Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I do not dislike these
When I first heard about the '61 Chase cards in 2010 Heritage, I must admit I was not at all happy. Oh Great, another mirror set. Now I get to dread pulling Babe Ruth cards, thanks Topps. I have to admit though, this is not a bad insert series. Here's why:
The set size is only 15 cards per player. We didn't need another home run tracker set with 56, 60 and 61 cards apiece. Cutting it down to 15 each gives you plenty of each player.
The sets are numbered individually. The Ruth Set is numbered 1 to 15 and so are the Maris and Mantle sets. This makes it easier for someone to focus on one player if they wish and not end up with an insert set numbered 16-30. This is important for us with OCD who feel the need for completeness in everything we do. It's also nice for the person stuck in the middle of nowhere with no hobby shops or Targets, but a massive Super Wal-Mart in the middle of a prairie with a fully stocked card aisle. Go for the Maris set, 1-15, you're done. It also is good for mad scientists like me who like to create FrankenSets. Muahaha! It's a small detail but it gives collectors more options when chasing this set. Options are good.
The backs are actually pretty good. Unlike the other mirror home run sets where you got the date, home run number and pitcher the homer was hit off of and not much else, here there is a paragraph on the back of these cards describing the home run chase. They are pretty well written too, this is another of those seemingly small details that make all the difference.
Here's the most important thing - all the photos are different. This is huge. Consider the collector psychology. When we open a pack the first thing we do is shuffle through the cards to see what we got. We register each one of those cards in our mental database. When we open more packs, we note right away if there is a card we have seen before. This is a Double and it is Bad. We have that card, we don't need another. When there is a huge insert set with the same photo on every card, then every time we pull that card we get that negative Doubles feeling. "Oh Christ, not another Mantle". Could you imagine a kid in the '50s saying those words? Topps has trained us to think that way now with their endless mirror sets. So sad. These cards are pretty easy to get at 1:4 packs, so if they were all the same photo then that's 1:4 packs with that negative Doubles feeling. And Lord knows that Heritage does not need any help at all with providing collectors with Doubles. If I pull one more John Russell Manager card I'm going to scream.
The design is a little iffy but at least it's colorful. Plus it's really difficult to hate a Babe Ruth card. I don't even mind the 1961 variations of these three fellows, at least Topps announced them in the wrapper odds. The color variations is entirely different, but that's a subject for another post.