Aww, look at Barry's big ol' smilin' head. Wait, we're all supposed to hate Barry now. Boooooo! Why did Barry get in the set? Well, because he was one of the biggest stars of the decade for one thing. For another this was one of the first pages where the page sort of created itself without my help. Let me briefly explain my process for choosing cards to include in the set.
First I'd gather all 9 pages and sort them from lowest number of cards to most. I'd quickly scan each page for cards that just flat out had to be in the set come hell or high water. If a year only had one or two possible cards I'd pick out the one to use so that year didn't end up getting left out. After the Really Wants and Gotta Haves were taken care of I'd figure out the best of the rest to fill out the page. Very often after picking two or three cards the rest just fell into place.
B.J and Tom were automatics on this page, obviously. Ethier was was the next to be chosen and Cedeno was literally the only card from the '01 set that fit. After I picked Pedroia as the '60 design rep, there was exactly one combination of cards that ensured that every design was included. Barry was one of 'em and I ain't even mad.
Card #10 - Barry Bonds
I don't care what you do, what you take, how you train, what sacrifices you make to the Dark Lord Ba'al, you don't hit over 700 home runs without being a damn good baseball player. Great, even. That being said, Hank is the King. Ruth too.
#11 - Rob Mackowiak
Remember the middle of last decade when Rob Mackowiak, Mark Grudzielanek and Doug Mientkiewicz were all giving anyone who wrote about baseball carpal tunnel syndrome? I don't miss those days. That sunuvabitch A.J. Pierzynski is still doing it.
#12 - Armando Benitez
A good closer who gave up the stupidest home run in playoff history and managed to get caught with his pants down in several other big games after that. After I hopped back on Twitter though I will forever more only be able to associate him with this guy.
#13 - B.J. Upton
Technically, the first Brave in the set. Not gonna lie, I went overboard with the Braves. I went way overboard with the Braves. Like, went on a three hour cruise and ended up stranded on a remote Pacific Island overboard. I went full Gilligan with the Braves in this set. You're not only going to see Braves everywhere but Braves in non-Braves uniforms. Also in the past decade Tampa has somehow overtaken the White Sox as my favorite AL team so I doubly like B.J. and this card.
#14 - Gary Matthews
See? Ex-Brave card right here. Gary didn't actually play a game for the Braves, but he did get picked up by them on waivers from the Padres and washed out of spring training in 2004. He even has a Braves card in the 2004 Topps set. Matthews went on to sign with the Rangers where he had three really solid years before going to Los Angeles to steal Arte Moreno's wallet.
#15 - Dustin Pedroia
Wouldn't it be really funny and ironic if Dustin Pedroia got busted for PEDs? Get it, PEDroia? Wait, no that wouldn't be funny that would be horrible. I should shut up now.
#16 - Andre Ethier
This is another one of those iconic Heritage cards to me mainly because Andre's rookie card has him in an A's uniform. Ethier? The guy who became a star for the Dodgers? Is an A on his rookie card? Because Oakland traded him for Milton Bradley? That kills me every time. A's fans probably don't like this card as much.
#17 - Tom Glavine
This is the first actual Braves card in the set. Tommy is an appropriate choice for that honor. This is also the last Heritage card of Tom before I started associating him with Benedict Arnold. I've got over that now though. I love this card. It reminds me of the good days.
#18 - Roger Cedeno
I associate Roger with the Mets more than any other team for some reason and would have sworn he was a Met on this card even though I looked at it 10 minutes ago. I still started to type out Mets when writing this blurb even when I looked back at the card and saw a star. One notable thing about this card is that you can see how the Heritage aging filter does some weird things when exposed to batting practice jerseys. This is also the second card in as many pages to make me feel old as dirt since I am two years older than Roger who has not played a game in the bigs since 2005.
Yeah, I forgot to rotate the image again. I got it covered for next time. Check out the black ink on the 2001 and 2008 cards. Variations, baby!