Panini’s 2012 National Treasures Baseball is scheduled to be released next month and like its football counterpart this will be a high end product. Each $340 box will contain one pack with 8 cards, all autograph or memorabilia cards plus a booklet card. Also like the football version, each pack will be a role of the dice. You might pull a Joe Jackson Bat Knob or you might pull a Jim Bunning autograph and at $300+ per pack there is just too much of a chance you end up eating the cost.
The cards have a style all their own, Panini went out on this set. The design uses a desaturated picture of the player; all logos are removed, with some of the inserts using a golden or bluish hue. These cards remind me a lot of the Donruss sets of a decade ago.
The checklist is solid with top-tier players, along with a whole slew of middle ground/HOF players. Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Roberto Clemente and Honus Wagner all made the cut from retired players add in modern day stars like Pujols, Trout, Darvish and Hamilton and you have a nice cross cut of players.
My favorite design would have to be the Bat Knobs, it is sad to know that there are a limited number of game bats from guys like Joe Jackson and Lou Gehrig floating around and that they are being cut up and inserted in to cards but I look at it in a way that true fans of the sports who would normally never get a chance to own one of these bats, jerseys, gloves, etc. will now get to own a piece of the bat with these cards. No longer does one single person own a piece of history but now a group of fans each owns their own little piece of history.
The Button cards are pretty cool too but I do not like the arrowhead die-cut around the button. I think a simple rectangle, circle or even a shield shape would have looked nicer.
Here is a selection of various other cards that are included in the set: