As mentioned yesterday, I went ahead and picked up the Topps Heritage High Numbers box. It was a bit of a controversy on the blogosphere, mostly given the price point of 100 bucks. Actually, it’s $99.95, which kind of sucks because you get free shipping with orders over $100 – so I ordered another item along with it. I’ll cover that at a later date.
Anyways, it is clearly a money grab by Topps, and I do understand some of the frustration that collectors have – it’s hard enough to complete the Heritage set with the SP’s from cards 426-500, and throwing this on top probably makes people regret that they attempted it. I think it may be a bad long-term move by Topps. Heritage seems popular in set collector’s circles, and while they may get some short-term cash out of this move, they could run off collectors for next year’s set. I wish that it had been announced earlier – I probably would have avoided Topps Mini if I knew this was coming out. Topps got my money for both of their “online-only” products here, but I’m not sure I’ll fall for the same trick next year!
If the price point had been $50 – I think you’d see a lot less complaints, and even some people saying it was pretty cool to do a boxed set like what Topps Traded used to be – only for Heritage. But there are some other things that they kind of screwed up with the product:
First – take a look at the box. I was hoping this was just a promo photo, but they did in fact make the box in the green design of 2011 Heritage / 1962 Topps – not the yellow and red that matches 1963 Topps packaging.
Second, what the hell is the deal with the numbering? The Topps Heritage set ends at 500. This High Numbers set starts at 576 and goes to 675.
Both of these scream as simply not paying attention to detail by Topps. The first one is clearly the case, whereas I’ve read the second one may be some surprise in the future with 75 filler cards. Who knows – since they messed up the first one, you’ve got to think the numbering may just be a goof as well. For some products like prospect-driven Bowman, stuff like this probably doesn’t matter. For a product like Heritage – that plays on the history Topps has and people’s connection to those designs and products – it most certainly does matter! These two things frankly bug me more than the price. I love Heritage, and I particularly like the 1963 design. I’m a little hesitant to pay 100 bucks, but I’m definitely willing. I just wish when I paid that Benjamin, Topps put the attention to detail deserved by that price.
OK, all that said, it is a pretty neat buy during the off-season of baseball card collecting. Here’s the base cards from set. They have a bunch of players that you’d think they would from the Topps set – guys with new uniforms or rookies.
They also have some players who just weren’t in the base set – guys who had surprisingly good performances in 2012 that now get put into Heritage. This happens when you do things like pitch a perfect game, hit a bunch of homers, come back from Tommy John surgery, step up as a solid starting catcher for a pennant winner … or … take performance enhancing drugs.
There are also a few “New England leftovers” after the fire sale trade that Boston had last season. It certainly will be a different Red Sox team next year – Cody Ross is the only veteran in the group below, and he’s a free agent.
On the flip side, there are no photo-shopped cards of the Miami fire sale that happened a few days ago :)
There are 4 guys in the set who have rookie cards in this set – but the back of their card has a full set of Japanese league stats!
And you have your more traditional rookies – 4 of the 6 guys who were finalists for the Rookie of the Year award (Mike Trout and Todd Frazier were both in the 2012 regular set). Of course the Harper is the big card from this set – and frankly he is probably the reason Topps created this set. On a side note, I really thought Miley should have been the NL ROY.
There are a few guys who I had to wonder – could this be their last card?
Then you have some guys that would have been in your typical traded set – guys who switched teams in the 2011/2012 offseason via free agency or a trade. This is a neat group of players – they all had a significant impact by keeping their new teams as playoff contenders.
And there were quite a few guys who were traded mid-season. Ichiro is the most notable, though Scutaro obviously had the biggest impact on the end result of the baseball season. Like Cody Ross two years ago – he was a mid-season acquisition whose postseason heroics led the Giants to the title.
One last thing – I did a little research, there are only 8 guys who have cards in both the Heritage regular set and the high numbers set – all because of changing teams. That’s fewer than I would have guessed – so Topps did get a bunch of guys into the set who otherwise wouldn’t have been by doing this high numbers thing.
- Edwin Jackson
- Chris Iannetta