First Look: 2015 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes
By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor
The Red, White and Blue are back in packs as a standalone product for just the second time ever.
Panini America revealed its plans for 2015 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes on Wednesday — the latest USA Baseball standalone product that will arrive in hobby shops on April 1 packing four autograph or memorabilia cards in every 24-pack hobby box. It’s the first pack-based USA Baseball release since 2013 USA Baseball Champions.
Each box will include some of the top prospects in today’s game — present-day minor-leaguers who have played for USA Baseball in the past.
Stars from the past and present will be found in this one with a mix of 12 parallel cards, 12 Crusades inserts, four Champions cards, four Diamond Kings, four Fireworks and four Statistical Standouts cards per box. Among the signers? Kris Bryant, Joey Gallo, Addison Russell, Trea Turner and Carlos Rodon to name a few.
The basic set will include 100 cards — a mix of players from today’s Collegiate National Team as well as the 18U and 15U squads. Each will have five types of Longevity parallels as well as printing plates.
For autograph collectors, there will be four options — Longevity Signatures, Jumbo Swatch Silhouettes Signatures Jerseys, Game Gear Materials Signatures and Stars & Stripes Signatures. The Longevity crop will include present players and past prospects, while the Silhouettes cards will incorporate jumbo swatches from jerseys, bats and prime pieces. (They also will have unsigned versions.) The Gear cards will be limited to only 99 copies for standard versions, while there also will be five parallels of these cards with numbering no higher than 49 copies. The Stars set will feature acetate for all 100 cards with prime versions of the cards limited to no more than 25 copies. These also will have button and laundry tag versions.
For the traditional insert chasers, there will be Crusades cards — a first for USA Baseball — with Blue being the standard version. The five parallels here are Red, Red & Blue, Gold, Camo and Black. These cards will be limited to no more than 99 copies per player. Also to be found will be USA Baseball Diamond Kings where past greats are revisited. Among them? Mark McGwire and John Elway — a first for the Pro Football Hall of Famer who played minor league baseball for the New York Yankees.
For memorabilia collectors, the Game Gear Materials cards will showcase recent talents with a parallel that’s limited to no more than 49 copies. For a more higher-end chase, there are Lettermen cards that have entire game-used letters on a single card. Panini also promises bat knobs, bat barrels, flag patches and more in the product, which also will feature autographs numbered to no more than 299 copies per player. The jersey cards will be limited to no more than that as well.
A preliminary checklist was not released.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.