Card Gallery: 2014 Panini Immaculate’s game-used baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

While we visited Panini America headquarters this week for a look inside the vault at some key pieces of game-used memorabilia for the upcoming Game-used Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, there was even more action elsewhere in the Dallas area as Panini’s latest baseball product was being packed at the printing facility.

The debut edition of Panini Immaculate arrives  on Wednesday, and it’s got some game-changing jumbo game-used memorabilia cards inside — cards that will demand you stop and look.

Here’s a selection of images straight from Panini after the jump — and you can see more by clicking here and here.

RickeyGlove

 

Below, though, we want to hear what you think.

Making the Grade: 2014 Panini Immaculate's memorabilia cards

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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.

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24 comments

  1. Mike Pereira 20 September, 2014 at 08:12

    Finally the end of the cheap “even worn” patch cards is coming thanks to hobbyists getting sick and tired of getting worthless patch cards as hits in there high priced hobby boxes.

  2. Paul Angilly 20 September, 2014 at 22:38

    OK … here I go again:

    “The enclosed game-worn cleat material is guaranteed by Panini America, Inc.”

    So what does that mean, exactly? The way I read it, Panini guarantees that the material came from a cleat worn by someone in a game somewhere. We don’t know who, we don’t know when, we don’t know where.

    Take the Mike Schmidt, for example. OK, so presumably it was worn by him in an official MLB game – but that’s not what it says. It could have been worn by his kid during a Little League game. He could have worn it during an Old Timer’s Day or exhibition game. He could have worn it during the annual Celebrity Softball Classic. He could have worn it during a backyard pickup game. Or for all we know, according to what the back says, it could have been worn by some amateur player in some unknown league somewhere and then stuck inside a Mike Schmidt card just because it looked good.

    Lack of logos aside (different issue I won’t mention for now), these are certainly some interesting memorabilia pieces. My point is, assuming these are legitimate memorabilia pieces, why can’t Panini, after obviously putting a lot of time, money and resources into creating these cards, take the small extra step to state on the back, “Panini America, Inc. guarantees that the enclosed cleat material was worn by Mike Schmidt during an official MLB game.” Unless, of course, they don’t know for sure whether or not Mike Schmidt actually wore the cleats during an official MLB game.

    Small change, huge difference. Without that kind of guarantee – which at one point years ago, pretty much all memorabilia cards used to have – I would never buy this stuff no matter what it looks like.

  3. Richard Deien 21 September, 2014 at 07:21

    Enough with the game-used cards and autographs. The card companies are stretching to come up with the next best thing. All its doing is driving this great hobby into the ground. What’s next players sweat? It’s time to go back to basic and being creative. Give me the classic 90’s inserts and please can we get another MLB licensed card company.

  4. Ken 21 September, 2014 at 08:18

    Where is the guarantee on the vintage, printed, non-game/event worn, mass-produced base card that people overpay for, that the player depicted on the card ever touched, wore, or used that printed card in a game?

    See what I did there?

  5. Scott 21 September, 2014 at 20:24

    Love the memorabilia, but I am not buying. I cannot come to buying a very high priced product without logos.

  6. Mark 22 September, 2014 at 08:32

    To all the people griping about the lack of MLB license, I would like to point out the following.

    1. Compare the price of Immaculate baseball and Immaculate basketball. A big chunk of the higher basketball cost is going to the league coffers for the right to print a tiny logo. Great value there folks.

    2. Topps isn’t making anything like this. You can like or not like cutting up memorabilia, but there is no denying Panini is pushing the envelope on game-worn memorabilia. Kudos for trying new things.

    3. To say the product is non-licensed is not totally correct. There is a license from the players association. The players are the more important licensor. Without them, you get 1981 Fleer football, complete with precious logos!

    4. For those demanding logos, this is not a new situation. Go look at 1970’s Topps football. I guess there is no value in those Walter Payton and Joe Montana rookie cards (1981 being the last no-NFL license year). I grew up with airbrushed cards full of head shots. Not a problem to me.

    5. On the COA, be happy that the item says it’s game-worn. I am not sure Topps will go that far. Plus they are showing a photo of the cleats. And don’t get me started on Richard McWilliam attesting to the authenticity of UD’s game-used items and autographs from the grave.

  7. Richard 22 September, 2014 at 12:13

    No,
    I’m not going to be “happy” that it says game worn.
    Either EXPLICITLY state that the material in the card was used by that player, or don’t bother.
    I’m also puzzled by the hand numbering. Is it really “that” hard to print 1/1 for the unique cards?
    They’ve made a “start” by returning to the concept of showing a picture of the material.

    Look, I’ll even write it for them.

    The following pictured material has been provided by the agent of the player shown and has been certified by them to have been worn by the named player in a major league game. In the event that the material is found to not be authentic, Panini guarantees to replace it with material from the same player or pay fair market value if material can not be found.

    For vintage material, I’m sure there is some expert that can be used in the same way as they use JSA.

    If you are not willing to make such a guarantee, then please stop making them cause I ain’t buying them,
    which is a shame, because otherwise they are very cool in concept.

  8. Joe 22 September, 2014 at 13:22

    The frustrating part to me is that they use to clearly state that the material on the front was worn by that particular player in an official game. The problem is this. The card companies aren’t 100% sure that these jersey’s are from that player. Go to Google and type in “selling fake sports memorabilia” and pick an article. Eli Manning is being sued for selling for ä non-game used Super Bowl helment” It’s belived that the one in the HOF isn’t his.
    So to cover their ASS the card companies will not tie the memorabilia piece to that particular player or particular official game.
    Follow this link and read chris’s response. He said what he said because he and those that work at Beckett knows about this. http://www.beckett.com/news/2014/09/beckett-20-questions-on-memorabilia-cards/
    I am waiting for one of these card companies to take a stance but they won;t because it’s to much money out there to be made. The thing that pisses me off the most is the fact that BECKETT is suppose to be the voice of the collectors. It seems as if they are the voice of the card companies.
    Yes Chris I know that you did a little piece in 2012 about your Nick Swisher Jersey that you purchased. http://www.beckett.com/news/2012/10/game-used-you-may-never-know-for-sure-that-its-real/ but that’s on you on a personal level. The card companies are leading collectors into thinking that the memorabilia pieces are authentic when they themselves aren’t even sure.

  9. David Johnson 22 September, 2014 at 13:56

    Overall they look nice and I really like that they included pictures of the memorabilia on the back. My only complaints are the hand-numbering on some cards but not others (it would be nice if they were ALL machine stamped), and the wording of the authenticity guarantee on the back. I think Paul Angilly wrote it up well above in regards to the wording.

  10. Paul Angilly 22 September, 2014 at 15:48

    Just for comparison, I happened to be browsing on eBay last night and came across some Red Sox memorabilia cards that looked pretty cool. They were from the 2006 Fleer Greats of the Game set. This is what it said on the back of one of the cards: “Congratulations! You have received a Rico Petrocelli game-used pants trading card. On the front of this card is an authentic piece of pants worn by Rico Petrocelli in an official Red Sox MLB game. We hope you enjoy this piece of MLB history.”

    The front had about a one-inch square piece of plain, one-color material, but I’d rather have that card and the others like it as part of my collection than anything pictured above.

    … And what has happened in the eight years since that 2006 set that has made it impossible for card makers to offer such a statement?

  11. Ken 22 September, 2014 at 21:21

    “… And what has happened in the eight years since that 2006 set that has made it impossible for card makers to offer such a statement?”

    Because they likely found a way to make a lot of these cards easier and can produce more of them, so the likelihood that getting materials crossed could happen. It really just simplifies the process. I’d go with a more general wording too if it prevented some nudnik from suing me over accidentally putting the wrong pieces into a $5 jersey card. Saves a lot of headaches.

    I have a lot of plain jersey cards that say specifics of the material. People do not pay a premium just because of this. Some I can’t give away. This is why I prefer autographs anyway. At least you can be pretty sure the player signed the card.

  12. joe 23 September, 2014 at 01:39

    Ken, do you work for Beckett or one of the card companies because that excuse is such a cop out. Getting the material’s crossed. For real. As a collector that’s satisfying to you. To know that the card companies are so greedy that they will continue to put these pieces of material on cards giving us the impression that the material is on the card was actual worn or used by the player pictured on the card, even though they have no clue if that material is from that player.

  13. Paul Angilly 23 September, 2014 at 12:09

    “Because they likely found a way to make a lot of these cards easier and can produce more of them, so the likelihood that getting materials crossed could happen.”

    Thanks for making my point, Ken.

    You may be OK with paying hundreds of dollars for a supposedly game-used patch worn by a high-profile player, only to find out years later it was actually worn by Joe Schlabotnik, but I don’t think that’s how many people feel.

    You are right, though, that the wording on the back has not seemed to affect prices, which I guess is OK if all you care about is how much you can get for the card. But I’m a true collector, and if I’m buying a memorabilia card it’s because I want to have a piece of something worn or used by that particular player in an official game (and like Chris Olds I always rub my finger across the jersey or memorabilia piece).

    There was a time, too, when people thought the difference between on-card and sticker autos was no big deal, but these days most of the most popular, best-selling autograph insert sets are on-card. Look at eBay listings – most sellers there have learned to mention “on card” when selling autographs that are like that, because they know that increases demand. There may be no difference in mem card prices now, but what will people want 10 years from now?

  14. Richard 23 September, 2014 at 12:29

    Actually Ken, no you can’t be sure the player signed the card.
    There was a case years ago when a player had his girl friend sign about half of them.
    Then there is the matter of sticker autos and accidents happen.
    The odds are better that they are real, but never discount greed, laziness, or incompetence.

  15. card opinionator 23 September, 2014 at 15:04

    Some of these are so nice, I almost forgot they weren’t licensed. I understand the debate, but they still look good no mater what they are. And, I’m pretty sure they can’t talk about where they were used if they are not licensed.

  16. Ken 23 September, 2014 at 18:28

    @Richard: I knew someone would bring up the fake auto argument. Anything can happen unless you were there. No guarantee unless you got the auto yourself.

    @Joe: Nope.

    @Paul Angily: I am a true collector. I do care about value, but not to the extent where I have to analyze–to the point of obsession–every move and product that a company makes to the point where it stops being fun. I’m here to collect cards that I think are cool and will pay a premium, sometimes because of patch/autos/low print run, but mainly for nice art and design with players that I like. Even with players I’m indifferent to, if the card is nice, I will generally PC it. I have one “event-worn” card, with a player I don’t collect, who has scored 11 goals in two years. He’s a defenseman. No way that card is worth anything in 20 years. But it looks awesome and it is a permanent PC card. That’s what it’s about to me. By the same token, I won’t pay a premium for an on-card auto if I don’t like the card itself.

    People will pay a premium for a printed vintage card and/or cards made before mem/autos were a big deal, and then go on to discount these–consistently as some seem to enjoy doing–it just seems like a bit of a logic fail to me. It’s all just cardboard. A possible re-learning on how to get enjoyment out of the hobby might be a boon. Just my two cents.

  17. Paul B 26 September, 2014 at 10:29

    Licensing aside, I’m disappointed with the rookie crop. There’s a handful of high end prospects, but that’s about it.

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