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.

Winner:

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).

Winner:

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

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