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Monthly Archives: December 2008

First look: 2009 Upper Deck SPx Baseball

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Upper Deck released information and images for its 2009 SPx set, which will arrive in March.

Each 18-pack box will include four memorabilia cards and one Rookie Signature or Jersey Autograph.

The product also includes three patch cards per case numbered to 99 or less as well as a Joe DiMaggio career highlights set with cards numbered to 999.

The basic set is 100 cards and, like last year, there will be seven rookie autograph redemption cards.

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.

Reel Bats brings memorabilia for baseball's big-screen stars to life

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There are a handful of baseball movies that truly stick with fans — Bull Durham with its loggygaggers, fungus-covered shower shoes and even a quadraphonic Blaupunkt is one of them.

It’s the movie where ground balls are more democratic, where we find out what a journeyman catcher truly believes in and we get a look inside the Church of Baseball. By most movie critics, and a large number of baseball players, it’s considered one of the top baseball movies ever made — if not the best sports movie of all time.

All this wasn’t lost on one man — Abel Sanchez – who had an idea a year ago while touring the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. It was a simple concept, one he said he figured had been done before — work with Louisville Slugger to make replica baseball bats for some of baseball’s biggest stars of the big screen.

They hadn’t — and that’s how Reel Bats was born.

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Sneak peek: 2008 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Legends

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Upper Deck released images of 10 cards from its upcoming Legends set of autographs that will be included in 2008 Ultimate Collection, which hits hobby shops in February.

The autographs update the 1997 Legends set, which is a landmark set for autographed football cards. The 2008 versions will all be signed on-card — no stickers — and pick up where the 1997 set left off numbering-wise. Throw in a stout lineup of familar Hall of Famers (and a few others) and this is a recipe for cards that will be in demand.

The Legends cards will be found one per case.

“Collectors have been waiting for us to resurrect this set for some time,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck brand manager for football. “It was important enough to us that if we did it, we did it by providing collectors with the players who were not available on the initial checklist. Well, we’ve accomplished just that so football fans should be thrilled to add these cards to their set.”

Ultimate Collection is scheduled to arrive in hobby shops on Feb. 11.

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.

Sneak peek: Topps Ultimate Fighting Championship MMA cards (with checklist)

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Fresh in from Topps this morning are a few more images from its upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship card set that will arrive in hobby shops next month.

Each 16-pack hobby box includes three autographed cards, three Relic cards 20 parallel cards and eight additional insert cards. The 100-card base set includes 90 UFC competitors shown in their debut matches as well as 10 UFC Personalities — including UFC president Dana White and Octagon Girls such as Arianny Celeste. Also included will be instant-win cards for UFC tickets.

Each pack also will contain a parallel card — available in gold, black (serial-numbered to 888 or less) or Red (1/1).

The full tentative checklist is after the jump.

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Upper Deck reveals Timelines Cuts list

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Upper Deck has announced the lineup for its 2008 Timelines Cuts set, a baseball only cut signature insert in 2008 Upper Deck Timelines baseball. There are several Hall of Famers included — and a few guys who don’t have many cuts available.

The full checklist is after the jump (along with more images).

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Now that's an interesting sticker autograph …

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Imagine opening a pack of Donruss Sports Legends and discovering you have a Joe Montana card numbered out of 10. You flip it over to see an autograph of … Hank Aaron‘s last name?

That’s exactly what happened to one collector who reported his find on the BMB.

I’m not sure it’s a priceless kind of error — but he’s got the card on eBay with a BIN of $499. Will anyone buy it? We’ll see. It’s an interesting error — one that Donruss may try to fix for the collector.

But here’s the real question … did Aaron get paid the same for signing half as many stickers? Or does Donruss have a super sticker project in the works?

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.

Coming Friday: Box Busters with Razor President Brian Gray

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Razor President Brian Gray will stop by Beckett Media headquarters Friday to bust open some boxes of his company’s first baseball card set, 2008 Razor Signature Series, for an episide of Box Busters.

Look for it here tomorrow.

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.

A peek inside the Topps American Heritage checklist includes Obama, Phelps, Olbermann autographs

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Topps American Heritage is about a month away from release and we figured it was a good time to take a look at the checklist, particularly for cards of President-elect Barack Obama (who will be a main selling point and non-collector draw in the set) and the autographs, which will draw the attention of the more advanced collector.

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Struggling to finish off that Topps WWE Heritage IV autograph set?

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Are you grappling with collation as you try to finish off that Topps WWE Heritage IV autograph set?

It doesn’t seem like it would be a huge challenge, but some of these cards have been nowhere to be found, it seems.

Until now.

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The Mick is still bringing it …

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There’s no doubting the allure of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card and the current bid total for the PSA 8 copy of the card above reinforces that.

How much is the card going for in the Memory Lane Inc. Winter Extravaganza Rarities Auction with more than two days left to bid?

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Upper Deck sacks Buffalo Bills legend Bruce Smith for some autographs

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Upper Deck announced Wednesday that it has signed former Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins star Bruce Smith to an autograph deal.

The 11-time Pro Bowl sleection will have cards in 2008 SP Rookie Edition (available now) and 2008 Ultimate Collection, which will arrive in hobby shops in February.

Smith will appear in the highly anticipated Legends Autograph set, above, which is modeled after the ground-breaking 1997 Upper Deck Legends set. Others in that set will include Troy Aikman, John Elway, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, and Jerry Rice among others.

A quick search of the Beckett database shows that Smith hasn’t signed any substantial amount of cards since 1992 — when he signed for the Pro Line Profiles set.

Just another nugget: Smith will be eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

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.

So, you think you can coach in Texas …

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The Fort Worth Cats, an independent minor league team that has helped produce major-leaguers Luke Hochevar and Max Scherzer, is allowing one fan to become a coach.

The winner of an eBay auction will join the likes of Duke Snider, Sparky Anderson, Rogers Hornsby and Maury Wills as a coach of the team — but only for six games (home and away).

But that’s not all.

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Upper Deck cancels MMA card set

mmaudUpper Deck has canceled its mixed martial arts trading card set, The Art of Fighting.

Originally scheduled for an October release but delayed until January, it would have been the first standalone MMA trading card product. Plans were to include 100 basic cards in the basic set and two autographed cards per 24-pack box.

When I was in Orlando when the product was announced, I said the mainstreaming of MMA reminded me of poker’s surge in popularity a couple of years ago.

Ironically, Upper Deck had planned to produce a professional poker set, but those plans were scrapped around that same time. Same for a professional fishing set.

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.

Just Minors Mystery Mini Bats Plus coming soon

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Arriving in hobby shops very soon will be 2008 Just Minors Mystery Mini Bats Plus — a packaged memorabilia product that includes three autographed mini bat and one autographed jersey per four-box case.

Each box contains one jersey or mini bat (jersey and bat boxes are appropriately marked) along with two autographed cards.

See a list of the bats and jerseys in the product after the jump.

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By the Box: 2008 Sweet Spot Baseball (retail)

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It’s pretty unusual for a product to arrive at retail ahead of its hobby store counterpart, but that’s exactly what has happened with 2008 Sweet Spot baseball this year as special three-pack tins have arrived in Target stores ahead of the Dec. 23 hobby release date.

Here are the results from a randomly selected box I recently opened …

ichiro2008 Sweet Spot baseball
Price:
$29.99 (Target)
Packs per box:
3
Cards per pack: 8
Cards in this box: 27 (Each pack actually had nine cards inside.)
Base set completion: 23 of 100 (23 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Insert cards found: 4 (One autograph or memorabilia card per Target tin.)

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Arriving in shops tomorrow …

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This will be the big hit in 2008 Donruss Sports Legends, which arrives in hobby shops Wednesday.

According to Donruss, only 100 copies of this Rose/Jackson card were made –  but there also is a Prime version limited to 10.

What else is in the set?

See the autographs here.

See some of the inserts here.

And more here.

With four hits and only 10 packs per box, this multi-sport set should get ripped through quite a bit. Look for a Box Busters episode here very, very 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.

Donruss produces Pop Warner football card set

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Donruss has produced a six-card set to be given away to kids at the Pop Warner Super Bowl this weekend at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando.

popwarner_ryanThe set, which will be given out on Friday and Saturday, will contain cards of Donruss spokesmen Darren McFadden and Adrian Peterson, as well as Matt Ryan, Felix Jones, Peyton Manning and Devin Hester.

“We are proud to be associated with such a great name as Pop Warner Little Scholars,” said Donruss Vice President Mike Anderson. “We have been focused on introducing trading cards to kids and our relationship with Pop Warner allows us to reach thousands of youth football organizations across the country.”

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.

Sneak peek: Upper Deck All-Star Vinyl

Upper Deck released some info today that included this behind-the-scenes video for its All-Star Vinyl line. Check it out and be sure to look for some of the toys that hit shelves between now and spring training …

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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.

Topps Sterling baseball will include …

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Topps released this image of what’s to come in Topps Sterling this year — plenty of sweet patch pieces like this one for Tony Gwynn.

Will anyone be able to collect all four? It’s happened with puzzle piece sketch cards in the non-sport world (where the artist takes several cards to make one larger sketch).

Something tells me someone out there will be dedicated enough to reunite these four, but we’ll have to wait and see when it all arrives.

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.

Billy Ripken comes clean on his 1989 Fleer card

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CNBC’s Darren Rovell finally gets the real story behind Billy Ripken‘s 1989 Fleer card. (Slightly blurred above.)

Read it here.

And just give the man his Pulitzer now, please.

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.