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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 previews Preferred Basketball

Posted Nov 30, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 10:16 PM

anini America unveiled some images Friday for its upcoming Preferred Basketball set, which is scheduled to be released in early March. If you like autographs and booklets, this high-end product should pique your interest.

A hobby box for this set will contain four cards — three autograph cards and one booklet card that will include either six or eight players. Since last year’s booklets contained uniform swatches, I am guessing that will be the case for the 2012-13 product.

More than 250 different players signed for Preferred Basketball, and every autograph in the new set will be numbered to 99 or less.

The debut product in 2011-12 featured triangular die-cut Panini’s Choice and Crown Royale autographs, along with Silhouette Signatures. Those return for the new product, but Panini is adding rookie cards into the mix.

This set will continue Panini’s Double Rookie Class concept, in which rookies from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 set are combined. For Preferred Basketball, each rookie will be featured in three different subsets: Rookie Silhouettes, Panini’s Choice and Crown Royale.

Boxes ran in the $200 range for last year’s product. There is plenty of risk and reward involved when buying a high-end product like this. On the one hand, a nice low-numbered autograph of Panini spokesman Kobe Bryant or a Hall of Famer is a plus. Or, even a hot rookie autograph. But as in every product one buys, you are rolling the dice.

But that’s the excitement of buying a high-end product. You might not get who you want, but the possibility always exists. So you could say, after opening a box of Preferred Basketball in March, “I paid only $200 for this,” or “I paid $200 for that?”
It just depends.

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