Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Here we are on the 9th day of the 9th month of the 9th year of the new century, well actually it is the 10th year of the new century, but topps heritage is in its 9th year. That made me think of the number 9 and what it means to heritage. I immediately thought of all the famous baseball players who wore the #9. Of course Ted Williams comes to every ones mind. He has appeared in several heritage releases, from then and now cards in 06 and 07 to a cut in 2006 which to my knowledge has never been pulled, to one of the more famous cards in the heritage run, the Korean War time capsule card in 01, which featured a piece of military uniform (not from Williams). I always thought of Teddy Ballgame as the best hitter who ever lived, you have to wonder what his stats would of been had he not gone to war twice!
Yankee fans will think of Roger Maris who has only appeared as a cut autograph back in 2007. If heritage makes it to 2010 (1961 issue), they will most likely have to put Maris in the set somehow. You can't ignore the magic of that season, Maris versus Mantle versus Ruth. Hopefully the Upper Deck exclusives will be long gone by then.
Two other famous 9's have also appeared quite a bit in topps heritage. Enos Slaughter was one of the original guys appearing in the first 01 autograph set. Bill Mazeroski would also have plenty of jersey cards and autograph cards in various sets starting with 2006. Pirate fans had something to shout about back then!
However, none of these guys have appeared in more heritage products than the #9 heritage champ, Minnie Minoso. Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta, or Minnie as he was called, was a fountain of youth. He is only the 2nd player ever to play in 7 different decades, a feat that will stand for ever. Starting in the negro league, Minoso would go on to play for the Indians, Cards, Senators and on and off with the White Sox where he was called Mr. White Sox.
Minoso was also featured in the first 2001 heritage set. He had an autograph, a jersey card and a dual jersey card with Frank Thomas. He would sign again in 2002 and have an insert card in 2003. After a short break he would again be featured prominently in 2008. In 2009 he would appear with Chipper on a then and now card. If topps continues in the next decade and feature the players of the 60's and then 70's, Minoso should be right there!!
Have a happy 9/9/09!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
In our second installment of heritage favorites I visit another active player. Alex Rodriguez's heritage rein has spanned three teams. He was a featured autograph back in 2001 heritage with the Seattle Mariners. The next year he would be traded to the Texas Rangers and then again to the Yankees. Arod has of course been a heritage staple appearing in the autograph set both in 2001 and 2002. He also has appeared heavily in the insert sets being paired with HOF'ers from Mantle to Jackie Robinson to Yogi Berra. In 2009 a surprise double GU card of Mantle and Arod was on every ones wish list. Arod has also appeared in every chrome set except 2007 including the very popular black refractors. Rodriguez has been a very good signer with topps over the years but it looks like those days are gone, he doesn't sign nearly as much as he once did.
The card you see above was pulled at a target, an amazing feat for the highly searchable 2001 packs, what would be even more amazing is that I would pull the 2002 heritage Arod auto the very next year at the same target! They are still two of my more favorite heritage cards.
Friday, September 4, 2009
In the next couple of posts I will be revisiting the most popular heritage players over the years. These players year after year provide heritage with the bang that has us coming back for more every year.
The first of those players is 10 year vet Chipper Jones, now I know he has played longer than 10 years, but he has appeared in every heritage release since 2001. He has several autographs in the 2001 release including a rare classic renditions autograph. He is also on a bat card with Eddie Mathews twice, once in 01 and once in 03. These cards are the crown jewel of Chipper collections. Chipper has been a mainstay in the chrome set for every year except 2007. Topps tried to go cross-branding with the chrome set in 2007 hoping that collectors would buy lesser products in order to chase the heritage chromes (it did not work).
If you are a Chipper collector you can count on great looking cards every year. Sadly Chipper doesn't sign a lot of cards today, but the old ones are beautiful, my favorite is this black chrome from 2008, the colors are amazing. Anyone out there with an 01 autograph? I would love to post it here.