Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Panini Collegiate Cards - Some of the Dodger Players

Panini not only makes professional sports cards, but they also make collegiate cards.  In fact, they've been doing this for quite some time.  Typically, college themed cards are found within their NFL and NBA sets - not surprising since collegiate programs play a big part in those athlete's development.  In Baseball, however, a ballplayer is far more likely to be drafted out of high school and trained in the finer art of the game under the tutelage of a Major League club.   Still, there are numerous exceptions to this rule. 

Panini's newest offering is a series of university specific complete factory sets featuring some of the top collegiate athletic programs in the country and their players.  They include school like Texas A&M, University of Michigan and USC.  Check out a complete listing here.  For the most part, football and basketball players dominate these sets, but there are a handful of notable Baseball players included. 

Unfortunately, not every college in the above listing has been released yet.  In fact, I have yet to see the USC and UCLA sets in hand.  Heck, a UCLA checklist isn't even available yet, and I've been waiting eagerly for that one since there's a chance Jackie Robinson could be included.  In the meantime, most of the other college sets are now available and several current Dodgers are ready to be added to your collections.  Check them out below.  BTW, I'll certainly share any other Dodger cards to pop up as they get released.

For now, there are three current Dodger players wearing the uniform of their alma mater with pride.  First up is Dodger catcher and former ballplayer at the University of Miami Yasmani Grandal.  Set checklist here.

University of Miami

#14 Yasmani Grandal

Next up is current Dodger pitching prospect A.J. Vanegas from Stanford University.  Set Checklist here.

Vanegas just finished up his second season in the pro's primarily as an reliever for the Cal League Champion Rancho Cucamonga Quakes - the Dodgers top Single A club.  In 34 appearances he struck out 46 in 59 innings, and recorded a 2.59 ERA.

Stanford University

#48 A.J. Vanegas

Lastly is a college card for Dodger reliever JP Howell as a member of the University of Texas Longhorns.  Set checklist here.

As you may know, Howell started out as a freshman at USC, but eventually transferred to Texas.  While there he lead the longhorns to a College World Series championship series in 2004 against my alma mater Cal State Fullerton.   He lead all pitchers in the CWS with a 0.77 ERA, but that wasn't enough.  My Fullerton Titans swept them in the three game series.

University of Texas

#64 J.P. Howell

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