Monday, March 7, 2016

I Couldn't "Just Say No"

I kept telling myself I wasn't going to succumb to the peer pressure and blog envy that was tempting me to purchase a blaster of Heritage.  Sure, there were several singles that I wanted from the checklist (i.e. Jason Heyward, John Lackey and Joe Maddon's very first Cubs cards); but, I could pick those up individually in trades and direct purchases for much less coin.  That would be the rational thing to do, right?

Well, simply put, I caved.  I gave in. I didn't just say no (RIP Nancy Reagan).

The allure of opening some new product, with the added benefits of a potential hit, cards to chase and a freshly deposited paycheck caused me to crack under pressure.  So it goes.

Anyway, I, of course, didn't land any of the cards I was after, nor did I get any sort of hit from the impulse buy.  However, there were still some interesting cards to be had:

These were my only two (solo) Cubs cards.  However, in terms of quantity in my collection, since both of these stars are only entering their second year, I don't have very many cards of them sporting the proper uniform.  Thus, these were both welcome finds.

Jake the Snake's otherworldy performance on the mound ensured that he ended up on all of the pitching League Leaders cards.  So, it's pretty nifty to have the records of that Deadball era-like season immortalized in cardboard form.

That Rizzo ain't so bad at the plate either.  He looks to be one of the favorites to win the NL MVP award for 2016.  Fingers crossed!

That did it for actual Cubs content... not so great, but at least I wasn't skunked.  As for the rest of the blaster:

A couple of former Cubs that I'll be hanging onto.  It's rather odd to see Welly in Diamondback's garb; also, what a terrible trade that turned out to be for Chicago.  No matter, since this is my first card of Castillo in colors that aren't Cubbie blue, I'll be adding it to my Cubs of a Different Color binder.

Meanwhile, I definitely did not realize that utility man Andres Blanco was even still in the league.  Thanks to this card, I discovered that not only is he still around, but he was a semi-regular, playing in 106 games and batted .292 in the process.  Shows what I know.

Another card that'll prove useful for a different binder is this Chirinos.  Of course, Robinson was part of the much-maligned deal that saw the Cubs give him up to the Rays, along with Brandon Guyer, Sam Fuld and Chris Archer (!!!) for a couple inconsistent years from Matt Garza.  That's an awfully lopsided deal, huh?

Anyway, since Robby played in the Cubs minor league system, but never ascended to the majors with the club, I'll be slipping this card into my new Coulda Been a Cub binder.  This collection is made up of players who were once property of the Cubs org (be it by amateur signing, draft pick, waiver claim, etc.) and eventually made it to the Majors, but not with the Northsiders.  Fittingly, I actually spent several hours cataloging and inserting this new endeavor into pages yesterday.

Also, I have way to much time on my hands.

Here was the flashiest insert to be found in the blaster, a chrome parallel of rookie sensation Carlos Correa.  As you might be able to see, it's serial numbered 914/999.  Any Astros collector want to give this bad boy a good home?

The only other two baseball inserts I pulled were this Target-exclusive "Standee" Harper and the New Age Performers piece featuring Yasiel Puig next to it.  If you haven't heard the story by now, the Standees are based on a test-issue from 1967 that was never fully released by Topps; so, there is some historical interest with this particular insert set.  My only gripe is that they don't actually punch out or stand-up; but, then again, I guess no one does that to cardboard investments anymore.

As for the Puig insert - pretty generic and blah.  Just another excuse to pump out another Puig.

I also got this Flashbacks insert, as well.  However, non-baseball subjects don't really move the needle for me.  I'm just here for the baseball.

I got a couple of these World Series Highlights cards, but apparently I forgot to scan one of them.  I love the look of these and feel like they really captured the essence of the source material.  Plus, I just adore the old school television set motiff, no matter what.

If only the Cubs could have been part of this subset... damn Mets and you're collection of aces!

Even though I didn't get my first Cubs cards of John Lackey or the J-Hey Kid, I did pull some cards of players in their new uniforms, something Heritage is pretty good for (even if it's usually a Photoshop job).  It's always interesting to see guys in unfamiliar outfits for the first time.

On one hand, I'm very happy to have Neil Walker out of the NL Central.  On the other hand... damn Mets getting better offensively and such!!

Also, I have a soft spot for cheesy, posed, Spring Training shots.  It looks like they caught Mookie and the end of his 8 hour work day at Dunder-Mifflin, as opposed to a baseball stadium.

Also catching my eye were the hat on Clay Buchholz and the face being made by Aaron Harang.  I do believe that's the hat sported by the Sawx on the Fourth of July (please correct me if I'm wrong).  That whole thing is a little bit cheesy; then again, I guess it does spice up this card a little bit.

As for Harang, he really looks haggard here... is he going to be able to make it through Spring Training?

So, that about does it with my blaster of Heritage.  Although, for all I know, I could have pulled some super duper rare error variation or color swap variation or action variation card and not even known it.  Some of those "variations" are so minute that I'd have to quit my job and dedicate my full attention to this set to spot.

You're kidding me, right?

The only other complaint I have about this year's release is something that was already pointed out by Night Owl - why in the bloody hell are the images so grainy?  The source material featured images that were as clear as could be hoped for with the tech of the time and are still much sharper than this release.  Was Topps trying to simulate vintage a little too hard here?

If you see anything you want below the Chirinos - please speak up; that stuff is all available for trade.  I'll gladly take your Heywards, Lackeys or Maddons :)

In the meantime, I'm going to take some time to work on my self-control.


  1. Last first. I'm not clicking on that song. It will stick for sure. I think it is already, even without hearing it. Aaaron says, "It's my face. What can I say?!---Dandelion picker"

  2. I doubt if I'll buy any Heritage this year. My goal is to trade for the base and pick up the autos on eBay. Vern Law and Billy O'dell made the real ones auto set!

    Walker definitely will help the Mets lineup, but they may have the worst infield defense in all of baseball. Walker has a sure glove, but no range. Add the fact they signed Asdrubal Cabrera makes for some adventures.

  3. I'm not an Astros collector, but I'd trade for the Correa if given the chance(the Harper too if it's up for grabs).

  4. Maybe try Packaholics Anonymous. It worked for me.

  5. Darnit WRJ, you're exactly the reason why we got so many say no to drug posters in our arcades!

  6. Nice Correa and Mookie Betts is a great pull too!

  7. Hadn't seen the World Series Highlights cards before this post, Topps did a good job with those. (Also, could you put the News Flashbacks insert aside for me? I build the set every year. Much obliged!)