That is the beauty of the Topps Heritage product. Aging collectors like me get to enjoy the design again, viewing it from a more mature (allegedly) perspective.
I had already bought two blasters of the 2021 Topps Heritage high numbers set, but finding more became problematic so I purchased a hobby box.
That helped me bring my base set wantlist down to three, but I still need 12 short prints to complete the 225-card set.
A hobby box contains 24 packs, with nine cards to a pack. Topps is promising one autograph or relic card in every hobby box.
That’s one of the great names from 1970s baseball cards, along with Bill Grabarkewitz and Scipio Spinks.
My favorite name from the 2021 high numbers set has to be catcher Chadwick Tromp, who was on the Giants roster but has since been signed by the World Series champion Atlanta Braves. A great name belongs on the roster of an equally colorful team name, and the Braves did just that, optioning Chadwick to their minor-league franchise in suburban Atlanta — the Gwinnett Stripers.
One addition to this set is a card that was supposed to be included in the “regular” Heritage set – Cavan Biggio (No. 216). The base card apparently was not included in the set due to a production error. That was one of the cards I pulled in the hobby box I opened.
The design of the card is true to the 1972 version, with a vertical design on the front. The photographs mirror the really lame photos from the original, with players posing with bats on their shoulders, pitchers coming set in the stretch, or players standing with their hands behind their backs or below their belt lines.
I had to go back and look at my original 1972 Topps set — were the poses that bad? They sure were.
Points to Topps for authenticity in the Heritage set.
The card backs are horizontal and feature several lines of biographical type (when space allows) and the player’s year-by-year statistics.
The top right corner of the card back has a cartoon drawing with a quiz question — “Who is the last first baseman with three assists in one inning?” is the query on the back of card No. 538 (Luis Castillo). The answer is upside down under the cartoon (Derrek Lee in 1998).
You get the idea.
The “hot” card in the hobby box was a Clubhouse Collection relic card of Blue Jays pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. The card had a nice, deep blue colored blue uniform swatch.
As for inserts, I pulled one 1972 World Series Highlights card of Angel Mangual, whose walk-off single gave the Oakland A’s a 3-2 victory in Game 4. That gave Oakland a 3-1 series lead, but the postseason classic would go the full seven games before the A’s prevailed 3-2 in Game 7. There are 10 inserts in this subset.
Roberto Clemente has a strong presence in this set, since he died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972. There are 15 cards in the “Roberto Clemente 3,000” insert, a tribute to the Pirates’ right fielder, who cracked a double at Three Rivers Stadium against Mets pitcher Jon Matlack for his 3,000th and final major league hit on Sept. 30, 1972.
Rookie Performers is another 15-card insert set, and I pulled one of Tigers pitcher Casey Mize.
The Combo Cards insert features two or more players in a 10-card offering. The card I pulled was of the Blue Jays, which is the only three-player card in the subset. Featured are Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The last insert should be familiar to Heritage collectors — Now and Then, which is a 15-card set. I pulled the card that commemorates Mike Trout’s 300th career home run.
My 1970s bias is showing — I love this set. Topps did a nice job with it. That’s a good thing, because the next two years of Heritage products will highlight the bland 1973 set and the slightly more interesting 1974 set.