- Card Design:
Panini releases Select around this same time every year and not only is the release time the same, the design looks very similar to last year’s as well. This year’s is a chromium finish as before with Select as a large logo at the top. The logo and the trim on the front are gold as before and have the team colors also represented in the backdrop. The player’s name and team are in the center at the bottom. Any rookies have a large “RG” logo in gold above the player’s name.
- Checklist Review
The checklist consists of 250 cards. The first 100 are the true base all consisting of current players. The next 100 cards are part of Premier and also consist of current players. The last 50 cards are Diamond and also only have current players. There are a group of rookies that have the previously mentioned RC Rookie Card designation.
Select really does not have any viable collectability more than any other release. There are few that will build the set and not many more that will rip it for the hits. Those that will are either grabbing it in a break or happen to find it in the wild and grab it because it is the only thing available. I would venture to say that Select is not one of the most popular products for Panini in baseball like their other sports.
- Favorite Parallel/Insert Set
What Select may lack in recognition for baseball, it more than makes up for it in Parallels. In fact, Select has one of the largest quantities of different Parallels of any release. If you are all in for a rainbow chase, look for these: Holo (unnumbered), Scope (unnumbered), Tri-Color (unnumbered), Zebra (unnumbered), Red (numbered to 199), Blue (numbered to 149), Neon Green (numbered to 99), White (numbered to 50), Carolina Blue (numbered to 35), Cracked Ice (numbered to 25), Tie-Dye (numbered to 20), Orange Pulsar (numbered to 13), Gold (numbered to 10), Pink (numbered to 10), Green (numbered to 5) and Gold Vinyl (numbered 1 of 1). Select also has a good mix of Inserts to add value to your rips/breaks and provide more of a chase element. Sets include: Phenoms (25-card set with Parallels), Hot Rookies (25-card set with Parallels), 25-Man (25-card set with Parallels), Moon Shots (20-card set with Parallels), Sensations (15-card set with Parallels), Select Stars (15-card set with Parallels), Phenomenon (15-card set with Parallels) and Artistic Impressions (10-card set).
Quantity of hit opportunities continue in these groups too because that is one of Panini’s claim to fame. Look for these Autos in Select: Sparks Signatures (40-card set with Parallels), Signatures (20-card set with Parallels), Launch Angle Autos (10-card set with Parallels) and Rookie Signatures (9-card set with Parallels). Want an auto with a piece of memorabilia? Look for these sets: Rookie Jersey Autos (62-card set with Parallels), Signature Materials (9-card set with Parallels) and X-Factor Materials Signatures (8-card set with Parallels). Or pure Relic sets with memorabilia can be found in these: Rookie Jumbo Swatch (48-card set with Parallels), Select Swatches (20-card set with Parallels), 1993 Retro Select Materials (20-card set with Parallels),
Select really does not have any uniqueness about it. It is from Panini with a chromium design that looks a lot like last year’s version. It has its long list of Parallels, Autos and Relics. But it will not have the commitment to it from a collector like other releases. It truly falls into the category of filling any void because it might be the only product you can find (if you are lucky).
Overall Score 3.78/5.0