Saturday, August 29, 2009

Time to say goodbye?

All good things must come to an end and it looks like one of the greatest baseball products is coming to an end. Topps just released the presale info for their 2009 Heritage High Number series and it has collectors scratching their heads. The presale material shows "big hits" as they always do, but what we see is a Jay Bruce autographed jersey card and a Dick Burwell real one autograph.

Jay Bruce is a popular player with collectors but he has appeared en masse recently in topps products including 2009 topps heritage. Dick Burwell is, well, I don't
really know. So I went to the baseball reference site and looked him up. Dick Burwell played with the Chicago Cubs for the 60 and 61 season, he pitched a total of 13.2 innings. He had "retired" at the age of 21.

If you collected topps heritage in the past then you have seen this before. The 2009 edition was chalk filled with these 3-inning career guys. Most of the players on the autograph checklist didn't play even a month. Is this what topps new game plan for heritage is?

Let me remind you all who appeared in last years product. Guy like Kaline, Snider, Frank Robinson, Kaat, and Cepeda, with minor stars such as Skowron, Muary Wills, and Tommy Davis. They also added in some of the hottest current players in the majors, guys like Pedroia and Soto.

I have to ask myself why topps is opting to cheapen the heritage brand so much? Do they really think the base set alone can sell this product? The autograph odds already make this product a 2 per case venture, but what fun is pulling a Dick Burwell autograph as your case hit?

Yes all good things must come to an end and this might be the end of topps heritage. In todays economy this lack of effort will not fly, even with your
most loyal collecting base, and I dare say that no other product, save for bowman
chrome, has had a more loyal following. I had hoped after seeing the presale info
that 2009 topps heritage would have some nice surprises in it, well it did, an even more watered down autograph checklist and players missing from the set that were actually pictured on the promo material. Topps also made a "mistake" by putting 80% of the super SP's into a few boxes of retail cards.

I know many heritage collectors like to pre order this stuff, but if last years product is selling for way less a box than it did when it came out, then what is this stuff going to be selling for next year? 35 a box? It might be worth the wait.