Not only is it fun for Heritage to put today’s players on the design from years past but Topps Heritage Minor League takes it further by putting most players who have not year reached the bigs on a proven card set design: this year – 1970. The color photos just pop in the white frame on top of the gray border with the player’s name in script at the bottom. Another fun thing to see is the team name in the top right corner and let’s just face it, minor league team names are nowhere like their major league counterparts in today’s game. The yellow card back may have even more of a retro feel as you get to know the player and his stats.
The checklist features 190 player base cards with names like Wander Franco, Nolan Gorman, Joey Bart, Yordan Alvarez, Royce Lewis and Austin Riley. Then add another staple of the ’70 set, the Sporting News All-Stars with 10 more cards. League Leaders has ten more cards with three players that led each stat in the minors. Beyond that, there are 20 Short Prints with cards for Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette. 220 total cards make up the checklist which is a solid number for a minor league product.
From a collectability standpoint, this set reaches the categories that collectors have. Enough cards to build a set. The nostalgia factor is huge since it is the 3rd release this year with the 1970 design. And this product is a prospector’s dream because most of the players have not made it to the show yet. Cap that off with parallels to chase and autos and relics to hit and this is for everyone even if it does focus on the minors.
Favorite Parallel/Insert Set:
Parallels are in Topps Heritage Minor League, but it is not as broad a list as many products. The base set has parallels in Blue (numbered to 99), Black (numbered to 50), Gold (1 available per case) and Red (1/1). The insert sets include Super Baseball Box Loaders (similar to the regular release with 20 cards and one per hobby box), Fantastic Feats (20-card set) and Fresh on the Scene (30-card sets). All three insert sets have the top names including Joey Bart, Wander Franco and Nolan Gorman.
One thing that Topps Heritage Minor League has an abundance of is autos and that is probably because most of these guys have not been promoted up yet and therefore are not in giant demand. Look for Real One Autographs (a Topps staple) which is 33 cards with parallels. There is also an 8-card set of Real One Dual Autographs numbered to 20. There are also Mint Relic Autographs (22 cards numbered to 10), Super Baseball Box Loader Autographs (16 cards numbered to 25), Bazooka Autographs (6 cards numbered to 50), Fresh on the Scene Autographs (20 cards numbered to 99) and Image Variation Autographs (6 cards numbered to 50). As prevalent as autos are, relics have more limits with only two sets: Mint Relics (25 cards numbered to 99 with parallels) and Clubhouse Collection Relics (30 cards with parallels).
Topps Heritage Minor League fills the bill for those that can’t get enough retro. The set itself has major upside because many of these players will be factors in the big leagues over the next few seasons. So, the potential is there for some first cards (not rookie cards) for many players on a higher-grade product than the standard base like Flagship. Savor this Heritage product until we venture into next year’s 1971 release with the black background that will be hard to keep in mint condition.
Overall Score 4.1./5.0