A Few Thoughts On 2013 Heritage

Let me be clear right off the bat that this image here is a custom I made, it’s not a preview image from Topps.

I collect Heritage every year, but I don’t even think about completing the set; I just buy packs and blasters as the mood strikes me, and after the dust settles I pick up Mets, Orioles, favorite players and maybe some other cards.

I’m normally not big on the general variation gimmicks, but I have to admit that I’m really intrigued at the 2013 gimmick of having Colts variations of the Astros cards. I’ll probably see if one or two fall into my hands, and if not, I’m sure that after a year or two I’ll be able to pick up a cheap Fernando Martinez or Jose Altuve.

When I started working on the custom pictured here, I went to try to find a photo with the Colts throwback, and I realized one of the challenges that faces Topps… how many players are there who played in those throwback games and are still on the Astros? Carlos Lee? Gone. Chris Johnson? Gone. J.A. Happ? Gone. Justin Ruggiano?  Travis Buck? Brandon Lyon? David Carpenter? Brett Myers? Brian Bixler? Ben Francisco? Gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone and gone.  Even manager Brad Mills is gone.

Most of the rest of the 2013 Heritage ‘features’ aren’t terribly interesting to me. The super short prints make me really glad I don’t try to collect the Heritage set, and even more glad that I’m not a Yankees or Rangers fan (since the SSP’s are supposed to be the top All-Star vote-getters).

I love the 1964 Topps Giants set, so I should be drooling over the box toppers in this set… but I still haven’t picked up any of the similar box-toppers from last year’s Lineage set, or from the one Upper Deck Vintage set which did the same. I guess we’ll see what happens.

Oh, as far as the minis go, I have a message I’d like to share… this is from me to Topps…

ENOUGH WITH THE FREAKING MINIS!!!!!!

Thank you.

Finally, I hope that Topps isn’t provided with any reasons to replicate this card from 1964 Topps:

1964 Topps #550 - Ken Hubbs/In Memoriam - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

1964 Topps #550 – Ken Hubbs/In Memoriam – Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

I never thought it was such a bad little card… Maybe it just needs a little love (Mets Monday)

I’ve been having thoughts about tweaking the 1981 Donruss design lately.  It all started because I’ve had this 81D Elliott Maddox card on my cube wall for over a month.  After a while, I started comparing it to the other 1980’s cards it shared a 9-pocket page with and that caused me to have “Charlie Brown Christmas” thoughts about it.  Maybe with a couple of tweaks to the design (and heavier cardboard and better photos and…), it could’ve been more successful.  After all, it’s not like 1981 Topps or Fleer were classics.  That being said, what can be done to it?

First off, I think the border is too thick, I’ll thin it out a bit… and change the colors to Mets blue and orange.  A different font might help, but I’m going to leave that for now.  One thing I think would help is to move the team name so that it replaces the lower-right corner instead of being adjacent to it… the asymmetry of the card frame bugs me.  The Donruss logo and “ ‘81” are over in the upper left corner, but the team name is a little away from the lower right corner.  I think it would look better if those two opposing corners mirrored each other.

What’s with the position text?  “INFIELD / O-F”?  Why would you abbreviate one and not the other, and why use “O-F”, an abbreviation that nobody uses?  Clearly someone’s tipping their hand about how much they knew about baseball.  I’m going to change that to IF/OF.

(This is like time-lapse photography… this is the point where I went into Paint Shop Pro and messed with the image).

Here’s the before and after of my amateur goofing around:1981 Donruss Elliott Maddox - before and after

I had to enlarge the photo out of necessity, because by moving the “Mets” word mark I lost some of the photo.  To be honest, I think it benefits from a tighter crop.

One funny thing is that I had some trouble in thinning the borders, it almost seemed to be slightly uneven to start with.  When I zoomed back out and looked at the original card again, I noticed that the borders ARE uneven.  Look at the white space between the red border and black border on the right, then look at the same white space on the left.  Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.  I know, these were probably rushed to market before the Topps lawyers could do anything to stop them, but it’s still pretty ugly.

The results weren’t great, and I could’ve done a better job with more time,  but it’s definitely an improvement and was a fun little exercise.

What do you think, is that better than it was?  What else could be done to tweak this design, other than giving up and creating a whole new design?