Panini America Photo Editor Kevin Jairaj on His ‘Rookie Card,’ Leo Messi and More
September 08, 2017

I remember regularly going to M.E Moses stores as a youngster (more or less a Mom and Pop version of a modern-day Walgreens) and begging my mom for a few dollars so I could buy baseball cards. In fact, I remember vividly how much I fell in love with the look and feel of the 1984 Donruss Baseball cards I saw on the shelves. What caught my attention (besides the chase for the highly coveted Darryl Strawberry and Don Mattingly Rookie Cards) was the stunning photography and unique Diamond Kings and Rated Rookie inserts. This honestly started my card-collecting obsession and even turned me into a teenaged hobby dealer at local card shows a few years later.

I guess I never got the wonderful photography from the 1984 Donruss Baseball set out of my head as, in my adult life, I became a fashion, wedding and sports photographer. In fact, I am currently in charge of all the photography for the College Football Playoff National Championship and I regularly work assignments — including Super Bowls, Olympics and Final Fours — for USA Today Sports Images. I’ve loved sports and trading cards all my life and when the opportunity came to join Panini America as a member of the company’s excellent Photo Editing team, I immediately jumped at the chance to combine two of my biggest loves.

Read more: The Official Blog of Panini America