Ranking 15 Years Of Heritage, Part 4: #6 through 4

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.

Part 1 is HERE; Part 2 is HERE; Part 3 is HERE.

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.
2013 Topps Heritage Hi#'s Koji Uehara

2013 Topps Heritage Hi # 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..
2013 Heritage Tops In NL Cain Posey

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…
2013 Heritage Minor League Dilson Herrera
…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.
2013 Topps Heritage Miguel Gonzalez

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.

2002 Heritage Bartolo Colon
2002 Heritage Bartolo Colon back

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.

2002 Heritage faked uncut sheet

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:
2002 Heritage Jeff Cirillo
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?
2002  Heritage Joaquin Benoit

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.
2012 Heritage Jose Reyes
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.
2012 Heritage Jose Reyes back

I can’t let the color thing pass… Here’s an example I’d posted a while ago in another topic:
2012 Heritage Chris Ianetta

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.
2012 Heritage NL Batting Leaders
2012 Heritage Mets Team Card
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!

“Shoulda Been” Heritage #’s 5 & 6: A Very Belated Edward Mujica And Matt Carpenter

After my last “Shoulda Been” Heritage post, the esteemed Mr. Superduperman99 over at Fantastic Catch pointed out that the Cardinals have two All-Stars who were slighted by not being included on Heritage cards:
Edward Mujica (Tied for 4th in the Majors with 30 saves)
2013 Schmeritage Edward Mujica

…and Matt Carpenter, who’s leading the Majors with 79 runs, 2nd with 32 doubles and among the MLB leaders in hits, batting average and OBP… and all this while playing 79 games at 2B, 30 at 3B and making cameo appearances at 1B and in right field.
2013 Schmeritage Matt Carpenter

My sincere apologies go out to Mr. Ninety-Nine for the delay… Time just got away from me.  This morning, when I realized how long it had been, I believe my exact words were “GAAAAAHHHH!!!!!”

I will make it up to him by buying something out of his COMC store.

“Shoulda Been” Heritage #’s 3 & 4: Chris Denorfia and Kyle Blanks

When I posted my first “Shoulda Been” card, Marcus over at “All The Way To The Backstop” pointed out that there are two Padres who have played a significant role with the team and yet do not have a card in any 2013 Topps products… Those two Padres are Chris Denorfia and Kyle Blanks.

While neither one is likely to start in the All-Star game, they’ve both played well enough to warrant cardboard.  I don’t know why Topps hasn’t included them, but here I go, once again cleaning up their mess after them:

2013 Schmeritage #3 Chris Denorfia
2013 Schmeritage #4 Kyle Blanks

Hope you like them, Marcus!

If there are any players you’d like to see on a 2013 Heritage/1964 Topps design, but Topps has not come through, leave a comment for me… I’ll do my best to rectify the situation.

“Shoulda Been” 2013 Heritage #2: Ichiro Suzuki


Ichiro is missing from 2013 Topps products, and if there’s been any explanation for that beyond the obvious, I haven’t seen it.

It doesn’t seem right that Ichiro doesn’t have a Topps card, so here’s a custom Heritage card:

2013 Schmeritage Ichiro Suzuki

Since Ichiro, or someone representing him, doesn’t want to play nice with collectors, I’m not going to play nice with Ichiro; I created this custom using his last name. So there, Mr. Suzuki. Nanny nanny boo boo.

I have an outstanding request (or really two requests) for more “Shoulda Been” Heritage cards, and I’ll get to those as soon as I have time to make them.

Meanwhile, if there’s someone who you think should have a Topps card and doesn’t, leave a comment and I’ll try my best to rectify the situation.

“Shoulda Been” 2013 Heritage #1: Matt Wieters

As many of you know, Matt Wieters is not included in any Topps products; he’d signed an exclusive contract with Razor back in 2008, and while it seems that the exclusive expired long ago and Wieters is now ‘available’ through MLBPA licensing, he apparently never signed a contract with Topps. Wieters seems like a good guy, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that his agent is the poopyhead depriving us of Wieters cards.

Since Topps can’t do the job, I’ll have to take matters into my own hands…
2013 Schmeritage Matt Wieters

…and as long as I had “The Shlabotnik Custom Card Machine” fired up, I decided to go ahead and crank out a 2013 TSR Wieters:
2013 TSR #350 - Matt Wieters

There’s another prominent Major Leaguer who is not appearing in Topps products this year, and I’ll share his “Shoulda Been” Heritage card next week.

If your favorite player was not included in this year’s Heritage set, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do to rectify the situation.

Hey, Cubs Fans… Help A Fella Out Here…

2013 Topps Heritage Glen Hobbie AutoI pulled this lovely Cubs autograph out of a retail Heritage blaster… Which is kind of funny because it was just about a year ago that I pulled a Jim Brosnan autograph out of a retail Heritage pack.

This is the best pull I’ve had so far in the still-young year, but the thing is that I don’t know anything about Mr. Glen Hobbie other than what I Googled before writing this post.

Did you know…?

In 1960 Glen Hobbie lead the Cubs with 16 wins!  Ooh, that’s good!

He also lead the Majors with 20 losses.  That’s bad.

…But he pitched 4 shutouts and 16 complete games!  That’s good!

…and lead the NL with 114 earned runs.  That’s bad.

In 1959 Hobbie was working on a perfect game when that no-good, rotten Stan Musial had to go and break it up.  You hear so many good things about Musial, but nobody every talks about what a spoilsport he was.

Anyway, what it boils down to is that Glen Hobbie was a good pitcher on some less-than-great Cubs teams… but…

…and here’s where you Cubs fans come in…

…but is there a particular reason, perhaps something off the field, for him to be featured with an insert?  I mean, Jim Brosnan wrote a couple of books.  Is there something else going on with Glen Hobbie that was behind the scenes, something that Baseball Reference or Wikipedia might have overlooked?

Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer.