Continuing my overview of this year’s Topps Heritage and the 1963 Topps set – here is the break of my first Heritage hobby box. I liked Heritage so much last year that I bought 2 hobby boxes this year. It arrived a couple of days ago, so here’s that first post! Like I did last year, I want to do these posts 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 older set.
This is a great weekend! Saturday morning, I woke up, got some to-do’s out of the way while watching the Syracuse Kansas St. game, and then sat down to this:
Beers, basketball, baseball cards and St. Patty’s Day!
I really loved the previous year’s set – the actual card quality was awesome, and the 1962 design is one of my favorites. The effect they use for the photos is really cool, too. The actual photos aren’t the greatest – but I guess that’s keeping in line with the set Heritage is honoring. I’d seen the 1962 set in person back in my youth – I owned a 1962 Topps Whitey Ford card which I got signed. But I’ve never owned a 1963 card!
Well, I do now. The Box Topper was one of the 50th Anniversary cards (you’re other option is a 3-card Ad Panel). Topps bought these back from the secondary market and stamped them. The card is not in great condition by any means – rounded corners and there is a little bit of gunk on the card. But it’s cool to get at the start of the box – it let’s you see the set that Heritage is based on.
I did OK with this box. I didn’t get any really rare inserts, but you’d be very lucky to do so for Heritage. The relic I got was a Madison Bumgarner Clubhouse Collection – so that’s about as weak as I could get for my 1 “hit” (relic or auto).
I’m not complaining, though – hits aren’t the point of Heritage. It’s a beautiful set with high quality base cards that I just hope to complete at some point. You basically get 1 “insert” per pack – if you count SPs as inserts. Out of both boxes I opened, I got an SP or an insert in 23 of 24 packs. And – see tomorrow for my 2nd box; I did a little better there! Here’s the inserts I pulled:
First are the Chrome cards. I got a Chrome Refractor – the Worley – which beats the odds. The Chrome are numbered out of 1963, the Refractors are out of 563.
Next, the “Stick-Ons” – which are a throwback to the insert that came in 1963 packs. I got 3 of those, which is what you’re supposed to get.
There are two kinds of “flashback” inserts. The Baseball Flashbacks cover what happened in 1963 in the baseball world, while the News Flashbacks what happened in the world at large. This is a cool part of Heritage – you get to learn a little history with your baseball card collection. I got 2 of each kind. One thing I don’t like that they did this year – the cards aren’t numbered (BF1, BF2, etc.), they are “lettered” (BF-SK, etc.). I hate when they do this. It’s OK for relics or autos – cards you don’t try to complete a set for. Not for insert sets.
Next up are the other two insert sets – “Then and Now” and “New Age Performers”. Both statistically compare newer players to what happened in the past. The New Age cards are a different look – that seems more like a late 60’s or early 70’s type of deal.
Below are the “stats” for the box.
24 packs per box * 9 cards per pack + 3 checklists +1 50th Anniversary – 1 card for the pack with relic = 219 cards
192 of the 425 card base set (45% set completion)
8 SP cards
200 of the 500 card full set (40% set completion)
2 Baseball Flashbacks, 2 News Flashbacks, 2 New Age Performers, 2 Then & Now
1 Chrome Refractor
1 Clubhouse Collection Relic (Bumgarner)
Box Topper – 1 50th Anniversary Buyback
Next up – here’s a fictitious 1963 box!
If you wanted to collect the 1963 Topps set at the time of release – that would mean you’d have 7 series of packs/boxes to purchase throughout the year. The standard wax packs came 5 cards per pack and 24 packs per box (there’s also the 1-card packs, which is the box I’ve got shown above – but the boxes look the same). 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 a sticker per pack in many of the series – so you’d probably get a full set of those 46, and then some to stick on you refrigerator!
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) – League leaders subsets – with cards containing Aaron and Mantle, Al Kaline
- Series Two (110-196) – World Series subset, Carl Yastrzemski, Roger Maris, “Bombers’ Best” with Mantle and Bobby Richardson
- Series Three #197-283 – Mickey Mantle on card #200, Sandy Koufax, Tony Oliva’s RC, “Power Plus” with Aaron and Eddie Mathews, Stan Musial’s last card
- Series Four #284-370 – Willie Mays on card #300, Yogi Berra, Brooks Robinson, Warren Spahn
- Series Five #371-446 – Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson on card #400
- Series Six #447-522 – Willie McCovey, Harmon Killebrew
- Series Seven #523-576 – The big Pete Rose RC, Willie Stargell RC, Roberto Clemente
These days, coming across an unopened pack is a rare find – they’d probably go for a few hundred bucks, and well-graded ones even more than that. Just a wrapper itself would cost you ~30-40 bucks.