1976 SSPC #95 – Dave Heaverlo (Giants)

It’s been over three months since I featured one of my SSPC cards, but it took a special card to get me back on track… I pulled this one from a 100 card repack. Not something I ever would have expected.

Ladies and gentlemen, this… is Dave Heaverlo.
1976 SSPC #95 Dave Heaverlo

Dave Heaverlo… was a relief pitcher who pitched for 7 years with the Giants, A’s and Mariners. He appeared in 60 or more games in four different seasons and was one of six players traded to Oakland for Vida Blue

Dave Heaverlo was an unusual guy… and he wasn’t even a lefty! He wore #60 for most of his career and, most notably for a kid of the 1970’s, he shaved his head. You’ve got to remember, this was a time where even the older players had long hair and sometimes perms. The only bald guys around were two actors who were both viewed as being exotic in their baldness: Telly Savalas (1970’s TV detective Kojak – “Who loves ya, baby?”) and Yul Brynner (who was in The Ten Commandments, The King And I and The Magnificent Seven, but for me and my friends, he was the robotic Gunslinger from the movie Westworld).

In 1976, Dave… pitched in 61 games for the Giants and finished with a 4-4 record with 1 save.

Shea-o-meter: Many of the photos in 1976 SSPC were taken in Shea Stadium; Every team came through Shea because the Yankees were temporarily playing in Shea while Yankee Stadium was being renovated. “Can two Major League teams share a ballpark without driving each other crazy?”

That’s the left field auxiliary scoreboard just below Heaverlo’s ear.
Shea: 53
Pretty sure it’s Shea: 8
Can’t tell: 15
Not Shea: 7

1970’s Census
We’re going to keep track of all the instances of 1970’s facial hair and other 1970’s trends… Sideburns, afros, mustaches, Aviator glasses…

Dave obviously bucked the general hair trends of the 1970’s… but he does have a mustache!
Total Cards: 82
1970’s Sideburns: 41
Fu Manchu: 4
Mustache other than Fu Manchu: 26
Afro: 1
Perm: 2
Aviators: 6
Long Hair: 18
1976 SSPC #95 Dave Heaverlo back

2015 TSR: Series Three Is (Finally) Live!

Due to… *ahem*… production issues, Series Three is nearly a month late, but it has finally been released.  I’ll have some updates on the later series down at the bottom of this post.

The Series Two wrapper promised us rub-off tattoos, what type of insert do we learn about from the Series Three wrapper?
2015 TSR Wrapper Series Three
OK, well, clearly Series Three is a work in progress… in addition to being weeks late.  Management is going to have to take a look into this.

We’ll start right off with some of the “stuff” for Series Three, inserts which feature players from the 2015 Futures Game. I always feel like the Futures Game should get more attention than it does, given the number of current MLB players who were part of this showcase.  The Futures Game is played to little attention on the Sunday before the All-Star game, but you only have to go back two years to find names like Kolten Wong, Delino DeShields, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Billy Hamilton and (sadly) Oscar Taveras.

The Futures Game should be represented on cardboard, and now it is, sort of.  Our first card is of a guy who didn’t take anything close to two years to make it from the Futures Game to the majors…
2015 TSR FG-9 Michael Conforto
Michael Conforto, the Mets’ top draft pick last year, got called up to The Show a couple of weeks ago, much to the delight of Mets fans desperate for offense. Of course, now he’s already been overshadowed by the Mets’ rental of Yoenis Cespedes, which is probably just as well for Conforto.

I wrote about Conforto just over a year ago because his mother, Tracie Ruiz-Conforto was an Olympic Gold Medal winner and was featured on a card when Michael was just three years old.  FWIW, I still don’t have her card.

Moving on… The Yankees picked up Nathan Eovaldi over the winter in a trade involving Martin Prado.  It was the kind of deal that gets a quick “Hm, interesting” and then you move on with your day.
2015 TSR #291 - Nathan Eovaldi
One morning early this week I was reading the recaps of baseball games, and I saw that Eovaldi won a game and brought his record to 10-2.  I nearly spit out my morning caffeine, “TEN and TWO?!?  When the [bleep] did that happen?”  I’ve heard relatively little about Eovaldi this year, and was shocked that it was even possible for a Yankee to fly under the radar… but there it is.  From looking at his record, he hasn’t been dominant, but he’s been consistently good.  I picked him up for my last-place fantasy team, which could use a dose of “consistently good”.  Eovaldi rewarded me with a solid but unspectacular win against the White Sox last night, so now he’s 11-2.  Zoinks.

To make room for Eovaldi on my fantasy team I ditched Taijuan Walker, who’s had a shaky July.
2015 TSR #297 - Taijuan Walker
Check out the awesome striped socks!

So this morning I’m reading the paper and see that Walker, fresh off being dumped off my roster, pitched his first career complete game and tied his career high with 11 K’s.  After the obligatory “D’OH!!”, I grabbed my laptop, found that Walker was still out there on waivers, and I picked him up again (this time ditching a position player).

Taijuan Walker is another Futures Game alumni.

With the non-waiver trading deadline passing yesterday, there will be some scrambling in Shlabotnik World Headquarters to show some notable names in new uniforms.  One of the players who will undoubtedly be appearing before very long is Cole Hamels… I saw something somewhere about some sort of accomplishment during his last game with the Phillies.
2015 TSR #294 - Cole Hamels NoNo 100dpi
I hope that the newly-acquired players can help the Phillies maintain the winning that’s gone on since the All-Star break, and they can make the Marlins the deserving possessors of the title “Worst team in baseball”.

Jose Reyes used to be my favorite Met.  While I was disappointed that he signed with the Marlins several years ago, I understood the Mets’ reluctance to give him big money, given Jose’s history of being injured.  I also understood Jose’s signing the big contract with the Fish, although I’m sure it has worked out nothing like he expected.  Jose is on the move again, this time to Colorado.
2015 TSR #298 - Jose Reyes
I think this might be the first Rockies card I’ve posted, and there’s no better way to debut their cards than with Jose Reyes’ smiling face.

This past week, Nick Markakis returned to Baltimore for the first time since signing with the Braves as a free agent.  Like Jose Reyes, I was sad to see Nick go, but didn’t blame him.  Unlike the Mets with Reyes, I do think the Orioles should’ve made much more of an effort to re-sign him.
2015 TSR #295 - Nick Markakis
Clearly I’m not the only one, because Nick got a standing ovation with each game in Baltimore.

Another insert in Series Three are Draft Picks… I previewed these a couple of weeks ago, but here’s an actual card (as actual as they get, anyway).
2015 TSR DP-25 DJ Stewart
D.J. Stewart was the 2014 ACC Player Of The Year with Florida State, lead the nation in on-base percentage this year, and was assigned to the short-season Aberdeen Ironbirds as soon as he signed.  He’s the first outfielder drafted by the Orioles in the first round since… guess who?  Nick Markakis.  That wasn’t something I realized when I included both in the same post, but it’s a happy little accident.

Scott Kazmir is another ex-Met on the move, going from the A’s to the Astros.
2015 TSR #292 - Scott Kazmir
I had thought that Mets fans may have finally let go of the trade where a young, unproven Kazmir was traded to the Rays for Victor Zambrano, who was a washout in Queens.  I was proven wrong when I saw comments during the trade deadline along the lines of “If the Mets trade Zack Wheeler, it’ll be Kazmir all over again!”  Mets fans are nothing if not pessimistic… and stubborn.  Let it go, people.  Kazmir has been good, but he’s also been less-than-good, he’s been injured, and is decidedly not the second coming of Tom Seaver.

As mentioned at the top, the delays in Series Three have disrupted the schedule and our production team is currently assessing our options.

Series Four was originally scheduled to be released in mid-August, that will get pushed back a couple of weeks.  A decision has yet to be made on whether there’ll be a fifth series in October.  A lot depends on whether it will interfere with production of the offseason “Hot Stove” set.

Still remaining to be decided about a potential Series Five:  Whether it will be sold in virtual packs or as a virtual box set;  whether it will be a “Virtual Hobby Store Only” release;  whether the card numbering will carry over from Series Four;  whether it will be called “Series Five”, “Update” or something else entirely.

We’ll make an announcement about the 2015/16 TSR Hot Stove set sometime in September… probably.  There are some changes planned, but the base set will continue to be made up of “2-D Super Stars” cards…
2014-15 TSR Hot Stove #20 Yoenis Cespedes
…And I suspect that Yoenis Cespedes will get a Hot Stove card for a second year running…

Stay tuned!

Pack Animal: 2006 BBM 1st Version (Japanese Baseball)

Since the National is going on right now, I thought I’d open a pack of cards I bought at the National… three years ago.  With extra-special packs, I tend to get stuck in the trap of saving them for “a special occasion” that never comes.  It’s a damn good thing I’m not a wine connoisseur…

Anyway… I’ve got a pack of 2006 BBM 1st Version…
2006 BBM 1st Version pack front
2006 BBM 1st Version pack back
…and as usual when opening a Japanese pack anything I pull will go into my collection, and if it’s a player I’ve heard of or a cool shot, that’s just icing on the cake.

First card…
2006 BBM 1st Version Masamitsu Suzuki
Masamitsu Suzuki, a rookie with the Hiroshima Carp.  With the exception of a Matt Franco card I bought on COMC, these are my first 2006 BBM cards and the design’s not bad. The cards have a nice gloss to them, front and back.

We flip the baby over and as usual non-Japanese readers don’t get to read “The Rookie Story”, and don’t get to know the answer to “Did You Know”?
2006 BBM 1st Version Masamitsu Suzuki back
Mr. Suzuki has played a total of 6 games in NPB, none since 2013. Moving on…

Ryosuke Hirata of the Chunichi Dragons.
2006 BBM 1st Version Ryosuke Hirata
Hirata is still with the Dragons;  in fact, when I Googled on his name, I found an article about a game-winning three-run homer he hit in the 10th against the Yomiuri Giants in June.

Wataru Nishimura of the Rakuten Golden Eagles
2006 BBM 1st Version Wataru Nishimura
I still can’t get used to the Golden Eagles… I started taking an interest in NPB well before the Orix BlueWave and the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes merged and the Golden Eagles were created to keep an even number of teams in the Pacific League.  It surprised me a little to learn that the Golden Eagles have been with us as long as the Washington Nationals.

Nishimura is still with the Eagles, but has very fringe player numbers.

Yuki Mizuno, another rookie… this time with the Yakult Swallows.
2006 BBM 1st Version Yuki Mizuno
I’m having trouble finding info on Yuki Mizuno, but it doesn’t look like he’s played in NPB at all.

Shogo Mori… I knew from the one black sleeve that this was the Fighters before I looked at the logo.
2006 BBM 1st Version Shugo Mori
Another guy who doesn’t seem to have much of a track record.  This really doesn’t seem to be a killer pack.

Atsushi Kizuka of the BayStars
2006 BBM 1st Version Atsushi Kizuka
He appears to be a middle reliever who hasn’t pitched since 2010.

Tomohiro Kuroki, Marines.
2006 BBM 1st Version Tomohiro Kuroki
These are not my favorite uniform in NPB.  Actually a lot of NPB unis are just a bit too far out there for me.

It looks like Kuroki is a coach with the Fighters now.


The payoff comes at the very end of the pack… Mr. Daisuke Matsuzaka on a League Leader card during his last year with the Seibu Lions before going to Boston to seek his fame and fortune on this side of the Pacific.
2006 BBM 1st Version Daisuke Matsuzaka SO Leader

At first I was wondering what 22650 at the bottom meant, until I realized it was 226 strikeouts.  Not the greatest card of Dice-K, but I will not kvetch.
2006 BBM 1st Version Daisuke Matsuzaka SO Leader back

…And that’s the pack.  Not exactly a loaded pack, but it’s always fun to open something like this, just to see what cards from Japan look like.

Chocolate Chip Bagels Are The Devil’s Baked Goods

When one is looking in a bag full of bagels that someone brought into work, chocolate chip bagels look for all the world like a cinnamon raisin bagel.  It’s often not until after the first bite that one realizes the tragic mistake that’s been made.

…This is another post of arbitrarily-chosen cards…

One of the people who most recently signed up to follow this blog has an email address that makes it clear that they are a fan of everyone’s favorite one-year team, the Seattle Pilots. Because I’m not above pandering to my readers, here’s a card which features a nice shot of the Pilot’s road unis.
1970 Topps Steve Hovley
Steve Hovley is one of the more interesting people in Jim Bouton’s book, Ball Four.  I can’t remember any particular quotes, even though I’ve read the book multiple times… But none in the past 20 years, so I’m coming up dry.

Hey, as long as I’m sucking up to my Pilots-loving readership, here’s a photo of a road jersey that I took at The National when it was in Baltimore three years ago.
Seattle Pilots Road Jersey

Speaking of Pilots, here’s a guy who’s been known to pilot an X-wing fighter.  This is a sticker from a Star Wars pack I bought back in 1977.
1977 Topps Star Wars Sticker 42
I would guess that people below a certain age might recognize that the sprocket hole pattern on either side of the image is meant to represent film somehow, but they may not understand exactly how or why.. Kind of like how they recognize the little floppy disk symbol as “save” even though they themselves have never used a floppy.

BTW, I don’t mean to call Millenials out or anything like that.  There’s no reason they should be familiar with film or know how to use a rotary phone, just like my parents were very familiar with automats while I’ve only seen them in Bugs Bunny cartoons.  I view these things as something of interest rather than a cause for alarm.


Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud, back when he was in the Blue Jays’ organization!
2011 Heritage Minors Travis d'Arnaud

Of course, between the mask and the shades, we  just have to take Topps’ word that this is Travis d’Arnaud…

I mentioned the other day that I found a bunch of long-lost cards of mine. Part of that find included my old 1970 Fleer World Series cards. This is not one of those… This was bought as a replacement for cards that I thought were long gone. Oh, well.
1970 Fleer World Series 30 Giants Senators
1970 Fleer World Series 30 Back

As a public service, I present the following card of the 3rd baseman on the 1970 Topps All-Star Rookie team.  Remember, kids, when it comes to rookies, past performance does not predict future results!

1971 Topps Alan Gallagher

Gallagher’s full name is Alan Mitchell Edward George Patrick Henry Gallagher.

Because I’ve got a backlog of scans from the 1968 Topps Game insert, here’s Gene Alley.

1968 Topps Game Gene Alley

In 1968, Gene was coming off his second Gold Glove.  I should mention that he played shortstop.

…And we finish up with an actual 1980’s bumper sticker from what may be Francisco Rodriguez’ favorite radio station.
KROD bumper sticker
A friend of mine got this for me back in the day when I collected radio station bumper stickers. 600 AM in El Paso is still KROD, but now it’s an ESPN station and they are the radio home of the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas. How fitting is that?

A Goofy Custom Which Was Inspired By A Typo

In this past Saturday’s post about The Next Fifteen Years Of Heritage, I originally fat-fingered the name of the 1979 Topps All-Time Record Holders subset as “All-Tim Record Holders”.  I corrected it before I posted, but the dumb-ass idea I got from the typo was one I couldn’t resist.

And so…

1979 Topps All Tim Strikeouts Lincecum Wakefield

Given the amount of time I spent researching this, I wouldn’t bet my life that Lincecum and Wakefield are, in fact, the record holders for strikeouts by players named Tim, but I’m fairly confident that the following is correct:

  • The All-Tim high for strikeouts in a season is Tim Lincecum with 265 in 2008, the first of his two Cy Young seasons.
  • The All-Tim career high for strikeouts is Tim Wakefield with 2,156 while pitching for the Pirates (1992-1993) and Red Sox (1995-2011).

“So THAT’S Where That Was”: I Found A Pair Of Long-Lost 1950’s Cards

It started the way most of these discoveries go.  I was looking for one thing and found another.

Over the weekend I was looking for a particular collectible and I was pretty sure I remembered which box it was in… but where was that box?

I looked in the one closet and didn’t see the box I was looking for, but there was another box that I’d managed to ignore for years, and I looked at it and could not for the life of me remember what it contained.

So I pull it off the shelf and open it up… Some of my artwork from school, old papers, various tchotchkes… and a metal index card box.  I remembered having the box, but I didn’t remember what I’d used it for.

I tilted the lid open and the heavenly host began to sing, because carefully placed in there were a number of non-standard-sized vintage cards and oddballs that all fell into the category of “I knew I still had these around somewhere! I knew it!”  I’ll share the rest of these cards in the future, but for today it’s all about the two oldest cards.

I hadn’t seen these cards in such a long time – it’s probably been somewhere over 20 years – that I had started to question whether I had merely imagined owning them.

First up is a very creased and well-loved 1952 Topps card of Hank Thompson of the New York Giants.

1952 Topps Hank Thompson
1952 Topps Hank Thompson back

Hank Thompson was one of the first African-Americans in the Majors, playing part of a season with the St. Louis Browns in 1947.  He would go back to the Kansas City Monarchs (his Negro League team) for a year, and then would spend the rest of his career with the Giants.

Interestingly enough, he got MVP votes in two different years, but was never an All-Star.

The other card was another badly creased card, a 1955 Bowman Art Houtteman.

1955 Bowman Art Houtteman
1955 Bowman Art Houtteman back

Houtteman pitched mainly for the Tigers and Indians, although he had a short stint with the Orioles.  His career year was 1950 when he went 19-12, lead the league with 4 shutouts and was an All-Star.

These two cards came to me as part of a handful of poor condition cards given to me by a friend of the family.  I was something like 11 or 12 at the time, and this was an amazing windfall to receive cards as old as these were… even at the time, the 1952 was somewhere around 25 years old.

So, anyway, there are two more cards to cross off the “I need to find those someday” list.


The Next Fifteen Years Of Heritage

As many of you know, last weekend I finished ranking the fifteen Heritage sets that have been produced by Topps to date (and if you missed it, you can see those posts here:  (#15 – #13), (#12 – #10), (#9 – #7), (#6 – #4), (#3 – #1) ).

All along, I’d intended to do a follow-up post that was forward-looking… but the more I worked on it, the more it changed.

It was originally a ranking of the next ten years of Heritage, but well into the writing of the post I realized that it was a fairly pointless ranking.  I am a child of the 1970’s, so ranking the sets based on 1967 through 1976 ended up being the same as if I’d listed them chronologically, and it went something like this:

cool.  cool.  cool.  COOL!  COOL!  COOL!  COOL!  AWESOME!  AWESOME!  AWESOME!

So I abandoned the ranking and expanded it to 15 years to match the number of years I just covered.  For each upcoming Heritage set, I’m going to talk about what they could do, what they should do, previous attempts at re-creating the same sets, any graphical challenges Topps faces, blah blah blah.

Before we get started, I just want to mention that the next time you’ll see a team logo on a Heritage card will be in 2034.  By then you’ll be taking your self-driving Googlemobile over to the Teleport Station to pick up the wax box that was beamed down from one of Amazon’s geostationary orbiting distribution warehouses.

Anyway, let’s get into the discussion.  It all starts with next year’s set…

2016 Heritage (1967 design)

A “Less Is More” design that I like… it really puts the emphasis on the photo.
1967 Topps Dave Johnson

I didn’t realize until I was researching this post that the little dot between name & position didn’t appear until the 2nd series.  Perhaps they realized that some impressionable youngsters thought there was a baseball player named “Phil Linz Infield”.  I would think that this dot/no dot difference should show up in 2016 Heritage  (FYI 1967 Series 1 went to card #109)

I’m curious to see how they jam some of the team names in when they do the Minor League Heritage set… RUBBERDUCKS and CHIHUAHUAS could give Topps fits next year.  Maybe they’ll just avoid players from those particular teams…

What I would like to pull from a pack:  Back in 1967, there were cards in Venezuela that came in three series;  one series was a sort of “Spanish O-Pee-Chee” that featured Topps fronts with narrower borders and different backs featuring Spanish text;  one series featured players from the Venezuelan Winter League (i.e Caracas, Lara, Aragua) and one short series featured “Retirado” (Retired) players like Sandy Koufax and Jackie Robinson.  It’d be cool if they had some Retirado inserts.

Beyond that, some version of the 1967 pin-up inserts would be fun… but unlikely.

2017 Heritage (1968 design)

I can never decide whether or not I like the 1968 design.  It’s kind of a weird design with the burlap pattern and the colored circle.  On the other hand, 1968 was about as old as anything I was going to get when I was a kid (in those days you only got old cards through friends, family and garage sales), therefore it had a certain awesomeness about it.
1968 Topps Mike Marshall

In 1993, Baseball Cards Magazine tried their hand at making their own version and did a pretty decent job, even if they did use tan speckles instead of a burlap design.
1993 Baseball Cards Magazine Darren Daulton

What I would like to pull from a pack: You bet your burlap I expect to pull 1968 Game cards out of these packs, I don’t care if Archives is doing them this year (poor planning on Topps’ part, if you ask me).
1968 Topps Game Pete Rose

2018 Heritage (1969 design)

1969 creates a sort of “Late Sixties Trilogy”, with 1969 being the the answer to “If 1967 and 1968 had a baby…”

I like this design, even if the big ol’ colored circle gets in the way.
1969 Topps Mike Epstein

What I would like to pull from a pack: Deckle-edge cards would be kinda nice, but not 100% necessary.
1969 Deckle Edge Tommy Davis

Some of you might like the decals, but they’re just really really mini 1969’s so I wouldn’t bother chasing them (just as I did not when they were an Archives insert).

2019 Heritage (1970 design)

As much as I like the 1970’s in general, I suspect that when I open my first pack of a Heritage set based on a 1970’s design I will squeal and giggle like a little girl.

1970 is a design that really hasn’t been done much in various Topps tribute-y sets over the years.  True, it’s not a classic design, but it’s also not a done-to-death design (*cough* 1952 *cough*)
1970 Topps Dave McNally

Baseball  Cards Magazine also did their custom card magic on this set, this card coming from 1992.

1992 Baseball Cards Magazine Tony Gwynn

For those who want to make their own customs of this set, the font used for the player names is called “Koffee”.  I would give credit where credit is due, but I cannot remember nor find where I learned this.

What I would like to pull from a pack: It would be cool to pull little comics along the lines of “The Troy Tulowitzki Story”, but doing such a thing well is probably beyond the resources and budget allocated by Topps.
1970 Topps Booklets Cleon Jones_0005

2020 Heritage (1971 design)

UD Vintage already “paid homage to” this set, but I loved it so, so very much that I can’t imagine that I won’t be excited by Heritage five years from now.
1971 Topps Bob Spence

Here’s the “miscut 1971″ UD Vintage version.
2002 UD Vintage Jay Payton

What I would like to pull from a pack: Parallels with the far-better-than-Topps OPC backs…. or they can just do the entire set with the OPC backs, I’d be cool with that.
1971 OPC Duffy Dyer back

Coins would also be cool, but I don’t know how problematic something like that would be.  They didn’t do them for 2013 Heritage, I can’t see them doing it in 2020… But I did have an idea:  Die-cut cardboard “coins”.  How do you think something like that would go over?  I think it would fall into the category of “Dunno, I’d have to hold one in my hand first”.

2021 Heritage (1972 design)

I’ll be frank, the idea of a Heritage version of 1972 Topps makes me nervous.
1972 Topps Bob Bailey

Teams like the Marlins were poorly done in recent attempts by Topps (Mini inserts, Archives), and I fear that’s not going to change by the time 2021 rolls around.
2013 Topps 1972 Mini Giancarlo Stanton

If they’re still doing Minor League Heritage in 2021, I see two possible mindsets involving the graphics department at Topps:

1)  We, the employees of the graphics department, welcome the exciting and career-defining challenge presented to us by the need to adapt the 1972 design to names like “GRASSHOPPERS” and “BLUE WAHOOS”

2)  We, the employees of the graphics department, have given our two-week notice to our supervisors and wish Topps the best of luck in its future endeavors.

What I would like to pull from a pack: “In Action” cards, absolutely… But what do you think about the subset featuring the different awards?  “Fun” or “Boring”?
1972 Topps MVP Award

2022 Heritage (1973 design)

A basic design, but it has its appeals and I’ve always loved the color-coded position icons on the bottom.
1973 Topps Terry Forster

I really enjoyed when Archives did these, even though they got some off the fonts and colors wrong. I’ve come around to the idea that Topps intentionally makes the Archives designs noticeably different from the actual design (maybe to differentiate from upcoming Heritage sets?)
2014 Archives Freddie Freeman

What I would like to pull from a pack: I hope that they include the coaches when they do the manager cards, and don’t just put the managers on a vertical player card.
1973 Topps Don Zimmer

2023 Heritage (1974 design)

Another basic design, so one would think that they shouldn’t have too much trouble replicating it…. one would think.
1974 Topps Dwight Evans
This is the first set I collected, so I’m going to be beside myself when we get around to the Heritage version (and I’m going to try very hard not to think about the fact that the sets being “Heritaged” are 49 years old).

One thing custom card makers often get wrong when doing 1974 is the font on the player’s name.  Some don’t realize that there’s actually two related fonts used, and not just one solitary font.
1974 Topps font comparison 2

What I would like to pull from a pack: Traded cards, 1974 style.
1974 Crowley Traded

Here’s what I would do if I were in charge:  Unlike current Heritage sets where they make an effort to update player movement via photoshopping (think Pablo Sandoval and Jeff Samardzija in this year’s set), what I would do is leave the base set un-updated,  and put the big free agents and trades from over the winter into a 33-card Traded insert.  If you want to get pedantic about it, then photoshop the free agents in the base set, but leave the players who had been traded for the Traded set.

Washington “Nat’l Lea” variations also seem like a given.
1974 Colbert WNL

2024 Heritage (1975 design)

Come on, who isn’t looking forward to 2024 Heritage?
1975 Topps Jim Rooker

What I would like to pull from a pack:  Minis, of course.

I had another idea that could be potentially cool.  The idea is concerning these cards from the originals.
1975 Topps 1965 MVP Versailles Mays

I would love to see these updated, and there are two ways they could do it.
1)  Update the original subset and feature the Topps cards of MVP’s from 1975 to 2023 using the designs from their respective years (which results in a 49-card subset).

2)  Re-do the original subset, make it “25 Years Of Topps Heritage” and feature the same designs, only the Heritage versions.  In other words, the card above would be “2014 MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS” and would feature Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw in last year’s Heritage design.  I think this would be pretty darn cool, and I’d like to think that someone at Topps is already on top of this.

2025 Heritage (1976 design)

Color-coded bars, little cartoon men on the front, what’s not to love?
1976 Topps Skip Lockwood

They’re doing a decent-enough job with this year’s Archives that I’m not worried about the 2025 Heritage… My main concern is whether they spend the next 10 years coming up with a better color combination for the Nationals than red and brown (Yech!).  Just go ahead and use the Expos colors for the Nationals… What’s the deal, anyway?

What I would like to pull from a pack: A Bazooka Bubble Gum blowing champion card, even if a special event has to be staged in 2024 solely for the purpose of having someone on the 2025 Heritage card.
1976 Topps Bazooka Champion

Oh yeah, and also Traded cards.

2026 Heritage (1977 design)
I love 1977, it was the 4th set I ever collected, but I’ll admit I can’t think of anything to say about it in this context.   Me like 77T.  Me look forward.
1977 Topps Ed Kranepool

What I would like to pull from a pack: Big League Brothers… if we have any brothers to highlight in 2026.
1977 Topps Big League Brothers - May

Also “Turn Back The Clock” cards.

2027 Heritage (1978 design)
As I’ve mentioned before in my custom card diatribes, this set has the potential to cause problems for Topps, given that the team name was originally done by an artist and is not a font.
1978 Topps Don Baylor

Just for the heck of it, here’s a custom I did last year to highlight the throwback unis the Cubs wore in a game.
2014 TSR 1978 #4 Tsuyoshi Wada

What I would like to pull from a pack: As long as they correctly replace the baseball graphic with the little red, white and blue All-Star shield when appropriate, I’ll be a happy man.

2028 Heritage (1979 design)
This is my least-favorite 1970’s baseball card set, but that’s kind of like saying that “Beatles For Sale” is my least-favorite Beatles album.
1979 Topps Keith Hernandez

79T is an easy set to replicate.  No excuses, Topps!
1979 Joe Maddon

What I would like to pull from a pack: Updated “All-Time Record Holders” cards would be tres bien.
1979 Topps All Time Ks Ryan Johnson

2029 Heritage (1980 design)
I wasn’t a huge fan of this design at the time… partly because I was a teenager with other things competing for my attention, but I also felt like it was a little too similar to my beloved 1974 design.
1980 Topps Steve Garvey

I’ve come to appreciate this set a lot  more over the last 10-12 years, and I’m about to make a push to complete the 1980 set… but that’s a subject for another post.

What I would like to pull from a pack: Burger King Pitch Hit and Run inserts, even if you pull a “Topps News” type of switch call them something else .
1980 Burger King Ron Guidry

2030 Heritage (1981 design)
This set is just the opposite of 1980… I liked this design just fine in 1981, but it honestly hasn’t aged well for me.  Of the fifteen sets covered in this post, this is the one I’m most likely to take a pass on (depending, of course, on what it’s competition is, whether they’re still doing Heritage and whether I’m still alive and collecting).
1981 Topps Dave Cash

If someone resurrects the Fleer brand by 2030, I would look forward to a Fleer Tradition revival…  How cool would it be to have 2030 Fleer Tradition challenging 2030 Topps Heritage for the throwback card market?!?
1981 Fleer Joel Youngblood

What I would like to pull from a pack: Food issues!  Drake’s!  Squirt!  Coke!  Do it, Topps!  DO IT!!!!
1981 Drake's Dave Parker

So there you go… Hope you didn’t find it too much for one sitting, but I wanted to just get it out there and over with.  To use another Beatle reference, it’s sort of my “All Things Must Pass” post.

I promise I’m done with Heritage for now… Except for some upcoming customs of cards that I’d wish had made it into 2015 Heritage… and, of course, my thoughts on 2016 Heritage… and… Oh, never mind. No promises from me.

…But I’d like to know what you think!

Which upcoming Heritage set are you excited about?

What would you like to pull out of a Heritage pack in the next 15 years?