Monday, March 30, 2020

Happy Birthday Chris Sale!

Just when you thought I was done proclaiming the awesomeness of Rod from Padographs, comes one more goodie! Rod had a bunch of these 2020 Heritage Chrome Hot Box Refractors that he was offering up first come first serve, and I just had to put my claim on Mr. Sale!

I don't know Chris Sale personally, but I can't help but think that as we both blow out our birthday candles today, our mutual wish is for baseball's swift return! (Even though we won't be seeing him on the mound anytime soon - let's add a smooth recovery from Tommy John surgery to the birthday wish, shall we?)

Thanks for the card, Rod!


Who doesn't like free cards? Johnny from Johnny's Trading Spot has been doing a monthly sign-up for a weekly series of Big Fun Games. You can sign up for it here, just be sure you're available during the Friday night fun!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Padrographs Bounty 2

Today, we're going to take a look at the other cards I received courtesy of Rod from Padrographs. Back in December, he was just giving away stacks of cards, and I showed off some of the Red Sox I received on Monday.

This is the pack led my the Heritage Michael Chavis. Just like last time, I'll highlight some of the standout cards in the pack instead of just showing them all off.

More Chrome goodness, including a pink refractor of Hanley!

My first foray into Donruss's 1997 base set. This has to be one of the best Jose Canseco cards ever put to cardboard!

Here's just a few other cards that stood out to me. If I'm ever crazy enough to attempt to complete a parallel set, the 150th Anniversary stamp would be among the front runners.

Two more of Rod's signature autographs! Deven Marrero made his MLB debut in 2015, and is currently a free agent after a 5 game stint with Miami. Frankie Montas was involved in a number of noteworthy deals before making his debut with the Athletics in 2017. He was having an impressive 2019 before getting an 80 game suspension for a banned substance.

Thanks again for the cards Rod!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

TCDB Trade Recap: Cards From Blue Springs, MO

Thanks to a TCDB member named Nathan, I was able to knock out most of the Red Sox cards from this year's Series 1 base set:

Favorite Card: That Red Sox team card is the pick here. I can't wait until games start again and players won't be afraid to give their teammates a fist bump

Thanks for the cards Nathan!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Repack Haiku #145 (Bryan Harvey)

Marlins' first closer
Same season was an All-Star
Son debuted last year

1990 Topps #272 Bryan Harvey

Monday, March 23, 2020

A Generous Bounty From Padrographs

Over the next week, you're going to hear a lot about how awesome Rod from Padrographs is. Back in December, he was just giving away stacks of cards, and I was more than happy to give some unwanted Red Sox cards a new home!

Rod's mailer contained stacks of cards, so I'm going to break them up and show one pack now, the other later. I'm just going to highlight a few of the cards too - it'd take to long to show them all off!

As much as I'm against Topps using the same base set design to produce multiple sets (Chrome, Opening Day, Holiday, etc), I can't help but appreciate how these Chrome cards look in hand. I didn't realize the Family Business insert got the Chrome treatment before I saw Pedro's shiny goodness!

Stadium Club cards will always be welcome, and the Bogaerts card looks good in sepia.

These Topps Total and Topps Mini are the first online exclusive cards in my collection. I find it funny that Erik Kratz stuck his way into the Red Sox stack. I'm actually quite happy to add him to my collection - he used to play for my hometown's summer collegiate team!

Rod is known for his impressive collection of autographs, so it seems appropriate to get a few signatures in the pack! Gabe Speier made his MLB debut for the Royals last September, while Stankiewicz has apparently moved on to the Mexican League. (I was a little surprised by that actually - He led the AAA team in innings pitched last year and probably could have gotten a shot at the big league club this year.)

I'll show off the other pack on Friday! Thanks for the cards Rod!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Payday Pack - The Latest Gimmick

I can't help it. Sometimes I'm a sucker for gimmicks. The latest by Topps are these nifty little tins with different MLB superstars on top. I, of course, had to grab the Red Sox one (even though Mookie is no longer with the team - yep, still hurts to type that!). Each tin comes with 75 card, including some chrome insert cards.

As I was sorting through the cards trying to pick a top 3, I realized something - the catchers' cards are incredible this year! I have already spotlighted Yasami Grandal's fantastic card (which I have pulled yet another - arg!), but he isn't by far the only one. I decided for this edition of Payday pack to highlight those glorious catcher photos!

3rd Place

2020 Topps #317 Sean Murphy (RC)

Here's an example of when a photo breaking through the card border really makes the card "pop"!

2nd Place

2020 Topps #80 Ausin Barnes

Catchers have a stereotype of not being the swiftest of ball players, but you get a sense of speed as Barnes tries to tag some mysterious runner out.

1st Place

2020 Topps #318 Omar Narvaez

Passed balls/balls in the dirt may not be the most glamorous task a catcher could have, but how could you not love this card? Mask and ball both airborne, the pure focus on Narvaez's face - it's one of the best photos in this year's set!

Other Contestants Not Appearing On Stage:
#250 Bryce Harper
#184 Michael Givens
#29 Starlin Castro
#249 Jordan Yamamoto (RC)
#13 Miles Mikolas
#182 Vladimir Guerrero Jr (ASR)
#67 Tyler Beede
#131 Ketel Marte
#244 Chris Paddack (FS)
#52 Yasmani Grandal
#291 Tyler Naquin
#175 Lucas Giolito
#207 Zac Gallen (RC)
#169 Jacob Waguespack (RC)
#19 Angels (TC)
#298 Hollywood Heroes (CL)
#72 Big Air, Big Hair (CL)
#342 Taylor Rogers
#100 Alex Bregman
#191 Jeremy Jeffries
#272 Carlos Santana
#276 Yordan Alvarez (ASR, RC)
#118 Clayton Kershaw
#179 Ramon Laureano (FS)
#171 Kole Calhoun
#110 Jesus Luzardo (RC)
#DN-11 Pete Alonso (Decade's Next insert)
#85-75 Mark McGwire (Topps 1985 35th Anniverary insert)
#TR-33 Matthew Boyd (Turkey Red 2020 insert)
#TR-26 Francisco Lindor (Turkey Red 2020 insert)
#TR-13 Mookie Betts (Turkey Red 2020 insert)
#TR-46 Mike Trout (Turkey Red 2020 insert)
#TR-1 Bryce Harper (Turkey Red 2020 insert)
#RH-25 Rhys Hoskins (Rhys Hoskins Star Player Highlights insert)
#RH-13 Rhys Hoskins (Rhys Hoskins Star Player Highlights insert)
#DBC-87 San Francisco Giants (Decade's Best Chrome insert)
#TRC-75 Manny Machado (Turkey Red 2020 Chrome insert)
#240 Jameson Taillon (Gold parallel)
#289 Yuri Gurriel
#162 Michael Baez (RC)
#141 Roberto Osuna
#108 Josh Rojas (RC)
#151 Tommy La Stella
#203 Joc Pederson
#48 Jeff McNeil (FS)
#275 J.T. Riddle
#139 Jose Quintana
#68 James Paxton
#326 Dylan Cease (RC)
#109 Reese McGuire
#115 Matt Thaiss (RC)
#99 Dan Vogelbach
#86 Hyun-Jin Ryu (LL)
#241 Mike Clevinger
#258 Max Scherzer (WS)
#22 Emilio Pagan
#232 Justin Verlander (LL)
#90 Brock Holt
#140 Trevor Bauer
#154 C.J. Cron
#190 Aaron Nola
#148 Willy Adames
#338 Chicago Cubs (TC)
#316 Justin Turner
#225 Oscar Mercado (FS)
#247 Garrett Cooper
#101 Brad Hand
#322 Dario Agrazal (RC)
#197 Raisel Iglesias
#14 Anthony Rendon
#37 Albert Almora
#271 Josh Bell

Thursday, March 19, 2020

TCDB Trade Recap: Cards From Kenosha, WI

This week's highlighted TCDB trade come via a collector named Thomas. I sent a few extra 2019 Heritage cards I had to him, and picked up a few Red Sox cards:

Favorite Card: The unlicensed Post card of Clemens is cool, but memories of World Series MVP Steve Pearce will always be welcomed!

Thanks Thomas!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Repack Haiku #144 (Brandon Beachy)

Promising young arm
Injuries derailed career
Fate can be a "beach"

2012 Topps #364 Brandon Beachy

Monday, March 16, 2020

Time Travel Trading Update #40

82 cards

According to my records, that's how many cards Bo from Baseball Cards Come To Life has received since I've started this Time Travel Trading series. He always seems ready to scoop up a few cards from the stack, and I happily oblige. This time around was one of our larger trades, as he claimed the entire pack of 2020 Topps in addition to few others.

125 cards

That's how many Bo has sent back to me, 102 cards of which are currently in the trade stack. Bo's generosity has been proclaimed from theses pages numerous times, and today is no different. Bo sent some great stuff as always, chocked full of vintage and Hall of Fame players:

We'll start out with a few vintage checklists:

More vintage, including Billy Martin's famous finger card:

Tons of star power from the early and mid-80's:

As always, thanks Bo! As awesome as it is to have a guy like Bo help fuel the project, I need other willing traders to take all these great cards he send me! The rules remain the same: any card here is available in exchange for an older card! Make me an offer, either here or on the TCDB (Kep75)!

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2018 Topps
#502 Xander Bogaerts

2017-1018 Pocket Schedule
Carolina Hurricanes

2017 Bowman
#12 Trea Turner

2008-09 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#128 Tim Thomas

1998 Score
#68 Scott Rolen
#74 Mark McLemore

1994 Sportflics
#113 Pete Harnisch

1993 Classic Draft Picks (basketball)
#33 Will Flemons
#67 Bennie Seltzer

1992 Fleer Ultra
#594 Dave Righetti

1991 Upper Deck
#778 Dave Righetti

1990-91 Hoops (basketball)
#168 Glen Rice (RC)

1990 Upper Deck
#626 Frank Viola

1990 Pro Set - Theme Art (football)
#10 Super Bowl X Pittsburgh Steelers / Dallas Cowboys 

1989 Fleer
#29 Bob Welch

1989 Score
#495 Larry Parrish

1986 Topps
#5 Rose Special '75-'78
#6 Rose Special '79-'82
#401 Fernando Valenzuela (Turn Back The Clock)
#510 Wade Boggs

1985 Donruss
#305 Steve Carlton
#421 Andre Dawson
#557 Mark Langston (RC)
#616 Joe Carter 

1985 Topps
#694 Joe Carter

1983 Topps
#70 Steve Carlton

1982 Donruss
#74 Carl Yastrzemski
#76 Alan Trammell
#214 Tim Raines
#252 Lee Smith (RC)
#NNO Checklist 545-653

1982 O-Pee-Chee E.T. The Extraterrestrial (non-sport)
#15 Among Elliott's Toys

1982 Topps
#3 Tim Raines (HL)
#34 Joe Sambito
#70 Tim Raines
#74 Bob Clark
#190 J.R. Richard
#303 Bill Caudill
#399 Pat Zachry
#401 Johnny Bench (IA)
#462 Dave Chalk
#480 Steve Carlton
#651 Carl Yastrzemski (IA)
#754 Joe Morgan 

1981 Fleer
#268 Rod Carew

1981 Topps
#82 Astros Future Stars (RC)
#98 Clint Hurdle
#121 Larry Harlow
#259 Mets Future Stars
#363 Geoff Zahn
#414 John Pacella
#530 Steve Garvey
#560 Joe Morgan
#600 Johnny Bench (AS)

1980 Topps
#29 Mark Wagner
#51 Joe Ferguson
#88 Ken Landreaux
#143 Bruce Bochte
#157 Willie Wilson
#290 Steve Garvey (AS)
#325 Dan Driessen
#362 Danny Goodwin
#406 Paul Molitor
#572 Jerry Morales
#605 Terry Forster
#642 Ken Forsch
#655 Tug McGraw 
#671 A's Future Stars
#685 Padres Future Stars (RC)

1979 Topps
#25 Steve Carlton
#130 Bob Watson
#214 Boston Red Sox (TC) 
#465 Reggie Smith

1978 Topps
#295 Bill Lee
#373 Jim Willoughby
#385 Tito Fuentes
#424 Boston Red Sox (TC)
#482 Rick Miller
#706 Rookie 1st Baseman (Cage/Cox/Putnam/Revering) 

1976 Topps
#70 Roy Smalley/Roy Smalley Jr. (FS)
#196 1975 AL RBI Leaders (Scott/Mayberry/Lynn)

1976 Wonder Bread (football)  
#17 Bill Bergey

1975 Topps
#310 '74 Victory Leaders
#378 Derrel Thomas
#402 Bob Tolan

1974 Topps
#38 Don Kessinger
#67 Tommy Helms
#107 Alex Johnson
#141 Pat Bourque
#158 Jack Billingham
#158 Jack Billingham
#227 Mike Lum 
#349 John Vukovich 
#372 Ken Reitz
#534 Eddie Watt
#572 Enzo Hernandez
#638 Ken Sanders
#660 Larry Dierker

1974 Topps - Team Checklists
#NNO Montreal Expos

1974 Topps Traded
#458T Jim Ray
#496T Tom Murphy

1974 Wonder Bread (football)
#8 Bob Griese 

1973-74 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#53 Richard Lemieux

1973 Topps
#29 Tony Taylor 
#30 Tug McGraw
#68 1972 Leading Firemen (Carroll/Lyle)
#75 Vada Pinson
#79 Jim Willoughby (RC)
#80 Tony Oliva
#102 Rudy May
#116 Ralph Houk (MGR)
#145 Bobby Bonds
#215 Dusty Baker
#225 Albert Oliver
#230 Joe Morgan
#232 Ken Singleton
#240 Bobby Murcer
#258 Tommy John
#325 Boog Powell
#329 Ed Kranepool
#365 Rico Petrocelli
#368 Bill Buckner

1972-73 Topps (hockey)
#8 Stanley Cup Trophy

1972 Topps
#33 Billy Martin (MGR)
#43 Rick Wise
#163 Tug McGraw
#197 Johnny Briggs
#225 World Series Game 3 - Manny Sanguillen
#231 Casey Cox
#239 Tom Timmermann
#363 Ron Klimkowski
#373 John Mayberry
#438 Maury Wills (IA)

1972 Topps (football)
#111 Jim Tyrer
#114 Bob James (RC)

1971 Topps
#16 Ken Singleton (RC)
#63 AL 1970 RBI Leaders (Howard/Conigliaro/Powell)
#71 AL 1970 Strikeout Leaders (McDowell/Lolich/Johnson)
#90 Joe Pepitone
#95 Luis Tiant
#105 Tony Conigliaro
#146 Ralph Houk (MGR)
#195 AL Playoffs Game 1 - Powell Muscles Twins!
#206 3rd Series Checklist #264-393 (CL)
#208 Billy Martin (MGR)
#270 Rico Carty
#290 Tony Oliva
#295 Bobby Bonds
#310 Tommie Agee 
#328 World Series Game 2 - Bufird Goes 2-4 (WS)
#374 Clete Boyer
#374 Clete Boyer
#388 Al Oliver

1971 Topps (football)
#22 Ken Avery (RC)
#110 Floyd Little (AS)
#176 Mac Percival

1971 Topps - Games Insert (football)
#38 Matt Snell
1970 Red Rose and Blue Ribbon North American Wildlife In Danger (non-sport)
#32 Polar Bear

1970 Topps
#47 Bob Miller
#390 Willie Davis
#457 Rico Petrocelli (AS) 

1969 Topps
#66 Orioles Rookies
#80 Norm Cash
#131 Chris Cannizarro 
#139 Andy Kosco
#182 Bill Rigney (MGR)
#484 Joe Gordon (MGR) 

1969 Topps (football)
#73 Bennie McRae
#115 Randy Johnson 
#154 Sam Baker
#175 Joe Morrison

1968 Topps
#4 1967 AL RBI Leaders (Yastrzemski/Killebrew/Robinson)
#7 1967 NL ERA Leaders (Niekro/Bunning/Short)
#44 Frank Kostro
#181 Jerry Zimmerman
#260 Jim Wynn 
#309 Ken Henderson
#348 Larry Colton/Dick Thoenen
#449 Gene Oliver
#519 Jerry Stephenson 

1967 Philadelphia (football)
#109 New York Giants (TC)

1967 Topps
#1 The Champs (F. Robinson/Bauer/B. Robinson)
#348 Tug McGraw
#366 Andy Kosco

1966 Topps
#154 Chuck Hiller

1966 Philadelphia (football)
#104 Rams vs. Browns

1965 Topps
#17 Johnny Romano
#27 Dick Bertell
#86 Les Narum
#87 Nelson Mathews
#108 Don Mincher
#111 Lee Thomas
#178 Dalton Jones
#307 Barry Latman
#352 Alex Johnson (RC)

1965 Philadelphia (football)
#193 John Paluck

1964 Philadelphia (football)
#172 Ken Gray (RC)

1964 Topps
#18 Billy O'Dell
#45 Milt Pappas
#92 Steve Ridzik 
#102 2nd Series Checklist #89-176 (CL)
#341 Jim Roland 

1964 Topps - Coins 
#7 Frank Malzone

1963 Topps
#155 Bill Stafford

1961 Topps
#32 Ray Sadecki
#38 Bob Lillis
#96 Billy O'Dell
#98 2nd Series Checklist #89-176 (CL, VAR: white number)
#258 Jack Sanford
#267 Norm Siebern
#399 Cliff Cook (RC) 

1960 Topps
#138 Art Mahaffey (RC, RS)
#186 Dave Sisler 
#289 Willie Jones
#414 Don Williams (RC)

1959 Topps
#298 Tex Clevenger
#424 Ken Aspromonte
#424 Ken Aspromonte 

1959 Topps (football)
#80 Joe Perry

1958 Topps Zorro (non-sport)
#83 Rude Awakening

1957 Topps
#212 Rocky Colavito (RC)
#235 Tom Poholsky
#249 Dave Pope
#371 Bob Lennon
#406 Bob Hale

1956 Topps
#21 Joe Collins
#103 Willie Miranda (white back)
#156 Johnny Antonelli

1956 Topps Flags of the World (non-sport)
#70 Jordan

1955 Bowman
#25 Minnie Minoso
#208 Ed Fitzgerald

1955 Topps
#45 Hank Sauer

1954 Bowman
#16 Jim Wilson
#73 Don Mueller

1952 Bowman
#57 Clyde Vollmer

1938 Church & Dwight Useful Birds Of America Tenth Series (J9-6) (non-sport)
#2 Black-throated Green Warbler

1922 Church & Dwight Useful Birds Of America Third Series (J7) (non-sport) 
#7 Prothonotary Warbler

1915 Church & Dwight Useful Birds Of America First Series (J5)  (non-sport)
#1 Quail

The Time Travel Trading Project is simple in concept. I started out with a random pack of 2018 Topps Series 1 baseball cards. My aim was to trade every card in that pack for something older. Each card I receive in turn is then made available for trade, with the goal to get the oldest card I can get.

Number of trades completed: 53
Unique trading partners: 32

Number of cards mailed out: 181
Year of oldest card mailed out: 1956

Number of cards received: 388
Year of oldest card received: 1915

Friday, March 13, 2020

A Penny Sleeve Of Free Cards

Jon from A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts had free stuff. Who could turn that down? Not me! In the end I was able to put a claim on 3 food issues:

Surprisingly, each card was the first from that particular set I now own. I could have sworn I had more of the Topps Cereal cards, but I guess I confused them with another food brand that had that same design look to it (like the Quaker Chewy!)

Favorite Card: The black and white Williams photo surrounded by a very red and yellow border is just too much for Jim Ed and Wade.

Thanks for the cards Jon!


So, I guess we get to see what happens when the American people have to go a month without sports! It's crazy, I was getting pumped about the start of the baseball season too. The funny thing is, the past few years I've been going down to Florida towards the end of March to take in the sight and sounds of Spring Training. We decided to skip this year due to a significant life event (Long story short: My wife and I are taking care of our almost 3-month old niece.) Turns out I wouldn't have been able to go anyway! Unfortunately my Plan B is also cancelled - I was set to attend my first Opening Day at the Oriole's beautiful Camden Yards! Oh well, better to be safe than sorry (especially when you have a newborn in the house!)

Stay healthy everyone!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

TCDB Trade Recap: Cards From The Lost Collector

AJ from The Lost Collector sent me a few Red Sox cards from this year's base set in exchange for some overpriced Yankee who always seems to be hurt. ;)

Favorite Card: That Vazquez is a strong contender, but that CVS heart shows just how much I love that Brock Holt card!

Thanks for the cards, AJ!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Repack Haiku #143 (Shin-Soo Choo)

First South Korean
To hit postseason homer,
hit for the cycle

2014 Topps Gypsy Queen - White Frame
#58 Shin-Soo Choo
He also has the record for most Major League home runs by an Asian player, passing Hideki Matsui in 2018.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Lucky #5 From Johnny's BFG

“Hey, laser lips, your mama was a snow blower.”

One of the most under-appreciated movies from the 80's was a sci-fi comedy called "Short Circuit" It tells the story of a robot named Number 5 who becomes sentient and tries to escape the big bad government agency that wants to weaponize him. It's a great movie, especially if you enjoy robots being reprogrammed to act like the 3 Stooges. The movie ends happily with the robot re-naming himself Johnny 5.

Why am I even mentioning this cinematic masterpiece? Because another Johnny, from Johnny's Trading Spot, is holding a weekly series of Big Fun Games. He's streamlined the process, keeping the participant numbers low and allowing the game to complete relatively quickly.

I was a lucky member of the first group, a small group of only 5 people. When the order was set, I was sitting at choice #2. If you've ever played one of these games before, being that low isn't really advantageous, as I only get to see one of the gifts to potentially steal, and pretty much everyone else has a chance to take my prize if it turned out to be something good.

After the first prize was revealed, I instantly knew it wasn't worth using my lone steal on, so I had to pick from one of the remaining 4 prizes. I chose #5 (Get it now? Johnny 5! Synergy!). As it were, I was very pleased with my choice, a selection of baseball Hall of Famers:

Image stolen from Johnny :)

Those are some sweet cards, and I'm glad no one stole them from me! Johnny also included a surprise card!

Modern cards of Hall of Famers is one thing, but a vintage card with one of the all-time great pitchers in baseball? Surprised indeed!

Thanks for the BFG and the cards, Johnny!

Friday, March 6, 2020

Highly Subjective And Completely Free!

Brian at Highly Subjective And Completely Arbitrary has been posting free cards every Friday. I recently snagged a few glorious cards of Red Sox legend Ted Williams:

The top two cards were the ones I claimed, and Brian doubled up by sending me a couple more! I must have Teddy Ballgame on the brain. I recently watched an excellent PBS American Masters documentary on Netflix: "Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived". Highly recommended viewing!

Thanks for the cards Brian!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

TCDB Trade Recap - Cards From Hudsonville, MI

Thanks to a TCDB member named Chad, I creeping along on some recent team builds from last year. I'm over halfway towards all the Red Sox cards from Topps Big League, and I'm down to just two of the non-short printed Heritage.

Favorite Card: That Chavis rookie is sweet, but Holt's big smile and memorable highlight gets the win!

Thanks for the cards, Chad!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Repack Haiku #142 (Jeremy Hellickson)

Recently retired
With Gold Glove, Rookie award,
And World Series ring

2011 Topps #165 Jeremy Hellickson (RC)

Hellickson retired on Valentine's Day after another injury setback. He ended his career on top, having played last year for the World Champion Washington Nationals. Much farther down on his list of accomplishments: He is one of my few TTM successes!

Good luck with whatever future endeavor you pursue, Jeremy!

Monday, March 2, 2020

First Impressions - 2020 Topps Heritage

1971 Topps has a special place in my heart. When I was in middle school, my uncle gave me the task of sorting a bunch of his baseball cards from the seventies. The deal was that I could keep any doubles he had, triples were his, quadruples mine, etc. I remember just sitting on the floor, enjoying the whole process as I checked out each and every card. It was my first real introduction to cards created before I was born. I ended up with almost 40% of this set, along with about a quarter of the 1970 and 1972 sets. Since most of my new additions came from that 1971 set, that's the set I think of most when recalling that day.

Needless to say, I'm excited that this year's Heritage features those distinctive black borders. I picked up a pack as soon as I could. Let's see what thoughts run though my mind as I opened this throwback to happy memories:

#256 Brad Peacock

The honor of the first card goes to Astro's pitcher Brad Peacock. I know some people will comb over ever detail - the fonts, the backgrounds, the back - comparing it to the original and pointing out the slightest discrepancy. Not me. As long as the card captures the spirit of the 1971 set, I'm happy. These look good. The black borders provide a nice contrast with the framed picture within.

#289 Willy Adames
#366 Jake Lamb
#224 Joc Pederson
#10 Jedd Gyorko
#15 Anibal Sanchez

Here's a look at the back. Note to Topps - bring back the big disembodied heads, and I'll gladly accept truncated stats on the back! I love the trivia on this particular card too!

#46 Adam Engel
#279 Starling Castro
#218 Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
#414 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (ASR, SP)

Boom! Short print of Junior Vlad, complete with the awesome vintage rookie cup! I'm glad this was the short print I pulled, but it remains yet another reminder why I won't buy a lot of Heritage. Having 1/5 of the set short printed is madness! I pity the poor soul that tries to finish Heritage sets.

#16 Johnny Cueto
#59 Scott Oberg
#11 Tom Murphy
#170 Justin Wilson
#238 Jose Berrios
#100 Nick Markakis
#271 Andrew Cashner

The first Red Sox card from this set goes to a guy who spent the latter half of last season with them, and is no longer on the team. Then again, as of this writing, he is still a free agent and Boston could use an innings-eating starter! (Besides, the Red Sox should employ more redheads on the team. They just look sharp in the uniforms!)

#214 Griffin Canning
#326 Austin Hayes
#360 Andrelton Simmons

The lone horizontal card in the pack, it's not exactly a photo that lends itself for a good horizontal shot. Too much wasted space on either side of the batter.

A couple of things that struck me as I was leafing through. First of all - no inserts! I'll gladly take the short print over any of those, but it was just weird having the full pack be just base cards. Also missing: the standardized rookie card logo! Topps shoves so many rookies down our throat that I was expecting to see that little RC at least once, but no! Could this be intentional to make the cards more realistic? Maybe... I looked at some of the Rookie Combo cards in the set - even they lack the logo! Bravo Topps!

So far on the retail front, I prefer these over the base set. Donruss and Opening Day come up next, and I'm not overly intrigued by either. (Have you seen those emoji parallels Donruss is throwing up? Good grief!) Even though I won't even try to complete this set, I see myself buying more Heritage  over the base set. Then again, my local Wally World still has a lot of Clearance and last year's product on the shelves. Maybe discounted cards is the way to go, at least until Gypsy Queen comes out.