2012 Heritage Look-Alikes
March 21st, 2012 by slangon

Well, the blogopolis (as opposed to the blogosphere, which I believe is a different country altogether) seems to have been gripped by Heritage Fever. Although I haven’t bought a pack of baseball cards in just about a year (when I bought a few packs of last years Heritage) I was a little curious and decided that I might actually cough up a couple of bucks for a pack or 2. I duly set out for my friendly neighborhood Target and headed to the card aisle, which thankfully was still where I remember it being. Nothing is more awkward than having to ask the 16 year kid who works at Target where the baseball card aisle is.

To my mild disappointment, there was nary a pack of 2012 Heritage to be seen. Not a blaster. Not a rack pack. Not even an empty display box. I’m thinking that my local Target just hasn’t gotten the new Heritage yet. (Is that an oxymoron? New Heritage?) I was rather proud of myself though. A year or two ago, if they didn’t have what I was specifically looking for I would’ve loaded up on whatever they did have just for the sake of satisfying my cardboard hunger. This time, I looked, saw they didn’t have what I wanted, turned right around and left empty handed.

Anyway, although I was mildly disappointed, I can’t say I was too terribly upset. This years Heritage does look pretty cool from what I’ve seen on the interwebs, but I think that has more to do with it being based on the 1963 Topps design than it being cool in itself. Besides, I really have no intention of trying to collect the set and was only interested in the Mets cards anyway, so it was probably for the best that they didn’t have any.

Now I can hear you saying to yourself, “Really? You’re writing a post just to tell us that you didn’t buy any cards?” Relax. I do have some cards that to show, and they do have something to do with the 2012 Heritage set. I recently acquired a small pile of vintage 1963 Mets that I was needing for my team set. What better time to show them than right after you got denied from buying cards that were designed to mimic that set?

#316 Norm Sherry

Although Norm Sherry didn’t have such a great career as a Major Leaguer himself, he is widely credited with helping out a couple of other guys who did achieve a bit of success. Before he came to the Mets, Norm was a backup catcher on the Dodgers. He is credited with being the guy who suggested to Sandy Koufax that if he didn’t throw so hard, he might be able to control his pitches a little better. After his playing days ended, Norm went on to become a coach in the Expos organization, where he taught a young catcher named Gary Carter some of the more defensive aspects of catching.

#371 Rod Kanehl

Rod Kanehl spent 3 years in the Majors, all with the Mets. He was an original Met and actually hit the first Grand Slam in franchise history, off of Bobby Shantz, who was pitching for St. Louis at the time. Although Rod wasn’t a particularly gifted baseball player, he won the affection of Mets fans, and more importantly, Casey Stengel for his hustle and attitude. When he was trying to win a roster spot during spring training, he would do things like leap over the outfield wall in pursuit of a ball or score from 2nd base on a wild pitch. This hustle earned him the nickname “Hot Rod”.

#495 Frank Thomas

Frank Thomas spent 3 years with the Mets from 1962-1964. He had a pretty long career outside of that, playing a total of 16 seasons for 7 different teams, all in the National League. He was a 3 time All-Star how finished his career with a .266 average, 286 homers and 962 RBI. Aside from being a member of the 1962 Mets, who have the dubious distinction of having the worst record in the modern baseball history at 40-120, he also played for the 1952 Pirates, who have the second worst record in modern baseball history at 42-112. As a matter of fact, during his 16 year career, he spent 7 years on teams that lost 100 or more games in a season. Geez. Talk about a bad luck charm. I’m particularly glad to be able to cross this card off of my wantlist as it is a dreaded Short Print.

#550 Duke Snider

This one absolutely blew my mind when I got the email saying that I won. See that little burn mark down at the bottom? That magically turned this card into a $2.75 card ($5.25 with shipping). That comes in especially handy when you’re talking about a card of a beloved Hall of Famer that is numbered up in the 500’s. God bless burn marks.

So those were some actual 1963 Topps cards that I was busy snatching up instead of 2012 cards that look like 1963 cards. One of the things I always enjoy doing when Heritage comes out is seeing what modern player and what old timey player match up by their card number. I can already tell you that no one will be matching up with Duke, since the Heritage base cards only go up to 500, and I believe they stopped doing the whole Heritage High Numbers thing. I was sorely disappointed with the remaining three, though. Norm Sherry shares a number with Billy Butler of the Royals, Hot Rod Kanehl shares a number with Brett Garder, of the Evil Empire, and Frank Thomas is paired up with James Shields of the Rays. I understand that you have 10 more teams that you have to fit into a set that has 76 less cards, but really? Not one of those cards matches up with a modern Met? Not too cool, Topps.

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