2011 Heritage & 1962 Topps Variations

30 04 2011

It seems like one of the big things in 2011 Topps Heritage is all the variations.  As I’m learning, this isn’t unusual for a Topps baseball product – but it’s also a throwback to the 1962 set.  I’d never bought Heritage before, so maybe this has always been status quo for Topps Heritage.  I have been / will be trying to collect (though with no sense of urgency) the Jackie Robinson Special, and Reds from the Heritage variations – which means basically the Tinted versions of Arroyo, Gomes, Volquez and manager Dusty.

Green Tint (along with Red & Blue)

The first variation of note is on nearly 100 cards.  The entire second series of 1962 Topps has a variation where the cards were printed with a green tint.  Topps had moved printing to a different plant, and the printing plates were slightly damaged in the process.  This created cards with a green tint variation for the last cards run of printing in the 2nd series.  Some of the plates were so damaged that Topps needed to include new photos for those cards – this resulted in a number of variations involving the photos in the 2nd series – from “cap-less” versions (Wally Moon, Carlton Willey), to portraits instead of poses (Lee Walls, Ed Yost, Bill Kunkel) to different caps (Bob Buhl, Willie Tasby).  The Moon on the right below is the green tint.

Of course, Topps copied this issue in the 2011 Heritage set.  Cards #110-196, which are the card numbers from the second series in 1962, also have an SP green tint variation.  The green tint cards are pretty rare – coming 1 every 108 packs.  Topps took this craziness a bit further, with retail-only red (Target) and blue (Wal-mart) tint variations.  Those cards come 1 per 6 packs.

The Arroyo is a good imitation of cards with the same picture, however, Topps also did different photos of some cards just like in 1962.

The Sultan of Swat, Joba the Hutt, and… Porky?

Card #139 had quite a bit of confusion.  The correct version is the “Babe hits 60” card from the Babe Ruth subset.  This card has a green tint variation in 1962 – and, as this subset was copied in 2011 – it has the green, red & blue tints in this year’s Heritage set.  Not too confusing yet, right?  Well, Hal Reniff (nickname – Porky) was a Yankee relief pitcher with card #159.  Porky’s intended card showed him in a portrait, but the “green tint” print showed him in a pitching pose – AND some of his cards were incorrectly numbered as 139 on the back.  So there are 4 potential versions of card #139 from the set (regular Ruth, green Ruth, regular portrait Reniff, green pitching pose Reniff) – though the Reniff’s were really supposed to be card #139.

Babe #139 (Heritage & Topps)

Reniff 159 (regular)

Reniff 139 (Green tint)

Joba Chamberlain is card #159 in the Heritage set.  The regular (portrait) card is #159, while the pitching pose and its green/blue/red tinted variations are card #139.  I’m not positive if there is or isn’t a regular (non-tinted) card #159 (I think – the picture of the card below I snagged off eBay and doesn’t look tint – but it could be a blue tint).

#139 - SP

#159

’62 errors and ’11 variations

There were a number of errors in 1962 that were copied for the 2011 Heritage set.  These variants are “super-short prints”, but Topps never released the odds.

  • ’62 Topps #521 – Jacke Davis RC.  On the front, he was correctly listed as an outfielder.  On the back, he’s listed as a pitcher.  Since the Heritage set only goes to 500, Topps did this in ’11 Heritage for #125 – Vladimir Guerrero.  There is a super short print variation that lists him as a pitcher on the back.

  • ’62 Topps #279 – Hobie Landrith.  The back of the card shows him as born in 1954 (no, he wasn’t an 8-year old major leaguer).    Bengie Molina.  Variation shows his birth year as 1994 (Hobie Landrith)

  • ’62 Topps – #392 – Ken Boyer.  Boyer’s card has his .329 average from 1961 (which is impressive) incorrecly listed as .392 (which would have been the best in 20 years).  On the same card # in the Heritage set, Ryan Zimmerman’s SSP variation card had his .307 flipped to .370.

  • ’62 Topps #478 – Don Zimmer.  Zimmer was traded to the Reds early in 1962, but the only picture Topps had was him in a Mets cap.  The card listed him as Red, but showed him as a Met.  David Wright got the equivalent in the Heritage set – the Super-Short Print pictures him as the Met he’s always been, but lists him as being with Cincy.  Maybe the Mets will trade him to us and pick up most of his salary…

  • ’62 Topps #490 – Clete Boyer.  Ken’s brother Clete was shown batting from the wrong side – the card was a reverse negative.  The Heritage SSP variation features a reverse negative of Alex Rodriguez (the card on the left is the reverse negative).

Jackie Robinson subset – 10 cards (1:50 – hobby only)

The 10-card Ruth subset has an inserted variation where Jackie Robinson’s career highlights replace those of the Babe.  This set is inserted at 1:50 packs.  Additionally, this subset has a relic variation #’d out of 42.  Honestly, I kind of wish they had made the base cards the Jackie Robinson subset.  It doesn’t make sense to basically reprint the same Ruth subset.  They could have still done the Robinson relics in the same manner, and either a) not had a different player variation insert, or b) done it for Bob Feller.  Feller was the other Hall of Fame inductee in 1962, and that would certainly have made a good subset – particularly appropriate given Feller’s recent passing.  This would have been a great way to honor him.  Regardless, I’m collecting the Robinson insert set – below are the two cards I have so far.

Jackie Robinson Special Relics – 10 cards (1:1,777; #/42 – hobby only)

The relic is NOT something I own, it’s a picture sniped off eBay.  And it’s pretty sweet – I wish I had pulled one of these.





To-Night Owl (I’ll) order some Nachos Grande

29 04 2011

The title is my lame attempt to copy a trend I’ve seen on a couple other blogs when they complete a trade.  Well, recently I completed trades with Greg over at Night Owl Cards and Chris over at Nachos Grande.  Both guys run two blogs I check out regularly, so it’s appropriate to put their trades in the same post.

Chris is a Reds fan much like myself, while Greg roots for the dreaded Dodgers.  Chris has a great blog and he puts more into it than almost any one I’ve seen – he sometime posts 2-3x a day!  Like I said – he’s a Reds fan, so that means he’s got a good head on his shoulder and probably hates the Dodgers just like me.  If you lived in the 80’s and early 90’s as a Reds fan – you did not like the Dodgers.  Now, I know – the Giants are their main rival – but that’s so 1950’s New York.  The Dodgers won the pennant for 2 years after the Big Red Machine was broken up, and they always seemed to be the NL West champ while my Reds racked up 2nd place after 2nd place.  I’m convinced the Dodgers engineered the 1981 players’ strike just to ensure there would be some crazy circumstance where the Reds would become the only MLB team in history to have the best record in the league to not make the playoffs.  This sleight of hand led the Dodgers to win a World Series that should obviously have an asterisk by it.  That out of the way – I’d like to point out that Greg actually seems pretty cool for a Dodgers fan.  He’s got a great blog that is probably the one I visit the most.  Plus, I’ve moved on to hating a different NL team (the only NL team with more World Series wins than ‘Dem Bums).  Yes, like Brandon Phillips, I now hate the St. Louis Cardinals!

{Trivia question – what 3 NL franchises have more WS wins than the Reds?  Answer – I named all three in the paragraph above}

I sent Greg a Don Mattingly chrome from this year’s Heritage and a couple other Dodger cards – he sent me a bunch of single cards I needed for some of my sets.  This is the 2nd trade I’ve completed with Greg, so he’s certainly helped me with this project and with completing some of my other set attempts.  Below are a few of the cards I received. 

Most importantly – this finished off the 1987 Topps set for me.  I’ll need to do a “finished post” on that – something for next month.  I’ve now completed ’86 & ’87 – not the rarest sets in the history of Topps, but the ’87 set is one of my favorites.  So, thanks for the trade Greg!

Chris and I basically swapped some 2011 Heritage cards to help each other work on that set.  I sent Chris a few 1985 Topps cards and he sent me a 1979 Topps Ozzie Smith RC – the super glossy parallel!!!!  Just kidding – this is just the Yo Momma version.  I’m so honest – you’d never know if I hadn’t told you.  Here’s a few highlights from that trade – thanks Chris!





2011 Heritage vs. 1962 Topps

28 04 2011

For my 2011 Heritage “retro break” from the Topps base project, I’ve already done scans of Reds cards and the ASR Team. This is the post with the rest of the notable cards from the 2 sets.  Sit back and enjoy – this is a really long post – but I think you’ll like it.  I’m trying to compare the 62 card with the Heritage set, and I’m keeping track, too.  Let me know if you disagree!

First, I’ll go with my favorite card of the set.  I mentioned this in a couple of previous posts – the first autograph I remember getting was a Whitey Ford onto a 1962 Topps Card.  The Chairman of the Board still has more World Series wins than any other pitcher – he had card #310 in the ’62 set.  Card #310 from the Heritage set is the pitcher with more playoff victories than any other – another Yankee hurler, Andy Pettite.  Whitey’s great pose beats Andy’s silly look.  In Pettitte’s defense – Whitey doesn’t have to be nervous about testifying against Roger Clemens this summer.

Advantage Whitey – 62 Topps leads 1-0.

Second, I’ll go with the first card in the set.  In 1962 topps, this was reigning AL MVP Roger Maris, who had just broken Babe Ruth’s single season home run record.  For Topps Heritage, it was again the reigning AL MVP – Josh Hamilton.  Both guys made the World Series the year before, though Hamilton’s Rangers lost while the Yankees were coming off of a sweep of the Reds.

This is a tough matchup for Heritage – that Hamilton would beat just about any other card in the ’62 set.  But I’m not putting it over the #1 card from the year after Maris passed the Babe.  Advantage Maris – 62 Topps leads 2-0.

Another very recognizable card in this set is card #5 of Sandy Koufax.  There’s two Heritage cards to show here along with Sandy’s base card from the ’62.  First, Topps included another Dodger star pitcher at card #5 for the Heritage set – Clayton Kershaw.  Additionally, since Koufax is a spokesman this year – Topps included the same photo as a “Real One” autograph insert this year.

If it was just the Kershaw, this one wouldn’t be close – however, getting the extremely rare signature of Koufax onto a reprint of the original card. Advantage Koufax/Kershaw – ’62 Topps leads 2-1.

Next up is card #10 – that of the famous Roberto Clemente. How tough must the National League All-Star Team been to pick in the early 60’s – Aaron, Mays, Clemente and Frank Robinson – all at their peak!  Topps could have done a couple of things here – maybe go with a star from the Dominican, but I’m glad they went with the Pirates up-and-coming star outfielder Andrew McCutcheon.  I’ll give a lot of credit for matching this up perfectly.

But I’m still going with the original! Clemente’s cards are always awesome and 1962 Topps is no exception.  Advantage Clemente – 62 Topps leads 3-1.

Here’s another great parallel between the 2 sets.  A famous Baltimore Oriole shown on his Rookie Card – card #99 Boog (I guess his first name is John) Powell.  Boog has a barbecue pit out on Eutaw Street in Camden Yards – and you can see him roaming there from time to time.  Topps put another Oriole rookie – First Baseman Brandon Snyder – on the same card in this year’s Heritage set.

It’s hard to go against Boog on this one, but that scan doesn’t lie – that Snyder card looks like it’s in high-definition.  Given the Oriole rookie matchup makes perfect sense, I’m giving the advantage to Heritage and Snyder – 62 Topps leads 3-2

Topps had another rookie connection with 2 young pitchers, some 50 years apart.  The 2nd most notable RC in the ’62 set is future spit-baller Gaylord Perry, card #199.  I don’t recognize the card, but it’s pretty cool with the blue background.  Topps put a high-profile rookie pitcher at card #199 for the Heritage set – flamethrower Aroldis Chapman.  Here’s hoping Chapman has half the success in the Majors that Perry did.  My Reds could use it!

Either way, this is the easiest choice in favor of Heritage – the clarity of the Chapman picture dominates the Perry rookie.  Advantage Chapman – 11 Heritage ties it up 3-3.

Another notable RC is that of the doomed Ken Hubbs.  Hubbs won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1962 as the first rookie to win a Gold Glove.  He had replaced Don Zimmer at second, and showed a lot of promise as Ernie Banks double play mate.  However, 2 years later, he died in a tragic plane crash.  The counterpart in the Heritage set is Dodgers rookie Russ Mitchell.  I wonder how Mitchell feels about being that counterpart.  Also – I like that Topps mirrored the white rookie star for the Heritage card. 

I don’t even know who Russ Mitchell is – and I’m not going against a guy who died tragically – Advantage Hubbs, 62 Topps retakes the lead 4-3.

As I mentioned, there was an even more historic RC in the ’62 set.  It’s the 2nd RC of a Hall-of-Famer – in addition to a 300-game winner, this set boasts a 3,000-hit club member and the one-time all-time SB leader.  Lou Brock, who was also with the Cubs at the time, but made his fame as a speedster for the St. Louis Cardinals.  Young speedster Desmond Jennings in the Rays minor league system was given Brock’s card #387 for this set.

3000 hits, 938 SB, and this card is particularly cool because he did most of that after the lovable losers let him go – enough said.  Advantage Brock – 62 Topps leads 5-3.

Moving on from Rookies, let’s do a manager.  Much like the fledgling 1962 Mets, this year’s Metropolitans look to be really bad and to have a new manager with card #39.  Casey Stengel is one of 3 guys with a retired number in Queens – one of the others is another manager (Gil Hodges), while Tom Seaver is the only player with his jersey honored.  Stengel is also the only man to wear the uniform of all 4 New York teams – the Yankees, Mets, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants.

These cards are both terrible – I almost want to give Stengel the point for being bad in an old-school kind of way that’s actually good.  But alas, no points awarded!

Speaking of managers – here’s another good comparison.  If you’re a Dodger fan – you’ll love that they got this one right.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the Walter Alston from the 1962 set – with all the bats this is definitely a card I recognize.  But this year’s Dodger manager might be just as big of a deal – the first Dodger card of Don Mattingly as the team’s manager.  He’ll never make the Hall of Fame as a player, but it’s hard to imagine someone who was a bigger sports star than Donnie Baseball in the mid 80’s.

This is a tough one.  The Alston card is very cool.  But Donnie Baseball is cooler, and the Mattingly card is actually kind of a big deal.  Advantage Mattingly – 62 Topps leads 5-4.

Card #200 is reserved for 2 of the all-time Yankee greats – the Commerce Comet in 1962 Topps and the Yankee Captain in 2011 Heritage.  Mantle is the all-time leading home run hitter in World Series history with 18, while Jeter has nearly an entire extra season of statistics if you count his postseason career.  No player is even close to his 180+ career hits in the postseason, and his number is still counting.

This is not one of the better cards of Mantle in his run of Topps cards, but it’s not a great card of Jeter either.  I’ll split this one – it’s cool that they copied the portrait shot in the Heritage set.  62 Topps leads 5.5-4.5

Here’s some more Yankees.  I know, I know – it’s Yankee overload and Topps is worse than ESPN with the Yankee overkill.  But, how could I not include the great Yogi Berra!  Even Yankee haters have to love a guy named after the Jellystone National Park hero from the same era?  And – his counterpart is, naturally, Jorge Posada.  It just fits – both guys are primarily known as a Yankee catcher, but both weren’t really playing all that much catcher by the time they got put in this set.

Though both guys look kind of nervous in this pose (probably wondering how much longer they can hang on in the Bronx) – it is a very cool card of Yogi.  Advantage Berra – 62 Topps leads 6.5-4.5.

OK – there’s some really good cards from some non-Yanks in this set.  Here’s a couple of MVP first baseman from the Twins’ franchise who also had the same card number.  Harmon Killebrew and Josh Morneau both had card #70.  After a number of close calls, Killebrew won his only AL MVP in 1969 by hitting 49 HR with 140 RBI.  Morneau matched “the Killer” with an MVP in 2006 – he had 34 HR & 130 RBI to go with a .321 average.

I went back and forth on this one – both are really great cards.  I like the overcast background for Morneau, but the upper deck in the background and the batting stance for Killebrew are solid as well. I’m splitting the difference here as well – 1/2 a point each – 62 Topps leads 7-5

Staying in the same division – here’s another MVP from the ’62 set.  In 1962, Nellie Fox was at the end of a career that would land him in the Hall of Fame.  His counterpart in the set is an up-and-coming White Sox second baseman.  Gordon Beckham had a solid rookie campaign a couple of years ago, and he’s still more of a prospect than anything.  That said – he’s only 10 behind Fox’s 35 career home runs.

The background in both of these cards is interesting.  But it’s more interesting in Fox’s card – does anyone know what park that is (this is not a rhetorical question – I don’t know the answer)?  Advantage Fox – 62 Topps is pulling away 8-5.

There’s a couple more great “counterparts” to point out here.  In the same division as the last couple duos – here is the best Tiger player from the 60’s along with the best Tiger from today.  The Cabrera was one of the cards Topps put on the sell sheet – and the picture and coloring to this card just really works.  Same is true with the Kaline.  I saw Cabrera at a bar in Orlando once when I was there for a training – he was hammered; unfortunately this was an omen of things to come.  I hope he cleans up.  This card would be my favorite tandem, if not for the next one.

Advantage Cabrera – this card is tremendous, maybe my favorite in the set except for the Hamilton.  62 Topps leads 8-6.

I’ll give you one guess who got the same card number as Stan “the Man” Musial.  Here’s a hint – he’s the other Cardinal with 3 MVP awards.  As of now, Stan is the greatest Cardinal of them all, but Pujols is right on his heels.  It will be interesting to see how the contract situation goes after this year.  Pujols could go down as the best Cardinal ever, but as a Reds fan I’m hoping he goes to another team (and I don’t mean the Cubs!)  As much as I hate the Cardinals – this comparison may be my favorite.  Two noticeable batting stances shown here.

I can’t decide on these, and as a Reds fan, that means I get to subtract a point from both guys for being Cardinals.  62 Topps leads 7-5.

OK, this one is actually my favorite duo.  Braves 3rd Baseman? Check.  All-time great, clear-cut hall-of-famer?  Check.  Card #30? Check.  Awesome card? Check.  Historic Sports Illustrated cover?  Wait – I don’t think Chipper has one of those.  But he should – he’s a great player, love, hate or indifference to the Braves.  I wonder who is considered the greater Braves 3rd Baseman?  I’d have to go with Mathews, but it’s kind of crazy to keep Chipper off the all-time Braves starting lineup – he’s the 3rd best hitter in the franchise’s history.

The Mathews card wins in a landslide – how is it that I don’t remember this card?  It’s a great card of an underrated player.  62 Topps leads 8-5.

I guess they didn’t have any superstar options with the SF Giants to match Willie Mays – but card #300 matched Mays up with Carl Crawford.  I don’t like this choice.  Maybe I’m biased by his awful start with the Red Sox this year, but any Giant would have been more appropriate on the heels of their World Championship.  And, since I put so many Yankees and Dodgers – it’s for the best if I keep from showing any Red Sox!  So – instead of putting Crawford – this is an excellent way to include the Bearded one – without the Beard!?!?!?

Like Mantle, this is not Mays best card in his many Topps options.  The Wilson seems to be a love-hate card for collectors from what I’ve read – but I’m going with the positive side.  Wilson is a good kind of weird for the game.  62 Topps leads 8-6.

Speaking of those Giants, I’ll also include the “World Champs Celebrate card from both sets here as well.  The Yankee card honestly leaves a bit to desire, while the Giants one is very cool.  Advantage Lincecum – Heritage pulls within one, 8-7.

Finally – I wanted to get a scan of this awesome card.  There isn’t a good counterpart to Ichiro (it’s Don Sherry, whose lifetime .218 Batting Average is quite different from that of Ichiro).  But – I just like this Ichiro card so I wanted to scan it.  Advantage Ichiro – Heritage ties it up 8-8.

So – to break the tie, there’s only one place I can go.  A couple of subsets.  Let’s go with 2 sets of historically significant cards – the first 50 home run season completely free of the post-steroid era.  And some guy who hit a few homers in 1961.  Both these duos have the same # in the set – so, again, Topps gets points all the way around for consistency.

Capturing one of the biggest moments in baseball history wins this one for 62 Topps in a blowout.

Final score 62 Topps wins 9-8.





’11 Heritage & ’62 Topps – All-Star Rookie Team

26 04 2011

Hall-of-Famer Billy Williams is the most notable player from the 1961 Topps ASR team.  He hit 25 HR with 86 RBI and took home Rookie of the Year honors over Joe Torre, who himself will likely be enshrined in Cooperstown in the near future.  Torre hit .278 with 10 HR as the Milwaukee Braves primary backstop. Don Schwall won the AL RoY by one vote over Dick Howser after going 15-7.  Howser had 171 hits and stole 37 bases. The only somewhat notable absence was Chuck Schilling, who had 167 hits at 2B for Boston.  But Jake Wood had similar numbers and hit for a bit more power while stealing 30 bases.

Howser’s card did not include the AS Rookie Cup.

  • LHP – Jack Curtis
  • RHP – Don Schwall
  • C – Joe Torre
  • 1B – J.C Martin
  • 2B – Jake Wood
  • 3B – Charlie Smith
  • SS – Dick Howser
  • OF – Billy Williams, Floyd Robinson, Lee Thomas

In 2011, Topps added an 11th player to the All-Star Rookie Team.  They added a 3rd pitcher – now the LHP/RHP is a starting pitcher, while there is a relief pitcher spot added.  Unfortunately, this was a blatant grab by Topps to get their poster boy Stephen Strasburg into the set.  Neftali Feliz was the Rookie of the Year in the American League, and clearly would have been the RHP selection.  On top of that – it would be hard to argue for Strasburg over Wade Davis of the Rays, who went 12-10 over 168 innings, many of which were against the vaunted AL East.

  • LHP – Jaime Garcia
  • RHP – Stephen Strasburg
  • RP – Neftali Feliz
  • C – Buster Posey
  • 1B – Gaby Sanchez
  • 2B – Neil Walker
  • 3B – Danny Valencia
  • SS – Starlin Castro
  • OF – Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton, Austin Jackson





2011 Heritage & 1962 Topps – Reds WS Champs

25 04 2011

There are no Big Red Machine players in either the 1962 Topps set or the 2011 Heritage product.  However, there is one player from the 1990.  Eric Davis was born in 1962, and Topps made a “62 Mint” card with a penny inserted to commemorate this.  I bought this card from eBay for a little over $10.

Of note – Frank Robinson, the 1961 NL MVP for the 1961 NL Champion Redlegs, is featured prominently throughout the Heritage inserts.  I included scans of his cards from the Heritage inserts below.  The first 3 can be had for cheap, though the others would likely all run you in excess of $100.

11H Robinson BFB

11H Robinson Hamilton

11H Robinson Cabrera

11H Robinson Votto CC

11H Robinson CC auto relic

11H Robinson Stanton CC auto relic

11H Robinson Thomas FB Dual Relic

11H Robinson FB auto

11H Robinson Stadium Relic

11H Robinson Stanton Real One dual auto





2011 Heritage box break & 1962 comparison

24 04 2011

Continuing my overview of this year’s Topps Heritage and the 1962 Topps set – here is the break of my Heritage hobby box. I busted my hobby box of Heritage a little while ago already posted on it, so a little of this is duplicative.  But, I want to post on this set in a way that copies what I’m doing with the Topps base sets while at the same time being able to compare it to the 1962 set.  So here’s a little more specifics on the box break.

I said this before, but I love this set.  I’ve never collected a Topps set other than the base, but this was a perfect set to get me into something else from MLB’s exclusive licensee.  The 1962 set is one of the company’s most notable, and one I particularly liked.  1987 was the first year I collected cards, so I’m familiar with the wood-grain border.  And the first item I ever got autographed was a Whitey Ford 1962 Topps card.

I did OK with this box.  I didn’t get any real rare hits, but I did get a stamp card (which basically comes 1 in 9 boxes) and got a 50th anniversary buyback of a Reds player (I had a 50/50 chance of getting one of these or not).  I think I may collect Reds only for some of the rarer insert sets – so this is a keeper!  I got a Ubaldo Jimenez Topps Bucks box topper, and pulled a Don Mattingly chrome card.  I traded both of these away to help with some of my set collections.  The relic I got was a Josh Johnson clubhouse collection – so that’s about as weak as I could get for my 1 “hit” (relic or auto).  The stamp was a good pull, so, like I said, the box was decent for a Topps Heritage 2011 box.

Given the fact that I love this set – decent for this box was really great in my eyes.  I also got an Aroldis Chapman “rookie” base card – so that helped as well.  Below are the “stats” for the box.

24 packs per box * 9 cards per pack + 3 checklists – 1 card for the pack with relic = 218 cards

196 of the 425 card base set (46.1% set completion)

8 SP cards

204 of the 500 card full set (40.8% set completion)

2 Baseball Flashbacks, 2 News Flashbacks, 2 New Age Performers, 1 Then & Now, 3 checklists

2 Chrome (Mattingly / Ellsbury)

1 Framed Stamp (Shields/Billingsley)

1 Clubhouse Collection Relic (Josh Johnson)

Box Toppers – 1 Baseball Bucks (Jimenez), 1 50th Anniversary Buyback (Joe Gaines)

Now, if you wanted to collect the 1962 Topps set at the time of release – there would be 7 series of packs/boxes to purchase throughout the year.  Wax packs came 5 cards per pack and 24 packs per box.  Every series was under 120 cards, so hopefully if you bought 7 boxes back in 1962, you’d have something close to a full set.  You’d also get 1 panel of 2 stamps per pack.  There were 201 different stamps, and each stamp was shown on two different panels (one on the left, one on the right) so you’d probably have almost every stamp if you bought 7 boxes.  But you’d still have 33 panels to go if you got no doubles.

If you had to pick a series, the first or last series might be the best.  Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s in each series:

  • Series One (1 – 109) – Maris (card #1), Koufax, Clemente, Mays/Mantle (Mgr Dream), Musial, Banks, Maris/Mantle/Killebrew LL
  • Series Two (110-196) – Babe Ruth subset, Green tint variations, Kaline
  • Series Three #197-283 – G. Perry RC, Mantle
  • Series Four #284-370 – Mays, Maris IA, Mantle IA, Aaron, Berra
  • Series Five #371-446 – Brock RC, Yaz
  • Series Six #447-522 – Mantle AS,
  • Series Seven #523-598 – B. Gibson SP, McCovey SP, Rookie Parade and other SP’s

These days, coming across an unopened pack is a rare find – there were a couple of auctions on eBay where these went for $150 (No clue what series this is).  Graded cello packs could cost you well over $1,000.  Just a wrapper itself would cost you ~30 bucks.





2011 Topps Heritage overview

22 04 2011

In my temporary break from my primary project – I went through an overview of the 1962 Topps set in my last post.  Next, I’ll do the same for the Retro set that inspired my posting on this – the current year’s heritage set.

500 cards in the set – same as the year before, 98 cards less.  The set pays tribute to the 1962 Topps set – which I’ve discussed here.

  • Subsets:  League Leaders (#51-60), Babe Ruth Story (#135-144), World Series (#232-237), In Action (#311-319), Sport Magazine All-Stars (#390-399, #466-475), Rookie Parade (#493-500), Multi-player specials (11 cards throughout), Team Cards (18 cards throughout), Managers (15 cards throughout), Topps All-Star Rookies (11 cards throughout).  The subsets in the heritage set all mirror the subsets in the 1962 Topps.  Topps put the same trophy cup – a much larger one than the base set has – on the All-Star Rookie player cards.  The Babe Ruth special has essentially been reprinted from the 1962 set.  The numbering isn’t the same for the Rookie Parade because the Heritage set is slightly smaller – but that subset is still the last 8 cards of the set.  Additionally, cards #426-500 are short-printed; they are inserted at a rate of 1:3 per hobby or retail packs.  There are also 6 checklists numbered separately from the set.
  • Set Design:  The design is exactly the same as the 1962 Topps set, with the darker wood-grain border.  As in the original set, rookies are noted with a yellow or white star on their card.  The one difference – the card stock is noticeably thicker.
  • Packs:  Topps issued the set in 1 series.  The short-print of the last 75 cards mimics the seven-series 1962 release, where the last series is generally considered more difficult to find – and some of the cards from that series were themselves short-printed.  Cards are available in 9-card hobby packs ($2.99) that come 24 to a box, 9-card retail packs (also $2.99), and 16-card jumbo packs ($4.99).  In addition to being purchased “loose”, retail packs can be found in 8-pack blasters ($19.99), 3-pack blisters which also come with a 3-card pack of black-bordered parallels ($8.99).  Roy Halladay was featured on the front of the retail packs.
  • Rookies:  Aroldis Chapman, Freddie Freeman, Jeremy Hellickson, and Kyle Drabek are key rookie cards from this set.
  • Hall of Fame:  There are 3 4 Hall of Famers in this set – all part of the Babe Ruth Story subset – Babe Ruth, Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig.  Update – Jacob Ruppert is in the subset, added for the 2013 induction.
  • First non-active player:  Carl Yastrzemski was the last active player from the 1962 set.  For this set, I’ll do the reverse (since it’s possible thanks to a certain player’s use of women’s’ fertility drugs) – the first player to retire.  In this case, the answer is Manny Ramirez.
  • Variations:  Topps paid homage to the “green tint” printing error from 1962 by replicating the green tint variation for cards #110-196.  Additional variations of these same cards with blue and red tints can be found in loose retail packs at Wal-Mart and Target, respectively.  There is also a “Jackie Robinson Story” variant to the Babe Ruth subset that is a Hobby exclusive.  Like the Ruth subset does, these 10 cards list highlights from Jackie’s career.  There is a relic version of each of the Robinson cards #’d to 42.
    • Green Tint (1:108)
    • Blue Tint (1:6 – Retail only, Wal-Mart loose packs)
    • Red Tint (1:6 – Retail only, Target loose packs)
    • Jackie Robinson Story (1:50 – Hobby only)
    • Jackie Robinson Story Relic (1:7,777; #/42 – Hobby only)

There are also 6 variations mirroring variants from the ’62 set.  These variations are all short-printed, and far more difficult to come by than the standard SP variations from #426-500.

    • #125 – Vladimir Guerrero.  Variation lists him as a pitcher on the back.  (corresponds to Jacke Davis – card #521 – from ’62 set)
    • #139 – Joba Chamberlain.  Variation pictures him kneeling with ball in glove and the wrong number, as his base card is #159 (Hal Renniff from ’62 set)
    • #279 – Bengie Molina.  Variation shows his birth year as 1994 (Hobie Landrith)
    • #392 – Ryan Zimmerman.  Variation shows his average as .370, when it was really .307 (Ken Boyer)
    • #478 – David Wright.  Variation lists his team as the Cincinnati Reds (Don Zimmer)
    • #490 – Alex Rodriguez.  Variation is a reverse negative with him holding the bat in his left hand (Clete Boyer)

The green and white wax box resembles the 1962 box.  It has the word BASEBALL over a line of baseballs in the middle of the box.  There is a “Topps” oval just like the old box, and next to it is the Topps Heritage logo.  Note: odds below are for Hobby packs, unless otherwise noted.

Parallel Sets

Topps issued 5 parallel sets.  These parallel sets each consisted of 100 cards from the base set with their own numbering with a “C” prefix.

  • Black Border – 100 cards (3 per Retail Blister 3-pack)
  • Chrome – 100 cards (1:11; #/1962)
  • Chrome Refractor – 100 cards (1:37; #/562)
  • Black Border Chrome Refractor – 100 cards (1:334; #/62)
  • Green Refractor – 100 cards (effectively 1:12 – Hobby only – each hobby case contains one hot box, which has 1 green refractor per pack)

Insert sets

Topps had a number of inserts that covered events from 1962 and the lineage of today’s players with players from 1962.  Additionally, Topps issued 201 different framed stamps of current players and framed a very limited number 1962 Topps stamps bought from the secondary marked.  I’ll go over the insert sets in more detail a future post.

  • Baseball Flashbacks – 10 cards (1:12)
  • News Flashbacks – 10 cards (1:12)
  • Then and Now – 10 cards (1:15)
  • New Age Performers – 15 cards (1:15)
  • Framed Topps Stamps – 201 stamps (1:211; #/62)
  • Framed Topps Buyback Stamps – 201 stamps (1:7,550; #’d – Hobby only)

Box Topper

There are 4 different hobby box-toppers collectors can pull.  Every hobby box has one of the first 3 sets below, while 1 in 2 has the

  • Baseball Bucks – 96 bucks (1 of 3 Hobby boxes)
    • As a tribute to the test issue of 1962 Baseball Bucks, Topps issued another 96-card set of baseball bucks with today’s players.
  • Advertising Panels (1 of 3 Hobby boxes)
    • Just like the 1962 advertising panels, this panel has 3 player cards on the front and blue promotional material on two of the card backs.  Where the 1962 panels had a Roger Maris card back on the third card, this year’s has Topps spokesman Roy Halladay.  one of the cards and promotional language with blue background on the other two card backs.
  • Stamp Collection Team Page – 30 panels (1 of 3 Hobby boxes)
    • Just as Topps sold a stamp album in 1962, these panels show 3 player stamps.  There is one panel for each team.
  • 50thAnniversary Buyback (1 in 2 Hobby boxes)
    • Every other box has a buyback of an original 1962 Topps card set.  These cards are stamped with a 50th anniversary logo.  The best card in this whole set can be found here.

Relics and Autographs

New in 2011 are ’62 mint cards, which contain a coin minted in 1962.  Clubhouse Collection is back from previous years of Heritage with a couple of variations as the primary Relic insert set.  Topps also issued Real One autos of players from 1962 and current players.

  • ’62 Mint Coins – 20 cards (1:263 – Hobby only)
  • Clubhouse Collection – 50 cards (1:29)
  • Clubhouse Collection Dual – 10 cards (1:7,600; #/62)
  • Clubhouse Collection Autograph – 10 cards (1:9,500; #/25)
  • Clubhouse Collection Dual Autograph – 5 cards (1:14,833; #/10)
  • Flashback Stadium Relic – 10 cards (1:1,175)
  • Flashback Dual Stadium Relic – 5 cards (1:45,000; #/10)
  • Flashback Autograph – 5 cards (1:19,000; #/25)
  • Flashback Autograph Stadium Relic – 5 cards (1:19,000; #/25)
  • Real One Autograph – 37 cards (1:303 – blue ink)
  • Real One Autograph Special Edition – 37 cards (1:700; #/62)
  • Real One Dual Autograph – 10 cards (1:2,989; #/25)
  • 60th Anniversary Autograph – 5 cards (1:7,500; #/60)
  • 1962 Cut signatures – 10 cards (1:238,000; #/1)