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Speechless Joe: A Gallery of 2011 Prime Cuts Baseball’s Historic Barrel Cards & Booklets

April 6, 2012

You want to see Panini America Director of Baseball Product Development Ben Ecklar dance a jig? Bring him a sleeve of history-making Loop 7 cards to QC before they get randomly inserted into packs of 2011 Prime Cuts Baseball.

Most days, Ecklar is reserved, soft-spoken and rarely prone to outward displays of emotion. But yesterday at the Panini America printing facility was not most days — not when one particular sleeve of cards revealed the first Shoeless Joe Jackson bat barrel card ever made.

The mere thought of seeing that card for the first time caused Ecklar to stand back, wipe his hands, do a little hop and smile in an effort to ready himself for what he was about to witness.

The Jackson card created a social media buzz Thursday morning when an image of it made the rounds following a Panini America Tweet. Beckett Baseball editor Chris Olds, in a story that appeared almost immediately on the front page of Beckett.com, called the card “as serious as it gets.”

It’s one of several bona fide history-makers in 2011 Prime Cuts Baseball that has anticipation for the product at or near frenzy level. Without question, the set’s scarce Barrel Up bat barrel insert (including the likes of Nellie Fox, Eddie Murray, Paul Waner, Jim Bottomley and Ichiro) and booklet cards (combining cut autographs and game-used memorabilia from the likes of Jim Thorpe, Jackie Robinson, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and more) are guaranteed to deliver several “Card of the Year” candidates.

Many of those are included in the gallery below.

For additional galleries of our exhaustive 2011 Prime Cuts Baseball reveal, check out the links below:

Preparing for Prime Time: Panini America Previews 2011 Prime Cuts Baseball

Prime Examples: Panini America Previews More Gems from 2011 Prime Cuts Baseball

A Panini America Easter Weekend Preview: 2011 Prime Cuts Baseball (24 New Images)

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt Gilman permalink
    April 6, 2012 12:25 pm

    I am speechless. Wow! Barrel cards are as amazing as it gets. Another great job Panini. Any of the cards from this product would be amazing to have. Probably one of the best looking baseball products I have seen in years. Should post a couple of these on Topps wall to show them how baseball cards should be made! Two thumbs up Panini!

  2. April 6, 2012 12:37 pm

    The barrels look awesome embedded in the card! How thick does that make them?

  3. April 6, 2012 1:00 pm

    Truly historic cards, excellent design and execution. These will be the buzz of the baseball collecting community in no time! Thanks for the preview Tracy!

  4. Steve McCartney permalink
    April 6, 2012 1:56 pm

    Mr. Hackler, just how high can Panini raise the bar? This has to be one of the most amazing products I have seen in oer thirty years in the hobby. I cannot imagine pulling any of the cards you have shown and I do not know if my heart would want me to. Unbelievable is all I can say. Simply unbelievable!

  5. Nick Gauder permalink
    April 6, 2012 5:18 pm

    WOW! All of the above cards are all worthy of being in a museum!!! I would just die if i pulled anyone of them!!! Nice job as always Panini!!!! When the official release date Tracy? Hopefully soon!

  6. April 6, 2012 10:57 pm

    As serious as it gets is right. Panini creating history in it’s first year with the MLBPA license. Where do you go from there?

  7. wikipediablackout permalink
    April 7, 2012 4:15 am

    I wonder if that was from the bat he used in the World Series where he helped rig? Why should anyone celebrate someone banned for life from Major League Baseball? Boggles my mind.

    • Jamey permalink
      April 8, 2012 10:27 am

      Wiki… Really? That’s an interesting response. You’re condemning Panini for crafting one of the single-most historically significant memorabilia cards in years? That sordid chapter from Baseball’s youth led directly to policies designed to prevent a repeat. Without opening a thread on who knew what when, as opposed to who participated in The Fix, Jackson defended his innocence up to, and onto, his deathbed. My second thought…question, really, is whether or not players from the Steroid era such as McGwire, Sosa, Griffey Jr, Bagwell, Biggio & Pujols offend you as Shoeless Joe does. The harm that befell the league and it’s very culture is far more expansive than that which followed in the wake of the 1919 W.S.
      There’s no right and wrong answer, Wiki, and thus…the appeal of collecting and the beauty of Sport. I’m willing to bet…and not with a Bookie, that the Shoeless Joe bat card breaks bat barrel sales records.

  8. cardncasebreaks permalink
    April 7, 2012 3:49 pm

    Wow! Wow! and Wow! As if opening a case of National Treasures last night wasn’t enough, I get to see this gallery today! Way to step up to the plate (pun intended) Panini, and deliver yet another superior product. Had a conversation with my local card dealer about how superior your products are.
    I actually reserved some of this from him this morning specifically because of this gallery. How I would love one of those 1/1 bat barrel’s! And that is a sweet Cal Ripken auto/relic card. Plus, all the former greats autographs, cut autos, and relics! Way to go!

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