For Topps officials, it's a question of Heritage …

   For years when the hobby first started to percolate in the late 1970s and early 1980s, one of the beefs about Topps from hobby writers and editors was that the company didn’t seem interested at all in anything other than the most-recent product on the shelf.

    Even if it’s fair to say they didn’t seem to care about their heritage in 1980, I can promise you they care about their Heritage in 2008.

   Actually, the Topps guys have done a bang-up job with the Heritage line of cards since the beginning in 2001 when the first genuflection was made to the classic 1952 issue. It can be argued that Topps nailed the idea from the start, but in the ensuing years they’ve fine-tuned it even more.
When I observed that the initial information about the 2009 Heritage release (due end of February) suggests there hadn’t been much tinkering from 2008, Topps Brand Manager Clay Luraschi conceded it was probably a fair assessment.

   “It took us several years to get all of the details right,” Luraschi said, one of those rare officials who exudes a genuine enthusiasm about the hobby and its history in general and the importance of all of that to his company in particular. They’ve now got it down to matching up card numbers with modern players and the guys from the original, like making Derek Jeter No. 83 in 2009 Heritage, a cool tip of the cap to Tony Kubek, who coincidentally just earned a Hall of Fame selection to the broadcaster’s wing next year.

   “We concentrated on the look and feel of the card and manipulating the photos to give that 1960 look (2009 Heritage). It’s a great brand for us; the team loves working on it and doing all the research.”

   I’ll have more on the 2009 Heritage release in tomorrow’s blog, including additional photos and a teeny-weenie hint (maybe) about a possible exciting addition to the program that doesn’t show up in the dealer literature.

   With that I bid you to return on the morrow.

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