Without a proper MLB Properties license, you can hardly blame Panini America for trying something different. There are only so many ways a company print baseball cards with concealed logos. “Different“ is probably the best word that best describes 2012 Triple Play Baseball.
Like the 90s products of the same name, Triple Play is geared to the younger collector and will retail for under a dollar a pack. Yet compared to more recent Panini baseball offerings, the all-computer illustrated design makes it less obvious that the product is not fully licensed.
Although the base set is a paltry 90 cards, Triple Play’s base set brevity is more than made up for in a series of unique inserts. Specifically, Eye Black. Every sixth pack will contain a pair of real eye black stickers. Other inserts include:
- Focus – A close-up of the respective player’s eyes. One player for each team.
- Hall of Fame – All the usual suspects, all with airbrushed cap logos.
- Baseball 101 – An educational set explaining, as the press release put it, “The finer points of the game.”
Also included will be a one-per-pack sticker insert and a very 1990s Donruss-esque two-per-pack puzzle set. And yes, since we’re living in the year 2012, each 24-pack box will yield a “Real Feel” game-used card; however, curiously, the image of the Real Feel card Panini provided does not mention any player.
2012 Triple Play Baseball is scheduled for release the week of July 23. Each box will contain 24 packs of seven cards with a retail price of $0.99.