Beckett Baseball Teaser: Panini roundtable discussion

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Could a Mariano Rivera baseball card from Panini America feature a studio photograph like this one? It sounds like one possibility ...

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

There’s one question on many collectors’ minds that will likely be answered with their first glance at a baseball card from one of Panini America’s upcoming releases.

How will they do it?

We recently sat down with members of Panini’s executive and baseball team for a roundtable discussion to find out about some of the issues on the minds of collectors and what’s on the minds of those who will be bringing a new wave of baseball cards to the masses very soon. While many specifics were not disclosed — including whether removing logos on action shots is part of its plans (“we can’t give anyone else our playbook”) — it’s clear that there’s nothing casual about the approach that Panini will take with its cards, despite what could be some casual looks on some — but clearly not all — players’ cards.

Read two questions — and two answers — from the exclusive Q&A to be found in the December issue of Beckett Baseball (coming soon) after the jump.

Could a Panini America baseball card of Ichiro Suzuki utilize a photograph like this one when its products arrive soon? Panini is mum on exact details for now -- but we'll present a logo-free image and ask the question here, anyway. (This image is not from Panini America.)

What will be the main strategy – photographs without MLB equipment or digitally altering existing images? Or a mix of both?

“It’s not really a question of either/or. Our strategy will revolve around presenting an image for each player that captures the player’s personality and role in the game while also staying true to the commitment set forth by our staff of presenting unique and fresh looks at ballplayers while keeping within the spirit of the game.”

Speaking specifically toward the casual direction – are there any plans for cards playing directly off of this? Maybe cards themed this way or as “off the field?” Perhaps memorabilia cards a swatch of street clothes (a la Americana) and a swatch of game-used?

“There are so many directions our products can go, and ‘off the field’ is one of them. But we are keenly aware of the risks that go with taking the player off the field and into a different element. That being said, we also understand that it’s those settings that often bring out the player’s personality and help forge an image not always evident in a game-action photo on a 3.5-by-2.5 cardboard format.”

“To be sure, our cards will deliver dynamic presentations of the players and his essence – the way fans want to see them.”

“Card collecting is as much about the fans as it is about the player. We will delve into that and look to incorporate what fans are looking for in cards of their favorite players that go beyond logos and are more about the personality of the player.”

Look for the exclusive Q&A in the December issue of Beckett Baseball arriving soon.

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.


  1. steve archer
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    its like a politician answering questions.

    Question: “what do you think about the potential of Panini, with their new MLB liscense?”

    Answer: “What do YOU think about the potential………….???”

  2. Patrick McCollough
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    This would be the perfect opportunity for Panini to release a Donruss Studio product.

  3. chrisolds
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I think, personally, you will see that and more. But I will wait for the magazine’s item to spill any firmer specifics.

  4. Kevin
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Mo looks pretty dapper, a far cry from his ’92 Bowman

  5. Kevin
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    How great to hear this from someone at a card company,

    “Card collecting is as much about the fans as it is about the player”

    I find that encouraging.

  6. chrisolds
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    There’s a lot that’s encouraging. Be sure to check out the mag when it arrives early next month.

  7. Steve
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I just can’t get used to an action, or on field posed shot with no logos. A studio type set would be welcomed. My hope is that MLB will issue Panini a license. Topps is getting boring. I am tired of toppstown, cards your momma threw away, etc. It is seemingly the same every year. Too many exclusive cards at walmart, hobby stores, target, etc. I collect variety and it is hard to get “every” card with these restrictions. Make a factory set for hobby and one for retail and be done with it. Get Panini a full license and get it over with, then I will welcome them back with open arms.

  8. Jon Chuckery
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Prob a dumb question…but I’m wondering if there would be any player stats on the backs of cards?…I’m assuming if logos cant be used then team names cant either? The Ichiro and Rivera are much better looking than the Hamilton that was presented…The Hamilton looked cheap and unprofessional even for an “unprofessional” card…Lets seriously hope the design is as simple as the pics and we refrain from subsets of chunky-money flavored, semi-egg gloss finished, sugillate embedded, amazon moss colored, quintuple-x to the y refracted, ser #d to the sq root of 27,889 cards

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