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Monthly Archives: March 2009

Billy Crystal truly is a New York Yankee now

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If you’ve opened packs of 2009 Topps baseball cards, odds are you haven’t landed this one.

It’s a mahvelous certified autograph card of comedian Billy Crystal that can be found 1 in every 60,000 packs. A handful of them have been found and have sold on eBay for as much as $226.

The card was previously made by Topps  — with a facsimile autograph — for limited release for Crystal at his birthday. (That card was previously mentioned here.)

Is it surprising that he’s got his own card after his one at-bat last spring? Nah. What’s surprising is that it took this long — for it to be made and for people to start finding it about a month after the product’s release.

(By the way, I called this about a year ago. Check out what I wrote then right 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.

Donruss denies MLB trademark suit allegations, requests jury trial

Story copyright 2009 Beckett Media

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball editor

Donruss filed its response to a lawsuit by Major League Baseball over alleged unauthorized trademark use last week, denying all allegations and requesting a jury trial.

logo_donrussThe lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in late January claims that the Arlington, Texas-based company used the trademarks, dress rights, rights of publicity of Major League Baseball Properties and was in “breach of the surviving terms of its contracts” in its products released since last fall.

Donruss filed its response on Friday in advance of an extended March 4 deadline, denying nearly all allegations in the original 13-page complaint (statements of addresses, names of products sold, etc. were not contested), claiming the company is “without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations” for each statement.

A trial date has not been set.

According to the original complaint, MLBP claims “Donruss cards depict certain Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball players in their team’s proprietary uniforms. The trademarks featured on the uniforms (as well as the overall trade dress of the uniforms) remain visible and identifiable to consumers, despite Donruss’ calculated attempts on some cards to have such marks modified or partially obscured.”

Among Donruss’ affirmative defenses, it states that it “has been duly licensed to the extent necessary to sell its trading card sets complained of” and that the company “is not using and has not used any trademarks of MLBP in the sale of [those] trading card sets.”

Donruss’ response also claims that MLBP has no standing to bring an action for trademark dilution under the Lanham Act and claims that any use by the company is a nominative fair use. If the use is found to be nominative, then it cannot dilute the value of the trademark.

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Topps rips some Ultimate Fighting Championship packs

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What will The Rip Master and crew find when they open packs of the new Topps UFC set?

And what will one UFC fighter, Ben Saunders, say when he’s presented with some of his own cards?

Watch the video and find out.

If that’s not enough MMA action for you, check out the April issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly for an interview with Georges St-Pierre and a full review of the first officially licensed UFC 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.

First look: Key rookies from 2009 Playoff Prestige football

Here are a few of the rookies collectors will be chasing in 2009 Playoff Prestige football when it arrives in May. Check ‘em out …

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.

And the winner is …

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We received hundreds of entries in our Beckett Sports Card Monthly-exclusive contest for the 2008 Prime Cuts Joe Jackson Icons dual bat card we pulled from a Box Busters video right here a few months ago.

But there’s only one winner.

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First Look: TRISTAR Total Nonstop Action Knockouts wrestling cards

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TRISTAR revealed the first card in its upcoming TNA Knockouts set of cards featuring the female competitors of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

It’s a Christy Hemme card from the Signature Curves autograph insert set of TNA Knockouts, which will be the third wrestling release from the Houston-based company when it arrives in April.

TRISTAR’s past releases included TNA iMPACT! and TNA Cross The Line.

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.