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Panini unveils NSCC promo cards

Posted Jul 9, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Jul 9, 2012 at 04:55 PM

Topps, Upper Deck and In The Game already have revealed their promotions for the 33rd National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore (Aug. 1-5). And on Monday, Panini America stepped up to the plate with its special cards for the event.

Stepping up to the plate is probably an odd analogy, since the four cards Panini unveiled Monday had nothing to do with baseball. That’s still a possibility, though.

Panini will showcase a six-card set that will be distributed to registered VIPs at the National. The set, styled after the Diamond Kings art cards, will include Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kyrie Irving.

That’s four cards. Panini is keeping the final two cards a mystery until the first day of the National (Aug. 1).

The cards depicting Griffin and Luck are called Gridiron Kings, Nugent-Hopkins is labeled Ice Kings, and Irving’s card designation is Court Kings. The artwork is beautifully drawn and has a feathered, layered look to it. Very attractive.

As to the identity of the other two cards? Nominees probably include Josh Hamilton, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. I could see another Court Kings card; if it was me, I’d go with Bryant. And since Hamilton is a spokesman for Panini and the four cards do not include baseball, I’d lean toward the Rangers’ star outfielder.

That puzzle will be solved on Aug. 1.

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