First look: 2011 Limited baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America unveiled its newest forthcoming baseball card product under its MLBPA licensing deal on Thursday, and it’s one that a few collectors might remember from the Donruss days.

It’s Limited.

Set to arrive late next month, it will be branded as a 2011 product and include three autograph or memorabilia cards per pack with each 15-pack case including an average of 43 autographs, according to the company.

First arriving in baseball back in 1994, Limited was a bit of a staple for the former Donruss/Playoff company, which included releases all the way until 2005. Since Panini purchased Donruss and its portfolio, the brand has lived on in each of its other sports — football, basketball and hockey.

Base cards will be numbered to just 249 in this high-end brand, which also will include cards including pieces of real gold and silver as well as memorabilia cards of unusual types — batting helmets and buttons to name a couple. It also will include a 30-card Historical Cuts autograph set including notable names from baseball, entertainment and politics. Notables there? George Steinbrenner, Ben Hogan, Lucille Ball and boxer Jack Johnson.

Other inserts will include Rawlings Gold Gloves Signatures — cards with a piece of 14-karat gold as well as an autograph. Meanwhile, Silver Slugger cards will include pieces of silver along with autographs.

Some of the notable legends in this one? Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx and Joe Jackson — most possible because of the company’s recently signed deal with the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, active stars and more recently retired names in Limited will include Josh Hamilton, David Wright, Matt Kemp, Dustin Pedroia,  Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken Jr. and Don Mattingly to name a few.

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


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  1. @Jaypers413 16 February, 2012 at 13:16

    A 2011 product releasing in March 2012. The ball DID drop in Times Square on January 1st, right? Just want to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

  2. chrisolds 16 February, 2012 at 16:38

    Jaypers: Yeah, I’m a big fan of that, too. I’m betting it’s from stuff getting delayed in licensing/approvals stages, meaning that they can go over by that amount of time on the back end of the deal.

  3. Adam Shoemaker 16 February, 2012 at 23:02

    I’ve got to agree with ‘Phil’ on this one. An airbrushed card is still JUST that. I don’t want cards that show NO affiliation with the team that they were famous for playing for! Panini can make all the baseball cards they want, but I will still avoid anything that doesn’t allow MLB logos for the players who are known for playing for that team. That is exactly why my Ozzie Smith collection is still mostly devoid of Prime Cuts cards from the mid-2000’s. The only ones I have are from package deals where I mostly got MLB-licensed cards!
    Panini NEEDS an MLB license to excite the true MLB collectors!!! I also want them to get one to FORCE Topps to make their products worth buying again. The only difference b/t Panini and the unheard-of MiLB manufacturers (Star, Grandstand, etc.) is that the MiLB unknowns can show the logos for the teams that they represent. I can only hope that these Panini offerings are helping the MLB realize that they need another company to compete with Topps to make MLB cards interesting/intriguing to collectors.

  4. David Brown 17 February, 2012 at 09:37

    Now since it is an 11 product does that mean Rookie cards or not ? I would love another shot at a nice Lawrie.

  5. chrisolds 17 February, 2012 at 10:45

    Adam: If Panini shows its products are money-makers, MLB can’t help but notice because it will want someone who can make money for them doing just that.

    I think when it comes to high-end memorabilia cards, there aren’t a whole lot of hang-ups about logos — it’s about the memorabilia.

  6. Richard 17 February, 2012 at 13:19

    Chris, some of the products might be “money makers” for Panini only because they
    don’t have to pay the MLB fees. Not to mention they could not include players that
    MLB bans like Pete Rose or Shoeless Joe.

    I no longer buy new memorabilia cards of inactive players. I’m no longer confident
    that the material is game used by the player since they do not specify specifically
    the nature of the material. The way the certs are now written, it can be a piece of
    the visitors bench that happened to at one time in a stadium where an official MLB
    event occurred, which could include spring training or the like and has no actual
    tie to the player pictured on the card. Unless the card is specifically stated to be
    worn by the player and the nature of the event is also specified, I’m not touching it.

  7. Aardvark Ratnick 17 February, 2012 at 21:01

    This product looks horrible. Everyone looks like they are wearing milkmen outfits from the 70’s.

  8. steve-o 19 February, 2012 at 18:01

    airbrushed or not……if its a player/set/etc. that you (“you” is a collective term meaning all of us hobbyists) want in your collection-GREAT !!!!! I also understand the true collectors that do not care at all for the airbrushed helmets or uni’s (oh….who can ever forget Joe Montanas RC…………………………..LOL ). And finally…… true a statement that Topps needs some sort of truely liscensed competition !!!!!!!

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