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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 USA Baseball Champions set

Posted Mar 23, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Mar 31, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Panini America unveiled a star-spangled preview on Saturday, as the company released details about its 2013 USA Baseball Champions product.

It’s the first set in which Panini utilizes its exclusive license with USA Baseball, and it looks like it’s going to be a colorful set.

USA Baseball Champions has a May 29 release date. Panini is promising that a hobby box will deliver two autographs, three memorabilia cards, three Mirror parallels, a USA Baseball Legends die-cut card, a National Team Mirror Red card, plus seven additional insert subsets. There will be 24 packs per box, with eight cards to a pack.

The base set will contain 187 cards that will include retired USA Baseball alumni, current USA squad members and prospects. Hot cards will include prime patch memorabilia cards—more than 1,500 and many of them 1/1 flags from jersey sleeves.

This set also will feature USA Baseball Bat Knob cards for the first time.

The Blasts From the Past insert series will include autographs of USA Baseball players from the last 35 years. Some big names include Robin Ventura, Barry Larkin, Frank Thomas and Jim Abbott.

The 2012 USA Baseball national team members are featured with Certified technology — the first-ever USA Baseball Certified cards.

The Stars & Stripes insert set will showcase autograph cards from the best players ever to suit up in Team USA uniforms, including Ken Griffey Jr. And finally, Triple Play Materials will put three game-used elements on each card: a jersey swatch, a prime jersey swatch and a piece of a bat.

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