Look, I know “my guy” can act a fool. I know he turned his back on his teammates and the then very dirty (at the time) sport of baseball … I get it. Still, as a collector who was given his first pack of cards way back in 1990; I want some new, well-done, and good-looking Jose Canseco baseball cards. It wouldn’t hurt if they were Beckett-recognized, either.
I know the Baseball Mafia (Topps & MLB) don’t take kindly to rats and in most cases send them to a shallow card grave with other forgotten stars to sit for years in smoke-stained boxes at the worst card shows on the planet. But if Albert Belle is back at Topps, a guy who once tried to run down Trick o’ Treaters with his Sports Utility Vehicle … so can Jose Canseco, right?
So with Topps continuing to make cards like this, can a company like Panini America truly “save” us collectors who care about more than just the certified autograph or game-used relic that comes out of a box of trading cards? If so, what could Panini do differently that Upper Deck, Obak and other companies failed at before them?
Donruss once ruled The Hobby with inserts like Elite and Crusade but in today’s market all that truly matters now is the certified autograph, how low the serial number is, and just how many colors that patch you pulled out of the $400-dollar box of Topps has. Having looked at some recent cards on eBay, I have to wonder if design and photography is even a factor anymore.
I for one will wait to see what kind of cards Panini America gives us. When I was reviewing their products I did find their designs to be repetitive and in many cases simply forgettable. Having opened 50-60 different Panini products in 2009, I can honestly say I don’t remember a single one. That has never been the case with many of Topps and Upper Deck products.
If they can jump over that first hoop with something truly memorable and dare I say, special … it could truly be a new beginning for baseball card collectors who have grown tired of Topps and its few unlicensed competitors. But Panini America has to put out something great, something more exciting than just another Contenders release.
I just don’t know if they are willing to go the extra mile.