Thursday, March 1, 2012

2011 Panini Playoff Contenders Baseball Box Break Recap And Review

Collectors of Football and Hockey cards look forward to the release of Playoff Contenders.  These boxes provide great autographs and a strong base set of the veterans of the sport.  Now comes along 2011 Panini Playoff Contenders Baseball. While Football and Hockey versions concentrate on first year rookies, the baseball version concentrates more on the MLB draft selections making it more of a deep draft prospecting product. 

Playoff Contenders Baseball falls into our premium cards category.  Each box contains 24 packs with 5 cards each with a promise of 6 autographs, 2 of which will be on-card.

Here are some of the cards we pulled.

Base Set - Draft Ticket
 Sean Gilmartin, front and back, Travis Harrison

 Dwight Smith Jr., Hudson Boyd, Kes Carter

 Base Set - Season Ticket
 Ichiro, Ryan Howard, Justin Verlander

 Mariano Rivera,  Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder

 Prospect Ticket
 Trevor Bauer, Danny Hultzen, Francisco Lindor

 Cory Spangenberg, Javier Baez, Taylor Jungmann

 First Overall
 Gerrit Cole, Luke Hochevar

Award Winners
 Dustin Pedroia, Chris Coghlan

 Curtis Granderson, Andrew Bailey

 Neftali Feliz, Tim Hudson

Future Stars
 Matt Barnes, Jason Esposito, Dante Bichette Jr.

 Winning Combos
 Abel Baker & Tyler Collins, Anderson Feliz & Cristhain Adames

 Andrew Chafin & Travis Shaw, Evan Marshall & Jason King

 Josh Hamilton & Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton & Ian Kennedy

 Legendary Debuts
 Bruce Sutter

Numbered Parallels
 Micahel Goodnight #/299, Lenny Linsky #/299, Josh Hamliton #/299

 Larry Greene #/299, Logan Verrett #/99

 Cameron Gallagher Artist's Proof #/49, Nick Ahmed Artist's Proof #/49

The Hits - Autographs
 Lee Orr Draft Ticket Auto, Cole Green Draft Ticket Auto, Adam Morgan Draft Ticket Auto

 Austin Hedges Rookie Ticket On-Card Auto,  Larry Greene Rookie Ticket On-Card Auto

Shawon Dunston Jr. Sweet Signs #/99

Overall Look
The design of these cards kind of grows on you over time.  While Panini has secured a license with the Players Association, they won’t be able to even try to obtain a license with the MLB for some time due to the League’s previous agreements.  This translates into no team logos for the established Major League players.  That presents challenges from a design level.   While the non-logoed studio portraits work really well on the Season Ticket cards because of the added stadium background the appeal of these photos decrease without background in the various inserts.  It should also be noted that our very apparent straight scratches on both sides of the Draft Ticket card fronts, both base and paralleled numbered cards, most likely due to machine damage.  I have no idea if this is a release wide problem or if we just got stuck with an isolated issue.

Quality and Variety of Players
It is important that you know that Contenders Baseball is a draft prospect product, not a rookie prospect product like other Contenders releases.  But it is a nicely rounded mix of players.

Do the Hits satisfy?
The on-card autos of early draft picks and the sweet signs cards are great.  Pulling some of the Draft Ticket autos of late round picks (Lee Orr went in the 13th round of the draft) is a shot in the dark as far as determining value.

Will you keep coming back for more?
Probably not with the enthusiasm of other Contenders products, but if the look feels right to you and you want to take a chance on some future players, you could easily buy multiple boxes.

 3 1/2 out of 5

2011 Panini Playoff Contenders Baseball will be good for draft pick prospectors.  If future releases start to include actually rookie autographs, the customer base for this product will increase and be more inline with expectations for a Contenders product.

Review box provided by Topps

No comments:

Post a Comment