Completed insert set – 2013 Panini Golden Age Bread For Energy

9 03 2016

This is my first completed set out of the Panini Golden Age product from 2013.  I bought a box in 2012 and 2013, but not 2014 (they seem to have discontinued it since then).  I love retro-themed cards, but didn’t have the time or budget to get everything.  I do really like this set, however.

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Info about the set

Set description:  There are 2 types of Bread Label inserts in 2013 Panini Golden Age.  The one I haven’t completed yet is Tip Top Bread.  This one is based on the 1951-52 Fischer Baking Labels.  The 2013 Golden Age cards are rectangular, in the standard size of today’s cards.  The corners have rounded cut-outs like the originals, with a blue background and the red Bread for Energy label at the bottom.   The product logo is on the front above a red circle containing the player’s name, city, and a brief write-up on the front.  The backs have a card number and the team city, but other than that are blank to mimic the original.

The originals were square cards with the same rounded cut-out corners and “Bread For Energy” phrase in red at the bottom.  They can be found with yellow and red backgrounds in addition to the blue that Panini based their design on.  Those cards were distributed in the Northeast with bread products.

Set composition:  10 cards, 1:12 odds (2013 Panini Golden Age)

Hall of Famers:  5 Total: 3 Baseball, 1 Boxing, 1 Golf

  • Hack Wilson, Warren Spahn, Buck Leonard.
  • Thomas Hearns
  • Nancy Lopez

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from hobby box I bought
  • 7 cards from COMC
  • 1 card from Beckett Marketplace

Card that completed my set:  #2 – Warren Spahn

2013 Golden Age Bread for Energy Spahn

This was the one card from a dealer on Beckett’s Marketplace.  I got it in December of last year.

Thoughts on the set:  These 2 Bread Label throwbacks are my favorite insert from this product.  Any time a card company pays homage to an old oddball set, I’m in.  This one has a cool design, and a few interesting subjects.

Best card (my opinion):  #7 – Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns

2013 Golden Age Bread for Energy Thomas Hearns

The Hitman is the best looking card here.  The cropping of the photo and the yellow boxing shorts with his last name all seem to go really well with the blue background and red card bottom.

Card #5, Sham, gets a special mention here.  I didn’t know much about Sham, and this card made me read up on the horse.  Sham was the top contender to Secretariat, coming in second in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 1973.  He pushed Secretariat for the first two-thirds of the Belmont, but fell back as the legendary horse pulled away and finished last.

2013 Golden Age Bread for Energy complete

2013 Golden Age Bread for Energy Nancy Lopez

Completed insert set – 2012 Panini Golden Age Batter-Up

23 10 2015

This is my second completed set out of the Panini Golden Age product that was released in 2012.  In a way, I consider it my first, as I kind of completed the Headlines insert set by default and wasn’t that interested in it anyway.

But this insert set was definitely something I wanted to complete.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “Batter-up cards similar to the 1934-36 originals.”

This set mimics the 1934-36 Batter-Up baseball set that was issued by National Chicle.  The set is a die-cut version of sepia-toned cards, where you can fold out the silhouette of the player.  The originals had quite a few sepia-toned cards, but also had a few other color cards.

There are some slight differences on the front in comparison with the original set.  The subject’s name and position are in bold black print in the bottom corner, whereas the original had a white box with the phrase “Batter-up” for the player’s name.  The set contains athletes from all different sports, as well as 2 actresses.  The back has a write-up about the individual. This also differs from the originals, which were blank backed.

Set composition:  25 cards, 1:12 odds (2012 Panini Golden Age)

Hall of Famers:  11 Baseball Hall of Famers.  Duke Snider, Whitey Ford, Harmon Killebrew, Early Wynn, Al Kaline, Luis Aparicio, Billy Williams, Brooks Robinson, Eddie Mathews, Yogi Berra, Nolan Ryan.

20 total Hall of Famers.  In addition to the baseball players above, Red Grange (football), Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey (boxing), Seattle Slew, Man o’ War (racing), Bobby Jones, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Ben Hogan, Walter Hagen (golf) are all Hall of Famers in their respective sport.

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from my hobby box
  • 16 cards from an eBay lot
  • 1 card from the 2013 NSCC
  • 3 cards from COMC
  • 3 cards from Sportlots

Card that completed my set: #16 – Luis Aparicio

I got this from Sportlots last November.

Thoughts on the set:  I love this insert set.  Panini Golden Age is kind of like Topps Lineage from 2011, only its inserts are based on much older designs.  These Batter-Up cards are great, and most of the deviations from the original are nicely done.

The one complaint I have is that there aren’t any guys from the right era for the original design.  1934 does fall in the “Golden Age” time period Panini was going for with the Golden Age product.

Best card (my opinion): #23 – Yogi Berra

I’m probably influenced by his recent passing, but I really appreciate the picture of a younger Berra at the plate.  So many of his photos are up close head shots or of him in catcher gear.  Here I can see why he was such a good hitter – with the strong, compact build.

2012 Golden Age Batter-up complete

2012 Golden Age Batter-up complete_0001

2012 Golden Age Batter-up complete_0002

Other tidbits:  As I mentioned, there are no players from this set who were also in the original, which is disappointing.  Arky Vaughan, Frankie Frisch, Jimmie Foxx, Bill Dickey, Charlie Gehringer, and Dizzy Dean have cards in the 1934 set and are the 6 guys featured in the Panini Golden Age base set but not in this set.

Three athletes depicted by Panini in this set were active in 1934, and none of those 3 were in their prime for the sport shown.  Babe Didrikson Zaharias had finished her Olympic career by this point, and was about to move on to golf.  In 1934, Red Grange was playing his last season for the Chicago Bears, and Ben Hogan was in the early part of his professional golf career, which was a struggle at best.

2013 Panini Golden Age box break

12 08 2013

As I mentioned previously, I got this box at the national.  By purchasing it, I got 5 of the wrapper redemption packs, which I posted about earlier.  I broke my rule of pausing on retro sets because I went to the National.  I also got a box of Goodwin Champions, but I’m going to wait before opening that.  Just because I don’t have the time at the moment.

As with last year and with most retro sets, I like a lot of things about this set.  The base cards aren’t based off of any historical set, but they do have a nice design and a tobacco era feel.  The inserts are pretty cool.  Again the inserts are kind of tough pulls – so it’s kind of cool getting an insert and thinking it is a decently tough card!

My idea for this product is the same as last year – the Golden Age is too broad.  There are athletes & personalities from the 1890’s, and even Nolan Ryan who played into the 1990’s.  I thought parceling this out over a few years be really neat?  For example, if the 2012 Panini Golden Age product had a theme from the “tobacco era” – 1890 through 1920 – and then this year’s product did the Babe Ruth era of the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Then, follow that up with the 1940’s and 1950’s, and you could wrap it up with the 60’s and 70’s.  That would be a cool way to do it, and it would rope me in more than it has.

That said, for a set where Panini doesn’t have license, I can’t complain.  This box was 62 bucks, and I had a fun time opening it up.

First up – here’s the box topper.  These are remakes of the Exhibits cards.  Not as cool as last year’s Ferguson Bakery pennants, but neat.  They fit perfectly into the 4-card Ultra Pro pages, so that’s good.  There are 40 cards in total – quite a bit for a box topper set.
2013 Golden Age box topper Exhibits Citation

Here’s a look at the base cards.  They have more baseball players than anything else, but baseball players make up less than half of the 150 cards.  The design has a little darker color than last year’s cream / off-white borders.  They even have an inanimate object as one of the cards…

2013 Golden Age box base cards

Here are the various mini parallels you can get.  One of each back (I hate that all the companies do so many different backs), and old Yogi on an example from the front.

2013 Golden Age minis

Headlines is back – it’s the one insert that has no basis in any previous trading card sets.  Headlines is a newspaper-themed set that covers some of the bigger news moments from the era covered by the Golden Age product.

2013 Golden Age Relic Now box Headlines

There are 2 types of made to look like old bread cards from the 1950’s.  There are 10 cards in both sets.  The first is Tip Top, which looks like the 1952 Tip Top Bread set.  You get one of those per box.  The second is the Bread for Energy, which looks like the 1951 set of the same name.  I love these cards – definitely my favorite part of this product!  And my idea of a theme for these by era for different years would have worked great here!  The Hack Wilson card is particularly cool.

2013 Golden Age Tip Top Bread


The other set is based on the 1933 De Long inserts, which were either the first or second cards included along with sticks of gum.  As a Michigan fan, I’m glad to have pulled one of the legendary coach Bo.  Billy Sunday was a 19th century baseball player who retired to become an evangelist.  He has a beer named after him that is served at AT&T park.

2013 Golden Age DeLong

New this year are actual playing cards that were inserted.  These are the most common inserts – 8 per box, or one ever 3 packs.  54 cards in total – like a real playing card set!

2013 Golden Age Playing Cards

Interesting they gave Bo Derek the Ace of Hearts…

There is also a 9-card three stooges insert set, of which I got one card.

2013 Golden Age Relic Now Playing Stooges

Finally, here’s the hits.  The relic set is the Museum Relic set – last year I got Charlie Chaplin, this time I got another non-athlete.  These are interesting, not sure if I’ll be keeping this one or not.

2013 Golden Age Relic Carole Lombard

My autographs I will be keeping – two actors from the Bad News Bears, which was a theme for this set.

2013 Golden Age Relic Bad News Bears autos

Below are the “stats” for the box.

24 packs per box * 6 cards per pack + 1 box topper +1 extra card = 145 cards

102 of the 150 card base set (67% set completion)

1 Exhibits (Citation)

13 Minis, American Caramels Blue

8 Minis, Carolina Brights Purple

1 Minis, American Caramels Red

1 Minis, Carolina Brights Green

1 Mini, Nadja Caramels

8 Playing Cards

2 Headlines

2 De Long Gum

2 Bread For Energy

1 Tip Top Bread

1 Three Stooges

2 Historic Signatures (D. Pollock, J. E. Haley – Bad News Bears)

1 Museum Age Memorabilia (C. Lombard)

Completed insert set – 2012 Panini Golden Age Headlines

5 07 2013

This is my first completed set out of the Panini Golden Age product that was released last year.  Apparently, it’s now in its second run and just got released for 2013.  And though I enjoyed the product last year and like the look of the 2013 version, I won’t be purchasing any of it quite yet.

Info about the set:

Set description:  “HEADLINES cards offer a snapshot of major events in history.”

It’s kind of like the News Flashbacks from Topps Heritage, although those cards are geared only toward the events in one specific year, whereas these sets are pretty much from 1900 to the 1970’s.  The cards are designed to look like a newspaper, horizontally oriented with a headline at the top and then a small write-up in smaller type to the left.

Set composition: 15 cards, 1:12 odds (2012 Panini Golden Age)

Hall of Famers: 2 Baseball Hall of Famers.  Jackie Robinson is featured for breaking the color barrier and Tom Seaver is featured on a card for the 1969 Amazin’ Mets.

5 total Hall of Famers.  In addition to Seaver and Robinson, Joe Namath, Secretariat and Eddie Arcaro are all Hall of Famers in their respective sport.

How I put the set together:

  • 2 cards from hobby box I bought
  • 13 cards from a couple of different eBay purchases

Thoughts on the set: I almost didn’t collect this, but it was easy to pick it up.  I ended up buying a full set for 8 bucks shipped on eBay, even after I’d earlier purchased a lot of 7 cards.  Anyways, it was an interesting set, but it suffers from the main problem I have with Golden Age to begin with.  The parameters of the timeframe involved are too broad.  Currently, the first headline is from 1903 (Wright Brothers first flight) to 1974 (Nixon resigns).  I think it would have been more interesting if Panini rotated the timeframe of this entire product, including this set.  Maybe start off with 1900’s to the 1920’s for the 2012 set, than do the 1930’s and 1940’s, then the 1950’s to the 1970’s.  A three-year rotation would be cool.  It would certainly do a better job of hooking me, too.  If I collected the first rotation last year, I’d be in on the product much quicker this time around.

One other thing that is kind of annoying – the card numbering doesn’t seem to follow any sort of parameters either.  Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, and that’s the last card.  But that occurred well before the Amazin’ Mets won the 1969 World Series or Joe Namath predicted a Jets victory in Super Bowl III.

Card that completed my set: #15 – Robinson Breaks Barrier

This was one of six cards I still needed when I purchased a complete set from eBay as a cheaper way to fill in the remainder.  I’ll consider Jackie Robinson’s card my final card of the set since it’s the last card and it’s one of the two baseball-related headlines.

Highest book value: #10 – Secretariat Wins Crown, 14 – Broadway Joe: We’ll Win

These two carry a slightly higher Beckett value than that of Robinson.

Best card (my opinion): #5 – Truman defeats Dewey

I like that this card has another newspaper inside the Headline.  It shows Truman holding up an erroneously printed Chicago Tribune, which prematurely proclaimed Thomas Dewey the winner in the 1948 presidential election.

2012 Panini Golden Age Headlines

2012 Panini Golden Age Headlines_0002

Panini Golden Age – other inserts, relics, autos and variations

7 03 2013

The last 3 posts I did for Panini Golden Age were the insert sets based on vintage baseball cards (and in one case, vintage baseball pennants).  Here’ I’ll wrap up the rest of what’s included in the product.  After that, I’ll start gearing up for 2014 Heritage!

Panini Golden Age Headlines – 15 cards (1:12)

2012 Panini GA box Headlines

There’s one standard insert I haven’t covered yet, that’s a newspaper-themed set that comes 2 per box.  These have some of the bigger stories from the (broad) time period covered by the Golden Age product.  I don’t love this set, I’ll be honest.  The headlines tend to be from the 60’s, which makes sense because it was both a tumultuous and progressive time in the world’s history.  But that makes it read more like some of the headlines I’ve read in the Topps Heritage inserts.  Plus, I think of the Golden Age more of the 1920’s and it would be better to have cards with headlines from that time period.  I don’t hate the cards – they were just my least favorite of the inserts available.

White Border Parallels – 46 cards (print run of 58)

Black Aqueous Parallels – 146 cards (#1/1)

There are white border parallels for cards 101-146 that come about 2 per case.  There is also a 1/1 parallel with a black border.  I’m not too excited about these – I think they had plenty of parallels with the minis.

Photo Variations – 25 cards (2 per case, print run of 92)

Photo Variations White Border – 25 cards (print run of 10)

Twenty five of the cards have photo variations.  They are numbered separately from the base cards they represent (1-25), but come in the same order their counterparts come in.  They also come with white borders in much rarer quantities.  And with much more confusion to potential collectors.

Movie Poster Box Toppers (regular cards #/60, memorabilia cards #/99)

Panini movie Pride of the Yankees

These aren’t really my cup of tea – I definitely wanted to get a pennant box topper in my box.  But I could see how they could be, and frankly they fit better in the Golden Age theme than some of the other stuff.  It’s strange that the memorabilia cards are more plentiful than the regular cards.  There is one baseball-related movie in the checklist – The Pride of the Yankees.  The memorabilia cards are dual swatches with a different swatch for two different actors (Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright for the Lou Gehrig story).

Museum Age Memorabilia – 40 cards (1:24)

2012 Panini GA box Chaplin relic

You get one memorabilia card per box.  I’ve read some things online where some folks have bashed the design of both the memorabilia cards and the autograph cards, but I think they’re fairly nice.  The notable card in this offering is a training saddle worn by secretariat which was cut up and inserted into cards.

Historic Signatures – 40 cards (1:24)

2012 Panini GA box Turcotte auto

These also come one per box.  The notable signatures here are Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, plus the three living Triple Crown jockeys.

Triple Crown Tribute Autograph – 1 cards (#/20)

Panini GA Triple Crown Jockeys

Speaking of Triple Crown – there is a very rare, very cool on-card autograph of all three living jockeys.  This card is tremendous – I love the darker color and the juxtaposition of the riders and horses.  The only complaint – the gold (brown) pen color – this would have been stunning had it been done in silver or white.

Historic Cut Signatures – 10 cards (#/1 to #/3)

Seems like every product like this needs a few of these.  Richard Nixon, Ben Hogan, Bobby Thomson and Ted Williams are some of the big names you could pull.

Panini Golden Age – comparing the Ferguson Bakery pennants

6 03 2013

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.

Ferguson Bakery BF2 LajoiePanini Ferguson Pennant LajoieNap Lajoie is my first comparison.

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.

1916 BF2 Ferguson Bakery Buck WeaverPanini Ferguson WeaverThe 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.

1916 BF2 Ferguson Bakery Joe JacksonPanini Ferguson JacksonI’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.

Ferguson Bakery BF2 CrawfordPanini Ferguson Sam CrawfordThe 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!

Ferguson Bakery Cobb

Panini Ferguson CobbThe 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.

Panini Golden Age – comparing the Batter Up insert

5 03 2013

Panini Golden Age Batter Up – 25 cards (1:12)

I had hoped the Batter Up insert set would afford some better comparisons for me than the Newark set did yesterday.  The Newark set was a 15-card minor league set, so finding players to compare between the original and the modern set put out by Panini this year wasn’t going to yield a player in both sets.  But the 1934 Batter Up set issued by National Chicle had 192 cards and a ton of Hall of Famers.  And 1934 falls right in the middle of the time period Panini used for the Golden Age set.  In fact, Arky Vaughan, Frankie Frisch, Jimmie Foxx, Bill Dickey, Charlie Gehringer, and Dizzy Dean have cards in the 1934 set and are featured in the Panini Golden Age base set.

That’s 6 players they could have put in the Batter Up insert set, and I could have had a really interesting post!  But they didn’t put any of those guys in the 25 cards for the throwback set.  In fact, only three athletes depicted by Panini were active in 1934, and none of those 3 were in their prime for the sport shown.  Babe Didrikson Zaharias had finished her Olympic career by this point, and was about to move on to golf.  In 1934, Red Grange was playing his last season for the Chicago Bears, and Ben Hogan was a struggling professional golfer.

Batter Up GehringerPanini Kaline Batter UpSo I’ll just compare Hall of Famers in Panini’s version to the original.  First up are two of the greatest Tigers of all-time.  Gehringer is one of the greatest second baseman of all-time.  I’d probably rank him third, behind Joe Morgan and Rogers Hornsby.  In 1934, he was a budding star, a few years away from a .371 batting title and MVP season in 1937.  He started the first all-star game in 1933, then played every inning for the first six summer classics.  Had it not been for World War II, Gehringer very well may have cracked 3,000 career hits.  He led the league twice each in hits, runs and doubles, and once each in triples and stolen bases.

As it sits, Gehringer’s 2,800+ hits are third all-time by a Tiger.  He’s behind Ty Cobb and Al Kaline – who got a card in Panini’s modern version of this set.

1934 Batter Up Greenberg

Panini Ryan Batter UpAnother Tiger comes next.  Hank Greenberg hit 331 homers, and probably would have approached 500 if he hadn’t missed 4+ years to World War II.  Greenberg is 3rd all-time in career homers for Detroit, and until the steroid era, sat behind only Ruth and Maris with a season of 58 homers. He won 2 MVPs and accomplished a rare feat by leading the league in doubles and homers in 1940.  Only 6 other players have done this in the live ball era – Albert Belle, Ted Williams, Rogers Hornsby, Chuck Klein, Joe Medwick, Willie Stargell.  (BTW – Nine players did it before 1920 Tris Speaker, Lajoie, Harry Davis, Ed Delahanty, Tip O’Neill, Harry Stovey, Dan Brouthers, Jimmy Ryan, Heinie Zimmerman)

Greenberg was also notable for his tenure as part owner and General Manager of both the Indians and White Sox after he retired.  So it seems best to compare him to Nolan Ryan, who went from all-time great to a member of ownership.

Batter Up Hack WilsonPanini Batter Up Billy WilliamsI’ll do one more.  First up are two sluggers from “the North Side”.  Otherwise known as the lovable losers.  Hack Wilson still holds the Major League record for RBI in a season, and that’s one of those records that likely won’t be surpassed.  He’s got a card in the original 1934 Batter Up set.

Another Cubbie slugger is in the Panini Golden Age version of the set – Billy Williams.  Since I moved to Chicago and now live really close to Wrigley, I see Billy’s statue about 2-3x a week depending on how I’m getting home from work.

Panini Golden Age – comparing the Newark Evening World Supplement

4 03 2013

Panini Golden Age Newark Evening World Supplements – 25 cards (1:24)

Whenever I do posts on these retro inserts, I try to show some kind of comparison with the “modern” version of the set to the previous version of the set.  Sometimes, it works out really well and there are one or two players who are in both sets, and thus it works out great to do a comparison.

This is not one of those sets.

As described in my post on the older set about a week ago, the Newark Evening World Supplements were a newspaper insert for a minor league team.  Sure, 11 of the 15 players in the original set depicted had or would have some Major League experience.  But they were far from notable names.  The most famous was Clyde Engle, who played a big hand in the Red Sox 1912 World Series title.  And Oscar Stanage, who was a great defensive catcher and a teammate of Ty Cobb.

But I can’t find a picture of the cards for Stanage or Engle.  In fact, I could only find pictures of 4 of the cards out there on the interwebs.  And 2 of those are Charles McCafferty and Henry LaBelle, who are half of the 4 players in the set who never made the majors.  And a 3rd isn’t the greatest picture.

Newark SupplementsSo I’m working with a good shot of Bud Sharpe.  Sharpe did not have a very notable career.  He played 2 seasons in the Majors, for 2 teams.  His seasons were spaced 5 years apart – in 1905 with the Boston Braves and 1910 with Boston and Pittsburgh.   Now, at least he could say that he played with Hall of Famers in his time in the bigs – Vic Willis with Boston, and at least Honus Wagner and manager Fred Clarke in Pittsburgh.  It’s tough to tell because there aren’t game logs for his 4 games with the Pirates in 1910, but he could have also possibly played with Max Carey and Bill McKechnie.

Picture 2Sharpe hit .237 in 1910, and notched 139 hits for his career with a .222 batting average.  He never homered, but hit 3 triples and stole 4 bases.  He was Boston’s starting first baseman in 1910.

Unfortunately for me, there aren’t any players (or athletes) in the Panini version of the set who could have been in the original set.

Not a single athlete who was an active professional at that time.  The closest is Joe Jackson, who was playing for South Carolina semi-pro mill teams in 1907.  Jackson signed his first minor league deal with Connie Mack to play for Philadelphia’s farm system in 1908. So Shoeless Joe gets the comparison next to Bud Sharpe here.

Picture 1The other major leaguer who I could find was John “Nap” Shea.  As you can see – this isn’t the greatest scan of the card.  Shea was a nearly life-long minor leaguer who played in a few different minor leagues on the East Coast.  It appears he wasn’t known for his bat – he had a few seasons hitting above .300, but was typically around the Mendoza line.  But he must have been a heck of a catcher, because he lasted 15 minor league seasons, from 1894 to 1908 – at a time when the Major Leagues weren’t quite as clear-cut as the best play in organized baseball.  There’s an article quoted on Shea’s Wikipedia page that says he was very successful investing in copper, so he had some talents outside of the baseball diamond.

2012 Panini GA box Newark Evening GaragiolaShea did have one “blemish” on that life-long minor league career.  He played in 3 games for the Phillies in 1903.  In 10 at bats, he got 1 hit, a single.  Which is 1 more major league hit than just about everybody else in the world has!

I thought about comparing Pete Rose on here.  He also played for the Phillies, plus I could have done some cutesy thing like “Shea was only 4,255 hits from the all-time leader”.  But this is Panini, not Topps – so I could rightfully use his name, and that just wouldn’t be fun!  Instead, I’ll go with another catcher who didn’t have a particularly notable career, but also had some pretty good success outside of his baseball career.  And Joe Garagiola did make it into Panini’s version of this set.

Ty Cobb the King – Panini Golden Age Mini comparisons

26 02 2013

I did minis with Broad Leaf backs and Croft’s Candy advertisements over the last two days, the last one is the rarer back out of the retro card backs available. Ty Cobb King of the Tobacco World – T-206 Cobb King of the Tobacco World This version of the the Ty Cobb T-206 portrait had some recent news in the baseball card world.  For comparison, the Honus Wagner T-206 card is the most valuable baseball card out there, and one of the two most famous cards in history.  It’s the “holy grail” of baseball cards.  But this card known as the “Cobb/Cobb” (as opposed to the Cobb/Broadleaf or the Cobb/Piedmont) is quite a bit rarer.  There are 16 known backs to the T-206 set, but only the red Ty Cobb portrait has this advertising back.  It’s an advertisement for a Ty Cobb brand of tobacco.  There’s a lot more to read about it here, but here’s a good article with the details.

2012 Panini GA box minis Broadleaf Cobb back

Panini paid homage to this with a rare (1 per box) mini.  Each card, not just the Cobb, has a version.  Of course, Cobb is the only player who has a card with this back in the original T-206 set and the Panini Golden Age product. Picture 6 There’s also one mini you can get in the product that isn’t a parallel – it’s a direct throwback to the T-206 set.  The holy grail itself, a reprint of the Wagner card.

Panini Golden Age Wagner

There’s also one more mini – it’s a parallel that doesn’t have a direct correlation to a tobacco era set.  Panini put its own logo on the back of the cards, with a knight and a lance.  Kind of cool, though I don’t like 1 of 1 cards in general.

Ty Cobb Panini black mini front

Ty Cobb Panini black mini

Panini Golden Age Mini comparisons – Croft’s Candy

25 02 2013

The WordPress theme I’ve had for the entire existence of this blog went kaput today.  So I changed up.  Not sure if I’ll keep this one or not.  I like it ok – it does seem like it uses space better.

I did Broad Leaf backs yesterday, today I’ll compare another card back available in Panini Golden Age.  The Croft’s Candy cards were from the same tobacco era as the T206 set – but as the name indicates, they came from a different product.

Croft’s Candy – E92

The Croft’s Candy minis are harder to get than the Broad Leaf counterparts – I think 3 or so red ones per box and about 1 blue per box.

2012 Panini GA box minis Broadleaf Croft back

The original Croft’s Candy cards were from the E-92 set, which also has a few different backs itself.  There were 50 cards from this set, which was issued in 1909.  These cards came with candy products – I think the others are Croft’s Cocoa, Dockman and Sons, and Nadja Caramel.  The different colors here is in fact historically accurate, unlike the Broad Leaf blue cards above.

Picture 5

3 players are in both of these sets – 3 carryovers from yesterday’s post; Cobb, Crawford, and Eddie Collins.  There’s only one photo to pick from this set – unlike the T206 where some players have 5 or 6 photo variations.

Picture 4 Picture 3 Picture 3