Sunday, May 6, 2012

Awesome night card, pt. 141

What's wrong with this picture?

Well, if you know the history of Topps Heritage, you know that Topps tries -- or claims to try -- to pay tribute to a past Topps set by faithfully recreating that set down to the smallest detail, but while featuring current players.

Usually it does a fine job. The design is faithful to the original 1963 set. The colors are relatively faithful to '63s (make a side-by-side comparison and you'll see slight differences). Card backs are faithful, too. I'm always impressed by how Topps is able to recreate the cartoons in the exact style of the cartoons from days gone by.

Topps even goes to unnecessary lengths to recreate the errors that appeared in '63 and other past sets.

As for the photos, Topps makes an attempt to recreate the style and look of the previous set -- going with more head shots, portraits and posing styles of the past.

But there's usually something that's not quite right with the images. After all, Topps can't control what players look like. So it's mostly style issues. Facial hair. Skewed caps. Earrings. Necklaces. Tattoos. None of that was around in '63.

But what I've also noticed this year with the images is that there are some night cards slipping into Heritage.

I don't recall any individual's card in the '63 set being a night card. With the exception of some painted night images, night cards didn't show up until -- at the earliest -- 1969. Definitely by the early 1970s.

But what do you see on Michael Young's card?

That's right, a glistening helmet. That is a sure sign of a night card.

Young isn't the only night card in this year's Heritage. Koji Uehara and Francisco Rodriguez are two other night card examples. But unlike Young, both Uehara and Rodriguez split time between two clubs in 2011. It's probable that Topps had to scramble to get pictures of each player in his new uniform and, in this night culture in which we live today, its only opportunity to do so was at a night game.

But Young? He was with the same team all year. Plenty of opportunity to catch him doing his thing during the day.

It sure looks odd seeing a night card on a 1963 design.

That just didn't happen.

Then again, there were no Texas Rangers or designated hitters in 1963, either.

So you can only go so far with faithful recreations.


Night Card binder candidate: Michael Young, 2012 Topps Heritage, #373
Does it make the binder?: I'll squeeze it in, even if there were no night cards in 1963.


  1. Not to mention the "Nike Swoosh" on his undershirt peeking through. Nike wasnt even a twinkle in Phil Knight's eye in 1963.

  2. Jamie Moyer is only guy who was even alive in '63 and he doesn't even get a card!

  3. Not to mention it has my favorite Ranger on it!