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Beckett Auctions “Find of the Week”

By Derek Ficken | Beckett Market Analyst & Auctions Coordinator

Beckett Auction Services (www.auctions.beckett.com) has been able to consign many items of sports hobby history since its inception earlier this year. A common theme for the current September auction is showcasing items from “His Airness”, Michael Jordan. One item in particular that caught my eye was a UNC team-signed basketball from the 1983-84 season. Some call it one of the greatest teams to be labeled as underachievers, but others just call it a solid squad with some Hall of Famers.

Signatures from this baby blue and white colored basketball with a retro Tarheel logo have the entire roster of players including Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daughtery, Kenny Smith, Cliff Morris, Buzz Peterson, Cecil Exum, Matt Doherty, and more.   Read More »

Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 2

week2 Rodgers

Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 2

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week and provide a run down on why collectors should take notice. Here are our selections for NFL Week 2.

By Justin Grunert and Dan Hitt

Veteran of the Week:

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
(346 yards passing, 3 touchdowns)

The day started pretty rough for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. After fumbling the first snap of the game and eventually trailing 21-3 to the New York Jets, Rodgers rallied his team to come back to win 31-24. Rodgers threw for three touchdowns, including an 80-yard score to Jordy Nelson. The other two touchdowns were to Randall Cobb. After missing much of last year to an injury, Rodgers showed everyone why he is considered one of the best, and most collected, players in the NFL. He has the potential for another MVP caliber year, which could see his card values rise.

Cards to Grab:
2005 Bowman Chrome #221 AU/199 RC ($750)
2005 Exquisite Collection #106 JSY AU/199 RC ($2000)
2005 Playoff Contenders AU/530* RC #101 ($1000)

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First Look: 2014-15 Upper Deck Trilogy Hockey

Trilogy MacKinnon

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Good things sometimes seem to come in groups of three and the upcoming release of 2014-15 Trilogy Hockey from Upper Deck is certainly hoping to put that theory to the test once again later this year.

Arriving in time for the holiday season, Trilogy has traditionally offered up three major categories of hits since its debut back in 2003-04. This time, it’s all about autographs, rookies and memorabilia cards and there are some interesting changes that should be able to generate some interest from collectors.

What can collectors expect to find in packs of Trilogy? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Panini snaps my favorite player’s signing slump


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

My fellow collectors, my long national collecting nightmare is over.

A reference to a presidential address older than I am probably isn’t fitting here — nor is this a development that will change the collecting landscape once and for all because it’s not that important to that many baseball fans.

Except, it’s important to me — and maybe a few of you in the Brohio section of the ol’ ballpark in Cleveland or a few of you among his 1.72 million Twitter followers – and I’m writing it, anyway.

My collecting conundrum — call it a drought, call it a slump, call it whatever — of the last few years will soon be over as I received a tip via a top-secret Twitter DM Friday night from a source I’ll simply dub “Deep Tracy.”

The scoop? Panini America is releasing autographed cards of Cleveland Indians first baseman Nick Swisher, my favorite player, in 2014 Panini Immaculate arriving on Sept. 24. They’re his first autographs (ones actually showing him on the card, anyway) since 2010, and they’re the first not on stickers since 2008. This one’s signed on what the company is calling “black tweedweave” and it was inked after the card was assembled.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … memorabilia cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It’s all memorabilia cards all the time as we prep The Game-used Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, so it’s all that right here, too.

Here is the latest installment of 20 Questions — all about memorabilia cards.

1. How would you grade Panini's Sneak Peek cards?

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2. Do you want to see more jumbo and three-dimensional types of memorabilia cards?

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See the rest of the questions and offer your take on it all … after the jump.

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Upper Deck Inks Exclusive Licensing Deal with CFL


By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

Football licensing deals continue to dominate headlines in the collecting industry. Upper Deck has reached an exclusive, multi-year agreement with the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) to produce officially licensed trading cards.

The first Upper Deck CFL product set is slated to include a 180-card base set, autographs and game-worn jersey cards, top veterans, rookies and even past greats such as Doug Flutie and Warren Moon. It is set to release in stores across Canada in early October. It will contain six cards per pack and 24 packs per box. On average, each box will contain 2 UD Game Jersey cards, as well as 6 Star Rookies cards, 24 Defense/Special Teams SP cards, and 8 O-Pee-Chee Retro cards. Other highlights include Game Jersey Patch parallels (numbered to 15), SP1 and SP2 autographed chase cards, autographed CFL Signatures cards and Grey Cup Moments cards.

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Beckett Grading Services runs into somebody you might know … in South Korea


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It’s a global game — and BGS is a part of it.

Dongwoon Lee is Beckett Grading Services‘ Asia/Pacific Sales Manager based in Seoul, South Korea and he’s a collector, too.

When Washington Wizards star John Wall recently toured South Korea and Japan, he was there to greet the star like anyone else — and he brought some BGS-slabbed Panini America Rookie Cards to show the star, too.

Check out the scene in a few images … after the jump.

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Unannounced 3-D Cards Found in 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee

Subban 3D

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Some lucky collectors busting packs of 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee have uncovered rare 3-D insert cards that Upper Deck decided to put in as a special unannounced surprise.

For the third year in a row, the O-Pee-Chee brand has featured a special set that was not revealed to the public prior to release and the hobby has reacted to them positively once again.

In 2012-13, there were Deckle Edge inserts that came at incredibly long odds and they were similar to inserts that came in second series O-Pee-Chee packs during the 1970-71 season. Last year, Upper Deck once again dug back into the brand’s lush history and made a Glossy set that echoed the one-per-pack inserts from the 1977-78 campaign. Read More »

First “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn memorabilia card can be found in Triple Threads

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

He hasn’t pitched in years, has control issues and, well, he’s even admitted to PED use back in the day — but now he’s got himself an official game-used Topps baseball card.

Cleveland Indians legend and Major Leaguer Ricky Vaughn, aka Charlie Sheen, has his first memorabilia card ever thanks to Topps and it arrived in hobby shops today in 2014 Topps Triple Threads.

Nestled between Robinson Cano and Troy Tulowitzki on the Triple Threads Jumbo Plus Relics checklist is Vaughn, aka Wild Thing, and an image of a card released by Topps shows it to be a 1/1 Ruby parallel of the standard (limited to three copies) card. No other listings for the movie character appear on the checklist, though it’s possible more appearances could be had since Topps previously announced it had acquired a Vaughn jersey, which appears to be from the filming of Major League 2.

Major League autographs appearing in this year’s edition of Topps Archives were in big demand earlier in the year with the Sheen card the priciest, selling for as much as $700.

What's your take on Ricky Vaughn in Topps Triple Threads?

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Your Turn: What would you want to see in a memorabilia card?



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

What hasn’t made its way into a memorabilia card?

That’s a big question that may not have many answers if you’re talking about the four major sports, but the possibilities elsewhere in the sports world — and beyond — are a bit more vast.

We’ve seen plenty make its way into cardboard in the past but for the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, The Game-used Issue, we’d like to know what you’d want to see cut up and put into a memorabilia card. Maybe you’d want to see more non-traditional but historically significant pieces such as the Hindenburg from 2013 Panini Golden Age above — or maybe you’d want to see more movie props or simple things such as game-used baseballs with stitching. Tell us.

Do some thinking, get creative, and perhaps we’ll award something interesting with some memorabilia in it to one or two of our creative responders.

Q: What would you want to see in a memorabilia card? It could be anything … sports or not.

Let us know in the comments below — and we’ll run a selection of the answers in the upcoming magazine.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

More mem than ever: Memorabilia card total jumps 35 percent in less than three years


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Analysis & Commentary

You might think that we’re seeing fewer game-used memorabilia cards in our packs these days as collector tastes continue to evolve and new creations capture our attention.

You’d be wrong.

A basic examination of the Beckett.com database shows that there are 1,001,558 different memorabilia cards of the game-used (or event-used) variety out there for collectors to chase.

It’s an impressive number (and the total volume of cards would be much higher), but what’s more impressive is that it’s a dramatic increase in less than three years, the last time we revisited these stats for a Game-used Issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly. In the February 2012 issue, which was prepped at the end of 2011, there were 738,395 unique memorabilia cards. That’s a 35.6 percent increase. (That surprise does come with a caveat — it’s possible that we’re seeing fewer total memorabilia cards but with more unique cards made having smaller serial-numbering … but I doubt it.)

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Box Busters: 2013-14 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey

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Join Beckett Hockey editor Stephen Laroche as he breaks open a box of 2013-14 Ultimate Collection Hockey from Upper Deck.

What will he find inside? Let’s find out…

Game-used memorabilia cards are still cool — if they are creative



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

It’s no secret to many collectors that some of the mystique of game-used memorabilia cards has worn off a bit through the years — you know, the nearly two decades since pieces of game-used items started appearing inside our cardboard.

It seems like everything has made its way from a sports field or arena and into cards — well, nearly everything — but it must be said that game-used also has begun to reinvent itself in the last few years, too. Some of the best-designed and most-creative cards of the last decade have been of the game-used variety.

And that’s a promising sign for us all.

Sure, there are still plenty of plain, white swatches that count as hits in boxes from every manufacturer, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. In fact, in some ways, the strategies of at least one company — fewer mem cards in some spots, more creative alternatives in others — have had me looking more intently at cards from sports that I might not have normally collected. Why? I like cool cardboard whether it be game-used, event-used or — gasp! — even a ManuRelic (though those aren’t as high on my radar, despite being more creative).

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Beckett Auctions lands Babe Ruth-Harry Frazee dual cut autograph



A one-of-a-kind autograph card linking the two principles in the sale of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees in 1920 highlights the October 2014 Beckett “Legends of Baseball’’ Auction.

The 2005 SP Legendary Dual Cuts Autograph numbered 1/1 features cut signatures of Ruth and former Red Sox owner Harry Frazee, the man who sold Ruth to the Yankees for $125,000 along with a reported $300,000 in loans that Frazee used to help finance one of his Broadway plays. The deal remains the most lopsided in baseball trade in history. The year he was sold, Ruth went on to slug 54 home runs – then a single-season record. Frazee died in 1929 and his signature remains in high demand to those wanting a piece of this unique history.

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Monday Morning Collector: NFL Week 1



By Justin Grunert and Dan Hitt

Every Monday morning throughout the NFL season, we’ll select our rookie, veteran and breakout players of the week and provide a run down on why collectors should take notice. Here are our selections for Week 1.

Veteran of the Week:

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
(448 yards passing, 3 touchdowns)

After a dismal year in 2013, Matt Ryan appears to be back! He threw for 448 yards and three touchdowns( with no interceptions) in the Falcons 37-34 overtime win against division rival New Orleans Saints. The 448 yards passing sets a new Falcons franchise record. He also set a new team record for career touchdowns with 156, beating the previous record of 154. Ryan’s cards have cooled off over the last year, but if he can return to elite form expect his hobby status, and his key card values, to begin to rise again.

Cards to Grab:
2008 Playoff National Treasures #111 JSY AU/99 RC ($350)
2008 SP Authentic #300 JSY AU/499 RC ($250)
2008 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs #166 ($120)

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Beckett Media seeks ad sales team member


Are you interested in working for the leading publisher in the world of collectibles?

Beckett Media is seeking someone to join our advertising sales team. Send your cover letter and resume to Bill Dumas at bdumas@beckett.com.

NFL Play 60 Kids Have Thier Own 2014 Topps Cards


Play 60 Photo







By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

To celebrate kids across the country who are staying active for 60 minutes a day and leading healthy lifestyles, Topps and NFL PLAY 60 are partnering to include several Play 60 kids in 2014 Topps Football.

The collection will specifically feature the 2013 NFL Punt Pass and Kick Champions, the 2013 Super Bowl Contest local winners and PLAY 60 mentors on cards, featuring NFL players who are ambassadors for PLAY 60 in their communities. The PLAY 60 mentor cards feature NFL players from every team who have taken time out of their busy schedule to support and champion the PLAY 60 cause.

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THE DANDY DOZEN: The priciest* Bowman Chrome baseball autographs


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Ever wonder which Bowman Chrome prospect/rookie autos (excluding parallels*) are the most expensive?

Mike Trout is the second player of the bunch to have his standard Bowman Chrome debut auto top the $1,000 mark — and he’s the only one to do it that’s not serial-numbered. Tops on the list, of course, is Albert Pujols‘ 2001 card that is limited to just 500 copies.

The rest of the crew is a who’s who of recent hot players — from Nats teammates Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg to Dodgers Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig. You also can’t forget a pair of cards from this year’s biggie, Kris Bryant.

Here are the top 12 cards …  after the jump.

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David Lee Returns as Beckett Football Editor

Beckett Football October 2014

By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

When I was 12 years old the Dallas Cowboys were winning Super Bowls, I was playing football and collecting football cards. It was a perfect time for football to be ingrained into my DNA.

Back then collecting was visiting my local hobby shops and weekend shows chasing down Emmitt Smith Rookie Cards, and telling myself I’d never be able to afford the Topps Nolan Ryan RC.

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Upper Deck Creates Heroic Inspirations Card for Goalie Josh Harding

Harding Inspirations

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Today marks the release of 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee from Upper Deck and the annual collector favorite will see the company’s Heroic Inspirations campaign gets a new twist with the insertion of a special inscribed and autographed card from Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding.

After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in November, 2012, Harding had to briefly step away from the game and made a triumphant return to the ice against the Dallas Stars on January 20, 2013 as he turned back all 24 shots to earn his seventh career shutout. Due to his remarkable comeback, he was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is annually give to a player that demonstrates perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. In 2013-14, he registered the best save percentage and goals-against average in the league despite missing a large chunk of action due to health issues.

Naturally, he has become a true inspiration for not just hockey fans, but also the MS community. Upper Deck was moved to pay tribute to his courage in the face of adversity and made the decision to create a “Heroic Inspirations” trading card that Harding has autographed and inscribed.

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