The annual trip back in time on baseball cards is nearly here as 2017 Topps Heritage arrives on March 1 with a new look at the famed (or is it infamous?) burlap design of 1968 Topps.
Part of that package are variations that are based on errors and variations from the original set that it seeks to replicate (at least in part) with players of today.
The 1968 set has just 11 cards with uncorrected errors or situations where mistakes were corrected to create variations, so perhaps Topps will have to change gears and just create errors that “feel right” given mistakes from any of the past years not just this one.
Another oddity from 1968 that could force this move? Many of the errors are on checklists, which are not typically put into sets today. If there are checklists on the forthcoming 2017 Topps Heritage checklist? Then we know they are in play.
Here’s a rundown of the cards with mistakes from 1968 Topps … with updated comments since we now have the 2017 Topps Heritage checklist in hand.
10 — 1967 AL Pitching Leaders Lonberg on the error, Lonborg on the correction. Leaders cards are always a bit more complicated so I’d expect this one to be emulated in some way. Update: Yep, there’s an American League pitching leaders card on the 2017 checklist.
107 — Second Series checklist Juan Marichal One has wide mesh, other has fine mesh. This is something simple that could be done on a number of cards throughout the 2017 release. Update: There aren’t checklists on the 2017 checklist. This card number is Roberto Osuna of the Toronto Blue Jays.
177 — Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman This uncorrected error comes on the best card in the set — you can bank on some type of similar mistake in this year’s set. The true tell-tale will be which rookies are on card No. 177 in the 2017 set. We’ll know once a checklist arrives with New York Mets “Rookie Stars” in tow. Update: Bingo! This year’s card is of Mets rookies Gavin Cecchini and Robert Gsellman, whose last name is, well, unusual.
192 — Third Series checklist Carl Yastrzemski One version reads “To increase the” on the back, while another says “To increase your” on the back. It’s something simple that could also be done in the 2017 set — if there are cards with these ads. (May not happen.) Update: Zack Cozart is the card here for 2017.
196 — Gary Nolan This is an uncorrected error on his birthdate, which should be May 27, 1948. We’ve seen other errors like this pop up in past Heritage releases. Update: Giants infielder Brandon Crawford gets the card this year.
247 — Johnny Bench/Ron Tompkins The Hall of Famer’s Rookie Card has a simple typo. This one could be emulated but my gut feeling is that it won’t — unless a pair of Cincinnati Reds appear on the 2017 version of card No. 247. Update: There’s no RC on 247 this year. It’s Odubel Herrera.
278 — Fourth Series checklist Orlando Cepeda One version has the copyright line on the left, while another has it on the right. Update: Card No. 278 this year is Jeurys Familia. Maybe we’ll get misspelled names on all these cards that don’t mirror the 1968 set?
356 — Fifth Series checklist Ken Holtzman One has his head centered in the circle, while another has his head couching the border. Update: Huston Street is the 2017 card — his first name could make for an easily intentional typo.
400 — Mike McCormick The only traditional color mistake in the set is on this card where the rare one is white and the other is yellow. You can expect color swaps to be common in this year’s set as they’ve been done regularly the last few years. Update: Card No. 400 is Clayton Kershaw. Perhaps we’ll get a similar error.
454 — Sixth Series checklist Frank Robinson It’s a subtle variation but looking at his chin in relation to the border is how to spot it easiest. Update: No checklists but Dustin Pedroia on this one for 2017.
518 — Seventh Series checklist Clete Boyer — The corrected version reads Major League Rookies for card No. 539, while the error reads American League Rookies. Update: The 2017 set ends with card No. 500 … so we’ll have to wait and see on this one.
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