Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Topps Heritage Checklist and Preview

2011 Topps Heritage Aroldis Chapman
The 2011 Topps Heritage checklist looks pretty enticing. The scheduled release date for the set is March 17th, but hopefully it will show up a few days early. Once again, the main set will consist of 500 cards, which are designed after the 1962 Topps set. There are 75 short prints again, which will most likely be card numbers 426-500, although that has not been officially announced by Topps. Short prints should fall at a rate of one every two packs. The honor of the first card of the set goes to a man who put up Texas sized numbers from the plate last season even though he missed at least a month of the season...Mr. Josh Hamilton. Stephen Strasburg will have a base card, even though he won't see the mound this season. Cards 135-144 are a Babe Ruth subset. Card #237 is "Giants Celebrate World Series". Card numbers 493-500 look like they will be the Rookie Parade subset that closed out the original 1962 set.

2011 Topps Heritage Checklist

2011 Topps Heritage Chrome Josh Hamilton
The 2011 Topps Heritage chrome set is 100 cards, but will probably expanded in another Topps set like it was in 2010 (Topps Heritage chrome card #'s 101-200 were found in regular Topps packs). The regular chrome cards will be numbered out of 1962, refractors will be numbered out of 562 and black refractors will be numbered out of 62. Highlights from the chrome set include Starlin Castro, Babe Ruth, Don Mattingly, two World Series Highlight cards and Kyle Drabek.

Insert sets will be the same as 2010, except for the chase sets. There is a 15 card New Age Performers set, a ten card Then and Now set, a ten card Baseball Flashbacks set that is loaded with Hall of Famers (Mantle, Maris, Yaz, Spahn and Gibson to name a few) and a ten card News Flashbacks set highlighting important world events from 1962 such as The Cuban Missile Crisis, the Mona Lisa visiting the U.S. and Jamaica gaining its independence. The New Age Performers set is always the tough set of the four to put together.

2011 Topps Heritage Stan Musial Real One Auto
An exciting bonus for the 2011 Topps Heritage set is how loaded the Real One Auto checklist is. Hopefully all these guys make it into the set, because if they do it may be the best collection of autographed card to grace a Heritage set since the inaugural 2001 set. The auto checklist includes Al Kaline, Bob Gibson, Brooks Robinson, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax (yes!) and Stan Musial, as well as current and recent stars like Evan Longoria, David Wright and Frank Thomas. As is the norm, there will be blue ink autographs and red ink autographs. The blue auto's are not serial numbered and the red auto's are hand numbered out of 62. The dual autographs don't disappoint either with duo's such as Banks/Starlin Castro, Gibson/Strasburg, Musial/Utley, Brooks/Longoria and more. Let's hope they all make the set! But that's not all. There is also a Flashbacks auto set featuring autographs of Al Kaline, Brooks Robinson, Ernie Banks, Frank Robinson and Frank Thomas. Each Flashbacks auto is numbered out of 25. And of course the ultimate Heritage autos, the one of one Cut Signature cards. Cut signature cards for 2011 include Mantle, Maris, Spahn, Eddie Mathews and more.

2011 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Evan Longoria
The 2011 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection checklist features some starpower as well. Regular Clubhouse Collection relic cards include modern stars like Longoria, Hamilton, Hanley Ramirez, Cano, Utley, Howard and more. The Clubhouse Collection dual relic set includes combos like Banks/Castro, Ford/Sabathia, Gibson/Halladay, Mantle/Jeter and other fantastic pairings. Clubhouse Collection Autograph Relics feature Kaline, Gibson, Longoria, Robinson (Brooks and Frank) and more. Clubhouse Collection Dual Autograph Relics include Banks/Castro, Gibson/Strasburg, Kaline/Austin Jackson, Frank Robinson/Stanton and Brooks Robinson/David Wright.

Stamp cards make a return to 2011 Topps Heritage with a huge 201 card set. The difference this year is that there only appear to be one player per stamp card instead of two (in the 2010 set). Stamp cards will numbered (out of 50 or 62?) and there will once again be hobby exclusive original 1962 stamp buyback cards.

2011 Topps Heritage '62 Mint Jackie Robinson Coin
The 2011 Topps Heritage checklist includes a brand new insert set, the '62 Mint set. Each '62 Mint card features a baseball great or an important historical event, as well as an original coin minted in 1962. Hall of Fame induction cards include silver dollars, baseball highlights include quarters, personal history cards include dimes, rookie debut cards include nickels and happy birthday cards include pennies.

Every year I look forward to the release of Topps Heritage. It's my favorite modern set by far and even though the 1962 set was never one of my favorites, I still can't wait to get a hold of some 2011 Topps Heritage.