1964 Topps / 2013 Heritage – Ad Panels

30 04 2013

Advertising Panels

Prior to and during the release of its 1964 flagship baseball set, Topps sent 3-card advertising panels to market the set to retailers carrying the product.  These 3-card panels had 3 different player cards on the front of the card.  Beckett lists 6 different player combinations known:

  • Walt Alston, Bill Henry, Vada Pinson
  • Jimmie Hall, Ernie Broglio, AL ERA Leaders
  • Mickey Mantle, Jim Davenport, Boog Powell
  • Denis Menke, Dean Chance, Tim Harkness
  • Hoyt Wilhelm, Curt Flood, Bill Bruton
  • Carl Willey, White Sox Rookies, Bob Friend

There also must be others, because I found a picture of the one below with John Wyatt, Joe Nuxhall and the AL Strikeout Leaders card.  I have seen one of the Willey/Friend and Sox Rookies in a Legendary Auctions ad on the web.

The reverse has info on the set – see the picture below.  Topps was advertising the metal coins that were inserted into packs.  There is one example player’s card back for each panel issued, and for 1964 that was Mickey Mantle (it was Roger Maris in 1962, but I don’t know who it is for 1963 – my guess is Stan Musial).

1964 Topps Ad panel

1964 Topps Ad panel back 2

For the 2013 Heritage Set, Topps again directly copied this idea.  This is one of 3 options you were guaranteed to get as a topper to a hobby box (the others being 1964 buybacks and Topps Giants).  Like the 1964 version, these are 3-card panels with 3 different player cards on the front.  The reverse shows the card back of Justin Verlander – I’m surprised they didn’t do King Felix, who is on the front of all their packaging.  They also advertise the fact that you can find metal coins in the Heritage product, though those only come as buybacks of the originals.  There are 30 different panels.  The orange background promotional language is probably designed based on the 1963 panel.  I didn’t pull one from either box of Heritage, so these pictures are sniped form the interwebs.

2013 Heritage Panel

1964 Topps Giants & the 2013 Heritage version

29 04 2013

2013 Heritage Cespedes

Topps Giants – 20 cards (hobby box topper)

The other set from 1964 that Topps included in the 2013 Heritage product was the 1964 Topps Giants set.  The larger cards were issued as a 60-card set in their own packs in 1964, while cards from the 2013 cards come as box toppers in hobby boxes.  They are very rare, supposedly coming one every other case or so from what I’ve read.  Topps has previously used this design in a retro set, as these were much more common in 2011 Lineage.

In Lineage these came 1 per box, so they weren’t nearly as rare (read: expensive) as the ones this year.  Also, this year’s set includes 15 active and 5 former players.  Out of the former players, Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews don’t have cards in the original set – not sure why they weren’t included back in 1964 (particularly Banks as Mathews was on the downside of his career).  Here are the other players with the 2 cards side by side.  The card on the right is the new one from Heritage; the left is the 1964 card.

Bob Gibson

Picture 2

Harmon Killebrew

Heritage & 1964 Giants Killebrew

Willie Mays

2013 Heritage Giants Mays64 Topps Giants MaysFor Mays, I already had a picture on the blog of his original, so I didn’t feel like going through all the photo-shopping to get it side-by-side with his one from this year.

It’s also notable for Mays that they used a photo that couldn’t possibly be from 1964 – that’s a New York Giants had he’s got on!

1964 Bazooka & the 2013 Heritage version

28 04 2013

In 1964, Topps issued a set of 36 full color, blank backed, numbered cards in panels of three on the backs of Bazooka bubble gum boxes.  The individual cards are similar to mini tobacco card sizes – measuring 1-9/16″ by 2-1/2″.  The panels of 3 cards are obviously 3 times that length – 4-11/16″.  Today you can find these “cards” cut up into individuals, or in the 3-card panels they originally came in.

The set contains 13 members of the Hall of Fame in this insert set – over a third of the set.  The HOF-ers are Mantle, Spahn, Killebrew, Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Yastrzemski, B. Williams, McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Koufax, Kaline.

Heritage Bazooka – 20 cards (1:377 retail packs)

Topps did a remake of these cards in the 2013 Heritage product.  These come in the same size and design as the 1964 set.  There are 20 cards in the 2013 Heritage Bazooka set, and they come only in retail packs at a pretty rare rate – 1:377.  There is a mix between old and new players.  I pulled a card of Felix Hernandez from a retail pack – certainly beating the odds!

2013 Heritage Bazooka Felix

I like when Topps does these with Heritage, though it’s a little bit off because this set (and the Giants set that came as a box topper) wasn’t associated with Topps flagship – it was a separate issue that came with Bazooka gum boxes.  I wish they were a little easier to come by, too – because I’d like to collect them but will need to wait and see if the prices ever come down!

There are 6 players who have cards in the 1964 set and in the Heritage version.  The card on the right is the 1964 version, the one on the left is the 2013 Heritage version.

Willie Mays

Heritage Bazooka Mays

Sandy Koufax

Heritage Bazooka Koufax

Brooks Robinson

Heritage Bazooka Brooks Robinson

Carl Yastrzemski

Heritage Bazooka Yaz

Harmon Killebrew

Heritage Bazooka Killebrew

Roberto Clemente

Heritage Bazooka Clemente

Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #29 – Boulevard Pilsner

27 04 2013

I did the wheat beer from Boulevard in the last Saturday Suds post, but I had one other beer when I went down to Kansas City last winter.  As I said, I’ve been to the Kauffman Stadium in 2008 when it was under heavy construction.   I’d like to go back in the future to see the updated version of the park.  It looked nice from what I saw at the All-Star game last year.

It wasn’t possible to go to a Royals game when I was there in November, but it was possible to drink a few local brews that you can now find at Kauffman Stadium.



Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, MO

Beer:  Boulevard Pilsner

Description:  I was more familiar with their wheat beer, but the Boulevard Pilsner actually kind of steals the show.  Boulevard opened its doors in 1989 and has since become one of the largest craft breweries in America – and the largest one in the Midwest.  From their website:

“Like many American burgs, our town was once home to a number of small, regional breweries. As they disappeared, so too went the full-flavored but easy drinking classic American lager. Today, we salute these bygone breweries and revive their legacy with Boulevard Pilsner: 100% malt, real hop character, unpasteurized. It’s the taste of tradition.”

They were actually serving this at the wedding we went to in KC.  It was really good.  Honestly, this is one of the best “classic American lager” I’ve ever had.  It’s got the yellow color you’d expect from a lager, and it’s hardly bitter at all, with  a light refreshing taste.  But not in a way that’s watered down – a good taste of hops and a flavor I liked, though I can’t put to my mind exactly what it was.  Basically, it was just a real solid beer.  One I’ll try again during summertime.

Medium:  I bought a 12-pack of 12-oz bottles.

How it’s related to baseball:  Boulevard just signed as a big sponsor for the Royals in the 2012 off-season.  Boulevard had been served at Royals games previously, but now will be far move available and there are 2 grills and a brewpub sponsored by the brewery.  It sounds like you can get quite a few of the Boulevard beers at games now – not just their most popular beers, the pilsner and wheat.

KC Boulevard Brewpub halloffame

I hope to try this out the next time I get down to Kansas City.

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #17 – The finale

26 04 2013

“Vintage” as in 1964 Topps, got really close in the last post, getting back to within one point in my comparisons.  This is the last post I’m going to do for Heritage comparisons, and there are three cards I have in mind to finish up. There’s one great player that comes to mind from the 60’s who I haven’t featured yet, and then there’s my two favorite cards from the current year’s Heritage set that I also want to show off.

Card #440 – Roberto Clemente / Bryce Harper

2013 Heritage ASR Harper OF1964-22912-FTopps decided to match Harper up with Roberto Clemente this year.  I already featured Harper as part of my All-Star rookie post, but I did want to include Clemente and this is the right number.   This card has an error variation as well – Pittsburgh is misspelled on the back of Clemente’s card, and Topps decided to do a version of Harper’s card misspelled.  Seems silly.

I already featured Harper’s trivia question, as I already featured his card.

Trivia question: Who pitched two shutouts in one double-header?

Trivia answer: Ed Reulbach in 1908.  (That’s insane!)


Pretty easy.  Clemente is awesome, and Harper, though he’s growing on me a bit, is not.  Plus, it’s stupid Topps did this comparison this year.

Tied, 30-30


Card #438 – Andrew McCutchen / Checklist 6

2013 Heritage Andrew McCutchen1964-22769-FNow this is who Topps should have matched Clemente up with!  Pittsburgh Pirate, Outfielder, and MVP candidate from last year, just like Roberto himself.

And the photo they chose is pretty comparable.  This is my favorite card from Heritage this year – it’s a great photo of McCutchen, even if it is staged.  This is the type of photo that goes with this design – much better than those close-up head shots.


And of course, McCutchen is going against a checklist.  Against Buster Posey?  He won’t take home the MVP hardware.  Against a checklist?  An easy win for Heritage, even though it is a checklist with Bob Clemente’s name on it.

2013 Heritage leads, 31-30

This means it comes down to the last card.  Heritage will at least get a tie – but can Vintage come back to get that tie?


Card #89 – Jose Bautista / Boog Powell

2013 Heritage Bautista 891964 Topps Boog PowellI picked this because it’s probably my second favorite card of the set.  I’m actually collecting any of the Bautista parallels – I like this almost as much as the McCutchen.  Again, this is the right kind of shot for this design.  Waist up, and I love the bat pose with the clouds in the background.

Unlike the last one, this is a good matchup. The Blue Jays didn’t exist in 1964, so Topps can’t match Bautista up with the same team.  But they can match him up with another slugging outfielder!

Trivia question: Who holds the NL mark for strikeouts in a 9-inning game?

Trivia answer: Sandy Koufax had 18 on 2 different occasions.  This NL mark was eventually broken by Steve Carlton with 19 in 1969, and then Tom Seaver matched Carlton a year later.  David Cone would match them in 1991, before Kerry Wood broke that record and matched Roger Clemens’ major league record in 1998.


This is a tough one. The Bautista is one of my favorites, but the Powell card is pretty awesome.  The old school Orioles logo on his sleeve is cool, it also meets the criteria of the right kind of photo for this design.  And he’s got the “suns out guns out” thing going on.  But I’m staying with the Bautista – he’s got a good-looking bird logo poking its head out, too!

2013 Heritage WINS, 32-30

Well, that’s it for my Heritage comparison with the original for 2013.  Unlike the last two years, Heritage came out on top.  I think some of that is because this isn’t my favorite design of all time.  I really liked the past 2 years, and I’m excited about next year’s 1965 design with the pennant.  I do think Topps did pretty well with this product, so maybe that’s why I ended up giving Heritage the victory here!  I’m going to do a few more posts about some of the other stuff in the product, and then it’s back to the Lifetime Topps project!

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #16 – Some good comparisons

25 04 2013

Heritage took the lead back at 29-27 in my last post.  I think I’m going to do this post and then one more, so we’ll see where this ends up, but Heritage has the lead for now.

Card #190 – Derek Jeter / Bobby Richardson

2013 Heritage Jeter 1901964 Topps Bobby RichardsonTony Kubek would have been the appropriate comparison with Jeter, seeing how he was the Yankees shortstop in 1963.  But Richardson isn’t a bad choice either – he’s a fellow Yankee infielder and a fellow World Series MVP as well.

Jeter doesn’t have a trivia question – too many stats on the back!

Trivia question: How many balls were required for a walk in 1888?

Trivia answer: 9 balls


If you hate the Yankees, you probably don’t like either of these cards.  If you’re like me and don’t love the Yanks but appreciate their history, you like both of these cards.  I like the Jeter with the classic pose, and I like the Yankee Stadium seats in the background.  I also like the Richardson in another defensive classic pose, and I like the batting cage in the background there.  Two cards I’d love to own.  But the Jeter card is a little bit better in my mind.

2013 Heritage leads, 30-27


Card #100 – Robinson Cano / Elston Howard

2013 Heritage Cano 1001964 Elston HowardCano would have made more sense with Richardson above, but Elston Howard is pretty good, too.  Cano hasn’t won an MVP yet, but he’s been in the top 6 of the MVP race for 3 straight years (coming in 4th last year).

Trivia question: Who hit more grand slams than any other switch hitter?

Trivia answer: Eddie Murray, 19.

Howard was the reigning MVP at the time this card came out, and he would place 3rd in the 1964 MVP race.  That’s probably why he got card #100.

Trivia question: What was home plate made of originally?

Trivia answer: Iron!


Cano is waiting on that big contract from the Yankees next year before he buys a razor. The Cano card is one of those pictures I don’t like about Heritage – the up-close-and-personal headshot.  Whereas the Howard is one of the good photos in this set – a pose with a good glimpse into the background.  In this case, old Yankee Stadium.  Easy victory for vintage here.

2013 Heritage leads, 30-28


Card #400 – Kris Medlen / Warren Spahn

2013 Heritage Medlen 4001964 Topps Warren SpahnWarren Spahn was coming off a 23-7 season in 1963, his last great season in what was an amazing career.  He would win only 13 more games in his career, but that was good for the most wins of any pitcher since the dead ball era.

Kris Medlen kind of came out of nowhere last year to go 10-1 for the Braves.  He’s a very promising young pitcher for the Braves, and he’s certainly a good choice to include as a corollary to Warren Spahn.


I sure love being indecisive, and I’ve got a lot of reasons to go with another tie here.  I really like the Medlen / Spahn matchup, so that’s a notch in favor of Heritage.  I also like the similarity in poses.  Both in a pitching pose from the numbers up, with blue sky and a green horizon in the background.  This is Spahn’s last card as a Brave – and that’s got to be worth something, too.  Plus, he looks old man badass.  Sorry, Medlen, you lose out in a close one here!

2013 Heritage leads, 30-29

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #15 – The Backgrounds

24 04 2013

1964 Topps came back and tied it up at 26.5 points for both Vintage and Heritage yesterday.  That’s a big comeback, a 2011 Cardinals or 2012 Giants-style comeback, as Heritage had a 7 point lead at one point.

I’m going to do 3 more of these posts, so this is where the rubber meets the road for my comparisons.  Today’s comparisons are for some cards that aren’t notable players or anything – just cards where I liked the picture.  Mostly because I liked the background – there were a number of cards where the background was pretty interesting.  I guess in a set with a bunch of head shots, that’s what you’ve got to look for.

Card #274 – Justin Morneau / Checklist

2013 Heritage Justin Morneau1964 Topps checklist 274I’m going to start with a first baseman who’s had a pretty good career.  A concussion has really derailed it, though.  When he got that concussion in 2010, Morneau was working on the best season of his career.  That’s saying something for a former MVP.  Here’s hoping he gets back to form – he bounced back a bit last year.

I was intrigued by the background here, and looked it up – Morneau is in the Twins’ Spring Training facility, Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.

Trivia question: Who is the only switch hitting player with 300 HR and 300 SB?

Trivia answer: Carlos Beltran, who joined the club last year.  (I felt that this was a particularly good trivia question)


Morneau with a pretty cool photo and an interesting backdrop gets the victory over a checklist any day!

2013 Heritage leads, 27.5-26.5


Card #305 – Todd Helton / Jack Lamabe

2013 Heritage Helton1964 Topps Jack Lamabe 305So Helton plays for the Rockies (he’s played his entire career for the Rockies) and of course the Rockies were not around in 1964.  So there isn’t a team Topps can match him up with – though it would have been nice to have him put with a first baseman or something.

Jack Lamabe was a journeyman pitcher who never had a lot of success in the bigs.  He gave up the most earned runs in the AL in 1964 – which did mean that he was good enough to get into enough games to give up a lot of runs.  In a time before free agency, he sure moved around a bunch.  From 1965 to 1968, he actually played for the Red Sox, Astros, White Sox, Mets, Cardinals and Cubs.  6 teams in 4 years – including 3 teams in 1967.

Trivia question: What is a whitewash in baseball?

Trivia answer: A shutout.


I picked this card because Helton looks like he’s posing in that Rockies uniform in the middle of a barren wasteland.  It looks like World War 3 happened behind him or something.  And I like cards that have weird stuff going on behind them, so the potential Hall of Famer takes this one.

2013 Heritage leads, 28.5-26.5


Card #307 – Dan Straily / Joe Gibbon

2013 Heritage Dan Straily1964 Topps 307 Joe GibbonNow this is cool.  Behind Helton was a devoid landscape.  Straily is apparently about to start a game in the mountains out West!  This guy will do anything to stay on that big league roster!

But for some reason, Straily started one game for the A’s this year, gave up 2 runs in 7 innings, then was sent down to the minors.  I’m not sure why they went with that approach, but the guy is a potential star it seems in the future.

Joe Gibbon was a young potential future star when this card came out, and though he never flourished, he stayed in the bigs for quite a while.

Trivia question: Who holds the A.L. record for total bases in a year?

Trivia answer: Babe Ruth, 457 in 1921. Not sure why Topps qualified this back in 1964.  Ruth held the MLB record, not just the AL record.  He still does, BTW.


I love the Pirates and Reds uniforms from this time period that have the sleeveless look.  And it’s a good pose compared to some of those capless head shots this set can have.  But I also love that mountain in the background for the Straily card.  So I’m calling this a tie.

2013 Heritage leads, 29-27

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #14 – Stars from 1964

23 04 2013

Two days ago, I looked at some of the stars from today’s game and saw who their counterparts were.  Today, I’ll go at it from the other side – who were the best players in the mid 1960’s and who did Topps match them up with.  There were a lot of great players back then, some of whom I’ve already featured.  But 4 guys stick out in my mind above the rest.  3 of them are outfielders on anybody’s top-10 list when you put together the greats of the game.  The other is Sandy Koufax, who didn’t do it for a very long time, but in 1963/64 was in the midst of a 5-year stretch of pitching that the game had not really seen before, and certainly hasn’t seen since.

Card #200 – Sandy Koufax / Clayton Kershaw

1964 Topps Koufax2013 Heritage KershawFor the second year in a row, Topps matched these two hurlers up.  They are definitely getting it right by doing this.  Kershaw is off to another great start in 2012, though tough luck has him sitting at 2-2 despite his 1.88 ERA.  He won the 2011 Cy Young after going 21-5, and finished 2nd last year to R.A. Dickey.  Both years he led the league in ERA.

Trivia question: Who set a record in 2012 for the most franchises played for?

Trivia answer: Octavio Dotel; Detroit was his 13th.

And in 1964, Koufax was coming off his 3rd straight year leading the league in ERA.  He would go on to lead the circuit for 2 more years before he hung up his spikes after the 1966 season, which may have been his best.

Trivia question: Who holds the lifetime mark for times at bat?

Trivia answer: Ty Cobb – 11,249.  That’s what the card says, but that’s a typo – the recognized number of at bats for Cobb is 11,429.  And Baseball Reference actually credits him with 11,434.  Regardless, it’s amazing that at one point in the game’s history, the man with the most at bats was also the man with the highest batting average.  Hank Aaron would go on to pass Cobb for total at bats, and then Pete Rose would go on to pass Aaron with over 14,000 at bats in MLB.


After two pretty nice cards in 2012/1963, neither of these are Topps’ best effort for Kershaw or Koufax.  I’m going with a push.  I don’t really like either all that much, so I’ll give a push.

2013 Heritage leads, 26-24


Card #300 – Hank Aaron / Jason Heyward

2013 Heritage Heyward1964 Topps AaronThis seems to be a tandem Topps goes with quite frequently.  Now that the Upton brothers are also patrolling the outfield with Heyward for the Braves, they have some options other than Jay Hey, but this is still a good comparison.

Heyward’s card has a trivia question I’ve already featured.

Aaron always has some pretty nice cards from this time frame.  Even for one of those close-ups, this is a good shot and I like the M on his cap – it’s cool seeing the Milwaukee Braves logo.

Trivia question: Who was the 1963 White Sox home run champion?

Trivia answer: Pete Ward and Dave Nicholson both had 22.


I like both of these cards.  Aaron always seems to be photogenic, and the old Braves uniforms are pretty nice.  But Heyward has a good card here – Topps seems to have caught him in a legit baseball moment, unlike the Aaron card; Heyward is looking down, checking on his bat before he steps into the batter’s box.  I’ll give this one a push.

2013 Heritage leads, 26.5-24.5


Card #150 – Melky Cabrera / Willie Mays

1964-7364-F2013 Heritage Melky CabreraOh, Topps.  Even if Melky had re-signed with the Giants, this wouldn’t have been a good comparison.

Trivia question: What’s the team record for losses in a season?

Trivia answer: 134 by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders.  There’s some background to this.  In 1899, the Robison brothers, who owned the Cleveland franchise, bought the St. Louis Browns (now Cardinals) and moved all their good players (including Cy Young) to their St. Louis franchise.  The Spiders were so bad that teams stopped traveling to Cleveland to play – saying their share of the meager ticket revenue didn’t cover costs to make the trip.  So the Spiders were a) bad, and b) didn’t have a home park.  This led to a 20-134 record.  Ownership in multiple teams has long since been outlawed.

Mays doesn’t have a trivia question since his full statline is pretty long by this point.


Mays over the cheater who probably should have been the batting champion if you really follow the rules last year (but I’m glad they didn’t).

2013 Heritage leads, 26.5-25.5


Card #50 – Curtis Granderson / Mickey Mantle

1964 Topps Mantle2013 Heritage GrandersonNo trivia questions for me to pass along here.  Mantle is, like Mays, far enough along in his career that his statline doesn’t allow the space.  And Granderson has a trivia question I’ve already featured.

I like the symmetry here.  The switch hitting Mantle is shown during batting practice, with Yankee Stadium in the background, posing as a righty.  Grandy man is shown posing, too, as a lefty (he bats left but throws right).  I’m not sure what that background is; I’ve noticed similar backgrounds for other Yankees in the Heritage set, so I think it may be something from their Spring Training facility.


Normally it would be really difficult to beat out a Mantle card.  Mantle Topps cards are iconic.  And this Granderson card is pretty nice, particularly since it’s got the symmetry of the comparison (the right photo, the right position, right team).  But I’m not putting a Granderson card ahead of Mantle.  Mantle and Mays have brought 1964 Topps back into a tie, after being 7 points down a little while ago.

Tied, 26.5-26.5

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #13 – Subsets

22 04 2013

Up next in the Great Heritage Comparison are the Multi-Player Combo cards.  I’ll compare what Topps put together in 1964 to what Topps combined for Heritage this year.  I’m just picking 2 combo cards and  one of the World Series cards.

Card #219 – Young Aces

In 1963, young aces for Topps meant Al Downing and Jim Bouton.  But these guys, who looked very promising as potential future Yankee starters, never really panned out.  Bouton was coming off a 21-win season, and would win 18 games in 1964.  And Downing had just won 13 games in his first full season and also seemed promising.  But Bouton’s career plummeted after that, and while Downing was decent and won 20 games in 1971 for the Dodgers; that was one of only two really excellent seasons he had.  He’s best known for giving up one of the most famous home runs in history – Hank Aaron’s 715th homer.


The next card is a different team, but it fits pretty well with the theme.  The Nationals top 2 starters – prodigy Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez who had just come from the A’s last year.  Gonzalez, like Bouton, had won 21 games the year before.

2013 Heritage Young Aces


This was an easy selection.  I love that Topps picked a shot with them in All-Star uniforms!  And, Gonzalez and Strasburg have almost matched the careers of Downing and Bouton already.

2012 Heritage leads, 25-22


Card #306 – Giants Gunners

This was another one that Topps got right with the comparisons.  The 1963 version featured Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda.


Topps didn’t try to change-up the teams here, get more creative with the nicknames or anything like that.  Just take 2 big boppers from the 1963 Giants and 2 big boppers from the 2012 World Series Champions.  Now I don’t think Kung Fu Panda or The Reverend will ever be confused for the Say Hey Kid or the Baby Bull.  But, it’s refreshing to know that Topps got this one right.

2013 Heritage Giants Gunners


Two Hall of Famers on the 1964 card.  One of them a top-5 (at least) player in the history of the game.  Nothing against Pence or Sandoval, but they just aren’t in that arena.

2012 Heritage leads, 25-23


Card #136 – World Series Game 1

This might be my favorite comparison of this whole set.  The first game of the previous season’s World Series is shown on this card, and both Game 1’s featured historic achievements.  These are two of probably the 10 most notable single game achievements in the history of the Fall Classic.  The 1964 card features Sandy Koufax’s record-setting performance of fanning 15 Yankees in a 5-2 Dodger victory.  This set the stage for a series sweep by the Dodgers, with pitching being the dominant factor.  The Dodgers’ big 3 of Koufax, Podres and Drysdale were too much for Whitey Ford, Bouton and Downing.


In last year’s opener, Sandoval kicked off a Giants’ sweep by becoming the 4th player to hit 3 homers in a series game.  And that set the stage for – well another series sweep that honestly was a fairly good pitching matchup after that first game.

2013 Heritage WS game 1


I’ve got to go with a tie here.  Both cards are tremendous in my opinion (though I’m sure Dodgers and Giants fans have their own favorite) – like I said, these are two of the most notable individual performances in any World Series game.  Sandoval was matching something that Ruth, Reggie and Albert had done before him, though I think it’s notable that his performance really set the tone for the series where many thought the Tigers were the better team. Koufax also set the tone, though his 15-K mark was bettered by Bob Gibson a few years later.  I love the horizontal orientation of both cards, so I’m going with a push!

2012 Heritage leads, 25.5-23.5

2013 Heritage vs. Vintage #12 – Stars from today

21 04 2013

After a week layoff, I’m back to my Heritage comparisons.  Right now Heritage is leading 23-19 over 1964 Topps.  We’ll see how that stacks up.  I think I’m going to do this post and 3 more after that – a round 15 total.  Today’s theme is to pick a few stars from today’s game and check on their card counterparts from 1964.  Hopefully I’ll have a few more valid comparisons – i.e., same position from the same team.

Card #447 – Felix Hernandez / Ted Bowsfield

2013 Heritage Felix$1964 Topps Ted BowsfieldI’m starting with King Felix because he’s the sponsor for this product (he’s on the front of the product packaging).  Topps didn’t really have a sponsor on the front in 1964 (it was Stan Musial in 1963).

Hernandez’s card has a trivia questions I’ve already posted on.

Unfortunately, Topps didn’t put Felix on a card the equivalent of someone like Musial or even someone like Whitey Ford or someone like Camilo Pascual who would have been a great nod to Latin Heritage.  The Mariners didn’t exist in 1964, so there isn’t any way to match him up with the same team.  Topps did at least pick a fellow pitcher.  Topps paired Hernandez with Ted Bowsfield, who like King Felix was not born in America – Bowsfield is Canadian.  Bowsfield was a starter for a few years in the majors, but his career never really took off after stints with Boston, the Angels, and as pictured here, the Kansas City Athletics.

Trivia question: What’s the name and site of the Reds’ ballpark?

Trivia answer: Crosley Field at Findlay and Western.


The Felix card is a hideous picture.  And I’m a sucker for the old Kansas City A’s uniforms – the Bowsfield card is much better.

2013 Heritage leads, 23-20


Card #425 – Joey Votto / Norm Cash

2013 Heritage Votto1964-Heritage Norm CashI hope Votto is able to come back from his injury last year.  If you take all the games since he returned in September, his OBP is higher than his slugging percentage.  Considerably higher.  That’s not a good sign – sooner or later pitchers will stop pitching around him if he can’t do any damage.

Trivia question: Which Hall of Famer won the first award for top DH?

Trivia answer: Orlando Cepeda, Boston Red Sox 1973.

These two guys aren’t from the same team, but Votto to Cash is actually a pretty good comparison.  First baseman.  Perennial all-star caliber players with 20-30 homer pop.  Votto is probably the better overall player in his best seasons.  He certainly gets on base more, especially if you take away Cash’s incredible 1961 season where he won the batting and OBP titles (and never again hit above .300 or had an OBP above .400).   Cash had a long distinguished career and Votto is still young.

Trivia question: When was the first pinch hitter used?

Trivia answer: In 1892.


I have a hard time picking against any Reds player, particularly Votto.  But the Cash picture is pretty cool.  I don’t think Cash was probably one to bunt much, but it’s so much better than the super up-close head shot of Votto.  At least Votto has a hat on.  So that’s good to showcase that Reds logo.  I’ll go with a tie here.

2013 Heritage leads, 23.5-20.5


Card #340 – Paul Konerko / Joe Cunningham

1964-18117-F2013 Heritage KonerkoYES!!!  Finally, a card that matches up exactly!  The White Sox first baseman from 2013.  And the White Sox first baseman from 1964!

Konerko is an underrated stud.  His numbers are really getting into Hall of Fame territory – he has had incredible consistency, and a couple of great seasons where he was borderline MVP-worthy.  I think he’d need a few more really good years to get there, but it’s certainly feasible and the bottom line is that he’s underrated.  He doesn’t have a trivia question on his card.

Konerko’s had such a long career that his stats on the back don’t leave any room for a trivia question!

Cunningham wasn’t nearly the caliber player that Konerko has been, but he did win the OBP title one year.  And he had a solid career for over a decade.

Trivia question: Which pitcher holds the career strikeout record?

Trivia answer: Walter Johnson, 3,509.  Since broken by Nolan Ryan, who also briefly relinquished the crown to Steve Carlton before finishing his career with over 5,700 K’s.


I kind of want to give Heritage some credit here for finally getting a matchup of the same position and the same team.  Plus, the Konerko card is a decent photo.  But I also really like the Cunningham photo.  He looks completely confused.  Like he couldn’t understand what the hell the photographer was doing.  He just seems like he’s saying “huh”?  “you want me to stand where”? I’m going with another tie here.

2013 Heritage leads, 24-21


Card #350 – Matt Cain / Willie McCovey

2013 Heritage Cain1964-18584-FOK, not quite the comparison we could have had – I think Juan Marichal would have been a better for the Giants’ ace.  Ryan Vogelsong got that matchup.  But Cain would have been more appropriate – both Cain and Marichal were coming off of Cy Young caliber seasons when these cards were released.

Cain has always been one of my favorite pitchers.  I don’t know why – I think he was on my fantasy baseball team a few years ago.  Cain’s trivia question is one I’ve already featured.

Cain sure had a good year in 2012, but Stretch had a monster year in 1963 – so Stretch was a young hot commodity at the time this card came out.  McCovey led the league with 44 homers in a breakout season after a few seasons as a 18-20 homer guy.

Trivia question: Who led the Indians in batting in 1963?

Trivia answer: Vic Davalillo .292.


As mentioned, I’ve always been a fan of Cain.  Neither picture is great – they’re both of that annoying close-up variety.  Cain’s is kind of bad – not what I’d call great photography; he’s squinting because he’s looking into the sun.  At least that’s what I think.  McCovey looks a lot more cool, calm and collected.  So I’ve got to give stretch the narrow victory.

2013 Heritage leads, 24-22