Oh ****! Panini America readies first official Bad News Bears baseball cards



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Oh, ****!

That seems only fitting as the foul-mouthed ball-playing kids of The Bad News Bears are coming to cardboard for the first time — and they’re coming soon.

Panini America announced its plans to include several cast members from the 1976 classic on Tuesday, and they’ll be found in packs of 2013 Golden Age, a retro-styled second-year brand that arrives on June 26.

While Walter Matthau, aka Morris Buttermaker, is no longer alive, several members of the original team will have autographs in the product as well as base cards. Among them will be Amanda Whurlitzer (played by Tatum O’Neal),  Kelly Leak (Jackie Earle Haley), Ahmad Abdul Rahim (Erin Blunt), Mike Engelberg (Gary Lee Cavagnaro), Rudi Stein (David Pollock) and Toby Whitewood (David Stambaugh).

The six Bears also will appear on tobacco-sized mini parallel insert cards, which are seemingly always popular with collectors.

Panini couldn’t get this kind of an inclusion done without licensing from Paramount Pictures, which added another layer of licensing and approvals.

“We wanted to add some element of the The Bad News Bears from the earliest planning stages of the second Golden Age release, and we began working on that even before 2012 Golden Age was shipped,” Panini America Brand Manager Mike Payne said in a company statement. “That film is a classic and fits perfectly into the Golden Age brand. Licensing became the biggest hurdle, and deals with studios can take some time to reach an agreement. Once that was completed, Paramount provided imagery of the six principles we were in negotiations with.”

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. 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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  1. Richard 11 June, 2013 at 15:39

    I’d love a Walter Matthau cut card.
    His auto does not appear to be that pricey based on Ebay, so I’m sure they could a stack of
    canceled checks or the like for a fair price.

  2. Card Opionator 11 June, 2013 at 16:29

    Love having this signatures in there, especially Tatum! Nice job. But shame on Paramount. Half the images are from the BNB SEQUEL! Where’s Tanner Boyle? Where’s Timmy Lupis?

  3. Trey 11 June, 2013 at 21:13

    Would like to have seen cut Walter Matthau signatures as well along with Tanner Boyle cards. I don’t have a problem with the sequel being included as it’s almost as good as the original though it opens the door to including both Engelberg’s in the set. Thankfully, they didn’t source the horrible third movie (Bad News Bears go to Japan).

  4. chrisolds 11 June, 2013 at 21:23

    You’ll all love this comment, but here goes … I like the Billy Bob remake better.

  5. Jumper48 12 June, 2013 at 01:53

    Great idea, horrible execution.

    Paramount shafted Panini, they supplied them with some poor quality images, you can find better screen grabs on the Internet. The silver cards are just trash. Taking a poorly edited image, add a filter and then drop an outer glow where they jacked up the noise and size does not make the card more appealing.

    I am sorry to say, The Bad News Bears and BNB Breaking Training were among my favorite movies growing up and they deserve better than what is here. I do like the Tip Top and I will probably hunt for the autograph cards but I am disappointed with the outcome.

  6. Card Opionator 12 June, 2013 at 10:21

    Well said Jumper48. The presentation makes no sense. The design is not true to the film at all. But, can we get an AMEN for on-card autos?

  7. Trey 12 June, 2013 at 15:39

    You’ll all love this comment, but here goes … I like the Billy Bob remake better.”

    With that comment, you’ve lost the right to comment any longer on this thread.

  8. Card Opionator 19 June, 2013 at 10:53

    No Buttermaker cards can only mean one thing. Walter Matheau’s e$tate wanted too much $$.

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