Panini America issues first new Masahiro Tanaka baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America is the first U.S.-based baseball card company to unveil new cards of Japanese star and New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka, Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu and Kansas City pitcher Yordano Ventura were announced as the three wrapper redemption cards from 2014 Donruss.

Collectors who trade in 24 hobby wrappers (one box’s worth) of 2014 Donruss mylar will receive a three-card pack that completes their set — card Nos. 201-203, three Rated Rookies.

The packs began shipping on Tuesday.

There’s no limit on the number of packs one can trade in.

2014 Donruss Rated Rookie Trade-In
Panini America
5325 FAA Boulevard, Suite 100
Irving, Texas 75061-3601

In Canada, there are two options for collectors to mail wrappers:

2014 Donruss Rated Rookie Trade-In
Universal Distribution
2441 Guenette
Montreal, QC H4R 2E9

2014 Donruss Rated Rookie Trade-In
Universal Distribution
#102 13125 78A Avenue
Surrey, BC V3W 9B6

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.

When you click on links to various merchants on this site, like eBay, and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission.

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  1. Ed 2 April, 2014 at 06:52

    If this was a licensed product you would create a fire storm for those cards, but it is unlicensed.

    This could back fire on Panini. The product has been out for a while and now there is a redemption program for wrappers, the wrappers they threw away. I don’t think that will make the clients very happy.

    This promotion does not motivate me to buy a box of this so I can attain the Bonus cards.

    It is a real shame that you can’t tell who they play for, the red team, blue team, black team etc..

    Good effort though!!


  2. jkz 2 April, 2014 at 10:04

    These are unlicensed cards, therefore not true Rcs. Panini does make some attractive products, but not having a license for the sport takes soo much away from these. This makes me wonder what questionable products Panini will attempt once their NHL license expires.

  3. chrisolds 2 April, 2014 at 10:27

    Actually, had these three cards been released in a traditional fashion (not via wrapper redemption), the Tanaka would be an RC. Panini’s MLBPA license allows them to release comprehensive sets — and an RC must come from a comprehensive set with a veteran player presence to not be a prospects or draft picks set. While having a MLBPA license allows that, licensing from MLB Properties does not prevent RC classification.

  4. David 2 April, 2014 at 11:38

    Chris, is that a new interpretation of the RC definition? I’m not trying to be funny here. I’ve always thought that unlicensed products like these were not considered RCs specifically because they do not have logos and the we can see in the price guide many sets sanctioned by the union but not the league that have rookie players that are not considered RCs.
    When did the definition change? What is considered a “comprehensive set with a veteran player presence”?

    All of these types of sets have a veteran player presence. I even shied away from 2010 Upper Deck as it was unlicensed (I don’t know anyone who considers that Posey card a rookie card).

    What is the “accepted” definition for a rookie card? The accepted definition is very different then the real-world application (everyone considers the Bowman draft-pick cards as rookie cards even though they are technically an insert). Can you clarify it for us.

  5. chrisolds 2 April, 2014 at 11:40

    Nope, not new.

    What is new is having companies with an MLBPA license and not a Properties deal. Without a PA deal a company can’t include a heavy volume of active players to make it a comprehensive set.

    There are a lot of sets from the recent past of minor leaguers or prospects that have individual player deals signed so they can appear. That’s part of why people have this impression — but look closely at those and you’ll see not many MLB players at the time, making the prospect sets more like draft picks sets — not sets that have RCs.

  6. Jeremy 2 April, 2014 at 12:31

    Collector’s wont consider these rookie cards, and that’s the driving force of this hobby.

  7. Jason K 2 April, 2014 at 14:34

    Jeez, the “no license, no buy” whiners are out heavy today. The worst thing is, these are the same people complaining about the lack of competition because the Topps is the only company with a full license.

    While this product isn’t for everybody (I really dislike the design, for example), the “no license, no buy” blues is getting really annoying. If you don’t like the product (because it is unlicensed, or because of the design, or lack of desirable autographs, or whatever reason) DON’T BUY IT. But, until MLB sees fit to open up licensing for more than one company, don’t expect any amount of complaining on the internet to change the fact that there will not be logos on the hat or across the chest.

    I’m just glad to see Donruss back :)

  8. Paul Angilly 2 April, 2014 at 16:30

    I generally don’t like products that aren’t fully licensed (just because I want to see team logos on my cards), but in terms of the RC thing – maybe some of the posters above don’t realize it, but for many years (about 1973 through 1981, if I’m not mistaken) Topps NFL cards were similarly licensed by the players’ association, but not the league. So if you’re going to say RCs need to be licensed by both, then those 1976 Topps Walter Payton or 1981 Joe Montana cards would not be RCs. So no, this is not a “new rule” and collectors have embraced such cards as true RCs in the past.

  9. Mike 2 April, 2014 at 18:58

    Broder cards are unlicensed, aka illegal. Meaning the players didn’t get paid.
    Panini, leaf, itg are licensed by the players. Aka legal. Meaning the players got paid.

    And yes, the hobby will accept these as rookie cards just like they accept elite extra even if beckett DOESN’T put an RC logo.

  10. steve d donaldson 3 April, 2014 at 06:27

    Completely agree with Mike. Who uses a Beckett now-a-days (just check eBay prices compared to Becketts pricing”
    If we, collectors in general, deem them as Rookie Cards, then they will be RCs

  11. Mike Dorn 4 April, 2014 at 20:49

    I don’t know why everyone is bashing this set. I for one enjoyed opening up my box and I can’t wait to get my 3 card set.

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