My dad and I completed our 2018 Topps Heritage hobby box break earlier today which means I'm ready to do a recap post. Yesterday, I began by showing off my very first pack of 2018 Topps Heritage, but today I'll be looking more closely at the well-executed cards that made Heritage a stunning set once again.
I've collected Topps Heritage nearly every year since I began collecting in 2006. I always enjoyed how well Topps was able to replicate each and every once of their iconic sets. Still, when I first thought about this year's Heritage, I didn't have intentions of collecting it. Sure, I wanted to buy maybe a blaster to see what it was like, but I didn't want to collect the set and all 100 SPs plus all the inserts. But then, when I read the information on the set and was reminded of all the Chrome cards and New Age Performers and then, I slowly began to gain interest. Obviously, my interest truly peaked, for if it didn't I certainly wouldn't have picked up a hobby box of the product.
Like I said, a major part of Topps Heritage, year after year, are the short-prints. This was the 2nd year of them raising the number of SPs from 75 to 100 but kept the odds the same at 1:3 packs. A major difference occurred regarding this year's SPs, which Topps decided to put semi-stars into instead of superstars. I'm not sure of their reasoning, all I know is Bryce Harper doesn't have an SP but Brandon Finnegan does, which is pretty odd.
With odds of 1 short-print in every 3 packs, one can expect 8 short-prints in a 24-pack hobby box, and that's exactly what happened. I received 8 short-printed cards in the hobby box, which means I have 8% of the short-prints. Only 92 more to go! Once again, the player choices were pretty odd, but Topps does have a reason for everything and I'm sure there's some reason why did the SPs this way, I just wish I knew why.
Moving on to the inserts I pulled and you'll see the pair of New Age Performers card, once again matching the pack odds considering that these cards are 1:12 packs. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is my favorite New Age Performers design in a while, and maybe even my favorite of all-time. I love the extremely colorful background, the colored dots in particular. Correa and Posey are pretty good players to pull these insert cards of, so even if I don't end up heavily collecting the set, I can definitely see myself collecting these inserts.
Another exciting insert from this year's Heritage is the Deckle Edge insert set, the 2018 Heritage equivalent of last year's Topps Game inserts. Max Scherzer is a pretty good choice for the set, but Salvador Perz is a bit of an interesting choice. I guess they wanted to choose a Royal for the set and they decided not to put Hosmer or Moustakas who are both free agents. Perez is still a pretty cool player to get, and given how amazing these Deckle Edge cards look, I don't think I'd care who I got.
The final Deckle Edge cards that I pulled was of Jose Altuve, a player who was extraordinarily prominent in this hobby box. It's either because he had a lot of cards on the checklist or that I just had extremely good luck with Jose Altuve cards in this box.
Altuve Card Count: 2
The 2nd Altuve card I pulled is a simple base card, but not an SP. You'd think that the 2017 AL MVP would get an SP card in the set but instead was given card 35 which is not an SP. Once again, I just wish I knew why Topps did the SPs like this for 2018 Heritage.
Altuve Card Count: 3
The 3rd Altuve card comes in the form of a Then & Now insert card that compares him to Rod Carew. Sometimes the Then & Now comparisons aren't that well done, but I don't think you can get any more of an accurate comparison than Carew and Altuve. Just like the New Age Performers, I like this year's Then & Now way more than I have in year's past. I love the blue and yellow color combination, although I've seen from online pictures that this color combo is not the only one used in the set.
I'm taking a quick break from my Altuve card count to show my 2nd cad of Rod Carew of the box. Unlike the other inserts I've shown, I'm not a huge fan of these. I like how they gave the image most of the space on the card, but the Baseball Flashbacks don't have much to them this year. I also don't understand why Topps decided to make the baseball black instead of white.
The News Flashbacks generally look almost identical to the Baseball Flashbacks aside from what the card is honoring. This year, however, there are actually some big differences. The baseball that is shown on the Baseball Flashbacks card became a globe on this card with a very 60's/70's feel. The banner also changed to a yellow color. I like what Topps did with the News Flashbacks this year and I'm also pretty interested in the insert set checklist that includes the revolutionary Apollo 11.
Altuve Card Count 4:
The Topps Heritage hobby box guarantees either 1 relic or 1 autograph. Usually, it's a standard relic as was the case for me. However, I got one of the best standard relics possible. A bat relic of Jose Altuve, the 2017 AL MVP and my 4th Altuve card of the box. I know that relics aren't what they used to be and that most sets are centered around the autograph. But this Clubhouse Collection relic of Altuve is part of what causes me to like Heritage in the first place. It's not a fancy autograph of a top prospect, but it's a relic of an MVP award winner and I don't think I could ask for much more than that.
But the best card of the box was not, in fact, the Jose Altuve relic. It was a card that looked like any other until I felt the surface...
... which revealed itself to be one of the greatest cards I've ever pulled from a pack in a long time, and certainly one of my best pulls that wasn't a relic or auto. This card, for those of you who can't tell, it a Flip Stock card of Anthony Rizzo, limited to 5 copies. A Flip Stock card is when the cardstocks used for the front of a regular card and the card stock used for the back of a regular card are switched. This causes the front to feel rougher like a Topps Heritage back while the back of the card feels smooth like the front.
These cards are pretty tough pulls, and the fact that the card I got is of Anthony Rizzo, a top 30 player in baseball and my favorite Cub, is what makes this card along with the entire box that much more special.