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Monthly Archives: October 2008

"The Nature Boy" Ric Flair set to make rare autograph appearance

A recently retired professional wrestling legend will make a rare autograph appearance to sign limited edition Jakks action figures (and more) next month in New York City.

“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, a 16-time world heavyweight champion who retired after his loss at WrestleMania XXIV earlier this year in Orlando, Fla., will appear at the fifth-annual Ringside Fest on November 1 in New York City.

Flair, known for his trademark “Woooooo!” among many other catch-phrases, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during WrestleMania weekend. And despite his status in the wrestling world¬† — many consider him the finest performer and talker of all time — he does not have a single certified autographed card produced by a WWE trading card licensee.

(Hey, Topps … can you help us out?!?!)

In fact, Flair has made only one other wrestling convention appearance this year, so the only way to get his autograph was via the handful of promotional appearances he made for World Wrestling Entertainment before he left the company or by old-school autograph hounding.

Advance autograph tickets are on sale now on the site¬† — $35 for an autograph; $80 for an autograph, photo and Q&A session ticket; $40 for an autograph and Q&A ticket or $15 for the Q&A session.

An exclusive Jakks Pacific figure will be produced for the event, which shows Flair in the distinct robe he wore for his final match and includes a miniature Hall of Fame plaque. Pricing on the figure was not yet announced on the site. Unsigned, limited edition figures such as these can be very hot sellers in the toy world.

Signed? Well, that would make more than a few wrestling fans say “Woooooo!”

Update: If you can’t make the show (and most of you reading this can’t just like me), you can order signed figures from the show’s promoter, Ringside Collectibles, on its Web site for $59.99. You can have it personalized for $10 more.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Ken Griffey Jr.'s first White Sox cards coming next month

Yes, his season is over — but his baseball card season isn’t just yet.

The first cards of future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. in a Chicago White Sox uniform are set to arrive in several sets hitting stores in November.

Upper Deck Timeline (bottom) hits stores on Nov. 4, while the Upper Deck Update box set and its Griffey card (top) arrives on Nov. 11.

He also should have ChiSox cards in Topps‘ end-of-the-year update sets as well — Topps Heritage High Number Edition and Updates and Highlights.

Traditionally the first cards of high-profile players like Griffey command a bit of additional attention — at least in the short term. Will Griffey wear the White Sox again next year? I’d bet not, so that probably won’t help demand for these cards down the road. But they obviously aren’t as plentiful as his Seattle and Cincinnati releases.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Negro League Baseball Museum commissions artwork honoring Jackie Robinson

The Negro League Baseball Museum of Kansas City has commissioned baseball photographer Don Marquess to produce a print honoring Jackie Robinson.

Prints of “Finally” were unveiled last month at an event honoring the late Buck O’Neil but remain available for purchase through the museum. The prints are 24 inches by 18 inches, limited to only 1,500 copies and cost $45. They are available by calling 888 221-NLBM (6526) or from the Gallery at 877 977-7773.

The project is expected to raise nearly $35,000 for the Museum. More of Marquess’ photographs can be seen at baseballfineart.com.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Big Papi's bed sells for big bucks (all for charity, of course)

The autographed bed of Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz sold for $10,000 last week as part of a charity auction in Boston.

Donated by Ortiz and his wife, Tiffany, it was sold as part of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless program’s “A Home of Our Own” campaign.

It included a king-size mattress, box springs and a headboard signed by Big Papi himself. The bidding reached five-figures on its eighth and final bid. (See the auction here.)

Who buys such an item? What does a collector do with it? Check out a Q&A with the winner here.

I’m 110 percent sure that the matching Red Sox bedspread had something to do with that price, but I really don’t want to know how much shipping and handling was …

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

Who knew Upper Deck's Obama-McCain Predictor card would be so economically accurate?

With the second of three Presidential debates between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain tonight in Nashville and the economy in turmoil, it’s interesting that an Upper Deck Presidential Predictor baseball card released earlier this year could be so poignant.

Examine the back of card No. PP-13 in the Predictor “Issues” set (from Upper Deck Baseball Series II), which focuses on the economy: Read More »

McFarlane Toys adds Slash to its Guitar Hero toy line

Anyone who knows 1980s and early 1990s music knows Guns N’ Roses and their infamous top-hat-wearing guitarist Slash (aka Saul Hudson).

And now a whole new generation of music fans — ones who play video games — like Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock know him, too.

And what does that really mean?

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McFarlane Toys announces Jackie Robinson Day commemorative Sports Picks toys

McFarlane Toys recently announced that it will produce a special three-pack of 6-inch Sports Picks baseball figures highlighting Jackie Robinson Day.

Included in the set, of course, will be Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers legend who broke down baseball’s color barrier in 1947 — along with Ken Griffey Jr., who wore No. 42 during the day this season as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, as well as New York Yankees 2B Robinson Cano, who is named after the Hall of Famer.

But that’s not all that was announced …

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Hey, MMA fans… do you have this Gina Carano collectible?

MMA fans who might not play too many video games might have missed this one …

Donruss and GameStop have teamed up to produce a pair of trading cards featuring MMA stars Gina Carano and Randy Couture, who are starring in the Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 video game for Xbox 360 or PC.

To get your hands on Carano and Couture, all you have to do is pre-order a copy of the game at one of GameStop’s many locations or online.

Couture, the UFC Heavyweight Champion, plays Allied Commander Warren Fuller, while the undefeated EliteXC star Carano plays Soviet Commando Natasha.

Read More »

Donruss examines NASA's history in new Americana set

Donruss has taken its Americana line to new heights — into outer space — with an 18-card set documenting the history of NASA that is only available at a pair of Texas-based Presidential libaries.

The set is produced in partnership with the Beyond the Moon: NASA’s Continuing Mission exhibits showing at the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum in College Station and at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum in Austin.

These are definitely not sports cards — but space memorabilia has always held a strong place in the collecting world. Want some examples?

Read More »

Wondering about Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon's early baseball cards?

One of Major League Baseball’s best stories this year has been the worst-to-first performance of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays under the guidance of manager Joe Maddon.

Sure, we’re all aware of the rookie cards of Evan Longoria and late-season call-up David Price (not to mention the several other players with big potential).

But what about the early cards of their leader — probably best known for his eccentric choice in eyewear — who was named the Chuck Tanner Major League Manager of the Year award winner on Tuesday morning?

Read More »

Expect increased interest in Ernie Davis' cards with The Express

With Universal Pictures’ The Express opening in theaters this week, there will undoubtedly be a few collectors with added interest in the football cards of Ernie Davis.

Davis, a star for Syracuse who was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy, was the No. 1 pick in the 1962 draft but never played in the NFL because he was diagnosed with leukemia. He died in May 1963 at age 23 and his team, the Cleveland Browns, retired his jersey not long thereafter.

He has one officially recognized rookie card, which comes in the 1962 Topps set (No. 36, above). It’s a short-printed and condition-sensitive card that books for $150. However, he also has a card in the less widely distributed 1961 Nu-Card set of college stars. And, believe it or not, he has appeared on just a dozen cards total.

Look for more on The Express and Davis’ cards from Beckett soon.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.

You'll have no reason to Rumble over this piece of WWE memorabilia

World Wrestling Entertainment 2008 Royal Rumble autograph plaque. (WWE photo)

World Wrestling Entertainment 2008 Royal Rumble autograph plaque. (WWE photo)

With my first blog post here at Beckett Media, I figured I’d throw out something that you might not expect — yet something that more than a few collectors might be interested in.

A piece of professional wrestling memorabilia.

It’s a plaque for the 2008 Royal Rumble, limited to only 500 copies, which includes a piece of ring mat and ring rope used during the event held in Madison Square Garden — along with the autographs of 11 WWE stars. Included are the signatures of John Cena, Jeff Hardy, Beth Phoenix, CM Punk, Mr. Kennedy, The Miz, John Morrison, Tommy Dreamer, Hornswoggle, William Regal and Hardcore Holly.

It’s a solid piece of WWE memorabilia that can currently be found in the clearance “aisle” of WWEShop.com for half price ($99.98).

Why did I choose this item to write about? Consider this …

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