The 2019 Topps Heritage High Numbers baseball set is a continuation of the product released last month that paid tribute to the 1970 Topps set. The High Numbers issue, scheduled to be released during the week of Aug. 14, will concentrate on rookies and veterans who were traded. Yes, you can look for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to appear in the uniforms of their new teams.
2019 Topps Heritage High Numbers Basics
The base set will pick up where the regular set left off with cards to be numbered 501-725. The last 25 cards will be short-printed. Topps is promising at least one autograph or relic car per hobby box.
The 1970 set represented some big changes for Topps. The price of packs doubled from a nickel to 10 cents. And for the first time in a Topps baseball set, the player’s name on the card front was featured in cursive script, rather than the block letters that had been a staple of the Topps run since 1952.
Like regular Heritage, the High Number series will have 24 packs in a hobby box and nine cards to a pack and the look remains the same with the design mirroring the austere template of the 1970 Topps set. The card fronts will have a vertical design, with the player taking up one of the “canned” photos that were prevalent of Topps sets of the 1960s and 1970. A player stiffly posed with a bat on his shoulder or in a mock pitching pose.
The team name is in block letters at the top of the card – mostly in the left-hand corner, and the player’s name (in cursive) and position (in reddish-brown block letters) adorn the bottom of the card. A gray border and a white frame surround the main color photo.
The card backs are dominated by blue and yellow boxes, with a blue square containing the player’s vital statistics and a brief biographical sketch. The words are printed in white ink, in order to stand out against the blue background. A rectangular yellow box contains a player’s year-by-year statistics. Where relevant, the player’s minor-league statistics are also included. The top-right part of the box is white and includes a cartoon.
Base Set Parallels and Variations
The base set will have several parallels and variations, starting with Black Borders, numbered to 50. The hobby exclusive Flip Stock parallel is a card that sports a matte paper front and a glossy back—a reversal of the card’s normal texture; these cards are numbered to 5.
Chrome parallels for the base set are numbered to 999, with a Refractor numbered to 570, Black Bordered (70), a hobby exclusive Gold Bordered (5) and 1/1 SuperFractor. Some hot boxes will include a Purple refractor.
To drive master set collectors to distraction, Topps again has base variations. Silver Metal Base cards are limited and printed on metal stock. Error short prints are trickier and more difficult to find. Trade and Nickname variations are also limited but are easier to spot. Throwback Uniform and a pair of hobby exclusives, Action Image and Team Name Color are also included, along with base card mini variations, which will be numbered to 100.
Topps Heritage High numbers has several inserts, starting with a hobby exclusive that pays tribute to Hank Aaron. The Hammer’s Greatest Hits celebrates the 85-year-old Hall of Famer, the first player to hit 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record 45 years and broke in the majors as a rookie with the Milwaukee Braves 65 years ago.
There will also be autograph versions — on-card signatures — numbered to 5.
Other inserts include Rookie Performers, which will highlight the first-year players who were not included in the 500-card Heritage set; Combo Cards, which will feature two star players from the same franchise; Now and Then, which will feature a key date from 2018 and a baseball feat from the same date in 1970; Award Winners, which will feature the players who won baseball’s biggest awards in 2018; and 1970 Topps Scratch-Offs, a throwback to the insert included in the original 1970 set.
Autographs are not plentiful in the Heritage set, but the venerable Real One Autographs returns with on-card signatures of current and retired stars. Red Ink parallels will be hand-numbered to 70 or fewer. Real One Dual Autographs will have signatures from two players.
Some collectors could pull 1970 Baseball Cut Signatures, which feature players who made headlines in 1970. Similarly, 1970 Celebrity Cut Signatures feature musicians, movie stars and other notables from 1970. Both are 1/1 cards.
Relic cards start with the Clubhouse Collection, which contain pieces of uniforms and bats. Gold parallels will be numbered to 99, and there will be a hand-numbered, 1/1 Patch Parallel that is a hobby box exclusive. There will also be Dual Relics (numbered to 70), Triple Relics (25) and Quad Relics (10). Each one of those relic cards have a 1/1 Patch Parallel.
For collectors buying hobby boxes, Topps Heritage High Number will feature a bonus box topper with both a continuation of what’s being offered in the main set. the 1970-style Super Baseball box topper will be styled after the thick, rounded corner and overly large version from nearly a half century ago. Topps Posters will be limited to 70 and will feature the game’s top stars in a small poster format. Finally, Topps Originals are actual cards from the ’70 set, foiled stamped and inserted in a wrap.