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 Triple Play baseball returns in March
Posted Dec 14, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM
After resurrecting Triple Play baseball for the 2012 season, Panini America is ready for an encore. Triple Play traditionally was geared toward the younger collector, with affordable packs and sights around the baseball park that went beyond mere pictures of baseball stars. Temporary tattoos, stickers and Eye Blacks were among the highlights.
Panini is promising that the 2013 edition, which will be released in late March, will feature more tattoos, Eye Blacks, and an influx of newer stars. The best part is that the packs will only cost 99 cents apiece.
Every hobby box of Triple Play will contain 24 packs, with seven cards to the box. Included in each box, on average, will be plenty of inserts: two When I Was a Kid inserts, 15 red- and six blue-bordered stickers and three Cartoon stickers. There also will be four Baseball 101 inserts, two Traditions, eight Panini All-Star cards and eight tattoos.
Panini broke tradition from the original Triple Play concept by providing memorabilia cards, but the Reel Feel idea went over well (given the price of a pack, why wouldn’t collectors like that, even if the relics fall one in every other box?). The Real Feel relics return in 2013, with relics spread across six categories — jerseys, bats, batting gloves, fielding gloves, bases and pants. Panini is promising more colors swatches this season.
The Eye Blacks will have 20 different designs, with players’ names, nicknames and the Rated Rookie logo included on selected cards. There are four stickers to each Eye Black card.
Tattoos are returning with a new twist for 2013, depicting players. There also will be a larger variety of tattoo cards to collect.
The When I Was a Kid insert allows players to recount childhood baseball memories and to reveal what the game meant to them while growing up.
Finally, Panini has chosen 30 of the majors’ top players for a new All-Star insert.
Colorful, diverse, interesting and affordable. Those are the kind of attributes that will attract younger collectors. Triple Play appears on the right track to satisfying that niche again.