2012 Heritage vs. Vintage #10 – Combo Cards part 1

31 03 2012

Up next in the Great Heritage Comparison – the Multi-Player Combo cards.  I’ll compare what Topps put together in 1963 to what Topps combined for Heritage this year.  There are 12 cards – which is too much work for me to do in one post, so I’ll do two posts of 6 each (still a time consuming part of this project).

Each card is going to be worth a point – but I’m going to do it in a way that’s worth two half-points.  The first half-point is like the other cards that I’ve done – my opinion for the best card overall.  The other half-point will be based on the total of a combined statistic applicable to the players pictured on the card.  I’ll try to use the statistic highlighted on that card, as best as I can determine – and I’ll go off the season before.

Card #18 – Buc Blasters / Red Sox Smashers

OK, so right off the bat, I’m going to say I’m disappointed with Topps.  And I’m gonna have to make a decision on my “rule” from above.  The 1963 card is the “Buc Blasters” – or the solid run producers that the squad had led by Roberto Clemente in his prime.  Also pictured are Smokey Burgess, Dick Stuart and Bob Skinner.

This card is better than awesome; they got the 4 guys to line up in the on deck circle with the same pose with their bats shown.  What would Topps do to match this in 2012?  They created an abomination called the Red Sox Smashers, with David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez:

Winner – best card:  Easy selection here, the Buc Blasters from 1963 Topps.

Here’s what I propose for Topps here!

Stat comparison – RBI:

1962 – 274 RBI (Burgess 61, Stuart 64, Skinner 75, Clemente 74)

2011 – Zero.  I’m making them walk the plank like I said here.  Heritage gets disqualified for not using a correct parallel here.

2012 Heritage leads, 18.5-17.5


Card #43 – Veteran Masters

Back to a good representation of the idea of Heritage.  The 1963 card featured Mets manager Casey Stengel and Gene Woodling, who played his final half-season in baseball for the ’62 Mets.  He actually played pretty well, hitting .274.  Woodling had been an outfield starter for Casey back during the greatest success the Yankees (or any other franchise) ever had – from 1949-1953, they won 5 straight World Championships.

Here’s the Heritage card – Joe Girardi and Mo Rivera.  This card is even more awesome – Topps got it right here.  They took Girardi, who was essentially Rivera’s first battery mate, as he was the Yankee catcher in their first World Title of the 90’s dynasty.  Since that 1996 season, Rivera has gone from set-up man to John Wetteland to the greatest closer of all-time.  Girardi has become the Yankee skipper and led the team to another title a couple of years ago.

Winner – best card:  Like I said, Topps got it right with Heritage here.  I’ll give them credit for sticking with the original concept – and even one-upping it compared to the original concept.

Stat comparison:

1962 – Woodling hit .274 with 5 homers and 24 RBI in (81 games) after being traded to the Mets mid-season, while Stengel guided the expansion Mets to the worst record in modern history – 40-120.

2011 – Rivera saved 44 games with a 1.91 ERA.  Girardi guided the Yankees to the AL East title and the best record in the AL with a 97-65 record.

Not much of a comparison here!

2012 Heritage leads, 19.5-17.5


Card #138 – Pride of the NL

The card below of Musial and Mays focused on the guys batting exploits – particularly average and home runs.

Topps went with two teammates here – Dan Uggla and Chipper Jones.  Chipper is a really good comparison to Musial, who played his last year in 1963, while Chipper is a future HOF-er about to play his last season.  Uggla to Mays isn’t that good.

Winner – best card:  Easy selection here; that would be 1963 Topps.  Musial and Mays, enough said.  Like I said, Uggla just isn’t a good comparison.  It would have been cool if they found a guy like Pujols who was still one of the better players in the game, but at the latter part of the prime of his career.  Maybe Carlos Beltran?  Ryan Braun?  Instead they took the easy way out and just went with a teammate.  Plus, the photo of Mays and Musial is really cool.

Stat comparison – HR:

1962 – 68 HR (Mays led the majors with 49, Musial 19)

2011 – 54 HR (Uggla 36, Chipper 18)

Mays and Musial would have won batting average by a lot more – Uggla hit under .240 last year while Musial hit .330 in 1962.

2012 Heritage leads, 19.5-18.5


Card #173 – Bombers’ Best / Bronx Bombers Best

They went with a slight name change here, but not enough to bother me.  Here’s the 1963 card – surprisingly the statistic they discuss the most for this “Bombers” card was batting average.  Mantle was the reigning MVP and Richardson was a mainstay, but Tresh was a surprise for the Yankees in 1962, taking the Rookie of the Year award.

As with most of these cards, that’s a really cool photo up there.  I’m surprised, though, that they didn’t include Maris on there – he hit 33 homers in 1962 and was still probably the Yankees 2nd best hitter. Make no mistake – they really went with the best 3 options here, at least from a career and hobby perspective!

Winner – best card:  I’m going with the Heritage card here.  Despite the annoying “TM”, this is an even better photo.  Somebody did a post a little bit ago that was pretty funny – what do you think they’re saying to each other!  Alex is rattled about something (who knows – could be on or off field with him).  Jeter is like “c’mon man, quit whining” and Cano just looks like he’s laughing at the whole thing internally.

Stat comparison – Average:

I had to bust out the calculator here.  1963 makes this card an overall split in a close one.

1962 – an even .300 (Mantle .321, Richardson .302, Tresh .286)

2011 – .294.  (Cano .302, Jeter .297, A-Rod .276)

2012 Heritage leads, 20-19


Card #218 – Tiger Twirlers

I have no idea who Frank Lary is, but you’ve got the biggest ears ever in Don Mossi and a future Hall of Famer and Senator (not the baseball kind) in Jim Bunning.  They talk mostly about wins on the back, but do cover some other highlights.

The Tigers had a unique combo in 2011.  They had the best starting pitcher in baseball and the best closer in baseball.  So while it doesn’t match the 3 starters above, I like what they did.  This is another interesting photo – Valverde looks pensive while Verlander looks like he’s got no pressure.  Maybe he pitched a gem the night before and can just kick it during this game.

Winner – best card:  I like them both a bunch, and when I like both cards this much, I go with a wash.  This is trouble, because now I have to go down to quarter points!

Stat comparison – Wins:

1962 – 32 Wins (Bunning 19, Mossi 11, Lary 2)

2011 – 26 (Verlander 24, Valverde 2)

Lary only had 2 wins in 1962, though he’d had 23 the year before that.  I’m actually breaking my rule above – going by Wins only doesn’t make sense here since Valverde saved a perfect 49 games in 49 tries.  That’s worth much more than the 6 wins above to me.

2012 Heritage leads, 20.75-19.25


Card #242 – Power Plus

Nothing needs to be said about this card:

I also think I don’t need to say much for this card, but going in the other direction…

Winner – best card:  I think we’re gonna have a clean sweep here.  Aaron and Banks, obviously.

Stat comparison – HR:

1962 – 82 HR (Aaron 45, Banks 37)

2011 – 63 HR (Bruce 32, Upton 31)

Bruce and Upton had more than I thought, but like I thought – clean sweep.  1963 is slowly bridging the gap.

2012 Heritage leads, 20.75-20.25


Come back tomorrow – I’ll look at the other 6 cards (and hopefully get rid of that quarter point thing).

Post #500!!!!

30 03 2012

Today is my 500th post, so I want to take a pause from the Heritage stuff that I’m doing to look back a bit.  It’s been a lot of fun.  I went through all the 300 game winners for my 300th post – so doing the 500 home run club seems good here.  I’ll go through to see where I first included each of the 500 HR club members in my blog.

There are 25 members of the 500 HR club as of today.  It’s unlikely anyone will join the club next year – though Pujols could if he has his best power season yet (he’s at 445).  Chipper Jones (454) and Vlad Guerrero (449) are ahead of him, but he’ll pass both of them this year and Chipper will retire (probably with around 470) at the end of 2012.  The numbers below represent the player’s ranking on the all-time list (i.e., Bonds is #1).

Post #7 – 18th (Willie McCovey – 521) and 13th (Reggie Jackson – 563)

I got these two guys in a post in April 2010 where I scanned cards from my 1980 Topps wax box.  That was so long ago – nearly two years!

Post #31 – 15th (Mike Schmidt – 548)

I didn’t pull Schmidt in either my 1980 wax box or vending box, so before I ever posted a Mike Schmidt card, I posted a picture of him in my 1981 MLB season in review.  This was done in August, 2010.

Post #11 – 5th (Ken Griffey Jr. – 630)

I featured a photo of Griffey on June 2, 2010 – which was the day my baseball hero hung up his cleats for good.

Post #39 – 25th (Eddie Murray – 504)

Murray is another guy I’m surprised didn’t make it onto this blog until earlier.  He was first featured in October, 2010 in my scans of 1982 Topps cards.

Post #45 – 2nd (Hank Aaron – 755)

Aaron also made his way onto this baseball card blog in a form that wasn’t a baseball card blog.  Since he had just made the Hall of Fame in 1982 – I showed off his Cooperstown plaque in the post I did for my “1982 season statistics”.  I had gotten to the end of my 1982 posts in the middle of October, 2010.

Post #53 – 9th (Frank Robinson – 586)

It’s hard to believe it, but Frank Robinson is almost out of the top 10 career list.  He’s on here in an interesting way.  At the end of October, 2010, I had moved on to 1983 Topps, and he had a manager card in 1983 Topps that I featured in my big post of my favorite scans from that set.

Post #64 – 16th (Mickey Mantle – 536)

The iconic figure of the hobby.  I put a scan of his 1952 Topps card in a post in November 2010 to advertise for the “Topps 300” – a cool idea that was put out by BDJ610, the blogger who runs the Sports Card Blogroll.

Post #79 – 11th (Harmon Killebrew – 573)

Like Aaron did, Killebrew first got featured in one of my “statistics” posts.  Harmon was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984 – I showed off this picture of the two Twins MVP’s when I finished up 1984 in December, 2010.

The 1969 AL MVP celebrates with the 2006 one

Post #83 – 3rd (Babe Ruth – 714)

Babe Ruth made it onto my blog in the same month as part of a trade with Night Owl that helped me get closer to finishing the 2010 Topps set.  He’s featured on the Yankees team card with his right-hand man, Lou Gehrig.

Post #87 – 10th (Mark McGwire – 583)

This Bash Brother made it in a couple of days later as I did the scans from my 1985 set.  Naturally, he’s featured with the 2 other big rookies from that set – though Big Mac is the only out of these three who didn’t have a 1984 Fleer Update card.  Through the end of 2010 – I’d featured 11 of the 25 500 home run club members!

Post #93 – 3rd (Barry Bonds – 762)

Bonds ASU

The all-time leader got in the action in one of my first 2011 posts when I featured him in the statistics post for 1985.  Aaron and Killebrew were featured for getting in the Hall of Fame – Bonds was featured for being the 6th overall pick of the ’85 MLB draft.

Post #120 – 6th (Alex Rodriguez – 629)

A-Rod will be 6th for only a short time more, as he’s 1 dinger behind his former teammate, Griffey Jr.  I had him featured when I got a Target blaster of 2011 Topps series 1 in early February 2011, which was exciting stuff at the time.  This card actually honors him passing the 600 home run barrier – maybe that’s something also for 100 posts from now.

Post #130 – 12th (Rafael Palmeiro – 569)

When I was done with the 2011 posts, I moved back to my project and 1987 Topps was next for the latter half of February.  I got Palmeiro in my post on the All-Star Rookie Team and Future Stars subsets, which I started doing when Topps put the Rookie Cup back on the cards in 1987.

Post #132 – 4th (Willie Mays – 660)

2 posts later I finally got Willie Mays in the mix – he was the gold card available for dealers who ordered cases of 1987 Topps Traded.  So he warranted a picture in that post.

Post #144 – 21st (Frank Thomas – 521)

In early March 2011, I got a scan of the Big Hurt in here – though surprisingly not with the White Sox.  I got an A’s card of him to help with my Upper Deck set collection.  This came from a trade with Angels in Order.

Post #158 – 21st (Ernie Banks – 512)

I picked up an Ernie Banks card from the Yo Momma set at a White Plains card show in late March 2011.

Post #168 – 24th (Gary Sheffield – 509)

The next month,I got the RC of Gary Sheffield in the post on the Future Stars and Topps ASR team.

Post #184 – 21st (Eddie Mathews – 512)

Toward the end of April 2011, I tried to squeeze what I’m doing right now for Heritage into just one post!  The Heritage vs. Vintage post I did then featured Eddie Mathews (who was appropriately lined up with Chipper Jones).

Post #200 – 7th (Sammy Sosa – 609)

I was wondering when Slammin’ Sammy would get in here – I figured it might not be until 1990 Topps.  But he was in a post I did in mid-May (actually it was in honor of my 200th post) on some purchases I’d made from Sportlots.  I must have found this Run Producers card for a good deal on that site.

Post #204 – 17th (Jimmie Foxx – 534)

I got a card of Double-X, which is from the 2011 Topps Vintage reproductions, as a trade from reader Hugo in late May.

Post #223 – 14th (Manny Ramirez – 555)

555, and now counting.  I got Manny’s 2011 Heritage card, with the Rays, as part of a trade with Play at the Plate.  I mentioned that this was probably Manny’s last card, though that’s now changed after he un-retired.  He faces permanent suspension if he tests positive ever again.

Post #371 – 8th (Jim Thome – 604)

These last three are pretty surprising that it went so long without a picture in my blog.  Thome had his first Topps card in 1992, and that got him into my post with 1992 Topps scans.

Post #404 – 23rd (Mel Ott – 511)

Only one more after this – Mel Ott is the last guy from this club I’ve posted thus far.  He was in the Home Run Heroes set for Gypsy Queen, which I completed and posted about in December of last year.

Post #500 – 18th (Ted Williams – 521)

I actually haven’t had Teddy Ballgame featured on this blog yet.  Sort of shocking.  I actually have a post saved that will show him in the future – here’s a preview…

2012 Heritage vs. Vintage #9 – World Series

29 03 2012

It pains me to do this for my least favorite team in all of baseball – but the Cardinals did win the World Series last year, and the 1963 Topps and 2012 Heritage sets have a World Series subset, so I figured I’d look at a couple of cards from the World Champs.

World Series subset – cards #142-148

The 1962 World Series went 7 games, so there was a 7-card subset in 1963 Topps.  Conveniently, the 2011 Series also went 7 games – so making that subset the same number of cards was easy.  I picked the two cards from the subset that I thought were most relevant to show the overall theme from last year’s World Series.  The first card I picked was #144, which covers the 3 home run outburst by Albert Pujols.  This historic performance put him in the company of Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson – and made him the first non-Yankee to accomplish the feat.  The performance truly did remind me of what I’ve seen from the Reggie Jackson game.  It was a blowout.  That third home run wasn’t exactly necessary, but it was awe-inspiring nonetheless.

The other card was of course the game 7 card – I wanted to get the winning moment in here.  Though game 6 was a pretty big deal, too.  Despite the fact that the team I hate won it all last year – I have to admit – it was a hell of a World Series!

The 1962 World Series didn’t have quite the historic drama that the 2011 Fall Classic did.  Nobody hit 3 homers in a game, and the team that won it never went down to their last strike, let alone twice.  But it was a back and forth affair, as neither team won consecutive games.  The Yankees won game 1 and they alternated from there.  For the first card below, I went with game 6, when the Giants had their backs against the wall.  16-game winner Billy Pierce, who wasn’t even with the Giants the year before, outpitched legendary Yankee Whitey Ford to keep the Giants alive for one more game.

Where the first 6 games lacked the incredible moments that 2011 featured, Game 7 was far more dramatic than the finale of the 2011 Series.  Ralph Terry had won 23 games during the regular season – by far his best effort.  He capped it off with an incredible pitching performance.  Facing the no tomorrow situation of a Game 7 in the World Series, Terry threw a complete game shutout.  The vaunted 3-4-5 hitters in the San Francisco lineup had 3 Hall of Famers – all in their prime!  But Terry held Mays, McCovey and Cepeda to 2 hits.  In the bottom of the 9th, with a 1-run lead, he gave up a bunt hit to Matty Alou and a double to Willie Mays with 2 outs.  With potential extra innings standing on 3rd and the end of the season standing at 2nd, McCovey smashed a Terry pitch – only he hit it right to Bobby Richardson.


I’m going with a 2-point split here.  I absolutely love the Game 6 card from 1963 – it’s a tremendous photo, and coming from 1963 I respect that more than having something like that in today’s cards.  But I’ll give the rest of the subset to the Heritage set.  As mentioned, I didn’t include the Game 6 card that shows Freese rounding first after his walk-off home run.

2012 Heritage leads, 18.5-15.5


World Series MVP Card #130 – David Freese  vs. Dick Groat & Ralph Terry

Speaking of Freese, let’s look at his card.  Here it is:

I like the Freese card.  He isn’t looking directly at the camera, which is more like the 1963 shots than the majority of the 2012 Heritage cards.  His counterpart in the 1963 set is Dick Groat:

This card is kind of sloppy by Topps, even by 1963 standards.  The 1960 NL MVP, he was traded by the Pirates in the 1962 offseason.  They sort of airbrushed his cap – but not really.  You can still make out the “P” for Pittsburgh in the cap if you look hard enough.  And they did nothing with his collar which sure looks more like a Pirate uniform than a Cardinals one!


I don’t know if I like the comparison with Groat and Freese.  He hadn’t played a Cardinals game yet, and Freese is a third baseman, not a SS.  So I don’t want to give any points to either of these cards.  What I will do, though, is take a look at the ’62 Series MVP.  Now this is a card I think Topps should have considered using to parallel Freese – Ralph Terry.  I know it’s different teams, but wouldn’t that be a better connection?  Particularly for Terry, who is card #315.  Card #315 in the Heritage set is young Yankees pitching prospect Hector Noesi.

The Freese / Terry connection would have been better.  I’m awarding a point to 1963 Topps here.

2012 Heritage leads, 18.5-16.5

2012 Heritage vs. Vintage #8 – Managers

28 03 2012

I decided to wait on doing the rest of the Yankees – the 2 biggest hobby icons are in that post and I’m going to do that last. For this post, I’ll do the 3 managers that jumped out at me from Heritage.

I already did the Reds manager comparison, but I’ll do 4 more here.

Card #233 – Terry Collins / Casey Stengel

Starting off with the Mets skipper.  Funny, Terry Collins is probably dealing with some similar things that Casey Stengel would have had to deal with in the 1962 and 1963 seasons.  The Mets are in full-blown rebuilding mode right now – sort of like they were in their first and second season of existence.  Though I guess you’d call that “building mode”.

I kind of like the logo better for the Stengel card.  And Casey is a Hall of Fame manager, one of the best of all-time.


I’m going with Collins in a surprise here.  I like the photo way more – I’ve never seen those gray uniforms, but I like them.  And, like the Yogi Berra card, this Stengel card just kind of makes me sad.

2012 Heritage leads, 16-13


Card #402 – Davey Johnson / Mickey Vernon

In two years, if Davey is still the Nationals skipper and Topps puts the Nationals manager in the set, he’ll have the unique distinction of having a card in the 1965 set and the equivalent Heritage set.

I didn’t realize Mickey Vernon was a manager at any point.  Apparently, he was the manager of the new Washington Senators after the first franchise moved to the Twin Cities.  Vernon was a very good player – as a 7-time All-Star, he’s one of those players you’d say – he was really good, but he’s not a Hall of Famer.  Still worth something, though.  He had 2,495 career hits and probably would have 2,800 if he hadn’t missed two years to World War II.


I love Davey Johnson – I wish we’d have been able to keep him as a Reds manager after the 1995 season (stupid Marge Schott).  But his card can’t beat Vernon’s.  I love the old Senators uniform and ball cap, and I really like the logo in the bottom.  The card has a better background and it’s pretty cool that his collar is all messed up.

Funny – if you’d have asked me who’d win before looking at the last two cards – I’d have assumed Terry Collins loses and Davey Johnson wins.  That’s why the play the game!

2012 Heritage leads, 16-14


Card #166 – Kirk Gibson / Johnny Keane

Since Tony LaRussa retired at the end of the season, Topps didn’t go with the Cardinals manager for this card.  Instead, they went with a team that didn’t exist in 1963 (or much later).  They went with the manager of a team that also had a triangle logo!

I’d never heard of Johnny Keane, but apparently he was the manager for the Cardinals the year they won the 1964 World Series – then controversially switched to manage the team they’d beat in the Series, the Yankees.


Kirk Gibson?  Sporting a glove?  When was the last manager card you saw where the guy had a glove.  Game, set, match for Heritage.

2012 Heritage leads, 17-14


Card #154 – Don Mattingly / Walt Alston

Putting Mattingly right after Gibby is a good option.  They seem to have aged the same way – very good players, former MVPs, not to be confused with Hall of Famers.  Guys who used to rock mustaches who now have shaved them as they manage the NL West.  And they’re both rocking the the zipper pull over in their 2012 Heritage card.


I can’t pick on this one, so I won’t make myself.  Mattingly is cool, but so is the old school Los Angeles uniform Alston has.  Going with a push on this one.

2012 Heritage leads, 17.5-14.5

2012 Heritage vs. Vintage #7 – Yankees

27 03 2012

Those of you Yankee haters out there, feel free to skip over this one.  I do hate that Yankee / Red Sox media coverage bias as well – though I will always hate the Cardinals more.  But, much like I pointed out in the first Reds post that I did, the Yankees work really well in this comparison.  Why?  They are the Evil Empire right now – with the few baseball players like A-Rod and Jeter who are right up there with Hollywood celebrities as far as recognized by the non-sports fan chunk of America.  The same was true back in 1963 – they were still the best team in the game, near the end of the Mantle / Ford / Berra dynasty.

Card #289 – Mariano Rivera / Hal Brown

I didn’t want to start with one of the 2 really easy guys, so I’ll go here with the greatest closer in history.  You may hate the attention paid to Jeter or the overall deuchey-ness of A-Rod, but it’s hard not to respect Mo.  I hope he stays around for a couple more years – it would be cool if he put that saves record over 700 and completely out of reach!

Hal Brown had just been traded to the Yankees at the end of the 1962 season.  He pitched all of 2 games and 6 innings from the Bronx Bombers, starting 1 game and taking a loss.  He did not pitch in the postseason, and signed with Houston in the offseason.  He was out of baseball 2 years later.

Of note – Mo’s 1962 counterpart would have been Marshall Bridges, who was the Yankee closer in their last World Series win for a decade and a half.  But something kept that from being feasible – Bridges never had a Topps card!  There’s got to be something to that – my guess is that he just never signed the initial Topps contract.


There are some pitching efficiency statistics that show that Rivera is the most effective pitcher in the history of baseball – albeit in the limited time when he does pitch as a closer.  I don’t like that Topps stuck him with the card number of a guy who basically didn’t really pitch for the Yankees.  But that is more of a problem for the 1963 card than the 2012 Heritage card – so I’m giving the win to anyone other than Big Mo.

2012 Heritage leads, 14-11


Card #340 – Russell Martin / Yogi Berra

Next, why not do Rivera’s battery mate – Russ Martin, who was an All-Star last year despite an average under .240.  He did hit for some power and has a good eye – but his last 2 seasons have been his worst.  He re-upped with the Yankees for next year, though.  And according to his card, he led the AL by “nabbing 35 runners attempting to steal”.

The counterpart here is one of two catchers to win 3 MVP awards.  Yogi is right up there as one of the greatest catchers of all-time – to me he’s clearly behind Bench and Piazza, and but I’d probably put him third, with Fisk and either Campanella or Pudge Rodriguez rounding out the top 5.


These two cards have some cool symmetry.  The bats are on opposite shoulders, and the two guys are even smiling to the side opposite of the bat!  It’s almost as if Topps asked Martin to do that.  If they did or didn’t, it’s pretty cool, and I give that credit to the Heritage set.  Also, this card of Yogi makes me kind of sad.  Like Martin, he was an All-Star in 1962, though he was even less deserving with a .220-something average and appearing in about half of the Yankees’ games.  He only had 1 more season with the Yanks before a strange 4-game stint with the Mets in 1965.  Throw in the cool fact about Martin on the back – and I’m shocked to say that Heritage is pulling away!

2012 Heritage leads, 15-11


Card #60 – Jesus Montero / Elston Howard

I checked, and while Martin certainly caught a bunch of Rivera’s 44 saves last year, Yogi did not catch either of Hal Brown’s two games with the team in 1962.  The next guy up did.  As I mentioned, Yogi was an All-Star in 1962.  Well, apparently the Yankees had 2 All-star catchers that year – because Elston Howard was the best catcher in the game at this point.  I didn’t realize it, but he would go on to win the AL MVP the next year.

Unfortunately the counterpart isn’t a Yankee anymore.  Jesus Montero is a highly touted prospect who the Yankees traded for another highly touted prospect, pitcher Michael Pineda.


That trade for Pineda is the kind of thing that highlights the haves vs. have-nots in baseball.  The Yankees can afford to give up a stud hitting (and catching) prospect because they know they can just give a guy like Russell Martin 7.5 million and not bat an eye.  Because of this, they get a guy like Pineda who by all accounts could be a complete stud.  This is one of those situations with Heritage – it’s cool they photo shopped the card to show him with the Mariners, but please don’t be this obvious with it:

That’s definitely from the same photo shoot – you can tell the bat is the same and the Nike undershirt is too.  Interesting they went with the Yankee look for the auto but the Mariners look for the base card.  Also, there’s a change in the Red parallel of Montero’s base card – they put the “S” logo for the Mariners up in the frame in the top left corner.

I don’t like that they don’t adjust the card numbers to get the team right – but I guess that’s sort of forgivable here since the Mariners didn’t even exist yet in 1963.  But I still like the Howard card better – this was the card during his MVP season – so that’s good in my book!

2012 Heritage leads, 15-12


Card #120 – Nick Swisher / Roger Maris

Now this is a good comparison.  We’ve got a Yankee outfielder who came in and gave the team a good dose of “fun” a couple of years ago.  Swisher played baseball at Ohio State with a buddy of mine – and from what my friend said, that’s just how he is.  Which is kind of cool if you ask me.  Though he and AJ Burnett are basically responsible for those pie-in-the-face gimmicks from a couple of years ago.

And then you’ve got Roger Maris, who was still doing pretty well around this time.  He hit 33 homers in 1962 and made his last All-Star squad.


I don’t love the Maris picture here – like Yogi above it kind of makes me sad.  On another level, it’s kind of cool because it makes me think.  That inset photo is the swing from his 61st home run – which is one of the bigger moments in baseball history.  Putting that sad look on his face next to it makes it seem like he’s watching an old video of the swing.  Did that one great season take too much of an emotional toll on the Fargo, ND native?   Any card that makes me think that much beats out the Swisher, even though he looks like his usual bubbly self.

2012 Heritage leads, 15-13

Now that wasn’t so bad was it?  If you can bear it – come back tomorrow for some more Yankees!

Trade with blog reader Anthony

26 03 2012

I completed another trade in March – that’s 15 trades so far in 2012.  I set a goal at the start of the year to complete 30 trades this year – so I’m on my way to blow way past that!

This one was with a blog reader Anthony who actually lives around me in Bergen County, New Jersey!  Anthony is a Yankee fan and I sent him some Yankee parallel cards from last year’s sets and some other 2011 stuff.  He sent me a generous portion of 2012 insert cards, the last card I needed for my 2011 Topps set, and the last 2 cards I need for 2012 series 1.  Here’s a highlight of just some of those cards:

Thanks again Anthony!

2012 Heritage vs. Vintage #6 – Fantasy Squad Draftees

25 03 2012

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had my fantasy baseball draft Wednesday night.  That post covered my 4 keepers, this one covers 4 other guys I drafted.  This draft was interesting, because we’re changing the rules going forward.  Whereas previously, we were basically allowed to keep the top 4 players we had (if we wanted) at the expense of our first 4 draft picks.  Now you can only keep players for a max number of years, and we’re going to a hybrid where you have the same option of “best 4” – or you can swap one of those keepers for a different “late round” keeper.

So, if you picked up Matt Moore (Heritage card #391), like I did, in the 9th round, you could have him for the next 3 years going forward by giving up your 9th round pick those years.

Tampa Bay didn’t have a team in 1963 (hell, they didn’t have a team in 1993).  Card #391 in 1963 was Bill Dailey, who had just got a call up in 1962 after 8 years in the minor leagues.  Dailey pitched for 2 seasons with the Tribe, then another 2 with the Twins.  He was starting to look like a pretty good reliever in 1963 – notching 21 saves (3rd most), 100+ IP, and a 1.99 ERA.  Unfortunately, he tore his rotator cuff and didn’t last much longer in MLB.   Hopefully Moore doesn’t suffer a similar fate!


It’s cool these cards have somewhat similar photos – but the Dailey card looks kind of weird in general.  It seems airbrushed or something, but I don’t think it actually is.  I’m bullish on Moore’s future – so he gets the win!

2012 Heritage leads, 12.5-8.5


The next player was a guy I cringed drafting – because he’s a member of the evil St. Louis Cardinals.  Not only does he play for St. Louis, but he may be my least favorite player of that team – Chris Carpenter.  He just seems like a jerk.  Jerk or not, he’s a pretty good pitcher.  I did cringe a bit more when I learned he won’t start opening day and my go on to the DL, but it doesn’t sound serious.  Since I drafted him – I’m in the bad position of rooting for him to come back, even though him being out helps my Reds.  You can’t play fantasy sports with your heart, though!

Carpenter is featured on card #415.  This is a great job by Topps putting the right 2 guys next to each other – #415 in 1963 was none other than Bob Gibson!  Carpenter is the Cardinals current “post-season dominator”.  But Gibson is one of the most dominant post-season pitchers in the history of the game.


I dislike Carpenter just about as much as any athlete I can think of, though I do admit he’s good.  But he ain’t Bob Gibson good – and an up close shot of this pitching intimidator when he was young gives 1963 a clear edge here.

2012 Heritage leads, 12.5-9.5


I picked up Dan Uggla with my 5th round pick, which was the first non-keeper player I drafted.  I think he could have a big year – he started off so slow last year but then got hot.  I think he’ll be better in 2012.

Uggla is on card #275 in Heritage.  For 1963 Topps, card #275 is Eddie Mathews.  So they went Braves infielder, but not Braves second baseman with the equivalent.  I wouldn’t write home to Mom about either of these photos, though I guess I wouldn’t write home to mom about any photos anyways.  But the Mathews one at least has a batting stance pose.


I also really liked the Matthews inset photo a lot – but the fact that I liked made me remember – I thought I’d seen it before.  Turns out that I had – it’s the same shot that his 1962 Topps card uses.  I still like it better than Uggla’s, but that dims my enthusiasm a bit.  Overall, I’m giving Mathews the edge here.  It would be tough to beat him in my mind – it would take a really great Heritage card or a really great player.  I think Topps went with the wrong guy here – Eddie Mathews is a top-5 all-time third baseman (probably top 2 or 3).  The Braves today have a top-5 all-time 3rd baseman on their roster – why not go with him?

Speaking of which – that reminds me a trivia question I read recently (can’t remember where, but I bet it was the blogosphere.  3 players have hit homers in 16 straight seasons for the Braves franchise.  One of them is Mr. Chipper Jones himself – but Eddie Mathews is not one of them (he did so in 15 straight before being traded).  Can you name the other 2.  One of them is easy, one of them requires some out of the box thinking.

Mathews is also the answer to another question – he’s the one player who played for the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.  I’ve always found that pretty amazing.  More of a reason to give him the win!

2012 Heritage leads, 12.5-10.5


In football there is a term for the last player taken in the draft – “Mr. Irrelevant”.  Well, my last player taken is far from irrelevant in my mind, though he’s still looking for a job.  I’m shocked at this – “Vlad the Terrible” still had very good seasons the past 2 years.  He used to be one of my keepers in this league when we first started up – and he was a pretty damn good player to have as your keeper. I’m glad to welcome him back, and I hope he doesn’t end up in Japan!

Vlad “the Impaler” is card #108 in Heritage.  The slugger in 1963 Topps with this number is … Hoyt Wilhelm?  After thinking about it – I really like the comparison.  Vlad is a designated hitter.  In 1963, there were no designated hitters – so why not match him up with a pitcher.  In fact, let’s do an Orioles relief pitcher who was pretty good.  Vlad is a future Hall of Famer – so match him up with a HOF-er!


Before I looked up the parallel to Vlad, I thought there was no way he would lose this one.  I really like the patch on his uniform, the fact that it looks kind of like he’s got a Fu Man Chu (even though he doesn’t), and the coloring is really good.  Then I saw the parallel was Wilhelm – and I really liked that card, too.  When I really like both cards, I’m going with one of my few ties for this pair.

2012 Heritage leads, 13-11

2012 Heritage vs. Vintage #5 – Fantasy Squad Keepers

24 03 2012

Before I dive into this next post – I went over 50,000 hits on the old blog here yesterday.  I’m not really sure what that means in context, but it seems kind of cool.  I’m sure some of those “hits” are automatic thing-a-ma-jigs, but it’s still kind of interesting.  I started this blog almost exactly 2 years ago (thought I didn’t really get started posting until August of that year), but last year at this point I’d had a cumulative 8,500 hits.  It’s been cool to share this project and the sidetracks (like the one below) with other folks!  It makes it fun – and actually keeps me from spending way too much on cards because the posting takes some of that time up!  Back to Heritage…

Wednesday night I had my annual fantasy baseball draft.  I figured my next two posts might as well focus on my team picks.  We are allowed to keep 4 players each year – and keeping those players takes up a first round draft pick for the first player, second for the second player, and so forth.  Were changing the rules up a bit this year to where you can keep players under those rules – or select some players to keep based on where you drafted them.  More on that tomorrow – because this year we’re still under the old rules.  These were my keepers this year.

Four Score and Seven Years ago – actually, just 5 years ago – I was mired in last place in our league, but I had some trade bait.  I gave up Justin Morneau, Josh Beckett and some other decent players I can’t think of for 1 player and some junk.  It was a coup – the guy I traded with won the title that year.  But that one guy was “El Hombre”, featured as card #290 here, and the rest has been history – 3 league titles since then.

So this is his second real base card with him as an Angel – pretty cool (Opening Day was the first).  Card #290 in 1963 Topps is the Angels … er … is the Cardinals … er … yeah – the Cardinals First Baseman Bill White.  I noticed this throughout – Topps did photo shop to get the guys on new teams, but they still matched up the card numbers with 1963 counterparts from their old team.

White was a solid player for the Cardinals.  He manned first base in St. Louis for 7 full years, missing less than 50 total games in that span.  He hit 20 homers 6 years in a row and ended his career with over 200, 5 All-Star appearances.  Like Pujols, he was pretty good with the leather, winning 7 Gold Gloves.


This was kind of tough.  It’s more about what I do and don’t like about the Pujols card.  I like that they have him with the Angels, but I don’t like that the card matches up with a Cardinal.  Ultimately, it’s an all-time great player versus a decent player.  And I also really like the Pujols insert photo – it’s got his recognizable follow-through.

2012 Heritage leads, 10-7


Next is the guy deserving but not actual MVP from last year.  I drafted Matt Kemp two years ago in like the 6th or 7th round – and now I’ve got a monster on my hands!  A near 40-40 season and a near triple crown – he was the best fantasy player last year.  This is an excellent card, too – card #279.  A cool photo with the follow through, great coloring.  And I like the inset, too.  You’d think this card would be unbeatable right?

Yeah – that card looks good.  Unbeatable?

BOOM!!!  You would think, but you would be wrong.  I don’t need to explain myself here.


The uni-brow is tough to beat.  Plus, his card back points out that he hit a homer in his first MLB at bat – that is some good info.  Kemp’s card is tough to beat, too though.  So like Bud Selig at the 2002 All-Star game, I’m calling this one a wash.

2012 Heritage leads, 10.5-7.5


Next up is another stud.  2 years ago, I had the best pitcher and the best hitter in the game.  Pujols and Halladay have both dropped down a little bit since, but both are still top 5 hitters and pitchers.  This is card #91

Card #91 in 1963 Topps is Dallas Green.  Yes – the future Phillies, Mets, and Yankees manager / GM Dallas Green.  Green once played the game, but not super well.  In 5 full seasons and parts of others, Green went 20-22.


This was tough.  I like the pictures on the Green card, with the stands in the background, much better than Halladay.  But Halladay is a sure-fire Hall of Famer while Green was a mediocre pitcher who made a much bigger name in his second baseball career.  But he is recognizable.  And, I almost have to ding Heritage because they couldn’t find a better Phillies pitcher.  I guess Robin Roberts had moved on to the Orioles by now.  Ultimately, this put it over the top for me – a cartoon of a dude sleeping on the job!

2012 Heritage leads, 10.5-8.5


Finally, I kept the other dominant Phillies pitcher.  I almost gave up Cliff Lee at the end of the season 2 years ago for Adam Wainwright – good thing I didn’t or last year would have been shot.  This is card #56.

The 1963 Topps card is another Phillies pitcher I’ve never heard of – Dennis Bennett.  Apparently he had a slightly better career than Dallas Green.  He had a decent 3 first seasons, starting in 1962, but he finished 43-47 for his career.


I gotta go with the stud former Cy Young winner, not the guy I’ve never heard of.  I did find Bennett’s card interesting in that the inset photo is almost the same as the regular photo.

2012 Heritage leads, 11.5-8.5

2012 Heritage vs. Vintage #4 – All-Star Rookie Team

23 03 2012

Up next in the Great Heritage Comparison – All-Star Rookies.  Keep in mind – these cards feature players from the ASR team the year before.  So we’re comparing the 1962 ASR team to the 2011 version.  On the 1963 cards, compared to the 2012 Heritage version.  All pretty simple until someone gets hurt.

I’m comparing by position, not by card number.  The 10 players all have the same 10 card numbers (yay, Topps, yay!), but more often than not, Topps didn’t match up the card numbers at each position (boo, Topps, boo!).  I’m giving a half a point for each card winner, and then an additional bonus point to the team I deem the best.  This will be my longest post for this Heritage thing I’m doing – by far!

Second Base

The most notable thing about the 1962 Topps ASR team is that NL Rookie of the Year winner Ken Hubbs is not on it.  Hubbs was beaten out by Minnesota Twins second baseman Bernie Allen – who had the best season of his 14-year career in his first season.  In all fairness to Hubbs – Allen had a better year.  The 2011 second baseman was Danny Espinosa from the Nationals.

1963 Topps – Allen (.269/12/64, 646 PA’s)

2012 Heritage – Espinosa (.231/22/66, 658 PA’s, 17 SB)

Winner – Espinosa.  He had better overall numbers in his rookie year, and I think he’s likely to have a better future than Allen, who was a decent utility infielder for a decade or so.  I like the picture better on Allen’s card, but not enough to pick him.  I also don’t like that Topps sort of confused the card numbers here – Allen is card number 427, while Espinosa is 351.  These cards match up with other ASR cards – just not correct position wise.



Hubbs won the RoY award due primarily to a lack of competition.  The entire ASR team was composed of American League players, save one – pitcher Al Jackson, who had the unfortunate circumstances of having a decent rookie campaign while pitching for the Mets in their expansion year.  Despite a respectable 4.40 ERA over 230+ innings in the spacious Polo Grounds, Jackson lost 20 games.  That kept Rookie of the Year voters from looking at him, but not the Topps ASR team.

In 1963, Topps was selecting a RHP and a LHP – but in 2012, Topps selected a starter and a reliever.  Jackson was the lefty, Dean Chance was the right-handed pitcher.  Chance was very good in 1962 – and was 2 years removed from a Cy Young award for the Angels.  He actually did garner some Rookie of the Year consideration – placing 3rd.

The 2011 crop pitching crop is pretty darn good, though.  Both of the Rookie of the Year winners were represented here.  This kept out some pretty good pitchers, most notably Ivan Nova of the Yankees.  But Jeremy Hellickson was excellent in his 29 starts for the Rays, and Craig Kimbrel broke the rookie saves record.  All 4 pitchers are compared below.

1963 Topps – Jackson (8-20/4.40/118, 231 IP)

Chance (14-10/2.96/127, 206 IP)

2012 Heritage – Craig Kimbrel (4-3/2.10/127, 77 IP, 46 SV – MLB Rookie Record, NL ROY)

Hellickson (13-10/2.95/117, 189 IP, AL ROY)

Winner – Hellickson and Kimbrel.  I’m giving Heritage the clean sweep and a full point here!  Hellickson’s numbers are eerily similar to Chance’s, so they’re pretty close.  Chance had a pretty decent career – he didn’t pitch for a really long time, but he did have two 20-win seasons and a Cy Young Award.  I think Hellickson can match that career.  Kimbrel definitely had a better rookie season than Jackson, though his ineffectiveness at the end of the year when the Braves really needed him scares me for his future.  He has a great strikeout-to-innings ratio, though, and he broke a fairly significant rookie record.  I’d clearly give the 2011 team at least a split – but I really like Kimbrel’s picture.  They got him to go to the stands or the press box of a park, so it’s a neat background.  That puts them over the top for the full point here!  For the card number – Jackson and Hellickson both have card #111, but Kimbrel had card #398 – which was Boog Powell.  Chance was 355.  Again – they matched up ASR players, just not the same position.



That leaves us with one remaining Rookie of the Year winner to cover, and that winner was filling in at Shortstop for the New York Yankees while Tony Kubek was injured.  Tom Tresh would go on to a career just under a decade where he had good power and average hitting – but he was the best rookie in the 1962 season.  He had a career best 178 hits and 93 RBI, along with 20 home runs.  Tresh also performed very well in the postseason, hitting .321 with a homer and 4 RBI in the Yankees 7-game triumph over the Giants.

The 2012 ASR shortstop came courtesy of a baseball family.  Dee Gordon is not only Tom Gordon’s son, but he also had the 2011 card of the year as proclaimed by the 2011 blog of the year!  That’s nice and all, but this ain’t your 2011 Topps set, here – we’re comparing your daddy’s 1963 Topps to Heritage!

1963 Topps – Tresh (.269/12/64, 646 PA’s)

2012 Heritage – Gordon (.231/22/66, 658 PA’s, 17 SB)

Winner – Tresh.  He had better overall numbers in his rookie year, and I think he’s likely to have a better future than Allen, who was a decent utility infielder for a decade or so.  I kind of like the picture better on Allen’s card, but not enough to pick him.

Tresh was card #470, but Gordon was #427 – matching up with 2nd baseman Allen from above.


Third Base

Staying in the infield will take us over to the hot corner.  In 1962, that was 29-year old rookie Ed Charles, who got his chance with the Kansas City Athletics after a decade in the Braves minor league system.  Charles probably could have used a chance earlier than he got one – he hit .288 with 154 hits and solid power.  He was the 2nd best player on his team – and was pretty close to Norm Siebern.  Honestly – reading his “stats on the back” – I can’t believe he didn’t get a call up earlier.  He was behind Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews at 3rd, but you’d think they could have got a .290 hitter with some power into the lineup somewhere after 10 years.

Brett Lawrie was the 2011 version of the ASR hot corner.  But he was a late season call-up, not getting his ML debut until early August.  He did hit 9 homers in 43 games and slugged .580.

1963 Topps – Charles (.288/17/74, 20 SB, 604 PA’s)

2012 Heritage – Lawrie (.293/9/25, 171 PA’s)

Winner – Charles.  He played a full season and had really solid numbers.  I liked the info on the back of the card here, too, and I like the picture on his card – I’ve always been a fan of the sleeveless uni and that KC logo.  I’m further dinging Heritage for the mix up in position – Charles was card #67, while Lawrie was #280 – these two guys were flipped with the catcher.



Next up the catchers from the ASR teams were teammates of guys above.  While Lawrie was fielding throws from Blue Jays catcher JP Arencibia in August and September, 2011, the Angels’ Bob “Buck” Rodgers was calling balls and strikes for all of 1962.  Rodgers was one of the original members of the Angels – he was selected by the team in the expansion draft.  He got a cup of coffee in 1961, then became the team’s starting catcher in 1962.  Rodgers helped the team finish a surprising 10 games over .500 – unheard of for an expansion team in its second year.  He placed 2nd to Tresh in Rookie of the Year voting and caught Bo Belinsky’s no-hitter that year.  Buck went on to a good career as a signal caller and a decent MLB manager.

Arencibia also had a pretty solid year last year – though his .219 average and 133 strikeouts are a bit scary.

1963 Topps – Rodgers (.258/6/61, 624 PA’s)

2012 Heritage – Arencibia (.218/23/78, 486 PA’s)

Winner – Arencibia.  This was my toughest one.  I’ve changed the winner a couple of times – because, you know, this is important stuff that I should really be fretting about!  Neither picture jumps out at me – but I like that of Arencibia a little more.  I like Rodgers’ 1962 season a little more, and I like his career – the whole of it, including his stints as manager – more than I like JP’s future prospects.  Maybe the icing on the cake is what Topps didn’t do in 1963 – I’ve dinged Heritage for not doing cool things, so it’s fair to do it to Topps.  Bob Rodgers is best known as Buck – it’s a nickname after a comic book character – which is awesome.  But Topps doesn’t acknowledge it on this card, so Arencibia is my winner.

As mentioned, these guys card numbers were flipped with the cards above.


First Base

The last infield spot is first base.  Mark Trumbo of the Angels was the winner in 2011 – though I don’t think that’s the position where he’ll be playing next year.  Sounds like 3rd base is he current plan – but between Kendrys Morales, Trumbo and “El Hombre”, the Angels have quite a few natural first baseman to make use of.  Trumbo was the runner-up to Hellickson for the Rookie of the Year award – he hit nearly 30 homers and had nearly 90 RBI.  But, like Arencibia – he’s a high strikeout guy.  His OBP was actually under .300 – so that will need to come up if he’s ultimately going to be successful.

Fred Whitfield was the First Baseman on the 1962 team.  He had a decent half-season for the St. Louis Cardinals before getting traded to the Cleveland Indians the next season.  From there, he was actually pretty good for Cleveland in 3 of the next 4 seasons.  In fact, he was very much like Trumbo in 2011 – a solid power guy who hardly ever walked (though Trumbo struck out more).  His career wasn’t very long – and after those 3 or 4 good years his production decreased pretty fast.

1963 Topps – Whitfield (.266/8/34, 167 PA’s)

2012 Heritage – Trumbo (.254/29/87, 573 PA’s)

Winner – Trumbo.  This was another close one.  I’m not bullish on Trumbo by any means.  A OBP under .300 is a huge red flag for me.  He walked only 25 times in those nearly 600 plate appearances – and it’s not like he’s Vlad Guerrero who can just catch up to every bad ball that gets thrown to him.  But his 29-homer rookie season was still impressive, and Whitfield’s career numbers don’t make up much difference.  I don’t particularly like either card picture to make a difference.  Also – Whitfield has the capless attempt by Topps to act like they have a picture of him with the Indians, even though the picture was probably taken with the Cardinals.  Also – both these cards are #211 – so by me, Heritage got it right here!



Going with all 3 guys in this case.  Here’s the 2012 Heritage cards.

I kind of forgot who Josh Reddick was.  He’s not the former Duke guard, that’s for sure.  He was a Red Sock before getting traded to the A’s for Andrew Bailey.  Desmond Jennings for Tampa Bay and Ben Revere of Minnesota rounded out the team.  To be honest, this is one of the weaker ASR outfields as far as rookie year production goes.  Jennings and Reddick are both very good prospects, but they just didn’t play that much.

The Revere and the Jennings above were two cards I didn’t have yet – so I’ve got 7 of the ten.  Revere is an SP – so that makes sense, but Jennings is just one of the 40 or so “regs” that I still need and had to get photos off the internet.

Here’s the 1963 Topps cards:

Al Luplow of the Indians hit almost half of his career home runs in this one decent season – his 1962 rookie year.  He never had more than 350 at bats in a single season.  He did play for another 8 years, just didn’t get a ton of playing time.  Manny Jimenez was even more exaggerated – he had a great 1962 season for the Kansas City A’s, but that one season was nearly half of the playing time he saw his whole career.

Boog Powell, on the other hand, is the star of this crop.  He was decent for the 1962 season, but would go on to become an outright star.  He’s not quite Hall of Fame caliber – but he was excellent for quite a while.  He won the AL slugging title in 1964, and in 1969 and 1970 was arguably the best player in the league.  He was the MVP runner-up in ’69 and won the award in 1970 when the Orioles won the World Series.  He played in 4 Series with that Orioles dynasty, winning 2, and was a 4-time All-Star.

1963 Topps – Luplow (.277/14/45, 362 PA’s)

Jimenez (.301/11/69, 528 PA’s)

Powell (.243/15/53, 441 PA’s)

2012 Heritage – Reddick (.280/7/28, 254 PA’s)

Jennings (.259/10/25, 287 PA’s, 20 SB)

Revere (.267/0/30, 481 PA’s, 34 SB)

Winner – Powell, Jennings and Reddick.  I’m picking my top 3.  You have to love a Boog Powell All-Star Rookie card.  He has an awesome name, and he was a really good player for a pretty long time.  The 2011 guys still have their stories to write, but if any of the hitters approach Powell’s career I would be a) surprised, and b) very impressed.  Plus, his barbecue stand at Oriole Park is a better achievement than anything these guys could aspire to!  If you’re ever there, I’d recommend it – it’s just past the Babe Ruth statue, the stand with the longest line in the park!

I do like the chances for Reddick and Jennings – they seem like they have the tools to be good players.  So I’m taking them both closely above Jimenez, who had a very good rookie year but then never came close to that level of production.  He also benefits from the very cool KC A’s uniform, but not enough to over take Reddick for 3rd place in this group.

Jennings, Reddick and Revere are cards #195, 355 and 470, respectively, in the Heritage set – the last two match up with Chance and Tresh above.  Jimenez is #195, while Powell is #398 (matches Kimbrel) and Luplow is #351 (matches Espinosa).


Overall, that gives 2012 Heritage a surprising 3.5 to 1.5 victory in this case.  I think the teams are actually closer than this overall – because while the 1963 team has some players who just didn’t pan out, it’s got some very good ones, too like Boog, Chance and Tresh.  That ASR team has an MVP and a Cy Young to its credit – which I think would be a stretch for any of these players (except maybe Hellickson).  Still, I’m going to give the bonus point to 2012 Heritage in this case for the team across the board.  That’s a 4.5 to 1.5 winner toward my arbitrary determination!  Heritage has surprisingly taken the lead!

Heritage leades, 9-7.

2012 Heritage vs. Vintage #3 – Redlegs

22 03 2012

My blog – my choice – so I’ll do my team next 🙂  This is a fun comparison – the Reds in the early 60’s are comparable to the Reds of now.  One MVP-caliber player who was a really big name, quite a few young players you had to feel good about, and the team was always competitive for the pennant – but never the odds-on favorite.

Card #422 – Dusty Baker / Fred Hutchinson

Let’s start with the fearless leader of the Redlegs.  Dusty gets a bad rap – but he’s a pretty good manager.  Is he the smartest bullpen manager – no, but that’s overrated.  He rarely makes outright bad decisions – just some that you want to question.  But nobody can coax more out of today’s ballplayer!  I like this picture of him.

Dusty’s counterpart in the 1963 set is none other than Fred Hutchinson.


Honestly, this one isn’t a competition.  I like Dusty and I give Heritage credit that they did the logo thing in the circle at the bottom for managers – just like in 1963.  The logo is better, that sleeveless uniform is better, and it’s Hutch.  If you don’t like this card, that’s fine – because if you’re not careful, Fred will ensure that’s the last thought you have.  There are probably a bunch of things you don’t know about Fred Hutchinson:

  • Fred Hutchinson can slam a revolving door.
  • You can’t tell it from this picture here, but Fred Hutchinson is wearing #1.  As in – he’s #1, don’t forget it.
  • Fred Hutchinson counted to infinity.  Twice.
  • That number #1 has not been worn by any other Red player or manager since Fred retired – it hangs on the cement in Great American Ballpark.  It was the first number the Reds ever retired.

1963 Topps leads, 3.5-2.5


Card #194 – Coco Cordero / Joe Nuxhall

I will say, I appreciate Cordero’s contributions to the Reds.  We paid him a lot of money to be the closer here, in a time where the bullpen wasn’t very good.  All of a sudden he came here – and a guy like David Weathers didn’t have to close, but he became one of the best setup men around.  Arthur Rhodes was an all-star when Cordero was the closer.  I think this trickle down effect gets underrated.  His raw stats probably say he was slightly overpaid (but even those are close) – but I think that factor made him worth it – 4 years ago the team would have been lost without him because the bullpen would have been a weakness instead of a strength.  The improvement since then maybe couldn’t have happened if not for that factor.


But nobody contributed more to the Reds than Joe Nuxhall.  And this card is sweet.  This is actually the biggest no-brainer I’ve had thus far – because Joe Nuxhall is awesome, the picture above is awesome.  But, not only could nobody beat the old left-hander, but Cordero ain’t even on the team any more.  If I could make this card worth 2 points, I would.  But rules are rules.

1963 Topps leads, 4.5-2.5


Card #225 – Aroldis Chapman / Joey Jay

Admit it – you’re scared of that black and white picture at the bottom.  I am, too.  If Aroldis somehow figures out how to break the cardboard dimensional barrier and come off that card, he’s hurling a 105-mile heater right at you.  Breaking the cardboard dimensional barrier seems unrealistic – but nothing is unrealistic for a guy who throws a 105-MPH fastball.

Joey Jay was coming off back to back 21-win seasons after the 1962 season.  I don’t know this for sure – but I’d bet this is the last time a Reds pitcher did this.  Did you know Joey Jay won a game in the 1961 World Series.  I bet you didn’t – because I didn’t scan the back of this card.  But if I had, well you’d know.


Unfortunately, that was the only game those Reds won in the 1961 World Series.  Maybe if Mr. Jay had a 105-mile heater in his pocket, we could have fared a little better against Maris and Mantle.  Victory goes to Chapman – hopefully we can get him in the starting rotation someday.

1963 leads, 4.5-3.5


Card #90 – Joey Votto / Gordy Coleman

I like the symmetry of the poses on these cards.  I also really like Gordy’s hat.  Did I mention how much I like the Reds uniforms from that time frame?


I like Reds MVPs better.  Votto takes this one.  I’m tired and don’t need to explain any further.

Tied, 4.5-4.5


Card #400 – Jay Bruce / Frank Robinson

I like Jay Bruce.  Jay Bruce hit a walk-off home run that clinched the Reds first postseason birth since 1995.  He also had the official Lifetimetopps card of the year.


But, as I said one card ago, “I like Reds MVPs better.  I’m tired and don’t need to explain any further.”

Frank Robinson is happy that I can go to bed now, and he’s happy that he put 1963 Topps back in the lead.

1963 Topps leads, 5.5-4.5