Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Blaster power rankings: 2017 Topps Heritage

I finally used that Target coupon for $3 off on a Heritage blaster Sunday.

I had no intention of buying cards that day. But I went to the funeral home to say goodbye to my work friend, the fellow Dodgers fan. While I was there, I was talking to one of his granddaughters and mentioned how we were both Dodger fans and held many discussions about the team. She nodded in recognition and then brought up her grandfather's fondness for baseball cards.

I had totally forgotten about that. Back when I wasn't collecting cards, my friend mentioned he had some old Dodger cards he was looking to sell. These were good cards, Dodgers from the '50s, '60s, etc., and probably would've cost a tidy sum. But I didn't have any interest in cards then and said he should find someone else.

The dumb things we do, eh? But thanks to his granddaughter's mention, I found new appreciation in my friend's collection and enthusiasm for cards. What I wouldn't have done now to see that collection -- no doubt sold long ago.

So, with that rediscovered knowledge, I knew what I had to do. I left the funeral home and headed to Target to buy some Heritage in his honor.

This is where the fairytale falls apart. There was nothing special in the blaster. Just a bunch of cards I'm not really collecting. There were just two Dodgers, neither of which I needed. And, I may be misrememembering the rate of how often SPs show up in Heritage blasters, but just two short-prints seemed very paltry and made me wonder why anyone is still buying these things.

Except, of course, to update my Blaster Power Rankings for the year!!

When we last left the BPRs the Tigers and Blue Jays were at the top of the rankings. So let's go through this Heritage box and see how the rankings total up after that.

For tiebreakers, this time inserts will count less than base cards, because unlike Opening Day, there are thoughts of completing a Heritage set -- no matter how foolish those may seem. Other items, like team cards and two-player rookie cards, will not be as valued as regular base cards. Sorry, rookie fans, them's the rules.

Here we go:

Blaster Power Rankings: 2017 Heritage

1. CHICAGO CUBS (5 cards): Tied for the most cards. I restrained myself by not removing points for Miguel Montero or Addison Russell (the Dodgers should have won!). Also, that's the least animated you will ever see Javier Baez.

2. ATLANTA BRAVES (5 cards): Tied for the most, plus a Dansby Swanson card. Wooooooooooo! I will sell it to you for the price Braves fans are paying for their new stadium.

3. DETROIT TIGERS (5 cards): Another blaster filled with Tigers, plus one of the two SPs (Verlander) and one of only three baseball-related inserts. One of the other baseball inserts was a Then & Now that I refuse to count toward the power rankings.

4. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (4 cards): The other SP in the blaster (McCutchen) evens out the ho-hum of the rookie stars card.

5. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (4 cards): The Phillies bounce back from being shut out of the Opening Day blaster. Plus the Aaron Nola is a nice sunset card.

6. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (4 cards): The White Sox have taken over from the Tigers in terms of displaying the most plant life on their cards.

7. SEATTLE MARINERS (4 cards): The Mariners also rebound from no cards in the first power rankings go-round. I sure do love the all-star cards and every time I pull one I'm shocked that it isn't a short-print. That's how well Topps has conditioned me.

8. BOSTON RED SOX (3 cards): Holt is possibly the only one actually in a Red Sox uniform.

9. MINNESOTA TWINS (3 cards): Two of these players are former Houston Astros. Switching to the Twins only means what little knowledge I have of them will disappear.

10. NEW YORK YANKEES (3 cards): Good thing 29-game Yankee Billy Butler is wearing the right uniform.

11. CINCINNATI REDS (3 cards): Two former Dodgers. And at least one of them is on the team card, too.

12. LOS ANGELES ANGELS (3 cards): The Angels climb back into the rankings after being blanked the first go-round.

13. HOUSTON ASTROS (3 cards): The tiny rookie trophy on the rookie stars card is unusual and has to be the first time that has shown up on a two-person rookie stars card, right? Why not just give him his own card?

14. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (2 cards): I am enjoying the Giants' season immensely so far.

15. CLEVELAND INDIANS (2 cards): Hey! The defending AL champs finally show up in these rankings!

16. TORONTO BLUE JAYS (2 cards): Tattoos on the 1968 design is weird.

17. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (2 cards): Same pole and advertising in each shot.

18. TAMPA BAY RAYS (2 cards): The Rays should play all their home games wherever this is.

19. SAN DIEGO PADRES (2 cards): The card on the right is one of the Target-exclusive rookie Topps Game cards. They're throwing caution to the wind and assuming I will know who this guy is with no name anywhere and a very modern signature. But I can make out the "H" and the "R" enough to know it's Hunter Renfroe. Crisis averted.

20. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (2 cards): Not a good showing by the Dodgers. Thompson's been plagued by injury disease for a full year now.

21. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (1 card).



24. MIAMI MARLINS (1 card).

25. NEW YORK METS (1 card).


27. OAKLAND A'S (0 cards).

28. COLORADO ROCKIES (0 cards).


30. TEXAS RANGERS (0 cards).

If you must know, the Then & Now card and the three-player league leader card each featured the Nationals' Max Scherzer. But I'm not getting into decimal points here.

So let's update the Blaster Power Rankings with two blasters ripped:

1. Tigers - 11
2. Blue Jays - 8
3. Pirates - 8
4. Cubs - 8
5. Reds - 7
6. Braves - 7
7. Giants - 6
8. Cardinals - 6
9. Red Sox - 6
10. Astros - 6
11. Yankees - 6
12. White Sox - 6
13. Brewers - 5
14. Royals - 5
15. Dodgers - 5
16. Nationals - 4
17. Marlins - 4
18. Padres - 4
19. Rays - 4
20. Twins - 4
21. Mariners - 4
22. Phillies - 4
23. Mets - 3
24. Orioles - 3
25. Diamondbacks - 3
26. Angels - 3
27. Rangers - 2
28. Indians - 2
29. A's - 1
30. Rockies - 1

There have been many times on this blog when I have bemoaned pulling nothing but A's and Rockies, but I might have to stop doing that if these rankings hold up.

Unless I take leave of my senses and buy a blaster of Bowman or Gypsy Queen, the next BPR rankings segment will likely be with Archives.

See you then.


  1. I'm not generally enthralled with using celebration pics as team cards, but it's SOOOOO stupid in Heritage. It doesn't fit the designs AND it's redundant. If they don't want to bring back the old-school team photos, either do team leader cards (which aren't strictly era appropriate either, but at least they look more like the photos of the era and they have a longer history) or just don't have a team card.

    1. Totally agree. The team 'celebration' cards are a waste and out-of-place in this set. I see team photos from time to time but I suspect they are no longer a universal thing as they once were. Which is a shame because the old team cards that used them were fun.

  2. Not sure if you were being sarcastic, but Bergman does have a full sized Heritage card. It's one of those super rare "variation" inserts. Essentially all the hot rookies on the 2-player cards get their own card...Bergman, Swanson, Moncada, Judge, Benintendi. I probably missed one or two. They use the same photo (a full uncropped version) and, thus, the rookie trophy (couldn't have it on one and not the other, apparently). Needless to say, they're selling for ridiculous prices.

    1. I assumed there was a variation Bregman card (I'm trying to not pay attention to those things anymore). But why not just remove the rookie trophy for the rookie stars card, if the '68 set didn't have that?

  3. That is a strong collection of Buccos.

  4. There were a couple of Nationals....they're just now in Angel and Ray uniforms. *Sigh*

  5. Blasters have been Tigerless on my last few attempts. Should I congratulate you?? Perhaps not.