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Panini America Inks Trading Card Deal with CMG Worldwide, Gains Access to Legends

by Tracy Hackler

Panini America, the world's largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, announced today that it has inked a trading card agreement with CMG Worldwide.

The deal, effective immediately, gives Panini America rights to incorporate 12 of CMG Worldwide's most legendary baseball names in its newly licensed Major League Baseball Players Association products including: Jackie Robinson, Jimmie Foxx, Johnny Mize, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby, Roy Campanella, Thurman Munson, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Jim Thorpe.

That legendary list of players will be featured in several of Panini America's future baseball card sets, beginning with 2011 Panini Prime Cuts available in March at hobby shops nationwide.

"We are truly excited to partner with CMG Worldwide on a deal that will significantly strengthen our baseball product roster by giving us access to some of the greatest players in baseball history," said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. "Utilizing our unrivaled expertise in the areas of innovation and collectibility, we'll show these all-time greats to fans and collectors in a whole new light."

Added Phillip Korkis, CMG Worldwide's Director of Sports Licensing & Legal Counsel: "We have the pleasure of representing some of the greatest players in baseball history - it was a natural fit to work with one of the global leaders in the trading card industry, Panini America. Panini has an innovative and exciting product vision and we are looking forward to having our clients be a part of that."

In September, Panini America acquired a trading card license from the Major League Baseball Players Association to become the only company in the world that manufactures licensed trading cards and stickers for the NBA, NFL, NFL PLAYERS, NHL, NHLPA, MLBPA and FIFA World Cup. The company also owns exclusive entertainment licenses with Disney, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, and more than 600 global licenses with other sports and entertainment properties.

Panini America became the exclusive trading card partner of the NBA beginning with the 2009-10 season. The Panini Group purchased the industry's second-oldest trading-card company, Donruss, in March 2009 and formed the new subsidiary, Panini America, Inc. Since that time, Panini has taken significant steps to fortify its leadership position in the sports and entertainment collectibles arena.



Vote Mel Ott as your favorite Hometown Hero

There are only a few days left, but that still leaves plenty of time for you to cast your vote in the DHL Presents Major League Baseball Hometown Heroes program.

From Mel Ott to Cy Young, an unprecedented 15 CMG Worldwide clients appear on the ballot. Fans are encouraged to submit their vote for each club's greatest player.

According to MLB.com, nominees were chosen for their contributions to their franchise's history by using a selection criteria that consisted of on-field performance, leadership quality and character. So far, more than eight million votes have been cast.

So who's it gonna be, Jackie Robinson or Roy Campanella? Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig? Log on to MLB.com or send a text message with the keyword "DHL" to 55222 now through Sept. 17 and cast your vote for your favorite hometown hero. The Hometown Heroes winners for all 30 clubs will be announced in a three-part prime time series that will be broadcast on Sept. 26, 27 and 29 on ESPN.

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New postage stamp collection released honoring Mel Ott and Roy Campanella

The United States Postal service hopes to hit a home run with the July 16th release of new 39-cent stamps and 24-cent postal cards which will feature CMG Worldwide clients and baseball legends Mel Ott and Roy Campanella.

Four of the best baseball players of all time, who all have New York area ties -- Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott, Hank Greenberg and Roy Campanella - are currently being honored on commemorative "Baseball Sluggers" stamps. Ceremonies took place at Yankee Stadium on the 16th to release the stamps and honor the families of the players. Family members present for the ceremony included David Mantle and Danny Mantle, Campanella's daughter, Joni Road, Greenberg's daughter, Alva, and Ott's daughter, Barbara Ott-Schneidau.

Mantle, Ott and Campanella played for New York baseball teams. Greenberg was born in New York City. All four are in the Hall of Fame. It took much more than just displaying impressive statistics and earning a place in the Hall of Fame to land each player's face on a stamp. The players were selected because they truly were American legends and not just baseball players.

"Stamps are designed to honor the places, events and people that made America great," Postmaster General John E. Potter said. "When you think about America, Americana is baseball. So it's only appropriate when you think about honoring America and representing it in stamps that baseball is there."

Campanella played in five World Series and hit 242 home runs during a decade with the Brooklyn Dodgers while Ott was a star for the New York Giants for 22 seasons, leading the league in homers five times. He was the first National League player to hit 500 home runs.

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Mel Ott to be featured on stamp

The United States Postal Service has announced the upcoming release of 2006 stamps featuring a series of heroic individuals, including Mel Ott.

"Our 2006 program commemorates a wide range of diverse American icons with something that will appeal to everyone," said Postmaster General John E. Potter on the United States Postal Service Website.

The Mel Ott postage stamp, to be released during the summer of 2006, will be a part of the ?Sluggers? stamps. Others to be featured throughout the year include fellow baseball legend Roy Campanella, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

The new stamps will be of 39 cent value, since the price of postage is increasing by 2 cents on Jan. 8, 2006.

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