There was some big news at the Industry Summit. Panini announced an exclusive autograph deal with Stephen Strasberg. Topps is changing the way they work with customer service and distributors. And Upper Deck will be returning with a MLBPA license for 2013.
Upper Deck no longer had a MLB license soon after the 2009 season before Topps became the sole heir of MLB trading cards. But with Panini returning to baseball recently with a MLBPA license, Upper Deck has now also acquired that license and will be producing baseball cards once again, back to the foundation of their company.
Upper Deck regaining a license to produce baseball cards is a big deal. While Topps is continuing their exclusive license until 2020, Panini has slowly been making a name for themselves despite not having the ability to use logos. Another competitor in that MLBPA licensed genre is good for the industry. In fact, it will probably help improve those types of products until the MLB finally decides it can’t live with an exclusive license. Upper Deck has always been an innovator and with that new challenge of the MLBPA license, they will do what they do best, innovate. How many ways can a piece of cardboard be created without logos? What else can be done? Panini has done some great things with changes in photography and cropping, but with fresh minds working on it, can we see great things from this realm?
I think Upper Deck may be just what unlicensed sports cards needs to push the envelope even farther.
Topps is back with one of their highest-end products of the year and that product is 2013 Topps Tribute Baseball.
The first thing collectors should look for are the autograph cards. These base autographs will be numbered to 50 or lower. You will also be able to find Tribute to the Stars autographs. This set features the top veterans and retired players and these cards are numbered to 24. There is also a purple parallel which is a 1 of 1.
A new set to Tribute Baseball will be the framed mini-tribute autographs that feature veterans and retired players, and will be numbered to 25. Don’t forget to look for cut autographs which will be 1 of 1′s!
Some great relic sets will also be in 2013 Topps Tribute Baseball such as relics of game-worn batting gloves, which will be numbered to 2. Retired Remnants, Famous Four-Baggers, and Superstar Swatches are also a few of the interesting sets that will be featured.
Each box contains 6 packs with 5 cards. In each box, it will contain 3 autographs and 3 memorabilia cards.
A staple of the Topps brand is back for another season in 2013 Topps Heritage.
An always popular set is back again in the Real One Autographs. This set features retired and active players and the cards are hand numbered to 64. There are also Real One Dual Autographs hand numbered to 25, and Real One Triple Autographs hand numbered to 5.
Also look out for Clubhouse Collection Relics and Autograph Relics. The Autograph Relics are hand numbered to 25 and there are Autograph Dual Relics hand numbered to 10.
Another interesting set are the Flashback Autograph Relics. This set will feature retired players from the 1964 season. Each card will be numbered to 25 or less.
Each box contains 24 packs with 9 cards. In each box, it will contain 1 autograph or memorabilia card.
You can find the product at DA Card World when it releases on March 6, 2013.
Baseball season is right around the corner, which means Topps is back with their first release of the season.
Topps has several different autograph and jersey sets this season that you will have the chance to pull. Some of the sets featured are Chasing History, which includes over 30 players.,Chasing the Dream, which includes over 20 players, and The Great, which includes 15 players and these cards are numbered to 10 and are signed on-card.
One of my personal favorite sets is the World Series Champion set. There is an autograph and autograph jersey set, both include 5 players and are limited to 50 for each set.
Something collectors need to be on the look out for this year is the Ultimate Chase Card set. It includes 30 of the most sought after current and retired players, and will be either an autograph jersey card, or a cut autograph jersey card.
Each box contains 36 packs with 10 cards per pack. In each box, it will contain either 1 autograph or 1 jersey card per hobby box. HTA boxes will contain 1 autograph and 2 memorabilia cards.
You can find the product at DA Card World when it releases January 30, 2012.
New Update: To Celebrate the Chase, Topps randomly inserted 10 Ultimate Chase Tickets in hobby boxes of Topps Series One. Finders of the Ticket will win an authentic autographed bat signed by FIVE current and/or retired players! Once Lucky Finder will win an ULTIMATE CHASE PASS – Their ticket to chase one team in the 2013 MLB Playoffs!