We’ve seen jersey swatches, bat knobs, helmet chips, pieces of baseballs and footballs, goal line pylons and goodness knows what else. Memorabilia cards have become a staple in the industry. Few care of the fate of an ‘event worn’ jersey or even a modern game used artifact. Arguing over whether it’s right to cut more historic items up is a fight lost long ago by those who tried. The latest attempt to bring fans a teeny tiny piece of history with their card packs hits the market two weeks from today. That’s when Panini America’s 2012 Golden Age Baseball product offers up pieces of a Secretariat workout saddle circa 1973.
Panini says the saddle was used by Secretariat in workouts during his two-year racing career during which he won the Triple Crown including the Belmont by a record 33 ½ lengths. You can likely count the number of Secretariat-used saddles that were preserved on one—maybe two—hands.
Golden Age also will feature autographs of Penny Chenery, the horse’s owner, and jockey Ron Turcotte. Panini says it will be the first time Chenery has signed trading cards for use inside a product and remains popular with autograph seekers. Turcotte makes occasional card show appearances.
It might seem strange to put horse racing cards inside a product billed as a “baseball release” but hybrid sets have become common as card companies search for a spark to push sales.
Set to release December 19, each box should contain at least one of the autographs and memorabilia cards from the list below. Packs will cost about $3.