First Look: 2015 Cooperstown baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America‘s Cooperstown is back after an anniversary year that saw the company’s Hall of Fame brand go high-end. This time around, it remains high-end with the original name used in 2012 and 2013.

The company unveiled the first glimpses at 2015 Cooperstown in Wednesday — a fourth retrospective release from the company under its licensing deal with the Hall, and it’s a set that will arrive on June 17.

With 12 cards per box and 15 boxes per case, this one will pack two autographs in every box along with a mix of base cards and inserts of the biggest names in the game — and those players only.


This one will be the newest home for this year’s inductees — Craig Biggio, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson, while legends such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig , Jackie Robinson and Nolan Ryan will also be found.

Hall of Fame Induction Signatures will showcase past players on autographed cards that will have parallels limited to no more than 49 copies. These will focus on a player’s moments with their Induction weekend. Hall of Fame Signatures will show even more players with the same parallel structure.

Hall of Fame Induction Dual Signatures will pair notable players together from their classes like Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg, Nolan Ryan and George Brett to name a few.

Rounding out the autograph lineup will be Recollection Collection cards from last year’s set, while cut autographs will be created for the likes of Ruth, Al Simmons, Arky Vaughn, Bill Dickey, Dave Bancroft, Dizzy Dean, Eddie Collins, Frankie Frisch, Gabby Hartnett, Honus Wagner, Jackie Robinson, Jimmie Foxx and Ty Cobb.

Gem cards are back with Etched in Cooperstown. There will be ruby, sapphire, emerald and diamond cards for collectors to chase. Meanwhile, notable nicknames are the focus of Names of the Game inserts and Crown Royale diecuts make their way into this brand. Another insert here will be Hall of Fame Golf Outing, a set that will show players during the annual Cooperstown golf tournament.

In addition to the two autos, each box will include four cards from basic, parallel and Induction/Chronicles sets, two Crown Royale cards, one Etched in Cooperstown, one Hall Induction, one Hall of Fame Honors Armed Forces card and one additional card of some type.

Panini also will be including printing plates from last year’s set, this year’s set and last year’s Classics set, which was loaded with legends.

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 Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. Steve-Dood 23 April, 2015 at 21:26

    I know we are not ‘suppose to be able’ to decipher famous peoples (especially athletes) autographs. At least on the Randy Johnson shown here……there is some sort of name to ‘look at’. Lately it seems like FB has won the race for ‘worst’ auto’s I’ve seen in a while. And maybe it’s because Panini has them signing for every product with at least 6 parallels to boot, so I guess I understand a little ?!?!?!

    But on products like this, c’mon !! Mr Johnsons does not look like to me-to spell out ‘Randy Johnson’. I will admit my vision is going towards blindness. instead of away (That’s just life…….when they say…….”5 to 8, cuz of that damn diabetes”……Just Life !!!), so the vision isn’t ‘perfect’, but close enough to read something like ‘something-something-something-flumm or plumm’ ??

  2. Mike Pereira 25 April, 2015 at 07:59

    Steve-Dood is completely right. Thank god I’m not the only one in forums and posts that believe that the autos we are getting now a days especially in football are become ridiculous.

    I also looked at the Randy Johnson and was thinking something looked weird. Though maybe it was just a mock up of an auto just to show what the autos would look on a card and it was just some generic auto, because no way that says Randy Johnson. But the Ryan/Brett are correct, so I don’t know what it is happening.

    You can see that even these retired guys that don’t sign as many autos as these rookies are getting tired of signing. Cal’s auto looks to be getting worse since the past couple of years he’s been signing in so many products.

    This speaks to the lack of Quality Overview that Topps and Panini say they have but more and more we see and read of fake patches, stamp autos, card residue, poor packaging, and really really really lazy cheap bad autos.

  3. Steve-Dood 27 April, 2015 at 16:08

    Chris- ok, so RJ has been consistently signing for the last 1/4 century +…….and I know people get in a ‘fluid motion’ when autographing stuff ( I did purchasing for about 10 years & I signed so many invoices that mine has become very hard to decipher !! The end of that portion in my life was for a contracted vendor in Portland, Oregon Lots of opportunities there & an excellent growth potential )
    Back around when Mr Barack Obama was first elected, Beckett put out a magazine dedicated to the various ‘knickknacks’ , autographs & some other crud……that I can’t remember it all and I’m unsure where it currently is ?? One thing that stood out was how they talked about the “presidential office” had several different individuals sign the massive amount of documents n such…….including wives, secretaries, Ms Monroe (after she sang…….of course) & various others. It was interesting because there were at that time-several items up for auction……..either completed or ending soon. I sure hoped that people buying were ‘aware’ of whom they were buying from !! I thought of that after reading your post Mike~especially the last sentence.
    It was in the middle of the last decade, when a few ‘Acronyms-R-Us’ agencies spoke up and stated they were going to ‘crack down’ on overproduction in the sports card industry…….I’m not positive, but I don’t think Panini got all them memo’s and the other two big hitters in the industry just went on with ‘Status-Quo’

  4. phillies_joe 28 April, 2015 at 06:22

    I love the Cooperstown product even without the logos and such. Gives me another shot at a Babe Ruth cut auto!
    Great stuff……

    As for the auto discussion…if you don’t like them, don’t buy / collect them. Myself, PC stuff is fine however signed, other than that, I could care less.

  5. Kevin 29 April, 2015 at 22:55

    Expecting every autograph to be perfect is a bit impractical. Sure, I wish they could all be Mariano Rivera, but just imagine having to sign your auto a hundred or so times a day over and over, and then try to say you wouldn’t let a few terrible ones slip through the cracks.

    Also, if they slowed down the autographs, in my mind, that would mean fewer autos, which would mean an even more expensive product in the end. Not that scarcity is a bad thing, but you take the good with the bad when you can I guess.

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