Tristar Productions makes its debut as a licensed trading card manufacturer next month with the release of a minor league baseball set, Prospects Plus.
In a year in which collectors have learned to look for the new Rookie Card logos in licensed baseball and racing sets, Tristar’s debut product will have a logo of its own that’s likely to attract the interest of collectors.
The Pro Debut logo will identify a minor league player’s first professional baseball trading card that pictures him with his first minor league team. Of the 100 base cards in the Prospects Plus set, 50 will feature Pro Debut logos, including a number of top selections from the June Amateur Draft.
“We think the Pro Debut logo will bring a level of interest to this license that has never existed before,” said Jim Stefano, Tristar’s VP of products.
As an example of how the designation is used in the set, Tampa Bay top draft pick Evan Longoria began the summer with Class-A Hudson Valley of the New York-Penn League, but played only eight games there before being promoted to Class-A Visalia of the California League. He finished the season at Double-A Montgomery of the Southern League. His card featuring the Pro Debut logo pictures him with Hudson Valley. Had he been pictured with one of his other two teams, the card could not feature the Pro Debut logo, according to Stefano.
There are also some players pictured in this set who saw major league action in 2006. For instance, Tigers pitching prospect Andrew Miller is pictured with Class-A Lakeland and features the Pro Debut logo on his card. Miller pitched in eight games for Detroit at the end of the season, and is one of the players eligible for a Rookie Card logo in major league sets in 2007.
“Similar to the Rookie Card logo in the major league sets, the Pro Debut logo brings a lot of legitimacy to the first cards in this prospects set,” Stefano said.
The logo is not the only selling point of this set, Stefano said. “We believe first impressions are everything, so you’re going to see designs in this product that you’ve never seen before on a minor league card. These have the same high-tech elements that collectors have come to expect from any modern-day set.”
The set features another first – the first minor league product to feature game-used memorabilia from the pictured player. There will be one game-used card in every box. Game-used inserts will feature uniforms, uniform patches and bats, including a bat used by Roger Clemens during his minor league appearances earlier this year.
Autograph cards will also be inserted one per pack. Among the autographed cards in the product are parallel versions of several of the 50 base cards featuring the Pro Debut logo.
Prospects Plus will be sold in seven-card packs with an SRP of $9.99 per pack. Each hobby box will contain 10 packs
Stefano said Tristar has plans to produce two minor league offerings next year.