In a move that is surely going to stir some emotions in and out of the hobby, Panini America announced Wednesday that its new Golden Age Baseball product will include slivers of wood from the ill-fated Titanic.
Golden Age is yet another entry into the suddenly crowded field of hybrid trading card sets that include not just baseball cards but those picturing moments in history, famous entertainers and athletes from the past and even relic cards containing fossils and bugs.
The 24-pack boxes won’t be available until later this fall but Panini released images from the product that show a Titanic commemorative card. The ship sank in April of 1912 on its maiden voyage, killing over 1,500 people.
Pine wreckwood chips will be embedded into a handful of cards randomly distributed as major hits in cases. It’s not the first time we’ve seen wood from the Titanic used in a commercial fashion, though. In fact, a chase card issued as part of a UK-based Titanic trading card set is up for sale on eBay now. It's believed most of the Titanic wood that has entered the marketplace over the years came from pieces originally picked up by the captain of the Minia, a ship that helped recover bodies after the Titanic sank.
Panini does not have a Major League Baseball trading card license at the moment but is utilizing its agreement with the Baseball Hall of Fame to produce cards of former greats and 2012 Golden Age will also include game-used bat relics from Ty Cobb and Joe Jackson, among others.
Cut signature cards are also part of the mix with a Bobby Thomson cut check among the preview images.
You’ll also find cards featuring subjects like the 1919 Black Sox, the Loch Ness Monster, Watergate journalist Bob Woodward and a 1/1 card commemorating horse racing’s Triple Crown winners with autographs from the three living jockeys.
The product also features mini parallels with card-back variations, a selection of box toppers including mini pennants patterned after the 1916 Ferguson Bakery Pennants, and randomly inserted original classic cards from the 1930s and 1940s.
2012 Golden Age Baseball will include six cards per pack with a set containing 150 base cards. Twenty-five of those will have parallel versions. There will be150 mini tobacco card parallels with back-color variations, 50 Historic Signatures and 40 Museum Age memorabilia cards.
According to Panini, each box should include one Historic Signatures autograph, one Museum Age memorabilia card, 24 Mini Parallels, two Headlines, two Batter-Up, one Newark Evening World Supplement, one Ferguson Bakery pennant or 5 by 7 Movie Poster box topper (a limited number of the Movie Posters will include memorabilia from the depicted actors).
The 1930s and 40s buyback cards will fall just one per case but Hall of Famers will be included. 2012 Panini Golden Age will be released in November. The company’s Cooperstown product will be strictly baseball. It’s slated for release later this month and will include one Hall of Famer’s autograph card per box.