2016 Topps Heritage — 31 days until release!

Yes, as those of you who know me already know, I am a huge Topps Heritage fan. This year I'll be opening four cases which I'll be looking forward to. Although the checklist won't be released for awhile, Topps has given us a sneak peek at another autograph that will be available once the product goes live on March 2nd.  Here it is...

 

Another rookie!  I hope that this year Heritage has more cards of present players than "one hit wonders" from 1967. It will be interesting to see what players from the past will make the checklist. One player that I would LOVE to see on a autographed Heritage card, especially since this year is patterned after 1967, is Tom Seaver. However, I don't think that's going to happen because I don't believe Topps has a contract with Tom Seaver although that would be "Terrific" if they did! 

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2016 Topps Heritage Hobby Jumbos!

No, there will not be 2016 Topps Heritage Hobby Jumbos this year but I thought I'd write a bit about the topic in hopes that maybe sometime in the future it could become a reality. I think it could be very interesting if Topps created these. They could produce Jumbo boxes that guarantee one or two shortprints per pack and one autograph per box. In fact, I would like to see autographs created specifically for the Hobby Jumbos that couldn't be found in regular packs. Also, I would also like to see a team promotion of some type to keep collectors more involved during the season. My suggestion would be to bring back the Super Team promotions that were popular in the early 90's in Topps Stadium Club products. 

  
Collectors could collect a Super Team card and if that team wins the World Series, then the collector could get a special set of silver refractors plus a random autograph from that team. Of course, you would have to make the Super Team cards hard to get -- my recommendation is one per case. 

If Topps were to make Topps Heritage Jumbos in the future, what would you like to see included?  I'd like to hear your thoughts!

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2016 Topps Heritage — Short Prints

2016 Topps Heritage has 425 base cards plus 75 shortprinted cards. These shortprint cards will most likely be numbered 426-500 based on how Topps has numbered shortprints on previous releases over the past several years.  If the odds are the same as they have been in the past, a collector can expect to find eight shortprint cards out of a box. With perfect collation, a collector can put together a shortprint set out of approximately 9 and a half boxes.  The set is pretty difficult to put together unless you plan on buying at least a case of cards. Since the shortprint cards are highly sought after by set collectors, it should be rather simple to find someone to trade with you should you get any duplicates. 

Stay tuned for future articles on Topps Heritage cards as we get closer to the release date of March 2nd!

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2016 Topps Heritage — Base Cards

2016 Topps Heritage will feature a base set of 425 cards patterned after the iconic 1967 Topps set. The checklist will be a strong one because of the size of the set and the fact that it is in one series -- so no stars will be left out. Expect to see Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Kris Bryant just to name a few. Release date for 2016 Topps Heritage is March 2nd. 

  
 

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A Live Look at 2016 Topps Heritage!!

Although 2016 Topps Heritage won't be released until March 2nd, Topps has given us a little peek of a card that can be found in the product once it is live. Here is a picture of Minnesota Twins rookie Miguel Sano signing his blue and red Real One Autographs which will be inserted into packs of 2016 Topps Heritage...

  
I really like the look of these cards!  The 2016 Topps Heritage set used the same design as the 1967 Topps set.  The 1967 Topps set is my third favorite vintage set of all time with 1957 and 1965 placing first and second. I can vividly remember being in the fifth grade at school and trading for a 1967 Topps Mickey Mantle card during recess among a group of friends. That Mickey Mantle card was the first Mantle card I had ever seen in person and a friend of mine asked if I wanted to trade for it. So, about 200 Topps cards from 1978 later, I became the proud owner of that 1967 Topps Mantle! I carefully placed the Mantle inside my textbook and placed it in my locker at school for safekeeping. Back in those days, the term "locker" was a bit of a misnomer since we didn't have locks. Lockers were simply a place to keep your books and coats and were accessible to anyone. They were also accessible to anyone who saw me put that Mantle in my textbook. After the bell rang, I excitedly ran to my locker to take another view of the legendary card I traded for, and it was gone!!  I felt like crying. The next day someone at school told me they saw someone in my locker going through my books. I confronted that person and he denied taking the card. He convinced me that it wasn't him. To this day, I still do not know who took the Mantle but I'm sure it was one of the kids who saw me trade for it at recess. Once I graduated college and began working in the real world, one of the first things I did was to buy a high grade 1967 Topps Mickey Mantle. Paid $200 for it at the time and it gave me piece of mind finally after all of those years. However, if you are that kid who stole my Mantle, I'd like to hear from you. :)

Here are a couple of pictures that will bring back memories to those of you who collected cards in 1967...

   
 
The packaging for 2016 Topps Heritage should look similar to these designs. I plan on opening 3 or 4 cases and look forward to the release date on March 2nd. Only 41 days away!!

Craig from Texas

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1961 Topps Set — Now only 31 Cards Away Until Complete!

The 1961 Topps set has been the hardest set for me to complete. In fact, it's the only set from the 1960's that I have not yet completed. As of today, I am 31 cards from completing this monster. Here is a list of the remaining cards I need:

 228 1961 Topps Yankees Team $60.00

 300 1961 Topps Mickey Mantle $600.00

 406 1961 Topps Mickey Mantle 565 HR $100.00

 472 1961 Topps Yogi Berra MVP $50.00

 475 1961 Topps Mickey Mantle MVP $200.00

 480 1961 Topps Roy Campanella MVP $40.00

 485 1961 Topps Ernie Banks MVP $40.00

 524 1961 Topps Johnny Logan $30.00

 531 1961 Topps Jim Coates $50.00

 534 1961 Topps Eddie Kasko $40.00

 541 1961 Topps Rollie Sheldon $50.00

 542 1961 Topps Twins Team Card $60.00

 544 1961 Topps George Thomas $50.00

 545 1961 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm $60.00

 554 1961 Topps Pirates Team Card $80.00

 559 1961 Topps Jim Gentile $60.00

 563 1961 Topps Bob Cerv $60.00

 568 1961 Topps Bill Skowron AS $50.00

 570 1961 Topps Nellie Fox AS $60.00

 571 1961 Topps Bill Mazeroski AS $60.00

 572 1961 Topps Brooks Robinson AS $80.00

 573 1961 Topps Ken Boyer AS $50.00

 574 1961 Topps Luis Aparicio AS $60.00

 576 1961 Topps Roger Maris AS $200.00

 577 1961 Topps Hank Aaron AS $150.00

 579 1961 Topps Willie Mays AS $150.00

 580 1961 Topps Al Kaline AS $80.00

 581 1961 Topps Frank Robinson AS $80.00

 584 1961 Topps Jim Perry AS $30.00

 586 1961 Topps Whitey Ford AS $100.00

 589 1961 Topps Warren Spahn AS $100.00

The cards in my set are all in EX condition or better. My goal is to complete this set by the end of the year. Once I have this set completed, then I will have a complete Topps set run from 1959 to present. 

  


1961 Topps Baseball Walt Alston #136 Los Angeles Dodgers EX-MT+
1961 Topps Baseball Walt Alston #136 Los Angeles Dodgers EX-MT+
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1961 Topps Baseball San Francisco Giants Team Card #167 EX
1961 Topps Baseball San Francisco Giants Team Card #167 EX
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1961 Topps Baseball Chicago Cubs Team Card #122 EX-MT
1961 Topps Baseball Chicago Cubs Team Card #122 EX-MT
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1961 Topps Baseball Kansas City Athletics Team Card #297 Ex-Mt/Nr-Mt
1961 Topps Baseball Kansas City Athletics Team Card #297 Ex-Mt/Nr-Mt
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1961 Topps Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals #290 Baseball Card HOF
1961 Topps Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals #290 Baseball Card HOF
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1961 Topps Baseball card #477 Nellie Fox Chicago White Sox ~ EX+
1961 Topps Baseball card #477 Nellie Fox Chicago White Sox ~ EX+
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2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers Checklist BY PLAYER!!!

Friday, September 25th marks the release date of 2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers. There has been a lot of excitement building with this release because of a couple of rookies heating up the pennant races -- Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa. Would you like to know EVERY card that these players have in 2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers? Or would you like to see if your favorite player is in the checklist? How many different Mike Trouts are there? Bryce Harper?? Well, instead of studying the checklist, just click here and you will see a complete 2015 Topps Heritage High Number Checklist BY PLAYER. It is a quick and convenient way to find a complete high number checklist of your favorite player!

2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers PLAYER CHECKLISTS!!

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A Closer Preview of 2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers…

2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers is a product that I have been looking forward to seeing. It releases officially on September 25th and I will be opening at least a case if not more. This year marks the first time since 2009 that Topps Heritage High Numbers will be available as a pack product. In 2010 and 2011, there were no Topps Heritage High Numbers. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, the high number series were only available in box form and could only be ordered through www.topps.com. This year it will be interesting to see which rookies will be in the product as some rookies are really heating up heading into the postseason. Topps Heritage master set collectors will want to make sure that they get a set of this product in order to keep their Topps Heritage set runs complete.

1

As collectors are used to with Topps Heritage, pack rippers can expect to find one autograph or relic card per hobby box. There are 12 boxes in a case, 24 packs per box, and 9 cards per pack. A complete case should have 2,592 cards. The base cards are numbered 501 through 725. This picks up where the 2015 Topps Heritage regular series ended as the regular series were numbered 1 through 500. The last 25 cards of the high number series (701-725) are short printed meaning that you will only find one inserted in every three packs. It will be important for collectors to look at their cards carefully as there are base cards variations and base card parallels. The base card variations picture a different image and show the player "in action". This means that they are probably swinging a bat or throwing a ball rather than a portrait shot. These variation cards will only be found in hobby packs. The base card parallel cards come in six different types.
Blue Backs have the back of the card in blue ink. Mini base card variations will be serially numbered to 100 copies each and feature 50 subjects found in the base set. Chrome cards are shiny and will be serially numbered on the back to 999 copies each. These chrome cards can be found in a refractor variety numbered to 566, a black bordered type numbered to 66 (see below), and lastly as a gold refractor sequentially numbered to just five copies each! Gold refractors can only be found in hobby packs.

2

There are many different inserts in 2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers for master set collectors to chase after. A couple of them are familiar to Heritage enthusiasts and a couple of them are new. Rookie Performers showcase the top rookies from the 2015 class including Addison Russell. Now and Then (historically called Then and Now) portrays highlights from the 2015 season and shows how they are connected back to 1966. Award Winners is an insert set that commemorates the major award winners from last year. And the last of the insert sets, Combo Cards, show teammates pictured in the style of the combo cards from the 1966 Topps set.

3

And now my favorite part of and Topps Heritage product -- AUTOGRAPHS!! Real One Autographs have been the most popular part of every Topps Heritage offering since its inception in 2001. The part I like best about Topps Heritage autographs is there are ZERO stickers. These are the real deal, on-the-card, autographs that were touched and signed by the player on the card. To me, they are more collectible knowing that they were in the hand of the player signing them. I can't stand sticker autographs and wish they had no place in our hobby. There are several types of autographed cards in this product to be aware of in the event you are lucky to pull one from a pack. Real One Autograph cards are signed in blue ink and feature retired and active players. Generally blue ink Topps Heritage autographs have a print run of 200 copies each but this isn't always the case. There are notable exceptions especially when the blue ink auto is of a Hall of Fame player. In the case of Hall of Famers, the print run is much less. The Real One Special Edition Autographs (also known as Real One Red Ink Autographs) are signed in red ink and are hand numbered to 66 copies each. These cards are a lot harder to find in packs than their blue ink counterparts. Real One Dual Autographs are even harder to find as there are only 25 copies of each card produced. These Real One Dual Autographed cards feature autographs from a current MLBer paired with a retired player. These cards are very highly collectible. If you are able to pull one from a pack, there will be several collectors who would like to buy it from you. Another autograph type to watch for are 1966 Cut Signatures. These are special one-of one cards that feature baseball and non-baseball subjects. The signatures are real and usually feature signatures on pieces of paper embedded onto a specially made card.

4

Back in 2001, Topps Heritage introduced Clubhouse Collection Relic cards. These cards feature pieces of uniforms or bats embedded onto the cards. They have been very popular and have evolved over the years. With 2015 Topps Heritage High Number, there are several kinds of Clubhouse Collection relics to be familiar with. There are Clubhouse Collection Relics which are cards that feature a single piece of uniform or bat. There is also a gold parallel version serially numbered to 99 copies each. And if that wasn't enough, there are also Clubhouse Collection Dual Relics numbered to 66, Triple Relics numbered to 25, and Quad Relics numbered to 10.

6

Another cool insert that can be found in packs by lucky collectors are Clubhouse Collection Autograph Relics. These cards are hand numbered to 25 copies each. There are also Clubhouse Collection Dual Autograph Relics that are hand numbered to 10 copies each and can only be found in hobby packs. Extremely scarce and highly sought after by player collectors.

5

That wraps up the content that can be found inside packs of 2015 Topps Heritage High Numbers. However, Topps has usually put a little unannounced surprise or two in each Heritage product going back to 2006. So I would expect there to be a little something extra. Speaking of something extra, one thing that Topps has been doing since 2007 is putting box loaders into the hobby boxes. I consider these fun little bonuses that sometimes are valuable. In 2013, I pulled a box loader of Ernie Banks. The oversized card was autographed and numbered 5/10. I ended up selling it for $266.66 which paid for several boxes that year. This year, collectors can expect to find three different kinds of box loaders: 1966 Ad Panels, 1966 Topps Originals, and 1966 Baseball Punchboards. The 1966 Ad Panels are three card strips with an advertisement on the back. These cards were patterned after the original as panels from 1966. Back in 1966, salesmen would take these ad panels and would give them to retailers in hopes of them carrying Topps products. The 1966 Topps Originals are original 1966 Topps cards foil-stamped with a 50th anniversary logo. I personally do not like the fact that Topps stamps these cards. Why do that? Especially for those who are working on the 1966 set? Being a set collector, I don't like it but it seems that player collectors do. The last type of box loader are 1966 Baseball Punchboards. These are styled after the 1966 Topps Baseball Punchboards game. There are a few different kinds of Punchboards to be aware of. The regular Punchboards are limited to 50 copies. The jumbo patch relics are serially numbered to 25 copies each (see the Joc Pederson below). Autographed versions are serially numbered to 10 copies each as well as the Jumbo Patch Relic Autographed versions.

7

With September 25th just around the corner, you can bet I am pretty anxious to rip into my case of 2015 Topps Heritage High Number. What good cards will I get? Hopefully something great to add to my collection! Or maybe I will get something I can use as trade towards my vintage set needs. One thing is for sure, stay tuned to my blog as I will post the best of the best here.

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them!


2015 Topps Heritage High Number Chrome Joey Gallo #647 ( 240/999 )
2015 Topps Heritage High Number Chrome Joey Gallo #647 ( 240/999 )
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2015 Topps Heritage High Number Combo Cards Kris Bryant / Addison Russell #cc-9
2015 Topps Heritage High Number Combo Cards Kris Bryant / Addison Russell #cc-9
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Luke Gregerson 2015 Topps Heritage High Number #669 Free Shipping
Luke Gregerson 2015 Topps Heritage High Number #669 Free Shipping
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Matt Joyce 2015 Topps Heritage High Number #539 Free Shipping
Matt Joyce 2015 Topps Heritage High Number #539 Free Shipping
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Justin Smoak 2015 Topps Heritage High Number #665 Free Shipping
Justin Smoak 2015 Topps Heritage High Number #665 Free Shipping
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Jake Marisnick 2015 Topps Heritage High Number #690 Free Shipping
Jake Marisnick 2015 Topps Heritage High Number #690 Free Shipping
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Opening a retail box of 2015 Topps Chrome…

So I finally decided to open up a retail box from Walmart over the weekend as I have heard that retail has had some great pulls from 2015 Topps Chrome. The box cost me $19.97 and has seven packs of four cards each and a bonus pack of sepia colored cards containing four cards. So that is exactly 32 cards. Here are the 32 cards I received:

23 BASE CARDS:

4 Joe Mauer
9 Andrelton Simmons
13 Jonathan Lucroy
29 Yorman Rodriguez
34 Austin Jackson
35 Matt Kemp
69 Bryce Brentz
71 Melvin Mercedes
77 Charlie Blackmon
96 Archie Bradley
106 Paul Goldschmidt
109 Torii Hunter
124 David Ortiz
132 Cory Spangenberg
143 CC Sabathia
144 Dallas Keuchel
159 Kyle Lobstein
162 Miguel Cabrera
169 Salvador Perez
171 Buck Farmer
182 Marcell Ozuna
192 Christian Walker
197 Mike Minor

4 BONUS CARDS:

15 Anthony Ranaudo (SEPIA REFRACTOR)
117 Zack Wheeler (SEPIA REFRACTOR)
192 Christian Walker (SEPIA REFRACTOR)
194 Dellin Betances (SEPIA REFRACTOR)

5 INSERT CARDS:

16 Tommy La Stella REFRACTOR -- 1 in 3 packs
176 Lorenzo Cain REFRACTOR -- 1 in 3 packs
134 Edwin Encarnacion PRISM REFRACTOR -- 1 in 6 packs
GGR-21 Buster Posey GALLERY OF GREATS -- 1 in 24 packs
AR-TM Trevor May ROOKIE AUTOGRAPH REFRACTOR 479/499 -- 1 in 211 packs

2015 ToppsChromeInserts

Click on the cards to see a bigger and clearer picture

I was pretty pleased with the box as it is always a thrill to get an autograph no matter who the player is. I also like opening Topps Chrome because of all the different refractors. So, Leon from New Jersey, if you are reading this, let me know which of these 32 cards you want as you are welcome to all of them. Leon has helped me tremendously with my vintage sets from the 50's and 60's and without his help my quest for a complete Topps set run would be far from just 609 cards away.

This year, Topps has caused some confusion to collectors as they did not stamp the word "refractor" on the back of the card as they did in the past. For me, I don't need to look at the back to distinguish if a card is a refractor or not. A refractor for me sticks out like a sore thumb. However, for some collectors, they can't tell the difference at all. It reminds me of those optical illusion drawings where if you hold it at a certain distance, some people can see an image and some can't.

Since I was asked a few times how I can tell what is a refractor and what isn't, I reached out to fellow collector and all around good guy Brent Williams of brentandbecca fame what he has been telling his collectors. Brent said:

"I tell people to hold cards in the light and tilt it watching the background and the borders for the light to be refracted. You should see multiple colors as the card is tilted but only in the background not the player. That is key. If looking at the player you won't see it as they don't add the effect to the player but the rest of the card. And if one has a base counterpart then they can do a side by side comparison and it's even easier to tell."

Very well said Brent! With this information, the mystery of what is and what isn't a refractor should be solved! If you have any comments, I would love to hear them as always!

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2015 Topps Chrome Checklists BY TEAM!!!

After someone asked for a 2015 Topps Chrome TEAM checklist for their beloved Kansas City Royals, I decided to please all team collectors by making team checklists for all of the teams. Yes, 2015 Topps Chrome checklists for ALL 30 TEAMS can be found here:

2015 Topps Chrome TEAM CHECKLISTS!

This is a great way to keep track of ALL of the 2015 Topps Chrome cards of your favorite team!! If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks!

Picture of 2015 Topps Chrome Jumbo Box:

  

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