Panini’s National VIP cards focus on freshmen

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Panini America has revealed details about its plans for collectors that have purchased VIP admission packages for the upcoming 36th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.

Every bag handed out to those opting to buy the show’s VIP package is set to receive a coupon they can take to the company’s booth to exchange for a six-card set featuring some of this year’s top rookie performers from the worlds of baseball, basketball, and football.

What players will be included in this special collection? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Look for a historic Box Busters — 1993 MTG Alpha — soon

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

On Monday, Beckett Media will bear witness to a monumental occasion.

Magic The Gathering super collector Adam Cai will be breaking open a starter deck from the 1993 MTG Alpha series on a special edition of Box Busters. He will be doing so on behalf of Preston Cordy of Cardhaus Games (check out the official website here).

Magic The Gathering cards debuted in 1993 with three separate series: Alpha, Beta and Unlimited. The three sets paralleled each other and maintain their own distinctive appearance and value.

Read More »

Box Busters: 2014-15 Panini Preferred + win our book

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Join Beckett Basketball‘s Chris Olds and Eric Norton as they rip into boxes of 2014-15 Panini Preferred in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

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Box Busters: 2015 Elite baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Justin Grunert as they rip into boxes of 2015 Elite in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Beckett Auctions’ July sale opens Sunday

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Beckett Auctions is proud to open its July “Boys of Summer” Auction on Sunday.

There are several showcased items this month, including a couple of great baseball multi-signed pieces. First up is a beautiful Cooperstown Hall of Fame bat containing more 45 autographs, including legends like Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Nolan Ryan and more. Are you a big Yankees collector? If so, then be sure and check out the team-signed baseball from the 1950s that includes both Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra. There have also been several 3-D Test Proof items added to the Benanti Collection and many 1910 Old Mill T210 cards added to the Texas T-Card Find. This current auction runs from Sunday noon Centail through July 19 at 9 p.m. Central with a 15-minute extended bidding window on certain items.

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Topps prepares exclusive cards for All-Star FanFest

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When MLB’s All-Stars converge upon Cincinnati, there will be another show besides the All-Star Game for collectors to check out.

That’s the MLB All-Star FanFest that begins July 10.

As part of the four-day show, Topps will be creating cards solely for the event and creating interactive exhibits for baseball fans who aren’t regular card-buyers to rediscover collecting in a few ways.

Read More »

BGS Diary Predictor (July): What will Olds submit?

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We recently introduced the BGS Diary and it seems like a few of you liked hearing about what — and why — Beckett Baseball Editor Chris Olds submitted what he did for grading.

He’s prepared his five cards for grading in June and we want to see if you can predict which of his cards will end up slabbed. Of the 10 cards listed below, a few are headed to Beckett Grading Services today for his next BGS Diary.

Can you predict which ones they will be?

BGS Diary Predictor (July): What will Olds submit?

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PAST BGS DIARY POSTS

– October: Rookie Cards, Moneyball & Watergate

 November: Vintage, booklets Dr. Beckett & more

– December: Saban, Cerrano, Hawk, Animal & practice

– January: Bull Durham, Star hoops, “Macho Man” … and Bill Murray’s baseball card?

– February: Chasing Amy, metal minis, USA Baseball green and, of course, Crimson Tide

– March: WWE Divas, The Killer, Koufax and a cardboard icon 

– April: Seeing gold, stickers … and furry autographs?

– May: A lone BGS 10 Michael Jordan, another Lana, a rare Yankee & one USA Baseball lineup

– June:  Vintage Pudge, Atomic Paige, Cooperstown autographs, Canseco & more

Stadium Club goes acrylic for wall art line

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

You can now put The Club on your wall.

Topps revealed its 2015 Stadium Club wall art collection on Wednesday, a selection of 133 jumbo acrylic wall art pieces that include highlights from the recently released baseball card set.

Found only on Topps.com, there are 19 basic cards from the photo-centric 300-card set available as acrylic jumbo prints limited to 25 serial-numbered copies as well as one Members Only 1/1 copy. They are 7.5 inches by 14 inches and include wall mounts. The standard versions are $99.99, while the Members Only versions cost $199.99 or more.

Those aren’t the only options, either.

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First Pitch celebs get jumbo treatment from Topps

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The celebs are going jumbo.

Topps revealed its First Pitch: Complete Oversized baseball card sets and there are three new ways to get your hands on some of the most-unique cards made this year.

Each of the 25 cards found in the first two series of 2015 Topps are now available as 5×7 creations that are part of three limited-edition sets found only on Topps.com.

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First Look: 2015 Topps Strata baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A Bowman brand came off the calendar for this year and 2015 Topps Strata is replacing it.

Topps revealed the first looks at Strata as a standalone brand on Tuesday and it was with some technology we’ve seen in football before — a signature rivet patch card of San Francisco Giants star Buster Posey.

Strata was introduced in baseball last year as an autographed Relic insert in the standard Topps set and was done again this year. This time, though, it will be a standalone product.

Look for more details on Strata right here when the full details are released soon.

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.

Panini readies for VIP party at National Convention

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America released the first details for its VIP party set for Aug. 1 at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention and they were the basics.

Spend $7,500 on a list of selected products on the show floor from a selected list of dealers and you’re in.

The autograph guests will be revealed at later times, while attendees will receive 500 silver VIP packs after they sign up for the event and then gold VIP packs at the event with cards made just for the program. The guests will sign photographs noting the event for attendees as well.

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Top Five: Overlooked Joc Pederson baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson joined elite company Monday night with his 20th home run of the season — a 460-foot blast that catapulted him into rare air in the National League history books.

He’s just the second NL rookie to hit 20 or more home runs before the All-Star Break with the NL record of 21 set by Albert Pujols in 2001. Pederson has 12 more games until The Mid-Summer Classic, so, barring injury or slump the record should be his soon.

Just like Pujols, Pederson’s first Bowman Chrome autograph gets all the attention among his 640 cards valued at more than $15,700 (excluding rarities) in the Beckett database. Pederson’s first Bowman Chrome autograph arrived in 2012, but it wasn’t his first autograph.

Here’s a rundown of five overlooked Pederson baseball cards …

1. 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #168 AU /799, $100 (above)
The 2010 rookie crop was one that had plenty of big names, but there was one prospect autograph that snuck into the mix in a single brand that year. Elite Extra Edition included the first certified autographs for Pederson, and it’s an undervalued card compared to its Bowman Chrome counterpart from two years later. The most-plentiful version of this card has a mere 799 copies and some of them have a more-complete autograph than the cards we see today.

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Beckett 20 Questions on … league leaders and top rookies

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

As we near the All-Star Break, we’re taking another look at this year’s surprises so far with our latest batch of 20 Questions.

1. Which of these hitters is most undervalued?

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2. Which of these home run hitters is most under-appreciated?

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See more questions … after the jump.

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2015 NHL Draft: Beyond Connor McDavid

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst | Commentary

The beginning of the Connor McDavid era was launched last Friday night when he was selected first overall in the NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. That was not surprising to anyone who follows the sport, and neither are the price tags on his cards in the secondary market.

Beyond McDavid, there is a bevy of other players that were selected  in the first round that collectors should be aware of as well. Some are no-brainers, then there are those whose asking price may be less than expected and worth investing in.

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Beckett Covers cards return at National Sports Collectors Convention with autographed twist

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One part of the big-show experience is the cool stuff made only for the event — cards or memorabilia that can only be collected there. At this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, Beckett Media will once again release a Beckett Covers set that can be collected simply by visiting the booths of dealers and group-breakers on the show floor.

This year, though, there’s an added twist — an autographed prize for those who take the challenge and complete the set during the show.

If you are one of the first 200 fans to collect all 15 Covers cards and present it at the Beckett booth for documentation (all cards will be serial-numbered), we’ll have one blind-wrapped and BGS-slabbed autograph card for you. The card will be one of 10 different covers not found in the standard set and each of them will be signed by the star appearing on the past magazine cover.

Who’s in the set and whose autographs will be found during the show from July 29 to Aug. 2? Find out … after the jump.

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Lidstrom heads 2015 Hall of Fame class

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 By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

The Hockey Hall of Fame has announced its Class of 2015 and while many expected to see Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov and Chris Pronger become members, there were some other surprise enshrinements as well.

Veteran defenseman Phil Housley was the other player welcomed along with former Team USA star and gold medal Olympian Angela Ruggiero in the women’s category and Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. and former Hall of Fame Chairman and Chicago Blackhawks star Bill “Red” Hay as builders.

Induction ceremonies will be held in November.

How many cards of these players are listed in the Beckett.com database? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Final Update: Funko readies for Comic Con

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

San Diego Comic Con is a little less than a month away and all the hype surrounding Funko and its exclusives has the vinyl collectors in a frenzy. There will be plenty of variety as Funko has been announcing SDCC releases. The ten waves have finally been revealed and fanboys  and con-goers alike will be pleased.

Just about every major licensee is represented. DC, Marvel, Star Wars, Disney and Doctor Who will all have a presence in this year’s exclusives. They will be released in these major lines of Funko collectibles: Pop Vinyls, Hikari, ReAction, Dorbz and Vinyl Idolz. With the 10th wave also came the announcement that Funko will begin producing official Pop Tees (the official T-shirt of Funko). Each shirt will come in its very own Pop Vinyl style box and they will depict all the favorite Pop Vinyl figures, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Black Widow from The Avengers.

Some of the pieces reflect this season’s summer blockbusters such as Avengers Age of Ultron, Inside Out and Ant-Man. Others pay homage to the classics such as Ghostbusters, T2 and Jaws.

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Panini gives a virtual look at NBA draftees

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The 2015 NBA Draft saw 60 up-and-coming players chosen by the league’s clubs and in a matter of months, several of them will be making an impact with basketball card collectors in next season’s trading card releases from Panini America which start hitting store shelves in October with 2015-16 NBA Hoops.

Earlier that day, Panini had announced that they had signed contracts with approximately 50 players that were eligible for the draft. During the event, however, the hobby received a sneak peek at that product’s design as the company’s design team was busy creating cards and communications staff went into overdrive on their social media feeds to show off the first virtual trading cards of many picks. Starting with first overall selection Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the company created cards for nine of the top 10 picks and added several more throughout the night.

Look at the “first” Panini trading cards of next season’s hot rookies after the jump. Read More »

Topps details print runs on rarest 2015 Stadium Club parallels

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Those Stadium Club parallels may not be numbered, but that doesn’t mean they’re not rare.

Topps detailed the print runs for three types of parallel cards in 2015 Topps Stadium Club, which arrived last week.

The rarest, one per case, cards are the Member’s Only parallels that are limited to just seven copies per card, the company announced on Monday.

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On the Rise: Cincinnati Reds 3B Todd Frazier

On the Rice - Frazier Topps Update

By Brian Fleischer | Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst | Commentary

Unheralded in the hobby since his first cards appeared in the 2006-07 USA Baseball product, Todd Frazier is having a breakout season, both on the field and in the hobby. In 73 games this season, he’s hitting .290 with 25 home runs – the second most in the Majors – and 53 RBI.

A semistar for the majority of his career, Frazier currently has 818 cards cataloged in the Online Price Guide, including 269 certified autographs and 168 memorabilia cards. He was a featured prospect in products from 2007 through 2010, but his first Rookie Cards didn’t appear until 2011. They were including in Bowman Chrome Draft, Bowman Draft, Bowman Sterling and Topps Update. All of his RCs are remarkably affordable, ranging in value from $1.50 to $5. In recent weeks, the secondary market activity has picked up considerably and in response, he was raised to an unlisted star for his 2012 through 2015 cards. The majority of his earlier prospect cards were raised a couple price levels and are now listed in print in the Beckett Baseball Price Guide.

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Box Busters: 2015 Bowman football cards

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Join Beckett Football‘s Justin Grunert and Chris Olds as they rip into a box of 2015 Bowman in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Beckett giveaway pays off big for young collector

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst | Commentary

A couple of weeks ago over on the Beckett Media Instagram page, we gave away for a box of 2014-15 Upper Deck Ice. In order to be eligible to win, participants were to like and repost the contest and tell us why they thought they should take home the box. Skye Gillespie, the young collector who was chosen at random, wasn’t exactly a hockey collector and was looking to get into the sport. In fact, he is fairly new to collecting altogether as he has only been involved in the hobby since Christmas.

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First Look: 2015 Leaf Legends of Sport

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

After a three-year absence, Leaf Trading Cards is bringing back its Legends of Sport brand back to hobby store shelves in 2015 and the company has touted it as spanning “the widest range of the greatest athletes in their respective sports.”

Collectors will get to make that judgment for themselves once it releases at the 36th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, but with seven autograph cards per box, the odds of pulling a significant signature are quite strong. The lineup will feature many global sporting icons with a particular focus on some of the top soccer players from the past and present, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele, and Lionel Messi.

Some of the other athletes taking part in this release include Hulk Hogan, Cal Ripken, Jr., Mike Tyson, Andrew Wiggins, Jameis Winston, Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman, Ric Flair, Roger Federer, Marcus Mariota, and Damian Lillard.

What else will be coming out of boxes of 2015 Leaf Legends of Sport? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Connor McDavid signs exclusive with Upper Deck

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Media

Moments after the Edmonton Oilers officially announced that they were selecting Connor McDavid with the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Upper Deck made an announcement of their own and revealed that it would be the sole source for autographed trading cards of the league’s newest star.

“Connor McDavid has been on our radar for a long time and we are thrilled to be able to add him as one of Upper Deck’s exclusive trading card signers,” said Upper Deck’s president, Jason Masherah. “The sky is the limit with a player of his caliber, and to be able to deliver exclusive content of this sensational talent is a thrill for us here at Upper Deck. We are excited to watch his career begin with a historic franchise like the Edmonton Oilers, and we look forward to delivering hockey fans the best of the best in terms of licensed trading card content for McDavid.”

The deal between Upper Deck and McDavid will also give the company the option to feature him on product packaging and have the ability to partner with each other on promotional opportunities related to trading cards.

When can collectors expect to find the first NHL-licensed trading cards of McDavid? Find out after the jump. Read More »

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Series 2 baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2015 Topps Series 2 in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Box Busters: 2015 Topps Stadium Club baseball cards

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Brian Fleischer and Chris Olds as they rip into boxes of 2015 Topps Stadium Club in this latest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …

Football card showdown: Bowman vs. Score contest

 

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By Justin Grunert | Beckett Football Market Analyst

Panini America and Topps have released their first NFL products of the year with 2015 Score and 2015 Bowman dropping on the same day. Both of these products offer a lot different things for collectors to enjoy.  Read More »

Win a 2015 Marvel Avengers: Age of Ultron box from Beckett Radio

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By Derek Ficken | Beckett Radio Host

Beckett Radio is pleased to announce it is giving away a box of 2015 Upper Deck Marvel Avengers: Age of Ultron on the latest episode. Be sure to listen in to see how you can win this box from them. Send your answers in to radio@beckett.com or on their Twitter page @beckettradio. Read More »

Panini Signs Five Top NBA Draft Prospects

Panini America 2015 NBA Draft Karl-Anthony Towns

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Basketball Editor

The 2015 NBA Draft will take place tonight, but Panini America has already been busy inking exclusive trading card deals with five prospects that are projects to be selected in the first round.

Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns, Emmanuel Mudiay, D’Angelo Russell, and Jerian Grant will be a big part of the company’s plans for next season as they will be a part of products in their collegiate and NBA lineups. The Minnesota Timberwolves have the first pick and many believe that they will choose Towns.

“The NBA Draft is always a key time for us at Panini America because it signifies the official start to a new season – and the grand introduction of the NBA’s next wave of superstars,” said Panini’s CEO, Mark Warsop. “Many of the players selected Thursday night – including the five newest exclusive members of the Panini America family – will be driving forces for our licensed trading card products for years to come; and that’s just as exciting for fans and collectors as it is for us.”

How many other NBA prospects has Panini signed? Find out after the jump. Read More »

On the Rise: Tyler Johnson

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By Eric Norton | Beckett Hockey Analyst | Commentary

We are about a week removed from the Stanley Cup, but that does not mean that the secondary market is going to be cooling off anytime soon. In fact, we have been watching things closely and have noticed a few names heating up. Over the course of the next few days, we will be highlighting some of those names for you to help you get a jump on the market. Call it a sneak peek of notable names that you may want to add to your collection soon.

Tyler Johnson, C, Tampa Bay Lightning
Johnson wasn’t exactly an unknown before the playoffs started, he was tied with Steven Stamkos for 14th place in the NHL with 72 points, but it was in the postseason where his star shined the brightest. At one point during the Lightning’s run, he led all players in goals and points, which is a far cry from the undrafted player he was coming out of the junior level. This, of course, made collectors notice and his sales on the secondary market reflected it, too.

On the Rise:
2013-14 Dominion #120 AU RC/299, $50
2013-14 Crown Royale #225 AU RC/499, $30
2013-14 Panini National Treasures Gold #125 AU/25, $200

Be sure to subscribe to Beckett’s Hockey OPG to get all the latest pricing on Johnson and the rest of the NHL.

First Look: 2015 Topps Heritage WWE

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

World Wrestling Entertainment is turning back the clock for the next release with the return of Topps Heritage wrestling cards in November.

When 2015 Topps Heritage WWE arrives on Nov. 11, it will showcase the 1985 Topps baseball design with the stars of the squared circle. There will be two hits per box and a $3.49 suggested retail price per hobby pack.

The basic set will consist of 110 cards showcasing stars of the past and present with Superstars, Divas, NXT talents and WWE Legends found. After that, there will be a 30-card Rookie of the Year set, a 30-card NXT Called Up set, a 30-card Then & Now insert set and a 10-card Hulk Hogan Tribute installment.

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Topps readies Bowman homage for VIPs at National Sports Collectors Convention

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

One big part of the major show experience is the ability to meet people from card companies face to face and discuss the hobby with those who create our treasures.
An even bigger part of the National Sports Collectors Convention is the show-exclusive card circuit — cards that can be mementos of a trip or a way to help pay the bills of going. It’s a big benefit of going to a big show and it’s all a part of having the major companies all under one roof — a competition of sorts between them where you can be the winner.

Topps revealed the first part of its plans on Wednesday.

For VIP bag buyers, Topps will have a five-card set of 1953 Bowman “cards that never were” — a checklist that includes Ernie Banks, Al Kaline, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays.

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Stadium Club returns with tradition it is known for — strong photography

 

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Tradition is one thing that, for whatever reason, resonates heavily in the sports world. The past and the present are always together in baseball, for example, as the record books can seemingly always be altered any given day or season. Times change, but certain things seemingly stay the same.

One tradition that we have come to expect in the hobby has been the strong photography found in ToppsStadium Club brand. For the last 25 years or so, collectors have cited the imagery used in the brand as iconic and memorable. Why? Because that’s what it’s always been known for, and, oddly, that hasn’t seemed to stick elsewhere — even though a strong photo can make or break any design.

This year’s Stadium Club set officially arrives today with the newest batch of photographs destined for a double-take — and it’s a set that even includes my struggling favorite player, Nick Swisher, with a photograph so Stadium Club that I feel like I might even have picked it for the brand.

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Immaculate Collection baseball returns this summer

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Panini America‘s high-end Immaculate Collection brand will return for a second season reflecting the stars of the baseball diamond.

That was the news Tuesday as the company revealed the first images of autographed cards coming in the brand — a mix of various autograph types and technologies.

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Upper Deck Overtime returns for 2015-16

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By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

One of the best-kept secrets among hockey card collectors in recent years has been the Overtime promotional packs that Upper Deck has created for GTS Distribution in the United States and Universal Distribution in Canada. Not only are they a perfect promotional tool for dealers to utilize, but they also offer hobbyists some limited cards and autographs as a special bonus.

Heading into its third season, 2015-16 Upper Deck Overtime will once again be offered in three waves and allocation is tied to how much dealers order of specific products from the two distributors. For the first offering, those staking their claim on boxes and cases of 2015-16 Upper Deck Artifacts, 2015-16 Upper Deck Series One, and 2015-16 Upper Deck Buybacks will receive packs. Each wave will have 60 base cards along with compelling insert and autograph content.

Back in 2012-13, Upper Deck worked with GTS and Universal on a promotion that was a precursor to Overtime and it started as a bonus pack that was relatively basic and moderately successful. It was meant to help support dealers during the last NHL labor stoppage and has constantly evolved since then.

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