First look: 2013 Leaf Ichiro Immortals Collection baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you’ve been waiting patiently for Ichiro Suzuki baseball cards, you now have your high-end chance with 2013 Leaf Ichiro Immortals Collection. 

Unveiled by Leaf Trading Cards on Wednesday, the product will include four base cards and one autograph per box when it arrives in early December. A suggested retail price was not announced, but dealer cost from Leaf is $550 per box and only 300 hand-numbered boxes will be released.

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The base set’s cards will be limited to 51 serial-numbered copies with parallels limited to 20, five and one. There also will be printing plates. Immortal autos will be parallel autos of the base set limited to either five or one copy apiece.

Most autographed inserts will be limited to either five or one copy per card. Among them are Pendulum, record book booklets, Accolades, Ichiro Signatures, dual jersey autos, triple mem autos, 200-hit autos, Letterman autos, Kanji Letterman autos, jumbo patch autos, jumbo jersey autos, patch booklet autos and bat booklets.

Among the 1/1 inclusions being packed out in this one include Legacy booklets that pair Ichiro with past greats including Babe Ruth, Mel Ott, Lou Gehrig, Honus Wagner, Pete Rose, Hideo Nomo and others. Also to be found in the product is a single bat knob auto.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

 

 

20 Comments

  1. Joe
    Posted Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    A few of these cards looks like UD Ultimate Collection

  2. David Johnson
    Posted Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    $550 seems high for 1 auto and 4 base cards, but it won’t surprise me to see this product sell out. Hopefully they don’t follow it up next year with a cheaper version with more autos (like they did with the Pete Rose blasters last year).

  3. chrisolds
    Posted Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    David: That’s the price that dealers pay. Collectors can expect to pay more.

  4. David Brewer
    Posted Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    So basically there keeping the Ichiro Auto market auto. I like Ichiro but I really dont want to pay 600 dollars for 1 of his autographs and 4 base cards of Ichiro. Everytime I see a Ichiro auto or patch I just keep scrolling on by it because its way out of my price range.

  5. idiocratic
    Posted Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    looks like they stole designs from topps 5 star and ud exquisite. but it’s still leaf….

  6. Posted Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 01:11 PM | Permalink

    Wow. If only all I had to buy was baseball cards.

  7. Richard
    Posted Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 03:04 PM | Permalink

    Yes, a bit pricey, but still a better value than much that is out there.
    I paid a good sum to get the Ichiro Patch/99 that they did for draft and have no regrets.
    At least the “worst” you get is an Ichiro autograph which beats the heck out of a lot of products
    where you end up with cards you can’t come close to getting your money back out

    The hits you do get with the Bat knob, Babe Ruth auto, and the like will certainly command a premium.

  8. Gregg
    Posted Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 05:26 PM | Permalink

    I think if you look at the sale price of ichiro signatures numbered much higher than these, you will conclude the value proposition is very good, probably better then 95% of products at this price point. These will present Ichiro signatures much nicer and elegant then done before with themes that will appeal overseas and in the US.

  9. Pete
    Posted Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 09:27 PM | Permalink

    The lack of a MLB logo (Yankees & Mariners) kills this product.

    I think this was covered before, however, who “owns” the rights to Ichiro’s “game jersey”? Ichiro or MLB?
    In other words, can Topps have a “game used” Ichiro jersey in any 2014 product?

  10. Albert Legaspi
    Posted Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    No MLB logo….I would pay up to $50….I cannot understand these well paid players. Ichiro should stay with the flag ship company, Topps….he is already overpaid for his performance in multi-millions.

  11. David Johnson
    Posted Friday November 8th, 2013 at 12:23 AM | Permalink

    It may seem like a good deal for the auto, because they are all low serial numbers, but if they flood the market with Ichiro autos then the average price for his auto will drop. With 1 auto per box and only 300 boxes, that means they are putting 300 more autos out there. That isn’t so bad, but if next year they do a similar Ichiro product with the autos not being so low serial numbered then the value of his auto will fall for sure. That is my concern, as Leaf already showed that they are willing to do that (as they did with the Pete Rose sets: the 1st year all the autos were low serial numbered and the boxes sold for $100; the 2nd year none were serial numbered and the boxes started at $30 and are now under $15, plus the rarer serial numbered autos have dropped in value significantly as well since the mass produced ones hit the market).
    I think this could be a great product as the cards look nice, but my concern is the long term value if Leaf starts making more Ichiro sets.

  12. Trey
    Posted Friday November 8th, 2013 at 02:23 AM | Permalink

    Considering that fees for a MLB license aren’t even being paid, I’d figure the price dealers (and us collectors) pay would and should be lower. For that reason alone, I’ll pass on whatever perceived value proposition there is and spend my money on a licensed Topps MLB product that’s more like to hold its value years from now.

  13. Ryan
    Posted Friday November 8th, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    I agree, that is an outrageous price for a non MLB licensed product. Oddest mix of great looking and amateur hour (the lack of Yankee and Mariner logos make it look silly) cards that I’ve seen to date.

  14. Gregg
    Posted Friday November 8th, 2013 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    While there is no license being paid, Ichiro is being paid and I assume his price is pretty steep. You can spend your money on a licensed Topps product, but you wont be getting Ichiro in any Topps product going forward.

  15. phillies_joe
    Posted Friday November 8th, 2013 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    You want over-priced junk….here it is. No license=no buy. Shame because the cards are nice looking. “Game used” is the product of who owns it. They can therefore do wahatever the4y want with it. Yes, Topps can use it for the cards they produce.

  16. Richard
    Posted Friday November 8th, 2013 at 04:50 PM | Permalink

    @Pete, it would depend on the licensing rules for the MLBPA as well as any contracts signed before by Ichiro.

    Some licenses explicitly reserve the rights for memorabilia to the player. Topps, when the had an NBA license
    did not have the right to make Jordan game used items. Topps could, in theory, make a card using a Jordan game used Jersey, but could not use his image. And likely it would kill their chances at getting a license in the
    future.

    Upper deck, for example, made some celebrity material movie cards, but did not picture the celebrities
    nor directly name them. On other cards, they named them, but still did not add an image.

    Rules are complex.
    You could, for example, take a licensed card and cut out the image.
    Then you add that to a real piece of game used Jersey. It would look nice and would actually be legal,
    provided you stated the source materials. It would be legal because of laws dealing with reuse of purchased
    items and the fact that the licensing fees had already been paid and the items legally acquired.

  17. Ted
    Posted Friday November 8th, 2013 at 04:52 PM | Permalink

    1st a Pete Rose set, now Ichiro. What’s next, a Nick Swisher set? Just kidding Chris.

  18. Card Opionator
    Posted Monday November 11th, 2013 at 01:21 PM | Permalink

    Wow! These cards have everything except the Upper Deck and MLB logos!

  19. sportscarduniverse
    Posted Monday November 11th, 2013 at 07:35 PM | Permalink

    Actually these cards are much nicer then any baseball UD has even done and they haven’t had Ichiro since probably his rookie year

  20. sportscarduniverse
    Posted Monday November 11th, 2013 at 07:36 PM | Permalink

    Actually these cards are much nicer then any baseball UD has even done and they haven’t had Ichiro since probably his rookie year

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