By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary
There’s one question on many collectors’ minds that will likely be answered with their first glance at a baseball card from one of Panini America’s upcoming releases.
How will they do it?
We recently sat down with members of Panini’s executive and baseball team for a roundtable discussion to find out about some of the issues on the minds of collectors and what’s on the minds of those who will be bringing a new wave of baseball cards to the masses very soon. While many specifics were not disclosed — including whether removing logos on action shots is part of its plans (“we can’t give anyone else our playbook”) — it’s clear that there’s nothing casual about the approach that Panini will take with its cards, despite what could be some casual looks on some — but clearly not all — players’ cards.
Read two questions — and two answers — from the exclusive Q&A to be found in the December issue of Beckett Baseball (coming soon) after the jump.
What will be the main strategy – photographs without MLB equipment or digitally altering existing images? Or a mix of both?
“It’s not really a question of either/or. Our strategy will revolve around presenting an image for each player that captures the player’s personality and role in the game while also staying true to the commitment set forth by our staff of presenting unique and fresh looks at ballplayers while keeping within the spirit of the game.”
Speaking specifically toward the casual direction – are there any plans for cards playing directly off of this? Maybe cards themed this way or as “off the field?” Perhaps memorabilia cards a swatch of street clothes (a la Americana) and a swatch of game-used?
“There are so many directions our products can go, and ‘off the field’ is one of them. But we are keenly aware of the risks that go with taking the player off the field and into a different element. That being said, we also understand that it’s those settings that often bring out the player’s personality and help forge an image not always evident in a game-action photo on a 3.5-by-2.5 cardboard format.”
“To be sure, our cards will deliver dynamic presentations of the players and his essence – the way fans want to see them.”
“Card collecting is as much about the fans as it is about the player. We will delve into that and look to incorporate what fans are looking for in cards of their favorite players that go beyond logos and are more about the personality of the player.”
Look for the exclusive Q&A in the December issue of Beckett Baseball arriving soon.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.