’18 Topps Heritage MiLB Real One Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Drew Ellis 2018 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball Real One Auto.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, November 16, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!
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’18 Topps Heritage MiLB Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Domingo Acevedo 2018 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball Clubhouse Collection Relic.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, November 9, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

2018 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball Box Break & Review

There are a lot more minor league baseball teams than major league ones.  Its a fact.  Minor league teams can be found all over the country.  Some are literally in people’s backyard.  That level of closeness can produce a dedicated amount of fans who attend their hometown team’s games on a regular basis.

Topps produces two minor league products per year.  I believe its part of their exclusive agreement with MLB.  Pro Debut comes first and then Heritage Minor League Baseball.  This version of Heritage Minor League Baseball showcases some of MiLB’s best prospects in the 1969 Topps Baseball design.

The main set consists of (200) cards.  Subsets include Topps News All-Stars and League Leaders.  Card numbers 201-220 are short prints.  Not only can the short prints be identified by their card number, but they state “Short Print” on the back.  Six parallels can be pulled – Glossy (box topper pack), Blue #’ed/99, Magenta Back, Black #’ed/50, Team Color Change #’ed/25, and Red #’ed 1/1.  The parallels DO NOT apply to the short prints.

Variations make a return.  These come in the form of image and circle color variations.  You can use the CMP codes to locate them.  Image variations end in #482, while the circle color end in #483.  Its even easier though if you look just beneath the card number.  They’re now labeled either “Image Var.” or “Color Var.”

Every single box comes with (1) autograph and (1) relic.  Royce Lewis, Brendan McKay, and Hunter Greene each have image variation autographs #’ed/50.  For the most part, your autograph will be a Real One Autograph.  These come in Blue #’ed/99, Black #’ed/50, Team Color Change #’ed/25, and Red #’ed 1/1 parallels.  Other autographs include Dual Autographs1969 Deckle Edge Autographs1969 Mint Coin Relic Autographs, and Bazooka Autographs.

You’re likely relic will come from the Clubhouse Collection which has Blue #’ed/99, Black #’ed/50, Orange Patch #’ed/25, and Red Patch #’ed 1/1 versions.  Others include 1969 Mint Coin Relics.

The 1969 Collector Cards/Transogram and Deckle Edge cards highlight the inserts.  Back in 1969, those Transogram cards had to be hand-cut off a box that housed an action figure.  Having those figures return would have been neat.

As I mentioned when I opened my Pro Debut box, it would be cool to see retired stars/Hall of Famers thrown in here.  Especially since its a retro set.  Tracking down minor league uniforms of those older players for relic cards probably wouldn’t be the easiest though.  But base, parallels, inserts, and autographs could be done.

Cards of Phillies prospects Kyle Young #130 and Spencer Howard #52 are my favorite.  The photos were taken at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA.  Its a ballpark I frequently attend during the summer to watch the Crosscutters.  They have great bobblehead giveaways.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Drew Ellis Real One Auto

Relic

  • Domingo Acevedo Clubhouse Collection Relic

Parallels

  • Zack Burdi Team Color Change #’ed/25
  • Royce Lewis Glossy #185
  • Franklyn Kilome Glossy #104
  • Brendan Rodgers Glossy #136

Short Prints

  • Michel Baez #210
  • Alec Hansen #204
  • Adrian Morejon #209

Inserts

  • Tim Tebow 1969 Collector Cards/Transogram
  • Nick Senzel 1969 Collector Cards/Transogram
  • Corey Ray 1969 Collector Cards/Transogram
  • Jose Albertos 1969 Deckle Edge (Black/White)
  • Jorge Mateo 1969 Deckle Edge (Black/White)
  • Estevan Florial 1969 Deckle Edge (Black/White)
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. 1969 Deckle Edge (Black/White)

2017 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball Box Break & Review

Minor league stars and burlap.  Plus Tim Tebow.  Its a party now!  Products based on minor league baseball are fun to rip.  During the summer I attend almost one minor league game per month.  Almost always shooting for a bobblehead night.  Topps produces two MiLB sets per year, Pro Debut being the other.  Where Pro Debut resembles more of a flagship set, including lots of wacky inserts that celebrate minor league baseball, Heritage takes a more traditional approach.  My box of this stuff last year contained a neat patch.

Just like Heritage and Heritage High Number for MLB, the MiLB set utilizes the classic 1968 Topps Baseball design.  This year’s set consists of (220) cards.  #1-#200 are base, and the last twenty cards are short prints.  Parallels include First Name Omission, Blue #’ed/99, Green #’ed/50, Gray #’ed/25, and Orange #’ed/1.  The missing first name seems more like a variation than a parallel, but not this time around.

You can’t have a Heritage set without a few variations.  This minor league counterpart doesn’t have as many when compared to the MLB sets, but you do need to keep an eye open for a couple.  Viewing the CMP code on the card backs can easily assist in identifying them:

  • Base cards end in #3408 or #3413
  • Short Prints end in #3418
  • Base Errors end in #3420 – six of these have autographed versions.
  • Base Facsimile Signatures end in #3419

Where this product shines the brightest are the on-card autographs.  Everything looks to be signed on-card, except for the ones containing nickels minted in 1968.  Those have stickers.  You’re most likely going to pull a Real One autograph.  Other autographs include Fantastic Feats, 1968 Mint, and Looming Legacy.  Although there are only four cards, the Looming Legacy autographs is the only veteran content in this product.  These are incredibly difficult to pull, but feature Manny Machado, David Ortiz, Chris Sale, and Derek Jeter in their minor league uniforms.

Game-used relics come in the form of Clubhouse Collection.  Even though I’ve only seen them online, the text on the black parallels housing patches and numbered 1/1 can be difficult to read.  Maybe that’s just me, and in person they look different.  Non-autographed 1968 Mint cards are counted as relics too.

As pop culture goes, Tim Tebow is a name that stands out on the checklist.  His card is a short print, but is much easier to pull than the one found in Pro Debut.  Bat relics of him are also in here.

If you’re a fan of minor league baseball like myself, I highly suggest giving a box a shot.  They’re quite affordable at $50 while guaranteeing at least (1) autograph and (1) relic.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Jorge Mateo
  • Jacob Heyward

Relic

  • Willie Calhoun Clubhouse Collection Blue Parallel Relic #’ed/50

Parallels

  • Jack Flaherty Blue #’ed/99
  • Francisco Rios Gray #’ed/25

Short Prints

  • Dawel Lugo #206
  • Ian Anderson #214
  • Justus Sheffield #209

Inserts

  • Scott Kingery 1968 Topps Discs #18
  • Bo Bichette 1968 Topps Discs #21
  • Sandy Alcantara 1968 Topps Discs #4
  • Ariel Jurado 1968 Topps Discs #13
  • Striker 1968 Topps Game Mascots #3
  • Sluggo 1968 Topps Game Mascots #10
  • Triston McKenzie Baseball America All-Star
  • Tyler O’Neill Baseball America All-Star
  • Kevin Newman Baseball America All-Star

Notable Base

  • Rhys Hoskins #164
  • Gleyber Torres #100
  • Clint Frazier #75

Flashback Product of the Week: 1988 Little Sun Minor League Legends

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At one time there was a small card company located in Monrovia, CA called Little Sun.  They pumped out mainly baseball card sets between 1988 and 1992.  Along with Upper Deck, Little Sun was one of the first manufacturers to include randomly inserted autographs within their products.  The first Little Sun autographed cards can be found in their 1991 High School Prospects set.  Shawn Estes, Cliff Floyd, Benji Gil, and Al Shirley all have autographs in there.  Each one is limited to (500) copies.  Of all the sets they issued, their final one gets the most attention.  The 1992 High School Prospects set not only includes a Derek Jeter base card, but an autograph as well.  Those two Derek Jeter cards are highly sought after.  Collectors are willing to spend big money for them.  Other autographs include Jason Kendall, Dave Landaker, and Chad Roper.  Each of these autographs has a (250) copy print run.  You could say that Little Sun went out with a bang with this set.  Derek Jeter is pretty much the only thing keeping the Little Sun name relevant these days.

Early on in Little Sun’s card making career, they came out with a minor league product.  The set is called 1988 Little Sun Minor League Legends.  It only features eleven cards – Checklist #1, Pete Gray #2, Ike Boone #3, Lou Novikoff #4, Luke Easter #5, Steve Bilko #6, Frank Shellenback #7, Smead Jolley #8, Jigger Statz #9, Joe Hauser #10, and Fidel Castro #11.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has a card in here.  Castro was a great athlete who enjoyed playing baseball.  The Washington Senators once held tryouts for Cuban players, but he wasn’t offered a contract.  After he came to power, Castro would occasionally pitch an exhibition game for the Barbudos.  Despite the opposing team always hitting strongly against him, nobody would dare pull Fidel Castro from the game.  Over the years, Castro has popped-up in various products.  Topps even made a few cut signatures of him.  While attending the National last summer, Iconic Auctions had a Fidel Castro signed baseball on display.

Like most of Little Sun’s sets, this one doesn’t hold much value.  You can easily find the cards for dirt cheap.  I like the artwork.  It reminds me of those Diamond Stars cards from the 1930’s.  National Chicle also comes to mind.  Artist Michael Guccione did all the artwork for these cards.

2016 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball Box Break & Review

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Minor League Baseball products are a niche market.  Just like collegiate focused sets.  In a way I believe certain baseball fans may have a deeper connection with a MiLB team compared to one from the majors.  There are a lot more minor league teams.  It makes perfect sense for fans to support the one right in their backyard.  From my experience, teams in the minors tend to have better stadium giveaways too.  Those teams usually don’t have as much money, so their bobbleheads and stuff can be made in lower quantities.

Its a thrill to see your local minor league team on a Topps card.  For me, local teams include the Harrisburg Senators, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Reading Fightin Phils, and Altoona Curve.  No Williamsport Crosscutters or State College Spikes though.  Products like this I find to be very entertaining as MiLB has some crazy team names and logos.

As is the case with MLB Heritage, it’s minor league counterpart utilizes the 1967 Topps Baseball design.  The entire set consists of (215) cards, and the last (15) are short prints.  You won’t find as many photo variations, but there are a few.  Most of them involve cards containing facsimile autographs or missing team names.  Nick Gordon #45 has a blank back, Tyler O’Neill #58 you can find holding a green bat, and Yeudy Garcia #128 can have a misspelled last name.  I believe the Garcia misspelling would be the easiest one to skip as its something that doesn’t jump out at you.

The biggest improvement is the addition of on-card autographs.  Real One Autographs are so well designed its not even funny.  The MiLB ones have gotten better over the years.  I think the 2016 ones are the best.  Sticker autographs really don’t have a place in any Heritage set.

Plain one color jersey relics aren’t much to talk about nowadays.  You’ll find lots of them in this product.  I prefer patches, especially the ones housing an entire star.  They seem to be quite affordable too after seeing what they go for on the secondary market.

Around $50 for a box isn’t that bad.  Not every single MiLB team is represented, but it does offer something a little different.  Its mainly centered on young prospects.  In the future, I would like to see more veterans make an appearance.  The Looming Legacy Autographs do offer veteran content, but they’re hard to pull.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Ariel Jurado Real One Auto

 photo ariel16thmauto_zpsnapkfdxd.jpg

Relic

  • Hunter Harvey Clubhouse Collection Peach Parallel Patch #’ed/25

 photo hunterstarpatch16thm_zpshb2ydati.jpg

Short Prints

  • Yoan Moncada #215
  • Drew Jackson #205
  • Christin Stewart #201

 photo yoan16thsp_zpsn6i6o4or.jpg

Parallels

  • Josh Sborz Peach Parallel #’ed/25
  • Victor Robles Blue Parallel #’ed/99
  • Mauricio Dubon Blue Parallel #’ed/99

 photo sborz16thmp_zpsgl9uirgm.jpg

 photo rob16thmb_zpsbvqfnhhs.jpg

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Inserts

  • Jordan Patterson Minor Miracles #1
  • Savannah Sand Gnats Minor Miracles #11
  • Mike Hessman Minor Miracles #10
  • Kyle Zimmer 1967 Topps Sticker #6
  • Andrew Stevenson 1967 Topps Sticker #22
  • Andrew Benintendi 1967 Topps Sticker #11
  • Amir Garrett 1967 Topps Sticker #16
  • Hunter Harvey 1967 Topps Sticker #28
  • Ted E. Tourist 1967 Topps Sticker #35

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Hockin ’15 Topps Heritage MiLB Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Grant Hockin 2015 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball Auto.  Good luck!!!

 photo hockin15auto_zpsqulxn8yk.jpg

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, November 27, 2015 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!