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Legendary Ichiro Inks History-Making First Autographs for Panini America (Gallery)

December 4, 2014

Panini America 2014-15 Ichiro BuyBacks (3)

From the day he first stepped foot on a major league diamond with the Seattle Mariners way back in 2001, Ichiro was a sweet-swinging, seemingly-overnight sensation. He was a national hero in Japan who traveled to the U.S. and became an international phenomenon during his debut season, becoming just the second player ever to win Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in the same season.

In the years since, the one-named wonder has produced a litany of jaw-dropping accomplishments. A single-season record 262 hits in 2004 . . . 2,844 career hits . . . two American League batting titles . . . 10 straight seasons of 200 or more hits . . . 10 All-Star Game nods (including game MVP honors in 2007 on the strength of authoring the midsummer classic’s first-ever inside-the-park home run) . . .   10 Gold Gloves . . . three Silver Sluggers. Indeed, Ichiro has accomplished just about everything in his Hall of Fame-worthy career.

One thing Ichiro had never done before, though, is sign autographs for Panini America. But that changed in a huge way recently when the decorated superstar sat down to autograph a meaningful allotment of original Buyback cards from past Donruss-branded releases for insertion in upcoming products.

The first of those milestone cards — a limited number of hard-signed Classics Baseball Buybacks from 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 — were randomly inserted into 2014 Classics Baseball.

In the months ahead, Panini America will continue incorporating limited quantities of Ichiro Buyback autographs, including many that are showcased in the must-see gallery below. Enjoy this first extended first look at these instant-classic cards and stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for continued coverage.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2014 1:36 pm

    One of these will be a “must have” Great to have them in Panini!

  2. Living the dream in Hawaii permalink
    December 4, 2014 1:54 pm

    This is nice to see Panini. I have been collecting Ichiro cards for some time for my Son. I alway’s enjoy the Panini updates. Keep up the excellent work!

  3. December 4, 2014 2:22 pm

    Very cool to see autographed versions of those classic Ichiro cards I pulled from packs back in the day.

  4. December 4, 2014 6:16 pm

    Ichiro’so MLB accomplishments are really astounding; his 3,000 career hit will come this year barring the unforseeable, and when one considers the fact that he didn’t don a Mariner uni until he was 28? His numbers are mind-boggling.
    The full run of Ichiro’s cards through the years…all the Leaf & Donruss brands, beautiful!
    Okay, so his autograph looks like he’s trying to get a dry-pen to write again, but these are significant cards.
    Really nice job, Panini!

  5. steve permalink
    December 5, 2014 7:59 am

    Sharp signature!
    I have never heard Ichiro described as “sweet-singing”, did not even knows he sings!
    Learn something new everyday : )

    • December 5, 2014 10:58 am

      D’oh! Nice catch. I have amended my egregious error. Who knows, he could be a crooner.

  6. December 5, 2014 10:13 am

    i like is

  7. December 6, 2014 10:06 am

    Truly legendary signing, I think interest in 2014 Classics just went waaaaaaay up! Thanks Tracy!

  8. Peter buonocore permalink
    June 9, 2018 12:56 pm

    I opened a pack and got a signed crowning moment 2005 Ichiro card. I cant find it listed anywhere??

    What is it, and what does buyback card mean??


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