Heritage Box Break Update

So I finished breaking the boxes of Heritage last night while watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 on Jimmy V and the 1983 NC State team.  If you haven’t watched it yet, you really should.  I’m one of those people that can’t get in to much of what ESPN does and haven’t watched Sportscenter since Olbermann was pushed out.  I feel like their programming is only slightly above MTV these days.  The guys at Grantland and Bill Simmons have done a phenomenal job on the 30 for 30 series though and i never miss an episode, including the shorts on the Grantland site.  Opening packs of cards and watching sports on TV way past your bedtime is a little treat for me these days.  Our 6 month old boy is really moving around a lot these days and requires a ton of attention and love during the daytime hours.  I have no problem doing, but it’s nice to have a break at night.  PLUS i have an amazing wife who gives our son tons of love and unfortunately is tasked with the onerous responsibility of getting him to sleep at night.

As i mentioned in the initial review post of this years Heritage, i am a big fan of this set and love putting it together each year.  In the past couple of years, Heritage has fallen out of favor due overproduction and too many SP’s which makes getting the base cards somewhat easy but difficult to complete the whole set.  The boxes i opened were pretty nice and i noticed quite a bit of SP’s that i may post in the future, but i wanted to show off the hits that really caught my eye.  I’ve heard that Heritage was going to add more autograph hits this year and i was lucky enough to pull 4 in the boxes i had.  Not only did i get 4 cards, but i got a good haul of quality players.  Nothing jaw dropping, but nice cards no less.

And there they are…

The first one is David Freese, and he looks as if he is about to get his DMV photo taken.

12 TH David Freese Auto

Next, Mr. Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  When i was looking at graduate schools i was trying to decide between the University of Oregon and Arizona State.  This was around the time the D’backs won the World Series and i thought it would be great to live in a major league city, but just couldn’t deal with living in a dessert since i grew up in hot, humid San Antonio for so many years.  So i chose Oregon.  Had i chosen ASU, i would probably be a D’backs fan and be super excited about this card.  But, i am only excited.  He is one of the young up and coming stars and could be a big home run guy in the future.

12 TH Paul Goldschmidt Auto

Next was Lance Lynn.  My second Cardinal.  Honestly, i would have missed this card were it not for the hand numbered 43/64 in the top right.  The red ink auto pretty much disappears into his glove and with my color deficiencies, i can barely make out the Topps Certified Autograph Issue on the name stripe at the bottom.  This could have been done better Topps.

12 TH Lance Lynn Red Auto 43:64

The last autograph is pretty awesome.  Maury Wills.  The auto is nice and placed in a great spot on the card.  You can tell this was done by a professional, someone who has signed a million autos in his lifetime.  This autograph is actually a long time coming for me.  I believe in 1989 i went to a show in Austin, TX where he was supposed to be signing autographs for a small fee.  This was around the same time when i was doing the through the mail autos and thought it would be great to get a veteran player added to my collection…but he never showed up.  I was pretty upset, not Sheldon Cooper vs. Wil Wheaton upset, but upset no less.  I had an 8×10 and baseball all ready for him to sign.  I never found out why he didn’t show up, but attempted to mail the baseball to him a few months later and never recieved anything.  Chalked to experience up as a failure and moved on with my life.  Now we have come full circle.

12 TH Maury Wills Auto

The next few cards are the annual jersey cards from the Clubhouse Collection series.  There were significantly less cards that i pulled than in years past.  Which i am ok with as these cards seem to be uninspired and a little boring.  Here’s hoping Topps does something different with these next year and maybe does larger swatches or better photos?  I don’t know, but something different would be great.

12 TH Neftali Perez Clubhouse Collection Jersey12 TH Tommy Hanson Clubhouse Collection Jersey12 TH Trevor Cahill Clubhouse Collection Jersey

that’s all, thanks.

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.

Review

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.