Panini brings one of its high-end brand names to football Wednesday with the arrival of 2014 Immaculate Football.
The premium set is known for large memorabilia patches and a variety of on-card autographs. Also produced for baseball and basketball, this is the first time Immaculate will feature the cards of the National Football League. Immaculate cards feature a white background and with foil lettering used for team and player names. The background helps the autographs, usually signed in blue, stand out on the cards.
Boxes of Immaculate Football will be around $375 and contain one pack of six cards. There are six boxes to a case. According to Panini, five of the six cards in the pack will have autographs or memorabilia pieces, and many will have both. The base cards in the set are numbered to 99 and also have Gold, numbered to 25, and Platinum, 1 of 1, parallel versions. There are 100 base cards to collect in the set.
Collectors will be watching to make sure Immaculate doesn’t have some of the patch issues that plagued another high-end brand, Flawless, last fall.
The rookie cards in Immaculate are found in the Rookie Patch Autographs and Rookie Autographs, which follow the numbering after the base set. Among the 32 players expected to be part of the Rookie Patch Autographs cards are Teddy Bridgewater, Tre Mason, Odell Beckham Jr. and Johnny Manziel. The Rookie Patch Autographs are numbered to 99 and also have parallel versions. The Rookie Autographs, which includes Jake Matthews and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, are numbered to 49 or less and also have parallel versions.
Premium Patches Rookies Autographs is another of the many signed insert sets in Immaculate Football and features rookie players on cards numbered to 49. The patches are multi-colored with a signature below. There is also a Premium Patches Autographs insert set which has the veteran stars of the NFL. Both insert sets have parallel versions including some 1/1s.
Immaculate Numbers Rookie Patch Autographs and Immaculate Numbers Rookie Autographs showcase the NFL’s rookies with cards produced in correlation to the player’s uniform number. Fans of the Washington Redskins’ #95 Trent Murphy and of the Philadelphia Eagles’ #90 Marcus Smith will have an easier time finding their cards than those who want a Tajh Boyd card (#3).
Pro Bowl Selections cards also get their print run from a specific number, the amount of times the player was selected to appear in the NFL’s Pro Bowl game. Jerry Rice has 13 cards, equal to his selections for the game. John Elway has 9, Cris Carter has 8 and Aaron Rodgers has 3. There are 22 cards in the insert set, and the toughest to find will be the Bo Jackson card as Bo knows he went to only one Pro Bowl as a Los Angeles Raider so only one card was made.
Some Trios inserts feature players who starred for one franchise. Roger Staubach shares his Trios card with Tony Romo and Troy Aikman, while three quarterbacks from different teams are on another Trios card that has the legendary Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino.
Something that brings together a 1 of 1 with multiple players in Immaculate Football are the Immaculate Fours NFL Shield cards. There are 57 in all. The NFL Shield makes an appearance in numerous parts of Immaculate. Inscribed NFL Shields and Inscribed NFL Shields Rookies and Teammates NFL Shields are all 1/1 while the shield is one of the parallel versions of the Immaculate Gloves Logos cards and also the 1 of 1 parallel for Rookie Helmet Team Logos and Trios.
Other insert sets to look for include Champions, Immaculate Marks, Rookie Helmets and Immaculate Moments while card collectors looking for the biggest pieces of memorabilia will want the cards called Immaculate Logos. Except for a small border, and a small picture of the player in the top left corner, the card is all patch. Most cards in Logos are numbered to less than 20 and feature not just patches of colors but the best and most intricate parts of the uniforms.
There may be a few surprised football collectors when they open a box of Immaculate Football and find a card from the Rookie Autographs Sports Variations or Rookie Patches Autographs Sports Variations insert sets, which feature athletes from other sports. There were only 25 of each card produced, except for the Gordie Howe which is reportedly limited to 5. Max Scherzer, David Robinson and Mark Messier are some of the players with cards.
You can check out the ‘most watched’ 2014 Panini Immaculate Football cards on eBay below.