Massive trade with Kyle (Nolan’s Dugout)

31 03 2013

I recently completed a humongous trade with Kyle, a blog reader who contacted me earlier in the year about trading.  Being busy as hell in February, it took me a little while to get my act together – but when I did, we traded about 200 cards.  We each sent about 200 cards to each other, and it was a smörgåsbord of Topps cards (and even a little Upper Deck thrown in, too)!

Kyle also just started a blog of his own, Nolan’s Dugout, so check it out as he chronicles getting his collection organized and his blog up and running.

Heres’s what I got on my end of the trade.  First off, Kyle finished off the last 5 cards I needed for my 1992 and 1993 Topps sets!

Trade with Kyle

Also, some 1994 and 1995 Topps (there were a lot more than just these – but here’s the highlights):

Trade with Kyle March 94 95 Topps

Kyle also sent some 1996, 1997 and 1998 Topps.  This was the last card I needed for the 1996 set, as well – that’s 3 sets completed!

Trade with Kyle 96 97 98 Topps

There was also some 1999 Topps – which I haven’t even gotten to on my posts yet, but I am in the “market” for.  And some 2012 Topps Update cards.

Trade with Kyle March 99 Topps 12 Update

There were some inserts in this trade, too.  Kyle sent over quite a few retail inserts from last year’s Gypsy Queen set – helping me get closer to finishing this product off right around when the 2013 version is about to come out.

Trade with Kyle March GQ inserts

And some base Topps inserts, too.  I didn’t scan it, but I got a Sammy Sosa card from 1996 ProFiles that finished that insert set off as well – so this trade completed me 4 total sets.

Trade with Kyle March Topps inserts

Thanks again for the trade, Kyle!

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #6 – All-Star Rookie Team Outfield

30 03 2013

Post #6 for the Great Heritage Comparison is the last one for comparing the All-Star Rookies.  I’m comparing the outfielders here.  Biggest points awarded to how good the player’s season was, though if one of the cards itself is significantly better, than I’ll factor that in, too.


Here’s the 2013 Heritage cards.  Note, since Topps decided to load up the SP’s this year, these are all hard to get SP cards.  I have the Cespedes and Harper, but still missing the Trout.

2013 Heritage ASR Harper OF

2013 Heritage ASR Cespedes OF


This is about as loaded as you can get.  The two rookie of the year winners, and the AL runner-up in Cespedes (who would have given Harper a run for his money in the NL).  Trout had a historically great season.  Harper was an all-star on top of being Rookie of the Year. And though I’d debate if he should have garnered either award, the dude was 19, and it looks like he could actually get close to living up to his incredible hype.

It’s also worth pointing out that all three of these continue the trend of the picture looking like the trophy said something into their ear.  Looks like Trout got the joke, Cespedes is just confused, and Harper, well, he looks like he might be either listening intently, or about to get really angry.  But he kind of always looks that way.

Here are the the outfielders from the 1963 set (and their 1964 Topps card).

1964 Topps 330 Tommy Harper



Funny that there is a Harper on both of these teams.  None of these guys had great careers – though Harper had a very solid career that included two seasons leading the league in steals and one season leading the league in runs.  He swiped over 400 bases in his career.  Out of all them, only Jimmie Hall had all that great of a rookie season, either.

2013 Heritage – B. Harper (.270/22/59, 597 PA’s – NL RoY)

Trivia question – Which pitcher lost a game after he retired?

Trivia answer – Jim Hearn in 1959, it had been suspended.

Cespedes (.292/23/82, 540 PA’s)

Trivia question – Who is the only man with two 35-game hitting streaks?

Trivia answer – Ty Cobb (40 and 35).

Trout (.326/30/83, 129 R, 49 SB, 639 PA’s – AL RoY)

Trivia question – Who set the AL mark for total bases in a game in 2012?

Trivia answer – Josh Hamilton, 18, on May 8.

1964 Topps – T. Harper (.260/10/37, 465 PA’s)

Trivia question – Already done in a previous post.

Hall (.260/33/80, 571 PA’s)

Trivia question – Which A.L. club holds the HR mark?

Trivia answer – The New York Yankees, 240 in 1961.  (And now it’s 264, from the Mariners in 1997)

Davalillo (.292/7/36, 370 PA’s)

Trivia question – Who led the 1963 Angels in homers?

Trivia answer – Leon Wagner, 26.

Winner – Trout, Harper, and then a tie (Hall and Cespedes).

I don’t think I can really differentiate much between Hall and Cespedes, they both had very good seasons that would have been award-winning if not for a historical rookie season by the AL winner.  This was Hall’s best season in his career, so that’s what it took.  It’s surprising that Heritage didn’t sweep this, but Hall had more homers than any of the guys from 2012.


Overall, that gives 2012 Heritage a 5.5 to 3.5 victory in comparing the All-Star Rookie teams.  I think this teams aren’t really that close, so that sounds about right.  Last year was literally one of the best All-Star Rookie Teams you could imagine – a guy like Wil Rosario has been completely overshadowed, and Nori Aoki didn’t even make the team!  It would be interesting to compare last year’s team to some of the other ASR teams – it would also be interesting to compare them career-wise.  Maybe see which year had the most total WAR.

I’m also giving the bonus point to 2013 Heritage in this case for the better team across the board.  That gives Heritage a very large 3 point lead in this completely arbitrary competition!

Heritage leades, 13-10.

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #5 – All-Star Rookie Team Infield

28 03 2013

Up next is post #2 for the All-Star Rookie part of my Great Heritage Comparison.  This is the infield.  Heritage has a slim lead, 8-7.

First Base

1964-5102-F2013 Heritage ASR RizzoThis is another one Heritage matched up (sort of correctly).  Rusty Staub is card #109, which matches up with Zach Cozart who was the shortstop for the ASR team.  Staub became the second most accomplished player from the 1963 Topps All-Star Rookie Team.  He finished his career with 2,700 hits, nearly 300 homers and nearly 1,500 RBI.  And while his rookie season was solid, it wasn’t outstanding by any means.  He hit .224 with 45 RBI.  He played the whole season for the fledgling Colt .45s, who were in only their second season.

Anthony Rizzo for the Cubs was last year’s All-Star Rookie first baseman.  He had a pretty solid season, albeit in playing in about two-thirds of the year.  He is card #191, which matches up with Clay Dalrymple, who didn’t play first base and didn’t play for the Cubs.

1964 Topps – Staub (.224/6/45, 585 PA’s)

Trivia: Who was the last A.L. Star to hit 4 homers in a game?

Answer: Rocky Colavito in 1959.  Mike Cameron would be the next American League player to do it in 2002.

2013 Heritage – Rizzo (.285/15/48, 368 PA’s)

Trivia: Who leads active players with 54 HR’s leading off games?

Answer: Alphonso Soriano.

Winner – split.  I like the Staub card much better.  It’s a better pose, and the Colt .45’s is a neat team nickname from back in the day.  Plus, he had such a solid career – he’s one of those “Best player who isn’t a Hall of Famer” types.  But Rizzo clearly had the better rookie season, so I’m calling this one a draw.

Second Base

2013 Heritage ASR Lombardozzi

1964-5985-FI don’t really need to say a lot here.  Peter Edward had himself a nice Rookie of the Year campaign and a fairly solid career.

Steve Lombardozzi is the second baseman on last year’s Topps ASR team.  You may know him as the son of … Steve Lombardozzi!  In fact, his rookie season last year was already about equal to the best seasons that his dad had – his 105 hits are two more than pops ever had in a year.

Something does need to be addressed at this point.  Topps has been more than a bit creative with these photos.  Literally every single card so far has the ASR trophy placed in an interesting manner.  The last two have been particularly notable – it looks like the batter on the trophy is whispering something into the player’s ear.  It happens too often for me to think it’s not intentional, and I actually give Topps some credit for doing something kind of creative.

1964 Topps – Rose (.273/6/41, 696 PA’s, 101 R – NL RoY)

Trivia: Who holds the Dodgers record for hits in a season.

Answer: Babe Herman – 241 in 1930.

2013 Heritage – Lombardozzi (.273/3/27, 416 PA’s)

Trivia: Who’s had the most hits since the start of division play in ’69.

Answer: Paul Molitor 3,319.

Winner – Rose.  Duh.



1964-8286-F$T2eC16hHJIIE9qTYMbcCBRPTNUt6pQ~~60_57Al Weis of the White Sox was the shortstop listed for the 1963 team, which is interesting because he played nearly twice as many games at second as he did at short.  But I’m sure Topps was reaching for players at this position, so getting an infielder of some sort here makes sense.  Weis would play shortstop for most of his career, and was a utility man for the World Champion Mets in 1969.

The aforementioned Zack Cozart was the 6-man for the 2012 ASR team – giving the Reds two players on the team.  Cozart was solid, too.  He strikes out a bit too much for my taste, but we got rid of Drew Stubbs so maybe the lineup can afford that now.

1964 Topps – Weis (.271/0/18, 238 PA’s)

Trivia: Which pitcher hurled 3 shutouts in a World Series.

Answer: Christy Mathewson in 1905.

2013 Heritage – Cozart (.246/15/35, 600 PA’s)

Trivia: Who holds the Blue Jays career home run record?

Answer: Carlos Delgado, 336.

Winner – Cozart.  Cozart definitely had the better season.  And he’s a Red.  And I like that Mr. Red is shown off in this photo.


Third Base

1964-4521-F2013 Heritage ASR FrazierThe final infield position is the hot corner.  In 1963, that meant we were on to the third Chicago White Sock on this squad.  Pete Ward had an excellent rookie campaign.  In fact, he finished second in the RoY voting behind his teammate, pitcher Gary Peters.  He also finished 9th in the MVP voting (also one spot behind Peters).  He had 34 doubles and over 80 runs & RBI.

Todd Frazier was the Reds third baseman last year, and it took a lot to displace Scott Rolen.  I think Frazier should have gotten more love than Harper for NL RoY.  Thankfully, Rolen didn’t re-up with the Reds, so Dusty Baker won’t have the option of sitting the more productive Frazier in favor of Rolen.

1964 Topps – Ward (.295/22/84, 600 PA’s)

Trivia: Which A.L. club holds the mark for triples in a season?

Answer: Boston 112 in 1903.  That’s what the card says.  It should be noted that Baltimore (who would soon become the New York Yankees) also had 112 triples in the inaugural 1901 season of the junior circuit.

2013 Heritage – Frazier (.273/19/67, 465 PA’s)

Trivia: Who was the second man with a 50-HR season?

Answer: Hack Wilson with 56 in 1930.

Winner – Ward.  It’s difficult for me to pick against Frazier.  But Ward had the better year (not that Frazier wasn’t very good), and his picture is better, too.

Tied, 9.5-9.5.

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #4 – All-Star Rookie Battery Mates

27 03 2013

Up next in the Great Heritage Comparison – All-Star Rookies.  These cards feature players from the ASR team the year before.  So we’re comparing the 1963 ASR team to the 2012 team.  On the 1964 cards, compared to the 2013 Heritage version.  All pretty simple until someone gets hurt.  This should be a pretty fun comparison – the 1963 team has the all-time hit king on it.  I’m pretty sure Heritage will come away with an advantage here, however; last year’s team was probably the best rookie crop in history.

I’m comparing by position, not by card number.  Last year, 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.  This year, they don’t even have the same card numbers in all instances (boo, Topps, boo!), but they do in some (crickets).  One other thing to note, the 2012 set has an extra pitcher as they now select a relief pitcher.

I’m giving an additional bonus point to the team I deem the best overall at the end of the ASR team.  This will be over three posts to break it up into 3-4-3 cards per post (batter, infield, outfield).  Unlike the other comparisons, I’ll base my picks mostly on how good their rookie year was, though card picture will be a secondary consideration.


2013 Heritage ASR Rosario C1964-23684-FThis matchup features Wilin Rosario of the Rockies against Jesse Gonder of the Mets.  Gonder actually played a few games in 1960, 61 and 62, but was still rookie eligible in 1963, when he was traded from the Reds to the Mets.  Gonder was a left-handed hitter, which is a bonus as a catcher, though it seems he platooned most of his career, as 1964 would be the only season he played more than 85 games.  In 1963, he hit .304 combined for the Reds and Mets; ’63 and ’64 were easily his best 2 seasons.  The 1964 card doesn’t have the All-Star Rookie trophy by mistake.

Rosario on the other hand appears as though he’s going to be an everyday catcher.  In 2012, he hit 28 homers in just under 400 at bats, and earned 4th place in the RoY voting in one of the most stacked rookie classes I can ever remember.  These cards are a total non-match; Gonder is card #457 (Latos in Heritage), while Rosario is card #488 (Yankees rookies in ’64 Topps).

1963 Topps – Jesse Gonder (.304/6/20, 167 PA’s)

Trivia: Who was the oldest batting champ?

Answer: Ted Williams, 39 hit .388 in 1957.

2012 Heritage – Wilin Rosario (.270/28/71, 426 PA’s)

Trivia on Rosario’s card is a repeat.

Winner – Rosario.  He easily had better overall numbers in his rookie year, in fact, it’s one of the better rookie years by a catcher in my lifetime (Piazza and Santiago jump out as better). He’s already hit more career homers than Gonder.  I like the picture better on Gonder’s card, but I’ve also got to ding that one for not having the ASR trophy.



2013 Heritage ASR Darvish RHP

1964-21518-FRay Culp / Yu Darvish here.  This is actually a great matchup.  Both pitchers finished 3rd in their respective league’s RoY voting, and both pitchers made the All-Star team as rookie starting pitchers.  Culp went 14-11 with an ERA under 3 as the Phillies best pitcher.  Culp had a pretty good career, winning 122 games (14 games or more 6x) and even making on more All-Star team.  Culp is on card #412, which matches up with Casey Janssen, who is a pitcher but wasn’t on the ASR team.

Darvish went 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA in the offensive laden AL West.  He would have been a contender for RoY in many other seasons. He had a lot of hype, and certainly got very close to living up.  The Darvish card matches up with Pete Rose as card #125 – so they both have the trophy at least.

1964-6283-F$T2eC16NHJG8E9nyfmYugBRS5Y6qnPg~~60_57The LHP spot is also a very good matchup, and in fact features guys who were even better than Darvish or Culp.  Gary Peters of the White Sox was the 1963 member of the ASR team.  Peters went 19-8, led the league in ERA, was 8th in MVP voting and won the AL Rookie of the Year.  Peters also had a pretty solid career, winning 124 games, winning 2 ERA titles and leading the league with 20 wins in 1964.  Peters is on card #130, which matches up with Philip Umber – who wasn’t an ASR team member but was on the White Sox.  But he signed with Houston in the offseason.

Peters was impressive, but he’s got good competition.  Miley was runner-up for the NL Rookie of the Year, and almost won the award over Bryce Harper.  Miley went 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA for the Diamondbacks.  Miley has card #474, and there’s no connection with him and Larry Sherry other than them both being pitchers.

1963 Topps – Culp (14-11/2.97/176, 203 IP)

Trivia: Which team scored 15 runs in the first inning?

Answer: The LA Dodgers in 1952 (they weren’t in LA at the time – but that’s what the card says).

Peters (19-8/2.33/189, 243 IP – AL RoY)

Trivia: When was the National League formed?

Answer: 1876.

2012 Heritage – Darvish (16-9/3.90/221, 191 IP)

Trivia: Who was the last NL player with a 4-HR game?

Answer: Shawn Green, Dodgers, May 23, 2002.

Miley (16-11/3.33/144, 195 IP)

Trivia: Which two men tied for the NL HR crown in consecutive years?

Answer: Ralph Kiner & Johnny Mize, ’47 & ’48.

Winner – Split.  I’m giving Heritage the win for Darvish in a very close matchup.  The ERA looks much higher, but he actually had a better season than Culp if you look at any value metric.  And his team made the playoffs, though they did have a pretty epic collapse to blow the division title.  Plus, I just don’t like the Culp photo.

But Peters definitely has to have the win over Miley.  I like the picture on both cards, but Peters was the Rookie of the Year winner and led the league in ERA.  They only did one Cy Young (not one in each league) back then, and Sandy Koufax was the unanimous winner, but Peters would have vied for the American League award if it existed.  Miley was good, but not that good.

2013 Heritage leads, 8-7

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #3 – Redlegs

25 03 2013

My blog – so I get to 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 #207 – Dusty Baker / Fred Hutchinson

Let’s start with our fearless leaders!  Dusty gets a bad rap – but he’s a good manager.  Not always the best bullpen manager, but that’s overrated.  Nobody, though, can get the best out of today’s ballplayers like he does!  Unlike last year’s Heritage set, this isn’t a great picture of him.  Not horrible, but not really good.  Maybe if he had his toothpick…

2013 Heritage Reds Dusty

Dusty’s counterpart in the 1964 set is none other than Fred Hutchinson, the first Red to have his number retired.

1964 Topps 207 Fred Hutchinson


Like last year, I have to go with the old school guy here.  It’s nothing against Dusty, but these facts are true, even more now that Chuck Norris has shaved his beard.

  • 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.
  • Fred Hutchinson doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
  • 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.

2013 Heritage leads, 4-3


Card #260 – Drew Stubbs / Frank Robinson

2013 Heritage Reds Drew Stubbs

Trivia question was already shown in an earlier post.

1964 Topps 260 Frank Robinson

Trivia question – What’s the top A.L. hitting mark since 1900?

Trivia answer – .420 – Ty Cobb and George Sisler.  This question is a bit redundant.  They don’t need to qualify the American League with “since 1900” – it was formed in 1901.

Wait a minute here!  That’s not a Redleg!  I’m thinking about doing a full post on this later, but Topps does this a lot – match up a player that has changed team with a counterpart from his old team.  Wish Robbie would have been matched with Joey Votto instead.


I do like the Indians card.  Why, you ask?  It reminds me that Drew Stubbs and all the frustrations he has have been replaced by Shin Soo Choo.  But I’m not picking against Frank Robinson in those sweet 1960’s Reds uniforms!

Tied, 4-4


Card #45 – Brandon Phillips / Milt Pappas

2013 Heritage Reds Phillips

Trivia question – Who was the last NL catcher to win a batting crown before 2012?

Trivia answer – Ernie Lombardi in 1942 with the Braves.

1964 Topps 45 Milt Pappas

Trivia question – Who holds the homer record for third baseman?

Trivia answer – I can’t find an scratched back of a Pappas card on the internet, so I don’t know how many he had at the end of 1963, but the answer is undoubtedly Eddie Mathews.

Pappas would eventually play for the Reds.  He came over in the 1965 trade of Frank Robinson.  But at this point he was still a pitcher for the Orioles, and he sure doesn’t play second base, so this is not an apt comparison.  I don’t actually recognize that Orioles logo on the side of his uniform – just a version of the bird that I hadn’t seen before!


I don’t like that Topps didn’t do a good match here, but I love that Brandon Phillips card.  It’s a very candid shot of a guy who loves to have a good time.  It’s an example of how to do these up close shots.

2013 Heritage leads, 5-4


Card #80 – Jay Bruce / Vada Pinson

2013 Heritage Reds Jay Bruce

Trivia question – Which catcher started a triple play in 2012?

Trivia answer – A. J. Ellis (Dodgers).

1964 Topps 80 Vada Pinson

Trivia question – Who is known as a fireman in baseball?

Trivia answer – Relief Pitcher.

Finally a spot-on comparison.  It would be pretty cool if the photos were similar, but I guess they’re both smiling?


As much as I want to give Heritage credit for having a correct comparison, Pinson just has a better photo here.

Tied, 5-5


Card #330 – Johnny Cueto / Frank Robinson

2013 Heritage Reds Cueto

Trivia question – Which 2012 team had 7 career 200-HR men on their roster?

Trivia answer – Yankees.  (Duh)

1964 Topps 330 Tommy Harper

Trivia question – Who was the Twins HR king last year?

Trivia answer – Harmon Killebrew, 45.

I’ll be showing this Tommy Harper card again in a later comparison, when I do the All-Star Rookie teams.


I really like the Heritage pose of Johnny Cueto – it’s one of my favorite cards in the set.

2013 Heritage leads, 6-5


Card #420 – Bronson Arroyo / Jim Maloney

This card could have been on my “up close and personal” post from yesterday, though I wanted to do a Reds post since Arroyo was matched up with another Reds pitcher.

2013 Heritage Reds Arroyo

Trivia question – Who was the first to play for 2 teams in a day?

Trivia answer – Max Flack with the Cubs and Cardinals May 30, 1922.

Cliff Heathcote should also be mentioned here.  Heathcote and Flack were traded for each other in between a double-header, and both guys played in the games that day.

1964 Topps 420 Jim Maloney

Trivia question – Which pitcher won 24 straight ballgames?

Trivia answer – Carl Hubbell, Giants.


Maloney has a better photo (albeit with a kind of weird undershirt).  And he went 23-7 in 1963, the last year on the back of his card.

Tied, 6-6

Retail temptation yields some more BIG MOJO

24 03 2013

Today I went to my LDE (local drinking establishment), Toon’s bar and grill, to get some wings, have 1 or 2 beers and watch the end of the Ohio State / Iowa State basketball game.  My wife, who was feeling under the weather, wanted me to pick up some soup, apple sauce and other theoretical home remedies.  So I stopped at Target on the way home, and got those things.

In a moment of weakness, I stopped in the card aisle, where I’d earlier purchased a blaster about a week ago.  I got a Bazooka mini (odds 1:377 packs).  I rationalized, hey, I still need a bunch of single cards.  But in theory, the odds of two really good pulls can’t be good there, right?  Well, I almost didn’t buy it, because at first glance there were no Heritage blasters available.  And I either wanted a blaster or noting.  Well, looking a little closer, there was one little guy hiding behind some Panini Cooperstown and some football cards.  So, I bought it.  The blaster cost more than the apple sauce, milk and soup combined, but hey, who cares?

I did get 43 cards toward the set (though my 3 SP’s were all doubles).  That’s more than I got in the second hobby box I bought!  And 3 of the 4 inserts were “needs”.  And I got a pretty nice Andrew McCutchen red Target  parallel thingy.  But those aren’t what made me post about this blaster.  I got an autographed relic card, #’d out of 25.  It’s a Cardinal, true, but David Freese was a keeper on my fantasy baseball team this year (as a 10th rounder).

2013 Heritage Clubhouse Auto Relic Freese

Pack odds on this were ~1:19,000, BTW.

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #2 – Up Close and Personal

23 03 2013

I’ve read quite a bit of talk about the nature of the photography in this year’s Heritage cards.  The photos tend to be – as my title says – up close and personal. This is sort of based off of the photography from the original set, but I think this is a bit overblown.  Yes, there really aren’t action shots in 1964 Topps – but the shots weren’t cropped quite as close as the sets here.

Today I’ll look at comparisons of 5 cards that were more of the notable (and often disliked on the blog-o-sphere) types of these shots.  The first is probably the most talked about Heritage card – card #275 of Kevin Youkilis.  Or rather, card #275 of the shiny bald dome of Kevin Youkilis.

2013 Heritage up close Youkilis

This shows Youk as a Yankee, thought it’s notable that he isn’t going to have that trademark goatee with the team.  Regardless of all that, still an interesting card.

Trivia question – Who was the first latin player elected to the Hall of Fame?

Trivia answer – Roberto Clemente.

Card #275 in 1964 Topps is…

1964 Topps Tsitouris

John Tsitouris.  Who was a pitcher for the Reds in the 1960’s.  Not the standard crossover that Topps usually does here.  Youkilis is from Cincinnati, and their last names kind of sound similar.  So maybe that’s where they were going with this?

Trivia question – Who was the last AL Hurler to win 300 games?

Trivia answer – At that time it was Early Wynn, who had won his 300th and final game (all in the AL) the year before.  He joined Eddie Plank, Walter Johnson, and Lefty Grove as pitchers who have won 300 games in the AL.  Roger Clemens has since joined them.


Reds or Yankees?  And the awesome Reds uniforms from that era?  And a pretty good pose?  I would take the 1964 Topps card most of the time.  But I like Youkilis.  And I like the sheer audacity of this card.

Heritage leads, 2.5-0.5


Next up is former MVP Ryan Braun.  I won’t lie; I picked this card because I don’t like Braun, but I do love that he looks like a tool in this “up close and personal” card.  Kind of a sheepish grin.  He’s thinking, yeah, I know I pulled the wool over MLB’s eyes!

2013 Heritage up close Braun

Trivia question – Who’s the only lefty hitter with 250 HRs as a catcher?

Trivia answer – Yogi Berra with 266.

Card #460 in the ’64 set was a guy you might recognize.  There’s no correlation here, which usually makes me want to take Heritage down a peg.  I’m fair – I give Heritage credit when they do have a good correlation.  But in this case, I think Topps just wanted to get Braun in as a notable name in the high numbers.

1964 Topps B Gibson

Trivia question – Who was the oldest major leaguer?

Trivia answer – Nick Altrock is listed on the card.  He played as a 57-year old in 1933 when he played his last game.  And at the time, that was probably believed correct.

This is an interesting one, though.  Charlie O’Leary played in a game in 1934 for the St. Louis Browns, 21 years after he had last played in the Big Leagues.  He got a hit and a run.  More research has been done since then, and it’s been determined that O’Leary was 2 years older than previously thought, so he actually should have been on the card!  Satchel Paige would later pass both of them, playing as a 59-year old in 1965.


Adam Wainwright or Chris Carpenter would have been a good parallel here.  And, like I said, Braun is a douche and a cheater.  Unlike Bob Gibson.  Who is a badass.  I don’t know if I’d ever pick against Bob Gibson in a comparison like this, he might brush me back!

2013 Heritage leads, 2.5-1.5


Next up is another one of those photos that you just have to say “whoa”!!!!

Asdrubal Cabrera, he whom my friends love to make inappropriate jokes about his name.  If they see this card, that would certainly continue tenfold.  That’s an interesting smile – it almost seems like he’s trying extra hard to show off those braces!

2013 Heritage up close A Cabrera

Trivia question – Who were the 2012 Comeback Players of the Year?

Trivia answer – Buster Posey and Fernando Rodney.

Card #31 for 1964 Topps is Dave Nicholson.  Topps isn’t picking very well here.  That’s 3 cards this post with no appropriate crossover!  Nicholson is not a shortstop, he’s not an Indian, and in fact he plays for their bitter rival the White Sox.  He doesn’t even have braces for crying out loud!

1964-Topps 31 Dave Nicholson

Trivia question – Who was the A.L. Batting Champ in 1963?

Trivia answer – Carl Yastrzemski.


The Cabrera card is so bad it’s good. But Nicholson looks like he’ll beat me up if I don’t give him the win here.  I’ll waffle and go with a tie again.  Please don’t hurt me Mr. Nicholson!

2013 Heritage leads, 3-2


The last up close and personal card has a little more flair for recent trends.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know of anyone with dreads back in 1964.  But Jemile Weeks in 2013 sure has some locks!

2013 Heritage up close J Weeks

Trivia question – Which was the first team, in 1961, to hit 4 straight HRs?

Trivia answer – Braves (Mathews, Aaron, Adcock, Thomas).  Interestingly, it was done 2 more times in the early 60’s, then it was 42 years before it happened again 4 times between 2006 and 2010.

Card #395 is Tom Tresh of the Yankees.  So Topps had an “O-fer” with matching Heritage up for these 4 cards.

1964 Topps 395 Tom Tresh

Trivia question – Who compiled the most strikeouts in a game in ’63?

Trivia answer – Jim Maloney, Reds.  16 strikeouts.


I like the Weeks card better.  That’s the kind of player / photo to do an “up close and personal” card for.  Despite the Tresh card having a Reds answer to the trivia.

2013 Heritage leads, 4-2

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #1 – The Alpha & Omega

22 03 2013

This is the start of a series of posts where I’m going to compare 2013 Heritage cards to their counterparts from the 1964 Topps set.   I’ll do this anywhere from a couple of cards per post, to maybe a specific subset, but the point is to compare the two.  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.  The “Alpha”.  For the second year in a row, this is a league leader card.  Last year it was the floating head variety, this year they are much better looking cards.

Here’s the 2013 version.

2013 Heritage Alpha Leaders

This card is the National League ERA Leaders – showing the 3 dudes who had the lowest earned run average in the senior circuit in 2012.

Positives for the Heritage card

  • Johnny Cueto, who should have had a lot more Cy Young traction last year (though I’m fine with Dickey winning it) is on this card – go Reds!
  • R.A. Dickey is on this card.  A Cy Young knuckleballer – the first of his kind.  And a keeper as a 19th round draft pick in my fantasy baseball league.
  • It’s awesome that Kershaw matches up with the winner from 49 years ago – Dodgers great Sandy Koufax.  Whenever Kershaw is matched up with Koufax or Drysdale, I approve.
  • Topps is true to the original by showing two sets of leaders – those with over 162 innings and those with over 75 innings.  This is interesting information.  I approve.
  • The back reminds me that the Reds in fact had a half-decent pitching staff last year.

Negatives for the Heritage card

  • The Kershaw card is cut kind of weird.  He looks like he has a giraffe neck.
  • The Dickey picture looks kind of weird, too.  He looks like he’s really tired.  Not something that the first ever Cy Young knuckler should be!

Here’s the 1964 card:

1964 Topps Alpha Leaders

Positives for the 1964 card:

  • Koufax is awesome.  His picture is solid.  And his ERA of 1.88 is also, AWESOME.
  • Dick Ellsworth is on the card.  Ellsworth is my middle name, so I like that.
  • Friend’s picture is also decent.  Certainly better than that of Dickey.

Negatives for the 1964 card:

  • Joey Jay, a Red, is last of the qualifying pitchers.  And there are no Reds on the front.
  • Ellsworth needs to fix his hat in his picture, he looks like a nerd.


I hate to do it, but I’ve got to start off with a tie.  The Koufax is a better picture on the top, but I like Dickey and Cueto the Red being on this card enough to pull it even with the original.

Tied, 0.5-0.5


Next up is the “Omega” card.  Card #500 is the last card for 2012 Heritage – it’s Justin Verlander.  I could have done two things with the 1964 set.  For what it’s worth, card #500 is Camilo Pascual.  But I show the last card of the set, which is card #587.

First, here’s Verlander in 2013:

2013 Heritage Omega VerlanderIt’s Verlander, so that’s a big positive.  The 2011 MVP and Cy Young, and the runner-up Cy Young winner last year.  An argument that he should have been a back to back winner.  Plus, this is a very good picture – a lot going with his uniform, the jacket (could this be taken in October during the postseason?) and the necklace.

Trivia question – What’s the record for Cy Young awards by a lefty?

Trivia Answer – 5, by Randy Johnson.

The last card of the 1963 set is card #576 – Bennie Daniels.

1964 Topps Omega Bennie Daniels

Daniels was a pitcher for the Senators and Pirates for about 7 seasons.  He had one season with double digit wins, and is one of those guys whose career record is worse than his pitching given his most significant time was with the expansion Senators.

Trivia question – Who pitched the most big league games?

Trivia Answer – Cy Young with 906.  (Hoyt Wilhelm would eventually pass Young in 1968.  The record has since been broken by Dennis Eckersley and then Jesse Orosco).


I have an affinity for a team like the Senators, but no way does the card of Daniels beat a nice-looking card of Verlander.  Heritage takes the lead.

Heritage leads, 1.5-0.5

Retail nets my best pull for 2013 Heritage

20 03 2013

These are my last purchases of Heritage, so I’ll have a wantlist up shortly.

As I noted over the last few posts, I didn’t pull anything special in my 2 hobby boxes of Heritage.  That’s fine – I enjoy collecting the set, and don’t expect major mojo.  Not that major mojo isn’t nice – I sure would have loved some kind of Sandy Koufax or cut autograph that I could sell on eBay.  But I go into it expecting nothing and generally enjoy sifting through the cards.  I wish my second box hadn’t netted so many doubles (trade anyone?), but I think that’s mostly luck of the draw.

I usually buy some retail just to see how I do, but was especially interested in doing so this year because that second box didn’t go so well on filling out the set for me.  So on Monday, despite feeling kind of sick, I stopped at Target on the way home and got a blaster, a jumbo pack, and one retail pack.

The single retail pack goes first.  I didn’t get any regular base cards I needed.  I did get this Machado / Bundy RC, which is good trade bait I suppose, and I got this Kinsler SP, which is a card I needed.

2013 Heritage retail pack

Then I opened the jumbo pack.  I did get 5 cards I needed from this pack – though I got the same Kinsler SP that I just pulled.  D’oh!  But I’m glad to have 5 more cards toward the set.

2013 Heritage retail jumbo pack

Last up is the blaster, and my results from that blaster were damn good.  After the disappointment of so many doubles in the second hobby box, I got 32 new singles in this blaster, and 3 more SP’s.  Some pretty notable names.

2013 Heritage blaster base cards

On top of that were 2 more inserts I didn’t have yet (and an Ernie Banks insert that I did have already).

2013 Heritage blaster inserts

And a red border card as well – you are guaranteed 1 per blaster.

2013 Heritage blaster red Longoria

But the big “hit” or whatever you want to call it was a Bazooka mini, which is based on the 1964 Bazooka set.  King Felix!  These come 1:377 packs, so I sure beat the odds on these.  Like I said – glad I got that blaster!

2013 Heritage Bazooka Felix

2013 Topps Heritage hobby box #2

19 03 2013

2013 Heritage box

On to box #2 for Heritage.  I again didn’t get some super-duper mojo.  Even worse, I got crap-load of doubles for this box.  I was worried this might happen, since I bought two boxes from a card show, it was more likely they weren’t the “next to each other” boxes from inside a case.  Last year, I literally got no doubles.  Not the case this year.

First up – let’s look at the box topper.  After getting a 1964 buyback in the first box, I got another 1964 buyback.  I was really hoping for one of the Topps Giants, or even an advertising panel would have been different.  But these are kind of neat I guess.

2013 Heritage box 2 topper McCraw

Somehow, last year, I didn’t get a single double in 2 boxes.  This year, not even close.  In fact, I only got 37 new singles out of this box – which means I have a lot of doubles to trade!  And a lot of cards I need.  The want list will be up in a few days.

Here’s the “hit”.  Again, nothing to write home about.  But if you buy Heritage for hits, you’re barking up the wrong tree.  Konerko is a great, under-appreciated player.  I wish the Reds had kept him back in the day!

2013 Heritage box 2 Clubhouse Collection Konerko

Up next are the chrome cards – err, the Chrome card.  I just got one chrome card in this box.  Didn’t do so well, odds-wise for those.

2013 Heritage box 2 chrome Stanton

What I did get instead were two variation cards.  The first was the action variation variety – of Robinson Cano.  Pretty nice looking card, though not that difficult of a pull – a little less than one per box.

2013 Heritage box 2 action variation Cano

But I also got a color variation of Joe Mauer.  Much rarer, though I’ve got to admit I like the Cano card above much better!

2013 Heritage box 2 color variation Mauer

Next up – here’s the other “standard” inserts.  I discussed them in more detail in the previous post, so I’ll just show what I got below for these.

2013 Heritage box 2 Memorable Moments

2013 Heritage box 2 Then and Now


2013 Heritage box 2 Flashbacks

2013 Heritage box 2 New Age Performers

Here’s the stats from this box and the 2 boxes combined together.

Stats for the box:

24 packs per box * 9 cards per pack +1 50th Anniversary – 1 card for the pack with relic = 216 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

3 New Age Performers

2 Then & Now

2 Memorable Moments

1 Chrome

1 Action Variation

1 Color Variation

1 Clubhouse Collection Relic (Konerko)

Box Topper – 1964 Topps buyback

Including the first box:

229 / 425 cards (54%)

245 / 500 of the full set (49%)