For those of you who missed the first three parts of this series, I’m ranking all 15 Heritage sets from 2001 to 2015, rating them based on a number of factors, including the original design being “Heritaged”, how successful Topps was in replicating the design and feel of the set, and whether the Heritage cards changed my feelings towards the original cards.
Previously, on “Ranking 15 Years Of Heritage”:
#15 – 2001 Heritage (1952 design)
#14 – 2011 Heritage (1962 design)
#13 – 2009 Heritage (1960 design)
#12 – 2010 Heritage (1961 design)
#11 – 2004 Heritage (1955 design)
#10 – 2006 Heritage (1957 design)
#9 – 2003 Heritage (1954 design)
#8 – 2015 Heritage (1966 design)
#7 – 2008 Heritage (1959 design)
And now, back to the action!
#6: 2013 Heritage (1964 design)
I grew up in the 1970’s, where Topps’ standard operating procedure was to have a particular color combination (blue & green, red and yellow, orange and brown, whatever) assigned to a team… or, more often to a pair of teams, one NL team and one AL team. Because that’s what I grew up with, that is what I regard as THE WAY THINGS ARE DONE (and is the way I conduct my business when creating my custom sets).
So what does my little side tangent have to do with 1964 Topps? Because 1964 was the first year Topps did that. As in the original set, every Red Sox player in 2013 heritage has the same color combination as Koji Uehara.
I think this is a design that carries over well to Heritage. It’s appealing, but very basic and simple so there’s not a whole lot to screw up.
…Well, except for the absolutely humongous trademark symbols on the combo cards..
I didn’t let it factor into these rankings, but I’ll make a side comment that if I were doing a ranking of Minor League Heritage sets, 2013 would rank at the top… Even though the Minor League set didn’t stick to the “one team, one color” rule, it has a design that’s well-suited for featuring minor league team names…
…Although next year’s tribute to 1967 could also work well. I’m looking forward to seeing “RUBBERDUCKS”, “CHIHUAHUAS” or “MUD HENS” at the bottom of a 2016 Minor League Heritage card.
I’ve been working on this series for several weeks and I originally had a reason for including this Miguel Gonzalez card, but I can’t remember it now.
I guess I can use this opportunity to point out a subtle little thing I like about this design – the way that many of the photos just barely edge into the white border at the top… Just a nice touch.
How Heritage affected my opinion of the originals: No real change to how I view 1964. Liked the set before, still like the set
2013 Heritage in my collection: 266 cards out of 500 in the set, not including the “Hi Numbers” box set released later (53.2% of the set)
#5: 2002 Heritage (1953 design)
I ranked the 2001 Heritage set down at #15 because I’ve never liked the 1952 design. In 1953, however, Topps made a quantum leap in card design. Even though it’s similar in concept – Player name in a rectangle at the bottom of the card, with a logo stuck on one of the corners – it’s the way it’s implemented that makes all the difference for me. White box surrounded by cheesy stars is replaced by a big slab of red or black, which were moved down to the corner. The signature was removed to give more real estate to the player name, and to add the team name and player position.
It’s just a shame that 2002 Heritage couldn’t have been hand-painted like the originals… But that’s the way things go. It still makes for a nice set.
One thing about this set… the colored rectangles alternate between the right and the left. This is something I appreciated much more once I saw an uncut sheet of this set. I couldn’t find a decent image of an original sheet, so I’ll have to fake it using Heritage cards.
The way the cards are arranged to subdivide a big color rectangle into 4 smaller rectangles, that’s just damned clever. I love that.
Another thing I love about this design is the way they introduced multiple colors in subtle little ways, like on this Jeff Cirillo card:
Player name in white, position in red, team in yellow. I really like the way that looks.
This next card has nothing to do with the ranking of the set, but I ran across it when doing this post and I just really like the photo. Simple, yet appealing. Why don’t they do more posed shots like this?
How Heritage affected my opinion of the originals: It made a big difference in how I appreciate the original, but I have to admit I still only have a couple of cards from 1953. I need to do something about that.
2002 Heritage in my collection: 81 / 446 (18.2%)
#4: 2012 Heritage (1963 design)
To be honest, 1963 and 1953 are similar enough designs that I kept flip-flopping on the ranking of these two… but 1963 won out because its more colorful and because it uses photos that haven’t been run through a filter to make it look vaguely like a painting.
So here I am talking about how much more colorful this set is, then I use a scan of a card with a red bottom. I really should’ve picked a card with a green, blue or yellow bottom, but that would’ve required far more advance planning than I put into these posts.
The backs aren’t the prettiest, but they are easy to read.
I can’t let the color thing pass… Here’s an example I’d posted a while ago in another topic:
This is off on a tiny tangent, but it’s similar to my uncut sheet gushing of above. It never fully sunk in until recently that the cards that have the colored stripe in other parts of the card – rookie cards, checklists, batting leaders – are “upside down” or “sideways” relative to the other cards on the printing sheet.
Makes sense, I just never really thought about it.
How Heritage affected my opinion of the originals: I’ve liked the originals for quite some time, if only because they feature the first Mets cards which aren’t all samey-same wood paneling. Heritage also made me appreciate some of the finer points of the designs… and less-than-finer points (hello, floaty heads).
2012 Heritage in my collection (Not including Hi # boxed set): 270 / 500 (54%)
Coming up next: Top Three! …But the next post is not the last post in this series! …But I’m not going to tell you what that’s about!