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Panini’s 2013 Golden Age preview includes some good cards—and some Evel ones

Posted Mar 5, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Apr 6, 2013 at 07:58 PM

I thought Panini America did a nice job with its 2012 Golden Age Baseball set.

It had an eclectic mix of subjects, excellent, descriptive writing on the card backs, on-card autographs and relics that included sports figures to Hollywood stars. And any card set that includes the Three Stooges — and Golden Age did last year — is a winner in my book.

Tuesday, Panini announced plans for its second Golden Age Baseball set, which will hit the stores in late June. Once again, expect diversity as the 2013 set will pay tribute not only to baseball’s greats, but also to stars of the screen and television, politicians, historical figures.

Plus, some positively Evel cards.

Daredevil driver Evel Knievel will be one of the subjects featured in this year’s set, and several of the autographs will feature Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra, boxers Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns, and legendary comic book artist Stan Lee. There will even be an autograph card of Bo Derek; I am hoping that Panini had the foresight to make this card a 10 — as in assigning it card No. 10 in the set. Seems like a natural to me.

Panini is also expanded its Three Stooges cards from four in 2012 to nine inserts in 2013.  I am certainly (or should I say, soitenly) a hardcore Stooges fan, so Moe, Larry and Curly are naturals. I am wondering if Shemp, Joe Besser and Joe DeRita will be included; after all, they also played the “third stooge” role. Just not as well as Curly, although Shemp certainly had his moments.

Golden Age will have a 150-card base set, and the mini parallel set will have six different variations on the backs of the cards. Making their insert debut this year: Bread for Energy (10 cards), Tip Top Bread Labels (10 cards) and Golden Age Playing Cards (52 cards plus two jokers).

Panini is promising that a typical hobby box should yield one Historic Signatures card, a Museum Age Memorabilia card, 24 mini parallels, two Bread for Energy cards, a Three Stooges insert, one Tip Top Bread Label insert, eight Golden Age Playing Cards, two Delong Gum inserts and one Exhibit box topper.

A quick word about Delong Gum cards. The originals were issued in a 24-card set in 1933 by the DeLong (note the spelling) Co. of Boston and are also known as R333 cards. These were among the first cards to include gum in the packs. The photos of the players were black and white and were placed against a color background. Players were shown in various action poses and in the middle of a miniature baseball diamond, giving them a larger-than-life appearance.

The rarest card in the original set is probably No. 7, of Lou Gehrig.

Exhibit card box toppers will pay tribute to the cards produced from 1947 to 1966 by the Exhibit Supply Co. of Chicago. This year’s model will feature 40 different cards.

It definitely looks like another interesting mix of cards.

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