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Panini Announces Two Staff Promotions

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Earlier today, Panini America announced two promotions within their sales team. One of the staff members given an expanded role within the company is Kevin Haake, a former editor of Beckett Baseball who had previously worked for Topps before joining Panini back in 2009.

Now the company’s Director of Hobby Sales, Haake will be in charge of Panini’s hobby business effective immediately and he will report to Vice President of Sales, D.J. Kazmierczak, who praised his work to date through an official company statement.

“Kevin has done a tremendous job in his previous role here at Panini. His combination of brand-building experience, along with secondary-market knowledge, are intangibles that are very valuable in our industry and we are lucky to have him.” Read More »

Beckett Media acquires auction leader Goodwin & Co.

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DALLAS (Dec. 16, 2014) – Beckett Media, the collectible industry’s most-trusted brand, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Goodwin & Co., a leading sports auction house. As part of the transaction announced today, Bill Goodwin, president of St. Louis-based Goodwin & Co., will join the Beckett management team under a long-term agreement.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bill Goodwin and Goodwin & Co. Auctions to the Beckett family,’’ said Sandeep Dua, president of Beckett Media. “This is an important step forward for Beckett, and expands our unparalleled commitment to the industries we serve.’’

Goodwin & Co. (www.goodwinandco.com) has conducted more than 50 highly successful “Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons’’ auctions during the past 15 years. Bill Goodwin, one of the industry’s most respected vintage card experts, has sold more than $100 million in sports cards in his incomparable career. He also served as co-host of the landmark 1995 National Convention.

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Panini Previews More Boxing Day Images

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Yesterday, Panini America gave collectors a preliminary look at its 2014 Boxing Day promotion and they have shown off even more cards from this product today in advance of next week’s release that is targeted to authorized Canadian Panini Roundtable stores.

Today, the company shared images from the regular set found in packs along with the popular Cracked Ice parallels which will be limited to 25 copies each. With four sports represented, the player selection is perfectly targeted for the Canadian market due to the presence of many athletes who have ties to the nation – including several hockey legends. In the next few days, we can expect to see even more from them as autograph and memorabilia content is expected to be shown to the masses.

For a complete gallery, please read on after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2014 SP Authentic football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 SP Authentic in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

 

Beckett Gift Guide: Hockey Books

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

One of the easiest holiday gifts to buy for a hockey fan has to be a book on the sport itself. For generations, it has been the go-to purchase for those that are die-hard enthusiasts or for the casual fan. The stories told help build the already-rich lore of the game and the subject matter can range from lighthearted to deeply intellectual.

Each year, it seems that more and more hockey books are competing for space in a very crowded market, but there are some that have truly stood out in 2014. A few of the best are recommended in this special gift guide that will hopefully help hockey collectors find something perfect for their friends and family.

What titles are getting lots of buzz this year? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Panini Details 2014 Immaculate Collection FB

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Following the high-end football debut of 2014 Flawless, Panini released more details, and more images, for its Immaculate Collection football brand. Boxes will include six cards and will deliver five autograph or memorabilia cards.

On-card autograph memorabilia cards include Premium Patches Autographs and Premium Patches Rookie Autographs. Large patch swatches appear in Team Logo, Jersey Number and Jersey Patch inserts. Immaculate Moments highlights some of the greatest moments in NFL history. Rookie Patch Autographs will be numbered to 99 or less with Acetate parallels numbered to the player’s jersey number. Rookie Helmet Team Logos feature helmet decals from top rookies.

Other inserts will include Pro Bowl, Champions (both autographed), Immaculate Signatures Patches, and Immaculate Fours with four NFL shields on one card (numbered 1 of 1). Immaculate Collection is scheduled to release in late January. See the 10 preview images (renderings) below.

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Controversy sparks demand for Interview posters

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The controversy surrounding the release of the upcoming Seth Rogen film The Interview — and the fact that it’s now no longer happening — has done one thing.

It has sparked demand for the posters that had already been produced to promote the comedy. Posters like the 27-by-40 double-sided one-sheet above have sold for as much as $550 in completed eBay auctions and are briskly selling for between $50 and $175. Meanwhile, asking prices and current bid totals for larger poster formats and other auctions can be even higher.

Sony Pictures abandoned its plans for the the Dec. 25 release of the film in any fashion (theatrical, DVD, video-on-demand) on Wednesday after a group calling itself Guardians of Peace threatened the safety of the public and Sony employees if the film were to be released while also evoking images of Sept. 11, 2001. The company also had its computer systems hacked and its intellectual property and confidential emails released to the public.

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Top 5: Wil Myers Rookie Cards to chase

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Former top prospect and 2013 American League Rookie of the Year Wil Myers is on the trading block with a few scenarios in play that would likely send him to the San Diego Padres sometime soon — one potentially being a multi-team deal including plenty of potential big-leaguers.

Myers, 23, hit just .222 in his second big-league season and his home run total fell from 13 to six, so perhaps it’s time for a change. You won’t be able to get many of his cards for pocket change, though, as he appears on 1,387 cards in the Beckett.com database valued at more than $15,200 excluding rarities.

Although he made his cardboard debut in 2009, his 14 Rookie Cards appear in 2013 releases from Topps and Panini America. Here’s a rundown of five key Rookie Cards. (His Topps Chrome autos like the one above aren’t RCs.)

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Panini Reveals Boxing Day Promo Details

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

In the wake of a successful Boxing Day promotion last year, Canadian collectors may have been wondering if Panini America would be bringing it back again in 2014 – especially without the presence of NHL and NHLPA licensing.

Today, they received some excellent news as the company will be distributing some special packs via authorized Canadian Panini Roundtable stores. Handed out to those that make qualifying purchases, the contents inside will include base, parallel, autograph and memorabilia cards from all four major sports with a focus on the legends of the game and other content that is strongly tied to the Canadian market.

What stores will be participating? Find out and enjoy a gallery after the jump. Read More »

Baseball world reflects on life of Sy Berger

 

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When former Topps executive Sy Berger died on Sunday, the baseball world began reflecting upon a life dedicated to cardboard.

In the MLB video linked to above, Bob Costas and Harold Reynolds offer their memories of Berger, while noted collector Keith Olbermann took time to do the same. His piece is embedded below.

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Oscar Taveras auction to benefit his family

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A serious collector of a prospect gone too soon is selling his collection to benefit the player’s family.

Nine prime pieces of Oscar Taveras memorabilia will hit the auction block in January via West Berlin, N.J.-based Goldin Auctions with the proceeds from the nine lots going to the family of the former St. Louis Cardinals rookie. Taveras died on Oct. 26 during an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His blood-alcohol level was five times the legal limit at the time of the accident. He was 22.

A consensus No. 3 prospect in all of baseball from Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus entering this season, Taveras was a highly watched prospect on both the field and in the hobby. He made his big-league debut with the Cardinals this past season, hitting .239 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 80 games. In six minor-league seasons, he hit .320 with 53 homers and 324 RBI in 436 games.

Among the items up for grabs? The ball Taveras hit for his first MLB hit, which was a home run, his 2010 Appalachian League championship ring as a member of the Johnson City Cardinals, a 2011 Midwest League championship ring as a member of the Quad City River Bandits, his signed game-used jersey from this past postseason, a signed game-used bat, the cleats from his MLB debut, a pair of batting gloves, another bat and his fielding glove from his MLB debut, too.

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BGS Diary: Saban, Cerrano, Hawk, Animal & practice

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

For the last few months, I’ve submitted five cards a month to Beckett Grading Services to finally get some of the cards I like into slabs. Selecting which cards to submit has been easier said than done — and the results can be interesting, too.

Here is the batch I got back from BGS for December — so here is my latest BGS Diary entry. See which five cards I decided to submit … after the jump.

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First Pricing: 2014-15 Black Diamond Hockey

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By Dan Hitt | Senior Market Analyst

 

First pricing for 2014-15 Black Diamond hockey is now live for all subscribers to the Beckett Online Price Guide.

Black Diamond is one of the most collected hockey products each year and the 2014-15 edition continues that tradition. Consider that top hobby rookies Johnny Gaudreau ($40) and Jonathan Drouin ($30), both part of the short printed four stars Rookie Card subset, are selling for slightly less than Nathan MacKinnon’s 2013-14 Black Diamond RC ($50). MacKinnon was a once-in-a-decade type of hobby sensation, yet the RCs of the top two rookies in this year’s class are trading at very close to the same values! The Emerald autographed parallels of those two are commanding huge premiums as well.

For complete first pricing for 2014-15 Black Diamond, access your Beckett OPG account or sign-up here for a new subscription:

http://www.beckett.com/price-guides/hockey

 

First Look: 2014 Absolute Football

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By David Lee
Editor | Beckett Football

Absolute continues its long run with a new release that celebrates the brand’s 20th anniversary. It promises to bring a lot of memorabilia variety. Each hobby box has two autographed cards, three memorabilia cards plus other inserts and parallels. The base set includes 100 veterans and 50 rookies, with four Spectrum parallel versions. One of the key inserts is Rookie Autographed Jersey Quads that features an autograph along with four memorabilia swatches. The basic version has jersey swatches, while other levels have ball, glove and shoe swatches. Rookies are also featured with larger swatches with the NFL shield, plus ball, glove and shoe patches.

Panini is packing eight players and eight jersey swatches on the Tools of the Trade 8 Player cards (10 total cards) that also have Spectrum and prime swatch parallels. Tools of the Trade Complete Rookies will have 40 cards with six swatches each from different parts of the uniform. Tools of the Trade Helmets will have 40 cards numbered to 99. Absolute Ink features 100 cards with four Spectrum parallels. The Rookie Autographs are numbered to 199 and feature 50 rookies.

More inserts, image gallery, box cost and release date after the jump.

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Panini adds Oregon Ducks to college lineup

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Oregon Ducks have their first Heisman winner — and they’ll have a new home on cardboard in 2015, too.

Panini America revealed its latest deal with a major university on Monday with the University of Oregon, which saw quarterback Marcus Mariota pick up college football’s highest honor on Saturday night.

“As the College Football Playoff nears, we are excited to announce the University of Oregon as an exclusive Panini partner,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop in a prepared release. “The Ducks have such a dynamic brand and we look forward to representing that and producing compelling trading card products for Oregon fans and all college sports fans.”

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Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 15

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By Justin Grunert and Dan Hitt

Veteran of the Week:

Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys

(6 catches, 114 yards, 3 touchdowns)

Dez Bryant chose the right time to have a huge game. He caught a career-high three touchdowns in the Dallas Cowboys’ 38-27 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Sunday night’s performance was his fourth 100-yard game of the season. With Dallas closing in on winning the NFC East crown, Dez is having a career year in almost every category. He hasn’t been too hot with collectors lately, but with the kind of performances he has been putting up, along with a potential deep playoff run, we could see his value start to rise in the near future.

Cards to Grab:

2010 Exquisite Collection #100 JSY AU/75 RC ($250)

2010 Playoff National Treasures JSY AU/99 RC ($300)

2010 Topps Triple Threads JSY AU/99 RC ($80) Read More »

Former Topps executive Sy Berger dies at 91

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A baseball card pioneer has passed.

Sy Berger, the man who designed the 1952 Topps baseball card set and personally signed players to contracts the company for years, died Sunday in Rockville Centre, N.Y. He was 91.

“His greatest friend may have been Willie Mays, but he had beloved friendships with thousands of players,” said Marty Appel, who announced the news on behalf of Berger’s family. “Getting one’s picture on a Topps baseball card meant you had ‘made it.’ Football followed, based on a handshake with NFL Commissioner Bert Bell — and then basketball and hockey.

“Sy handled entertainment products, too, including The Beatles. He flew to London to meet with Brian Epstein, greeted him in Yiddish, and made a deal. There was Elvis, Michael Jackson, and much more.”

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Sunday Conversation: Upper Deck’s Grant Sandground

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

With the 2014-15 season in full swing, hockey card collectors are gearing up for some new releases featuring the hottest rookies and one of the key people behind the products they open in Grant Sandground, who is Upper Deck’s Director of Product Development. He recently took the time to answer some questions from Beckett Hockey. Read More »

Panini Teases 2014 Immaculate Football

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Panini teased it’s upcoming debut release of 2014 Immaculate Football with 11 autographed card images that arrived this week. No other information was given for the product. From the looks of the cards, it will be pretty high-end in the league, at least in quality, with Flawless and National Treasures. More information will be posted as soon as we learn more. For now, enjoy this sneak peek.

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Box Busters: 2014 Bowman Draft baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2014 Bowman Draft in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Platinum football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Platinum in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

 

Box Busters: 2014 Bowman Sterling football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Bowman Sterling in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

 

The List: 50 group-breakers to know

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Group-breaking is a force in today’s hobby, combining various technology and social media platforms to transform opening boxes of cards into an interactive experience and an event — whether you land something cool or not.

It’s the new virtual card shop, the new eBay, the new game-changer, in that it’s perhaps helping change the hobby as we know it today by drawing in collectors and allowing them to shred wax boxes like never before while connecting with other collectors and dealers to find what they need.

We’ve let collectors speak here at Beckett.com/news about which group-breakers they use and trust to help compile The List — 50 Breakers to Know.

Note: This list is far from comprehensive — and breakers are listed in no particular order. Some are larger and established, some might not be there just yet. Explore The List and see if you think there’s one that’s right for you.

See them all … after the jump.

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BVG 5.5 1952 Topps Mantle Variant Highlights December Auction

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This year, Beckett Auctions has gone to great lengths to bring collectors some incredible and rare treasures and for their December event, one of the hobby’s most coveted cards is up for bids and the action on the BVG 5.5 1952 Mickey Mantle “B” version is expected to be intense when it starts at 12:00 CST on Sunday afternoon.

“When it comes to our hobby, this is truly one of the most iconic cards and is held in a very high regard,” said Beckett Auctions Acquisitions Manager Rob Springs. “This particular copy has the highest BGS/BVG grade ever given for this variation and we are very excited to be able to present it to our auction customers. We anticipate the card to bring somewhere in the range of $25,000 to $30,000.”

For collectors unaware of why this card is so unique, it is a small variation where the stitching on the number circle on the back of the card points right instead of left and last “E” in Mantle’s facsimile signature on the front stops instead of curling up.

What else will collectors be bidding once our latest auction begins? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2014 Topps High Tek baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps High Tek in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …