2011 Playoff Contenders Baseball – the Autographs in One Box

Even though the year in the title of the product is 2011, it seems fitting that the release of this highly anticipated offering coincided with the beginning of Spring Training 2012! After all, Panini stayed with a strong prospect focus in their second Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) licensed baseball card release, and it is in Spring Training where those prospects get to show off and set their course for the coming season.

2011 Playoff Contenders Baseball does have a good mix of veteran players, but the big draw is the 150 prospect signers. On the day that the pitchers and catchers from our favorite team reported to spring training we decided to rip into a box of 2011 Playoff Contenders Baseball.

Every box is said to come with six autographs, including two hard-signed (that is, on card) autographed cards. Other styles of  autographs include Legendary Signs of great players from the past, and Sweet Signs that have signed baseball leather. There are also the various ticket-themed cards popular in the Contenders releases for other sports. 2011 Playoff Contenders Baseball also contains a variety of subsets and parallels, but it is the autographs that get the attention.

So, to keep the readers and followers of MLB Memories up to speed on what is happening, we decided to list and show to you the autos found in our first opened box of 2011 Playoff Contenders Baseball. Oh, by the way, the six promised autographs turned out to be seven in our box!

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Comment by Larry Pauley on March 1, 2012 at 3:13pm

Rick…that is a question several people seem to be asking. And it bears out the old axiom regarding baseball cards that it is better to be a collector first, and an investor somewhere else down the list!

But this question really is on a lot of different minds. In fact, you may be aware that one of the major pricing sites has been running a poll on this very question. The rather small sample size has 53% saying the lack of logos (no big league license) matters to them, with 36% saying that it does not matter all that much. The other 11% fall into the "not sure" category. Statistically, that is fairly close with a poll of only around 250 votes.

I think much of the "long term" potential will hinge on the players in the set and how many of the prospects/draft picks actually make an impact in the game. The cards are of a fairly substantial quality, and so they should hold up well over time which will help. The "hard signed" cards will certainly do better over the long haul than the sticker autographs, that is for certain.

Finally, I think the product may well have some "legs" because it DOES carry the MLBPA license. The game is enjoying a wonderful period of labor peace on most fronts, but it seems that this lack of negotiation between owners and players has allowed the Players Association to begin flexing its marketing muscle on its own a bit. Should that trend continue, it is quite possible that cards such as Contenders could have a good, long run of collectable desire, and growth in value.

Comment by Rich Mueller on March 1, 2012 at 2:19pm

Larry...What do you think about the long term potential of these cards given that Panini has no big league license?  Will collectors care?

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