Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers

9 07 2016

This is my 5th insert set completed from 2013 Topps Heritage.  Basically, I’ve now knocked out all the easy ones – both Flashbacks sets, Then & Now, Memorable Moments and now New Age Performers.  What I’m still passively going for are the Bazooka (retail only and rare) and Giants (box topper and rare) sets.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Top current players whose past performances have eclipsed the giants of the past″.  The set jumped from 15 cards to 30 cards this year.

The front shows a waist-above cropper photo of a current Major League star with a colored diamond and white background.  The player’s team name is shown in large capital letters at the top, mirroring the 1964 Topps set.  The Topps Heritage logo sits just below that in the white area.  The back also mirrors the 1964 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 48 years ago (i.e., Adrian Beltre is compared to Brooks Robinson based on Robinson’s 1964 season), with a few selected 2012 and career statistics of the current player and a cartoon at the bottom.

Set composition:  30 cards, 1:8 odds (2013 Topps Heritage)

Hall of Famers:  None – as they’re all active players.  Though there are a lot of Hall of Famers mentioned on the back.

How I put the set together:

  • 6 cards from my 2 hobby boxes
  • 5 cards from trades
  • 9 cards from Sportlots
  • 8 cards from Beckett Marketplace
  • 2 cards from Check Out My Cards

Card that completed my set: #NAP-YD – Yu Darvish

As I mention above, there are twice as many cards this year.  Which is probably why it was the last of the “easier” insert sets for me to complete in 2013 Topps Heritage.  The cards are easier to come by on a per pack basis, but 30 cards is a lot.

I got the last card as part of a Black Friday COMC purchase in 2014.  Yes, I’m over a year behind!

Thoughts on the set:  I like the design on this one.  The 1964 Topps design lends itself to a number of derivations, so I’ve liked most of the insert sets from 2013 Heritage.  That said, I wish they’d kept it at 15 cards.  And I definitely wish they had numbered the card set instead of “lettered” it.

And finally, the cartoon at the bottom is the same for every card!

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers cartoon back

Best card (my opinion): #NAP-MT – Mike Trout

I would tend to not pick the most notable player in the set (which Trout probably is, at least in today’s baseball world).  But he’s shown on the basepaths, which is a much better picture for this particular set.  And the comparison on the back is Mickey Mantle.  Every time I see Mike Trout, I think “that must be what Mickey Mantle was like, minus the torn up knee.”

Best Reds card: There are none.  Which is ridiculous.  The Reds were arguably the best team in baseball in 2012 – I always felt like they blew their best chance at a World Series in that San Francisco series.  So having no player in this set is bad form!

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers Complete

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers Complete_0001

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers Complete_0002

2013 Topps Heritage New Age Performers Complete_0003

Any other tidbits:  Here are the comparisons on the back.

  • Adrian Beltre – Brooks Robinson
  • Andrew McCutchen – Tony Oliva
  • Albert Pujols – Orlando Cepeda
  • Billy Butler – Ron Santo
  • Bryce Harper – Tony Conigliaro
  • Buster Posey – Joe Torre
  • Curtis Granderson – Leon Wagner
  • Clayton Kershaw – Sandy Koufax
  • David Price – Jim Kaat
  • David Wright – Dick Allen
  • Felix Hernandez – Jim Bunning
  • Gio Gonzalez – Mickey Lolich
  • Joe Mauer – Elston Howard
  • Justin Verlander – Don Drysdale
  • Kris Medlen – Gaylord Perry
  • Miguel Cabrera – Harmon Killebrew
  • Matt Cain – Bob Gibson
  • Matt Kemp – Willie Mays
  • Manny Machado – Ed Kranepool
  • Mike Trout – Mickey Mantle
  • Prince Fielder – Jim Gentile
  • Ryan Braun – Frank Robinson
  • Robinson Cano – Billy Williams
  • R.A. Dickey – Hoyt Wilhelm
  • Starlin Castro – Lou Brock
  • Stephen Strasburg – Dean Chance
  • Wade Miley – Whitey Ford
  • Yoenis Cespedes – Rico Carty
  • Yu Darvish – Juan Marichal
  • Yadier Molina – Tim McCarver

Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Heritage Memorable Moments

14 08 2015

I have a lot of completed insert sets to post about.  The rest of this month will be spent doing that, then I’ll start back up with the Lifetime Topps project, which is now at 2003.

This is the fourth of the “standard” insert sets in 2013 Topps Heritage that I’ve finished.  I’m basically done with anything “easy” from these sets.  The other stuff I’m still passively looking for are the Giants box toppers and the Bazooka cards.  I also am quite a few short prints away from the base set.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Top moments from the 2012 season”.  This was a new insert set for Heritage.  It really has no connection to the 1964 set, other than the fact that it has a design that’s meant to be similar to some of the other sets.  The back is orange like the 1964 set, and it has a cartoon just like the cards from back then.

Set composition:  15 cards, 1:12 odds (2013 Topps Heritage)

Hall of Famers:  None since this set has current players only.

Card that completed my set: #MM-MM – Manny Machado

I got the last card from Sportlots in November of last year.  It honors Machado becoming, at 20, the youngest AL player to hit a postseason homer (Andruw Jones of the Braves was 19 when he hit his first World Series homer.

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from 2 hobby boxes
  • 2 cards from a blaster
  • 4 cards from trades
  • 1 card from Beckett Marketplace
  • 4 cards from Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  As I mentioned, this was a new Heritage set.  It is a good set in that I like sets that cover big events from the year before.  And I like the overall look Topps did with the inserts made to be reminiscent of the 1964 Topps set.  However the one thing I don’t love – this set doesn’t really have provenance in that it’s only current players.

Also, I hate when they letter instead of numbering insert sets.  Topps has for the most part discontinued this in their most recent sets – which is a good trend.  But overall, this is a cool set just because the content is pretty good – there were a lot of cool moments in the 2012 MLB season.

Best card (my opinion): MM-TR – Teddy Roosevelt

Like I said, there were a lot of cool moments.  I have always been a fan of Matt Cain, so his perfect game was a cool moment.  And when Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history, that was an even bigger moment.

But it came down to two cards.  Miguel Cabrera winning the triple crown is one of the more underrated sports accomplishments of my lifetime.  It had been 45 years since the last time, and in today’s game it’s particularly difficult in today’s game with all the specialization.  But there was an even bigger moment, where Teddy Roosevelt came back to win his first mascot race on the last day of the season.  OK, it’s not really a big moment in baseball.  But it is a fun card and I love when Topps doesn’t take itself too seriously and includes things like this.

Best Reds card: None in the set.

2013 Topps Heritage Memorable Moments

2013 Topps Heritage Memorable Moments_0001

Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Heritage Then and Now

8 09 2014

This is the third of the “standard” insert sets in 2013 Topps Heritage that I’ve completed.  I’ve still got quite a few more to go for 2013 Heritage, but I guess it’s good to get one of the easy ones out of the way.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Statistical comparison of a 1964 player vs a 2012 player who were the leaders in statistical categories”.  The front shows the 2012 Major League leader in a specified category next to a player who was in the top 10 in the same category in 1964.  The reverse shows the MLB top-10 in that statistic for both years.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:15 odds (2013 Topps Heritage)

Hall of Famers:  10 players – every retired player in this set is a Hall-of-Famer.

Aparicio, Bunning, Clemente, Ford, Gibson, Killebrew, Koufax, Mathews, Marichal, Brooks Robinson

How I put the set together:

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

Thoughts on the set:  Like most Heritage sets, 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.  Topps got half of the actual MLB leaders from 1964 into this set.  More detail is at the bottom.

Like last year’s set, I hate when they don’t number sets – these are “lettered”.  Second, Topps was all about re-using photos for the current players.  Most are the same picture as the player’s league leader card.

Card that completed my set: #TN-AT – Luis Aparicio / Mike Trout

I got the last card from COMC in May.

Highest book value: #TN-AT – Luis Aparicio / Mike Trout

Trout is about the most valuable current player, and he drives this card to the top per Beckett’s book value.

Best card (my opinion): #TN-KK – Sandy Koufax / Clayton Kershaw

The Koufax Kershaw card is awesome because a) they are both lefties, b) they are both lefties who pitch for the Dodgers, c) they are both lefties who pitch for the Dodgers who led the league in the years depicted, and finally – this was the same tandem in 2012 Heritage since both guys led the league in 2011/1963!

The Eddie Mathews Adam Dunn card was close – it’s just funny to see “the Donkey” on one of these cards.  Also, I was shocked that in 2012, Dunn was the only player with over 100 walks.

Best Reds card: None in the set.  Kind of depressing they couldn’t get a league leader in 2012 or back in 1964.

2013 Heritage Then & Now

2013 Heritage Then & Now_0001

Here’s the Statistic associated with each card and where the 1964 player ranked in the majors in that stat if they didn’t lead (and who actually did lead if they weren’t first):

  • TN-AT – SB:  Trout / Aparicio
  • TN-BV – IP:  J. Verlander / J. Bunning (4th, Don Drysdale led MLB)
  • TN-CP – Batting:  B. Posey / R. Clemente
  • TN-FH – SHO:  F. Hernandez / W. Ford (2nd behind Dean Chance)
  • TN-KV – K:  J. Verlander / B. Gibson (2nd behind Bob Veale)
  • TN-KC – HR:  M. Cabrera / H. Killebrew
  • TN-KK – ERA:  Kershaw / Koufax (2nd behind Dean Chance, but Koufax did lead the NL)
  • TN-MD – BB:  Dunn / Mathews (7th, Norm Siebern led MLB)
  • TN-MG – W:  G. Gonzalez / J. Marichal (2nd behind Larry Jackson
  • TN-RC – RBI:  M. Cabrera / B. Robinson (2nd behind Ken Boyer, but Brooks led the AL)

Completed insert set – 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball Flashbacks

9 06 2014

This is one of the “standard” insert sets in 2013 Topps Heritage, that has been a recurring set for the past few years.  It honors some of the better games or achievements from players in 1964.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Flashback highlights from the 1964 season.”

The set has a white border with the Baseball Flashback set name at the top and the name of the featured highlight at the bottom.

Set composition: 10 cards, 1:12 odds (2013 Topps Heritage)

Hall of Famers: 9.  Al Kaline, Bob Gibson, Carl Yastrzemski, Ernie Banks, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Juan Marichal, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays

The only card that’s not of a HOF-er is a card commemorating the opening of Shea Stadium.

How I put the set together:

  • 4 cards from the 2 hobby boxes I bought
  • 1 card from a blister pack
  • 1 card from a trade
  • 1 card from the NSCC (the National)
  • 3 cards from Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  They’ve done this each year for Heritage – and I like continuation.  The point of Heritage is to honor a past Topps set – and having an insert set that also shows what happened in baseball is a good thing!

The thing I’d change are the same as last few years.  I’d number the cards in chronological order – I HATE THE ALPHABETIZING!  Also, 4 of the cards are just representative of good days that the given player had, and 2 more are something in between a historic achievement and a good day.  I like it much better when they commemorate historic achievements, not “Yaz had 6 RBIs”.  Things Topps could have considered:

  • A commemorative card of Reds’ manager Fred Hutchinson, who passed away due to lung cancer
  • It would be sweet if they did a Hall of Fame induction card.  Red Faber, Burleigh Grimes, Tim Keefe, Heinie Manush, John Montgomery Ward, Miller Huggins and Luke Appling all were elected in 1964.  Some kind of montage with their plaques would be cool.
  • Ken Johnson of Houston pitched a no-hitter against the Reds – but lost the game!  This has only happened twice in baseball history (though baseball no longer recognizes 8-inning no-hitters, in which case there would be 4 more).
  • Bert Campaneris became the 2nd player (3 have done it overall) to hit 2 homers in his MLB debut.

Card that completed my set: #BF-FA – Hank Aaron

This is one of 3 cards I got from Sportlots back in March to finish up the set.

Highest book value: #BF-SK – Sandy Koufax

Best card (my opinion): #BF-BG – Bob Gibson

This card commemorates Gibson’s dominance of the 1964 World Series.  This was his first time Gibson established his greatness in the Fall Classic.

2013 Heritage Baseball Flashbacks

2013 Heritage Baseball Flashbacks Mays

2013 Card of the Year!!!

30 12 2013

2013 Heritage Real One Musial

Beating out my initial choice for card of the year winner was “The Man” himself – Stan Musial. Originally, I picked Darwin Barney’s base Topps card, and it’s an impressive card without a doubt.  But I’d forgotten about a card that I would love to own, but will probably never shell out the cash for.

This is the Real One autograph from 2013 Topps Heritage.  This card is amazing on many levels.  First, Musial passed away in January of this year, 2 months before Heritage had been released – in between signing this card and when you could first buy packs of Heritage.  So you could find an on-card auto of this legend after he’d passed away.  Kind of eery, but also something that makes it a cool piece of baseball history.

A second thing that I really appreciate relates to the design of the card itself.  Musial retired in 1963, and Topps didn’t make a card of him in 1964.  Most of the Topps Real One autos are reprints – but this is one of those “cards that never were”.  Those two factors put it above the Barney in my mind, even though the card itself is probably out of reach for me and most collectors.

Interesting note:  Ken Griffey’s Gypsy Queen auto was my winner last year.  That’s back to back years where the winning player was born on November 21st in Donora, Pennsylvania!

Here’s some of the other cards I considered.

  • Josh Reddick and Hanley Ramirez have some very cool photos in their base Topps cards.  I’m collecting the rainbow of the Reddick card.
  • Ted Williams got back into the Topps fold this year, and his Allen & Ginter card is pretty neat.
  • Two variation cards are pretty cool – David Ortiz (Boston Strong) in series 2, and Ted Kremer (Reds bat boy) from Update.
  • Topps Archives has a triple autograph card of three guys from the 1986 Mets’ world series winner – Mookie Wilson, Howard Johnson, and Darryl Strawberry.  It’s in a 1987 Topps design, which is appropriate.  I haven’t seen it on eBay, so not sure if all 3 guys actually signed the card yet.

2013 Heritage High Numbers – base cards

2 12 2013

As mentioned yesterday, I got a boxed set of this year’s Topps Heritage High Numbers.

This is the second year that Topps did this boxed set.  I said last year it seemed like a bit of a money grab, and it frustrated some of the Heritage collectors out there.  It’s challenging enough to complete the Heritage set with the SP’s from cards 426-500, and adding this with a $100 price tag probably made some folks abandon their pursuit.  At the same time, I kind of like these online-only products in limited doses.  I didn’t go for Topps mini this year, but I did buy some Turkey Red cards back in February.

If the price point had been $50 – I think you’d see a lot less complaints.  And Topps corrected two important (at least, important to me) errors this year.  The box has a design and color scheme in line with the current year Heritage set (white background).  Last year they used a design and color scheme analogous with 2011 Heritage / 1962 Topps. – not the yellow and red that matches 1963 Topps packaging.  Wil Myers, Zach Wheeler, Manny Machado, Hyun Jin Ryu, Gerrit Cole, Yasiel Puig adorn the box.  I was confused with Machado – he doesn’t have a card in the base set, but after looking it up, he actually is one of the autographs you could pull.

2013 Heritage High box

Second, they fixed the numbering snafu.  Last year the High Numbers set started at 576 and numbered off to 675.  Unfortunately, that made no sense since the regular Heritage stopped at 500.  This year the High number set starts up correctly at 501.

Here’s some of the base cards from set.  They have a bunch of players that you’d think they would from the Topps set – guys with new uniforms or rookies.  They also have some players who just weren’t in the first 500 cards – guys who had somewhat surprising performances in 2013 that now get put into Heritage.  No clue why Chris Davis didn’t make it, though – he was good in 2012 leading up to his breakout 2013 campaign.

2013 Heritage High other players

You have the traditional rookies – Fernandez and Myers as the Rookie of the Year winners, Puig who got the most headlines of any rookie this year, and then guys like Gattis, Ryu and Michael Wacha who all had notable debuts this year.

2013 Heritage High rookies

Topps also included some guys that would have been in your typical traded set – players who switched teams in the offseason via free agency or a trade.

2013 Heritage High traded

2013 Heritage High Numbers Autograph

1 12 2013

I again picked up the Topps Heritage High Numbers box for 2013.  It’s expensive at 100 bucks, but I hadn’t really spent all that much on cards in the last few months, so I’ve got room in the budget for it.  Though I blew right through that in recent days…

Topps justifies the hefty price tag with chances at some good autos.  Last year I got an Andy Pettitte auto.  I sold it for more than I paid for the boxed set.  This year, I didn’t get quite the name of Pettitte – but I did get a Cincinnati Red,Tony Cingrani!  Cingrani was a welcome surprise for the Reds in 2013, so it’s neat they got him in as an autograph guest in this set.  I’ll be keeping the autograph this year!

2013 Heritage High auto Cingrani

Cingrani doesn’t have a card in the Heritage High Numbers set – because he was already included in the 2013 Heritage Low Numbers set on the 2-card Reds prospect card.