Heritage was released today. I feel a little nostalgic not posting about it, but I haven’t purchased any yet, and don’t have the time to do so for a little while. But – I do have a post of my favorite insert in the whole Panini Golden Age product – the throwback pennants that come as a box topper.
Panini Golden Age Ferguson Bakery Pennants – 48 pennants (box topper)
Now this is what I’m talking about! There are 5 players who have a pennant in Panini’s throwback set who also have a pennant in the original! That makes this a fun comparison to do! The pennants are felt with a small black and white picture attached.
As mentioned in my previous post on the originals, it’s not even for sure that the pennants from the set designated “BF2” were really from the Ferguson Bakery. But that’s what they’re called in most card catalogs, and that’s how Panini referred to them in this throwback set.
In 1916, when these pennants were issued, Lajoie was nearing the end of his career and had signed on for 2 years with Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics. The A’s were historically bad around this time, and finished dead last in the American League both years Lajoie played for them. Panini chose to depict him with the team that he had the most success for, the Cleveland Indians.
The next player on the list is Buck Weaver, member of the 1919 Black Sox. Unlike the Lajoie comparison above, these two pennants feature Weaver on the same team – the White Sox were the only franchise he ever played for. Weaver’s is possibly the saddest tale of the Black Sox – he knew of the scandal but never took money or planned to do so. And he was becoming a star in his own right when he was banished by Kennesaw Mountain Landis. Weaver’s best season was 1920, when he hit .331 and had 208 hits.
The pictures on these pennants have to be from a pretty close time period. The White Sox were the only franchise Weaver played for. As you can tell, the originals came in various colors. This wasn’t by player – I’ve seen the Weaver above in both tan and white/cream in addition to the gray shown here.
I’ll follow up Weaver with the other Black Sock included in this set – Joe Jackson. This one also shows the player with the same team, and probably from the same time period, though Jackson played with Philadelphia (AL), Cleveland, and the Sox.
I guess you can tell from these comparisons – the team is displayed differently. Where the original pennants use the team’s nickname, the Panini pennants use the team’s city. Obviously this is because Panini doesn’t have an MLB license, so they can’t show logos or team names. These two photos of “Shoeless Joe” is the most similar so far. Though one is batting and another is fielding, they are both about the same distance away, and it’s cool you can see the old school look with his pant legs up to his knees.
The last two players in both sets are Detroit Tigers. The first guy is the less famous of the two, though Sam Crawford is both a Hall of Famer and the all-time triples leader! I once won a question in a trivia contest in college getting that right – I threw in that he had 309 just for good measure! I’ve always found this intriguing. I think if I wanted to collect super-old school vintage I’d have a player collection of Sam Crawford.
These two photos are also very similar – same team, same type of action shot where Crawford is following through on a throw. The next thing worth noting is that I’m showing a yellow pennant for the Panini version. There were two colors inserted by Panini – yellow and blue. This is a bit of homage to the originals. Both colors are evenly distributed. I’m collecting this set, but not differentiating by color. If I find a good price, I’ll take it, blue or yellow!
The last player is Crawford’s teammate, the greatest player in baseball before the arrival of Babe Ruth. Ty Cobb actually doesn’t have quite so many records as he used to have, but he’s still tops in batting average, and second all-time in runs, hits, singles, doubles and triples. He’s third in times on base – Bonds passed him in the last decade.
The one additional thing I’ll note about the pennants themselves is the side design next to the photos. The originals have different designs as the “pillars” on each side of the photo – as you can see from all five shown in this post. Panini use the same design for each card – it seems to be taking the design used for the Lajoie card with some minor edits.
This was really fun to do – I hope a few others get to enjoy it. I really like these pennants that Panini has inserted. They obviously have to get creative without an MLB license, and these felt pennants are a really cool way to do that. I don’t think you can love everything Panini did with this product – but these are the highlight for me.