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Monthly Archives: February 2009

Presidential Pup card? I guess there's a first for everything …

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One of the cards that may have been lost in the surge of interest in Obamabilia is the Presidential Pup Redemption Card from the recently released Topps Barack Obama set.

The card, which is redeemable for a card of The First Dog of the United States — once one is elected, err, selected — can be found one in every 384 packs.

That’s one in every two cases.

The card has sold for as much as $40 on eBay in the last 30 days with most of them in the $15 to $30 range.

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.

Fitz for a King

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So my two sons and I just finished watching the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl . . . and it’s likely that we were the only three males in America who were TV-side from beginning to end.

We watched the overwhelmingly unspectacular game to see if Larry Fitzgerald, seemingly everyone’s new favorite player, could add one more spectacular chapter to one of the greatest individual postseason stories ever written.

Turns out he could. The Pro Bowl MVP finished his fifth postseason game since Jan. 3 with five catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter.

Fitzgerald has double-handedly sent the values of his hottest collectibles soaring into a different stratosphere in the last month with this real-life postseason stat line that’s straight out of a make-believe Madden match-up: Five games, 35 catches, 627 yards and nine touchdowns.

Project that out over a 16-game season and you know what you get? Gaudy. Really, really gaudy: 112 catches, 2,006 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Gives Fitz something to shoot for next year. And I know three males who’ll be by the dial all season long.

An Exclusive Interview with Panini Senior Executive Peter Warsop

Story copyright 2009 Beckett Media

paniniSay this about The Panini Company senior executive Peter Warsop: He’s a man who knows exactly what he wants out of his company’s headline-making foray into the U.S. trading card market, knows how to get it and really seems to enjoy talking about it.

Warsop, Panini’s Group Licensing Director, took time from his hectic schedule late last week for an exclusive interview with Beckett.com’s Tracy Hackler. During an action-packed 25 minutes that seemed more like five, Warsop discussed Panini’s NBA plans, why gaining the support of the United States hobby community is of the utmost importance and, oh yeah, those pesky Donruss rumors.

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Wheaties honors New York Knicks great Willis Reed as part of Black History Month

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Former New York Knicks star and Hall of Famer Willis Reed will appear on Wheaties boxes nationwide as part of General Mills’ celebration of Black History Month.

The box was unveiled earlier this week during a news conference at the NBA Store in New York City.

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Santonio Holmes' Super Bowl gloves could raise $1 million for Sickle Cell Disease Association of America

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The gloves  that Pittsburgh Steelers WR Santonio Holmes wore when he scored the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII are on the auction block to benefit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

The Super Bowl MVP signed the gloves, which can be purchased for $1 million instantly, as part of an auction in partnership with Reebok.

Bidding sits at $5,500 with the auction running through Feb. 15 at 10:59 p.m. — exactly two weeks after he caught the pass. Whether the instant purchase price is used or not, all proceeds will go to the organization that aims to improve the quality of health, life and services for those affected with sickle cell disease.

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Bernice Gallego's card at $31,000 and counting …

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The 19th century baseball card discovered by a 72-year-old California woman who sells antiques is at $31,573 on the auction block with a few days remaining.

Bernice Gallego‘s 1869 Peck & Snyder card is being sold by Tustin, Calif.-based Memory Lane Inc. after a groundswell of publicity in her story had her on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last month.

The auction for the PSA authenticated card, which is considered to be one of the first baseball cards ever made, can be seen here.

Bidding closes on Tuesday.

To read more about Gallego, visit the Fresno Bee‘s original story by Mike Osegueda here.

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.

Going Oldschool Box Break: 2000 Playoff Prestige Football blaster box

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We know you love box breaks and we know you love older cards, so we’ve dug around to find some wax with a little dust on it for some box breaks where we go oldschool.

How old? Well, not that old, but this one’s from a time when blaster boxes were the same size as standard boxes (with a huge chunk of Styrofoam inside), a different Democrat was in the White House and Kurt Warner was popular — the first time around.

Here are the results from a randomly selected blaster box of 2000 Playoff Prestige football cards I recently opened …

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First Look: 2008-09 Topps Signature Basketball (updated)

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Updated: Boxes now include eight packs and the autograph checklist has changed, adding dual and triple autograph cards.

Topps released information and preview images for its upcoming 2008-09 Topps Signature basketball set on Friday, which will include one autographed card, two base cards and one variation card per $20 pack.

Every eight-pack box will include one autographed card from the following players: Dwight Howard, John Stockton, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Vince Carter, Chris Paul, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Brandon Roy, Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo.

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Topps confirms variation list in 2009 baseball set

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Several collectors have reported finding variations in the new 2009 Topps baseball set since it was released earlier this week.

Topps confirmed their inclusion and provided this list of 19 variation cards on Friday morning. Each of the card numbers below comes in two versions — a standard card and a rarer legend card.

Two other examples aren’t of baseball greats, but rather others of note. For example, card No. 44 is found as either Geoff Jenkins or Barack Obama. Only CC Sabathia‘s variation shows him with an updated team — the New York Yankees. Read More »

Donruss produces Pro Bowl football card set

Donruss will produce a 10-card Pro Bowl football set to highlighting this weekend’s game in Hawaii. It will be given to VIPs and fans in attendance at events held before the game.

Three veterans and two rookies from both the NFC and AFC are included, with veterans shown in their Pro Bowl uniforms. The AFC players are Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson, Andre Johnson, Chris Johnson and Joe Flacco, while the NFC is represented by Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Ryan and Matt Forte.

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.

Check out these Champ's Mini Signatures cards

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Upper Deck released some preview images of the Mini Signatures cards in its upcoming 2008-09 Champ’s hockey set that is scheduled to arrive in stores on March 17. There’s an interesting mix of NHL legends and young stars among them.

“With an impressive checklist of autograph cards, I was able to get some scans of the first cards to come in today,” said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck Upper Deck’s hobby marketing manager. “The entire hockey team ended up coming over to check them out as they really turned out fantastic.”

Check out the gallery below …

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Upper Deck takes you behind the scenes at the NHL All-Star Game

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Upper Deck‘s Chris Carlin sent these images in on Thursday from the goings-on at the NHL All-Star Game where many, many fans met NHL stars and a few signings took place for the NHL’s sole trading card manufacturer.

Check them out …

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First look: 2009 Upper Deck Major League Soccer

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Upper Deck recently released images for its 2009 Major League Soccer set, which is set to arrive in shops in April.

The standard set will include 200 cards — including the first cards of the expansion Seattle Sounders — as well as game-used jersey cards and autographs for America’s version of “the other football.”

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First look: 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Premier Hockey

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Upper Deck released preview information and images for its 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Premier hockey set on Wednesday with the product delivering one autographed quad rookie memorabilia card, one manufactured patch card and an autograph in every box.

Each five-card box also will include an additional multi-piece game-used card or a parallel card numbered to 75 or less. Cases will consist of 10 boxes.

Check out more images below.

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Do you have questions? Two NHL players have answers …

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Upper Deck, Beckett Media and the NHL Players Association are teaming up to let hockey fans ask questions of two NHL stars leading up to National Hockey Card Day on Feb. 21.

How can you be involved?

Submit your questions right here in the comments field (and also over on a Beckett.com thread) and we’ll select 10 that get sent directly to the players. Those will be published online and in the next issue of Beckett Hockey.

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Topps American Heritage: I got you, Babe

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The second box of cards I picked up Wednesday afternoon at Nick’s Sports Cards in Dallas was a box of Topps American Heritage — a product loaded with cards of historical figures such as Buffalo Bill, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Peary, Winslow Homer and many, many others.

But what I found about halfway through the box wasn’t what I expected at all — something that had eluded me for more than 20 years of collecting (well at least the last decade or so since memorabilia cards became en vogue).

A Babe Ruth game-used memorabilia card.

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Topps announces Stadium Club Super Teams prizes

Directly from Topps …

The following prizes will be handed out to collectors holding 2008 Stadium Club Football Super Team Inserts (sequentially #’d to 50) of four winning teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens.

The teams and prizes are as follows:

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2009 Topps Baseball: First impressions & Card Gallery

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I stopped by my neighborhood card shop, Nick’s Sports Cards, to pick up a box of 2009 Topps HTA Jumbos and after opening three hitless packs — two Babe Ruths and one Ryan Howard for the wrapper conspiracy theorists — I’m left with these impressions …

— It’s an improvement over the last few years.

— The design looks stronger in person than on the previously released card mockups. It has a slightly modern feel, but carries a touch of nostalgia, too. Can’t quite put my finger on it … perhaps it’s because the photo frames aren’t symmetrical? (It worked for ballparks … )

The photo editing seems a lot stronger than years past — more of the photographs are tightly and more dramatically cropped.

Of course, that’s just the first three packs.

I’ll update after the next three … and see a gallery of images after the jump.

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Woooooo! Donruss set to produce first certified autograph cards of "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair

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Story copyright 2009 Beckett Media

By Chris Olds

Donruss announced on Wednesday that it will be the first trading card company to produce a certified autograph card of retired professional wrestler Ric Flair as it has signed “The Nature Boy” to an autograph and trading card deal.

The 16-time world heavyweight champion is considered to be the greatest professional wrestler of all time and received a grand send-off from World Wrestling Entertainment with a career-threatening match at WrestleMania XXIV last spring in Orlando, Fla. Flair lost the match, so he was forced to retire — on the same weekend he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

“We are extremely excited to be bringing the hobby the first certified autograph cards from one of the most famous professional wrestlers of all time,” said Donruss spokesman Scott Prusha. “Given the fact that he’s never had a certified autograph card, we knew he was a great fit for Donruss.”

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AT THE SUPER BOWL: Donruss NFL Card Show notebook

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By Chris Olds

A glimpse inside my notebook (and a few images from my camera) from the NFL Experience and Donruss NFL Card Show at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Fla. …

Hot cards
redemptionsDonruss and Upper Deck produced exclusive card sets for the Donruss NFL Card Show with both companies doing wrapper redemptions and an exclusive full set from the Texas-based company and show sponsor.

“Our Super Bowl set was a huge success,” said Donruss spokesman Scott Prusha, who was one of about a dozen employees manning the company’s booth. “We introduced a ton of new collectors to cards as we set record sales of the 440-card Super Bowl set, with many purchasing multiples. … Fans of all teams were buying up Donruss product at the show for the wrapper redemption. We heard from one dealer that he even had to fly more Donruss product in just for the show to handle all the requests.”

Name dropping
We all know that the Super Bowl means plenty of celebrities and star athletes would be around Tampa. …

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Donruss acknowledges Panini rumors

logo_paniniStory copyright 2009 Beckett Media

Italian collectibles company Panini drew the attention of collectors throughout the hobby last week when the NBA announced that the company had signed a multi-year deal to be the exclusive basketball card manufacturer.

And the company may not be done yet.

Rumors swirled at the Donruss NFL Card Show this past weekend in Tampa, Fla., that the 48-year-old company best known in the U.S. for manufacturing stickers may have its sights set on Arlington, Texas-based Donruss.

Whether that might mean an acquisition or a business relationship is unknown, but Donruss spokesman Scott Prusha did issue this statement to Beckett Media.

“Donruss has worked extremely hard to build  a well respected and prestigious  prepress department and we periodically inquire with other companies (including trading card companies) about doing their prepress work,” Prusha said. “We do not comment on rumors or speculation.”

Panini officials were not yet available for comment on Wednesday morning.

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.