Completed set & master set – one last look at 2012 Topps Heritage

5 09 2014

After finishing up the JFK and stick-on insert sets over the past two months, I’ve finished my “master set” for 2012 Topps Heritage.  The Update set is also included below – it’s sort of sequentially numbered, except Topps made a mistake with the numbering, making Update 576 to 675, which inexplicably skips card #’s 501-575.

Info about my set:

How I put the set (non-SP / SP) together:

  • 200 (192/8) cards from my 1st hobby box
  • 200 (192/8) cards from my 2nd hobby box
  • 9 base cards from various retail packs
  • 46 (31/15) cards from trades
  • 5 (1/4) cards from Sportlots
  • 9 SP cards from eBay lots
  • 4 SP cards from a card show
  • 27 SP cards from Check Out My Cards
  • 100 card update set purchased directly from Topps

Card that completed my set: #480 – Carlos Gonzalez (1 of 10 SP cards I got from a Check Out My Cards purchase)

2012 Heritage 480 CarGo last card

Read the rest of this entry »


Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Heritage JFK Story

3 09 2014

This is the last insert set I completed from 2012 Topps Heritage.  I’ve completed the “Master set” for 2012 Topps Heritage!  Pretty excited about that – I’ll do a full-blown master set completed type celebration in my next post.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Each card features a moment from the life of one of America’s most beloved Presidents.” The 7-card set honors JFK, who was assassinated in 1963, hence this was a good set for Topps to do a tribute.  The design is based on the 1963 Topps design, though to me it actually looks closer to the 1953 Topps design.  Anyways, it’s a good

Set composition:  7 cards, no stated odds (2012 Topps Heritage).

Hall of Famers:  None – it’s all JFK.

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from eBay
  • 5 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  Heritage usually has some interesting throwbacks to the time period the set commemorates, and this is no different.  I wish it was a little bit easier to find – like one per box or something.

Card that completed my set: #JRK-6 – A Call to Serve

I got the last card as part of my recent COMC purchase this summer.

Highest book value: all the same

Best card (my opinion): #JFK-5 – the 35th US President

This shows JFK at his inauguration, which is pretty cool

2012 Topps Heritage JFK Story

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Heritage Stick-Ons

27 08 2014

Topps Stick-Ons is my 5th insert set completed from 2012 Topps Heritage. I’ve knocked off both Flashbacks sets, Then & Now, and now New Age Performers.  The only thing I have left to complete the “Master set” is the JFK insert set.  I’m 1 card away from that!

Info about the set:

Set description:  “46 stickers just like those produced back in 1963.″  This is a tribute to the 1963 Topps insert set.  The stickers measure 1-1/4″ x 2-3/4″ and include a floating head picture of the player inside a colored oval with the player name, team and position.  The backs come with instructions on how to peel them off.  Here’s my write-up on the old and the new sets back in 2012.

Set composition:  46 cards, 1:8 odds (2012 Topps Heritage).

Hall of Famers:  None – they’re all active players.

How I put the set together:

  • 6 cards from my 2 hobby boxes
  • 20 cards from trades
  • 3 cards from a card show
  • 17 from online purchases

Thoughts on the set:  This isn’t the coolest oddball set from Topps past, but I love that Topps stayed true to the reboot of it.  Even with the number of cards being 46 like the original.  I also wish there was an easier way to store it!  Right now I just have them in regular pages and they’re really way too small for those.

Card that completed my set: #8 – Pablo Sandoval

I got the last card in July as part of a recent Beckett purchase.

Highest book value: #20 – Albert Pujols

Pujols is the highest valued player, at least according to a pretty dated Beckett I have.

Best card (my opinion): #5 – Jose Reyes

It’s hard to pick a best card since there just isn’t a lot too these.  I remember getting the Jose Reyes pretty early on, and it was cool to see him in a Marlins uniform for the first time.

Best Reds card (also my opinion): there aren’t any – pretty bad out of 46 cards

Other bits of information: There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to the color combinations.  Players from the same team have different color backgrounds.

Also, Madison Bumgarner is shown with his 4th of July hat, a promotion MLB does every year.  I looked it up – he didn’t pitch the July 4th game in 2011.

2012 Heritage Stick Ums

2012 Heritage Stick Ums_0001

2012 Heritage Stick Ums_0002

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Heritage New Age Performers

8 10 2013

This is my 4th insert set completed from 2012 Topps Heritage. I’ve knocked off both Flashbacks sets, Then & Now, and now New Age Performers.  I’ve still got 1 card to finish off the JFK insert set and then about 8 cards to finish the stick-on set – then my 2012 Heritage “Master set” will be complete!  Getting pretty close!

Info about the set:

Set description:  “15 stars of today who are setting the new standard″.  The front shows a current Major League star with a red lighting effect in the background.  The back features similar to that of the 1963 Topps set as far as color scheme and font.  There is a write-up to the right that compares the “New Age” player to someone who was a star 50 years ago (i.e., Jeter is compared to Nellie Fox), with a few selected stats to the left underneath a caricature of the player.

Set composition:  15 cards, 1:15 odds (2012 Topps Heritage)

Hall of Famers:  None – as they’re all active players.

How I put the set together:

  • 3 cards from my 2 hobby boxes
  • 1 card from a retail blister pack
  • 8 cards from trades
  • 3 cards from Check Out My Cards

Thoughts on the set:  Love the design – the way the red background is done, it really seems to highlight the player as if they’re the star of the show.  At the same time, it has a groovy effect that seems appropriate for a set meant to throw back to the 1960’s.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it – but for a number of these players, Topps used the same photo as they did for the 2012 flagship Topps set.  I didn’t check every card, but I can tell it’s true for Pujols, Jeter, Braun and Chipper.

Card that completed my set: #NAP-CL – Cliff Lee

I got the last card as part of my recent COMC purchase.

Highest book value: #NAP-DJ – Derek Jeter

Best card (my opinion): #NAP-RH – Roy Halladay

Halladay’s wind-up goes really well with the design – it seems like many of these cards could be stills for a commercial for the All-Star game or something.  He’s compared to Warren Spahn on the back, too – an all-time great hurler who doesn’t get enough mention!

Best Reds card (my opinion): #NAP-JV – Joey Votto

The only Reds card, but it sure is a nice one!  Votto’s write-up on the back is interesting, too.  It compares him to Frank Robinson, who was a full-fledged star for the Reds just like Votto.  It highlights how the Reds had some young stars back then (Vada Pinson and “the future all-time hits leader”) while the Reds have young stars like Jay Bruce to surround Votto.

2012 Heritage New Age Performers

2012 Heritage New Age Performers_0001

Completed set – 2012 Topps Heritage

27 06 2013

I finished my 2012 Heritage set in the Check Out My Cards purchase earlier this month.  This is obviously a “big fish” as far as completed sets go – with 75 SPs and 425 regular cards, it took me about a year and 3 months to wrap this guy up.  Surprisingly, I actually completed this one up about a month quicker than the previous year; I finished 2011 Heritage up in early August 2012.

I haven’t completed the “master set” yet, though I am fairly close on that, too.  I’m 12 cards away from the sticker set and have 1 JFK and 1 New Age Performer left for those insert sets.

Whenever I do finish up the master set, I’ll repost this with the insert information at the bottom.  It’s worth noting that I’m including the Update portion of this set.  It’s sort of sequentially numbered, except Topps screwed up and numbered it from 576 to 675, which skips card #’s 501-575.

Info about my set:

How I put the set (non-SP / then SP) together:

  • 200 (192/8) cards from my 1st hobby box
  • 200 (192/8) cards from my 2nd hobby box
  • 9 base cards from various retail packs
  • 46 (31/15) cards from trades
  • 5 (1/4) cards from Sportlots
  • 9 SP cards from eBay lots
  • 4 SP cards from a card show
  • 27 SP cards from Check Out My Cards
  • 100 card update set purchased directly from Topps

Card that completed my set: #480 – Carlos Gonzalez (1 of 10 SP cards I got from a Check Out My Cards purchase)

2012 Heritage 480 CarGo last card

General Set Info:

Base Set composition: 500 cards (423 individual player cards, 18 managers, 10 League Leaders, 11 Combination cards, 7 World Series Highlights, 12 Team Cards, 19 Rookie Parade)

Base Set & Update composition: 600 cards (515 individual player cards, 8 duplicate players in Update*, 18 managers, 10 League Leaders, 11 Combination cards, 7 World Series Highlights, 12 Team Cards, 19 Rookie Parade)

* – Cody Ross, Ichiro, Juan Pierre, Johnny Damon, Edwin Jackson, Chris Iannetta, Bobby Abreu, Marco Scutaro are all featured on their new team

Earliest active current player from this set: #605 – Jamie Moyer

2012 Heritage 605 oldest Jamie Moyer

When I’ve done this for other sets – I do “last active player”, but for Heritage I do the earliest player.  For last year’s set it was Pudge, but he retired in between 2011 and 2012.  And there’s an even earlier player in this set – much earlier than Pudge, actually.  Jamie Moyer is in the Update set with the Rockies; he made his debut on June 16, 1986.  It would be interesting to know how many players from the set were born after Moyer’s debut!

Jim Thome has the earliest debuts from cards in the regular set (card #296) – he made his debut September 4, 1991.

2012 Heritage 296 oldest Jim Thome

Player with the most cards in the set:  Adron Chambers – 6 cards.

For some unknown reason, Topps put some of the rookie crop on multiple Rookie Parade cards.  Chambers had the most, as he was featured on 5 Rookie Parade cards.  He also has a single player card.

Chambers – #54, 95, 208, 265, 321 (Rookie Parade), #458

2012 Heritage Adron Chambers most cards

Justin Verlander had the most cards if you don’t count Topps strange decision on the rookie thing.  He has 5 cards – 3 league leader cards to honor each statistic from the pitching triple crown he won, a combo card and his base card.

Verlander – #6, 8, 10 (League Leaders), #218 (Tigers Twirlers), #44

2012 Heritage Justin Verlander most cards

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – NL Batting Leaders, #100 – Paul Konerko, #200 – Curtis Granderson, #300 – Carlos Beltran, #400 – Jay Bruce, #500 – Michael Cuddyer, #600 – Yu Darvish

2012 Heritage #1 and 100s_0001

Highest book value: #650 – Bryce Harper RC (see below)

Of course the Update set would get this since it had fairly limited production of 1,000 sets.  Harper’s card is currently valued at ~$60 by Beckett.  From the base set, David Wright, Eric Hosmer and Ichiro all have SP cards valued at $10.

Most notable card: #650 – Bryce Harper RC

2012 Heritage 650 Bryce Harper

Harper isn’t my favorite guy out there, but it’s hard to pick anything but his card as particularly “notable”.

Best card (my opinion): #279 – Matt Kemp

2012 Heritage Matt Kemp best card

Great picture of the guy who looked like he would have the title best player in baseball when this set came out.  Unfortunately, injuries have kept that from happening, but here’s hoping he turns that around.  This was one I didn’t even have to think about or go through cards – I’ve known this was my favorite card from the set.

Second best card (also my opinion): #44 – Justin Verlander (see above)

Verlander was just off my medal stand in 2011 Heritage, but I’m putting him as the runner-up for 2012.  This nudges out the card for Jose Bautista which I also really like.  I may like the Bautista photo just a little better.  But Verlander was coming off a historic season – winning the pitching triple crown and the AL MVP – when this card was released, so that makes it better for me.

Best subset card:  #331 – “World Series Foes” (Pujols / Hamilton)

2012 Heritage Pujols Hamilton best subset

Kudos to Topps with the foresight here!  These guys now play on the same team, moving places as the back to back “biggest free agent signings” in the past two off-seasons.  Too bad they won’t be “World Series Buddies” this year, though.  This card beats out a combo card of Mo Rivera and Joe Girardi.

Favorite action photo: #248 – Kosuke Fukudome

2012 Heritage Fukudome best action

There aren’t many action cards in the Heritage set, but this is a good one.

Favorite non-action photo: #279 – Kemp (see above)

I couldn’t decide if I would count the Kemp in this category.  It is clearly a pose, so I decided it counts – otherwise I’d have put Verlander here.

My Favorite Reds card: #304 – Brandon Phillips

2012 Heritage Phillips pack

Brandon always has great photos.  This is an easy winner.  I’m using a previous picture where I had shown him next to a pack – hence why that wrapper is shown here.

Other Notable Cards: Here’s that Bautista card as well as 2 other cards I thought were fairly notable – a Cespedes RC and Ichiro as a Yankee (both from the Update portion of the set).

2012 Bautista Cespedes_0001

2012 Product of the Year

31 12 2012

Last year I did a post for my “set of the year” in response to a blog bat around was thrown out there by This Card is Cool.  And I feel like I really want to do product of the year, because when you buy a box of something new, it isn’t just the set that matters (though sometimes I wish that was more of Topps’ concern).

This is a good thing to write about at the end of any year, so I’m doing another one now.  Admittedly, I’m leveraging last year’s post for the wording – but which set I pick could be new…

First, I’ll note a couple of things.  Like any collector of baseball cards, I have a limited budget.  There are nearly 40 baseball products out this year if you count all the MLB-licensed things that Topps did, plus what Leaf, Panini and Upper Deck put out.  Because Panini got a license with the Players’ union, this is actually a bit higher than last year.

If you go by order of release date, here’s what came out in 2012.  An asterisk means it’s new (I’m not counting Museum Collection or Archives as new because they replaced sets with similar themes):

Baseball “standard issue” sets (it’s a bit of a stretch for me to include Goodwin in here – but it’s very similar to Ginter and I collected it, so I’m sticking to my guns):

  • Topps (Series 1) – February 1
  • Topps Opening Day – March 7
  • Topps Tribute – March 7
  • Topps Heritage – March 14
  • Topps Museum Collection – April 4
  • Topps Gypsy Queen – April 15
  • Panini Limited 2011 – May 2*
  • Bowman – May 4
  • Topps Archives – May 23
  • Topps (Series 2) – June 2
  • Topps Tier One – June 20
  • Topps Allen & Ginter – July 11
  • Bowman Platinum – July 25
  • Panini Triple Play – August 1*
  • Topps Mini – August 1*
  • Topps Finest – August 6
  • Upper Deck Goodwin Champions August 14
  • Topps Chrome – August 22
  • Topps Triple Threads – September 18
  • Topps (Update) – October 1
  • Bowman Chrome – October 17
  • Topps Heritage (High Numbers) – November 6*
  • Topps Five Star – November 14*
  • Panini Cooperstown – November 14*
  • Panini Signature – November 14*
  • Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects – November 28
  • Bowman Sterling – December 12
  • Panini Golden Age – end of December*
  • Panini Prizm – early 2012*

Topps Attax was the one set that went away here

Minor league card sets:

  • Topps Pro Debut – June 11
  • Topps Heritage Minor League – September 12
  • Leaf Metal Draft – October 15
  • Donruss Elite Extra Edition – December 21st

“Autograph-only” products:

  • Playoff Prime Cuts 2011 – April*
  • SP Signature Edition – May 1
  • Leaf Best of Baseball – July 1
  • In The Game Baseball “Hits” (series 2) – October 25
  • Leaf Valiant – October 31

“odd-ball” sets:

  • Topps Team Sets – April
  • Topps Stickers – March 20
  • Leaf Pete Rose – August 15
  • Leaf Memories – January 2014

Out of those, this year I collected base Topps (both series and Update), Topps Heritage (including purchase of the High Numbers box), Gypsy Queen, Goodwin Champions, Allen & Ginter, Archives and Mini.  Ah, yes, Mini.  My biggest regret this year.

If you consider that I also collected a bunch of earlier Topps base sets – which is actually the “mission” of this blog – this is again a fairly large amount of new cards for me in 2012.  It’s also the exact same number of sets I collected in 2011 – basically swap Archives for Lineage and Mini for Heritage Minor League.  In this post last year I said I may need to scale back, but obviously I didn’t.  Some of the reason for this was that Topps had similar products, and I like all their retro sets.  I did buy less Allen & Ginter and Update (only one hobby box instead of 2) and a little less retail product, but I bought the Heritage high number set, so I bet my money spent on new cards was probably about the same.  Who knows what I’ll do next year – that’s maybe for a later post.

I’m happy with what I collected this year.  I don’t want to buy crappy Bowman (that at one point from 1989-1991 was kind of “retro” set) and it’s 6 bastard children.  Not shiny Chrome or Finest (though I do always like Finest – just not enough to buy it).  Not Museum Collection, Triple Threads, Tier One or Tribute – which I’m pretty sure are all different series of the same thing.  Panini Cooperstown is the one thing I’ve given thought to.  Maybe I’ll buy that someday.  Or maybe I’d just buy diapers for my kid instead.  Who knows.  OK – so what was my favorite set of the year?  Could anything dethrone Heritage from last year?

In short, the answer is no.

But before I get to Heritage – let me do an “honorable mention”.  Last year that was Gypsy Queen.  This year’s Gypsy Queen was not quite as well done as the inaugural 2011 version was.  2012 GQ wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t quite as good of a design.

My honorable mention for “Set of the Year” would go to Archives.  It’s a great product.  Way better than Lineage, which is the product it replaced.  Could they have put the base set on better cardstock?  Of course.  But having 4 separate old Topps designs was a good idea, and then having 40 Short Prints in the “Fan Favorite” of retired players from different years – but different photos (not reprints) – was a killer idea.  If you’re going to do Short Prints, that’s a good way to do it.

The great thing about this set was that it wasn’t just about this year’s players and then throw in Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Sandy Koufax.  Those 4 guys are all in that set, yes.  But the Fan Favorites also have guys like John Kruk, Will Clark, John Olerud, and Andy Van Slyke!!!!!  You really can’t beat that.

Know what else you can’t beat?  Doing cool comparisons like this.

They took the good part of Lineage – the inserts that pay tribute to older Topps oddball sets – and made a better base set.  One with stats on the back (I know, a novel concept)!  The Deckle Edge inserts are a great addition, and there are some other good inserts.  They did the 68 3-D cards, but this time at the same size as the originals.  There were some other cool cards like 82 In Action and the Cloth Stickers were in the same design as the 77 set.  Whenever Topps does something and stays true to the original – I like it!

And the Fan Favorite autos really steal the show.  Finding a Buddy Bell, Mike Scott or Vida Blue auto from a design from a former card they had – well, that’s excellent!

But it’s not the best product.  Well, it might be the best product, but it’s definitely not the best set.   My set of the year is Heritage.  To me, the 1962 design was awesome.  The first older card I ever owned was a Whitey Ford 1962 Topps, and I got it auto’d by the Chairman at a card show in the late 80’s (probably for less than 10 bucks).  It had corner wear, but damn, it was money.  So I knew about that wood border.

What I didn’t know much about was the 1963 set.  Well, I must say – the ’63 design was excellent.  The two picture idea is great, but it’s also well-executed.  And Heritage does a great job of paying tribute to that set.

The card stock is super thick.  The set has parallels with the ’63 set – Jacoby Ellsbury has the same card number as Yaz.  Zach Greinke the same as Warren Spahn.  Curtis Granderson is patrolling center field for the Yankees, and he’s holding down the same card number as the Mick.

Even the gimmicks pay tribute to the original set.  And they have an insert of mini stickers just like the 63 set.  The image swap variations are a cool way to play on the design.

And, dammit – I love the design (this Kemp is probably the best card in the set)!

The 75 SP’s is a bit much, and the High Numbers costing $100 bucks scares the collector in me a bit.  The inserts are standard ones you get each year (Flashbacks, New Age, Then & Now), and they’re all pretty interesting.

There are autographs of players from 1963, on reprints of their 1963 cards, like this one I pulled…

So – that’s my set of the year!  What’s yours?

Completed insert set – 2012 Topps Heritage Then and Now

20 12 2012

This is the third of the “standard” insert sets in 2012 Topps Heritage that I’ve completed.  After this, I’ve still got the “New Age Performers” insert set (1 more card), the Stick-Ons and the JFK variations (1 more card as well) to finish up.  Plus a few SPs still as well.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “10 cards comparing statistical performances of a player from 1963 and a current star”.  The front shows the 2011 Major League leader in a specified category next to a player who was in the top 10 in the same category in 1963.  The reverse shows the MLB top-10 in that statistic for both years.  The players’ names are in a black box with yellow writing and a star saying “63 Then” and “Now 12”.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:15 odds (2012 Topps Heritage)

Hall of Famers:  8 players – every retired player in this set is a Hall-of-Famer, however, Juan Marichal and Sandy Koufax are featured twice.

Koufax, Aaron, Yastrzemski, Marichal, Killebrew, Spahn, Mathews, Aparicio

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from 2 hobby boxes
  • 4 cards from trades
  • 1 cards from Check Out My Cards
  • 1 cards from Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  Like a few others, this is one that returns each year for Heritage.  This set gets limited by the older players Topps signed to be part of the Heritage brand.  Still, Topps got almost every single leader from 1963 into this set.  In fact, they got all but two – they put Carl Yastrzemski on the average card instead of Tommy Davis.  Davis had the highest average in the majors, but Yaz was the AL batting champion.  And Warren Spahn is on the Shutout card instead of Koufax (whom they could have used as he was on two other cards).  Willie Mays would have been a cool option in the set, but he didn’t lead in any traditional stats in 1963.

Two things I don’t like here.  First, I hate when they don’t number sets – these are “lettered”.  Second, Topps used the same photo for the current players as the base card.  I wish they’d have either a) used a second photo, or b) copied both – meaning they’d use the photo from the older player’s 1963 Topps card as well.  I do like how putting the cards next to each other in the scan below creates an optical illusion as if the cards are slanted.

Card that completed my set: #TN-MV – Juan Marichal / Justin Verlander

I got the last card from Sportlots last month.

Highest book value: TN-KK – Koufax / Kershaw, TN-KV – Koufax / Verlander, TN-AK, Aaron / Kemp

Mickey Mantle isn’t in this set (and neither is Jeter from a current player standpoint), so all of the cards book for fairly similar amounts.

Best card (my opinion): #TN-MB – Eddie Mathews / Jose Bautista

The photos on this card are both very good.  The card with Aaron and Kemp is also really nice.  Kershaw and Kemp – Dodger Cy Youngs – is also cool.

Best Reds card: None in the set.  Kind of depressing they couldn’t get a league leader in either year.

2012 Heritage Then and Now_0001

2012 Heritage Then and Now

Here’s the Statistic associated with each card and where the 1963 player ranked in the majors in that stat if they didn’t lead (and who actually did lead if they weren’t first):

  • TN-AB – SB:  M. Bourn / L. Aparicio (tied with Maury Wills)
  • TN-AK – RBI:  M. Kemp / H. Aaron
  • TN-KB – HR:  J. Bautista / H. Killebrew
  • TN-KK – ERA:  C. Kershaw / S. Koufax
  • TN-KV – K:  J. Verlander / S. Koufax
  • TN-MB – BB: J. Bautista / E. Mathews
  • TN-MS – IP:  J. Shields (Shields was 2nd behind Verlander – not sure why Topps did this) / J. Marichal
  • TN-MV – W:  J. Verlander / J. Marichal (tied with Koufax)
  • TN-SL – SHO:  C. Lee / W. Spahn (2nd behind Koufax)
  • TN-YC – Batting:  M. Cabrera / C. Yastrzemski (2nd behind Tommy Davis, though Yaz was the AL champ)