Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Product Review: 2013 Panini Cooperstown Baseball Hobby Box

Last week Panini Released it's 2013 Cooperstown Baseball product for it's sophomore year. I didn't pick up a box of the 2012 product only a few packs here and there, and by the year was out I wish I did. I was sure not to miss out on the 2013 edition of this great baseball product. Panini has been very impressive with their Non MLB Licensed products and the 2013 edition would be no different.

Hobby Boxes are set to 24 packs with 6 cards per pack. Every pack has something waiting for you with 24 Colgan's Chips Disks, 12 Cracked Ice Parallels, 4 Historic Tickets, 2 Cooperstown Lumberjack, 2 Short Print Color Variations, 1 Box Topper and 1 Autograph of a Hall of Fame Member. That is a lot of cards aside from the base cards you'll be pulling from 1 box.

The Base set is 100 cards but also have 10 Color Variations numbered from 101-110 to collect in order have a fully complete set. Each card in the base set has a Cracked Ice Parallel with Green, Blue /499, Red /399, Gold /299, and Black #'d 1/1. Inserts are plenty in the product with Colgan Chip Disks taking up the bulk of what you will pull in a box. These are inserted 1 per pack and have a 165 Disk's to collect. Historic Tickets are a cool insert with some interesting facts of certain games played in history with a picture of what the ticket looked like. The best insert in the product belongs to the Cooperstown Lumberjacks. These are cards are printed on Wood card stock which is pretty cool technology. There are 100 cards in this insert set with some players having up to three different cards. Numbers Game, Museum Pieces, International Play and Induction round up the insert lineup for the 2013 product.

Not to be forgotten are the Box Topper Inserts which come in either a Felt Pennant of Blue or Red color and Lumberjacks Die-Cuts. The Lumberjacks are numbered to 175 and there are 24 to collect. The Blue and Red Pennants have 48 different for each and are the more common of the Box Toppers.

The Hall of Fame Autograph checklist is 98 cards deep and each are numbered from 699 down to as low as 6. Each card is an on-card Autograph and each player is in the Hall of Fame. Some players have 2 or more different autographed cards in the set so there are 56 different players in total. Included into the Autograph chase are Heroes Buyback Autographs with a checklist of 21 players.

Now with all of those details lets see how we stacked up against the odds and who we ended up pulling form our box:

Base Cards: 90 (0 Doubles)
Base Card Green Cracked Ice: 6 - Miller Huggins, Casey Stengel, Steve Carlton, Rube Marquard, Al Kaline, Christy Mathewson
Base Card Blue Cracked Ice: 3 - Honus Wagner /499, Holt Wilhelm /499, Pee Wee Reese /499
Base Card Red Cracked Ice: 2 - Dave Winfield /399, Johnny Evers /399
Base Card Gold Cracked Ice: 2 - Lloyd Waner /299, Frank Baker /299
Base Card Color Variation: Tony Gwynn
Colgan's Chip Disks: 24 (4 doubles)
Historic Tickets: 4
Numbers Game: 2
Museum Pieces: 3
International Play: 1 - Fergie Jenkins
Induction: 4 - Ozzie Smith, Phil Rizzuto, Frank Robinson, Jim Hunter
Lumberjacks: 2 - Joe Tinker, Bobby Wallace
Box Topper: Lumberjack Die-Cut Addie Joss /175
Autograph: Steve Carlton /180

Outstanding product overall from our perspective. The Base card design is great. Love the photography of the past players, the Non MLB License doesn't impact the design or the photos of the players in this product. It's done very well and you would never know looking at the cards. We were not able to make the set falling 11 cards short and are 8 cards short from the 10 SP's which we will track down to complete the full set. The Cracked Ice cards are very nice with Red being our favorite. Really like that they are numbered with the exception of the Green. Nice that you pull one every other pack in the box and some of the players will be decent value in the secondary market. Not seen the Black 1/1, but surely they would look just as nice.
The Colgan's Chip Disks were a nice idea to include them into this product as a historic collectible item from the past but not too happy about the assortment in our box. We ended up with 4 doubles from the 24 we pulled and would have liked to have each chip numbered so you knew the order. Either way they were a nice touch but would like to see something different next year.
Inserts are always nice in this set as it brings you back to the time of the event and you learn a little bit more about a moment or event that you might not have heard before. The designs are great and really standout among other sets as some of the best out there.
Lumberjacks are a personal favorite insert. Just love the technology on the cards, makes you feel almost like the card was made out of wood. Again great design and great checklist of players so you can't go wrong here. This will be one for us to hunt down and see about finishing the set.
To go along with the Lumberjacks inserts we were happy to pull the Box Topper of the same insert. We pulled a Addie Joss and it looks great. Always loved Die-Cuts and this one has a great design and even better that it's numbered to 175. The Felt Pennants are nice but would much rather these Die-Cuts instead.
Our Autograph was of Steve Carlton and numbered out of 180. It is an on-card autograph in blue ink and looks really nice on the black and white photography. You can never go wrong in any product that provides you with a Hall of Fame Autograph. This will be a great addition to the PC until I can get him on a MLB ball.
If you’re a baseball fan or historian of the game this product has to be on your list of a must buy for 2013. It's filled with outstanding items and is a product I'll never grow tired of. Great job Panini on making this product and really look forward to the 2014 edition and future baseball products that you produce.  

Most cards/hits pulled in our breaks end up on our site storefront, or our COMC account ThePackGambler. If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

Gambler Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 5/5
Parallels: 5/5
Inserts: 5/5
Concept: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

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