Your Turn: What’s in the cards for 2012?


By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor | Commentary

You may have seen the Your Turn page in nearly every issue of Beckett Baseball where we showcase stuff that is all about you. You can see your comments on hobby topics and get chances to win cool stuff in contests all on one page.

This coming year could be different for baseball card collectors with Topps as the sole MLB licensee but with Panini America being a new player on the field with its MLBPA license. We want you to get out your collecting crystal baseball and tell us what you think the hobby will look like next year.

Here’s the question for our next issue: What do you predict seeing for baseball cards in 2012? (Baseball only. Take our poll after the jump.)

Please include your name and location with your comment below — we will only run items with that information. A selection of your answers will appear in the next issue along with our next batch of contests and giveaways found only in the magazine.

What's in store for 2012?

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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 Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. danny 1 November, 2011 at 16:28

    panini is going to give us the same old 4 hits per box crap
    while topps is just going to add more colors and call it a day

  2. James Haynes 1 November, 2011 at 16:49

    I hope to see Topps try something new with other, non-flagship sets-
    Lineage was a nice change of pace; overall, it’s just more fun to see
    other sets than watching Topps Heritage relive the 1960s each year.
    Also looking forward to Panini.

    — James Haynes, Cullman, Ala.

  3. Jon Chuckery...Atlanta 1 November, 2011 at 17:23

    I’m sure Topps will dazzle us with all of their new Amethyst anniversary, bourbon series paralleled, quintuple-K refracted, inland seaweed green boardered, ser #d to the longitude & latitude of the Eiffel Tower, Topps 100 best prospects enrolled in preschool for 2012, same stock photo issues this upcoming year…Oh yeah, and one more guarantee for 2012…when someone speaks out or criticizes the products, selection, or repetitiveness of product issues, those people will be called “extreme” in their viewpoints or told (in my best nasally, whiny, Neal Boortz voice) that “you dont have to buy them!”

    Jon Chuckery, Atlanta GA

  4. Double-R 1 November, 2011 at 18:07

    This is what I predict seeing for baseball cards in 2012

    1- Same-old Redemption Cards
    2- Same-old 1 Color Small Jersey Cards
    3- Same-old Use Of the Color Insert’s
    4- Same-old Low Value Return on a High Dollar Product.

    Those are 4 things that are guarantee to return in 2012, and why not, they have been around in every product for years now and have not been changed, so why should we expect them to change now. 1 Color Small Jersey Cards are like base cards now, no one get excited to see them anymore. Color Insert’s, I remember when GOLD was the top color, Now Gold are Number’d to 25 or 50 and there are 4-5 other colors lower then them, again no one get excited to see them anymore. Redemption Cards…Do I really need to say anything about them, and last but not least, When I spend big bucks on a Product, and I pull 3 One Color small Jersey Cards & 3 Auto’s of Low level Players, I don’t walk away feeling that is worth me spending that much money on it. The Card Company’s need to change things up and if they don’t have the people in place to do it, then they should Hire Chris Olds…. He will show them how its done…… :0)

    Ron Rubino– Ny NY

  5. Richard 1 November, 2011 at 18:18

    Unless Pujols signs quick, they will do a card for him in many uniforms like what they did for
    Arod when he last became a free agent.

  6. kstjst 1 November, 2011 at 18:29

    Both Topps and Panini will continue with their standard design for each product. Both companies vary very little. So what it will come down to is the player content, most noticeably the rookies, the major stars, and the old timers.

    Panini’s biggest star will be Ichiro, while Topps will have Pujols and a select bunch of veterans/old timers.

    The difference maker will be the patch swatches. Both companies have upped the anti in their latest products on the game used patches…bigger, with more colors and layers.

    I’ll cringe at the thought of redemptions though. If Panini puts the Ichiro out in redemption again, it’ll kill their future products. Their customer service is slow and very unaccommodating. Topps is just slow.

    Keith S-T, Honolulu, HI

  7. Ryan Gluesing 1 November, 2011 at 20:52

    The formulas will continue to stay the same. Topps and Panini have both learned what works for them, and will continue to provide the same experience. Topps really stopped experimenting about six years ago and continue to provide the same basic plan: flagship, Opening Day, a few Bowman releases, a few throwback releases, and a few high-end hit/parallel based products.

    Topps does some things right and changing what works doesn’t make sense. But if nothing else, it seems like box prices are going up while overall quality is going down. Collectors won’t spend $100 on three tiny boring jersey swatches of inconsequential players – so either the checklist needs to improve in relic/autograph sets, or the price needs to come back down to realistic levels.
    -Ryan Gluesing, San Francisco, CA

  8. Adam Shoemaker 1 November, 2011 at 21:20

    I really don’t see any change in baseball cards, yet again (sigh). We will get the same crappy sets/designs/too many parallels/RC & prospect ‘hits’ from Topps. Panini will fall in line with the Donruss/Leaf non-MLB licensed releases from the mid-2000’s, a few really nice cards but with no real interest hobby-wise. I don’t see baseball cards (or the hobby) getting better until another company gets a full license. Maybe that would make Topps stop producing so much junk (as well as forcing them to focus more on customer service). I think it would be great if Press Pass could get an MLB or NFL license. Their CS is GREAT and they only do on-card autographs! I love their racing products and if they had an NFL or MLB license, Im sure I’d love those too.

    Adam Shoemaker–Browns Summit, NC

  9. Nick Tegeler 1 November, 2011 at 21:31

    I agree with the comments about the redemptions for both Topps and Panini amde above. I myself still have almost 20 cards from last year (pushing 2 years) I am waiting on between both products, but mostly Panini… I also like and agree with the comment that Topps will force feed us these prospects in five different boxes of the same product with the only difference being chrome, no chrome, some chrome, and different color borders etc…… But the thing is we will keep buying this crap if we want to collect because when the market is monopolized like it is, we don’t have a choice.

  10. Robert 1 November, 2011 at 23:42

    I am hoping 2012 is when Topps brings back Topps Total. It’s time the most comprehensive MLB set returns with the fun of building a huge set or getting autographs of those players that don’t get to appear on cards often. Robert, Albuquerque, NM

  11. doug 2 November, 2011 at 09:14

    i like chucklery. you hit the nail on the head. maybe we can have a dodo bird 1/1 to go with the canary and the base. 10 different 1/1’s for each card again just like moments and milestones. the last comment i posted was conveniently removed for bashing card companies and the lovely editor here. the truth must hurt and we wouldnt want people to read things they already know. panini cuts at the end of this year just another high end cut signature product that has a suggested retail of $300 for those curious ones. strange how panini puts ruth gehrig tiger woods and all the others you havent seen yet in this one. contenders may be the best bet soon in baseball. almost guaranteed a winner with elite extra. all the other new ones will be the same old too much bad hits and autos missing hits redemption filled products that take forever to fill . as far as pujols goes he gets alot to sign for cards which is why there are few and the value holds. just a matter of time before koufax and aaron are $100 autos

  12. Chris Houser 2 November, 2011 at 09:46

    I think. Panini new baseball lincense might pay off. I have a feeling every Panini box is going to be 4 hits per box just like in most of there football and basketball products. but I will be buying a couple of packs/boxes on the new panini products.

    -Chris Houser Scottsdale, AZ 85260

  13. James B. Anama 2 November, 2011 at 11:19

    I predict seeing my collection containing all three series of 2012 Topps sets (with the accompanying insert sets), all thirty team sets, and hopefully master sets of products that I’ve been wanting but holding off on buying due to factors beyond my control (’11 Gypsy Queen, ’10-11 Allen & Ginter, ’09-10 Topps 206, ’07 Turkey Red).

    Regarding what happens within the baseball card world? Topps will have another successful year and 17-24 products that will make MLB Properties satisfied with their decision to award them the exclusive license. Why not? They’re the number one company…just where they should be. Panini’s products will go well with the people that buy them. It’s nice that the Players Association gave Panini something to work with, but I don’t see how anything Panini does will affect how The Topps Company does business and develop products in the coming year.

    One thing I know that will happen in 2012 is that just like every other year, no product, no matter how well conceived it is by the manufacturer or successful it becomes when it comes to market, will satisfy everybody.


    JayBee Anama
    Des Plaines, IL

  14. Jason Ballew 2 November, 2011 at 16:21

    Recently, Chris Olds over at Beckett asked what their readers think will happen in 2012, as far as baseball cards go. Instantly my answer on Twitter was ‘nothing’. Chris asked if I was sure about that, given that we have twice the number of companies putting out products in 2012. I thought about it for a while, and here’s my answer to the original Beckett question.

    I honestly think that very little will change in 2012, other than more products from Panini. Topps has already unveiled a percentage of their 2012 lineup, and much of it appears to reflect the 2011 one. The Diamond Anniversary is replaced by the Golden Whatever, just like the ‘Million Card Giveaway’ was replaced originally. There will be tweaks to it, of course, and the code cards will still routinely sell for $1-3 each.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that nothing at all will change with Topps. They’re going to make incremental changes to their product lineup just like they always do. They’ll tweak a few products, perhaps remove a few from the lineup and replace them with new ones. However, nothing huge will change and the reason is simple: We keep buying the cards. Even when a product is horrible (Marquee, Triple Threads), people line up day one to buy them. Sure, the prices on the boxes may drop a month down the line, but as we all know by now, a lot of this is driven by Day One sales, and as long as we keep buying cases of product on day one, Topps is going to keep right on giving them to us, because their goal is profit. This isn’t a slam at Topps, that’s the goal of every company.

    Panini will release a number of products in 2012, but I’m guessing that it will be under 15, if not under 10. While they’ll have a lot of major league talent thanks to their MLBPA license, the majority of the impact from Panini will be from their prospect cards, as always. They’re going to release products that (for the most part) are mirrors of football, basketball and hockey. I expect to see Elite, Contenders and Certified for sure, with the already announced Gold Standard. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Limited, Rookies & Stars and Threads show up as well, along with possibly Score. I’d be happy if Studio sneaks in. They’ll rely mostly on autographs and will give us four hits a box for many products. There will be jersey and patch cards as well, but maybe not to the proflific amounts seen in other sports. They’ll also likely bring the HRX cards in, but they’ll be rare enough that the majority of collectors will never pull one. This, of course, is not necessarily a bad thing.

    In the Game, for their part, will continue to have player licensing, and use that to make very solid products designed primarily around prospects. They might add a set or two to the lineup, but otherwise will remain with the two they have. Tristar as well will have their prospect sets and I expect Obak will make a return.

    So really, when it all comes down to it, the changes will be minimal and primarily ‘Panini has cards now’. There won’t be any game-breaking changes, simply because consumers are not pushing for them. As long as we continue to buy products no matter their quality, no matter how we might complain on blogs and forums, Twitter and Facebook, the companies have no financial incentive to try to come up with something new. Not only that, from recent efforts we know that a completely new idea can often fall flat on its face.

    — Jason Ballew, Austin, Texas

  15. George Evans 2 November, 2011 at 19:44

    In 2012 we will see the same old Topps products. Panani will do what Panani always does, you know if you have seen one card you have seen them all.
    What we will not see is a real fancy card being produced by any company.
    What I would like to see, but more than likely won’t, is a patch card that is autographed and has a numbering higher than 25 and will actually have a price listing in Beckett.

  16. Frank Drey, Marshalltown, Ia 3 November, 2011 at 16:07

    Unfortunately, I don’t feel we will see innovative sets until we can move away from the exclusive contract Topps has with MLB. At one time we had too many sets – now I feel interest in the baseball portion of the hobby is being killed by the lack of stimulating sets. Competition is what leads to quality. I have collected for over 50 years, and my interest is now at an all time low because of this exclusive contract. I am a set builder – how many are there available for me? If I walk into WalMart and wish to make an impulse purchase, what is there? I’m glad to see Panini entering the marked, but how many players do I want to see in teeshirts with no caps/logos. The comment re Topps Total can be echoed by me. I like various cards of the Jeters of the world, but I’m tired of the Boone Logans, Eli Whitesides being treated as though they do not exist. Most of my friends have stopped collecting. I am hopeful my interest will still be there when this ill-advised, exclusive contract expires.

  17. John Sorensen 7 November, 2011 at 09:59

    Getting more baseball product from Panini is a step in the right direction, but without team logos and hats there is still something missing here. Like it or not, the absence of Upper Deck in the MLB market is leaving a noticeable void in the market.

    John Sorensen

    Des Moines, IA

  18. Hassan Rostami 9 November, 2011 at 10:18

    It will be the same as always, Lots of inserts and over productions. To have any traction with the collectors these companies need to evaluate what their goal is? Just to print cards like in the 90’s where they ruined this hubby for good is unacceptable.

  19. dustin 9 June, 2012 at 06:33

    Panini sucks the cards are the worst !!! What’s nexted a card named hoagie they should
    Have a subset called cheese fries ! I hate that it says it all over the card
    And in a in your face way . At least Topps is Topps everything else is no longer worth my
    Money . I have great ideas for future products and renewed interest for the hobby
    This guy think they do but up to this point in the year pretty lame

  20. adam 31 July, 2012 at 18:25

    iv been buying alot of the wallmart $20 boxes 2012 topps and i dont ever get anything good…..out of 10 boxes i got a bunch of worthless commemorative patch cards and a couple of code cards……..spent $200 and maby i’ll get $30 – $40 back if im lucky……Im done buying packs and boxes from stores ……I will just stick to buying cards from ebay atleast u know what your getting there…..

  21. chrisolds 31 July, 2012 at 18:27

    adam: If you look at the odds on the box, you’ll see that there are not any autographs or Relics to be found in the standard Topps blaster boxes.

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