With one month remaining before the scheduled release of 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition, Panini America has released the checklist for the product that integrates draft picks, top prospects and - for the first time - baseball legends in the product.
The legends are shown in high school or college shots, some of them rarely seen before. For instance, George Brett can be seen crossing the plate in an El Segundo (Calif.) High School game, Mike Schmidt at Ohio University, Al Kaline is shown at Southern High School in Baltimore, Nolan Ryan is depicted in his delivery in a staged photo at Alvin High School and Mark Fidrych is pictured while at Worcester Academy.
Several other legends appear in Back to the Future Signatures, Elite Series Autographs and Private Signings.
"We wanted to mix a little of the old with the new without affecting the base EEE checklist, which just includes current prospects," said EEE Brand Manager Mike Payne. "Elite Extra Edition is so much about high school and college baseball prospects... we just thought it would be fun to show some names from the past as they appeared at that period in their lives. Some of the older shots are better than others, but all of them capture a moment in time and provide a glimpse of the player before he made it big and, in many cases, before anyone outside his school had ever heard of him."
One current big leaguer is also shown as a high school player: Albert Pujols, then a junior shortstop at Fort Osage High School in Independence, Mo.
Pujols hand-signed 20 copies of his Elite Series card, and reportedly was amused at seeing the nearly 12-year-old image of himself decked out in his Fort Osage Indians jersey.
Highlights of the 150-card base set include:
Other highlights of the product:
Elite Extra Edition is scheduled to release January 20.