Mar 17, 2011
Floating Rookies' Heads, 2011 Topps Heritage, and a Group Break Reminder
There are six slots in the group break presented here , there are some great teams left like the Red Sox, Twins (there's a Mauer rookie to possibly be pulled), White Sox, Reds, Rays, etc! Come and claim a team and get a 2nd team from the opposite group. I think it will be a fun break. The last boxes arrived in the mail yesterday, so I'll start asking for payment next week. It's time to rip some packs!
Above is not a 1962 Topps design (such is all the rage this week), but the more technologically advanced 1963 Topps design. In 1962, they figured how to remove the heads from rookies' bodies and place them in squared off prisons; each rookie unable to use even the most rudimentary of tools to break through and rejoin his body. In 1963, they made it so the heads would not want to rejoin the necks of their patrons.
They preserved the heads in a vitality halo, sustaining the minds and thought processes during the offseason. This way, when spring training began, the teaching of pitches had already been accomplished and the rookie could progress to the point of being a useful contributor for the ballclub. It worked for Ray Culp (110 ERA+ in 1963), John Boozer (112 ERA+ in 1963), and Jesse Gonder (124 OPS+). Only Sammy Ellis was resistant to the vitality halo, skeptical of its workings. He looked worried at this moment in time because he knew with the rejection of this time spent here, he would spend the entire 1963 season in the minors, and have to return for a much unloved experience. Luckily for him, cooler heads prevailed and he was captured in the spring training portait box of 1964, which had a better compatibility with his body chemistry.
Now, a slightly more timely topic
I love the idea of Topps Heritage. I love the execution of Topps Heritage. I was especially excited to get a chance to collect the version with the 1962 Topps design. I have such fond memories of that year's card set. My first vintage card was from that set. It was in the stories in the family as having been thrown out. It was a card set that commerorated the chase for 60 between Maris and Mantle, had a Babe Ruth story subset, saw Frank Robinsons MVP season, and celebrated the futility of the Phillies and their 23 game losing streak the previous season. Plus, it had very realistic cartoons on the back.
And yet, I am unable to collect it as I like (that is to say, with everything). It's always an expensive proposition. One needs at least two hobby boxes to make a significant dent in the base set, and I couldn't invest that type of capital at this time. This became true quickly when hobby boxes rose from a presell price of $70.95 one month ago to the now standard $91.95 price for one hobby box. For that price, I would rather go after more pressing collecting needs.
I found a good price for the Phillies team set, so that will soon be in my possession. As for the rest of the base (1-425) set, I will acquire it eventually. The quest for all the shortprints without going to shows is a hardy fool's proposition. Each shortprint average cost is usually around $3-5.
Then, there are the secret variations that are such a part of the Heritage fabric that they are expected. The green tinted cards are true to 1962. What is with this retail inserted black bordered parallel? I am thoroughly confused by its purpose.
What I'm trying to say is that I would love to collect Heritage this year, but it's almost like it's worth less than I have to pay. Maybe I need to get a 1962 Ford Galaxie 500 to get in the right frame of mind? Wouldn't that be prudent?