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Ric Flair autographs will be Americana retail exclusive

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Panini America revealed to Beckett Media on Monday its plans for the first pack-released certified autograph card of retired professional wrestling legend “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

The 16-time world champion will appear in the 2009 Donruss Americana set as a retail-only short-print card, No. SP1, and there will be just 225 signed copies of the card randomly inserted into packs of the non-sport set.

ric-flair_back“Panini is incredibly excited to be producing the legendary Ric Flair’s first certified autographed card,” said Panini America Marketing Manager Scott Prusha. “Flair is a piece of American history and fits perfectly into the theme of Americana. We hope collectors enjoy chasing this historic trading card.”

As part of its deal with Flair, the company also obtained a red pair of match-worn trunks, which did not make the release as memorabilia cards. They will be used for a future product.

The card will be Flair’s first certified autograph as he never signed with past World Wrestling Entertainment or World Championship Wrestling card licensees Fleer or Topps during his 38-year wrestling career.

In its third year, Americana is set for release on June 3 with a more collector-friendly suggested retail price of $25 per hobby pack.

See more on the set here and here.

Earlier Monday, Beckett Media’s Flair autographed promo card contest winners were announced. You can see the winners here. Only 15 copies of that card were made.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

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