Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 Topps Heritage: High Numbers Varitations

Sometimes when I am working with Topps cards I feel like I could write a whole novel on the different variations that they put into their sets.  I had heard bits and pieces about codes and errors made on purpose, but I decided to stay above the madness of it all and walk into my Heritage boxes a blank slate.  I got my two boxes of Heritage from Big D's Cards, in Raleigh, North Carolina, last Saturday.  Luckily the owner Jimmy had seen a few boxes opened before I opened my boxes, so he was able to walk me through some of the different variations and help me out as I went through my box. 

Here's a few of the different variations that landed in my boxes:



The Heritage Chrome cards are the easiest variation to identify for obvious reasons since the finish of the cards is different from the base cards.  Topps has had the Chrome finished Heritage cards in every set since the inception of Heritage.  There are always two types of Chrome cards.  The Longoria Chrome card above is the base.  The card is serial numbered to 999, and if you are good at spotting it, this card is not a refractor.  The Ian Kinsler below is a refractor.   Note the "shinier" finish on the card and the word refractor appears just below the card number on the back left-hand side of the card.  The serial number is also lower. 



Within the Heritage Chrome cards there are more variations then shown.  The primary variation most popular with collectors are the black framed copies of these cards which are limited to a print run of just 52 cards.  Really great card to find for younger players, but also a good add to your collection if you have a favorite player in the set.  On to the really fun variations and high numbers:


The most common variations can be determined by reading the code in the bottom right hand corner of the card next to the MLB logo.  Base cards have the last three digits of 119.  Anything that is a short-print, variation, or inset has a different number.  The Anthony Rendon card above is a short print.  Flipping the card on the back and focusing in on the code shows a 123:


All of the high numbered short prints in the set feature this code.  While it strains the eyes slightly, and sounded annoying at first, I actually like the idea of having the code on the back.  It's a really quick way to identify the short prints in this set without consulting a checklist every time you open a box or sort a stack of cards.  My two boxes had a big handful of short prints.  I traded one to Jimmy at the card shop for a sweet Prince Fielder Finest Orange card numbered to 99.  I will put a picture of it up on my Facebook page later tonight. I pulled two cool variations out of my boxes.  First, an action variation of Derek Jeter:





The action variations have a code of 126 as the last three numbers on their code and are seeded about one per box of Heritage.  Pretty nice cards and they seem to be fetching a pretty penny on Ebay.  Anybody like Derek Jeter?  I also picked up a mini-variation of Giancarlo Stanton


Mini.  I was surprised to pull a mini and did not even realize that Topps was using minis in the Heritage set this year.  These cards a tough pull at 1 per every 220 packs.  The card is serial numbered to just 100 copies:

 

Topps has a few other variations which I did not manage to pull.  The three other biggies are the error cards which I hear mangle the spelling of Pittsburgh and the spelling of Kevin Correia's name.  Pittsbufgh, or something like that.  There are also throwback jersey cards and throwback logos.  The variaitons and short prints actually seem this year.  I will see if I can pick up a few others.  Anybody on Jeter? 

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