It was the last year that baseball card packs sold for a nickel. Man walked on the moon. There were four MLB divisions instead of two. And the tumultuous 1960s were about to slide into history. 2018 Topps Heritage Baseball will harken back to a monumental year when the annual throwback product arrives as the calendar turns from February to March.
It’s all about 1969.
2018 Topps Heritage Basics
Topps will stick with much the same formula we’ve seen with Heritage through the years. The product will be sold in 24-pack boxes with nine cards per pack and 12 boxes per case. Each box will be highlighted by either an autograph or relic card but it’s primarily a set builders product.
2018 Topps Heritage Base Set, Parallels, Variations
Heritage offers one of the biggest base sets in the Topps line, not as big as the flagship issue but enough to give each team decent representation. The set will be 500 cards, but once again the last 100 are short prints. Among the subsets will be League Leaders, World Series Highlights, All Stars and Rookie Stars.
The parallels will be limited, with only four sets planned including 100th Anniversary, which offers a foil stamp of the logo used back in 1969. There will be only 35 of each of the 500 base cards printed with the stamp.
Magenta Backs will put a deeper red color to the backside of the notoriously bubble-gum colored ’69 design. They’ll be numbered to just 10.
Black Borders will be numbered to 50 and Flip Stocks, which offer a matte paper front and glossy back, will be numbered to only 5.
Collectors will have to be on the lookout for some variations of the base cards including Throwback Uniforms, Action Images and Team Name Color variations.
Base Card Chrome Parallels will take 100 cards and give them the look of a Topps Chrome card. Chrome Refractor Parallels will also be in the mix, numbered to 569 along with Chrome Black Bordered Parallels numbered to 69, Gold numbered to 5 and the elusive 1/1 SuperFractors. There will be Mini base variations, with each numbered to 100.
Some players who were active in 1969 and current big leaguers will sign 2018 Heritage cards as part of the autograph program. There will also be rare Red Ink versions of those signatures.
Dual and Triple Autographs will be among the better pulls with Duals numbered to 25 and Triples to only 5.
Topps has bought ten Reggie Jackson rookie cards and had Mr. October sign them for inclusion into 2018 Topps Heritage and they’ve also enlisted members of the 1969 Seattle Pilots to sign their cards. The Pilots were launched in Seattle in ’69, but lasted just one year before they were sold to Bud Selig and became the Milwaukee Brewers.
Autographed Relic cards in 2018 Heritage will again include Clubhouse Collection, with single (# to 25) and dual (# to 10) versions and Flashback Auto Relics which include autographs of players who made news in 1969. All three auto relic sets will have Patch Parallels numbered 1/1.
There will also be cut autographs of musicians and other personalities who were popular in 1969. All are 1/1.
Clubhouse Collection non-auto relics will include Dual (# to 69), Triple (# to 25) and Quad (# to 10) versions with each having 1/1 Patch Parallels.
Topps Heritage insert sets for 2018 include New Age Performers, featuring top current players whose performances have eclipsed the greats of the past (1:12 packs); Then & Now which feature statistical comparisons of players active in 1969 to their current colleagues (1:20 packs); Baseball Flashbacks which offer highlights from the 1969 baseball season (1:20 packs); Flashbacks, featuring world news from 1969 (1:20 packs) and Deckle Edge, which replicates the insert set of the same name from 1969 with current players (1:10 packs).
Coins, Stamps and More
Once again, Heritage will include actual coins and stamps minted during the throwback year. Nickels (# to 15), Quarters (# to 5), Dimes (# to 10), Half Dollars (#1/1) will be featured along with the image of a current or retired player. The Postage Stamp Relics will be numbered to 50.
Hobby boxes will include Box Loader cards including 1969 Bazooka Ad Panels, which are a shout out to the cards printed on the backs of Bazooka boxes in ’69 with highlights from the 2017 season; Posters, again modeled after the large originals from 49 years earlier (# to 50) and 1969 Topps Originals, which are actual 1969 Topps cards that will have foil stamping indicating their use in the Heritage product.
2018 Topps Heritage is due for release February 28. You can check out boxes, sets and more on eBay by clicking here.