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A History-Making Maravich: Panini America Documents Production of Rare Jersey Card

July 3, 2013

Panini America Pete Maravich (9)

Today’s release of 2012-13 Gold Standard Basketball is a celebrated event for any number of reasons, most of which we’ve shared right here on The Knight’s Lance in the last month or so. But it’s the ones we haven’t shown yet that might be the most exciting. Amid the myriad spectacular specimens randomly inserted into Gold Standard’s gold-brick boxes are 12 special cards representing Panini America’s history-making first Pete Maravich game-worn jersey cards.

Maravich, one of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, averaged more than 44 points per game as a college phenomenon at LSU before entering the NBA in 1970. Once there, he became one of the most innovative offensive stars of all time and an absolute ball-handling Houdini.

Known as the “Pistol,” Maravich spent 10 years in the NBA (with the Atlanta Hawks, New Orelans/Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics) before injuries forced him to retire in 1980. He finished his short-but-spectacular NBA career as a five-time All-Star who averaged more than 24 points per game. At the age of 40, just eight years after he retired, Maravich died during a pickup basketball game due to a previously undetected heart defect.

In 1996, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

Maravich was a truly transcendent talent — which explains why collectors still covet his trading cards and collectibles all these years later. And that brings us to his first Panini America memorabilia cards releasing today inside 2012-13 Gold Standard Basketball.

Panini America officials procured the jersey — worn by Maravich in 1980 during his 26-game stint with the Celtics — at last September’s Seventh Annual Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Auction. Twelve oversized pieces of the jersey were incorporated into Gold Standard’s Black Gold insert, including two for the rare Prime version.

In the spirit of our Ryan Kesler stick video from last September, the following video takes you behind the scenes to discover how these monumental Maravich memorabilia cards were made. After the video, stick around for a complete image gallery of the cards, too.


Here’s the gallery:

35 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2013 11:49 am

    Love the look of this years GS. Great job Panini.
    Oh and if you have any of them lying around you can send some my way. lol

  2. ThePinoyMamba Eric/Joshua permalink
    July 3, 2013 11:54 am

    PISTOL Pete!
    Wow. Very cool how you guys shows how its done and how authentic it really is.
    Very very proud of Panini!
    That will be an awesome pull!
    Well done Panini!
    TRACY thanks!

  3. Andrew McKay permalink
    July 3, 2013 12:02 pm

    Have to say that it is awesome that you show this inside look at how the cards are made and very cool as well. Thanks for sharing.

  4. harynjk permalink
    July 3, 2013 12:07 pm

    Cool video, you should make more of these behind the scene videos, i think i am not the only one who enjoy watching how the cards are made!

    And finally here is the Pete Maravich jersey, wow, i wish one day i can afford to buy one! I don’t care about Kyrie Irving autos, for me the best card of Gold Standard is the Maravich jerseys what can be topped only by the Maravich patch cards!

  5. wjcain23 permalink
    July 3, 2013 12:09 pm

    man I need a job there. what was up with the cards that didn’t have jersey pieces after the cutting? the ladies threw down a couple that had the cutout for a jersey piece but no jersey.

    • July 3, 2013 12:11 pm

      The cards are printed on a form with other cards. In that particular Prime version insert, Maravich had only two cards but the other players on the form with him had more than two. So if, hypothetically, the player with the most Prime cards in that insert had 10 cards, 10 of those forms would have to be printed. The eight Maravich “empties” in that scenario would be destroyed.

      • adam permalink
        July 3, 2013 1:29 pm

        you should sell the empties still! that would be sweet. so when i get a printing plate, and there is no print that is reversed, how does that work?

      • wjcain23 permalink
        July 3, 2013 1:34 pm

        ahh. thanks, Tracy!

      • July 3, 2013 3:29 pm

        adam: some printing plates print directly on the cards, and some don’t. The ones that are backwards are the ones that do, if I’m not mixing it up in my head.

  6. Joe M. permalink
    July 3, 2013 12:19 pm

    I always feel bad seeing a sweet jersey like that cut up but cards are awesome! Thanks for the behind-the-scenes look at the making of them. Great to see the process.

  7. Steve F permalink
    July 3, 2013 12:26 pm

    Big Maravich fan! That was an awesome video, showing the evolution of the card from a jersey. Keep it up Panini!!

  8. panthersfan89 permalink
    July 3, 2013 2:06 pm

    I’d gladly take the bits you didn’t use!

  9. Ben permalink
    July 3, 2013 2:27 pm

    Awesome how you show us the production method and where the jersey was from, unlike Topps with “This piece is not from any specific game, event or season”. You go Panini.

  10. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    July 3, 2013 2:35 pm

    Very cool piece of mem!

  11. July 3, 2013 3:30 pm

    this is so awesome. love these videos.

  12. Bill W. permalink
    July 3, 2013 4:55 pm

    Love the behind the scenes video’s on the process of producing a card from jersey to pack out … should do something like this with an autograph?

  13. Chris L permalink
    July 3, 2013 5:18 pm

    Been waiting for this video! really cool stuff!

  14. July 3, 2013 9:10 pm

    Being from Mass right down the street from the Basketball Hall Of Fame, I WOULD LOVE to own this Pete Maravich game-worn jersey card! AWESOME Job Panini! Happy Fourth Of July Tracy! And EVERYONE At Panini!

  15. Rich H permalink
    July 3, 2013 9:23 pm

    My 7 year old daughter has been asking me for a long time “how they get the jerseys in the cards” so I TOTALLY appreciate being able to show her the process start to finish! Thanks for that and for the chance at Pistol Pete!

  16. July 3, 2013 9:25 pm

    another excellent and engaging video by Tracy and his team that connects us passionate card collectors, well done!

  17. July 3, 2013 9:31 pm

    Fascinating “behind the scenes” stuff. Thank you for this!

  18. Mitch S permalink
    July 3, 2013 10:19 pm

    This was quite possibly the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. Makes my job as a food runner seem super boring. HAHA. But seriously, I had no idea so much work went into the process of making patch cards. I figured there was just somebody cutting squares of jerseys and then they got put into the cards. This gave me a whole new understanding of the process and made me realize how hard it really is. You guys ROCK! Tracy, please send my love to your crew at Panini.

    #PaniniNation #PaniniWildCard

    • July 3, 2013 11:06 pm

      Much appreciated, Mitch. Glad you liked the video. I was as blown away as you are when I saw the process for the first time.

  19. The permalink
    July 3, 2013 11:19 pm

    Tracy! Joshua now would like to see the panini head quarters.
    That would be great if we stop by and see you all in person!
    Great upload!
    Love that it shows how authentic and the time and process that takes place
    Is super cool with the highest standard there is. Tracy and team Panini will always be our
    Happy 4th of July to everyone there!
    Have fun and stay safe!
    God bless!
    Stay Cool Tracy!

  20. ThePinoyMamba Eric/Joshua permalink
    July 3, 2013 11:44 pm

    Just finished our case break and its super awesome!
    The Heavy Metal Gold cards are super cool.
    Always love the blackgold and even more so after we have seen this video.
    The white gold will be a fan favorite as well!
    This has been one of the most highly anticipated product of the year
    And super proud that its even better than last year.

    More behind the scenes like this one gives us collectors
    And even reassure us how the process of a card is done.
    So any card that we get from Panini is definitely Nba Authenticated
    The process of hard work of every card then gets to us the true
    Card enthusiasts will surely even treasure it even more.

    Thanks to all of Panini for delivering another very exciting and well thought
    Gold standard.
    Kudos to You Tracy for this great blog that really connects
    Us on what to expect of PaniniAmerica.
    Happy 4th of July everyone!
    Cheers and Drive responsibly!

    • July 4, 2013 12:30 am

      Appreciate the kind words, Eric, as always. Glad you guys are digging Gold Standard. It’s certainly one of my favorite brands year in and year out. Also, thanks to you and all of our readers for your continued support of The Knight’s Lance. It wouldn’t be what it is without our loyal collectors.

  21. gregmalloy permalink
    July 4, 2013 6:34 am

    Sweet stuff

  22. Mitch Kalman permalink
    July 4, 2013 9:34 am

    Awesome video…you get to appreciate the efforts and hardwork the folks at Panini do on a daily basis. The human element that goes into the production of jersey cards is under valued. I bet the collectors believe it is all technology driven. Thank you Panini for letting us into your world. To all of the Panini staff have a healthy and relaxing July 4th.

  23. Smithy the Card Smither permalink
    July 4, 2013 11:42 am

    Great video! Keep up the great work Panini Production Team! I have a question on the patch cards. So in Panini patches (all brands and sports included) I noticed that if I shine a flashlight throught the patch window on the front I can see small words coming through on the back that I wouldn’t see if I weren’t shining the flashlight. I was wondering what that information was about? Obviously the jersey card, but does it hold any other cool info? Sorry my question is a little far fetched-just curious. Thanks again-

    • July 4, 2013 12:03 pm

      Great question. There’s actually authentication copy attached to every swatch we process.

      • Smithy the Card Smither permalink
        July 5, 2013 11:08 am

        Cool! Thanks-

  24. July 4, 2013 4:50 pm

    Very cool video. Glad you re-posted a link to the stick video as well. I like the behind the scenes shots and videos a lot!!

    Happy 4th of July to everyone. Let’s remember what a great country we have in that we can choose to collect cards if we want to!!! Also remember our veterans!!!

  25. Jeffery permalink
    July 4, 2013 7:25 pm

    the 2/2 has been hit! It is a gorgeous card indeed. Wish it was mine but I saw someone put the post up on another forum. I wonder if the 1/2 is still out there. 🙂 Amazing stuff.


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