The Beckett Blog

Panini’s Century Collection packs big-name baseball players by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Panini America may not be an official trading card licensee of Major League Baseball, but you wouldn’t know that from the company’s legendary inclusions in the forthcoming 2010 Century Collection set.

No, there aren’t any MLB logos or airbrushed uniforms in the multi-sport and non-sport product — it’s high school and casual photography — but it’s clear that the autograph and memorabilia assets left over from the Donruss days are getting good use and much of it will be in the hands of collectors starting this week.

In fact, it’s that non-traditional photography that might make these cards stand out from others — whether the significance or story behind the photo is noted on the card or not. (They likely aren’t … in their place an authenticity statement.) For example, the Paul Molitor card shown above is from his behind-the-scenes tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., back in 2004.

The bat he’s holding? It’s a Babe Ruth gamer.

Continue reading

Ron Santo news means there’s a somber addition in 2010 Century Collection by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

The news of Ron Santo’s death on Friday at age 70 might have struck a chord with a few Chicago Cubs fans, but it also struck a chord here in Texas, too, as he’s slated to have new autographs in a forthcoming trading card set from Panini America that will hit shops later this month.

Santo will have 25 copies of a signed game-used bat card to be found in 2010 Panini Century Collection, an even more somber card as it appears to show him in a high school yearbook photo, decades before his failing health got as much attention — or more — as his broadcast and playing careers.

Century Collection is a multi-sport and non-sport product laden with memorabilia swatches, autographs and postage stamps of some of the world’s biggest names. It will include five cards in every pack — at $200 a pack — with two autographs, two memorabilia cards and one additional autograph or memorabilia card when it arrives on Dec. 22.

When a product includes the likes of John Wayne, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin in the mix alongside sports stars like Joe Jackson, Jim Thorpe, Bear Bryant and Babe Ruth, a guy like Santo may not get noticed — even if a card is a short-print.

Friday’s news just might change that, though, and it’s a somber reminder of something that’s all part of collecting.

As well as life.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Chicago loses a beloved Cubbie — Ron Santo dies at 70 by Chris Olds
December 3, 2010, 10:12 am
Filed under: MLB, Topps | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

By Chris Olds | Editor

He’s not in Cooperstown and he’s not a member of the hallowed 500 Home Run Club or a broadcaster known for thick-rimmed glasses, but he was a legend in and around Wrigley Field.

Ron Santo, one of the more popular players in Chicago Cubs history, has died from bladder cancer. He was 70.

Santo hit.277 with 2,254 hits, 342 home runs and 1,331 RBI during his 15-year playing career spent in Chicago (he played his last season with the White Sox). He was a nine-time All-Star and was a five-time Gold Glove winner. After his playing days, he worked as a broadcaster for the team. His No. 10 was retired by the Cubs in 2003, and some consider him to be the best player (pre steroids-era questions) to not be enshrined in Cooperstown based on his performance on the field.

Continue reading