Review: 2013 Panini USA Champions Baseball

Happy Independance Day to all of the Americans out there who read this blog. (And belated Canada Day to my Canadian friends as well!) But waiting to post the review of this product on this day was important to me. USA Baseball from Panini! Bringing the most comprehensive product in the history of USA Baseball you will get to learn the history of the program from the players that played for the country. So want to see what is in the box of this star striped product? Check it out. And let me know if this review style works better for you guys. A little more organized.

Design:4 stars blue

The Pros: The stars and stripes theme is perfect and any other way wouldn’t have been good. Great looking, patriotic inserts like Game Gear, Stars and Stripes, and Pride.

The Cons: Certified parallels don’t fit in this product for me. Same goes with Diamond Kings. First, I love the thought to bring back DK, but not in this product. At least the color scheme on the parallels is spot on.

The Ideas: Get rid of the shiny Certified parallels. Build a new parallel set that fits with the product.

Checklist:4 and half stars blue

The Pros: Everyone from the old school USA players to the 15U players. Variety of different “hit” cards from jerseys to bat knobs. Rather large checklist.

The Cons: The 15U players. I don’t know, maybe I just don’t pay attention to the want for 15U USA baseball cardboard.

The Ideas: If you want to keep the 15U players, I would limit them a bit and include more of the older teams and veterans that helped make USA baseball.

Value:4 and half stars blue

The Pros: $62 a box over at DA Card World. Multiple autographs. Multiple memorabilia cards. Parallels. One low price. And the chance to hit something REALLY nice.

The Cons: Mostly checklist issues with names you might never see again. But that is expected.

The Ideas: Don’t change too much. Great price for the content.

Overall:4 and half stars blue

Overall, Panini USA Champions baseball delivers what it promises. A history of the USA baseball national team as well as current players that will be making their way through the ranks of the national team, through collegiate, and hopefully pro ball someday. Whether or not the value will continue is up in the air, but if any of these players end up being the next big thing, we saw what happened with Bryce Harper USA cards.

Thanks to Panini America for providing this product for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, or Twitter accounts.

Check out Cardbord Connection for the full product checklist.

Subscribe to us on YouTube and you can watch the break!

Or check out some pics below:

 

Mancave Addition: Ted Williams Autographed Baseball (UDA)

This is big, big, news for me. For awhile now I’ve been looking into getting a Ted Williams autograph. I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to go about getting it either. There are plenty of items out there with his signature that you can find, but I wasn’t too fond of many of them.

One reason being is that Ted Williams has one of the more forged autographs out there on the market. There have been plenty of rumors circulating around the memorabilia world that his son used to fake his autograph on items when his health was declining. I’ve read a number of places online with information like that and I started to get worrisome. If I was going to buy an authentic autograph, I needed to make sure it was authentic before throwing down the cash to get that nice of an autograph.

So I started to look more towards something that wasn’t a card, picture, poster, or 8×10. I didn’t originally want a card anyway for this kind of autograph. Yeah, I’m a card collector, but I also want something that will transcend time. This is the type of item you give to your future son or daughter. For a little bit more money, what’s better than a baseball?

Again, with baseballs, there is an issue with bad authentication from third parties or authenticity questions. But then I found out that Upper Deck had a contract with Ted Williams in the early 90s and he signed a number of items for them. Personally, I love Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA). I find them to be one of the most trustworthy authenticators because of their process.  Step 1 is the most important to me. “Every autograph is witnessed by an Upper Deck Authenticated representative. After all, observation is the ONLY WAY to truly guarantee authenticity.”

After reading about Upper Deck’s old contract, seeing that the ball was signed in 1993 (pre-stroke mind you, so a better quality autograph), and the fact that it was UDA authenticated, I knew I had the perfect collectible.

Now I just need to find a sweet case for it. Ultra Pro recommended the “Z-Design” to me. How would you display it?

ted-williams-uda-autographed-baseball

 

Review: 2012 Panini Prizm Baseball

Panini Prizm has been a hit across the board from it’s origins in basketball, through football, and now making its debut in baseball. The product is most similar to the “Chrome” style cards put out by Topps but it has its own Panini twist to them. With the product being a big hit every time it has been released, it will surely be a Panini staple for years to come. Want to see what is in your typical box this year? Check out this review.

Design: 4 and half stars blue

 The design on this product is a design style that will last a long time for this product. The look of the etchings throughout the cards is something you normally only see in another specific product that is a bit similar. The same with the coating, although I much prefer this coating than that of the competitors. It doesn’t smell, it doesn’t warp the cards to bending (at least not yet) and it has a much smoother, almost glass like feel to them. The design is practically flawless. My only issue is that it is possibly TOO shiny or reflective. It’s really a spectacular level of reflectiveness on the product. But the “Prizms” as they call it, “Prizmatics” for myself, are beautiful all the way from the regulars to the golds. Bravo. I also love the insertion of Elite Extra Edition and that design looks great as well.

Checklist: 4 and half stars blue

 Sets like this, with a large base set, a product with many base cards per box, all have the same things in common. They always feature rookies, stars, and Hall of Famers. When it comes to Panini, they usually find room for everyone a collector would want in a set. This is no different. It is full of your top rookies from 2012 along with your top players in the game today and Hall of Famers. I also love the addition of the Team USA license which doesn’t need to be airbrushed. The autograph checklist is actually pretty decent too. Overall, fantastic.

Value: 4 stars blue

 Right now, you can buy a box of this product for $82 at DA Card World. That is actually a pretty good deal for what you get in the product. A couple autographs, some “prizms” and the possibility for a gold/black prizm. There is one thing I keep recommending for this product, and that is to add one or two more levels of “prizms” numbered a little higher. Maybe something numbered to 50 and something numbered to 100. That’s it. I find Topps has too many levels, and I think collectors would like a couple other levels (hobby) that are a bit easier to attain, but not overwhelming for player collectors. And keep a retail version like is out now.

Overall: 4 and half stars blue

Overall, this is a well deserved score for this product. Collectors don’t really care too much about the lack of logos when a product is built this well. I think the design is great, but a few minor tweaks could make it superb and perfect. The checklist is fantastic as well with current players, future players, and former players. The value is pretty decent right now as well, but I think with a couple suggestions could put it over the top as one of the better “base” based products out there.

Thanks to Panini America for providing this product for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

You can also find the full checklist of this product on Cardboard Connection.

Subscribe to us on YouTube to see the break.

Want to see the cards? Here you go:

Preview: 2013 Bowman Baseball

Topps is back with one of the most anticipated releases every season, 2013 Bowman Baseball.

2013bowmanbb5

The thing I think is really cool about Bowman are the Black Collection autographs. These cards will be signed in silver and the cards are numbered to 25. Trust me on this, these cards look beautiful in person!

Of course with Bowman, collectors are always after the Bowman Chrome autographs. These feature some of the best prospects in the game as well as possible sleeper prospects in the future.

An interesting new set added this year are the Dual Franchise Refractor Autographs. These cards feature the top 2 propsects in an organization and are numbered to 25 or less! Also be on the lookout for Future Game Relics, these cards are from the 2012 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, and are numbered to 25.

2013bowmanbb9

Each box contains 24 packs with 10 cards. In each box, it will contain 1 autograph card per box.

You can find the product at DA Card World for around $70 when it releases on May 8, 2013.

You can also find the checklist on Cardboard Connection.

Preview: 2012 Panini Prizm Baseball

Topps decided this product was so good in Football and Basketball that they should make it in Baseball, so 2012 Panini Prizm is coming to all the Baseball collectors!

2012prizmbb9

The first thing collectors should look for are the Rookie Prizm Autographs. You can find rookies such as Matt Harvey, Yoenis Cespedes, Trevor Bauer and others.

Something cool you can find in Prizm Baseball will be the Elite Extra Edition Autograph Prizms. These cards will be numbered to 25 and will feature top prospects such as Joey Gallo, Addison Russell, Dylan Bundy and more. I think it’s a neat idea to add more value by giving an insert set like this instead of making a separate product. There will also be Elite Extra Edition Gold Prizms numbered to 10 which will include the 2012 #1 overall pick Carlos Correa.

And of course, with Prizm, the big draw are the gold parallels, or in this case, the Rookie Relevance Gold Prizms. These cards will be numbered to 10 and feature rookies such as Bryce Harper, Yu Darvish and others.

strasburg1

Each box contains 20 packs with 6 cards per pack. In each box, it will contain 2 autograph cards per box.

You can find the product at DA Card World for around $100 when it releases April 17, 2013.

You can also find the checklist on Cardboard Connection and more information on the official Panini America blog.