A Panini America Special Report: Wild Sales from 2012 National Treasures Baseball

March 06, 2013

In this special edition of the Panini America Price Index, we turn the lights down low and put a very bright spotlight on 2012 Panini National Treasures Baseball. Since the product’s official release one week ago today, the hallowed trading card set has flown off hobby-shop shelves at an amazing clip. In fact, Panini America VP of Sales D.J. Kazmierczak announced the product’s sellout the same day it released.

The coveted National Treasures namesake made its inaugural foray into baseball this year, showcasing rare artifacts, memorabilia and autographs from some of the most storied players in the game. And in less than one week, the collectors have spoken: 2012 National Treasures Baseball is a monumental success that has taken the hobby by storm. In the paragraphs that follow, we examine some of the staggering secondary-market sales that have helped the product surpass even the loftiest pre-release expectations.

National Treasures’ ballyhooed Bat Knobs insert delivered one of the first huge sales, as Lou Gehrig’s 1/1 sold for $4,004.44. Gehrig’s Game-Used Bat Legends booklet card (#’d 2/4) etched with his famous nickname “Iron Horse” fetched more than $400. Here are some other bat knobs to keep an eye out for as the auctions come to an end.

On the other end of the vaunted checklist are some celebrated young players whose National Treasures specimens have commanded collector attention — and cash. Baltimore Orioles shining sensation Wie-Yin Chen’s Rated Rookie Signature Materials Black Parallel (#’d 3/10) sold for $925. The Angels’ reigning American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout appeared on two Rookie of the Year Jumbo Prime Materials Gold cards that finished with impressive final prices — one #’d 3/10 that sold for $908.09, another #’d 16/25 that sold for $700. Trout’s Rookie of the Year Signature Materials Silver (#’d 58/99) collected a handsome $425. And two more of his Rookie of the Year Signature Silver parallels collected more than $250 apiece.

Included in every box of 2012 National Treasures Baseball is one of the product’s coveted booklet cards.  The sheer variety, historical content and legendary players featured on the booklet cards is simply staggering. For example, view Derek Jeter’s Star Jumbo Patch 1/1 below that sold for a cool $1,000. New York Yankees’ legend Joe DiMaggio’s Game-Used Legends Jumbo Jersey booklet card (#’d 23/25) sold for $399 and Frank Frisch’s Legends Booklet Autographed I.D. Tag  (#’d 3/5) collected $375. And booklet cards for Nap Lajoie and Curtis Granderson each caught more than $150. A rare signature from Ted Williams on his Legends Cuts Jumbo Nickname (#’d 4/5) sold for a whopping $850.

Among the most interesting and fascinating aspects of National Treasures Baseball is the inclusion of game-worn button cards — and some of these unique button cards are collecting mad cash. Take, for instance, a Rogers Hornsby Game-Used Jersey Button parallel with his nickname “The Rajah” (#’d 2/2) which netted $833. A Derek Jeter Game-Used Jersey Button (#’d 1/6) sold for $600. And there’s also a beautiful All Decade Game-Used Jersey Button worn by Charlie Gehringer during the 1930s that brought home a winning bid of $462.

Are you starting to get the idea that 2012 National Treasures Baseball is a blockbuster? If the above examples aren’t enough to convince you, perhaps this mind-blowing Satchel Paige Greatness Prime Laundry Tag 1/1 that sold for $900 will help drive that point home. And then there’s a Walter Johnson Game-Used Baseball Card (#’d 1/4) that collected a winning bid of $710.

Just by the off chance that you still don’t understand the sheer magnitude and breadth of 2012 National Treasures Baseball, the following gallery should provide further evidence.

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