Box Break: 2013 Topps Heritage

Have you ever had a hot box, or better yet, been hot boxed.  Well, I was hot boxed over the weekend and it was wonderful.  I saw blue refractors everywhere while listening to the Stones.  There were giant heads and men shooting imaginary arrows after pulling ripe plantains out of their pants.  Others were smiling, giggling and simply staring in to space…and I swear I saw a Marlin with photos taken before and after a clean shave.  It was all magical, and now the trip is over…the flashback is now Monday night and I have a hangover.

Topps Heritage is a set that I LOVE putting together each year.  I know a lot of folks out there are indifferent or hate it, but I really enjoy the set.  I love that it’s set at a decent price.  I also love that you can complete a base set with minimal headaches while managing to still eat lunch each day.  I admit the SP’s and SSP’s are a little bit of a pain, but isn’t that what collectors really want?  They can definitely come off as gimmicks, but they also represent the desire to chase and build sets.  Part of my enjoyment with collecting cardboard is that I know I can’t have everything I want…even though I really want everything.  To me, that is the joy in collecting.  The chase.  I have binders of the flagship Topps set with all the cards in their proper position.  I have binder of Topps Heritage with huge chunks of cardboard missing.  It’s infuriating at times but I can’t quit it.  It’s like that girl in high school that talked to you enough to be a friend, but you just couldn’t get closer to her…it was the chase.  You didn’t hate her for it, you knew deep down that nothing would ever happen, but it never stopped you from trying did it?  That’s what I love about Heritage.  I will never complete all the Heritage sets I’ve started, but I will try and will buy boxes to open packs to put in sleeves…that’s what I do.  That’s why I collect.

To chase the un-obtainable.

Ok, I’ve been rambling a bit here tonight.  Each year I buy a few boxes of Heritage throughout the year to build a full set with all the SP’s.  This year I ordered my boxes in advance from Dave and Adam’s cardworld and have slowly started to open them.  Just out of curiosity, I did something I’m a little embarrassed about.  I weighed each box on a small digital scale my wife uses around the kitchen.  I found three different sizes of the boxes 1lb 4 3/4oz, 1lb 5oz and 1lb 5 7/8oz.  Hmmm.  Think I’m going to open the heavy box first.  Glad I did as it was what must have been a HOTBOX!

Holy Hot Rocks I’m Hot, so give up the props – just a little something from Redman to lead into the magical Blue Refractor imagery.

12 TH Jeter Rivera Blue Refractor

I also managed to pull an awkward looking Adam Jones Clubhouse Collection White Jersey Card.

12 TH Adam Jones Clubhouse Collection White Jersey

Here is the archer/plantain man.  Just watched him lock it down against the Netherlands.  Any fans of the WBC out there?  I’ve really been enjoying it this year, plus the Dominican Republic team is stacked like an all star team.

12 TH Fernando Rodney Chrome 88:999

A young stoned Stones.  This photo was taken before Keith Richards made his deal with whatever devil that allowed him to live to 150.  Maybe he’s a vampire?

12 TH Rolling Stones News Flashback

Lots of gigantic heads in the ’64 remake here.  Wonder if that was the trend in the mid 60’s, to get right up in a man’s face and release the shutter?  I’m not up on my camera lens history, but I imagine a lot of fixed lenses back then creating the up close shots.  One of the many reasons I like Heritage is their attentiveness to focusing on the mimicked set.  My one complaint about it would be the photos though.  I think Topps could take easily use the same angles and focal lengths, but get sharper photos rather than attempting to copy the grainy old school photos.  I know, I know…that’s the whole point of this set.  I just think the technology of today shouldn’t be limited in order to duplicate what couldn’t be done 50 years ago.

12 TH Cano Strasburg

I got a Heritage Suite card too, SSSP?

12 TH Pedro Ciriaco

The thing I love about this card is these two guys look like a before and aftershave photo.  Maybe Mr. Mattison can find a razor and trim that beast up a bit?

12 TH Kevin Mattison Tom Koehler Marlins Rookie Stars

Nothing to hide.

12 TH Chris Tillman

This guy is WAY TOO INTENSE.

12 TH Zack Greinke

Card Design 3.5 of 5

This isn’t one of my favorite designs, it’s a little too simple for my liking.  The backs are great and I think Topps has done a great job matching the original design and feel of the cards again.

Photography 3.5 of 5

The photography is what it is.  They are matching what was done previously.  Just think more can be done, especially with all the technology we have now.

Hits 3.5 of 5

Although this box was pretty dope, I can’t say that Heritage has great hits.  They just don’t and that’s what has a lot of folks upset.  That’s not my concern though.  I like the Clubhouse Collection cards as simple and non-descript as they are, I think they work for this price point and set.  The box toppers are only nice if you don’t get a panel.  The panels are terrible because you can’t really do anything with them and nobody wants them…at least that I know.


I have a long way to go to completing this set, but I am going to enjoy every minute of it regardless of what people think.  I like the simple non glossy cardboard that is Heritage.  It reminds me of the cards I collected as a kid, only better stock.

2013 Topps – Packs 1 and 2

It’s been difficult of late to get in front of a computer and complete a post for the blog.  The last few weeks have been overwhelming for me with late nights and weekends at work which is about to come to an end.  My deadline is nearly complete at work and i should have a few moments at night for some new posts after the child has gone to sleep.  My lunch breaks have been the only time i can do some blog writing, but eating and typing on a smart phone ain’t that easy, plus a little messy.

So, to get back posting i wanted to open a pack from the 2013 Topps jumbo box i ordered a while ago from Dave and Adams card world.  In the past, i would get the box and just rip through it, sifting through each card so quickly and not taking the time to enjoy each card.  I have decided to follow the self controlled approach of fellow Portland metro area blogger Basketball Card Blog and open one pack every day or two.  My initial attempt failed, so i opened two packs.  Hey, it’s been a while.  I will exhibit some self control and open just the two jumbo packs for tonight.  100 cards.

I know the flagship card set from Topps has caused some heartache from the die hards, and i get it.  This is a set that all of us have put together at some point.  My first set was the 1986 Topps set which i still love to this day.  Being the collector that i am, i feel the urge to continue collecting and building the sets each year and continue with the tradition.  I can understand some of the negative energy about Topps, but i feel that if you are that opposed to it, don’t collect it.  Collect something else.  It will be alright.  This hobby should be fun and enjoyable.

As most of you have already started to tear in to the ’13 Topps cards, i won’t bore you with scanning cards you have already seen but rather focus on a couple of cards that stood out to me in the packs.  I may post a card you have seen a thousand times though…who knows…

The first one is the Jose Reyes card #331.  I never understood the desire to photoshop a players new team on a card when he hasn’t even played a game for them, not even a spring training game!  If the set came out in May and they wanted to show Reyes in a Blue Jay doctored jersey, i’d be cool with that.  It may make sense then.  We all know he played one season in Miami last year where he had a decent season on a crappy team, let’s see him in a Marlins jersey one last time!  Maybe i’m being overly picky on this one, but just a minor pet peeve for me.  I know companies have done this for a while and will continue to do it.  The one thing i can add is the photoshop work is pretty solid.  As someone who works with photoshop on occasion i know how difficult these things can be, luckily i have my wife to teach me new tricks…about photoshop that is…  The real issue though is the back of the card and A-Rod’s claim that Jose Reyes is “the world’s greatest player playing shortstop…and the most exciting…”  who knew?  Also, love the Career Chase stats on these cards.  Kind of snarky and fun.  Reyes is 996 SB away from Rickey Henderson’s all time record of 1,406.  Funny that this is the first card i chose as Rickey Henderson is my all time favorite player and childhood athlete idol.  I wear 24 in softball because of Rickey!

13 T Jose Reyes

Next up, Jose Altuve.  The problem with this card is the freakin jersey.  I HATE these mid ’80’s Astros jersey…that sounds really negative.  I grew up in San Antonio and was forced to watch endless amounts of Astros and Rangers games on TV.  I remember when these jersey weren’t trendy throw backs, just some ugly ass shirts the baseball club from Houston wore.  When i heard they were going to an old school look for the 2013 season, i thought for sure this is what they meant…luckily that didn’t happen and they went with a more subdued and honorable retro look.  Although, i’m sure they will whip these sherbert gems out every once in a while.  Sunday home games?  Back to the Astros and Rangers quickly.  I never became a fan of either team and never really bought in to the fact that you had to root for the local team.  I’ve always been a contrarian by nature so i picked my teams as i saw fit and avoided all affiliations with Texas teams, not hate, just not loving them.  Apparently Jose Altuve is short and he plays second base.  Seems about right i guess, most second basemen are vertically challenged.  He overcame his shortcomings in height and is a pro ballplayer, more than i can say for myself.

13 T Jose Altuve

The last two cars are the Adam Jones Cut to the Chase and Kenley Jansen parallel number to 62.  Ok, here’s a thing.  I have always had a color deficiency, not color blindness, but a deficiency.  All of these parallel cards confuse the hell out of me.  I never know what the color of the freakin card is.  I wish companies would put the color on the back under the serial number stamp or maybe a G for Green and R for Red because honestly i can’t tell.  If it wasn’t for the serial number i would have no idea what i have in my hand right now.  Two anecdotes on Kenley Jansen.  He has a ways to go to catch Mariano Rivera and he played baseball at Inland Empire…which i find to be a fascinating name for a town or city or whatever it is.  That could make a great road trip.  That Adam Jones card is quite nice and super easy to pick up with all the edges.  It’s glossy and shiny.  Has some visual texture to it as well.  I’m kind of diggin’ these.

13 T Kenley Jansen Black 3:62 13 T Adam Jones Cut to the Chase

Oh wait, one more card.  This guy, Adeiny Hechavarria.  Spell check hates his name and it took total concentration for me to spell it correctly, still not sure i got it right.  Anyways.  This kid is from Cuba.  A couple of summers ago, my wife and I ventured down to the island for 14 days and had a fantastic time.  Unfortunately we went during the baseball off season…summer…so i didn’t get to see any games.  Everyone there though loves Baseball and talking about the game.  I ended up meeting a guy there that was a big Phillies fan and ended up sending him some cards…no idea if he ever got them though.  that’s another post.

13 T Adeiny Hechavarria