First Look: 2012 Triple Play baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Have you turned a triple play lately? If not — and it’s not easy — then Panini America‘s next baseball card brand just might let you do that.

Err, well … maybe it will just let you have some fun while collecting.

Panini’s new version of the short-lived, kid-focused card line of the early 1990s arrives this summer when Triple Play comes in July. The 99-cent-a-pack product features vector art drawings of big-leaguers in the 90-card base set — a new look and feel for most any card sets. It also will include oddities such as eye black cards that you can peel and wear to get into your gameday mode. (Need a Triple Play checklist or OPG? Click here.)

Among the other inclusions in this one will be Focus inserts — focusing on, you know, the things they focus with, their eyes — Baseball 101 (teaching basics), Hall of Fame (legends), Real Feel (educational game-used cards) and more.

Each box will contain 24 packs and each of them will deliver one sticker, two puzzle cards and a mix of inserts. Each box will include a Real Feel card as well.

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. Ross 19 April, 2012 at 15:22

    I really like the illustrations. They help distract you from the lack of logos and they’ve done a good job of cropping some of them to obscure lack of logos. The screened icon patterns in the background are a nice touch. They kinda represent the teams but aren’t the literal MLB logos (i.e., Mariners have an anchor instead of compass, rocket instead of Astros’ stars.)

    I have a couple of gripes, though:
    • Why does the Mat Latos illustration in a different style than the others?
    • The cards are cluttered with so many elements (Triple Play logo, city, position, player #.)
    • All of the inserts are ugly and don’t really fit the base cards. Biggest offender is the Focus card with Felix Hernandez. Vector drawing and photos don’t mix well like that.

    Overall, I’ll probably buy a couple packs just to get a taste. I think it’s a promising release for Panini.

  2. Andrew Strong 19 April, 2012 at 18:51

    Love this set, not for me but for my young son… we need sets like this to get the young ones into it.

    Will be buying a box for sure. My dad bought me a box of 93 triple play when I was 10 and I loved them.

  3. once78 19 April, 2012 at 22:06

    I hate Panini America for everything they have done for the hobby. Their basketball products are the same every year and their baseball products are weak without logos, but this is really cool. It would have been nice to include this in the art beckett. I think they are right on in the pricing of the product. I plain on doing the set. Panini you did well.

  4. Matt Gilman 20 April, 2012 at 07:33

    This is a great way to lure in younger fans. And the cost is great. A family first type of brand that you can collect with your kids.

  5. RJ 20 April, 2012 at 14:33

    I would personally buy some for the Eye Black cards… cause I’m a dork. But it looks like an awesome set to get younger kids into collecting. Anyone else notice, that there isn’t a player on the bat insert card? Is it Game Used, is it just a bat from a store? Does it belong to someone?

    Secondly, although different mediums, the art style reminds me of the Japanese video game produced by Konami Powerful Pro baseball, which featured Japan League teams, with cartoony characters with no noses or mouths. I always loved that style.

    Triple Play seems to be a good idea for Panini to start the younger set builders!

  6. J.R. Lebert 21 April, 2012 at 12:15

    A little clarity on the Real Feel cards… they are just any used bat? Or a particular bat? And are there just bats, or gloves, jerseys, etc.?

    Not sure how I feel about the set, but it’s growing on me…

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