Heritage hit the hinterland today. The gravity feeder placed on the middle row -- not where I was expecting it and I almost missed it -- was untouched, displaying a winding stack of packs for my choosing.
There were no rack packs or hanger boxes or blasters. This is the hinterland. We will get our newly issued cards 10 days after they are trumpeted on Twitter and we will like it.
But I'm not complaining because I have new Heritage product to show on Friday the 13th. Plus, I enjoy the challenge of seeing if I can come up with something different than what everyone else has already said about these cards.
So, let's look at the wrapper, which I had somehow failed to see anywhere until buying the cards at Target today. The wrapper, as is Heritage tradition, resembles the wrapper used during the year that Heritage is featuring.
Here is the 1966 Topps wrapper:
The '66 wrapper was the first time that the "Topps baseball" showed up in this format. The now very familiar baseball, with the Topps logo at the crown, reappeared in 1974 and 1976, during my formative collecting years. It returned in 1980 and then, with some added color and revised logo, appeared every year through 1990. Get used to it. Because you're going to see it over and over again for Heritage 2029 through 2039.
As for the '66 design itself, it's just OK. I don't dislike it as much as I did when I was younger -- at least it's colorful -- but it's not terribly creative. I'm still mad at the set for failing to recognize the Series winner from the previous year. The best thing about the '66 set for me is that it is the first set that debuted while I was on the planet. Sure, 1965 Topps was going strong when I was born, but '66 was the first new set during my existence.
Boy, am I old.
All right, I better show the packs. I bought just four of them. I had the cash for more, but that's all I have patience for, right now. I'm probably not buying much of this stuff.
I think I did pretty good. Nothing notable -- no stupid foil parallels or action parallels or color swap parallels or faded spots on the back that smell like gum (Heritage honestly has some of the dumbest variations of any card set) -- but for me, it was money well-spent.
Let's check it out:
#205 - Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies
The first card is a pitcher who always seems to torment the Dodgers -- or maybe he's just tormenting me. Topps did well using the gray/magenta color scheme with the Rockies -- a scheme originally used with the Phillies and Indians in '66.
#29 - Avisail Garcia, White Sox
Garcia is posing at sunset, blocking some sort of tree, which we will see again.
#273 - NL (TM) Aces - Adam Wainwright-Clayton Kershaw
"National League" is trademarked? I will never stop thinking this is ridiculous. And speaking of stupid, I don't enjoy seeing those ugly All-Star caps over and over on cards, or Wainwright infringing on my Kershaw cards (which he does repeatedly this year). At least Kersh is blowing a bubble. It alleviates some of the stupid on this card.
#161 - Adeiny Hechavarria, Marlins
#36 - Sean Doolittle, Athletics
#BF-1 - Baseball Flashbacks, Ernie Banks, 5 RBIs
Nice tribute. Not sure why these cards are horizontal.
#371 - Homer Bailey, Reds
#257 - Danny Salazar, Indians
Here's an opportunity to show the back, which as usual, is very faithful to the originals. I may not have enjoyed 1960s fronts all that much growing up (keep in mind I am a '70s kid), but I loved the backs. Blue and pink and green! And check out the cartoon! The batter has no middle! That's Wile E. Coyote humor at its best right there.
#421 - Gerardo Parra, Brewers
OK, that pack kind of sucked, but it will pick up soon.
#100 - Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
See? I like this Heritage Kershaw quite a bit, a lot better than his previous Heritage offerings.
#261 - Mark Melancon, Pirates
#340 - Garrett Richards, Angels
#282 - Tanner Roark, Nationals
#NAP-7 - Yu Darvish, Rangers, New Age Performers
Not sure how I feel about these. Yeah, they're the same old New Age Performers, but the design is a lot different. The use of black is weird for the '60s. But the font does evoke the decade.
#170 - Chase Utley, Phillies
#228 - Yonder Alonso, Padres
#337 - Billy Butler, Athletics
Billy shopped into his new uni. Purple design with a team that wears green-and-gold. Aren't '60s and '70s cards fun?
#99 - Angels R Belters - Albert Pujols-Mike Trout
#166 - Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals
I love the Cardinals cards in the 1966 set. For whatever reason, the red-on-yellow is much more enjoyable than the yellow-on-red that the Dodgers got. It's probably the birds on the bat.
#309 - Dioner Navarro, Blue Jays
What pinkish liquid might Dioner be enjoying?
#234 - Yankees Rookie Stars
In a tradition that goes back to 1977, I hope these rookies fail miserably.
#90 - Jonathan Schoop, Orioles
#423 - Matt den Dekker, Mets
Putting my editor snark cap on now: "threw out a man"??? As opposed to a woman or a boy or a dog? I think "a/the runner" would have worked better.
#443THC - Kenley Jansen, Dodgers, chrome parallel, 484/566
There is a reason I picked the four bottom packs in the stack. Also, if you wanna know why I still buy random packs and don't buy a full set or team set at the start of the year, there's your answer. Nothing can replace this thrill or sense of satisfaction.
#145 - Ben Zobrist, Rays
#352 - Seth Smith, Padres
#355 - David Roberston, White Sox
Robertson is featured with his new team but Smith is not.
Robertson signed with the White Sox on Dec. 9th, while Smith's trade to the Mariners happened on Dec. 30th. There must have been a deadline somewhere between those dates.
#154 - Chris Johnson, Braves
#300 - Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
#163 - Dexter Fowler, Astros
#122 - John Danks, White Sox.
There's the tree again. Must be the only tree in Arizona.
#455 - Jose Altuve, Astros
The only short-print I pulled from the four packs. Or, why I stopped trying to complete Heritage.
#79 - Emilio Bonifacio, Braves
This needs to be a meme.
Something like that.
#375 - Josh Harrison, Pirates
#393 - Tyson Ross, Padres
#121 - Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
Thoughts? Kind of colorful, kind of blah. Typical Heritage. Getting one SP because inserts are preventing you from getting more is the usual biggest irk factor.
I've saved a lot of money with my lack of interest in Heritage designs the last six years or so (the '65 design, which I like, didn't stay with me). It will be interesting what happens next year because I like the 1967 set more than any previous set up to 1959.
It's even possible I might try to collect it, especially since Topps hasn't dulled the interest in modern-guys-on-retro-designs idea with '67 the way it has with other favorites like '71, '72 and '75. (Thanks a lot, minis).
But that's getting way ahead of myself.
For now, I'm glad I finally found some Heritage, pulled a couple of special Dodgers, and ... hey, did you notice? .. not a single Giant.
Lucky Friday the 13th indeed.