At Long Last: Revisiting the Panini America Routing Table and its Golden Age Glimpses

April 19, 2013

Panini America 2013 Golden Baseball Routing (35)

Here’s one sure sign that it’s been way too long since we last visited the fabled Panini America Routing Table: It’s not even a table anymore. It’s been upgraded to a full-blown Routing Section, wedged neatly into a lightly trafficked hallway between the Product Development and Prepress departments. In any event, I ventured back there earlier this week to see what I could find — and I struck gold.

Dominating the Routing Table on this particular day were several tell-tale routings from the upcoming 2013 Golden Age Baseball release.

In the gallery below, we profile many of the entertaining, compelling and unique aspects of 2013 Golden Age Baseball, which includes an expanded presence of The Three Stooges, several new personalities and a fascinating base-set design.

For those who don’t know, the Panini America Routing Table is the common collecting ground for proofs that will soon enough become some of the most collected cards in the country. Approval routings, as their name suggests, are essentially early, copy-paper drafts of trading cards that require the initialed approval internally from members of the Panini America photo, editorial, prepress, marketing and design teams. Once they have that, they’re sent to the appropriate licensing office — primarily electronically but occasionally via expedited air shipping — for the most important seal of approval.

You’ll also often find “Test RIPs” (sometimes called “match prints”) on the Routing Table, which are laminate color-proof files that provide anyone looking with the closest representation possible of what the final printed card will look like.

Keep in mind while you’re perusing the following Golden Age routings that some of the images include extremely preliminary concepts that might incorporate player and team names intended for sizing or design purposes only. So if you see, for instance, a mismatched player or team name, don’t be alarmed. As we say in the business, such things at this early stage are “FPO” (for position only). Many times, though, they’re for your viewing enjoyment, too.