by Chris Harris
Imagine for a moment you’re a member of the Topps product development team. You have the exclusive license for Minor League Baseball (MiLB), and you have no idea what to do with it. You no longer have a super-mega prospect the caliber of a Bryce Harper to carry your MiLB products. What do you do?
You get creative.
The Harper-free 2012 Topps Heritage Minor League will contain a special one-of-one redemption card – not good for another card, but for a contract: A one-day contract with the Houston Astros’ Double-A affiliate the Corpus Christi Hooks. The winner will be flown out to Texas and actually wear the uniform of the Hooks, shag fly balls in the outfield during batting practice, dine from the pre-game and post-game clubhouse spread, hobnob with the players and meet the Hooks’ owner Nolan Ryan in the owner’s box. All that and you’ll get your picture taken for your own card in 2013 Topps Pro Debut.
Yes, there will be a trading card set, and the structure of the set will be familiar to those who collected last year’s Heritage Minor League. The base set will consist of 225 cards – the last 25 short-printed, and all done in the style of the 1963 Topps set, with 25 variations. Black-bordered parallels come roughly three per 24-pack box, with one-of-one Blue-bordered and Printing Plates also available.
Each 24-pack Hobby box of 2012 Topps Heritage Minor League will yield two autographs and a Relic card. 35 Real One Autographs will be inserted with Black (serial-numbered to 50 copies), Blue (one-of-one), and Printing Plates (set of four for each card) can be had, along with fifteen Dual Real One Autographs, each serial-numbered to fifteen.
As far as Relics are concerned, Clubhouse Collection Relics will return with Dual Relics (numbered to 25) Patch Relics (numbered to 15) and Autographed Patches. Another batch of Manufactured MiLB Hot Logo Patches will also be available, although it is unclear if they will be serial-numbered, or if they count as one of the promised “hits.”
2012 Topps Heritage Minor League is scheduled for release the week of September 12. Each Hobby box contains 24 packs of nine cards and should retail in the $65-$70/box range. See the preliminary checklist and preview images below.
Chris Harris writes the popular hobby blog Stale Gum.