USA Baseball, in conjunction with Panini, recently released a new trading card product, the 2018 USA Baseball Rack Set, that is available exclusively on their website, USABaseballShop.com. This 66-card set features each member of the 2017 USA Baseball Collegiate, 18U and 15U National Teams and are the same cards available in the 2018 Panini Stars & Stripes base set. But, each “rack set” comes pre-packaged also includes three random autographs #d/100 and each member of the aforementioned teams is included in the autograph set for a total of 66 subjects. These autographs feature the same design as the 2017 Panini Contenders Season Ticket cards, but include serial numbering to 100.
Here is the official description for the set from USA Baseball:
New for 2018 USA Baseball is releasing a trading card industry first! A rack set. Each 2018 USA Baseball “Stars & Stripes” rack set includes 66 base cards comprising all of the players on the 2017 USA Baseball Collegiate, 18U and 15U National Teams. Plus each rack set features three autograph cards, each numbered to 100, from the players on the teams. The rack set is available exclusively from USABaseballShop.com.
Only 2,200 of these sets were produced and according to our source, they’re selling fast!
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to speak with a USA Baseball spokesperson regarding the rack set. Here’s that interview!
What brought about the creation of the USABaseballShop.com exclusive set?
The 2018 USA Baseball Rack Set was manufactured in response to a request from USA Baseball’s retail team to provide a national team set for the organization’s fans and collectors. We run a relatively large online and offline retail operation, selling USA Baseball licensed products, and this has been an item there has been demand for over the past 12 months.
With just 2,200 sets being produced, was this type of offering (USABaseballShop.com exclusive) somewhat of a test run for USA Baseball and Panini America?
Working with Panini we developed the strategy of using Stars & Stripes as the foundation for the product and then we added the three autographs per rack set. Most sets will include one autograph from each of the 2017 USA Baseball National Teams – Collegiate, 18U and 15U.
How has the set been received overall and especially by the collectors that were seeking a complete roster offering available as a single purchase?
The response from our fans to the rack set has been great and one of the best things is that over the past few weeks we have been able to direct customers who have asked about additional USA Baseball offerings to the 2018 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes foil product which was released back in March.
Can collectors and USA Baseball fans expect more product releases like this in the future?
One of the things we enjoy most about working with Panini is the creativity from their product development team. We are always discussing new ideas around USA Baseball and the truly unique place our organization holds in the hobby. USA Baseball has had a presence in baseball cards going back over 30 years now and over that time fans and collectors have continually seen new products and innovations as we collectively work to keep our products fresh.
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