With 2010 coming closer, we have another in-depth preview of an upcoming product, this time 2010 Topps Heritage. Generally, Heritage is consider ‘Base Set 2’ because it’s more of a set-collector’s set than anything else, with the vintage style. To be really honest, I think Heritage has worn out its welcome, but it still sells well. Given that it’s going to be based on the 1961 Topps design, we can expect the set to parallel that in a number of ways. There were variations in the 1961 set, but they were all checklists, although the 2010 set has checklists in the same spot, so don’t be too surprised here. Also, card 426 (along with 587 and 588) were not created, so we’ll see if that holds true. The set consists of 500 base cards, and 100 Chrome parallels. There’s 14 Ruth Chase ’61s, a dual relic with Mantle and Maris, a triple with those and Ruth, a cut dual signature of Mantle and Maris and a triple with all three. There will be 208 Topps Stamps, as well as some buybacks.
New Age Performers makes a return with 15 cards in the set, and Then and Now also is here with 10. There’s going to be a 10 card Baseball Flashbacks insert set, and a 10 card News Flashbacks set. There’s going to be a series of five Flashback Auto-Relic cards, all featuring Hall of Famers, and a 10-card Clubhouse Collection set as well, with stars of the past and present. Following that is a five-card Clubhouse Collection dual-player set, featuring stars of yesterday and today on the same card. There’s a Real One auto set with only 10 of 25 players named, and a dual signature version with 5 of the 10 named. There’s a Flashback autograhp series with 5 Hall of Famers in it, and 8 1961 Cut Signatures, with only Mickey Mantle and Warran Spahn listed so far.
Clubhouse Collection will also have a relic variety, with 53 names featured, and 5 dual-player versions, wth stars of yesterday and today combined. Then there’s going to be 10 Flashback Stadium relics, and 4 dual ones. Given that you’re only due one relic or autograph per box, and there’s 140 relics and autographs in the entire series…
Personally, I think Topps either needs to bite the bullet here, and increase the hits from 1 to either two or three per box, or cut down on the number of relics in the set. Again, this is a base set, it’s not about the relics and autographs. There’s also a large number of parallels, with both black-border and refractor versions of the Chrome parallels. Short Prints (probably the last 75 cards in the set) will be 1:3 packs. The Chase ’61 relics will be numbered to 3, while the dual and triple relics will be numbered to 5. The cuts, on the other hand, are both 1/1. The Topps Stamps will be numbered to 50 and are likely taking the slot of the silk cards in this set. You’ll get inserts at a ratio of 1 per 4 packs, spread across the various types.
The Flasback Stadium auto-relics are numbered to 25, as are the Clbhouse Collection auto-relics. The Clubhouse Collection dual relics are going to be #’d to 10. Mixed in with the Real One autos are red ink versions, numbered to 1. The Rela One Dual autos are numbered to 25, as are the Flashbacks signatures. The cut autos, again, are going to be 1/1. As far as the relics go, the Clubhouse Collection Duals are going to be numbered to 61, and the Flashback Duals will be to 10. Along with these are going to be three different types of box loaders, seeded 1:2 boxes each…which doesn’t really make sense to me. If I read this right, though, each box will have an Advertising panel OR a Topps Stamp Album, and on top of that, 1:2 boxes will have a 1961 Topps Originals (presuming a buyback here). So you will definitely get one of the first two, and a 50% chance of the other.
So, with all that said, what am I personally looking for from this set? Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence all have base cards while Oswalt also has a 2004 NLCS MVP card which will be a short print. Given this is a 500 card set, I’m shocked by no mention of Bud Norris or Tommy Manzella RCs here.
Lance Berkman and Hunter Pence both have chrome parallels, so there’s six more cards there I’ll need. There’ll be stamps of Pence, Berkman and Oswalt, all of which I’ll want and a Clubhouse Collection of Lance Berkman. No autographs for the Astros yet, but we’ll see.
2010 Topps Heritage will hit stores on February 22, 2010 and will have 24 packs per box and 12 boxes per case, and all autographs will be on-card.