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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Retail ramblings: Panini Prizm baseball
Posted Jul 6, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Jul 6, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Here’s a retail rambling, as I decided to purchase a pack of Panini America’s Prizm baseball today. Granted, the product came out a few months ago, but I was curious to see what a retail pack would yield.
I bought it at Target, and the price was $2.99 per pack. A retail pack will contain four cards, and the wrapper depicts Angels star Mike Trout.
Although Panini touts this set as having Prizm technology, it still reminds me a lot of Topps Chrome. The difference, though, is that when you tilt the card, even the uniform creases stand out because of the etchings in the card. The card face is smooth, but you almost want to rub your finger across it because you believe there are ridges there. The etchings that make up this Prizm technology is deceptively effective.
Because Panini does not have an exclusive license with Major League Baseball, team names and logos have to be omitted and/or obscured. This is definitely a drawback, and it almost looks silly when you read Doug Fister’s base card and learn he is with the “Detroit Baseball Club.” That kind of designation is charming with retro-look products like Allen & Ginter, for example, but it seems like a stumbling block with newer product. However, you have to make do with your limitations, so Panini can be forgiven for this awkward phrasing.
Panini also puts a disclaimer in small type on the back of every card that reads “ Panini America, Inc., is in no way affiliated with either Major League Baseball or Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. nor have these trading cards been prepared, approved, endorsed or licensed by either Major League Baseball or Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.”
To offset that, Panini has a logo in the upper right-hand corner of the front of retail base cards (and on the upper left-hand corner on the card backs) that reads “MLB Players Choice.” I didn’t know a poll was conducted on the subject, but I might have missed it.
There were three base cards and an insert in the pack I bought. The insert was a Rookie Relevance card of Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish. There’s a nice action shot of the right-hander, and the background design of small silver tiles looks like it has some texture — but it doesn’t, the surface is smooth.
This was a nice card to get in a pack, since a hobby box contains two and a retail box has one. So the odds fell in my favor on this insert.
The card back photo is a horizontally cropped version of the front one. The statistics are clear and concise and reflect the player’s 2012 effort and his career totals. The information under the player’s name notes his position and his uniform number — Kris Medlen’s card, for example, lists him as “Pitcher/Number 54.
Not a bad pack of cards. More retail ramblings to come later, since I bought four different packs today.