Archive for Panini

Revisiting the “Flashlight Trick”

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on January 4, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Yesterday I wrote about a Clayton Kershaw game-used patch card I recently acquired. In that piece I mentioned a “Flashlight Trick,” and apparently it’s still not something a lot of people know about.

I’ve written about the trick here before, and on Twitter, but it’s probably worth revisiting again.

Basically you take your Panini brand (Or Donruss, Leaf or Playoff relic card from early 2000s) and then the card relic-side down toward the flashlight. Through the back of the card you generally can see an adhesive paper on which the relic is attached. That paper has a bunch of codes on it, as well as the name of the player and sometimes a description of the relic. This generally only works with single-layer swatches, or really thin patches. Sometimes if you get a patch swatch with a little of the base jersey material it’ll work as well as long as the material isn’t too thick.

In the case of this Kershaw patch card I can see the words “Clayton Kershaw Gray” and a bunch of numbers. This helps assure me that at the very least I am not looking at a fabric swatch from someone else.

The trick isn’t fool-proof, and by no means is it the end-all, be-all. But it offer some reassurance.

Personally, I’ve been using the trick since 1999 when I obtained a three-color Time Couch Leaf Certified relic. I was curiuous as hell what was on the other side of the swatch. I held the card over a lamp and could see there was some writing underneath. I also could see the name “Couch.”

The trick does not work on Topps, Upper Deck or other manufacturers. It’s pretty much a Panini (or early DLP) as best as I can tell. However, it doesn’t hurt to hold the relics over some light and see what’s going on inside. Sometimes you see pieces of thread, old stitching holes, pen marks or other things that made the relic a tad more interesting.

Another case of a missing Rookie Card Logo

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

A decade ago, the official “rookie logo” was instilled into the baseball card world following a rule change that no longer allowed card companies to create cards of players who had yet to serve time in the Major Leagues.  Topps’ rules were slightly different as they were grandfathered into the hobby and via various Bowman branded products could produce “prospect” cards. This changed the definition of a “rookie card” for many people as some saw the prospect cards as nothing more than an insert, or pre-rookie card, akin to a minor league issue. The debate over what collectors really want continues to this day.

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But the Rookie Card Logo was also designed to make it easier for collectors, especially novice ones, to easily identify a real rookie card from a player’s second- or third-year card.For the most part Topps, the only company with a Major League Baseball Properties license, has done a good job using the logo when needed.  However, it has been abused in the sense that the logo has basically been slapped on ever rookie player’s non-rookie cards — like subsets, inserts and checklists bearing their photo and name.

But there have been instances where the company seemingly has flat out missed the opportunity to correctly use the Logo.

In 2015, Giants utility man/third baseman, and eventual runner up for National League Rookie of the Year, Matt Duffy was added to the Topps Update Series without a Rookie Card Logo. And to make that worse, they have added the Logo to his 2016 Gypsy Queen card.

It should be noted that Panini has a license to create baseball cards through the Majoe League Players Association and uses a variation of the Rookie Logo on their cards. The 2015 Duffy cards created by Panini in fact have the Panini version of the Rookie Logo.

The reason this comes to mind today is I pulled a 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Byung-Ho Park rookie card this morning and guess what … it’s missing a logo.Park signed with the Twins in November and to date is his only Major League card.

What’s good for the Goose …

Posted in HOF Auto with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I like autographs. Who doesn’t.  I also appreciate when autographs on well-designed cards show up in our hobby. 

Like many others I like to gather autographs of Hall of Famers.  I have many of the same guys you likely do too, none of the super rare guys who are deceased.  

Well, Goose Goossage was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 yet his signature is one that was not in my collection. Shame on me.

But there is a positive to this.  If I had owned Gossage’s auto, I likely would have overlooked this sweet 2015 Panini Cooperstown autograph featuring HOFer Rich Gossage posing with a goose.  What’s also pretty near about this is that Rich signed this on-card, so he knew he was signing a card with a goofy picture. Love it.

On a side note, I like what Panini did with the Cooperstown brand this year. 

Five-Pack 2014 Donruss Baseball break + Box Topper

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

Hit one of the local shops yesterday and was lucky enough to be there right when they opened a fresh box of 2014 Donruss Baseball.  I actually intended to buy a box last week, but changed my mind this week after I essentially spent my Donruss box money on a pack of 2012 Panini Signature Series that wound up yielding a Mike Trout auto /25.

I digress. The employee agreed to sell me the box topper, and so I picked five packs to go along with it.  With each box containing two autographs and a game-used relic card, I’d say I did fairly well in my packs.  Here’s the loot:

Box Topper:

IMG_6935Stephen Strasburg Jumbo Diamond Kings.

Pack :1

IMG_6941Colby Rasmus, Roberto Alomar, Adam Dunn, Jason Kipnis auto, Travis d’Arnaud Rated Rookie, Ryan Zimmerman, Kiroki Kiroda, and Matt Harvey.


Pack 2:

IMG_6940Gerardo Parra, Curtis Granderson, Aroldis Chapman, Don Mattingly Press Proof /99, Andrew McCutchen, Ichiro, Yan Gomes RC, Josh Dolandson.

Pack 3:

IMG_6939Jean Segura, Chris Sale, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Trout Breakout Hitters insert, Buster Posey, Hisashi Iwakuma, Felix Hernandez, Zack Wheeler

Pack 4:

IMG_6938Jay Bruce, Wei-Yin Chen, Adrian Gonzalez, James Paxton Rated Rookie, Tim Lincecum, Alfonso Soriano, Chase Headley, Hiroki Kuroda

Pack 5:

IMG_6937Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Jose Fernandez, Edwin Encarnacion Game Gear Relic, Roy Halladay Hall Worthy, Robinson Cano, Hyun-Jin Ryu RC, Carl Crawford, Zack Greinke

Video Break: 2012 Panini Signature Series Baseball — Big Pull

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

I don’t do this very often.  I don’t buy a lot of “high-end” products to begin with, and my history of recording box/pack breaks hasn’t exactly been all that successful. BUT this time was different.  This one comes from Stevens Creek Sports Cards, in San Jose, California. Good times. Enjoy.

Thrift Treasures XLVI: Giants Giveaway Cards In Custody

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on May 15, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Greetings.  I am back with an all new Thrift Treasures post, only this time there are no scans … just this video.

Let me know what you guys think of seeing these on video.  Certainly makes it easier on my mind not having to scan everything.


The best branded rookie card of 2011?

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on September 15, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

Ive caught football fever.  As such, I’ve bought a few packs of Panini Threads and came across this Anthony Castonzo rookie card from the new release.  This rookie card of the Indianapolis Colts rookie offensive tackle could be the best branded rookie card of 2011.  Why?  Check out his shirt.  Where do I get one of those?