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NHL 3 Hobby Stars: Midseason Rookie Review


By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst

It’s safe to say that if you follow hockey then you are fairly familiar with the big named rookies that are making in impact. Even the causal fan has had to have heard the name “Johnny Hockey” by now. But beyond Johnny Gaudreau and Aaron Ekblad there are a crop of guys just below them that collectors should be taking note of, if they haven’t already.


Jonathan Drouin, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning
There were high expectations for Jonathan Drouin coming in to the season. The 19 year old seem to have the Lighting world strapped to his back. Somehow the media just assumed because he was a 100+ scorer in the juniors that he would match that type of success in the NHL, especially given the fact he would be alongside Steven Stamkos. Jonathan may not be running away with the Calder Trophy with only two goals in 37 games (2-16-18), but there is no denying that the talent is there, and collectors are well aware of this. Currently in the Beckett database he has 214 cards, of which two are Rookies. A large part of his autographed and memorabilia cards can be found in ITG products but there are a handful from Upper Deck that can be had as well.

Cards to Grab:
2014-15 Black Diamond #245 RC ($25)
2014-15 SP Game Used Inked Rookie Sweaters #IRSJD JSY AU/149 ($50)
2013-14 ITG Heroes and Prospects #AJD AU ($30)

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Box Busters: 2014 Panini Country Music + contest

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Matt Bible and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Panini Country Music in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Want to win a box? Tell us what you think of this product and we’ll randomly pick a winner from all who leave a comment between now and Feb. 15.

2014-15 NHL Rookie Card Deadline Announced


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck confirmed today that the cut-off date for rookie eligibility for 2014-15 trading card products has passed and any player making their debut after January 15, 2015 will have to wait until next season’s releases to appear on a card for the first time.

There are 152 players eligible for rookie cards in NHL and NHLPA-licensed products for 2014-15. This group in broken down into 90 players that have debuted this season and 62 that carried over from the 2013-14 campaign that hit the ice after last year’s deadline.

Which players are eligible to appear in this year’s hockey card sets? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Odell Beckham Jr. will #SignMyTweet during Super Bowl


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

One of the NFL’s hottest rookies will be signing some autographs before the Super Bowl on Sunday and one of them might be yours.

Well, as long as you tweet him.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be signing tweets — yep, oversized printouts of tweets sent to him — as part of XFINITY Sports‘ #SignMyTweet promotion. XFINITY is Comcast’s residential service brand and the nation’s largest video and high-speed Internet provider.

A limited number of tweets will be printed, signed and be mailed to those who are selected as winners. Beckham’s Twitter handle is @obj_3 and fans must tag @XFINITYSports and include #signmytweet along with their creative message to be considered.

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Win Topps football cards with #BeckettBigGame during Super Bowl XLIX … and right now, too


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

If you’re a football fan, odds are you probably know exactly where you will be on Sunday as Super Bowl XLIX kicks off. We’re aiming to be right there with you.

Thirty minutes before the game — at 5 p.m. Central time — we’re kicking off #BeckettBigGame where we’ll be giving collectors a chance to land free football cards thanks to Topps. We’ll be running the #BeckettBigGame all game long and also for 30 minutes after the game ends, getting prizes into the hands of 20 collectors who participate.

How? All you have to do is follow us on the @BeckettMedia Twitter account during the game where we’ll have multiple winners of pack lots, wax boxes, factory sets and Topps autographed rookie cards and Relics up for grabs during the pre-game show, during every quarter, during halftime, and even during a 30-minute post-game session.

In fact, we have so much to give away there that it starts right here, right now. Get the details and our breakdown of #BeckettBigGame … after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2014-15 Panini Gold Standard

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Chris Olds and Derek Ficken as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Panini Gold Standard in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Panini Super Bowl Private Signings List


Super Bowl XLIX is gearing up with media days, the NFL Experience and tons of activities around Glendale, Ariz. As part of the celebration, Panini announced the return of the Super Bowl Private Signings Autograph program that debuted two years ago.

For a limited time only and while supplies last, customers will receive one Super Bowl Private Signings Autograph for every qualifying purchase made on Panini America NFL card products at iCollectPanini.com. Every one-card pack is guaranteed to include either a randomly selected Private Signings autograph card or an autograph memorabilia Rookie Card.

Panini has exclusively shared the incredible set checklists with Beckett Media. The entire checklist, as well as several images, is below.

Available football products for this promotion include 2014 Playbook, 2014 Absolute, 2014 Limited, 2014 Rookies & Stars, 2014 Certified, 2014 Elite, 2014 Prestige, 2014 Prizm and 2014 Crown Royale.

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Collecting the best retired Patriots


By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

With Super Bowl XLIX just days away, the best team of the 2000s meets last season’s best team. Today and tomorrow we will look at some of the most collectable retired Patriots and Seahawks. Neither team is exactly overflowing with historic players. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is void of Patriots, and the Seahawks have just three HOFers. Still, there are some major contributors who have also made an impact in the hobby.

Up first are the Patriots.

Curtis Martin, RB
Curtis Martin is without question one of the most underrated running backs, not only in the history of the NFL, but in the hobby as well. The former third-round pick currently sits at fourth on the career rushing list with 14,101 yards. He played just three seasons for the Patriots from 1995-1997, but totaled 32 touchdowns during that time, and was a Pro Bowler his first two season. He was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1995 and was a major factor in the team’s 1996 run to the Super Bowl. The Patriots have never had a longtime, impactful running back, but he is the best to have ever come through New England.

Martin is one of the greatest bargains you are going to find in the hobby, especially for a player who ranks among the most productive running backs of all time. He has 18 Rookie Cards from 1995 and none of them are priced at more than $15. You can probably scoop up all of his most popular ones for no more than $40. His top four to go after:

1995 Bowman’s Best #R74 RC
1995 Select Certified #117 RC
1995 Finest #264 RC
1995 SP #18 RC

Martin has just 152 autographed cards, and several actually carry good value around $80-$150. The 1997 UD3 Signature Performers #PF1 is a rare one showing him in his Patriots uniform.

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Box Busters: 2014 Elite Extra Edition baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they rip into boxes of 2014 Elite Extra Edition from Panini America in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Bowman Chrome football

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Join Beckett Football’s Dan Hitt and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2014 Bowman Chrome in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Breaking News: Martin Brodeur Ready To Retire


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The hockey world is buzzing about the imminent retirement of the legendary Martin Brodeur and an official announcement is expected to come at a press conference on Thursday.

While he staged a brief comeback with the St. Louis Blues earlier this season, it was simply a last hurrah as he stepped in while starter Brian Elliott was injured. Over the course of seven appearances, he posted a 3-3-0 record which included his 125th career shutout while facing the Colorado Avalanche on December 29. His first Upper Deck cards in a Blues uniform will be found in packs of 2014-15 SPx.

Undoubtedly a first-ballot Hall of Famer once he is eligible for induction, he is the NHL’s all-time leader in wins, shutouts and games played by a goaltender. Collectors were first introduced to him through the 1990-91 Score Hockey release and since that time, he has appeared on 7,068 cards that appear in the Beckett database. The total value for them (excluding rarities) is an impressive $178,760.34 and he should hopefully continue to appear in more products in retirement.

Beckett Hockey will continue to add more information to this story as it develops. Read More »

Topps creates three Super Bowl card sets


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Super Bowl is a big game — and Topps‘ Super Bowl presence reflects that.

How? Big cardboard.

Over-sized team sets for the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and the hometown Arizona Cardinals are up for grabs from Topps at the big game on Topps.com, while fans who find the company’s booth at the NFL Experience can have their own digital card made. (See a gallery of fan cards here.)

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Hardcourt Heroes of the Week: Whiteside, Thompson, Noel


Each week, we will take a look inside the NBA and will give you the top three players of the week and provide a rundown on why collectors should take notice. Please feel free to leave your comments for a healthy debate.

By Derek Ficken | Beckett Basketball Analyst

Hassan Whiteside – C, Miami Heat
(Last 10 Games:12.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 4.0 BPG)
Three months ago, this dude was playing ball in a Charlotte YMCA gym, but on Sunday, he decided to drop a triple double (14 points, 12 blocks, 13 rebounds) in a 96-84 Heat win against the Chicago Bulls. With how the roster is set up, Hassan Whiteside might be a crucial part in the success of the Heat for a potential playoff run without King James. Collectors are taking note, as his 2010-11 Panini Contenders Patches Rookie Card (previously priced at $3-$8) has several recent sales in excess of $35. Whiteside, who hasn’t been featured in any products since 2011-12, has only 118 total cards in the Beckett Online Price Guide — 61 of which are autographed. With so few cards, he has the potential to skyrocket in price if his production continues with Miami.

Key Cards to Collect:
2010-11 Panini Contenders Patches #131 AU RC ($30)
2010-11 Totally Certified #182 JSY AU/565 RC ($40)
2010-11 Classics #172 AU/699 RC ($60)

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Panini readies three Super Bowl card sets


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America is enhancing the NFL Experience and the Super Bowl the best way it knows how.

By making new cardboard.

A set for both the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks became a reality on Friday at the NFL Experience, an interactive showcase in the days leading up to the big game, a second set became available as an interactive bonus and another set began card-by-card distribution at the show.

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Topps’ 1951 Tribute includes Berger, top stars


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps recently lost a pioneer in former executive Sy Berger, who helped create the famed 1952 Topps set.

Now, collectors can get him on a new card as part of the 1951 Sy Berger Tribute Collection, an offering in Topps’ wall art series.

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First Pricing: 2014 Elite Extra Edition

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By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst

First pricing for 2014 Elite Extra Edition baseball is now live for all subscribers to the Beckett Online Price Guide.

Loaded with prospect autographs and parallels, collectors have been clamoring for Kyle Schwarber, Alex Jackson and Rusney Castillo’s cards, all of which have the potential to be Hot List candidates in the coming months. For the third year in a row, USA Baseball jersey and autographs have been included in the product. A top prospect in the 2015 draft and son of former Major-Leaguer Mike Cameron, Daz Cameron‘s USA Baseball 18U Signatures card — limited to just 199 copies — is priced at an impressive $40.

For complete Elite Extra Edition baseball pricing, access your Beckett OPG account or sign-up here for a new subscription:


Contest: The Walking Dead Mid-Season Premiere


By Matt Bible | Beckett Non-Sports and Gaming Analyst | Commentary

Season 5 of The Walking Dead has been a huge roller coaster ride thus far. The trials and tribulations that the post-apocalyptic family of Rick Grimes deal with are becoming more grueling and disparaging. The walkers are more disgusting and rotted than ever, resources and food are scarce, and the outsiders are more sadistic and violent. When the series returns on Feb. 8, the fate of Rick, Michonne, Daryl, and everyone else looks very grim. The characters will most likely face some very emotionally draining situations. This begs the question: What have been the most emotionally draining, shocking, or tragic moments in the history of the series? Well, fear not, Walking Dead-heads! After fan feedback and in-depth research, I have listed the top 5.

**Warning: Spoilers ahead**

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NHL 3 Hobby Stars: All-Star Edition


By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst

The 2015 NHL All-Star weekend came to a close on Sunday with a scoring frenzy that saw Team Toews post a 17-12 victory over Team Foligno. If you are doing the math at home, let me save you the effort and tell you that was 29 goals over the course of the game. Not exactly a lot of pressure being put on at the blue lines. Nonetheless, the weekend had its moments, both in the skills challenge and the game. Below, we will take a closer look at the three players that stood out in the star-filled gala.

John Tavares, C, New York Islanders
A case for the Islanders center to have won the All-Star MVP is more than strong one. He added his name to a list of now six players to have scored four goals in the game’s history. With names like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux on the list, what Tavares did was impressive to say the least. John is no stranger to collectors by now. He is constantly a hot seller on the secondary market and that’s no surprise considering the following the Islanders have and his league-leading play.

Cards to Grab:
2009-10 Upper Deck #201 YG RC ($60)
2009-10 Upper Deck #377 RC ($40)
2009-10 The Cup Honorable Numbers #HNJT/91 ($200)

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First Look: 2015 Panini Americana trading cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

One of Panini America‘s core non-sports brands, Americana, is back after a three-year hiatus.

Set to arrive on April 8, the sixth edition of the non-sports line is back to its original roots with celebrities the main thrust of a brand that will have four hits — at least two autographs — in every 10-pack hobby box. Collectors can also look for eight inserts and six parallels per 50-card box. (The most-recent Americana set was released in 2012 with a focus on Olympians, presidents, military figures and Astronauts branded as “Heroes and Legends.”)

Read More »

Topps adds gaming exec Steven Chiang to board



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps‘ commitment to the digital world took another step Monday as it announced the hiring of Steven Chiang, a long-time video- and social-gaming executive, who was was named to the company’s board of directors.

The news was announced by Michael D. Eisner, founder of The Tornante Company.

“Steven has incredible experience in the digital space and is responsible for some of the most successful sports and free to play games in the past two decades and we are thrilled to have him on our Board of Directors,” said Andy Redman, Topps’ Chairman, in a prepared release. “We look forward to tapping into his passion and expertise as we continue to invest in Topps’ digital division and drive for accelerated growth.”

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Sunday Conversation: Panini America’s Keith Hower


By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

Beckett Basketball recently caught up Panini America Brand Manager Keith Hower to quickly discuss the company’s 2014-15 Select release and to get some early information about what collectors can expect with the exclusive Collegiate Licensing Company license for this edition of Sunday Conversation.

The 2014-15 edition of Select was recently announced and there will be a large array of parallels for all of the cards in the set. The latest addition to that group are the new tie-dye parallels. Could you let collectors know how the concept came about and how limited they are expected to be?

The Basketball Product Development Team has been working with Prizm technology for three years now. Each time we do a new set, we learn a little more about the technology. One of the things that really stood out to us as we tried new things was the fact that vibrant colors look incredible on Prizm card stock. In tracking the market, we noticed that player collectors were starting to chase and complete their rainbow—one of every Prizm color produced; so we began designing our Prizm products with that in mind. The Tye-Dye parallel is one of the most dynamic color combinations we’ve done, and each version is limited to just 25 copies. Read More »

Baseball loses a legend: Ernie Banks dies at 83


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

“Mr. Cub” is now undoubtedly playing two.

Ernie Banks, the face of the Chicago Cubs for nearly 20 years as a player and for decades after that, died Friday night. He was 83.

A two-time MVP and 14-time All-Star, Banks was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1977 after a 19-year career spent all with the Cubs. He retired with 512 home runs and 1,636 RBI — a career where his statistics were as matched by his enthusiasm for being at the ballpark, his “Let’s play two!” phrase one that identified a career. Banks was named to the MLB All-Century Team in 1999, and, in 2013, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was that attitude and perseverance that was noted by the Commander in Chief as the baseball legend received the highest civilian honor.

“That’s ‘Mr. Cub’ — the man who came up through the Negro Leagues, making $7 a day, and became the first black player to suit up for the Cubs and one of the greatest hitters of all time,” said President Barack Obama. “In the process, Ernie became known as much for his 512 home runs as for his cheer and his optimism, and his eternal faith that someday the Cubs would go all the way.”

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Collecting Patriots Coach Bill Belichick

BB_Prime  BB_RC

Continue to check Beckett.com daily leading up to and after Super Bowl XLVIV for continued coverage and hobby reactions for key members of the Patriots and Seahawks. Be sure to follow Beckett Media on Twitter during the Super Bowl: @BeckettMedia

By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

Starting your NFL head coaching career with the Cleveland Browns in the early 1990s isn’t exactly an ideal situation. But Bill Belichick took his first head coach position with the lowly Browns in 1991 and led the team for five years. They posted a losing record of 36-44.

Five years later he landed with the New England Patriots, ironically taking over the coaching duties from current Seattle coach Pete Carroll, who Belichick faces next Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIV. That same year, he drafted a skinny kid out of Michigan in the sixth round. It was the greatest coaching move he ever made. A year later Belichick and Tom Brady won the Super Bowl and would win two more in the next three years to become the NFL’s next dynasty.

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First Look: 2015 Donruss baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Donruss is back for 2015, too.

Panini America revealed on Friday the first glimpses at and the basic details of 2015 Donruss, a follow-up to the surprise release of a year ago that prompted two series of cards after several years on the bench.

Set to arrive on Feb. 25, it will include three autographs or memorabilia cards in every 24-pack hobby box with buyback autographs of Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr. Cal Ripken Jr. and Don Mattingly in the fold.

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First Look: 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ run with Allen & Ginter baseball cards turns 10 this season and the company isn’t holding much back when it comes to the unusual inclusions that have made the brand a staple.

The company’s first reveal of 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter on Friday includes buyback autographs from past Ginter releases, a new helping of autographs from past Ginter signers and even a 10th anniversary parallel.

Each 24-pack hobby box will include a mix of three autographs, Relics, cut autos, buybacks or Rip Cards per box with the rips falling one per case when it arrives on July 22.

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