Upcoming Panini Golden Age set includes Hindenburg relic, first John Belushi memorabilia card and more

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When Panini America‘s sophomore release of Golden Age baseball cards arrives later this month it will include not only the first cards of the original Bad News Bears. 

It also will include one of the biggest stars of the 1970s as well as a memorabilia card from one of the biggest disasters of the 1930s.

The star is John Belushi and the disaster is the Hindenburg — and they’ll both be found in packs of cards as Golden Age includes an eclectic mix of sports, pop culture and more.


While a final checklist for Golden Age has not yet been released, Panini teased a gallery of its inclusions on Monday. Among them were cards for the Saturday Night Live, Animal House and Blues Brothers star who died of a drug overdose in 1982. Belushi has appeared on a handful of trading cards in the past with just two cut autographs and no previous memorabilia cards in the Beckett.com database. Most of his appearances came in 2011 when Topps included him in its American Pie set, which also examined pop culture like Golden Age does.

The Hindenberg card, like the Titanic wood card in last year’s Golden Age set, may spark some controversy while also piquing the curiosity of history buffs. In 1937, the German airship caught fire while trying to land in New Jersey, exploding into flames and killing 35 of the 97 people on board.  The only card featuring the disaster in the Beckett database was released decades ago in the 1956 Topps Hocus Pocus set. This card will feature a piece of the ship embedded into the card.

Golden Age also will include cards for Bigfoot, Buckwheat, Bob Hope, Bo Derek and more when it arrives next Wednesday.

Golden Age: What do you think?

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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.


  1. Cory Furlong
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    This was a fun rip last year and looks to be even better this year. Bravo Panini!

  2. David Brewer
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    James Belushi looks like Chris Olds on that card, LOL

  3. Richard
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    And what, exactly, will the COA on these cards say?
    Sorry, but the current COA s on the back of most of Panini’s cards have been effectively
    worthless promising nothing.

  4. Cubbie Nation
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    a piece of the Hindenberg? yeah right panini, let’s see some actual proof of it’s authenticity

  5. David Quinn
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Set’s like these have never been my cup of Tea. But this has caught my interest.

  6. Paul Angilly
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Shouldn’t whatever’s left of the Hindenberg be in a museum somewhere? I didn’t even know there was anything left of it by the time it was done burning. These “pieces of the ship” are either fake, or if they’re real, they should have never been cut up for trading cards!

  7. Allen
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I believe the blimp had a metal structure so, there could be plenty of pieces around.

  8. chrisolds
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    There was plenty of metal left: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgWHbpMVQ1U

  9. Cubbie Nation
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    i want to know how panini acquired the metal or whatever material it is. who did they buy it from? i want to see the entire chain of custody before believing the item is real

  10. zotster
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    That doesn’t look like metal on the card though … although I suppose it’s just a mock-up. I still don’t understand how Panini could have purchased the actual Hindenburg remains, or any part of them.

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