Panini Lands MLBPA License to Produce Baseball Cards

Panini Lands MLBPA License to Produce Baseball Cards

2011 Contenders Josh Hamilton ImagePanini has announced that they've landed a license with the MLBPA to produce baseball cards featuring major league players. Their first set under the deal comes in December with 2011 Elite Extra Edition Baseball with 2011 Contenders Baseball following.

This deal provides some legitimate competition in the baseball card market as Topps has been the only company producing licensed cards for the past couple of seasons. Topps still holds the exclusive trading card rights to the MLB license, which means that Panini will not be able to use team uniforms or logos. But in gaining the MLBPA license, the Texas-based company will be able to produce cards of major league players.

Josh Hamilton will be used heavily in the marketing of the cards. The reigning American League MVP will be featured on packaging and in autograph card programs.

Expect further news later today following a press conference featuring representatives from Panini, the MLBPA and Hamilton.

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Ryan's collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection. Ryan can be found on Twitter @tradercracks and Google+.

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