Saturday, February 28, 2009
Then & Now
The main idea behind topps heritage is to pay homage to the older topps sets by using the old design but with modern players. Even though these are modern sets,
the vintage players still take on a big role in the sets. This is no better shown than with the insert set called "now and then". This set matches a star of the vintage set with a current star, usually a star at the same position or with the
same team. These comparisons also haunt the base set, as the card numbers usually
match up too (a trait that only hardcore heritage collectors will notice.)
However as this set goes on there is becoming another kind of now and then...a
now and then within the actual heritage set!
Take the career of Gil McDougald. Gil came up the same year as Mickey Mantle and even won the rookie of the year that year barely edging another heritage mainstay, Minnie Minoso. He would play almost every infield position for the Yankees and would lead the league in double plays turned. He is perhaps most notably known for hitting a ball that struck pitcher Herb Score and ended his career, it is almost ironic
that Gil would be hit with a ball years later and that would lead to the end of
his career...at the age of only 32!
Gil signed in the first heritage set back in 2001, the card above was his rookie card. He has also signed for the 2009 set being the only vintage player who has spanned so far the entire heritage run in autograph form. There are other heritage mainstays also. Duke Snider comes to mind, also Yogi Berra even though he wasn't on the checklist in 2001.
Gil's playing career was over in 1960 and his last appearance was in the famous game that Maz beat the Yankees in. A true now and then, heritage has now span the lifetime of some players. Gil will most likely never sign another heritage card and
as times goes on and more players retire "again", they will leave their legacy behind in the topps heritage autographs of the past.