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)



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