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2023 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball: A Comprehensive Throwback Collection with Modern Twists

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The 2023 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball collection, scheduled for release in the week of December 13, adds a festive touch to the annual retro-themed series. This year's edition, continuing the tradition of the Heritage line, features hobby boxes that contain 24 packs, each with nine cards. Each box includes an autograph or relic card and a box loader card placed atop the packs.

The base set of this collection, mirroring the 1974 Topps design, extends the standard 500-card Heritage set released earlier in the year. It includes a high number set ranging from card number 501 to 700, with an additional 25 short prints (numbered 701-725) that collectors will eagerly seek to complete their set. This set will feature rookies who made their debut during the season and players who transferred to new teams.

The base card parallels add a unique touch to the collection, with options including Black Bordered (limited to 50, hobby boxes only), Flip Stock (limited to 5, hobby only), and various Chrome Parallels featuring 50 players. These Chrome Parallels include Refractor (numbered to 673), Silver Bordered (numbered to 373), Black Bordered (numbered to 73), Gold Bordered (numbered to 5, hobby only), and Superfractor (numbered to 1). A Hot Box Refractor will also be available. Additionally, there are base card variations like the Missing Signature, Throwback Uniform, Action Image (hobby only), and Team Name and Color Swap (hobby only).

Topps has hinted at more surprises related to the base set, adding to the anticipation. Collectors can also find 50 Mini Base Card Variations, each sequentially numbered to 100, and traded/signed stamped variations.

The insert sets in this collection are diverse, including Rookie Performers with 15 first-year players, Now and Then (pairing highlights from 1973 and 2022), Combo Cards with thematic pairings, Award Winners for 2021 performances, 1974 Highlights showcasing iconic moments and players from the 1974 season, The Hammer (celebrating Hank Aaron's home run record in April 1974), and 1974 Topps Baseball Stamps, which are a nod to the original version featuring modern stars and era-specific players.

The autograph section starts with Real One Autographs, featuring on-card signatures in blue ink. Red Ink versions, or “Special Edition,” will be numbered to 73 or less. A new addition to the High Number series is the 1974 MLB Highlights Autographs, capturing moments from the 1973 MLB All-Star Game, signed by the featured player and numbered to 99 or less.

Relic and Autographed Relic cards continue as a standard feature in the Heritage series. The Clubhouse Collection relics include game-used uniform and bat piece cards, along with autographed versions numbered to 25 or less. Gold parallels of the non-autographed Clubhouse cards will be numbered to 99, with 1/1 Patch parallels also available for both signed and unsigned cards. Serial numbered Dual, Triple, and Quad Relics will be available, with 1/1 patch parallels included.

The checklist also features Cut Signature cards of former big leaguers and 70s celebrities, all as 1/1s.

Exclusive to Hobby boxes, the box loaders in the 2023 Heritage High Number collection will include one of four options: 1974 Topps Oversized (oversized versions of the 2022 Base cards), 1974 Topps Puzzles (paying homage to the 1974 Topps puzzles with current stars), 1974 Topps Deckle Edge Baseball, and 1974 Topps Originals (authentic 1973 Topps cards with a foil stamp added).

In summary, the 2023 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball collection is a comprehensive and nostalgically themed set that combines the charm of 1974 Topps designs with modern players and current season highlights. Its array of base cards, parallels, variations, inserts, autographs, relics, and box loaders make it an appealing and diverse collection for both seasoned collectors and newcomers to the hobby.

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