A Big ole’ box of Memories

I pre-ordered a jumbo box of 1987 2017.  This is the big 30th anniversary for a set that is seemingly very popular with a lot of people.  Me though, i have a different memory of these vertically wood grained over produced cards.

I started collecting baseball cards in the fall of 1985.

I was 9 and had fallen in love with baseball and baseball cards.

I wanted to learn everything about baseball and own everything i could about baseball.

So, baseball cards met that need at the highest level for a young’n like me.  There weren’t many opportunities to buy cards at that time due to scarcity at my local Stop n’ Go or 7-11, but also my lack of funds…I was 9.  I did what i could back then.  When the 1986 cards rolled out, i was able to complete a set via trades and multiple pack purchases.  The way it was done in the old school days.  I had a little more money and ’86 turned out to be a fun year, a year that i became addicted to these damn cardboard things.

That all changed in the winter of 1987.

The very first packs of cards i bought that year were in the Stop n’ Go down the street from my home.  I was headed out to my very first camping trip for the local Boy Scouts troop…a trip that i wasn’t too excited about (maybe a story for later, but my BSA experience was very forgettable!).  My mom pulled in to the parking lot and gave me some money to get a special snack and a juice…i bought a coke and two packs of cards.  1987 Topps.  The cards had gum in them, so that’s kind ova snack, right?  Fearing that i had betrayed my mom, i kept the cards tucked in my pocket to be opened later that weekend…during a camping trip.  I made it successfully to the bus without anyone finding out about my card purchases and was able to procure a solo seat and open them on the ride to the camp site.  I had 34 brand new cards in my hands…and two horrible pieces of gum.  Little did i know that this was the start of an incredible amount of over-consumption of wood grained cardboard that i would later become overwhelmed with.

For me, this was my first understanding of over production of a product.  I was buying packs everywhere.  I was even able to buy a few boxes at our local Sams Wholesale Club…for about $18 each.  Now, t’ve never been a collector for the investment purposes but i also don’t like to buy junk…well that year i must have spent about $100 on 1987 Topps.  I was completely overwhelmed with them and grew to really dislike them…everything about them.  So when the set gets a re-up, i don’t jump for joy.  I’m old enough now and have some perspective to understand and appreciate the design, so maybe this year won’t be so bad.

I mean, they do actually look kind of nice and as others have mentioned, the wood grain is quite lighter than the original.  The cards stock as i remember it is quite better as well, significantly better actually…as i look at these cards, i can see why they are adored by so many…i have baggage that i need to let go of i guess.

They are nice, very nice.  Well done Topps.  You did a great job with these re-issues.  Tweaked some of the things that were of concern to me…thank you for listening 🙂  Some of you may have already seen the cards that i pulled as i thought it would be nice to pre-share over Twitter last night.  Just in case though, here is my very first 2017 Topps card of the year!

17-to-giancarlo-stanton

Miami Marlins Giancarlo Stanton!  Pretty sweet first card eh?  Don’t think i know what my first card is for the past 30 years, but i would venture to say that none of them are as good as this one.

17-to-bryce-harper

This was my first card pulled for a favorite team, the Nationals or Yankees…Bryce Harper is cool, i mean…he’s probably going to have a good season.  Yeah, this card is fantastic for me not to mention that i got two in the box.  One for my flagship set and one for my Bryce Harper PC.  Collecting goals are being met.

17-to-nathan-eovaldi

This was my first Yankee, Nathan Eovaldi.  It was immediately followed by Aaron Hicks, also a Yankee.  Guess that duo was a nice little mini Yankee hot pack…or not…?

Topps is also continuing with the buyback program, but stamping them differently this year with a  vertically embossed stamp along the right edge of the card that reads “REDISCOVER TOPPS’.  Nothing spectacular, but i have to admit these cards are in great shape.

One of the many inserts that you get are the foil cards which are great looking cards, assuming you can see them.  I passed up a couple of them and had to go through the stack again to make sure i pulled them all out and when i did…four of the five were team cards.  Feel a little gipped here, but i guess it would have only been successful if one of them was a player or team i collect.  The fifth was a Kurt Suzuki.

17-tof-tampa-bay-rays17-tof-san-diego-padres17-tof-houston-astros17-tof-chicago-cubs

Topps is also continuing to do the first pitch cards…and i think they are running out of celebrities or there just aren’t enough celebrities to go around.  Not trying to blast either of these two musical entertainers, but one of them is great and the other one is Mase.  I’ve tried to associate the connection of the First Pitcher to the team they are pitching for.  Mase, per wikipedia was born in Florida, but left with his mom for New York when he was three.  I guess maybe he’s always been a fan of a Florida team?  Ms. Jett is from Pennsylvania, so maybe she grew up watching Harry Caray and Steve Stone on WGN like me?  I kid…Joan Jett was one of my favorite rockers in the early 80’s, mostly due to my mom liking her music with The Runaways.  I like her biggest solo hit, a cover of ‘I Love Rock ‘n Roll”

Speaking of hits, i have three of them…well, two and a half.  I don’t consider redemptions hits until i have them in my hand.  Here they are, in my current favorite order.  When the redemption is in my hands, that will be without a doubt my favorite one…assuming of course it’s a Yankee card.

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My timeline counter is starting on February 3rd, 2017.  Let’s see how long this takes to hit my blog post.  Ball is in your court Topps Corporation.17-tost-clayton-kershaw-3050

Clayton Kershaw Spring Training commemorative patch…it’s like a hard plastic’y metal’y thing’y numbered 38/50.  Not gonna complain at all.

17-togw-addison-russell-tri-patch-1925

My favorite hit, currently, is this Addison Russell trip color patch…they snuck that white portion of the patch in there didn’t they?  Numbered 19 of 25 is pretty good too.  Kinda wish it was autographed, but i’m quite happy with this pull.  Russell is a great young player and nice to add to my collection.

d’oh!  I have a couple more cool cards to show off.  Nothing spectacular, but wanted to share.  First one is the Bryce Harper Then and Now…i always remember that moment when i almost pulled that card in a box.  The guy next to me picked the box that had it and i picked the other one…such is my luck…i always get the other one..Harper looks like he’s aged 10 years since the Bowman card, beards man…they make you look old.

17-totn-bryce-harper

The other one is of the young Astros prospect, but aren’t they all?  Teoscar Hernandez…feels like his name should be spelled T’Oscar…but that’s not my lane.  I’m gonna stay out.  This is one of those reverse negative cards that are not printing plates, but every time i see one that’s the first thing that crosses my mind…kinda wished it was yellow.

17-torn-teoscar-hernandez

Well, that’s the haul from my one jumbo box that i purchase for each series.  Hope you enjoyed.  I will be posting the cards from the two silver packs that came with the box another day, so until then.  Enjoy some random music that i was listening to while writing this letter to you.

 

Bowman and Snowman

So, it’s snowing again.  This time though, it’s a little different.  I have a feeling this one is gonna be a little more than what we’ve had recently.  I left work today at 5pm when it started snowing and got home around 6pm…and it hasn’t stopped snowing.  Really hate snow right now…but i’m going to make the most of it and act like a 9 year old boy tomorrow morning, assuming of course that my back will cooperate.

Luckily i have some scanned cards of this years Bowman Chrome.  They were a bit of an impulse purchase from Brian at the ‘ol LCS down the street.  But i truly enjoyed opening the mini boxes in the shop.  I don’t typically do it that way because i’m shy.  Normally i like to be in the safety of my humble abode.  I thought this time though, opening the box in front of the watchful eyes of a man that opens a ton of boxes would lead to some great hits…in order to save us all some time, i’m just show you my hits.

…but first…Sooz had a card chat Tuesday discussing where (and why) people buy their cards.  One of the questions “How much do you buy retail compared to hobby” was a great one for me because over the past couple of years my retail luck has been terrible…horrible actually.  I rarely get a hit, not much to write about at least…no John Smotlz, you know.  But my last retail stop at Target (before the holidays) i pulled this beauty!  Aaron Northcraft 1st Bowman Autograph!  On a Sticker!!!  Yes, there is a bit of sarcasm there, but also, there isn’t sarcasm.  Actually, this is one of the best “hits” i’ve ever received from a Target pack or box in a really long time.  So, i’m not complaining.  I’m just saying.  The card is pretty sharp, the high leg kick.  Intense look on the face and that sweet sweet beard.  Just wish it wasn’t a sticker auto, but hey, it’s retail and i’m quite happy with this potential momentum shift of hits.

16-br-aaron-northcraft-232250-auto

Lets get back on track now.  I’m a man of order over chaos. Uniformity over randomness. Rigidity over flexibility…actually, that’s my dad, not me.  I’m right in the middle of all those antonyms.  That said, i am posting the cards in the order in which they were pulled so you can share in the moment that Brian and i had a few weeks ago.

16-bc-blake-snell-96499-auto

First on card autograph is from Blake Snell.  The young Rays pitching prospect has seen a few big league hitters in his 19 career games started and appears to have a somewhat bright future in the majors.  Although not stellar, he has shown some early strikeout potential with 9.9 K/9 in his first year.  No idea what his future holds, but if I start to hear his name mentioned more frequently next year, i’ll check him out.

16-bc-connor-sadzeck-auto

Next card, another pitcher. Connor Sadzeck, pronounced \sad-ZECK\, not sad sack…which would describe the scribble autograph on his 1st Bowman card.  If I was a future prospect i think i would spend some time working on my sig…but to be honest i don’t know how you write all those odd letters together.  the D, Z and E alone are tricky.  Connor is tall as hell, 6′ 7″ and was drafted in 2010 and then again in 2011.  Doing some quick research on Lone Star Ball, he sounds like he may be someone to watch this season…so watch him, this season if you’re in to the Rangers.

16-bc-cornelius-randolph-auto

Cornelius Randolph is the next player.  He hits balls rather than tosses them.  This card is a bit outdated at this point.  He’s now a Washington National, which is cool because i like the Nationals.  He’s also the first hitter from the group i’ve pulled.  I don’t do much prospecting with baseball players, but when i do, i prefer hitters.  Feel like they have a better option with succeeding.  There’s no real basis with that theory, it’s just some illogical conclusion i’ve come up with through the years.  Pitchers get injured too easily.

16-bc-victor-alcantara-195499-auto

Back to the pitcher autographs.  Victor Alcantara.  A 23 year old prospect from the DR.  Really excited about this autograph.  I took a peek at his scouting report on Inside the Halos and he sounds like a true stud pitcher, possibly a bullpen guy, maybe a potential closer?

16-bc-willie-calhoun-auto

Last card, Willie Calhoun from the LA Dodgers.  A second baseman ranked #11 in the Dodgers organization going in to last season and was part of the futures game as well.  He looks to have some pop in his bat as he tagged 27 home runs last year, his OPS is a respectable .788 as well.  Not sure if he has a chance to make the Dodgers roster this season, but i’ll keep an eye on him in Spring Training.

Thanks for reading!

Tonight I watched President Barack Obama’s farewell speech and there were moments that made me realize how proud i was to be in our country.  It’s far from perfect and we have a lot of issues to deal with throughout the nation, but it’s a pretty great place to be if you ask me.  I’m gonna enjoy a snow storm with my family tomorrow and cherish the moments with my beautiful wife and mischevious boy…if you have people you love and care about, you should let them know and give them a hug.

 

 

2014 Topps S1 – Packs 5 and 6

I’m now 6 packs deep and haven’t pulled a big hit…but I’m going to show you what i’ve got anyways.  Because I know you all love to see some scans of base cards and stuff.

Donny Baseball was one of my favorite players growing up, not Rickey Henderson favorite, but way ahead of whomever was third at the time…maybe Nolan Ryan or George Brett?  Mattingly was always an elusive pull or me.  I never got his card in the packs I bought during the 1985 and 1986 seasons.  I got a whole bunch of 1987 Topps though…damn that set was so overproduced.  I think I had about 4 complete sets that year due to everyone in my family buying me boxes from Sam’s.  Mattingly seemed destined for the Hall of Fame and put up phenomenal numbers especially with a healthy Rickey Henderson hitting in front of him.  Seeing this young skinny photo of Donny baseball brings back some great memories of being a young collector.  I appreciate Topps pulling old stock photos of baseballs legends and the players that were really good.  It keeps the older kids connected and provides a great lesson for the kids that are starting to collect.

14 TO Don Mattingly 50 years of the Draft

Topps has also provided the kids with a look at their previous card designs, which is also a very good thing in my mind.  Although, i’m not sure if copying the late 80’s and early 90’s is the way to go.  Best to make up for it by making these babies die cut.

14 TO Clayton Kershaw 1989 Mini Die Cut

Here are some Power Player cards that have powerful players on them.  Yadi would like to salute you and Giancarlo is getting a Marlin cortisone shot to the knee…sorry…I couldn’t think of anything else to add to these cards.  It’s a parallel that could have been more parallel-y in my mind.  I guess changing the border color has been done a million times.  Maybe if they edited out the backgrounds…I don’t know, crap.  I actually didn’t notice these were Power Player cards at first pass.  My oversight was corrected when I realized that these ‘base’ cards should not have been in the middle of the pack.  I’m sleuthy!

14 TO Molina Stanton Power Players

Love the Mo cards.  Love the bottom one the most though.  Such a great baseball moment.

14 TO Mariano Rivera

The next two cards are last because they deserve to be last.

Although the back of Melky’s card doesn’t suggest anything about PED as Night Owl had suggested it should.  I find it telling that Topps decided to quote A-Rod with the very insightful “He’s a big, big, big-time player.”  That’s three bigs.  I would have gone with he’s a big, bigger, biggest time player but that wouldn’t make much sense either.  Don’t do drugs kids, especially if they are to be inserted with needles.

14 TO Melky Cabrera

Lastly.  This guy.  The finger pointer.  Topps was smart enough to not drop any photos of him with eye black.  I’m finding it difficult to justify writing what I feel about his homophobic eye black last year.  He seemed to play it off as ignorance and something that wasn’t a big deal.

14 TO Yunel Escobar

But, I’m an adult and I know words can be filled with hate and bad intentions.  My dilemma though, is that I’m a die hard Redskins fan.  Another term that has been deemed as hateful or oppressive.  It’s an unfair position for me to be ok with one derogatory term but not with another.  It doesn’t really matter if one is worse, if the words offend someone than it’s an offensive term…besides, what’s with finger pointing at the cameraman?  Who does that?

 

2013 Topps S2 – Packs 5 and 6

The last couple of posts have been about celebrations.  This post is going to be about great plays and faces…as in the faces of men celebrating something or working very hard at doing something.

The first pair of cards feature a very smooth and shaded Jackie Bradley Jr. gliding in to make a very nonchalant catch.  Jackie has a great name and also had a wonderful spring training rendering him the next superstar phenom…unfortunately, spring ended and so did his hot run.  He’s a great young player and is in that always awkward transition of being a major leaguer and a AAA player…he’s too young to say he’s a AAAA guy, plus I think he has a ton of talent.  One thing I can’t seem to understand is that the Red Sox always seem to have a great farm system and the Yankees continue to ignore theirs…or at least the Yanks don’t seem to be able to develop enough major league talent.  The other card is of Andy Dirks and he appears to have made the catch, good for him and better for the photographer for making this photograph.  This is one of the things I love about sports cards.  They can capture a singular moment in time and become eternal images on cardboard (card stock) forever.

13 T Jackie Bradley Jr Andy Dirks

The intensity of these next two faces is both fascinating and extremely disturbing.  Not sure what the expression being exhibited by Adam Dunn is about, but if I had a daughter I would keep her away from him…based on this one photo of him.  I know it’s judgmental, but sometimes you just have to go with your gut.  James Loney.  This is the face I make when i’ve become irregular and having a tough time with my situation.  Both intense faces, both disturbing faces.

13 T Adam Dunn James Loney

These next two cards are the epitome and possibly a little over the top of facial enthusiasm.  The Papelbon card is out of control, but so is Papelbon…this was probably a 38 pitch save in May, and this is how he’s reacting.  So Intense!  The Trouty card is kind of cool.  You have to love this kid.  He doesn’t get the fanfare that Bryce Harper does, for some odd reason?  Both are equally talented and are going to be a whole lotta fun to watch the next 12-15 years.  Wonder if Trout was in DC and Harper was in LA if Trout would get more love?  Harper would get attention regardless due to polarizing personality…just wondering.

13 T Jonathan Broxton Mike Trout

I’m not a Giants fan, I don’t hate them or even dislike them, I just don’t like them like them.  You know what I mean?  They are a solid team and should be successful for a very long time, or at least as long as this kid is healthy.  I have a feeling that this kid’s baby face isn’t going to age much, so I guess that would make him the Dick Clarke of baseball…no?

13 T Buster Posey Chasing History

I’m gonna end it with some mini action.  The Kid and a guy named BJ.  Why a guy would want to go by BJ is beyond me…but maybe that’s just my issue or maybe it’s because his name is Melvin Emanuel.  (ps. yes that is a hair…from my head linking the Kid and Melvin…i’m receding)

13 T Ken Griffey Jr BJ Upton Minis

2013 Topps S2 – Packs 3 and 4

For the first couple of cards, I’m going to stick with the twofers…and it goes a little something like this, HIT IT!

As usual, I’m late for the bus on this one.  I just wanted to add my two cents on the whole celebration card that Topps seems to be putting out more and more each season.  I like the concept, and sometimes it works brilliantly as it does with the Francisco Cervelli card.  Then there are other times when it doesn’t work well, like this Derek Norris card.  It’s more of an Oakland A’s team card and I fully expected to see some team leader stats on the back of the piece of card stock.  If the camera man was a couple of inches to the right, nobody would know who this card is for, including the wonderful mlb-baby-making parents of Mr. Norris!  I would have thought it was for Reddick or that little dude squatting in the middle of the card.  Get it together Topps!

13 T Francisco Cervelli Derek Norris

Here are a couple more celebration cards.  Am I the only one that thinks Homer Bailey and Christian Bale are twins lost at birth?  Maybe they should be doing those cheesy State Farm Chris Paul commercials.  This is a good example of a celebration card.  You can see his Batman looking face and yet, he is still sharing a personal moment with Chris Heisey after his no-no last year.  The Ryan Ludwick card on the other hand is all kinds of terrible.  Not only is his face nowhere to be seen, his nameplate on the back is blurry!!!  At the very least this should have been a Jay Bruce card because his unbridled enthusiasm is…unbridled (first time using that word on the blog and i drop it twice!).

13 T Homer Bailey Ryan Ludwick

Alright, enough whining.  These making their mark cards are nice and the player selection is great.  I love that they went with the young future superstars for this subset.  Both of these guys are great players…and I kind of have a baseball crush on Manny Machado…the kid is all kinds of awesome.  I’m no Orioles fan and have no idea when he will make the move to short, if ever, but he is going to become their rock for the next 10-15 years like Jeter has been for the Yankees.

13 T Manny Machado Yoenis Cespedes Making their Mark

Bryce Harper.  Stud.  Kind of want to do a player collection of him.  I think this kid is great and i’m sure i’ve mentioned it here before, but I would love for Bryce to be my sons favorite ballplayer.  If everyone played all out each play like he did, the game would be so much more fun to watch day in and day out.

13 T Bryce Harper Chase it Down

Here is a nice little cut to the chase Ernie Banks card.  You can’t ever go wrong with Mr. Banks and some die cut action.

13 T Ernie Banks Cut to the Chase

Last card for the night was my autograph hit from the box.  Alex Cobb chasing history.  I’m going to chase some whiskey with a little sleep.  Goodnight collectors of the internets.

13 T Alex Cobb Chasing History Auto

 

Box Break: 2013 Bowman

Bowman is one of those in between sets for me.  Do I buy packs?  A box and build the set?  Pull my favorites out and part ways with the rest of them?

I’m not a prospector, but I love to pull some of the great rookies that I read about.

I don’t put together too many sets, but I love to buy packs and sometimes a box of cards that I enjoy openings packs of.

I like inserts, but too many of them become overwhelming.

Bowman has a way of providing a response to each of these contradictions in my collecting habits.  When Topps brought back the Bowman cards in 1989, my friend Alex and I were all in.  The cards were weird and big and didn’t fit well anywhere, but they were cool and had a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card.  Griff was the man in 1989 and his rookie cards were something every kid in America that collected cards wanted.  I had them all, and loved the oversized Bowman version (after the Upper Deck version of course…)  Although the cards weren’t that great.  The photography was a little grainy at times and the overall design was weak…plus the stat on the back were quite confusing and took some getting used to.  Either way I was going to collect this set…and all other versions that would come out in the future.  That was, until 1992 rolled around.  The card quality became significantly better and the rookie class was pretty stellar at the time (I still have my Raul Mondesi in a screw down holder, iknowright!).  1992 was also the time I began to realize I can’t collect everything…because I couldn’t afford it.  So I never completed the set and ended up getting rid of my other sets from the previous years.

13 BB Mariano Rivera Chrome RC Reprint

Fast forward to the future that is today.  The card quality has improved exponentially and in relation to the other stuff that’s being issued, Bowman is quite affordable.  I’ve purchased a box of these the past three years and took a bigger step this year and bought the jumbo pack box from Dave and Adam’s card world.  Here is my review.

13 BB Josh Hamilton Chrome RC Reprint

Card Design – 3 of 5

The overall design of the cards is quite simple, which I love.

13 BB Robinson Cano

13 BB Hanley Ramirez

No extra weird things going on here, just some simple graphics and all the basic information you need on a baseball card.  I do like the subtle variation on the front of the card that differentiates the Bowman Prospects from the Major Leaguers.  Bowman also carried this through as they do on the back of  the card with the numbering and color of the card stock.

Photography – 3 of 5

The photographs are your typical action photos mixed in with awkwardly posed for photos of young men in uniforms.  There are a lot of beards and facial hair in general around the world these days and the major league baseball franchise is no different.  I’m thinking Panini needs to do a facial hair card set.  Maybe Josh Reddick get the coveted #1 card?

13 BB Matt Kemp Bryce Harper Gold Border

Hits – 4 of 5

Like I said before, I’m no prospector.  I simply don’t have the patience or wherewithal to invest in people I don’t know and Bowman counts on people doing this.  That’s what makes this set so wonderful though.  If you do pull a great auto of a young talented player or a refractor you have a nice piece of cardboard.  If you don’t, well, you have something shiny to look at i guess.  Another thing with the hits is that you have to wait a couple of years for these guys to pan out and get a year or two under their belts.  Just because you are a top 100 prospect doesn’t mean you are going to be a star in the bigs.  All that said, It’s nice to get the ‘First Bowman card’ of a potential star.

13 BB Eddie Rosario Dorssys Paulino Top 100

Another thing that i really enjoy about the Bowman cards and the young stars is the names of these kids.  Damn.

13 BB Oliberto Amaya Calderon Maldonado Chrome

Review

Bowman is always fun to open and the cards are always a very solid quality.  I’m not sure if I will buy a jumbo box next year unless i plan to start building the sets again…but getting 32 cards in a pack is pretty cool.

13 BB Rodriguez Bundy Reed Rowen Gold Sparkle

The overall look and feel of the cards is great, nothing to complain about here, plus the price is right with Bowman, especially for what you get.

Mini’s are cool.

13 BB Skaggs Hanson Bradley Hensley Minis

So are Flags…

13 BB Davis Upton Alonso Maurer Hometown

and blue or maybe purple cards?

13 BB Brett Gerritse Blue Refractor 60:250and who doesn’t love them some autographs!

13 BB Eddie Butler Auto

13 BB Yordano Ventura Refractor Auto 79:500

13 BB Alex Meyer Auto

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.