2012 Heritage vs. Vintage #1 – The Alpha & Omega

20 03 2012

I’m going to do something similar to what I did last year for my “retro break” from the Lifetime Topps project.  Last year I did one giant post where I compared a bunch of the more notable cards in the 1962 set to the 2011 Heritage set.  This year, I’ll do the same thing – but I’m going to do it in a series of posts.  The one giant post a) was enormous, b) took forever, and c) felt rushed in a way that I didn’t get to look at the cards in as much detail.

I’ll do this anywhere from 1 or 2 cards at a time, to maybe a specific subset, but the point is to compare the two.  So I’ll pick a “winner” and keep score as I do this.  Let me know if you disagree with any of my selections!

First, I’ll start with  the #1 card in the set.  Last year, this was the reigning AL MVP’s – Roger Maris compared with Josh Hamilton.  This year, it’s a subset card – so not quite the same comparison.  I probably won’t show card backs in most instances – just too much scanning – but decided to for the first of these posts.

Here’s the 2012 version.

This card is the National League Batting Leaders – showing the 5 dudes who had the highest batting average in the National League in 2011.

Positives for the 2012 card

  • Joey Votto is on this card – go Reds!
  • Even though he shouldn’t be in the center – Matt Kemp being on this card is cool.  If Kemp had raised that average a little higher, he’d have won the first triple crown since 1967.  He should have been the hands down MVP, even if you don’t factor in the Braun steroids part.
  • This card is sort of intriguing because of Jose Reyes.  He won the batting title with a little controversy, after taking himself out after getting an early hit in the last game.  Ryan Braun, who earned second, didn’t do well in the later game that day – so it didn’t matter.  But the media here was all up in arms.  I hate to break it – but people have been doing this kind of crap since Ty Cobb and Nap Lajoie back in the day.  Anyways, it was an interesting story, and this card shows those two guys.
  • Reyes is shown as a Met, even though his regular card shows him as a Marlin.  This is appropriate since he won the title as a Met.  Kudos to Topps.
  • I also like that they show the top 50 on the back – all the way down to .259 for Ryan Roberts!  I double checked this on baseball reference – they are in fact correct on the top 50!

Negatives for the 2012 card

  • Reyes – the statistical leader – is in the top left, not the diamond in the middle.  This just doesn’t make sense.
  • Braun is on this card.  Ryan Braun is a lying cheater in my mind until he comes out with a more realistic explanation.  Not just “I didn’t take this substance”.  When the collector took your sample, it was triple sealed.  You signed something saying you agreed it was triple sealed.  When it was received by the testing lab, it was triple sealed.  It’s scientifically true that leaving the sample for a couple of days anywhere wouldn’t impact the test.  Either you think the collector f’d around with your sample and then re-triple sealed it, or there is some other reason that you came up with a positive test.  Neither is anything he’s said in public, so he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt for me.  I don’t even care if he did in fact take something – I just care that he’s lying about it.  The rest is just the reason he got off, not a reason to think he’s not a lying cheater.

Here’s the 1963 card:

Positives for the 1963 card:

  • Frank Robinson is on this card – go Reds again!
  • You’ve got a Dodger in the center of this card – just like the 2012 one.  This one is Tommy Davis – who is appropriately in the center.  Because – HE WON THE TITLE!  So Topps got it right in 1963, but not in 2012.
  • In addition to Robinson, who is close to a top-10 all-time outfielder, and you’ve got Stan the Man and Hank Aaron, who are even higher on that list.  Time will tell, but I don’t think that the group from 2012 will be able to compete with this group.
  • This also has a “top 50” on the back.  It was particularly interesting to me that the dip between #49 Roy McMillan and #50 Ron Santo was .246 to .227.  This is quite a drop.  I looked this up on baseball reference as well – and it’s valid, too!  What’s the drop from 50 to 51 you ask?  It doesn’t exist – there were exactly 50 qualifiers for the National League batting title in 1962.  This is even more cool than the 2012 version because it made me look this up.

Negatives for the 1963 card:

  • Not much.  It’s not my favorite design – but that’s not differentiating it from the 2012 card.  Maybe that I don’t really recollect hearing who Bill White is?


The 1963 card takes this one – getting the leader correctly in the center is a big deal to me, and the overall greatness of the group on the card makes this an easy call.  The Ron Santo tidbit is gravy.

1963 Topps leads, 1-0


Next up is the “Omega” card.  Card #500 is the last card for 2012 Heritage – it’s Michael Cuddyer.  I could have done two things with the 1963 set.  I could have done card #500 – which was Harmon Killebrew.  Or I could do the last card of the set.  I’m deciding, since the reason I picked this card was that it’s the “Omega” – I’m going with the last card, #576.

First, here’s Cuddyer:

Positives for the 2012 card

  • He’s shown as a Rockie.  I keep reading about Heritage being “photo shopped” – but the way they do these cards, it’s almost more like a canvas painting.  So airbrushed or photo shopped just doesn’t seem applicable.  Anyways, I didn’t know that Cuddyer was a Rockie.  Apparently he signed as a free agent back in December.
  • The useless baseball knowledge is all over the back of this card.  First – just from looking at his stats, Cuddyer has had some pretty darn good years!  I kind of knew this, but now I know it better.  Additionally, I now know that he is one of 3 Twins to hit a home run in a 1-0 game.  I’m not sure what that does in the grand scheme of things, but if he hit one of those dingers in 2008 – well they sure needed it to make the playoffs!  Finally, there is a blurb about only 9 active AL guys with a completely random assortment of stats.  I would love to try to guess that.  A-Rod, Jeter and Pudge!  There’s 3!
  • Great detail – particularly on the bat he’s holding.  You can not only see that it’s a Louisville slugger, but you can see the “powerized” wording, the model, and Cuddyer’s signature inscription.

Negatives for the 2012 card

  • The useless stats don’t make as much since they are based on his tenure with the Twins or in the AL – and he’s obviously no longer on that team or in that league.  Additionally, putting him at card #500 was clearly meant to parallel Killebrew.  I kind of wish they’d have picked a better option for that.  Jose Bautista was the AL HR leader like Killebrew, and the Blue Jays didn’t exist in 1962 so he’s a great option.  Or, Justin Morneau – a Twins first baseman and former MVP like Killebrew.

The last card of the 1963 set is card #576 – Johnny Temple.

Positives for the 1963 card:

  • Johnny Temple is a former Red – got to love that.
  • He plays for the Houston Colt 45’s.  Before they were the Astros.  Got to love the politically incorrectness of that name!
  • The blurb on the back below his bio is actually a very interesting tidbit – he has appeared in the All-Star game for both the National and American Leagues.  This is much better than Cuddyer’s hand-made-for-him and outdated (since he’s no longer in the AL) tidbit.

Negatives for the 1963 card:

  • A hatless shot.  this was clearly done because they didn’t have a photo of him with Houston.  And the photo shopping on the picture in the circle looks really bad.
  • The comic just doesn’t make any sense with the blurb.  He’s flying horizontally out of a box while getting pegged in the cap with a baseball? Huh?


Going with the Cuddyer Heritage card.  I really like the detail and the fact that it’s a viable picture of him with Colorado.  The pluses on the back for the ’63 card don’t outweigh the difference on the fronts.

Tied, 1-1




2 responses

20 03 2012

i think Reyes not being in the center of the batting leaders card is terrible. they got it right in the 63 version!

20 03 2012

Yeah – they screw this up throughout this subset. Not the end of the world, just something that bugs me, I guess.

When the Olympic Medalists stand on the podium – they don’t put the winner to the left – they put him/her in the center, on a higher platform! That’s what the diamond was supposed to be like – a higher platform in the center!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: