Alright, so I broke down and bought my first packs of any kind so far in 2012. I've just had an itch to open a few packs, and since they had Topps Heritage baseball blasters at Target when I stopped off for a few things, I scratched. Eight packs, nine cards per pack. Here's my entire blaster, card by card...
Right out of the gate we have a theme that will be common throughout this box, and that is "who the hell is this guy?". Clearly I need to watch more baseball games in which the Red Sox are not participating in 2012, because I seriously don't know who half of these guys are. Here's a look at an original '63 Topps card for comparison's sake:
As you can see, the design on the fronts is pretty much identical other than the added Topps Heritage logo on the new cards.
The backs are a good representation of the originals as well:
Great, a Colorado Rockie and two Washington Nationals to start my box. What more could I ask for? One thing I do appreciate is the attention to detail that goes into the checklist for this set. The card numbers of the last two Nationals cards were both Washington Senators cards in the '63 set.
The original #43 - Veteran Masters card from the '63 set features Casey Stengel and Gene Woodling of the Mets. I'd rather have that one.
Card #318 in the '63 set is also the Phillies Manager, Gene Mauch.
Card #261 from the original set is also a Dodgers pitcher. You get the point...
These mimic the 1963 Topps Peel-Off inserts. Felix here is up for trade, I don't have any interest in this insert set.
The first pack was a pretty good indication of how this break is going to go. Nice card stock, great job replicating the 1963 design, but nothing really too spectacular.
Love the cartoon on this one. Can J-Hey make it three seasons in a row? I guess we'll find out in a couple of weeks here. Also of note, Heyward gets card #390, which was Hank Aaron's in the '63 set.
Interesting card just because it's got two of the top free agents from this past off-season with their former teams.
At least I've heard of Matt Moore. Card #191 was a checklist in the original set. More on that later.
I thought this was one of the nicer looking cards to come out of this box. Card #279 in the '63 set featured Wally Moon's fantastic eyebrow.
I believe the SPs are seeded 1:3 packs.
Frank Howard had card #123 in the 1963 set. Kemp and Ethier, this pack was supposed to be opened by Night Owl.
That was definitely an improvement over pack 1. This was probably the best pack in the box in terms of star power.
I like that these feature the box score for the game on the back:
Of course, there are no pitching stats even though this card pays tribute to Holland's masterful performance...
I'm not sure if these red parallels are Target exclusive or something that's in all packs. I didn't see anything on the wrapper about them. In any event, Rizzo was an interesting one for me to pull because he was a Red Sox draft pick and played in their farm system for a few years before being dealt to San Diego as part of the Adrian Gonzalez acquisition. Anthony's also a survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma, so he's an easy guy to root for.
#275 belongs to Eddie Mathews in the 1963 set.
Interesting to pull a Reyes sporting his new Miami Marlins garb.
As a child of the '80s I always liked Mattingly, so I was happy to pull this one.
Can't complain about pulling a Martin Luther King. I see how an insert set featuring historical events of 1963 makes sense, but I won't be collecting it so Martin's available if anyone needs this card.
Finally, a Red Sox card. I was hoping to pull a few of these, but Dustin here was all I got.
This one is in a pile headed to 1967ers...
No interest in keeping this one...
Let's face it, that pack kind of sucked.
No idea who this guy is.
Nice looking insert, but I'd trade this one away as well.
Rather than including the cards as part of the base set, as was done with the original '63 set, Topps numbered the checklists C1, C2, etc. I was disappointed to find that the checklist cards are not produced on the same card stock as the base set. They are flimsier and glossy. At least this one didn't count as one of my nine cards in this pack.
I have heard of only one of the eight men featured on these last two rookie stars cards.
I guess I can count this is a second Red Sox card due to Josh Beckett's floating head.
Well at least I beat the odds and got 3 short prints in my blaster.
#200 in the '63 set was none other than Mickey Mantle. Odds are I'll never own one of those in my lifetime.
Well that's about it. I have to say that I enjoyed opening these, but I highly doubt I'm going to bother collecting the set. The 75 short prints alone is enough reason for me to stay away. I'll probably head back to focusing on vintage for a while, but I could see grabbing another few packs of this when I'm in the mood for opening some wax...
A Match Made in Heaven - Over the past few weeks, Tim Jenkins - of the excellent co-op blog, SABR's Baseball Cards Committee - has been conducting a semi-regular look into what exa...