I finally got my Heritage fix, despite the fact that I haven't even finished last year's Heritage set yet. (Hint, hint, all you Heritage-doubles-holders out there.) Two boxes of Heritage hobby, $78 per box on pre-order. Each box has 24 packs at 8 cards per pack. That is 192 cards per box, plus the boxtoppers, minus any cards in a relic pack. So, I'd say I got 385 cards total.
I'm leary of any set that has so many short prints, as the Heritage does, plus all those super-secret-super-shortprints, but I love the Heritage design, and Joshua and I have a great time opening packs and finishing sets, so this one was definitely on our collection list for 2009. As it turns out, I'm happy I got two boxes of this.
I love the horizontal design this year. It really makes this interesting. There is also a great variety of card types: base, rookies, all-star rookies (identical to 2008 Topps 50th Anniversary All-Star Rookies design), team checklists, managers, coaches (with the eerie floating heads) and duos and trios. The polygonal dual-colored background designs are nice, not overpowering, and make a nice change from a serious 2009 Topps flagship design to a more light-hearted fun Heritage set.
(I picked these cards out for specific people: for me, the Indians and Denard Span cards; Bailey from The Nennth Inning for the Lincecum card; Jeter for Sooz at A Cardboard Problem; and one seriously crazy-looking cat from the Royals for Matt over at Heartbreaking Cards; Charlie Manuel for Jawdy; Dodgers coaches for Greg the Night Owl; Ben Sheets for Thorzul; and for Lucy and Patricia at Dinged Corners, David Wright.)
Having said that, the names in alternating colors are sometimes hard to read, and after a while I start getting dizzy! The only other problem is that the obverse design (back) of the vertical managers cards is oriented in the wrong direction. If I put all the horizontal cards in the binder pages facing towards the edge and not the gutter, the backs are also facing in that direction with the card numbers on top. However, for the manager cards, the backs are facing in towards the gutter.
I haven't read much of the backs, yet, but they have a nice black and brownish-green lettering on the cream background, easy to read, with only two lines of stats: the past Year and the Life. Season Highlights are prominent, and the widely-loved cartoons are back this year. I'm really happy with these backs, which are fun and interesting.
Why are the short prints (426-500) on grey stock and not on the cream-colored stock? Don't like that. I know that all these facets are tributes to the 1960s set, mimicking its idiosyncracies, but maybe Topps should have considered improving on some of those issues instead of following them to a "T." All in all, though, I love this set.
I only got 45 doubles out of two boxes of Heritage, only about 5 and a half packs out of 48. I'll take those odds. I got quite a variety of the types of cards, too, which gives me a great sense of the scope of the set. Two advertising panel boxtoppers, one relic, one auto, ten chrome numbered to 1960, one black chrome numbered to 60, four Baseball Flashbacks, three New Age Performers, three News Flashbacks and two Then & Nows. Fifteen of the 75 short prints. In total, I need just over 190 base cards and 33 inserts. Not too bad.
Inserts and Parallels
The blue-and-red designs of the NAPs and TNs, and the orange-yellow-on-black designs of the flashback cards are kinda bland, but they have great topics, as usual. Cliff Lee as a New Age Performer after his fantastic 2008, Mark Teixeira in a Yankees uniform, C.C. in a Indians uniform, the Kennedy-Nixon debates, Frank and Brooks Robinson, etc.
I didn't pull any Chrome Refractors except for the Black Chrome I pulled of Jose Reyes. I really like the look of that card. The basic chromes are really nice, too. I got two Rookie Stars, a Manny, an Ichiro, an Oswalt and several other semi-stars, a good variety.
The first box yielded a Clubhouse Collection bat relic of Miguel Tejada. This is one of those guys that haunts me. I pull far too many of his insert cards, and I know they are even less desirable now that he has basically admitted that he used PEDs. Oh, well.
The second box yielded its prize right away. First pack out of the box, Joshua noticed a card that looked similar to all the rest, but had red handwriting on it. That's right, a Real One autograph. A Nelson Chittum red-ink autograph, numbered 09/60.
It could have been a better player, but I'm happy that I got an autograph at all. I've had lousy luck lately getting those. Maybe it was good that Joshua was helping, as he picked both these out of the boxes, while I pulled most of the Chromes.
There has already been much debate about the merits of the Tom/Thom Glavine card, but I think that I may have found a different one:
Instead of having his full name on the card, he has only his first name, like "Ichiro." Is this a super SP? What card does it mimic from the 1960 set? I haven't seen anything regarding this card yet, so I am turning to the extensively knowledgeable blogging community to determine what this card actually is.
I love this set. I am very happy with the design, the variety, the inserts and parallels, the collation, just about everything. This set is not only a Home Run, but a Grand Slam from my perspective.
9 stars out of 10