Sunday, May 21, 2023

Welcome, Middle School Graduates

I am a big fan of the USA Baseball cards, at least I used to be.  

I could always find some great autographs of local college players.  

Carlos Rodon. 

Marcus Stroman.  

and Trea Turner. 

and when there weren't local players, I could always find some players who ended up in the Majors and were enjoyable to watch.  

Tanner Houck is fun.  

The more recent USA Baseball sets have been a little thin on college players. 

I bought a few packs of Panini's latest USA Baseball Stars and Stripes product this past week. 

I am only going through the "hit" cards. The base cards have a decent checklist and the quality of the cards is much improved. They feel a lot like Topps Chrome base cards......

If only the cards were attached to a product that also had a decent autograph checklist. 

First up.....

is an autograph of Ayden Lockett. He is going to graduate high school in 2026. Do the math on that number, Mr. Lockett is a freshman in high school, or he's closer to his middle school graduation than his high school graduation.  Good for this kid for already having a baseball card, but I was not overly excited to pull this card.  

Maybe in five or six years I will feel differently.  


Ross Felder is a junior in high school and is committed to play baseball at Arkansas.  

Easily the best card in my packs, which is a little sad. No actual college kids.  

The last card is different.......

Italian National Baseball Team?  

Under 18? 

I completely wasted my money.  


  1. Yeah, I bought a blaster of the 2018 product and I pulled an autorelic of a kid on the 14 and under team. That felt weird. (I see he's now pitching for San Diego State.)

    1. Maybe he will get drafted and make it to the Majors. File it away for another 5 years and you will have your answer. Hopefully it turns into something good.

  2. A few times when the Yankees make an early pick in the draft, I snagged a few Team USA autos. Surprised by how many of them have cards. I did pick up a few USA Anthony Volpe autographs when he was first drafted, which has proven to be a wise choice.

    1. In 2015, Panini made a bunch of autographs with clear slabs. I bought a ton of the college kids and U-18 kids, but skipped all the U-15 players, which was where Volpe was that summer. If only I could go back.....

  3. I was gonna comment on seeing high school freshman signatures in baseball products... but then I just remember I purchased an autograph of a skateboarder who signed the card when she was probably in the 6th or 7th grade :D

    1. Skateboarder? She? I am curious about this card, I hope it gets a post.

  4. I could never own cards like these. It just seems wrong on multiple levels that they even exist.

    1. I have wondered about how these kids are compensated. I am guessing that they are not.