When he’s not giving up 6 runs to some Mexican League team OR looking completely clueless against veteran star pitchers, Shohei Ohtani, is at least good at moving quite a bit of baseball cards in the hobby. While his cards have been around for several years, now that he’s signed and in camp with “Los Angeles”, his new 2018 releases have caught fire. Now, while Panini America will never be able to compete with Topps’ licensed cards, some of his Donruss cards have caught fire on the secondary market.
One of the more interesting Donruss cards are these ‘Whammy!’ inserts featuring all of today’s big stars (and Mickey Mantle). While the ‘Whammy!’ cards are not serial numbered, they are extremely rare case hits that for the moment at least, are pushing $100 dollars on eBay. Eventually, like all exports not named ‘Ichiro’, the bubble will burst and Ohtani will settle down somewhere South of Hideki Matsui and hopefully way North of Hideki Irabu. So grab them while they are on fire or you know, wait a while.
What’s absolutely great about these hot inserts is that they are clearly inspired by the iconic “junk wax” Score cards of 1991. When I say inspired, I mean completely ripped-off and to this old school collector, that’s a very good thing. Besides, in case you weren’t keeping track, Score is a Pinnacle Brands property and Panini America owns the right to use the Pinnacle Brands license so at best, they are borrowing an idea from something in their own library.
The days of baseball cards ruling the world are long gone so it’s great to see a company like Panini America go back to the hobby well with a memorable and beloved idea and resurrect it for today’s times with today’s most popular players. Topps would be smart to do the same thing now and then because even though we found out Topps doesn’t really make much money off baseball cards … if one thing is true, it’s that in the world of collecting, NOSTALGIA SELLS.