In some ways, Topps has some interesting dilemmas with their exclusive Minor League Baseball license. Among them are to work on creating innovative ideas to feature players which many fans may have barely heard of, if at all. While people who follow their favorite team’s organization or read Baseball America may keep up with prospects, many fans just do not have the time or inclination to worry about players until they actually arrive in the majors.
Frankly, we are spoiled in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by having Jamey Newberg and his staff do incredible work each year on documenting the Texas Rangers farm system. Jamey has been doing this for nearly two decades now and his work is legendary in the DFW metroplex. If you want to follow what he writes, just go to http://www.newbergreport.com/ and follow the links to subscribe.
One important aspect of what Jamey does is having a man named Scott Lucas write daily re-caps of the Rangers minor league teams and their players. This makes it so easy to keep up and you have a real good feel for them before they ever play in the Ameriquest Field. Of course, as we documented last month, sometimes the good guys who play forever in the farm system win as well as the wonderful video of Guilder Rodriguez proved.
We do hope Topps finds a place for him in their 2015 flagship set but no matter what, there are plenty of other prospects in the 2014 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball set. It’s a sister product to the annual Heritage MLB release that arrives in the early spring.
Heritage Minors comes in nine-card packs with 24 packs to a box, with cards in the same design as the Heritage MLB set which paid homage to the 1965 Topps set.
The base set has 200 cards and there are also 25 short prints. In addition, each box promises two autographs as well as one memorabilia card. As per usual with Topps products lately, there are photo variations for some cards as well as several parallel sets. Autographs are on stickers.
My local card store (Triple Cards,Plano TX) reported slow sales at $74.25 per box and he said that was partially caused by the product releasing two days later than it was supposed to. One other factor may be that this issue has softened since release with hobby boxes available at leading retail sellers already dropping to the $45-50 level.
Here’s what we pulled:
Base Cards: 185 of 200. That’s more than 90 percent of the set. Back in the day, many hobby stores used to give you commons if you bought boxes from their store and they recognized you as client. This sounds like the perfect type of release to bring back that old tradition. There was a bit of a shock to the system when we received a card of 500-homer hitter Manny Ramirez who has been an unofficial player-coach in the Cubs chain this past season.
Short Prints: Jeremy Barfield, Tyler Glasnow, Taylor Lindsey, Kyle Zimmer
Lime Green Parallel: Ben Lively
Black Parallel (#d to 105): Brian Goodwin, Wyatt Mathisen, Anthony Ranaudo, Keenyn Walker
Road to the Show: Jonathan Gray, Ben Lively, Tommy Murphy, Jose Rondon, Trevor Story, Jesse Winker
Manufactured Cap Patch: Austin Wilson
Clubhouse Collection: Corey Seager
Autograph Red (#d to 10): Dalton Pompey
At the $45-50 range Heritage Minor League currently is sitting at online, we feel pretty good. Even if the Pompey autograph was not numbered we would have done pretty well. However, it’s a shame for store owners who have to compete with another product selling below cost elsewhere.
Boxes include a few contest cards that offer the collector a chance to sign a one-day contract and make their “pro debut” with the Corpus Christi Hooks next year and have their own baseball card produced. We’ve talked about the old Topps card I have from 1992 and wouldn’t it be nice to have a second card 23 years later.
To read more about the product and see a checklist, click here.
To see Heritage Minor League Baseball 2014 cards, boxes, cases and more on eBay, click here.