Kris Bryant and Jameis Winston in the same pack of cards?
It will happen later this month at the 36th annual National Sports Collectors Convention, thanks to details announced over the weekend by Panini America.
The Panini National exclusive set will be distributed to show VIPs at the 2015 NSCC, which will be held from July 29 through August 2 at the Donald E. Stephens Center in Chicago. It’ll consist of six cards of players in baseball, basketball and football.
The set will be available through a coupon, which will be inserted into VIP packages. The coupon must be presented at the Panini booth to receive the pack.
Bryant, the Chicago Cubs’ 23-year-old third baseman, will be one of two MLBPA rookie cards in the set, along with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.
Winston, chosen No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2015 NFL draft out of Florida State, will be paired with the quarterback who was right behind him in the draft — 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota out of Oregon.
Rounding out the set is a pair of college stars who are now NBA rookies — Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns, drafted No. 1 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves; and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, drafted No. 3 by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Panini’s announcement comes nearly two weeks after Topps announced its 2015 VIP set. With the National being held in Chicago, Topps added a sentimental favorite in its four-card pack for show VIPs — Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, who died this past January 23. Banks will be featured in the 1953 Bowman Color format, along with fellow baseball Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson and Al Kaline.
In late May, Upper Deck announced plans for a five-card VIP card set that also has a distinct Chicago flavor. VIP holders will receive Chicago Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews, Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan during his college days as a North Carolina basketball star, NFL Class of 2015 Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis (shown in his Notre Dame heyday), NHL all-time scoring leader Wayne Gretzky and PGA Tour star Tiger Woods.
VIP packages for the National cost $129 online and $139 on site. A VIP ticket allows admission for one collector for all five days of the show, including the Wednesday night Sneak Peek. VIPs also receive a gift package, 12 selected free VIP autographs, admission to the facility 30 minutes before the general public and use of the VIP lounge.