06 April 2014

2 Boxes of 2014 Topps Heritage

I opened up a couple boxes of 2014 Topps Heritage recently, and here are some of the highlights from them.

First up are the four Chrome Parallels I pulled (2 per box). I was under the impression that the Chrome cards were a full parallel set and I had just been lucky enough to pull some marquee players. But apparently it is just a partial set focusing on the big names. Anyhow, the only one I am really attached to is the Felix Hernandez. These are numbered out of # / 999. Due to the interface between the regular cardboard back and the Chrome-y fronts, these cards have a strong tendency to curl.

This is the Chrome Refractor I pulled out of one box. It features a couple of hot young players on popular teams and is numbered out of # / 565. These fall just under one per box, which gives just enough space in the odds for you to either pull one of these or one of the colored Refractors.

Speaking of the colored Refractors, I got a Black Refractor of Nolan Arenado. Not the biggest name in the set, but it is a shiny card and nicely displays the All-Star Rookie trophy. The black Refractors are numbered out of # / 65.

I pulled two action photo variations and one team logo variation. The action photo variations fall about one per box, and the team logo variations fall about one in every 5-1/2 boxes. I like the action photos, and I pulled a couple of pretty good players in my boxes. I especially like the Votto with the ball appearing in the frame.

Each box of Heritage also promises either one autograph or one relic. My first box provided an autograph from Bill Virdon, who was the 1955 NL Rookie of the Year and won a championship with the Pirates in 1960. I didn't know any of those facts when I pulled the card, but I did a little research on him to find out who he was. He does get excellent marks for penmanship, as I could probably have figured out his name based on signature alone, unlike most ballplayers who sign cards these days. The second box yielded a Chris Sale relic card. It does have a pinstripe on the relic, but Sale doesn't look particularly excited to be photographed here.

The Chromes and autographs and photo variations are all very exciting, but the real thing we're after here is the base set. I had filled quite a bit of space in the set with retail rack packs and the hobby box I bought from the local card shop. The first box in this lot filled a lot of holes in the set, but the second box was nearly card for card a duplicate of the other box. That was extremely frustrating, but the upside was that both boxes gave me eight each of the short-printed base cards, and none of those SPs duplicated each other or cards I had previously acquired. So I was able to fill 16 holes in the SP checklist from these two boxes.

For this post's base card scans I tried to choose photos that I liked that weren't my usual cast of favorite players (Josh Reddick and R.A. Dickey, among others).

I thought the Jed Lowrie photo was pretty unique, with the bat over the shoulders pose. I do think there is at least one other card in the set with a similar pose. 

Nolasco's card is a prime example of Ugly Pitching Face and also shows off his grip on the baseball. I thought this one might be an action photo variant at first, but it is not.

Luke Hochevar looks like he play baseball as part of a work-release program at a prison, and Colby Rasmus is a member of the Baseball Players Who Look Like Soccer Players Club, or BPWLLSPC for short.

Zack Greinke gets a more classic grip photo, with extra points for staring off into the distance from under the brim of his cap.

I don't know how that Adam LaRoche card was imagined or made, but the world is better for it. I have difficulty explaining exactly why this card is awesome, but it just is. Look at it and tell me it's not.

Bob Melvin gets included because you don't see a lot of manager cards and because he bears a passing resemblance to my late grandfather, mostly probably because he is old and a little bit grouchy-looking.

Jeff Samardzija gets included because of his long flowing mane and off-kilter smile. His hair is fabulous. With all of the brackets being done surrounding the NCAA basketball tournament, there should have been an MLB hair-off tourney, although I don't know how you'd narrow it down to just 64 hairstyles. Coco Crisp could probably fill a whole region worth of slots by himself.

In spite of the base cards all being doubles of the first box, the second box did yield a pretty big hit. While my other two boxes had the standard 3-card advertising panel box toppers, this one had a smaller pack proclaiming that it contained 'One Gold Embossed Giant Card.' That was a lie. It contained a big piece of blank cardstock and a redemption card. I was pretty excited to see that it was for a BO JACKSON AUTOGRAPH! I actually made a sound that prompted my wife to call, "Are you all right?" from the other room.

But upon looking at the box loader autographs on eBay I determined that I don't really like the design of these cards and that I could probably get a more aesthetically pleasing Bo 'graph at a rate much cheaper than the current going rate for these. So I sold this card on eBay and covered most of the cost of my two boxes of Heritage with the money.

I can't think of too many negatives from busting these boxes of Heritage, aside from the large number of doubles in that last box I opened. The big positive is that I was able to knock out so much of the SP set without duplication. Of course, I still need 48 / 75 of the SP cards. But I'm a lot closer than I was. I have a lot of the regular base cards I need coming in through Zistle trades, which is a pretty good deal.

I just need to figure out how I'm going to source the rest of the SPs. I'd like to bust more boxes, but that can be a pretty hit-or-miss proposition. I guess I am almost guaranteed to get ~8 SPs per box that will either fill my needs or be traded for needs and there might be plenty of other stuff that I can sell or trade in them, but I also might pull a butt-load of Chris Sale relics that no one wants.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the "money" hit. Jeff Samardzija is known as The Shark but I think he's The Swashbuckler.