First Pitch: An Early Glimpse Inside Panini America’s First Two MLBPA Products
Panini America and the Major League Baseball Players Association commanded the collecting world’s attention last Thursday with the industry-rattling announcement that the two sides have agreed on a multi-year trading card agreement.
Today, Panini America officials keep the buzz going by revealing some preliminary details surrounding their first two MLBPA-licensed products: 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball and 2011 Playoff Contenders Baseball.
Elite Extra Edition is a name that’s widely embraced by America’s most passionate prospectors and the 2011 version, due out December 21, will only strengthen the product’s proud reputation.
Some preliminary highlights include . . .
- 50 on-card autograph signers, including more than 30 first-round picks, featuring first-overall pick Gerrit Cole, 2011 Golden Spikes winner Trevor Bauer, Danny Hultzen, Dylan Bundy, Bubba Starling, Anthony Rendon, Archie Bradley, Matthew Purke, Jackie Bradley Jr., Kyle Parker, Leonys Martin and Josh Bell.
- In all, there will be more than 150 prospects signing for the set.
- The first Panini America appearance of MLBPA stars such as Josh Hamilton, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Michael Pineda, Eric Hosmer and Jordan Walden among others.
“The compilation of EEE will be familiar to collectors, but there are some tweaks to the program, including more on-card autographs than ever before,” says Panini America Brand Manager Mike Payne. “EEE still is the most comprehensive baseball draft product on the market and stretches beyond just the obvious names in the first round or a few that spill into the second round – names we do have, by the way.
“By going beyond the first round, EEE has introduced the first autographs of Austin Jackson (8th round, 2005), Domonic Brown (20th round, 2006), Brandon Belt (5th round, 2009), Matt Moore (8th round, 2007) and Paul Goldschmidt (8th round, 2009) among others. That’s part of EEE’s identity.”
2011 Playoff Contenders is tentatively slated to arrive January 11 and is highlighted by . . .
- The first Panini America autographs of 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton.
- 150 prospects signing for the set, including 50 players signing on-card.
- More than 20 players making their Panini America autograph debut.
- Museum Collection parallels feature Nufex technology for each card in the Season Tickets and Rookie Tickets sets (200 players).
- Rookie Tickets Artist’s Proofs numbered to 49 and Rookie Tickets First Day Printer’s Proofs numbered to just 10.
You can get the exclusive first looks at some of the cards below. Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for additional details as they become available.