This is the third of the “standard” insert sets in 2012 Topps Heritage that I’ve completed. After this, I’ve still got the “New Age Performers” insert set (1 more card), the Stick-Ons and the JFK variations (1 more card as well) to finish up. Plus a few SPs still as well.
Info about the set:
Set description: “10 cards comparing statistical performances of a player from 1963 and a current star”. The front shows the 2011 Major League leader in a specified category next to a player who was in the top 10 in the same category in 1963. The reverse shows the MLB top-10 in that statistic for both years. The players’ names are in a black box with yellow writing and a star saying “63 Then” and “Now 12″.
Set composition: 10 cards, 1:15 odds.
Hall of Famers: 8 players – every retired player in this set is a Hall-of-Famer, however, Juan Marichal and Sandy Koufax are featured twice.
Koufax, Aaron, Yastrzemski, Marichal, Killebrew, Spahn, Mathews, Aparicio
How I put the set together:
4 cards from 2 hobby boxes
4 cards from trades
1 cards from Check Out My Cards
1 cards from Sportlots
Thoughts on the set: Like a few others, 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. Still, Topps got almost every single leader from 1963 into this set. In fact, they got all but two – they put Carl Yastrzemski on the average card instead of Tommy Davis. Davis had the highest average in the majors, but Yaz was the AL batting champion. And Warren Spahn is on the Shutout card instead of Koufax (whom they could have used as he was on two other cards). Willie Mays would have been a cool option in the set, but he didn’t lead in any traditional stats in 1963.
Two things I don’t like here. First, I hate when they don’t number sets – these are “lettered”. Second, Topps used the same photo for the current players as the base card. I wish they’d have either a) used a second photo, or b) copied both – meaning they’d use the photo from the older player’s 1963 Topps card as well. I do like how putting the cards next to each other in the scan below creates an optical illusion as if the cards are slanted.
Card that completed my set: #TN-MV – Juan Marichal / Justin Verlander
I got the last card from Sportlots last month.
Highest book value: TN-KK – Koufax / Kershaw, TN-KV – Koufax / Verlander, TN-AK, Aaron / Kemp
Mickey Mantle isn’t in this set (and neither is Jeter from a current player standpoint), so all of the cards book for fairly similar amounts.
Best card (my opinion): #TN-MB – Eddie Mathews / Jose Bautista
The photos on this card are both very good. The card with Aaron and Kemp is also really nice. Kershaw and Kemp – Dodger Cy Youngs – is also cool.
Best Reds card: None in the set. Kind of depressing they couldn’t get a league leader in either year.
Here’s the Statistic associated with each card and where the 1963 player ranked in the majors in that stat if they didn’t lead (and who actually did lead if they weren’t first):
- TN-AB – SB: M. Bourn / L. Aparicio (he tied for the major league lead with Maury Wills)
- TN-AK – RBI: M. Kemp / H. Aaron
- TN-KB – HR: J. Bautista / H. Killebrew
- TN-KK – ERA: C. Kershaw / S. Koufax
- TN-KV – K: J. Verlander / S. Koufax
- TN-MB – BB: J. Bautista / E. Mathews
- TN-MS – IP: J. Shields (Verlander was the league leader, Shields was 2nd – not sure why Topps passed over Verlander) / J. Marichal
- TN-MV – W: J. Verlander / J. Marichal (tied with Koufax for the MLB lead)
- TN-SL – IP: C. Lee / W. Spahn (2nd behind Koufax)
- TN-YC – SHO: M. Cabrera / C. Yastrzemski (2nd behind Tommy Davis)