Mama said “Haste makes waste.”
(…and Mama said there’d be days like this, Mama said knock you out and Mama told me not to come… but that’s another story)
I was so excited to find packs of 2017 Heritage on the day of release that the next morning I decided to finish the post I’d started and publish right then – check it out if you missed it – instead of waiting until Friday morning as I’d originally planned. I’ll admit, I was thinking of the traffic that would be generated by having an early pack-busting on my blog.
Unfortunately, I fell afoul of one of the WordPress smartphone app’s “quirks” and at the moment it published it instantly showed up buried in everybody’s blogrolls as if it had published the previous day. I didn’t realize this until much later in the day when I was wondering why my stats weren’t booming like I’d expected.
Because I rushed through it, I also didn’t write the post I would’ve written if I took my time… and it still bugged me that I didn’t have any Mets, Orioles or the “Game” insert cards. So yesterday I went back to the same Target and bought two more packs… Wax packs this time, because the 20-card “value” hanger packs were sold out.
My first pack was clearly meant for Shane from Shoebox Legends… Check it out:
Out of 10 cards, I got three Red Sox and a buyback. (Sabes will be heading to ShoeboxLand later today).
Meanwhile the remainder of the pack was a Night Owl Nightmare!
This first pack didn’t forget about me, as it also had a “Game” insert, which I’ll get to in a moment.
The second pack also proved to be worthwhile, as I got a short-printed Met:
YO! MTV Raps
The “Game” card I got turned out to be a Target-exclusive “Game Rookies” insert of Jake Thompson… and it surprised me because it was big. Not “big big”, but bigger and on thicker card stock than the originals. Here’s a comparison with 1960’s Phillie Tony Gonzalez:
The 2017 version is standard sized and on baseball card stock, rather than slightly mini and on something more like playing card stock.
To differentiate the regular Game insert from the Game Rookies insert, the card back color was changed to red (because, you know, it’s a Target exclusive):
It amuses me that they had to eliminate an entire rows of baseballs in order to replace “©T.C.G. MADE & PRINTED IN U.S.A.” with three logos and five lines worth of copyright info. And, for anyone who cares, I’ll point out that a different dot pattern is used in the “infield”.
Anyway, I’m happy with the job did on these inserts, and this is one of the more welcome additions to these Heritage packs.
One thing I would’ve done in the first post if I’d taken the time is to break down the number of cards by team, so that fans of the Padres can get pissed off that there are 4 teams which have at least twice as many cards as their team.
Breakdown of base card (not counting Leaders, World Series Highlights and All-Stars) by team:
21 Blue Jays, Cubs
20 Red Sox, Rockies
17 Angels, Astros
16 Dodgers, Twins, Yankees
15 Braves, D-Backs, Mets, Nationals, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Reds
14 Cardinals, Indians, Marlins, Rays, Royals, White Sox
13 Giants, Mariners
12 Athletics, Brewers, Rangers
More telling, and probably more wounding, is the breakdown of short prints by team. Topps bumped the number of SP’s up to 100 cards this year, and that’s decidedly more painful for some than others.
Breakdown of Short Prints by Team (not including variations):
9 SP’s (OUCH!) – Cubs
7 SP’s (Nearly as OUCH!) – Red Sox
6 SP’s – Rockies, Tigers
5 SP’s – Astros, Blue Jays, Nats
4 SP’s – Marlins, Mets, Pirates, Rangers, Yankees
3 SP’s – Angels, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Orioles, White Sox
2 SP’s – Braves, D-Backs, Rays, Reds, Royals, Twins
1 SP – Brewers, Cardinals, Padres, Phillies.
As surprised as I was about the huge-payroll Dodgers having only 3 SP’s, I was really surprised that a competitive team like the Cardinals has only on SP, but I checked and there’s only Aledmys Diaz. It doesn’t seem right that the Braves and Twins should have more SP’s than the Cards, but there you are. I think the person who decided which players got short-printed is a St. Louis Cardinals fan who is currently muttering “Suck it, Cubs fans” under his or her breath.
I did have a realization that might provide an insight into Topps’ modus operandi… Of the 20 players who appear in the All-Topps team inserts…
…only two – Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber – have base cards that aren’t short prints.
Furthermore, of the 31 players who appear on League Leader cards, only 10 – Chris Archer, Chris Carter, Kershaw, Kluber, D.J. LeMahieu, J.A. Happ, Khris Davis, Nelson Cruz, Rick Porcello, Robbie Ray – have base cards which aren’t short prints.
It’s almost as if Topps is saying “What are you complaining about? There are Miguel Cabrera cards which aren’t short printed…”
But rather than focus on all the superstars who are short-printed, I decided it might be fun to focus who isn’t short-printed and make an all-star team out of the first 400 cards in the set. This is completely objective and, for two positions, I couldn’t decide so I listed both. One of these positions features a guy I happen to have a card of, and since this latter part of the post is a bit text-heavy, I’ll include it here.
OK, so here we go, the non-short-printed All-Heritage team:
Starting Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Marcus Stroman, Sonny Gray, Rick Porcello
Closer: Andrew Miller
Catcher: Yadier Molina
First Base: Carlos Santana / Chris Davis
Second Base: Jonathan Schoop
Shortstop: Elvis Andrus / Brandon Crawford
Third Base: Evan Longoria
Outfield: Adam Jones, Adam Eaton, Carlos Gomez
Designated Hitter: Kendrys Morales
Utility: Ben Zobrist, Ichiro
This post ran through a bunch of different iterations before it ended up the way it ended up, and I had one uploaded scan left over, so I’m going to pull a Jimmy Kimmel…
My apologies to Lonnie Chisenhall, we ran out of time.