Hall of Famers of all types in Panini Cooperstown

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When Panini America‘s latest baseball card set arrives in late August, it will include many — if not all — of the residents of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Hence the product’s name, Cooperstown.

So, while that means we’ll have more cards of the pitchers and catchers of the Hall of Fame world, we’ll also have cards — and autographs — for a few others.

Who? Sportswriters. Broadcasters. Umpires. Managers. General Managers.

While there may not be as much demand for the autographs of umpire Doug Harvey or Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton — they certainly have fewer signatures out there than the Carlton Fisks and Andre Dawsons most commonly found in baseball card sets of this style.

A checklist for the product has not yet been released, but the Hall of Famers found away from the field of play, based on autograph previews, will include sportswriter Murray Chass, Royals broadcaster Denny Matthews, New York broadcaster Bob Wolff (honored by both the baseball and basketball Halls), Padres broadcaster Jerry Coleman and Hamilton to name a few.

They were winners of either the J. G. Taylor Spink (writers) or the Ford C. Frick (broadcasters) Awards, groups that include some legendary names that are a part of the game. Unfortunately, many of the most-memorable names are not around to sign autographs, but they may be included in the product. Some of the past winners include Grantland Rice, Damon Runyon, Red Smith, Jerome Holtzman, Peter Gammons, Tracy Ringolsby, Bill Madden (who selected many Rated Rookies in Donruss‘ earlier years), Mel Allen, Red Barber, Harry Caray, Ernie Harwell, Jack Buck, Curt Gowdy, Vin Scully, Marty Brennaman, Harry Kalas and Bob Uecker.

How many of them will make the set? We’ll find out when it arrives. Look for more on Cooperstown right here on Beckett.com closer to its arrival. Look for a gallery of autographs from this one in the next issue of Beckett Baseball coming next month.

Update: A preliminary checklist since released by Panini shows the base set including just players, executives and managers. The autograph set is where the non-athlete honorees will be found. Among the signers on the initial checklist? Scully, Joe Garagiola, Brennaman, Uecker, Gene Elston, Jon Miller, Dave Van Horne, Tim McCarver and Gammons.

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

8 Comments

  1. Adam
    Posted Thursday June 28th, 2012 at 01:45 PM | Permalink

    I want a Uecker auto! Just a bit outside.

  2. bearcatlawjd
    Posted Thursday June 28th, 2012 at 01:51 PM | Permalink

    Cooperstown looks like a step in right direction for Panini because its different from every other Topps product out there. I really hope that Cooperstown and Triple Play do well next because we need baseball products that focus on areas of the market not covered by Topps. Triple Play with its focus on kid and fun and Cooperstown with its focus on the Hall of Fame could fill some of those gaps.

    I am tired of prospects set, tired of code cards and silly redemptions, and annoyed that most of the really nice products are high end. Including non-players is something in the long run that could pay off for this set because it is something different.

  3. JeffNSU
    Posted Thursday June 28th, 2012 at 04:22 PM | Permalink

    Uecker won’t sign. Sorry Adam.

  4. Matt O.
    Posted Thursday June 28th, 2012 at 09:59 PM | Permalink

    Any Pirates oddballs in this set?

  5. zotster
    Posted Friday June 29th, 2012 at 01:24 PM | Permalink

    It should be noted that the winners of the J. G. Taylor Spink or the Ford C. Frick Awards, while honored by the Hall of Fame at its annual induction ceremony, are not actually considered Hall of Famers themselves.

    Still, it’s a nice inclusion in this set, and has the benefit of not having to have team logos removed from the pictures. As someone who grew up watching “This Week in Baseball,” I wouldn’t mind getting a Mel Allen card.

  6. MICHAEL RUNYON
    Posted Friday June 29th, 2012 at 02:58 PM | Permalink

    sounds like a great set. The history of the game is important including the voices that brought us the game.

    Q. Why will uecker not sign

  7. Phil
    Posted Monday July 2nd, 2012 at 02:35 PM | Permalink

    I’d like a Marty Brennaman auto…”and this one belongs to the Reds”…and on a similar note, they need to elect his broadcast partner, the late Joe Nuxhall, to the Hall as well…”this is the old left-hander, rounding third and heading for home”

  8. Rob Braxton
    Posted Wednesday July 4th, 2012 at 03:53 PM | Permalink

    Smooth move by Panini. I mean that sincerely.

    That being said … (and no offense to him) but I don’t want a Murray Chass autograph.

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