Completed insert set – 2011 Topps 60 Years of Topps

19 09 2014

I also finished the 2011 version of Topps’ humongous reprint set this summer – just a couple of months after the 2010 “Yo Momma” set.  This one is called 60 years of Topps.

Info about the set:

Set description: “The 60-year of Topps chronicled with a reprint of one card from every year.  Each card back narrates the story of that year’s design as well as other interesting minutiae”.  Topps basically cut and pasted the wording from last year on their sell sheets – though the last word was “tidbits” in 2010 instead of “minutiae”.

Set composition: 118 cards, 1:3 odds

Hall of Famers: 54. Actually more than the year before, even though there are only 2 series while the yo momma cards were inserted in all 3 series.

Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Monte Irvin, Ernie Banks, Phil Rizzuto, Mickey Mantle, Pee Wee Reese, Stan Musial, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Frank Robinson, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Al Kaline, Tony Perez, Brooks Robinson, Tom Seaver, Reggie Jackson, Nolan Ryan, Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Mike Schmidt, Carl Yastrzemski, Robin Yount, Bruce Sutter, Phil Niekro, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor, Andre Dawson, Jim Palmer, Ozzie Smith, Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Dennis Eckersley, Greg Maddux, Roberto Alomar, Frank Thomas, Barry Larkin, Yogi Berra, Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews, Luis Aparicio, Richie Ashburn, Harmon Killebrew, Orlando Cepeda, Duke Snider, Steve Carlton, Johnny Bench, Goose Gossage, Don Sutton, Gary Carter, Cal Ripken, Rickey Henderson, Wade Boggs

How I put the set together:

32 cards from various hobby boxes/packs

9 cards from various retail packs

22 cards from trades

28 cards from an eBay lot

26 cards from online dealers

1 card from the National

Thoughts on the set: This idea had kind of jumped the shark after doing in 2010 with the Yo Momma cards.  Topps would also insert reprints into 2012 Archives – so I think they should have just done 1 set like this over that time. This probably was the year that made the most sense since it was the “60th” year of cards – but it felt kind of silly after they had the same thing in 2010.

Still, it was an impressive list of players and a fun set to collect.  And one thing I like better about this set than the one from the year before are the card backs.  The write-ups on the back are much more about the specifics of the set design and history compared to the 2010 “yo momma” cards.

Card that completed my set: #75 – Steve Carlton (1967)

2011 Topps 60 Years Steve Carlton 67

I got this card from Beckett’s marketplace in July.

Highest book value: #91 – Cal Ripken (1983)

2011 Topps 60 Years Cal Ripken 83

Best card (my opinion): #20 – Nolan Ryan (1971)

2011 Topps 60 Years Nolan Ryan 71

One of the most prominent forms of advertising in Topps’ history is also one of the best cards out there.  They don’t directly say anything on the back of the card about the RC Cola ad, however.  I also really like card #61, which shows Warren Spahn with the Boston Braves.

My Favorite Reds card: #115 – Josh Hamilton (2007)

2011 Topps 60 Years Josh Hamilton 07

This beats out the 1967 Tony Perez, which is a great card.  Since I haven’t started collecting 2007 Topps yet, I’d never seen this card.  I always had a soft spot for Hamilton’s time with the Reds – I wish we could have kept him somehow.

Any other tidbits: Topps goofed with 1979 – they featured the same Eddie Murray card in both series 1 and 2 as the 1979 version.

The 1957 Mantle card with the “ghost player” is featured in this set – but the write-up on the back is silent to the fact and the front has been edited to not show the “ghost” figure.

2011 Topps 60 Years Mickey Mantle 57

Also, the back of Juan Marichal’s 1961 card discusses the fact that Topps started taking pictures of guys without hats so they didn’t have to airbrush the photos later on.  Finally, the back of Frank Robinson’s card discusses card #537 – which featured rookies Pedro Gonzalez, Ken McMullen, and Al Weis as well as “happening to include the future all-time hits leader”.  A subtle non-mention of Pete Rose a few years before the hobby got all up in arms for what Topps did on the back of the 2013 base cards.

Completed insert set – 2010 Topps Cards Your Mom Threw Out

17 09 2014

This was an insert set a long time in coming.  4 years later – I finally finished up the “yo momma” set.  This is easily the largest insert set I’ve completed – it’s a 174 card set across all 3 series (58 cards each – 1952 through 2009).

Info about the set:

Set description: “cards chronicle the entire history of Topps with a reprint of one card from every year.  Each card back narrates the story of that year’s design as well as other interesting tidbits”.

Set composition: 174 cards, 1:3 odds

Hall of Famers: 52. A whole boat-load.

Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, Duke Snider, Luis Aparicio, Frank Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Gibson, Carl Yastrzemski, Stan Musial, Brooks Robinson, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer, Willie McCovey, Reggie Jackson, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Johnny Bench, Dave Winfield, Robin Yount, Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Rickey Henderson, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor, Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn, Frank Thomas, Cal Ripken, Phil Rizzuto, Al Kaline, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Warren Spahn, Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Mathews, Gaylord Perry, Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, George Brett, Dennis Eckersley, Joe Morgan, Babe Ruth, Tommy LaSorda, Lou Brock, Willie Stargell, Robin Roberts, Roy Campanella, Andre Dawson, Wade Boggs, Barry Larkin

How I put the set together:

  • 39 cards from various hobby boxes/packs
  • 35 cards from trades
  • 51 cards from eBay
  • 48 cards from online dealers
  • 1 card from a card show

Thoughts on the set: Since there are 3 cards for each design, it’s a good set to put in binders (if you’re willing to not go in the number order, which I am).  It’s also an interesting read to go through each card.  I like the set.  Topps would beat this reprint idea to death over the next few years, and the 60 year anniversary may have been a better idea – but it was certainly a cool set at the time.

Additionally – if you look at the list of hall of fame players above, you’ll note that this set is STACKED.  Topps signs a number of retired guys every year, and there’s often some turnover year-to-year.  But they had a heck of a list 4 years ago when they did this set.  Many (but not all) of the most notable rookie cards in the company’s history are included.  Aaron, Mays, Koufax and of course Pete Rose are the best-known guys who aren’t included, but just about anybody else I can think of is included.  And Topps didn’t include multi-player rookies, so guys like Nolan Ryan have later cards but not their rookies.

Card that completed my set: #125 – Roger Maris (1960)

2010 Topps CYMTO Maris 60_0002

I got this card from Beckett’s marketplace back in May. This is actually a pretty cool card of Maris – not one of the more recognizable ones like his ’61 or ’62 card.

Highest book value: #45, 49 – Cal Ripken

2010 Topps CYMTO Ripken 92 96

Like many of the more famous players, Ripken has multiple cards in this set.  Apparently he passed Mickey Mantle in most valuable card of retired players, so these beat out the vaunted 1952 Topps reprint of Mantle’s first Topps card.

Best card (my opinion): #97 – Frank Thomas NNOF

2010 Topps CYMTO Thomas NNOF

In the first series, Topps came out with the regular card from Frank Thomas.  It was pretty cool – in the second series they came out with a reprint of the super-rare and expensive error with no name on the front.

My Favorite Reds card: #22 – Johnny Bench

2010 Topps CYMTO Bench 73

This is a no-brainer.  Possibly the best Topps card of a Reds player ever.

Any other tidbits: Frank Robinson’s Topps Traded version from the 1972 Topps set is included, one of the first “update” cards.

2010 Topps CYMTO F Robinson 72 Traded

In addition to that Thomas NNOF – a couple of the cards are variations or parallels from the year’s base set.

The 1982 version of Steve Carlton’s card is done in the “blackless variation”, which was a production error that Topps had for a limited number of cards that year.

2010 Topps CYMTO Steve Carlton 82

And the 2001 version of Vlad Guerrero is the HTA parallel that I think was only available in certain factory sets.

2010 Topps CYMTO Vlad Guerrero 01 HTA

The first 2006 card is the Alex Gordon card that was (mostly) pulled from packs, or inserted as a version with the center cut out or the picture never printed.  The 2006 one is actually a gold parallel – which actually never was produced.

2010 Topps CYMTO Alex Gordon 06

And the 2007 version of Jeter’s card – however, this is the common version as opposed to the one with Mickey Mantle and George Bush photo-shopped into the background.

2010 Topps CYMTO Derek Jeter 07

Other things that are about the history of Topps cards (as opposed to the player or baseball-specific) include:

  • The 1952 Mantle card references the infamous “river dump” of High Series cards that supposedly makes that set so legendary.  The “dump” is also referenced on the writeup on the back of the 1953 Johnny Podres card.
  • The 1953 Jackie Robinson card points out the images were hand-painted in color from black and white photos.  The original artwork pieces go
  • Harmon Killebrew’s 1955 card references Topps discounting packs of the last series to sell off inventory.
  • The 1957 cards for Frank Robinson and Whitey Ford reference how Topps switched to 2.5″ x 3.5″ card dimensions that set the standard size for cards going forward.
  • Carl Yastrzemski and Willie McCovey’s 1960 cards discuss how they were the iconic first cards for the new SPORT Magazine Rookie Star and Topps All-Rookie subsets.
  • Nolan Ryan’s 1969 card points out that this was the last year a Topps pack cost a nickel.
  • The 1951 Topps set isn’t included in this insert, however it is showcased on the third 1975 card.  Topps discussed it’s MVP subset there – with Yogi Berra and Roy Campanella shown for winning the 1951 MVP awards.
  • The ’82 Steve Carlton card I mentioned above discusses the printing issue that caused the “blackless” cards that year.  The ’90 Thomas card also mentioned the defect that caused his name to be missing on the front.

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Archives Reprints

15 09 2014

I’m doing pretty well with the 2012 Topps Archives insert sets.  It’s not one of my favorite insert sets, but I finished the Reprints set 2 years after Archives was released.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “50 different cards featuring Hall of Famers on classic Topps Reprints.”

OK, reprints are cool, but when Archives came out, Topps had done “Cards Your Mom Threw Out” the year before’s bast Topps set and “60 years of Topps” in 2012 series 1 and 2.  So this just didn’t make sense.  Another redo of an oddball set would have been better.

Set composition:  50 cards, 1:4

Hall of Famers: 34 – Yogi Berra, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Monte Irvin, Ralph Kiner, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Duke Snider, Harmon Killebrew, Sparky Anderson, Brooks Robinson, Cal Yastrzemski, Willie McCovey, Whitey Ford, Juan Marichal, Joe Morgan, Fergie Jenkins, Rod Carew, Catfish Hunter, Jim Palmer, Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount, George Brett, Gary Carter, Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith, Eddie Murray, Willie Stargell, Wade Boggs, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn

How I put the set together:

  • 12 cards from two hobby boxes
  • 2 card from retail packs
  • 4 cards from trades
  • 8 cards from an eBay lot
  • 3 cards from a card show
  • 21 cards from online purchases

Thoughts on the set:  I’m glad they didn’t continue doing this in 2013 and going forward.  Reprinting old cards is far from a unique idea.

Card that completed my set:  1976 George Brett

I picked up Brett from COMC in July.

Highest book value:  1984 Cal Ripken

Best card (my opinion):  1959 George Anderson

If you’re going to do a reprint set – at least it should be an interesting one like a card from Sparky’s playing days.  The 85 Tony Gwynn is up there as well – again, because it’s not an obvious classic, but a solid card that may have been one of the best in the set.

My Favorite Reds card:  The 1973 Joe Morgan is the best one to me.  It beats out the ’69 Bench and the ’81 Seaver.

2012 Archives Reprints

2012 Archives Reprints_0001

2012 Archives Reprints_0002

2012 Archives Reprints_0003

2012 Archives Reprints_0004

2012 Archives Reprints_0006

Saturdays Suds (Baseball & Beer) #52 – Gunther Beer

13 09 2014

My next “Saturday Suds” is one I’ve had as a “to-do” post for quite a while.  Over 2 years ago I did a post about National Bohemian, which was a sponsor for the Washington Senators for a few years and for the Baltimore Orioles for quite a while.  I learned of another beer that had advertised with the Orioles in the past.   Like the Knickerbocker beer from New York that I did last month – Gunther is a defunct brand.


Gunther Beer canBrewery: Gunther Brewing Company in Baltimore, MD

Beer:  Gunther Beer / Gunther Ale

Description:  Gunther’s main product was a lager style beer.  I can’t describe it since it’s been out of production for 40 years!

George Guenther moved from Bavaria to Baltimore in 1881 and started brewing beers shortly thereafter.  He operated his company under a few different names (most using the Gunther/Guenther surname) at first, and opened the main plant for Gunther Brewing Company in 1900 on Conkling Street in what is now Baltimore’s Canton Historic District.  Along with National Bohemian – these two breweries helped give this area the nickname “Brewer’s Hill”.

Making it through prohibition as a bottler and manufacturing company, Gunther was a popular local option along with Natty Boh.  Like many other local breweries, Gunther felt the squeeze in the 1950’s, eventually getting bought up by Hamm’s (a Minneapolis brewery), who discontinued the brand.  When Hamm’s couldn’t penetrate the Baltimore market, Gunther was sold it to Schaefer, who eventually discontinued it in the 1970’s.

Medium:  Like I said it’s defunct – but Gunther was an early proponent of selling beer in cans.

How it’s related to baseball:  Gunther was a beer sponsor for the Baltimore Orioles for quite some time.  Not only the Baltimore Orioles you know of today.  Prior to 1954, that franchise was the St. Louis Browns, and there was a minor league team of the International League that was sponsored by Gunther.

Gunther Orioles minor league

In 1954 when the Browns moved from St. Louis and became the Orioles, Gunther was one of the original sponsors.  There’s an interesting story regarding Gunther and Ernie Harwell, who was the Orioles first play-by-play announcer.  When Gunther became the primary sponsor in 1956, Harwell assumed he would be fired. But when he was meeting a Gunther agency man for lunch, their waiter, unaware who his customers were, asked them to sign a petition to keep Harwell.  The impression worked and Harwell stayed on for a few more years before moving to Detroit.

Gunther had a slogan for the relationship with the new team in town – “Get on the Oriole bandwagon with Gunther”.  They were a sponsor until 1960 when Hamm’s discontinued the product – there was a Gunther ad as the scoreboard sponsor in the outfield.

Gunther Baltimore Memorial Stadium

It went through two separate designs.  The second one had a light up option on the slogan – Happiest Hit in Beer – where the word “hit” would light up to display if the official scorer had ruled a play a hit or error.

Gunther Beer Memorial Stadium ScoreBoard

Hamm’s later took over the sponsorship of the scoreboard until National Bohemian became the primary sponsor in 1965.  But because of the early association with the Orioles, you can find a lot of brewmania – including this Gunther hall of fame statue of Baltimore’s favorite son, Babe Ruth.

Gunther Babe Ruth statue

Today, they’ve turned the old brewery into upscale apartments but stayed true to the Gunther heritage:

Gunther apartments

Completed set – 2011 Allen & Ginter

10 09 2014

I’ve been catching up on a bunch of completed insert sets lately, but I also have a regular set to show off.  It’s been 3 years, and Ginter is a set I’ve only collected in 2011 and 2012 – but I finally finished up 2011 Ginter. This is a pretty big one to complete.  The SP’s aren’t too crazy for Ginter, but this isn’t a set I’ve actively gone after, so I’m glad to get close to it.

Info about my set:

How I put the set (non-SP / then SP) together:

  • 126 (114/12) cards from my first hobby box
  • 98 (86/12) cards from my second hobby box
  • 94 (89/5) cards from trades
  • 5 cards from a card show
  • 25 (6/19) cards from Sportlots
  • 2 SP cards from Check Out My Cards

Card that completed my set: #321 – Mark Reynolds (I got this from Sportlots back in February)

2011 Allen Ginter Reynolds

General Set Info:

Set composition: 350 cards (299 current players, 1 retired player, 15 historic figures, 35 World’s Champions)

Earliest active player from this set: #7 – Mickey Mantle (retired players), #204 – Jim Thome (active players)

2011 Allen Ginter oldest player Mantle Thome

There’s two answers to this – Thome is the earliest active player out of players who were playing when the set came out.  Thome made his debut of September 4, 1991.  But Mantle is the earliest (and only) retired player – debuting April 17, 1951.  I didn’t realize back in 2011 that Mantle was the only retired player in this set.  Today’s Ginter sets are different – guys like Aaron and Mays are found all over the set.

Player with the most cards in the set: every player has just 1

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Carlos Gonzalez, #100 – Albert Pujols, #200 – Josh Hamilton, #300 – Ryan Braun

2011 Allen Ginter first and hundreds

Highest book value: #262 – Manny Pacquiao

Most notable card: #262 – Manny Pacquiao

2011 Allen Ginter Pacquiao

Including Pacquiao was a big deal, and he’s the most valuable card.  I think he’s also the most notable, because this was the boxing legend’s first card of any kind.  His autograph in this product still sells for a killing. I will say that there is an argument that the next card is actually the most notable.

Best card (my opinion): #147 – George W. Bush

2011 Allen Ginter George W Bush

This is a great card.  It’s Bush throwing out the first pitch in game 3 of the 2001 World Series – the first Series game in New York after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  You don’t have to be a Republican or like “43” to appreciate that.  He autographed some cards as well.

Second best card (also my opinion): #298 – Peter Gammons

2011 Allen Ginter Gammons

I don’t think you can beat HOF announcer Peter Gammons.  If not for the really cool card of the former prez – I’d say this was my favorite card!

Best subset card: N/A

Favorite action photo: #220 – Prince Fielder

2011 Allen Ginter best action Prince Fielder

This card looks like Fielder is in a college football game.  A&G isn’t really made for action shots – though they work a bit better for this design than others.

Favorite non-action photo: #265 – Buster Posey

2011 Allen Ginter best non action Posey

I don’t love the design for this Ginter set, but this is a “pose” card that seems to fit well with the Ginter look.

My Favorite Reds card: #80 – Joey Votto

2011 Allen Ginter Joey Votto

There aren’t any Reds cards that stick out, so I’m going with the guy who was the reigning MVP.

Other Notable Cards: I think I’ve covered quite a few, but here’s a few more notable cards from the non-baseball portion of this set.

2011 Allen Ginter other notables

Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Heritage Then and Now

8 09 2014

This is the third of the “standard” insert sets in 2013 Topps Heritage that I’ve completed.  I’ve still got quite a few more to go for 2013 Heritage, but I guess it’s good to get one of the easy ones out of the way.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Statistical comparison of a 1964 player vs a 2012 player who were the leaders in statistical categories”.  The front shows the 2012 Major League leader in a specified category next to a player who was in the top 10 in the same category in 1964.  The reverse shows the MLB top-10 in that statistic for both years.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:15 odds (2013 Topps Heritage)

Hall of Famers:  10 players – every retired player in this set is a Hall-of-Famer.

Aparicio, Bunning, Clemente, Ford, Gibson, Killebrew, Koufax, Mathews, Marichal, Brooks Robinson

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from 2 hobby boxes
  • 5 cards from Sportlots
  • 1 cards from Check Out My Cards

Thoughts on the set:  Like most Heritage sets, this is one that returns each year for Heritage.  This set gets limited by the older players Topps signed to be part of the Heritage brand.  Topps got half of the actual MLB leaders from 1964 into this set.  More detail is at the bottom.

Like last year’s set, I hate when they don’t number sets – these are “lettered”.  Second, Topps was all about re-using photos for the current players.  Most are the same picture as the player’s league leader card.

Card that completed my set: #TN-AT – Luis Aparicio / Mike Trout

I got the last card from COMC in May.

Highest book value: #TN-AT – Luis Aparicio / Mike Trout

Trout is about the most valuable current player, and he drives this card to the top per Beckett’s book value.

Best card (my opinion): #TN-KK – Sandy Koufax / Clayton Kershaw

The Koufax Kershaw card is awesome because a) they are both lefties, b) they are both lefties who pitch for the Dodgers, c) they are both lefties who pitch for the Dodgers who led the league in the years depicted, and finally – this was the same tandem in 2012 Heritage since both guys led the league in 2011/1963!

The Eddie Mathews Adam Dunn card was close – it’s just funny to see “the Donkey” on one of these cards.  Also, I was shocked that in 2012, Dunn was the only player with over 100 walks.

Best Reds card: None in the set.  Kind of depressing they couldn’t get a league leader in 2012 or back in 1964.

2013 Heritage Then & Now


2013 Heritage Then & Now_0001

Here’s the Statistic associated with each card and where the 1964 player ranked in the majors in that stat if they didn’t lead (and who actually did lead if they weren’t first):

  • TN-AT – SB:  Trout / Aparicio
  • TN-BV – IP:  J. Verlander / J. Bunning (4th, Don Drysdale led MLB)
  • TN-CP – Batting:  B. Posey / R. Clemente
  • TN-FH – SHO:  F. Hernandez / W. Ford (2nd behind Dean Chance)
  • TN-KV – K:  J. Verlander / B. Gibson (2nd behind Bob Veale)
  • TN-KC – HR:  M. Cabrera / H. Killebrew
  • TN-KK – ERA:  Kershaw / Koufax (2nd behind Dean Chance, but Koufax did lead the NL)
  • TN-MD – BB:  Dunn / Mathews (7th, Norm Siebern led MLB)
  • TN-MG – W:  G. Gonzalez / J. Marichal (2nd behind Larry Jackson
  • TN-RC – RBI:  M. Cabrera / B. Robinson (2nd behind Ken Boyer, but Brooks led the AL)

Completed set & master set – one last look at 2012 Topps Heritage

5 09 2014

After finishing up the JFK and stick-on insert sets over the past two months, I’ve finished my “master set” for 2012 Topps Heritage.  The Update set is also included below – it’s sort of sequentially numbered, except Topps made a mistake with the numbering, making Update 576 to 675, which inexplicably skips card #’s 501-575.

Info about my set:

How I put the set (non-SP / SP) together:

  • 200 (192/8) cards from my 1st hobby box
  • 200 (192/8) cards from my 2nd hobby box
  • 9 base cards from various retail packs
  • 46 (31/15) cards from trades
  • 5 (1/4) cards from Sportlots
  • 9 SP cards from eBay lots
  • 4 SP cards from a card show
  • 27 SP cards from Check Out My Cards
  • 100 card update set purchased directly from Topps

Card that completed my set: #480 – Carlos Gonzalez (1 of 10 SP cards I got from a Check Out My Cards purchase)

2012 Heritage 480 CarGo last card

General Set Info:

Base Set composition: 500 cards (423 individual player cards, 18 managers, 10 League Leaders, 11 Combination cards, 7 World Series Highlights, 12 Team Cards, 19 Rookie Parade)

Base Set & Update composition: 600 cards (515 individual player cards, 8 duplicate players in Update*, 18 managers, 10 League Leaders, 11 Combination cards, 7 World Series Highlights, 12 Team Cards, 19 Rookie Parade)

* – Cody Ross, Ichiro, Juan Pierre, Johnny Damon, Edwin Jackson, Chris Iannetta, Bobby Abreu, Marco Scutaro are all featured on their new team

Earliest active current player from this set: #605 – Jamie Moyer

2012 Heritage 605 oldest Jamie Moyer

When I’ve done this for other sets – I do “last active player”, but for Heritage I do the earliest player.  For last year’s set it was Pudge, but he retired in between 2011 and 2012.  And there’s an even earlier player in this set – much earlier than Pudge, actually.  Jamie Moyer is in the Update set with the Rockies; he made his debut on June 16, 1986.  It would be interesting to know how many players from the set were born after Moyer’s debut!

Jim Thome has the earliest debuts from cards in the regular set (card #296) – he made his debut September 4, 1991.

2012 Heritage 296 oldest Jim Thome

Player with the most cards in the set:  Adron Chambers – 6 cards.

For some unknown reason, Topps put some of the rookie crop on multiple Rookie Parade cards.  Chambers had the most, as he was featured on 5 Rookie Parade cards.  He also has a single player card.

Chambers – #54, 95, 208, 265, 321 (Rookie Parade), #458

2012 Heritage Adron Chambers most cards

Justin Verlander had the most cards if you don’t count Topps strange decision on the rookie thing.  He has 5 cards – 3 league leader cards to honor each statistic from the pitching triple crown he won, a combo card and his base card.

Verlander – #6, 8, 10 (League Leaders), #218 (Tigers Twirlers), #44

2012 Heritage Justin Verlander most cards

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – NL Batting Leaders, #100 – Paul Konerko, #200 – Curtis Granderson, #300 – Carlos Beltran, #400 – Jay Bruce, #500 – Michael Cuddyer, #600 – Yu Darvish

2012 Heritage #1 and 100s_0001

Highest book value: #650 – Bryce Harper RC (see below)

Of course the Update set would get this since it had fairly limited production of 1,000 sets.  Harper’s card is currently valued at ~$60 by Beckett.  From the base set, David Wright, Eric Hosmer and Ichiro all have SP cards valued at $10.

Most notable card: #650 – Bryce Harper RC

2012 Heritage 650 Bryce Harper

Harper isn’t my favorite guy out there, but it’s hard to pick anything but his card as particularly “notable”.

Best card (my opinion): #279 – Matt Kemp

2012 Heritage Matt Kemp best card

Great picture of the guy who looked like he would have the title best player in baseball when this set came out.  Unfortunately, injuries have kept that from happening, but here’s hoping he turns that around.  This was one I didn’t even have to think about or go through cards – I’ve known this was my favorite card from the set.

Second best card (also my opinion): #44 – Justin Verlander (see above)

Verlander was just off my medal stand in 2011 Heritage, but I’m putting him as the runner-up for 2012.  This nudges out the card for Jose Bautista which I also really like.  I may like the Bautista photo just a little better.  But Verlander was coming off a historic season – winning the pitching triple crown and the AL MVP – when this card was released, so that makes it better for me.

Best subset card:  #331 – “World Series Foes” (Pujols / Hamilton)

2012 Heritage Pujols Hamilton best subset

Kudos to Topps with the foresight here!  These guys now play on the same team, moving places as the back to back “biggest free agent signings” in the 2012 and 2013 off-seasons. This card beats out a combo card of Mo Rivera and Joe Girardi.

Favorite action photo: #248 – Kosuke Fukudome

2012 Heritage Fukudome best action

There aren’t many action cards in the Heritage set, but this is a good one.

Favorite non-action photo: #279 – Kemp (see above)

I couldn’t decide if I would count the Kemp in this category.  It is clearly a pose, so I decided it counts – otherwise I’d have put Verlander here.

My Favorite Reds card: #304 – Brandon Phillips

2012 Heritage Phillips pack

Brandon always has great photos.  This is an easy winner.  I’m using a previous picture where I had shown him next to a pack – hence why that wrapper is shown here.

Other Notable Cards: Here’s that Bautista card as well as 2 other cards I thought were fairly notable – a Cespedes RC and Ichiro as a Yankee (both from the Update portion of the set).

2012 Bautista Cespedes_0001

My Master” Set Info:

698 cards – 600 “base”, 98 “insert”

  • Insert sets: New Age Performers, Baseball Flashbacks, News Flashbacks, Then & Now, Stick-Ons, JFK Story

How I put the additional sets together: Boxes, packs, card shows, trades and online – various sources, just like I did with the full base set.  I covered each insert set in earlier posts.

General Insert Set Info:

Most notable insert card of any type: 1963 Buybacks #537 – Pete Rose and others

2012 Heritage buyback Rose RC

To me this is unquestionably the most notable card from this product.  The buyback card above was on eBay about a month after release with a BIN of $1,999.  I’m surprised I hadn’t read more about it earlier.  It’s kind of a big deal on a couple of levels – including the fact that they put a stamp on a Pete Rose rookie.  But the bigger deal was – this was the first Pete Rose card since 1989 inserted into a Topps product.  I think it may have been allowable since it’s a buyback – not really a new card.

Best Autograph or Relic card: Heritage Real One Special Edition #ROA-WM – Willie Mays

2012 Heritage Willie Mays Real One

Topps got Willie Mays back in the fold in 2013, and this is one of the coolest autographed cards of him out there.  Not only is it a reprint, but it’s one of the better pictures on Willie’s older Topps cards.

Best Insert card: Image Swap Variation #279 – Matt Kemp

2012 Heritage Matt Kemp

The regular inserts are a bit bland – don’t get me wrong, I like them, but nothing sticks out.  This is one of the few variations that Topps did that was cool.  They switched the image from the bottom of the card with the front of the card.  That’s a variation that makes sense to me – unlike a “color” or “logo” variation that just doesn’t seem cool or special in any way.  I love this Kemp card because both the main picture and the picture in the circle are great shots – so the swap variation is another awesome card!

Best Reds insert card of any type: 1963 Buybacks #537 – Pete Rose and others

Obviously you wouldn’t be able to beat this as a Reds fan.  But there’s also a Frank Robinson flashback relic that would be a pretty awesome pull as well.


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