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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!