2018 Topps Heritage
One of the more popular baseball releases of the season hit shelves on February 28, 2018. Topps released their flagship product a few weeks ago and it marked the official beginning of baseball card season. But this release is nothing like the flagship product and really may only compare to one other product that is released during the year. This product celebrates the nostalgic past of baseball cards and brings to mind images of Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Bench and Clemente. This is the annual product where Topps celebrates their heritage, pun intended.
2018 Topps Heritage marks the 18th release of the product that began way back in 2001. Each set has featured the design of a vintage set in yearly succession, beginning with the original 2001 tribute to 1952. Vintage cards remain very popular in the hobby but many collectors can’t just go out and buy an old 60’s Nolan Ryan whenever they feel like it. Those cards remain centerpieces in most collections and obtaining one is always special. Topps Heritage gives today’s collectors an opportunity to see some of their favorite current stars, and some legends, on the old designs and if you are in the right state of mind, you can really feel like you’ve taken a step back in time.
2-5/8 x 3-3/4″ 2 mil POLYETHYLENE NO flap.
Despite playing one from time to time in my real job, I am not a mathematician; but Topps Heritage has helped me sharpen my skills in order to try and keep up with the annual releases as we make our way through the past. Heritage celebrates a 50th anniversary of sorts each year and this year we find ourselves revisiting 1969. That year was 8 years before I was around but this card rip provides me a little insight into what my favorite hobby was like back then. It takes me back to when my dad was taking baseball cards and playing games in the front yard with them or when my uncle was using them as noise makers on his bike. If I ever bump into Doc Brown and Marty McFly, I’m going to go back and give my family some top loaders.
The design for 1969, and in turn 2018 Heritage, is a clean, less colorful, design than those we found last year and in 1968. Those were known for the brownish color and burlap look. This year, the design is a plain white border, rounded around the picture, and featuring the team name in bold letters across the bottom of the card. The player name and position is featured in the top corner of the card in a colorful circle. The images on most cards feature a player in a posed shot, away from the actual game action. I say most because, as usual, Heritage has provided collectors with a plethora of SP’s and SSP’s, with some featuring action shots.
If you are familiar at all with Heritage, you know that the Action Shot Variation is not the only short print you’ll be chasing. This year, you’ll have to keep an eye out for the following:
- Nicknames – This has become a popular trend with several products bringing them in. Instead of the team name at the bottom, you will get the players nickname.
- Team Name Color Swaps – Instead of the team name being yellow, it appears at the bottom of the card in white.
- Throwback – These feature players in the throwback uniforms.
- Rookie Cup – These are a little more difficult to spot unless you are looking for it. Topps has long been known for the Topps All-Star Rookie cards and the variations have “1969” instead of “2017”.
- Variations – There are also other variations like Player Name Color, Batboy, and several more and you can read all about those here at www.com/news/2018-topps-heritage-variations/ thanks to Ryan Cracknell’s astute research.
Within a box, you can look for an Autograph OR Relic, Classic Dekle Edge Cards, News Flashbacks, New Age Performers, Then & Now and Dual Rookies in homage to 1969. Each box also includes a box topper that comes in 3 different variations. These could be 1969 Topps Bazooka Ads, 1969 Posters, or Topps 1969 Original buybacks. These will be stamped so you know you have the real thing. A hobby box has 24 packs with 9 cards per and the full set size, minus all the variations, sits at 500. I don’t know if it’s even possible to build a full set with the variations but it is a fun project if you like the particular design year.
I picked up my first box at the LCS for $96 and settled in for a long but entertaining rip. I say long because you almost have to examine every single card to determine whether you have a short print or not. So let’s take a look at what I found.
The box topper was of CJ Cron and a couple of M Cabrera’s.
As usual, the Topps All-Star Rookie has the Rookie Cup in the corner. No matter what year, these always feel nostalgic to me.
The “Leaders” cards features the league’s best in various categories. This was the Home Run Card.
The Rookie Stars were dual cards like in years past. These two for LA have lofty expectations on them.
Topps News is a card that features a newspaper type design with an event from the previous year. These also come in a “World Series” design as well.
Baseball Flashbacks take us back to 1969 for a baseball event.
News Flashbacks take us back to a world event from 1969. In this case, the moon landing!
Randomly found throughout the checklist are teammate cards like this with Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. I pulled another with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.
Here is a Chris Archer base along with the Black Border parallel numbered to 999.
Then & Now is an insert set that features a player from 1969 with a counterpart from 2018.
New Age Performers is a cool, psychedelic looking insert and I pulled two hot players in Kris Bryant and Rafael Devers.
I pulled a Chrome Parallel of the Yasiel Puig base card. These are very sharp looking cards!
The Dekle cards are a real throwback and sometimes you get lucky and pull an auctual autograph. I did not get that lucky but I did pull three solid players.
Finally, the box hit was this Nolan Arenado relic with a nice pinstripe through it. I’ve said before that a plain relic means virtually nothing to me but when I can snag a number or letter or stripe, I feel like I actually have something. This is a nice card.
I’m a big fan of Topps Heritage because it’s a classic looking set that is made the way baseball cards were meant to be made. I didn’t get lucky and pull a cool variation but you better believe they are out there. I’ll be taking another swing soon. I’d like to build the base set, with or without any of the variations because I think it’s a set I can look back on several years from now and still enjoy.
What do you think of 2018 Topps Heritage?
Holds 200 cards 3-1/2 x 3-3/4 x 2-3/4″ (I.D.) Cards store sideways. Made from 200# test corrugated cardboard. Just fold together; needs no tape or glue.