Saturday, May 19, 2012

2012 Topps Heritage

 I've been looking forward to this Topps Heritage set for many, many years. The 1963 Topps set that this release is based on is one of my all-time favorites. If I were impaired by illegal substances, I'd say that the circus-like swaths of primary and secondary colors made the card irresistible to the eye. Regardless of impairment, the color combination remains eye catching.

The cards have a simplicity to their design, but stand out greatly from the years that immediately surrounds them in Topps history. Most of my criticisms with this set come with authenticity. I don't remember any color action shots on player cards in the original set, yet there's Addison Reed in the middle of a delivery in both shots of his rookie card. Couldn't Juan Pierre be saved for the inevitable update set? He signed with the Phillies in January, yet here he is in a White Sox uniform and White Sox team designation. It was very clear when the 2011 season ended that Pierre wouldn't be back. Still, it's nice to see a final Sox Juan Pierre card, if only to remind ChiSox fans that he was the hardest working outfielder on the 2011 team. Every game I attended, I personally saw Pierre taking full advantage of the free field to do pre-game warmup exercises. Sometimes he was the only one out there, but he was out there doing jumping jacks and wind sprints and practicing outfield throws.

The White Sox are well represented in the set. Perhaps a little too represented in some cases. The White Sox have fourteen cards in the set.

16 - Juan Pierre
35 - Chris Sale
54 - 2012 Rookie Stars (Addison Reed)
86 - Dayan Viciedo
100 - Paul Konerko
118 - A.J. Pierzynski
181 - Brent Morel
223 - Addison Reed
234 - Alejandro De Aza
253 - 2012 Rookie Stars (Addison Reed)
271 - Alexei Ramirez
286 - 2012 Rookie Stars (Addison Reed)
288 - Team Card
337 - Adam Dunn

There are FOUR... count them... FOUR Addison Reed cards!




And all four cards feature the SAME PHOTO! This is both overkill and laziness. If Addison Reed is going to get FOUR rookie cards, could someone dig up a new photo? At least for his solo card, if nothing else. The Rookie Stars cards are not variations of the same card, they are THREE SEPARATE CARDS! Each with it's own number. If you were looking for a way that Topps could screw up a no-brainer set, this would be it.

Here is a list of White Sox candidates that could have replaced Addison Reed on the Rookie Stars cards that played in 2011...

Eduardo Escobar
Hector Santiago
Dylan Axelrod
Shane Lindsay
Zach Stewart

If they were insistent on keeping Addison Reed on the Rookie Stars card, Topps could have given these players their first (and possibly only) card with the White Sox...

Jason Frasor
Jeff Gray
Brian Bruney
Lastings Milledge
Josh Kinney
Dallas McPherson

There are many things that Topps could have done to make this a near-perfect set, but there are a lot of positive aspects readily seen and appreciated. This set still deserves high praise, but it could have been even higher.

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