by Rich Klein
It’s always difficult for me to write about Topps Heritage Baseball. Having completed all the 1953-present Topps sets in my younger days I have a great appreciation for the originals. And to be honest, Topps does a great job in mimicking the vintage sets each year in their Heritage offering. Sometimes the comparisons are obvious such as card #129 in the original 1964 Topps Set being Mets shortstop Amado Samuel (who I swear was the most available card in that set) relating to card #129 in the 2013 Heritage set being Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. Sometimes you have to think about the way the cards relate such as card #125. In the original 1964 Topps Set that card was Pete Rose with the Rookie Trophy. In 2013 Topps Heritage, the card is Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish which indicates what Topps thinks about Yu’s future.
So, while the 2013 Topps Heritage product copies the 1964 Topps design, in many ways this is an easier product for collectors as the cards are very readable in terms of the team and the player’s name. One advantage of these old school cards was that unlike the modern, happy, shiny cards, all these names are very readable and most of these sets had easy to read numbers on the back as well. Other than my standard comment about how I wish the set would grow to 600 cards with the final 100 cards being short prints like the 1960’s card sets, I really don’t have a lot of things to say about how to really improve the product. Some set collectors don’t like the super short prints that Topps has sprinkled into random cases, but if you can accept the fact that getting a ‘true master set’ will be either very costly or impossible, it’s still a nice walk down memory lane each year and the base cards and regular short prints do comprise what’s considered a complete set and on one will argue.
The product comes in 24 count boxes with a box-topper. Each pack contains nine cards and each box promises one relic or autograph. My local store (Triple Cards in Plano. TX) just about sold out of his original order at $74.25 per box while leading on-line retailers are currently at $70-75 per box. And how did we do from our box? Hint: we did better than expected.
Base Cards; 172 of 425 with no dupes. That is about 40 percent of the base set and thus three boxes with perfect collation are needed to complete a base set
Chrome Parallel (#d to 999): Cards Rookie Stars (Shelby Miler/Trevor Rosenthal)/Troy Tulowitzki
Chrome Purple Parallels *Not serial numbered*: For the second straight year Topps has inserted these cards on a one-box per case with each pack in that box having a purple refractor. This year we were lucky enough to hit one of these boxes.
Since these are one per pack in this box we hit 24 of these: Miguel Cabrera, Starlin Castro, Nelson Cruz, Yu Darvish, Adam Dunn, Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Matt Harrison, Felix Hernandez, Austin Jackson, Jim Johnson, Paul Konerko, Kyle Lohse (this was the 1st purple I received and until I opened up that second pack I was cursing my luck as my thought process went: Good card I got figures I got the guy who never signed in 2013.). Evan Longoria, Wade Miley, Orioles Rookie Stars (Manny Machado/Dylan Bundy), Buster Posey, Rangers Rookie Stars (Mike Olt/Jurrickson Profar),,Max Scherzer, Mike Trout, Josh WIllingham, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman
Flashback: Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Sidney Poitier, Rolling Stones
Memorable Moments: Carlos Beltran, Prince Fielder
New Age Performers; Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, Clayton Kershaw
Then and Now: Luis Aparicio/Mike Trout; Roberto Clemente/Buster Posey
Buy Back: Ray Herbert: I will say this card was a bit off center but very sharp. I have heard reports of many off-quality cards being pulled as box-toppers including the 1964 Topps Bob Perry I received which was a nice enough card except for the M.Z. in ink on the top of the back of the card. My Herbert is a ex-,mt/nm card for corners if not better but is a bit off center top to bottom
Red Ink Autograph (#d to 64) Don Leppert
With the eight short prints in each box as well as the other hits, it is little wonder why collectors like this product and want to keep opening like these packs are a nickel again.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]