2017 Panini Chronicles

Some new and innovative looks at sports cards

2017 Panini Chronicles

Each year, Panini introduces some new and innovative looks at sports cards.  One year was Classics, and then there was Unparalleled and Optic.  Even though they don’t have an MLB license, they do still produce a handful of baseball products that mirror some of the football releases.  Some people can’t get past the fact that the players don’t have team logos on the jersey and Panini doesn’t always help itself out with photo selection.  But I think they do a pretty good overall job with design and production for the most part.

There is a new product that hit the stores in November 2017; Panini Chronicles.  This set has a very unique feature that we’ll get to in a minute but we’ll first start with the basics of the set; what’s in a box and the base design.  The base set is made up of 150 cards with Veterans and Retired Players making up 1-100 while Rookies are found from 101-150.  Rookies are numbered to 499.  A hobby box consists of 12 packs of 5 cards each and promises an average of 4 autographs or memorabilia cards per.  Along with those hits, there is also an average of 8 serial numbered cards in each box.  The average price of a hobby box is $90.

The base design is rather unique and isn’t like a typical card you’ll find in sets today.  As opposed to a full action shot on the front and stats on the back, you get the beginning of a particular moment or highlight in the player’s career on the front and the conclusion of the story, along with player info, on the back.  The photo from the front is also used on the back but is in a base team color.  This Joey Gallo is an example of a base design.  This is a Gold Parallel that is numbered to 999.  The particular moment that is commemorated on this card is an in the park home run.

Another serial numbered version is this Ryne Sandberg Green Parallel.  The Green is numbered to 199.  This particular card covers the end of the 1990 Season when he homered in his final at bat.  This was his 40th home run and he became the third player in big league history to reach 40 home runs and 25 stolen bases in a season.

This Paul Goldschmidt is a Blue Parallel and numbered to 399.  The front of the card uses wordplay to reel you in but the back of the card provides the substance for this player.  The event is from June 11, when he hit an 8th inning grand slam, marking his 154th career home run.  This moved him in to 2nd place in Diamondbacks franchise history.

Jose Altuve was another Gold Parallel Serial Numbered card.  Altuve’s prowess at the plate is covered on this card, which outlines his 2014 and 2016 batting crowns and also highlights his leading the AL in hits for 3 consecutive seasons.  Altuve is a player that is still on the rise in the hobby and a 2017 World Series helped keep him in the spotlight.

Giancarlo Stanton is the latest addition to an already “Home Run Heavy” New York Yankees lineup.  In 2018, pitchers are going to have to navigate a lineup that includes Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and more!  His card values have seen a big spike in the last week!

Another retired legend in the checklist is Nolan Ryan.  Unfortunately, this photo highlights the lack of MLB license for Panini.  This is really not a good photo in my opinion.  However, Nolan Ryan is a true hero to a lot of collectors so it’s always fun to pull his cards.  This card highlights his ability to strike out batters even after the age of 40.  Ryan had 1,437 K’s after the age of 40, which is still an MLB record!

The final retired legend for this article is my favorite.  Ken Griffey Jr. was and still is a favorite within the hobby.  This card highlights his home run ability and reminds collectors that he led the AL in home runs 4 times.  Those 4 seasons included back to back 56 home run seasons in 97-98.  He was then the 3rd player in MLB history with back to back 50 home run seasons.  The other two were Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire.  Those guys hit a lot of home runs collectively!

I am not sold on the design of the base set just yet.  I do like the highlights that are covered because they indicate just how good these players are at the game of baseball.  But the story could be told on the back of the card with a nice front design photo and I may like it a bit more.  I know that would be more in line with the other designs that are available but I just can’t quite get used to this one.  But the set takes an even more drastic turn in this next section.


2-5/8 x 3-3/4″ 4 mil POLYETHYLENE NO flap.

The inserts for Panini Chronicles are in designs of other well known Panini products, some of which didn’t have full sets for 2017.  These designs include Gold Standard, Prizm, Absolute and Donruss.  So yes, you have a chance of pulling other base card designs in this set, making it a true crossover product.  These aren’t technically buybacks as they are “2017 Designs” but they do call for a double take when you pull them.

Here are 4 Donruss Rated Rookies pulled in the box I ripped.  The Lewis Brinson is a serial numbered parallel.

I had better luck with the Prizm inserts as I pulled both George Brett and Buster Posey.  Ryan Zimmerman also had a very nice season in 2017.  The Jorge Bonifacio is a Blue Serial Numbered Parallel.

There was one Absolute insert in the box.  It was a low numbered insert at 23/25 of Christian Arroyo.  These are good looking cards.  I did not pull any of the Gold Standard inserts.

The first “hit” in the box was this Nolan Arenado Chronicles Patch Card.  This was one of two Chronicles hits I pulled as you will soon see.  Much like the base cards, the Chronicles hit covers Arenado’s hitting ability with a highlight from last year.

Although this was a Chronicles hit, it was a redemption so I won’t know what it looks like until this is processed.  I am pleased with the pull though as it is Bradley Zimmer, the #1 prospect in the Cleveland Indians system.

Panini Spectra is one of my favorite football products but is very high end so I don’t get to buy much of it.  I have gotten in on some box breaks and picked up singles but this baseball product included a David Dahl hit in the Spectra design.  This card was really thick and was numbered to 49!  The autograph is also on-card, which is a major plus.

The final hit was this Ryon Healy Spectra RPA!  This card looks great in person and is very bright and shiny.  This, along with the Dahl, is a very high end card that can be found in a mid-tier box.  Another on-card auto is a welcome addition!

All in all, the Chronicles box offers a little hit and a little miss.  I really love the Spectra RPA’s and I’m interested to see what this Zimmer looks like.  However, the base design comes up a little short for me.  I like the Prizm and Absolute inserts and would love to take a closer look at Gold Standard but I opened plenty of Donruss this year so the Rated Rookies don’t really provide anything new to look at.

What do you think of this product?

What about the idea in general?

What are your thoughts on Panini Chronicles?



Acrylic. Holds a 32pt. thick card. 4 screws. Recessed card area. 3-1/8 x 5-3/16 x 1/4″. Holds a card up to 2-1/2 x 3-1/2″.