The Heat is on — LeBron James’ back and now cardboard, too.
Panini America, the only officially licensed manufacturer of NBA trading cards has unveiled the first card of James in his new uniform, a card that will only be found at the National Sports Collectors Convention next month in Baltimore, Md.
Collectors who open five packs of current Panini NBA or NFL cards at the company’s booth during the show will receive a pack of cards specially made for the event that runs Aug. 4-8 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
James is one of 50 athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL and college baseball ranks who will appear in the company’s National set. There will be rarer Green and Blue parallels (rarer versions numbered to 50 and 25 respectively) of the card to be found as well.
Also to be found in the set? Chris Bosh’s first Heat card, too.
Historically, a high-profile player’s first few cards showing him with his new team command serious attention. For example, Michael Jordan‘s first standard-issue (not limited) Washington Wizards cards routinely sold for $25 apiece around the time of his arrival in Washington, said Beckett Basketball Senior Market Analyst Keith Hower.
“It will probably be the most popular card on the market,” Hower said of the first James Heat card. “And most likely the most expensive base card of the year.”
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.