Cooperstown is coming to baseball cards, and it's not just baseball players that Panini America will be including.
When Panini's 2012 Cooperstown set arrives in late August, it will include the Nolan Ryans and Ty Cobbs that one would expect -- but it also will include other honorees of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
It will include sportswriters, broadcasters, managers, umpires, executives and more as part of a 200-card checklist and a product that will include an autograph in every 24-pack box.
The standard cards will include the likes of Alexander Cartwright, Al Spalding, Connie Mack and Charles Comiskey alongside the Mel Otts and the Reggie Jacksons, but it's in the Cooperstown Signatures set where the uniqueness of the product emerges.
Among those on the preliminary autograph checklist? Dodgers legend Vin Scully, Peter Gammons, sportswriter Murray Chass and many other honorees via the Hall's J.G. Taylor Spink or Ford C Frick Awards. Autographs already received back by Panini and teased online include Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton, Royals broadcaster Denny Matthews, New York broadcaster Bob Wolff (honored by both the baseball and basketball Halls) and Padres broadcaster Jerry Coleman.
Others Panini is aiming to include are Joe Garagiola, Marty Brennaman, Bob Uecker and Jon Miller to name a few.
What makes these unique? Many of them have never signed an autograph for a card company before, meaning there just might be more interest for their sigs as they don't have hundreds, if not thousands, of other choices for fans to sink their collecting cash into.