20 Questions on … Topps Heritage baseball cards



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The annual trip down Memory Lane to the past is here with the arrival of this year’s Topps Heritage and we’ve seen plenty of reactions to some of the surprises found inside.

You know, like bubble gum-damaged cards made on purpose.

With all that talk about Heritage, we figured now’s the time for a new edition of 20 Questions … all about Heritage.

1. Are you a fan of Topps Heritage?

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2. When did you first discover Topps Heritage?

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Click “read more” to see and respond to the rest of the questions … 


3. Do you collect more or less Heritage than other brands?

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4. Which other sports have had Heritage card sets? (Click all that you remember.)

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5. Do any other of today's retro brands compare to Heritage?

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6. What do you think of this year's release?

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7. Bubble gum-stained card backs … grade this idea

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8. Which year of Heritage baseball is your favorite?

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9. Presuming Heritage continues, which year are you looking forward to most?

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10. Did you think Heritage would last when it arrived in 2001?

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11. What do you think Heritage needs most?

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12. Where do you think Heritage ranks among ALL baseball products today?

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13. Have you built a Heritage base set in the past?

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14. Do you have a player you'd want to see on a Heritage auto? (Name in comments below)

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15. Has Heritage made you go back and revisit the original sets?

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16. Do you know someone who simply does not buy any Heritage?

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17. Grade the history of Topps Heritage baseball cards

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18. How much more Heritage would you buy with an autograph in every box?

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19. Should Topps try another Heritage-type brand?

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20. Would you want to see a high-end Heritage brand -- like Heritage Five Star?

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisolds2009.


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  1. James B. Anama 5 March, 2015 at 10:30

    I honestly thought that Heritage was going to be a one off set because when it came out, Topps was celebrating it’s 50th anniversary. Now that it’s been 15 years, I get it that it’s a traditional, set-builder type of set. I just wasn’t a big fan of it then (and honestly, still not a fan of it now) because I was more focused on Archives.

    Now that Topps has turned the Archives brand into “Heritage Light” (think about it, cards of past designs using present day players…sense a pattern here), it has kind of turned me off to the Archives products (I mean, I get that the inserts are tributes to past sets, but the base cards are more of a disappointment). I understand that Topps is limited based on the restrictions that the MLB Properties mandated, but I do wish that Topps Archives returned to what it once was.

    Otherwise, I think Heritage is a great set for set collectors, and a great set for those who enjoyed that era of baseball. I think the parallels, errors, and all are a great tribute. It does make for great conversation within the Hobby.


    JayBee Anama

  2. Robert Braxton 5 March, 2015 at 13:04

    Hank Aaron (and so many others). (How in the world can the poll show it’s voters want more autographs in one question but fewer autographs in another. I continue to question the overall intelligence of my comrades-in-cards.)

  3. JustAGirl1025 5 March, 2015 at 13:30

    I returned to card collecting in 1999. 2001 Topps Heritage was the first product I was REALLY excited about since my return to collecting. Heritage has been a collecting staple for me ever since. Love it! (Bowman Heritage on the other hand… ) The one autograph I’d like to see in Heritage would be Kent Tekulve of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  4. Pete 5 March, 2015 at 19:08

    One thing that stands out in Heritage is the Real One Autographs. For example, where else would you find certified autos of long forgotten New York Mets like: Gordon Richardson, Al Moran and Tim Harkness.
    Heritage takes older collectors like me back to the days when baseball cards were an important time in our lives.
    As far as other sports, I would like to see something a little different from topps.
    For example:
    Heritage AFL
    Heritage USFL
    Heritage WFL
    Heritage Heavy Metal-similar to Archives did a couple of years ago.
    Good job on this year’s set topps!

  5. Robert Belenzon 6 March, 2015 at 00:18

    Hi Chris
    Really think Dave Winfield deserves to be on a Topps Heritage auto! ‘


  6. Matthew 6 March, 2015 at 13:44

    In terms of autographs, there are a slew of Phillies fan favorites from the ’60s who Topps seems to consistently ignore: Cookie Rojas, Art Mahaffey, Tony Taylor, Clay Dalyrmple, and Rick Wise all immediately come to mind as players Topps should get on autograph cards ASAP. These guys aren’t getting any younger. I always appreciate all the autographs that Topps issues as part of the Heritage set, but (just to use this year’s set as an example) I’d rather have any of the before-mentioned Phillies autos than John Herrnstein or Ray Herbert.

  7. baseball-nate 7 March, 2015 at 22:39

    I would like to see the following players with Autograph’s…
    Jim Palmer
    Reggie Jackson
    Charlie Hough
    Ron Cey
    Ken Griffey Sr
    Ron Guidry
    George Brett
    Robin Yount
    many moore

  8. Matthew 8 March, 2015 at 12:08

    I feel the need to add an addendum to my previous comment. Topps managed to royally screw the pooch with their Mahaffey autograph in this year’s Heritage set. I can only assume that Topps doesn’t have anyone on staff whose job it is to think this stuff through and that they love angering their customers. I still can’t believe Topps has a monopoly for another five years. I’m so sick of this crap: https://14kphillies.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/just-eff-you-topps-eff-you/

    From mod: For a majority of the lesser-known players, the pattern in Heritage is to show them on what is their final card. Not always, but Mahaffey’s final basic Topps card came in 1966 — as a Cardinal.

  9. Matthew 8 March, 2015 at 18:43

    I am actually having a Twitter conversation with a Topps representative about this right now. I don’t care what the Topps Heritage pattern is. From a team collector perspective, it makes far more logical sense to issue autograph cards for lesser-known players with the team they are most associated with. Mahaffey played all but his final season with the Phillies and was on the All-Star team twice with the Phillies. This particular case is fairly easy — if Topps is only going to issue one Mahaffey autograph card, and right now there’s no reason to believe that they will ever issue another, then they should’ve made sure it was one that pictured him with the Phillies.

    Now, Topps informed me that they weren’t able to work out a deal with Mahaffey in previous years. Fine, but currently Topps also has the Archives set. Instead of issuing his only autograph card as a Carrdinal, throw the Mahaffey autograph card into that set instead. This isn’t rocket science, and I personally feel that Topps’s pattern, as you call it, is lazy. It took me all of 15 seconds to figure out how to make a Mahaffey Phillies autograph card work for this year.

  10. Aaron M 8 March, 2015 at 19:50

    A dual auto of Jeter and Nomar would be awesome, along with some presidential autos (an Obama on-card would be awesome).

  11. Mungous 9 March, 2015 at 00:15

    Very happy to have seen two rounds of Pumpsie Green autographs!

    Would like to see an autograph of:

    Rollie Fingers
    Vida Blue
    Dave Kingman
    Willie Mays
    Dick Allen
    Sidd Finch

  12. phillies_joe 9 March, 2015 at 10:43

    As always…thanks for the poll.

    Dick (Richie) Allen

    I think the rare auto’s of lesser players is a real cool idea. I would however prefer that they be on cards in the uni the player is most identified with.

    I do not like the idea of high end Heritage (I actually dislike Heritage and only collect Phillies for my PC), there are enough high end products and alot of the designs are really bad.

    Also, I think you should include “in the middle” or “don’t really care” instead of just Love/Hate/Not Sure in your poll questions. Think you would get a better idea on what people really think.

  13. Cory Furlong 30 March, 2015 at 20:19

    I think Topps Heritage has become the gold standard for baseball card collectors. I even think it out shines the Topps flagship Series I set. Every year I trade with the same guys on different message boards that I have been trading with for over 10 years. This release is for set collectors only in my opinion. If you are looking to make money or pull a high dollar hit this product is not for you.
    In the past years Topps has tweaked the Heritage brand a bit with the inclusions of minis and action image variations. I hope this is the farthest they will take changing the set and keep it as close to the combo that has worked in years past, 450 base cards, 50 short printed cards. Subsets, New Age Performers, Then and Now, Baseball Flashbacks, News Flashbacks, clubhouse collection and Real One Autographs.
    That my friend is a recipe for success!

  14. Joe 25 July, 2015 at 21:47

    I like heritage a lot, wish they would bring back team photos. Also too many short prints, they should limit those to about 50. All for larger sets, try to include traded players in series 2. Definetly do not like the stain or white out on backs of 2015 heritage, I think it cheapens the product. Autographs are ok, but get players that are known, not players that know little about or were not that good.

  15. cvn 13 September, 2015 at 13:31

    I love the Heritage concept and I’ve collected the cards each year since its inception. However, as we approach 2016 and the design of my favorite series of all time, the 1967 set, I do have concerns. In the first few years, Topps put a lot of effort into “recreating the old set”: same number of cards as in the original set, poses that mimiced those in the earlier set, numbering of cards that matched similar players in the older set. But as time has passed, Topps has gotten lazy. There’s been no attempt to recreate the checklist design of the older sets in the last several years. And the multi-player cards have been abominable! Have players today become so impossible to work with that a photographer for Topps can’t get two stars to recreate a retro two-player pose? When I dig into the 2016 Heritage set, I want to see checklists with the little disembodied mug shots. I want to see B&W World Series card with the wood TV set border. I want to see team cards and league leader cards that look just like the 1967 set. And I want to see classic multi-player cards poses! I’m just afraid I’m going to be disappointed, though, because the last few years, Topps seems to be going through the motions with the Heritage set.

  16. Ivan cortina 16 May, 2017 at 20:42

    I’ve noticed there has been a lot of 30th anniversary Heritage Topps 87 topps autograph cards some autographs are written on a what seems to be a reflector clear tape that says Topps certified autograph issue and some are not on eBay my question is how to avoid any type of fell Place such as fake autographs or are they safe to buy thank you

    • Ryan Cracknell 16 May, 2017 at 22:20

      The set has a mix of on-card autographs and ones done on stickers. Autographs have the note on the front as well.

  17. N JAY HOLTZMAN 28 October, 2019 at 14:49

    I was away from the honny for a long time and just returning and enjoyed the look back cards they are fun to see again. Keep up the fun sets. Do the cards come as a set or individually.

  18. Rommel Palacios.S 1 January, 2022 at 12:02

    He disfrutado las tarjetas Topps desde 1963, la colección Heritage es lo mas expresivo de las Topps de los años 60 espero que las sigan editando GRACIAS

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