McMurray: Topps Heritage set pays tribute to 1968 Topps

From SABR member John McMurray at Sports Collectors Digest on March 27, 2017:

If the measure of any retrospective card set is solid presentation, a thoughtful approach, and fidelity to the original, then the 2017 Topps Heritage baseball card set is certainly a success.

With cards in the design of the 1968 Topps set, the images in this year’s ‘base’ Heritage card set would fit in well with the many poses and portraits in that vintage issue. Beyond that, the 2017 Topps Heritage set contains sharp photography and benefits from quality production. It would be a strong addition to anyone’s collection.

Topps Heritage sets have almost uniformly been top sellers. In this year’s edition, it is hard to find a photo that is not well-focused, which is a real step up from the sometimes less than sharp images in the original set. Since so many photos have blue skies in the background—just like they did in 1968—the cards have a colorful appeal that truly stands out.

In an era where action photos abound in card sets, the Heritage set consists almost entirely of posed images. It includes dozens of portraits, players posing with bats on their shoulders, and pitchers about to start their windups. The repetition leads to a number of cards where poses are virtually indistinguishable. No photos, other than on the World Series cards, are of game action. At the same time, in this context, the approach works.

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Originally published: March 29, 2017. Last Updated: March 29, 2017.