Featured Cards: 1965 Topps #474, Cookie Rojas; 2003 Upper Deck Vintage #144, Richie Ashburn; 1964 Topps #464, Dallas Green; 1965 Topps #248 Gus Triandos
As has been the case for many years now, I am eagerly looking forward to the next release of Topps Heritage. It’s hard to believe that this particular brand is entering its 15th year, and it’s even harder to believe that in less time than that the Heritage brand will start reusing set designs from my youth — assuming that Topps is still issuing such sets in the year 2026.
As is what I assume is true for other collectors, my eagerness to see a particular Heritage set varies based on how much I liked the original off of which its based. It just so happens that the 1965 design is one of my all-time favorite vintage Topps designs, so I’m really excited about this year’s set. In fact, I love the design so much that I almost found it in my heart to forgive Upper Deck for badly ripping it off with their 2003 Upper Deck Vintage set. So, in addition to assembling something close to a master team set of Phillies and a complete base set, I’m seriously considering collecting all the SPs in order to have a full, complete set — though not with any of the various gimmicky variations that Topps seems to love creating.
However, that’s not the only reason I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of Heritage in stores next week. A few days ago, Topps released the checklist for the set, and one of my Wish List Items for 2014 was in there: a Dallas Green autograph card. Because I’ve been complaining about the lack of one for some time now, a couple months ago I decided I was tired of waiting and purchased a slabbed PSA/DNA Green autograph card. I must to admit to being slightly annoyed with myself for not being patient for just a few months longer, but on the other hand, this is the sixth year in a row in which Topps could’ve issused a Real Ones Autograph for Green. I think my inability to believe that Topps would actually issue one is somewhat justified.
There are two other Phillies from the 1965 set who are also getting Real One Autographs: Frank Thomas and Ed Roebuck. I’m never going to complain when a current or former Phillie receives his first autograph card, but my excitement over the Green card was dampened by the realization that once again Topps passed on issuing Ruben Amaro, Sr., Art Mahaffey, Tony Taylor, or Cookie Rojas autograph cards. If Rick Wise isn’t included in next year’s Heritage offering, I’m going start holding that against Topps as well.
One final note, given that Topps included historically-based variations in previous Heritage sets, keep a close watch on the Phillies logos in this year’s set. Although #248 was not assigned to a Phillie again in this year’s Heritage (it went to Pete Kozma of the Cardinals), in the original 1965 set, the Phillies cap in the Phillies logo on Gus Triandos’s card wasn’t properly colored red — it was the same yellow as the background in the rest of the logo. Therefore, it’s possible that Topps could mess up the logo coloring on some other Phillies card this year, though it’s just as likely that Kozma’s card will bear the lack of proper coloring, should Topps choose to replicate that particular error with a variation card.