Buzz Break: 2017 Topps Heritage High Number baseball cards (blaster box)

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The box: 2017 Topps Heritage High Number baseball cards (blaster box)
Where to buy:

Packs per box: 8
Cards per pack: 9
Cards in this box: 72
Base set completion: 
64 of 200 (32 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Notables on base cards – Joey Gallo, Michael Wacha

Rookie Cards (18) – Rob Segedin, Jorge Bonifacio, Mauricio Cabrera, Ty Blach, Allen Cordoba, Jorge Alfaro, Seth Lugo, J.T. Riddle, Stuart Turner, Adalberto Mejia, Sal Romano, Jose Osuna, Jose Martinez, Anthony Alford, Gabriel Ynoa, Chih-Wei Hu, Josh Smoker, Reynaldo Lopez

Inserts/short-prints: 8 (all in gallery below)
Error variations (1) – Jesse Winker
1968 Topps Discs (1) – Justin Verlander
Short-prints (Nos. 701-725) (3) – Greg Holland, Pablo Sandoval, Edwin Diaz
Now & Then (1) – Aaron Judge
Rookie Performers (1) – Orlando Arcia
Award Winners (1) – 
Corey Seager

Autographs/Memorabilia: None

What’s Buzz-worthy: Statistically, this box delivered a big card — an error variation that’s one in every 461 packs where the color of the team name is yellow instead of white — but it really didn’t wow me like it should have. Variations are always a chase in Heritage and this one is a card that’s every 58 boxes and of a rookie with a solid minor-league career but it just didn’t wow me. Perhaps that’s from some high expectations after standard Heritage this year — a release I bought like no previous version in terms of volume. High Number has historically been a release that doesn’t always have the strongest base checklist, which makes the typical breaks just not as flashy. That’s the case here. There were plenty of rookies here, but no appearance from the best one, a thankfully-not-SP Cody Bellinger. The inserts included appearances from Aaron Judge and Corey Seager, which helped, but the base cards excluding rookies were highlighted by Joey Gallo and … well, is he even really a highlight with that batting average and years on cardboard? Autographs are arguably the biggest deal in this release (some amazing cards in this one) and oddly the red-ink versions are easier to pull here (1:537) than the standard ink (1:904) — and the auto odds here are about three times higher than in the first series. (Hopefully the ink is more plentiful in hobby than it was in the first series and that’s what caused this.) Relics aren’t an easy pull in this one, either, at one in every 69 packs for the basic cards, another stat that makes this one a stiffer rip. If the base set were larger and loaded with a second base card for top stars (why not?) or some types of subsets showcasing alternate/throwback uniforms on a regular basis with a larger set, maybe this would be more fun of a rip. Right now, it seems boom or bust with Bellinger and ink. There’s plenty of good stuff in here — Superfractors, Relics, Derek Jeter autos, Hall of Famer autos, Bellinger ink — but you’ll need luck on your side to hit it big from a blaster. Heritage has always been one of my favorite brands but this one looks like a harder break than even last year, which I tore into often, knowing that I was fighting the odds hoping for ink. The burlap got me good this year, but I may wait and see on ripping a lot more — perhaps a hobby box (ripped here soon) will elevate some of my thoughts with this one. We’ll see.

Product Grade: B (thanks to the autographs)
Box Grade:
 A (thanks to the variation)
Fun Grade: C (thanks to … Joey Gallo?)

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