Topps released its annual Heritage set a few weeks back. The 2012 edition covers the 1963 set, which is best known for including the Pete Rose rookie card.
The Rose rookie is perhaps one of the top 10 most noteworthy cards in collecting history, and definitely one of the top 10 fugliest…
Overall though, the 1963 Topps set is a nice one, full of bold primary colors on the fronts and classic line-drawn cartoons on the backs.
Topps has done a fine job of reproducing the 1963 experience with this Heritage set, even going so far as to include new versions of the Peel-Offs stickers that were inserted in the original wax packs. (In a bit of semantic fiddling, these Heritage versions are called Stick-Ons.)
The Stick-Ons include a registered trademark symbol following the team name on the card fronts; the Peel-Offs did not.
The backs of the Stick-Ons include a card number, detailed copyright and licensing text, and a single instance of instructions: “1. Peel off back. 2. Place All-Stars on books, walls, bikes, anything!” (Somewhat charmingly, the printing of these instructions mimics that of the Peel-Offs, right down to the stray ink lines and the crude player drawings, one of which looks like a rough caricature of Don Mossi, if such a thing is possible.) The backs of the Peel-Offs contained nothing but the instructions, repeated multiple times as space and trimming allowed.
The Peel-Offs were split down the middle on the reverse, allowing Kennedy-era kids to peel away the two separate pieces of backing to expose the sticker surface; the Stick-Ons peel away from the corners. (I just verified this with a Justin Upton Stick-On, which is now affixed to the cover of a copy of last week’s New York Times Magazine. The sacrifices I make for you people…)
Next week: a closer look at the regular 2012 Heritage set