A couple of weeks ago it was announced that Topps was unretiring the #7 for their checklists and that the contract with the Mantle family has ended. Yesterday it was announced that Panini has signed a multi-year contract with the Mantle family and will be producing Mantle cards including cut signatures and memorabilia cards. The agreement is that Mantle will appear in six Panini releases a year plus he can appear on packaging materials for two releases a year.
Mickey’s sons David and Danny said that the reason for the change was that they felt that Topps was flooding the market with their father in modern day releases. Obviously, this is code talk for “Panini offered us more money” because Panini will flood the market too. Just because his likeness can only be included in six releases does not mean that he will only be included on a couple of cards. Being in six releases will most likely result in hundreds of Mantle cards a year from Panini for the next couple of years and the worst of it all is that without the MLB license Mantle will appear logoless. I expect we will see tie and golf shirt relic cards.
His first Panini card is part of the online exclusive Panini Eternal release, seen above, and became available yesterday beginning at $9.99 each. His first packed out card will be in 2017 Panini Immaculate Baseball in August.