Shohei Ohtani’s first autographed cards for Panini America will arrive in about a month. The company has released photos of a signing session that took place last week with his first signed cards appearing in 2018 Donruss Baseball, which is slated to be released in early March.
Ohtani has also signed for Topps, but he opted not to sign an exclusive deal with MLB’s trading card partner, leaving the door open for other companies to include his autographed cards in their products.
The 23-year-old Japanese star will make his Angels spring training debut later this month and apparently had a good time with the autograph session. He’ll also have signed cards in Topps products this spring, including 2018 Bowman.
Panini has released a little more detail than Topps has regarding Ohtani autographs. He’ll apparently have memorabilia cards inside Donruss Baseball. The company also says Ohtani has signed some cards with “elaborate inscriptions requiring translation.” You can see some of them in the gallery below.
He will have on-card autographs in Private Signings and Rated Prospects Signatures, and will also appear in Signature Series, Promising Pros Materials and Promising Pros Materials Signatures.
Ohtani also will appear in the product’s Whammy!, Foundations, Dominators, Mound Marvelsand Out of this World insert sets.
Some of the cards will show Ohtani modeling his Angels uniform but many will be action photos from his brief career in Japan.
Panini is still working without a license from MLB, meaning its cards won’t have team logos and the company won’t be able to use team nicknames.
Each hobby box of 2018 Donruss will have three autograph or memorabilia cards along with inserts, base cards and parallels. Boxes are being sold online for $75-$85.