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Panini America signs deal with three universities

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America is going back to school.

The card company has signed exclusive deals with three major universities — the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky and the University of Miami — and will use their trademarks in upcoming card products that include NBA, NFL and MLBPA releases. According to a company release, there will be more schools’ deals announced soon.

“This is a significant announcement not just for us, but for the entire trading card industry,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop in a prepared release. “Some of the most-collectible players that we work with across all sports are closely associated with these three universities and we’re genuinely excited to be able to honor their collegiate accomplishments in our products.”

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Welcome to my jungle, Axl

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Patience.

It’s a word that’s very appropriate for redemption cards — and it’s one even more appropriate for Axl Rose redemption cards. It’s also one that’s appropriate for me today as I finally received my 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter Autograph inked by the Guns N’ Roses singer who’s notorious for taking his time with everything from album releases to concert times.

It took 441 days from after my purchase and subsequent redeeming of the card to arrive — something not Topps’ sole responsibility and something far from my longest redemption wait because I have them outstanding from other companies that will probably never arrive. Why? At least one of the other companies no longer exists.

Patience is a word that also probably resonates well with Topps as the company reportedly had to reprint cards to suit the musician’s liking more than once because some detail wasn’t quite right for him — that’s his right — though they likely had already gone through approvals before being printed. That’s probably why Rose’s Heavy Metal auto from Archives doesn’t have the same logo as the rest of the cards in the set. That’s probably why his Ginter autos are, oddly, a dark background when the rest of the cards in the nine-year history of the brand are white.

Rock stars. You’ve got to love them.

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Does Gerald Posey have MLB’s best nickname?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor  | Commentary

From the Just for Fun file … 

Sometimes a baseball card can create questions … like what might the San Francisco Giants’ All-Star catcher look like as a Kansas City Royal?

In 2012 the Royals hosted the Midsummer Classic and this Topps card with a piece of Gerald Dempster Posey III‘s All-Star jersey was the result. Now, with the Fall Classic in K.C., we have a different question for you …

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Leaf Announces ITG Draft Prospects Redemption

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Leaf Trading Cards has released details regarding a special redemption set targeted to collectors of 2014-15 In The Game Draft Prospects, the first product released after they began producing hockey cards under the In The Game banner.

Once a collector mails in five barcodes that can be found of the bottom of boxes, they will receive a complete set of 15 cards depicting the brightest young stars taken in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Some of these players have already made their professional debuts, including Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl.

“I think that it’s an interesting thing and will allow collectors, especially those who want to revisit Draft Prospects now that it’s more affordable in the marketplace, a new entry point and I think it gives them an encouraging reason to revist that product,” said Leaf’s President Brian Gray.

For a complete gallery and further information on this program, please read on after the jump. Read More »

Cards can be solemn reminder of life

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By Ben Aguirre | Guest Commentary

There are certain events in life that will never be forgotten, but rarely are those moments captured on a single baseball card.

Such was the case in the 1990 Score baseball set on card number No. 701, which has a black-and-white aerial shot of Candlestick Park, the former home of the San Francisco Giants. This card serves as a solemn reminder of the events of Oct. 17, 1989, the date that my life changed and I realized that life was indeed more than about sports and baseball cards. This was the day that a 6.9 earthquake struck Northern California, killing some 60 people and postponing a much anticipated World Series matchup of two local teams, the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants.

For much of the country, I can imagine that the natural disaster that was the Loma Prieta Earthquake was nothing more than a speed bump that delayed the conclusion of the World Series. But for myself and others in the Bay Area, this was indeed a date that will forever be remember, including this year, which marks the 25th anniversary of the events.

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WIN a Signed Kelvin Benjamin Panini POD Photo

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By David Lee | Beckett Football Editor

The Panini NFL Player of the Day promotion has already reached hundreds of hobby shops and countless collectors with giveaways and player appearance signings. In partnership with the successful program, we will be giving away autographed items that are part of the promotion through the Beckett Media Twitter feed.

This week’s giveaway is the Kelvin Benjamin autographed photo pictured above. To enter for your chance to win, simply Tweet a message with a link to this post with these three tags: @BeckettMedia @PaniniPOD #NFLPOD

If you do not have a Twitter account it is easy and free to create one at Twitter.com. One winner sill be chosen at random on Monday, Oct. 27.

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Alex Gordon’s two hottest cards should not exist

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Two of Alex Gordon‘s hottest baseball cards shouldn’t exist at all.

That’s the reality eight years after his mistaken arrival in a pair of 2006 baseball card sets from Topps — sets that mistakenly included cards of the top Kansas City Royals prospect as a Rookie Card when he wasn’t eligible. As a prospect and with the newly introduced MLBPA Rookie Card logo, he could only appear in Bowman-branded sets from Topps.

Not 2006 Topps Heritage and 2006 Topps Series 1.

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Box Busters: 2014-15 NBA Hoops

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 Topps Update baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Derek Ficken as they rip into boxes of 2014 Topps Update in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Hot Prospect Drouin Makes NHL Debut

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and in the case of Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin, there are a lot of good things coming his way.

The third overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, he took a longer road than expected to the pro level as he spent last season back in junior with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads and a thumb injury caused him to miss some action and have a late start this year with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.

Promoted on Sunday following a short but successful two-game stint in the minors which saw him score his first professional goal, he hit NHL ice for the first time last night as the Lightning surprisingly fell to the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 3-2. Drouin managed to fire one shot on net during 16:10 of playing time and is expected to be in the lineup again tonight in Calgary. Read More »

Trish Stratus to sign for Beckett at Expo

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It should be a Stratusfying card show.

WWE Hall of Famer and seven-time women’s champion Trish Stratus will sign copies of the December issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly at the Beckett Media booth one night only during the upcoming Toronto Sportcard and Memorabilia Expo.

The magazine will make its public debut at the show next month with the Toronto native appearing on its cover, which is the 100th cover appearance of her career. Show attendees who buy a copy of the magazine at the booth for the two-hour session beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7, will be able to get it signed and authenticated immediately afterward. Supplies will be limited.

“I’m so excited to finally hit cover 100,” Stratus said on her website. “To be the first from my industry to be on the cover of such a respected and well-known magazine in the sporting world is such an honor. I can’t thank the people at Beckett enough for this opportunity.”

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First Look: 2014-15 Panini Prestige Basketball

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

A change for a long-standing trading card product can occasionally be a good thing and in the case of 2014-15 Panini Prestige Basketball, the move to becoming a retail exclusive could prove to be a smart move – especially with a variety of methods for purchasing them at Target locations.

Hitting store shelves this week, collectors will be able to acquire this new product in the traditional single-pack method, of course; but they can also choose to instead purchase hanger boxes (with a $10 Suggested Retail Price), blasters ($20 SRP), Plus Boxes ($65 SRP) or even take it to a new level with the $200 Premium boxes.

What does Panini America have planned for hobbyists and shoppers? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Upper Deck Euroleague Analysis

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By Derek Ficken | Basketball Price Guide Analyst

With the recent news of Upper Deck’s exclusive deal with Euroleague Basketball, many are wondering how this may affect the basketball card market.

There are presently a number of young, international players like Ricky Rubio, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Dennis Schroeder garnering attention on the court and in the hobby, there is an increased interest in international basketball stars. Many collectors are looking for their earliest cards and currently, would most likely have to wait until after the NBA Draft (barring some special promotion or exclusive from Panini America) before adding these cards to their collection.

Potentially, with Upper Deck’s exclusive deal, collectors will be able to purchase cards of international stars before their first official NBA-licensed cards are released. While they won’t carry the Rookie Card designation in the Price Guide, they could prove to be highly collectible.

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Sneak Peek: 2013-14 The Cup

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The highly-anticipated release of the 2013-14 edition of The Cup from Upper Deck is almost upon us and the company has been busy on social media showing off some of the pulls collectors could potentially find in tins.

While Beckett provided a First Look at the product several weeks ago, the images provided at that time were merely a tease compared to what has been revealed as of late.

Stay with us after the jump for an extensive gallery featuring autograph, memorabilia and booklet cards of some of the biggest names from the past and present. Read More »

World Series teams get new Topps prints

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The World Series begins tomorrow and Topps already has it covered.

How? Via its latest line of wall art.

Both of the World Series teams — the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants – have a series of three limited edition prints made available just this week only on Topps.com.

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Box Busters: 2014 UD Conference Greats

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

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2014 WaxEye StupidHeroes

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Join Beckett Sports Card Monthly‘s Matt Bible and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2014 WaxEye StupidHeroes in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Upper Deck Adds Euroleague License

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The presence of European players with their pre-NBA teams in North American card sets is something that has not been utilized to its fullest potential over the years, but Upper Deck is looking to change things up as they announced today that they have entered an exclusive trading card agreement with Euroleague Basketball.

“Euroleague Basketball welcomes Upper Deck to our growing family of global partners with the launch of Euroleague Basketball trading cards and game-worn memorabilia collections,” said Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO. “This agreement provides a unique opportunity to bring the best basketball in Europe to fans across North America, and we are looking forward to building a strong relationship with Upper Deck.”

Upper Deck plans to begin adding the Euroleague stars to all of their basketball products starting in early 2015 and the players will be featured on autograph and game-used memorabilia cards as well. Read More »

Panini readies Black Friday promotion

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America‘s Black Friday program is returning next month — and it’s including even more new players than ever.

What’s new? Salute to Service camo swatch rookies for starters — all in a program that will be limited to no more than 40,000 total packs distributed only via Panini Roundtable stores.

The basic set will consist of 65 cards capped by 29 rookies whose cards are limited to only 499 serial-numbered copies. On top of that, 15 rookies will have memorabilia cards limited to only 99 copies.

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Introducing … the game-used wallet?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

“What’s in your wallet?” has a very different meaning now.

Thanks to Berkeley, Calif.-based Tokens & Icons, there is a whole new line of game-used memorabilia out there with the practical in mind for the sports collector with everything from stadium seats to game-used jerseys making their way into high-end everyday objects that can be used.

Or should we save them to be collected?

Either way, the creativity from the company goes far beyond the $150 Alabama Crimson Tide game-used football jersey wallet seen above — in fact, Tokens & Icons is producing items for MLB, the NHL, selected college football and basketball teams, golf, tennis, the PGA Tour, vintage arenas and even the famed horse-racing venue Churchill Downs.

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