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 TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Panini’s National Treasures showcasing legends
Posted Jan 7, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Panini America pulled back the curtain on more hot cards from its 2012 National Treasures set, and this high-end product is promising some big things when it hits the hobby shops on Feb. 13.
After all, an eight-card hobby box that includes eight autographs or memorabilia cards per pack — including at least one on-card signature and one booklet card — is something to get excited about.
Here are some of the stats Panini released about National Treasures. The set will have 150 “regular” cards and 75 rookies. But collectors — particularly fans of vintage players — are going to drool.
Start with a checklist that includes 77 of the 100 members of baseball’s All-Century Team, 11 Triple Crown winners (including 2012’s Miguel Cabrera) and eight .400 hitters. Panini also will debut memorabilia cards for Wee Willie Keeler, Jake Daubert, Goose Goslin, Pete Reiser, Dave Bancroft, Heine Groh, Willie Kamm and Billy Southworth.
It’s almost like reading “The Glory of Their Times.”
The Triple Crown cards will be numbered to 99 or less and will include Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx.
Button cards — featuring buttons from uniform jerseys — will be even scarcer, with subjects including Satchel Paige, Rogers Hornsby, Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson. These cards will be numbered to eight or less.
Bat knobs are going to be 1/1 cards, with the game-used bats of Honus Wagner, Ted Williams, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Roberto Clemente among those featured.
Booklets will be prevalent. The Legends Booklet cards will feature a cut signature on one side and a generously size piece of memorabilia on the other. They will be numbered to 25 or less and will feature Jim Thorpe, Dizzy Dean and Hack Wilson.
Booklet I.D. Tags cards will showcase the player I.D. tags from game-worn jerseys. These 1/1 cards will feature greats like Jackie Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson and Carlton Fisk.
Legends Booklets I.D. Tags: The player I.D. tags from game-worn jerseys give the Legends Booklets a rare 1/1 version, featuring Jackie Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, Carlton Fisk and more.
Jumbo Die-Cut Prime Signatures will feature the past and the present, with on-card autographs and large game-worn memorabilia of the game’s legends and current stars.
It’s all pretty good so far. I can imagine all the vintage possibilities, and it’s exciting.
If rookies excite you, there are several subsets to be found in National Treasures. For my money, I would have preferred keeping this set confined to all-time greats, or greats and current stars. Rookies? Not so sure how that meshes.
Rated Rookie Signature Materials Gold will feature on-card signed, jumbo-memorabilia rookie cards of players like Rays pitcher Matt Moore, Will Middlebrooks and Brett Lawrie, all numbered to 25. And Rated Rookie Prime Materials Gold will feature cards numbered to 25 of Bryce Harper and Yu Darvish.
Panini is promising more previews before National Treasures becomes available. But overall, this is a potentially exciting — and definitely expensive — product.