Saddled with History: Panini America Adds Secretariat's Saddle to 2012 Golden Age

December 04, 2012

Late last week, Panini America Brand Manager Mike Payne sent the following missive to me via email, shedding some light on the historic inclusion of rare Secretariat memorabilia (as well as on-card autographs from the people who likely knew the horse best) that will most certainly be an integral part of the upcoming 2012 Golden Age Baseball. I hope you find it to be as fascinating as I did.   
In 1999, ESPN presented its SportsCentury Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century list. Coming in at No. 35 was a four-legged runner: Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown thoroughbred and considered by many to be the greatest race horse in history. He was the only non-human to appear on ESPN’s list.

So dominant was Secretariat during that 1973 season that his winning times in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes still remain race records today — 39 years after the running and 23 years after the champion’s passing.
In 2012 Golden Age Baseball, Panini America will bring collectors closer to the legend than anyone ever has before by including cards containing pieces of a Secretariat workout saddle that came from the stable of legendary trainer Lucien Lauren and was passed on to one of Lauren’s stable hands as a gift from the trainer.
As far as gifts go, this one was huge. It was used by Secretariat in workouts during his two-year racing career, so it got a lot of use. It’s a significant piece of history, with few – if any – Secretariat saddles ever emerging from private ownership.
2012 Golden Age also will feature another first related to Secretariat: Autographs of Penny Chenery, the horse’s owner during his phenomenal 1973 campaign. Chenery was portrayed by actress Diane Lane in the 2010 film “Secretariat.” Chenery, known as “The First Lady of Racing,” has never signed for a trading card release but draws long lines at the rare personal appearances she makes.
In addition to the Secretariat saddle and Chenery’s on-card signatures, Golden Age features on-card autographs of the jockey aboard Secretariat during his amazing 1973 season – Ron Turcotte.
Golden Age arrives December 19 and carries a $3 SRP for each six-card pack.
To get your ready for the release, we’ve provided checklists below detailing the set’s Historic Signatures,  Historic Cut Signatures and Museum Age Memorabilia inserts. Take a look, and stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for additional sneak peeks.

Golden Age Historic Signatures Checklist

  1. Joe Garagiola
  2. Ron LeFlore
  3. Don Larsen
  4. Denny McLain
  5. Rusty Staub
  6. Fred Lynn
  7. Ron Turcotte
  8. Jean Cruguet
  9. Steve Cauthen
  10. Lou Piniella
  11. Jim Palmer
  12. Mickey Lolich
  13. Bill Madlock
  14. Penny Chenery
  15. Vida Blue
  16. Jim Ryun
  17. Ron Blomberg
  18. Nancy Lopez
  19. Al Kaline
  20. Barbara Eden
  21. Bill Walton
  22. Ralph Branca
  23. Nolan Ryan
  24. Frank Tanana
  25. Tony Oliva
  26. Boog Powell
  27. Bob Woodward
  28. Carl Bernstein
  29. John Dean
  30. Meadowlark Lemon
  31. Joe Torre
  32. Mark Spitz
  33. Al Unser
  34. Gordie Howe
  35. Maureen McCormick
  36. Bobby Allison
  37. Rollie Fingers
  38. John “Blue Moon” Odom
  39. Russell Johnson
  40. Dawn Wells
  41. Maury Wills
  42. Steve Garvey
  43. Cleon Jones
  44. Richard Petty
  45. Gene Tenace

Historic Cut Signatures

  1. Bobby Thomson
  2. Eddie Arcaro
  3. Harmon Killebrew
  4. Richard Nixon
  5. Moe Howard
  6. Ben Hogan
  7. Ted Williams
  8. Duke Snider
  9. Bob Feller
  10. George Burns

Museum Age (memorabilia cards)

  1. Titanic/wood
  2. Burleigh Grimes/pants
  3. Dizzy Dean/glove
  4. Eddie Collins/bat
  5. Charlie Chaplin/jacket
  6. Arky Vaughn/bat
  7. Johnny Weissmuller/jacket
  8. Vida Blue/jersey
  9. Lou Piniella/pants
  10. Ava Gardner/dress
  11. Rusty Staub/bat
  12. Sam Snead/golf bag
  13. Grace Kelly/coat
  14. Minnie Minoso/bat
  15. Mary Pickford/dress
  16. Ken Boyer/bat
  17. Rod Carew/bat
  18. Richard Petty/pants
  19. Bobby Allison/shirt
  20. Secretariat/saddle
  21. Billy Martin/game jacket
  22. Dave Parker/jersey
  23. Reggie Jackson/bat
  24. Maureen McCormick/shirt
  25. Ted Williams/jersey
  26. Jayne Mansfield/dress
  27. Ron Turcotte/jacket
  28. Nap Lajoie/bat
  29. Carole Lombard/dress
  30. Bill Madlock/jersey
  31. Dawn Wells/shirt
  32. Russell Johnson/shirt
  33. Duke Ellington/suspenders
  34. Luis Aparicio/pants
  35. Gary Carter/bat
  36. Joe Torre/jersey
  37. Rudolph Valentino/hat
  38. Thurman Munson/jersey
  39. Nellie Fox/bat
  40. Pee Wee Reese/jersey