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Saddled with History: Panini America Adds Secretariat’s Saddle to 2012 Golden Age

December 4, 2012


Late last week, Panini America Brand Manager Mike Payne sent the following missive to me via email, shedding some light on the historic inclusion of rare Secretariat memorabilia (as well as on-card autographs from the people who likely knew the horse best) that will most certainly be an integral part of the upcoming 2012 Golden Age Baseball. I hope you find it to be as fascinating as I did.   

In 1999, ESPN presented its SportsCentury Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century list. Coming in at No. 35 was a four-legged runner: Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown thoroughbred and considered by many to be the greatest race horse in history. He was the only non-human to appear on ESPN’s list.

So dominant was Secretariat during that 1973 season that his winning times in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes still remain race records today — 39 years after the running and 23 years after the champion’s passing.

In 2012 Golden Age Baseball, Panini America will bring collectors closer to the legend than anyone ever has before by including cards containing pieces of a Secretariat workout saddle that came from the stable of legendary trainer Lucien Lauren and was passed on to one of Lauren’s stable hands as a gift from the trainer.

As far as gifts go, this one was huge. It was used by Secretariat in workouts during his two-year racing career, so it got a lot of use. It’s a significant piece of history, with few – if any – Secretariat saddles ever emerging from private ownership.

2012 Golden Age also will feature another first related to Secretariat: Autographs of Penny Chenery, the horse’s owner during his phenomenal 1973 campaign. Chenery was portrayed by actress Diane Lane in the 2010 film “Secretariat.” Chenery, known as “The First Lady of Racing,” has never signed for a trading card release but draws long lines at the rare personal appearances she makes.

In addition to the Secretariat saddle and Chenery’s on-card signatures, Golden Age features on-card autographs of the jockey aboard Secretariat during his amazing 1973 season – Ron Turcotte.

Golden Age arrives December 19 and carries a $3 SRP for each six-card pack.

To get your ready for the release, we’ve provided checklists below detailing the set’s Historic Signatures,  Historic Cut Signatures and Museum Age Memorabilia inserts. Take a look, and stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for additional sneak peeks.

Golden Age Historic Signatures Checklist

  1. Joe Garagiola
  2. Ron LeFlore
  3. Don Larsen
  4. Denny McLain
  5. Rusty Staub
  6. Fred Lynn
  7. Ron Turcotte
  8. Jean Cruguet
  9. Steve Cauthen
  10. Lou Piniella
  11. Jim Palmer
  12. Mickey Lolich
  13. Bill Madlock
  14. Penny Chenery
  15. Vida Blue
  16. Jim Ryun
  17. Ron Blomberg
  18. Nancy Lopez
  19. Al Kaline
  20. Barbara Eden
  21. Bill Walton
  22. Ralph Branca
  23. Nolan Ryan
  24. Frank Tanana
  25. Tony Oliva
  26. Boog Powell
  27. Bob Woodward
  28. Carl Bernstein
  29. John Dean
  30. Meadowlark Lemon
  31. Joe Torre
  32. Mark Spitz
  33. Al Unser
  34. Gordie Howe
  35. Maureen McCormick
  36. Bobby Allison
  37. Rollie Fingers
  38. John “Blue Moon” Odom
  39. Russell Johnson
  40. Dawn Wells
  41. Maury Wills
  42. Steve Garvey
  43. Cleon Jones
  44. Richard Petty
  45. Gene Tenace

Historic Cut Signatures

  1. Bobby Thomson
  2. Eddie Arcaro
  3. Harmon Killebrew
  4. Richard Nixon
  5. Moe Howard
  6. Ben Hogan
  7. Ted Williams
  8. Duke Snider
  9. Bob Feller
  10. George Burns

Museum Age (memorabilia cards)

  1. Titanic/wood
  2. Burleigh Grimes/pants
  3. Dizzy Dean/glove
  4. Eddie Collins/bat
  5. Charlie Chaplin/jacket
  6. Arky Vaughn/bat
  7. Johnny Weissmuller/jacket
  8. Vida Blue/jersey
  9. Lou Piniella/pants
  10. Ava Gardner/dress
  11. Rusty Staub/bat
  12. Sam Snead/golf bag
  13. Grace Kelly/coat
  14. Minnie Minoso/bat
  15. Mary Pickford/dress
  16. Ken Boyer/bat
  17. Rod Carew/bat
  18. Richard Petty/pants
  19. Bobby Allison/shirt
  20. Secretariat/saddle
  21. Billy Martin/game jacket
  22. Dave Parker/jersey
  23. Reggie Jackson/bat
  24. Maureen McCormick/shirt
  25. Ted Williams/jersey
  26. Jayne Mansfield/dress
  27. Ron Turcotte/jacket
  28. Nap Lajoie/bat
  29. Carole Lombard/dress
  30. Bill Madlock/jersey
  31. Dawn Wells/shirt
  32. Russell Johnson/shirt
  33. Duke Ellington/suspenders
  34. Luis Aparicio/pants
  35. Gary Carter/bat
  36. Joe Torre/jersey
  37. Rudolph Valentino/hat
  38. Thurman Munson/jersey
  39. Nellie Fox/bat
  40. Pee Wee Reese/jersey
21 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew McKay permalink
    December 4, 2012 11:30 am

    Wow, that list of names is amazing.

  2. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    December 4, 2012 12:00 pm

    Really digging the checklist. I had to Saddle down after seeing these pics as well.

  3. Eric Cabreros permalink
    December 4, 2012 12:03 pm

    This is great!
    The List is awesome.
    Thanks Panini for bringing hard to find autos and memorabilia and bringing it to the hobby world. I’m amazed by all the great ideas done so far! Thumbs up!

  4. December 4, 2012 12:31 pm

    Glad to see Moe Howard cut sig on there! Looks good!!

  5. hudsonfan15 permalink
    December 4, 2012 1:15 pm

    EPIC list of signatures and memorabilia for the upcoming release, I bet you spread the word around the office until your throat was….horse. See what I did there? Thanks Tracy!

    • December 4, 2012 1:19 pm

      I do. And I like it!

      • December 4, 2012 1:22 pm

        I thought Tracy was just trotting out images for the home stretch of waiting for the product to get out of the starting gate.

  6. Bailey permalink
    December 4, 2012 1:20 pm

    Im a huge horse racing fan! Man where do you guys come up with this stuff! Keep up the good work

  7. December 4, 2012 3:01 pm

    Yea, loving the horse racing cards. As a kid growing up in Arcadia I remember waiting in the tunnel at Santa Anita after races trying to get spare goggles and autos. I remember Martin Pedroza always tell me no goggle! no goggle! with out me asking him, haha he knew who I was I spent so much time there, luckily he was the only mean jockey. Now as an adult its not the same to ask for autos. So, its great to see products like this out on the market with such cool horse racing mem/autos. you guys should get some jockey boots from some of the greatest shoemaker, pincey, baze, and bailey and make some memorabilia cards from them. Anyways I could talk all day horse racing…Thank you panini for putting out this great product Cant wait! Much love from Arcadia, CA (home of the 2012 breeders cup)

  8. jason smith permalink
    December 4, 2012 4:24 pm

    hey tracy any ideal how much a hobby box will cost and how many pack and are there any guarantee hits per box thank you

    • December 4, 2012 4:42 pm

      It’s $3 per pack and there are 24 packs per box. Each box should deliver one autograph and one memorabilia card.

      • December 4, 2012 6:45 pm

        Sounds reasonable. Worth a try with Christmas coming! Gotta get the regular 3 Stooges cards at least!

  9. December 4, 2012 6:49 pm

    My daughter is really looking forward to the Secretariat cards-are there going to be regular versions (non-auto, non-mem)??

  10. December 4, 2012 9:49 pm

    Reblogged this on 99goals and commented:

  11. Jeff J. permalink
    December 4, 2012 11:25 pm

    Will it have a retail component?

  12. Jeffery permalink
    December 5, 2012 8:36 am

    whoaa! This is a pretty neat set indeed. Not only the saddle (I can see it being a major chase card now after reading this post), but the fact that you can get the pieces of wood from the Titanic is pretty cool, (albeit the event itself was rather tragic). When I have some spending allowance I like picking up cards like Panini Heroes and Legends and Americana just to shake things up a bit. I think I might try one of these too if I save up enough!
    Thanks for the post Tracy!


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