If it seems like Panini America just released a product called Prime Cuts Baseball, you’re not imagining things. Just four months after its 2011 product was released, the company announced plans for a 2012 Panini Prime Cuts issue—this one markedly different from the first.
Unlike the prospect-laden set released last spring, Prime Cuts 2012 will be a high end product consisting of just two cards per pack, but at least one and perhaps both, will be autographed and the other non-signed card will be a relic card with a piece of memorabilia.
The set will consist entirely of Hall of Famers or well-known former players, current big leaguers and signed rookie cards as well as players on the USA Baseball Collegiate National team. The latter will be the only cards on which cap or jersey logos will be visible. Panini has no MLB license but does have the USA Baseball trading card license.
Each case will have 15 packs. There will be 50 relic-adorned base cards, 50 Century Signatures (with Gold, Silver and Platinum parallels), 22 USA Baseball signed jersey cards, 50 Timeline Autographs, 50 Timeline Materials Signatures (featuring Trios and Quads) and 36 Timeline Booklets.
Sticker autographs will be prevalent but 2012 Prime Cuts will have on-card autos for its Significant Signatures (all Hall of Famers plus Mariano Rivera) and Notable Nicknames insert sets, numbered to 49 or less and including a large roster of Hall of Famers. The Notable Nickname Cuts inserts will feature 1/1 autographs of Johnny Evers, Ted Williams, Satchel Paige, Connie Mack, Casey Stengel and others.
There will be memorabilia cards of Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Dizzy Dean, Rogers Horsby, Bill Dickey, Albert Pujols and Yu Darvish.
Timeline Booklets will honor the “biggest years and the biggest careers from the game’s most iconic players by pairing their game-used memorabilia with a cut signature and numbering to 10 or less,” according to Panini.
2012 Panini Prime Cuts is slated for release in October. The company had also scheduled its Cooperstown set to be released by now, but so far, the product's revised release date has not been announced.