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Bob D’Angelo

Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.

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Panini gives sneak peek at Hometown Heroes baseball

Posted Jul 24, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Jul 24, 2013 at 05:07 PM

Panini America previewed its Hometown Heroes baseball set on Wednesday. The company promised that the product, which will be released in early October, will contain some “old-school design quirks,” throwback looks and a fair amount of fun.

With a 300-card base set and some interesting inserts and autograph cards, Hometown Heroes could be a fun set.
A hobby box will contain 12 packs per box, with 24 cards to a pack. I enjoy opening packs, but there always seems to be something more exciting when you open a thicker pack. Panini said there will be three autograph cards per box and three SportDiscs.
Inserts will include State parallels, with five per hobby box; one ZIP Codes parallel; three Curtain Call cards; tw0 City Hall parallels; plus two Defining Moments, one Nickname, one Rivalry and one Homegrown Heroes per box.

In total, there are three autographs and 19 inserts per hobby box. So, each of those brick packs should have something interesting.

One card Panini showcased was a Left Their Marks autograph card of Roger Clemens. Seems kind of ironic, since Clemens’ mark on the game probably will be what he may or may not have done outside the lines. It’s up to you to believe what his final mark on the game will be. For its part, Panini notes that “players can leave a mark with fans in different ways, both on and off the field,” pointing to players who sprinted on the field or did back flips.

Scripted Legacy autographs combines a Hall of Famer’s signature and that player’s photo set against a backdrop of that immortal’s induction speech. And Hometown Signatures is an on-card autograph of a current player with a strong following.

Nicknames will be a set that explores the colorful names given to players through the years, from Dr. K to Joey Bats. Fun stuff.

Because of licensing issues, Panini has to airbrush logos and cannot refer to the team name on the card, resorting to labels like “Boston Baseball Club,” for example. But it does have the Hall of Fame licensing rights, and Panini has shown great creativity with its display of players enshrined in Cooperstown.

We’ll see if it carries over to Hometown Heroes.

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