2014 Topps Heritage Baseball Review
Topps Heritage has become a favorite for set collectors thanks to its large checklist and bevy of short-printed (and super short-printed) base cards. Although some self-proclaimed “modern” collectors don’t care for base cards and openly opine that “people don’t waste their time with sets anymore,” eBay sales suggest the opposite is true. In a hobby where prime-patches and autographs are seemingly all consumers care about, here comes Topps with a plain piece of cardboard that sells for over $700. Yeah…that’s pretty ridiculous. No memorabilia, no auto. Just a rare variation.
Still think nobody collects base cards?
Maybe that myth exists because such few companies create sets like this…and nobody creates base sets as well as Topps. Create scarcity and it will breed demand. Topps has done just that. Within the 500-card base set, Topps has included short-printed cards ranging in rarity from one in 23 packs to one in 3,175 packs! Try to think of a modern football product with that kind of scarcity in its base set. I can’t do it. Maybe “colored” variations serial numbered to 5 or ten? Well…I supposed those are the modern equivalents to this type of set, but there is something charming about the fact that there is no foil-board, no embossing, no etching, and no serial numbers.
It just has a different picture on it.
And it works.
But there’s a lot more to it than that. Despite the product’s “low-end” reputation, there are some extremely high-end hits to be found in these packs. Sure, they are incredibly rare and most of us will never pull them, but that’s the point of the “chase” cards. Below is a list of the different inserts, hits, and short-printed base cards so you have an idea of what’s in the set. Some of my favorites include the Clubhouse Collection Auto-Relics, the booklet 1/1s (see below,) and the black border CHROME variations /65.
- Base Cards (look for suffix 7119 on the bottom of the back of the card)
- High Number short-prints (look for suffix 7123 on the bottom of the back of the card)
- Action Variation – 1:23 packs (look for suffix 7126 on the bottom of the back of the card)
- Logo Variations – 1: 135 packs (look for suffix 7127 on the bottom of the back of the card)
- Errors – 1:1,473 packs (look for suffix 7124 on the bottom of the back of the card)
- Throwback Uniforms - 1:3,175 packs (look for suffix 7125 on the bottom of the back of the card)
- 1965 Real Ones Reprint autographs
- Box-Loader – Gold Embossed
- Box-Loader – 1965 Topps Original buyback autographs /10
- Box-Loader – Gold Embossed Relics (/25)
- Chrome base parallels – black border (/65) and gold border (/5) <-These are going for staggering numbers
- Booklet Materials and Autographs – (1/1)
- 1965 Iron Transfers – (1/1)
- Real One Autographs – Special Edition (/65), Dual (/25), Triple (/5)
- Flashback Auto Relics – (/25)
- 1965 Cut Signatures – (1/1)
- 1965 Mint Cards – Nickel (/15), Dime (/10), Quarter (/5), Half Dollar (1/1)
- 1965 Postage Stamp Relic (/50)
As you can see, the sheer variety of classic inserts, high-end autographs, and super-scarce base cards make this product something that absolutely everyone can enjoy. It is a pleasant feeling to bust a box and not experience the crushing blow of getting a weak “hit.” Sure, there will be plenty of boxes of Heritage that won’t be “flipped” for big bucks. But that’s not the point. The joy of busting Heritage comes from the nostalgia, the feel of the cards, and the excitement of searching for short-printed variations. If you truly consider yourself a baseball-card “collector,” then you will definitely enjoy this product.
Keeping Track of the Short Prints
I created one-page “Heritage Short Print Checklists” that you can print out in order to keep track of the Action, Logo, and Throwback variations. Hopefully this helps you find the short-prints as you rifle through your base cards. Just click the thumbnail you want and it will automatically download the PDF files.
Heritage is a product that is more enjoyable after you’ve busted through the 24 packs than it is during. I took my stacks of cards with me downstairs to watch a baseball game on TV while I searched for action variations and throwback uniforms. It was a blast. The last product which enticed me to search through its base cards was 2014 Topps Baseball Series One. But even that set did not compare to the energy and excitement created by this Heritage set.
HD Video of Our Box Break