does Sid Fernandez (born in 1962).

Lastly, there’s a stamp panel featuring Johan Santana, David Wright and Jose Reyes. It looks like a great display item, but I don’t know what I’d do with it.

Have you discovered any cool Topps Heritage cards this week?

Filed under: Baseball Cards Tagged: Baseball Cards, Ed Bouchee, Frank Thomas, Sid Fernandez, topps, Topps Heritage

2011 Topps Heritage First Look and Review

I’m very pleased with my two boxes of 2011 Topps Heritage. I love the design, which is based on the 1962 Topps design, wood-grain background and big bold yellow geometrical shapes. The pictures, however, remind me a bit of the misguided 2009 O-Pee-Chee, with some of them lower resolution and taken with strange-looking expressions on the faces of the players. Take these, for example:

Go figure. Maybe the pictures in 1962 were a bit suspect, as well, so they are being very true to the original design, although I would hope and expect to see improvements.

The inserts are nothing new, with the same four groups as last year, and the year before that. The relics are similar, and the autographs are of players I hardly recognize, except for the three biggies that Topps corralled this year: Aaron, Koufax and Gibson. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an autograph of any of them. In fact, I didn’t get any autograph at all! Two boxes, two relics. I must admit that one of them is probably a case hit, but it’s kinda disappointing, anyways.


Love it!

Love it!

Love it!


Much, much, much better than last year’s Heritage or Topps Update. From two boxes, I have only 80 base to go, and I only got 73 doubles. No trips, either. That’s a pretty good start on this set.

Short Prints

Same as last year, with 426 to 500 short printed. However, I did come across something unusual. There is a series of Babe Ruth cards from 136 to 144, chronicling his career. But then I pulled another 136, this one of Jackie Robinson:

It’s some sort of short print, I believe. Don’t you wish Topps would let us know about cards like this (Diamond star cards, anyone?) beforehand so that we don’t start trading cards away without realizing it.

Chrome inserts

I could probably do without these, although if I were to pull a Pujols or Heyward or Freeman black chrome refractor, I wouldn’t be complaining nearly as much. I got three per box, including one refractor of Ramon Hernandez. For comparison, there is a (funny-looking) Cliff Lee chrome.

Insert Sets

Baseball Flashbacks, News Flashbacks, Then & Now, and New Age Performers. Short printed. I got seven per box.


What you were all waiting for . . . drumroll please . . . badadadadadadadadadada . . .

. . . WAAA! WAAA! WAAAAAAAAAAAA! (muted trumpet sound)

No Koufax autograph. No Aaron autograph. No Gibson autograph. No autograph! oh-fer-two!

I did get a nice Hamilton bat relic:

I also got this Hoyt Wilhelm flashback stadium relic from Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. (I think Baltimore is haunting me this year, as the only black-border parallel I got from base Topps is the Orioles team card.) If you look at the odds, though, it is 1:1175 packs. So I guess that is a case hit. A bit disappointing, but it should bring a nice card in trade.


I pulled one of the Baseball Bucks out of the first box. My shop owner was so excited to see these, then was terribly disappointed when he finally saw it:

It almost looks as if it was made on a copier! Maybe there are different ones, but this one was sure disappointing.

However, the second box made up for it, as I got two – yes, two! – box-toppers. First, a Padres team card ad panel. In addition, there was another pack with this in it:

That’s right. A 1962 buyback of Ron Fairly. I think I remember him with the Expos, but that was in the 70’s, I’m sure. Anyways, a nice addition to the collection, and it is in excellent condition. Check the back out (click on it for a larger view).

Overall Score: A-

I take off a point for the unimaginative insert sets and the lousy photography in some of the pictures. Other than that, and no auto, I absolutely love this set, better than the last few years of Heritage. This is a fine addition to the Heritage line. Keep up the good work, Topps, and don’t be afraid to improve on a good product.

I have some big-name doubles, so if you need any, let me know. My wantlist is up-to-date with 2011 Heritage. I would also be looking for any Indians relics or refractors. Please DON”T leave comments here, as I probably won’t see them soon. Send an email – the address is in the right column.

doubles: 1, 30, 31, 32, 33, 43, 46, 48, 50, 61, 62, 64, 71, 92, 96, 98, 102, 104, 108, 116, 117, 128, 131, 138, 143, 144, 152, 153, 156, 159, 165, 182, 185, 194, 199, 202, 206, 209, 213, 238, 239, 242, 247, 260, 269, 272, 273, 274, 286, 288, 290, 300, 305, 309, 313, 322, 324, 330, 333, 337, 344, 360, 361, 370, 384, 390, 392, 394, 395, 406, 408, 421, 417, CL1, CL5, CL6

An early look at 2011 Topps Heritage

After spending so much time looking at pictures and news about the earthquake in Japan, I needed to spend a few minutes thinking about something happy & fun.

(Some good news – Mets pitcher Ryota Igarashi learned that his family is ok, according to Bergen Record reporter Art Stapleton. If you want to contribute to relief efforts, the American Red Cross is accepting donations.)

Cards from this year’s Topps Heritage set have already started showing up on eBay, even though the official release date isn’t until next week. This year, the cards are based on the 1962 design. As a Met fan, the 1962 set is the oldest one I have any real reason to collect. The majority of the first year Mets cards don’t even feature pictures of many of the players in Mets uniform – they mainly used existing, cap-less photos taken in 1961 or earlier.

In a nice tribute, the majority of the Mets players were photographed without caps for the 2011 Heritage set. Some short-printed cards, echoing the late-season high-number series, do feature Mets players wearing caps. (See Jose Reyes and David Wright SP cards on eBay)

According to one seller who’s offering a pre-sale for a complete team set with short prints (but missing any multi-team, multi-player cards), the following Mets are included in this year’s Heritage set:

  • Carlos Beltran
  • Josh Thole
  • Manager
  • Ike Davis
  • R.A. Dickey
  • Dillon Gee
  • Mike Pelfrey
  • Angel Pagan
  • Ruben Tejada
  • Jonathon Niese
  • Jason Bay
  • Lucas Duda
  • David Wright
  • Francisco Rodriguez
  • Jose Reyes
  • Johan Santana
  • David Wright

Another seller is trying to get $10 shipped for the Mets team set, minus short prints. (I think I’d like Heritage a lot more if it were less expensive.)

The News Flashbacks insert set includes a card with an image of the 1962 Mets scorecard to mark their addition to the National League. I can’t help noticing the lack of a card for the Colt .45s – I bet Astros fans are feeling a little slighted.

The Heritage Stamps are back as an insert set this year. I’m not sure who is included to represent the Mets, but I’m confident that someone was if they made a stamp for a Pittsburgh Pirates player. I liked last year’s stamp set, but I never got any of the cards for my collection. Maybe I will this year.


Filed under: Baseball Cards Tagged: Baseball Cards, new york mets, Topps Heritage

BlueClaws To Hold Fanfest Saturday

Bases Loaded

Photo credit: Ted Kerwin

The Lakewood BlueClaws will hold their 2011 Fanfest at First Energy Park on Saturday, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. This will be your first chance to buy single game BlueClaws tickets. Enjoy free food, tour the ballpark and take advantage of sales in the team store. Bring a non-perishable food donation and receive vouchers for two tickets to a game in April or May.

If you’re looking for sports card shows, there’s one in Rahway at the senior center at 1306 Esterbrook Avenue on Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and one at the Toms River Elks, 600 Washington Avenue, also on Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to wait until next week before this year’s Topps Heritage cards start showing up. Online retailers are listing March 16th as the expected release date. This year’s set echoes the 1962 design.

Filed under: Baseball, Baseball Cards Tagged: Baseball, baseball card shows, Baseball Cards, Lakewood BlueClaws, New Jersey, Topps Heritage

Chopping Down the Wantlist

I took advantage of the Thanksgiving deal over at COMC to knock a few cards off my wantlist. Actually, because shipping was so cheap (instead of the pretty expensive and quick to add up that it usually is) I filled out some other wants & needs as well, but that’s for another time.

For now, 36.36% of my wantlist has been trimmed down including:

#3 on my list, part of the Home Run Derby contest inserts that Topps used to run

2008 Topps Gary Sheffield Home Run Derby Contest (#/999)

#5: A fantastic Heritage SP

2009 Topps Heritage #461 Tigers Coaches

#8: The last base card I need from 2010 Topps (which may just happen to be the worst card in the whole set. I mean seriously, look at that picture.)

2010 Topps Update US-24 Miguel Cabrera/Vlad Guerrero

#10: The last base card I needed from 2010 Topps T-206

2010 Topps T-206 #165 Ty Cobb

And with that, I have some serious thinking to do about how to replace these on my list. Fortunately, I’ve been inundated with cards lately (since when was being inundated with something good?), which means that more holes have been filled and I’m sitting on a bunch of sets where I’m just a couple cards from completion. My guess is those will be making the list–I’m looking at you 2010 Topps Gold Ryan Perry.

As always, I tend to put cards on here that are low-end, easy to find types. Just in case somebody out there happens to be flipping through their piles of cards, trips upon something on the list and feels like sending a little care package my way…

Luck of the Draw

I’m getting crushed–crushed–at work, and found out yesterday that I need to hit the road for business tomorrow and Thursday before coming back for meetings all day Friday, all while I have a major report due for a client in three weeks that will literally require all of my available working hours between now and then. So, short post it is.

I was pretty lucky in a couple of finds at the National, which just proves that persistence pays off. (I was equivalently lucky in a couple eBay finds recently, which I’ll highlight in a separate post). As for my favorite:

2006 Topps Heritage #95 Justin Verlander Chrome (#/1957)

This came from a memorabilia dealer at the national who had a small box of cards on the size of her booth, divided by player. She told me upfront: “see if there’s anything you like in there, everything is under $1 and most of it is twenty-five cents.” So I browsed–most of the cards were base cards or inserts that I already had or didn’t much care for collecting–and then I pulled this out. It’s a Heritage Chrome, something I actually collect, of Justin Verlander in his Rookie Year. I handed it over, told her that this was the only card that I was really interested in and she gave it a glance before saying, without hesitation, “$0.25.”


Considering that the cheapest you can hope to ever find a single like this online is $.99 plus shipping, I was pretty happy with the take-away. Add-in that this was Verlander’s rookie year (Enjoy number 59, rook!), from a set that I actually collect, and this was as good of a bargain as anyone could ever hope for, small potatoes be damned.

Stephen Strasburg Topps Heritage Card Creates National Frenzy

The stampede was nearly heard across the floor of the National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) on Thursday afternoon. Collectors, flippers and baseball fans ran to get on line for an exclusive Stephen Strasburg 2010 Topps Heritage card, which can only be found at the NSCC at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Thrift Treasures XXV: The Comeback Edition

Finally …. Thrift Treasures HAS come back … to Cardboard Icons.

It’s been a few months since I’ve unearthed some cardboard gems from my local thrift stores. And that’s not to say I haven’t been searching with a fine-toothed comb. The cards are just becoming scant … well, I should say cards that interest me are becoming scant. There has been plenty of early 90s ProSet football and Hoops Basketball showing up.

I digress. My “Honey Hole” for cardboard goodness received some cards earlier this week and was selling them 20 for a $1. I found the best 20 cards that money could buy. Here are the goods:

At first glance, it looked like there was a bunch of 2006 Bowman commons in the tin, and that wouldn’t be such a bad thing if there were more than just a few prospects sprinkled within. But when it came down to make the final tally, I went ahead and bought the only two Bowman Chrome prospects that were in the box, Aaron Hathaway (Mets) and Mike Rozier(Red Sox).

The Rozier card is one that I needed for my on-again, off-again team collection. But it also was one of seven total Red Sox cards that I didn’t own. As much as I want to stop my team collection — I’ll explain later — it’s hard to turn them down when they are sitting in front of my face for a relatively cheap price.

Now that I’ve bored you you to death with Red Sox chatter, I present this semi-interesting 2009 Goodwin card of Chris Johnson, running back for the Titans. I don’t collect football and because of that, I was slightly convinced that this card MIGHT be his rookie. Obviously I was wrong. You can all laugh at me now. Nonetheless, it’s a good-looking card that I’ll add to some pile somewhere that eventually will be sold, traded or given away.

Want to talk about randomness? Look at these next three cards:

2008 Triple Threads Grady Sizemore, a common card from a high-end product
2008 Donruss Threads Baseball Diamond Kings insert of some prospect named Trystan Magnuson
2003 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Red game-used jersey card of Josh Phelps, serial numbered to 250

I tend to dislike Goudey a lot. But this card caught my eye because it’s a green mini version of a Sports Royalty card. Funny note, I received the blue jersey of this same mini card earlier this week in the mail. Anyone interested in them?

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, I can’t pass on a small lot of Upper Deck Anniversary cards at a nickel each. I know a VOTC is working on this set. Hope he can use them.

And finally a pair of 2009 Topps Heritage Update Chrome parallels.

Can’t say that was the BEST trip to the thrift shop, but it’s mightly tough to beat that haul for just a buck.

To see the other parts of this on-going series, click HERE.