Thursday, February 28, 2019

2001 Topps Heritage

This is the set that started it all for the Topps Heritage series. This started as a way to celebrate Topps' 50th anniversary of modern baseball card sets. Topps doesn't really acknowledge the 1951 red back and blue back sets, nor their 1948 Magic Photos set, which featured nineteen baseball related photos. Let's just say everything baseball related for Topps began in 1952. What's a little revisionist history between collectors?

Beckett magazine called 2001 Topps Heritage the "Product of the Decade". That's high praise. It's no wonder that the Heritage line is on its nineteenth straight year, as of this writing. Topps pulled out all the stops with its first Heritage set. The majority of the photos were blurred to replicate how the photos looked in 1952. Some of the same variations were thrown into the set, so it looked and felt like the original set. One dead giveaway, besides modern players, would be the normal standard size for the cards. The standard sizing wasn't established until the 1957 set. 1952 through 1956 Topps baseball cards are larger than the standard size. On a related note, the 1951 baseball release was much smaller than the standard size.

The White Sox have nineteen cards in the set, including two variations.

37 - Magglio Ordonez
37a - Magglio Ordonez (variation)
41 - Mark Buehrle
41a - Mark Buehrle (variation)
99 - Greg Norton
110 - James Baldwin
145 - Charles Johnson
157 - Paul Konerko
168 - Cal Eldred
169 - Jeff Abbott
178 - Jim Parque
206 - Harold Baines
209 - Kip Wells
210 - Frank Thomas
223 - Keith Foulke
228 - Chris Singleton
245 - Ray Durham
286 - Jose Valentin
310 - Carlos Lee

There is something weird with this set. While there are short prints, there are none for the White Sox. This means that it shouldn't be extremely difficult to obtain a team set, even with two variations to chase.

Topps really did something right with this release. They may have gone a little nuts with successive Heritage releases, but they started off golden.

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