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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Upper Deck announces new blog

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Upper Deck announced on Thursday that it has joined the blogosphere to bring collectors and sports fans a unique look into the hobby and the sports world through the eyes of its employees.

Oh, and it promises that it’s “not a ‘corporate blog’ by any means.”

The blog can be found at UpperDeckBlog.com and already includes several entries showing some behind the scenes action for the company including news commentary and access to athletes.

“We’re passionate about sports here, and this blog reflects that passion,” said Toby Wachter, Upper Deck’s online media content manager. “There’s a whole audience out there that reads sports blogs regularly, and collected cards as kids, but probably lost track of the cool things our industry is doing now.”

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.

Preview Gallery: 2008-09 Champ's fossil cards

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Upper Deck has released several scans of the fossil cards that can be found in packs of its new Champ’s hockey card set.

The cards will be shipping to the lucky redemption holders soon.

See several of them after the jump.

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Colby Rasmus is second Upper Deck SPx rookie redemption

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Upper Deck has announced its second 2009 SPx Rookie Signatures redemption card and it’s St. Louis Cardinals rookie Colby Rasmus.

kojijapanRasmus signed 25 copies of card No. RR2 with the inscription above, the rest were signed with a standard autograph.

The first autograph (previously announced) was Baltimore Orioles pitcher Koji Uehara, who signed 25 of his cards in Japanese.

Upper Deck will reveal the remainder of the cards ever few weeks during the season until all of the cards have been announced.

The redemptions can be found two per 14-box case.

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.

Box Busters: 2009 Goudey baseball

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Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they open boxes of 2009 Goudey baseball cards from Upper Deck, a set in its third year that emulates the 1933 set of the same name.

What will they find? Watch and see by clicking here.

Spring cleaning NFL contest (NOW CLOSED)

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We’ve found some factory sealed 2007 Donruss Gridiron Gear EA Sports Madden 08 card sets while doing some spring cleaning and we want them to be yours.

Each set includes 28 cards and a Vince Young promo (top). A full checklist and the list of winners is after the jump.

How can you win one of them? Be one of the first six collectors to answer this question in an e-mail to Chris Olds at colds@beckett.com:

According to Beckett.com, what is John Madden‘s most valuable football card?

Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

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For all you Tim Tebow supercollectors …

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Apparently they’re all the rage — or at least have someone with the NCAA raging — as yes, the Teebows underwear apparently inspired by Florida QB Tim Tebow are in danger of no longer being produced, according to my former peeps at the Orlando Sentinel.

Does that mean they’ll be collectors’ items? Perhaps, though technically there isn’t a Florida logo involved so maybe they won’t go away. For those of you who care, they are available in three colors (one with a No. 15 football on the back) for roughly the price of a couple packs of football cards.

Anyone who has spent any time in Central Florida the last few years knows how big the Cult of Tebow has become (and, really, plenty of people outside the area know that, too).

I’m sure plenty of fans will pass on these, but just wait until he has football 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.

Press Pass to go high-end with upcoming NASCAR product

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Press Pass announced its first high-end NASCAR set on Tuesday in Press Pass Showcase, a product that will arrive on July 15 packing plenty of thunder and high-speed punch.

Every five-card pack will include an autograph or memorabilia card from a top driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and there will be only three packs per box (six boxes per mini case) with a $225 suggested retail price.

The set will include multi-signed teammate autograph cards, oversized autographed memorabilia cards, and the first autographed memorabilia cards of this year’s four top rookies.  Every card is sequentially numbered and there are four parallel versions of each base card.

Every mini case will include redemption cards for race-used memorabilia items, Dale Earnhardt autographs, autographed 50th Anniversary lithographs, exclusive Four Wide cards or vintage autograph hot packs.

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Sneak peek: 2008-09 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball

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Upper Deck released additional preview images and basic set information on Tuesday for 2008-09 Exquisite Basketball, which is scheduled to arrive in June.

Each five-card box contains one autographed rookie, one additional autographed card, one more memorabilia or autographed card, one base set card and one more autographed, memorabilia, parallel, or base card.

There will be three boxes per case and all autographs were signed on-card.

New this year are the Career Portfolio booklet cards that combine autographs and memorabilia pieces into one showcase card, and there will also be signed diecut 1 of 1’s for Upper Deck spokesmen Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Michael Jordan.

But the big chase will be  Player Exclusive signed boxes including only cards of that specific player. There are 15 Player Exclusive boxes to be found, including Bryant, Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Derrick Rose among others.

For a closer look at more cards from the set, including some sweet inscription cards, click on the images below.

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Upper Deck announces its First Puppy card

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Upper Deck announced on Tuesday that it, too, will produce a trading card for The First Puppy, Bo.

While we’re sure that political pundits will pounce on this one (oh, wait… ), we present to you the short-printed card of the Obamas’ Portuguese Water Dog. It will be found in packs of the 2009 Upper Deck Series 2 baseball set, which is scheduled for a May 19 release.

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Box Busters: 2009 TRISTAR TNA Knockouts

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Join Beckett Media’s Tracy Hackler, Bryan Hornbeck and some dude in a cowboy hat (Chris Olds, who bought the hat in Nashville, the home of TNA) as they open boxes of the new TRISTAR TNA Knockouts card set, which focuses on the female competitors in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

They crack open one Knockouts box and one of the rarer Knockouts Revealed boxes …  what will they find?

Click here to find 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.

McFarlane Toys unveils college football figures

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It seems Todd McFarlane is going back to school and he showed us all how on Monday afternoon.

You see, his popular line of SportsPicks action figures are going collegiate as the company unveiled a line of six 6-inch college football-focused toys that will arrive in stores in August.

Among the McFarlane Toys throwbacks are …

Peyton Manning, Tennessee Vols (above)
Tom Brady
– Michigan Wolverines
Ray Lewis — Miami Hurricanes
Adrian Peterson — Oklahoma Sooners
Hines Ward — Georgia Bulldogs
JaMarcus Russell — LSU Tigers

See them all after the jump.

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Preview: 2009 Bowman Draft Picks football

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Here’s a look at 2009 Bowman Draft Picks football, straight in from Topps on Monday afternoon …

In just a few short weeks, Topps will release its much anticipated all-new look 2009 Bowman Draft Picks ($3 SRP).  With more content than ever before and every big name from the NFL Draft, each box guarantees 2 Autographed Rookie Cards:   ONE AUTOGRAPHED ROOKIE CARD (signed on card) and ONE AUTOGRAPHED ROOKIE PATCH CARD!
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Sneak Peek: More Topps Terminator Salvation sketch cards

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We’ve previously given you some advance looks at the upcoming Topps Terminator Salvation cards here and here. Here are a few more hand-drawn sketch cards that will be found in the set for the Christian Bale flick.

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.

Panini America's Draft Day Surprise

Panini America’s first act as the “official trading card of the 2009 NFL Draft” is sure to have veteran collectors buzzing just as loudly as those boisterous New Yorkers watching the festivities from inside New York’s historic Radio City Music Hall.

Through a unique marketing partnership with Sprint, Panini America created 200 cards each of seven high-profile first-day picks — Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin, Chris “Beanie” Wells and Knowshon Moreno. When the respective player was selected on Saturday, Sprint encouraged fans in attendance to text for a chance to win one of the special Panini America cards. Winners were then notified to visit the Panini America booth in Radio City Music Hall to receive their card.

Oh, and the catch? Panini America’s Joe White and Ben Ecklar put the finishing touches on each card — a logo bearing the respective player’s new NFL helmet — by hand at the booth.

“The promotion was a tremendous success,” White said from New York City. “We were able to share some truly unique cards with some truly fanatical NFL fans. We were building the cards as the players were getting drafted. There was a feeding frenzy on Sanchez. Being in New York, his card was gone quickly. Very quickly.”

Most of the others were, too. A Stafford card has already hit eBay with a Buy It Now price of $150.

White and Ecklar took advantage of their locale by getting cards into the hands of ESPN draft gurus Chris Berman and Mel Kiper Jr. They also spent quality time with Stafford, the Dallas native and No. 1 overall pick of the Lions, in his hotel room just prior to the start of the draft. White admitted that Stafford, his father and his agent were blown away by seeing the high-profile quarterback’s first Detroit Lions card.

And yes, Stafford did sign a precious small quantity of his card.

– Tracy Hackler

Deadline? You expect me to make deadline?

So I’m feverishly putting the finishing touches on the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly this afternoon and I get an email from friend and co-worker Chris Olds that includes two attachments.

I double click on one attachment. I double click on the other. I scream with glee.

Turns out Larry Fitzgerald, my favorite active player and a guy I’ve been collecting fanatically for the last year, will grace the cover of America’s favorite sports videogame when it comes out next August.

For the record, EA Sports’ official Madden NFL 10 cover features Fitz and the Steelers’ Troy Polamalu together.

I’m thrilled for Fitz in the same “he’s made it!” kind of way that I was thrilled for all-time favorite Ed McCaffrey when he appeared on a Stadium Club promo card about a decade ago. (Back then, promo cards played a huge part for manufacturers in the marketing of their products and, as such, were reserved only for the best players of the day; the fact that Eddie Mac got one still is somewhat hard to believe.)

In any event, just minutes after opening Olds’ seemingly innocuous, subject-line-less email, I’m blowing off BSCM deadlines and fondly remembering just how sensational Fitzgerald was during the 2008 postseason.

Then I start thinking about the sweet Fitzgerald cards I’ve collected in the last year . . . and about the countless ones still uncollected . . . and just like that, I’m fixated not on sending finished files to the printer, but on feverishly finding new Fitzes.

Chris, I’ll get you for this.

– Tracy Hackler

Press Pass announces 2009 football red ink & inscriptions list

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Press Pass‘ annual release of red ink and inscriptions quantities from its base Press Pass Football product has become as in demand this time of year as summer vacation.

The good news for collectors: It’s time to start packing your bags.

Press Pass today released exclusively to Beckett the first wave of red Ink and inscriptions quantities for 2009. We’ll profile the first batch of players now. Stay tuned to Beckett.com for the second installment next week.

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Superfan Returns!

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While this year’s version of the Hawaii Trade Conference has come and gone, now’s the time where all those dealers and collectors who attended try to unload their exclusive show goodies online.

Sometimes, it’s good money. Other times, well …

One former attendee got into the wayback machine and found a slabbed Beckett Superfan card from the show nine years ago, which was custom slabbed at the time. It can be yours right now on eBay for a whopping $4.95 (plus $2.95 shipping).

But what you don’t know is the part of the back story on who Superfan really is — he’s a living, breathing Clark Kent out there in the card industry these days.

We’re not going to give away his identity — and we’re not giving away any clues just yet. (Though we definitely know he’s in the Starting Lineup.)

Perhaps some of you know? Perhaps not. Take a guess …

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 Readies UFC for Round Two

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Topps had an unabashed hit on its hands (no pun intended) with the debut release earlier this year of its Ultimate Fighting Championship product.

Fast on the heels of what must be considered one of 2009’s biggest trading card successes so far comes word from Topps about the next installment, set for release later this summer.

Topps officials today released preview information on the absolutely loaded second edition, which, quite frankly, looks even more promising than the first edition.

Some highlights:

* 16-pack hobby boxes include two autographs, two relic cards, 16 parallels and 16 inserts.

* 150-card base set including 40 newcomers and a 10-card Personalities subset featuring the likes of Octagon Girls and notable referees.

* Diamond, Ruby, Onyx and Gold parallels, with one parallel per pack on average.

See more of the cards after the jump.

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The Incredibly Plummeting Canseco

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The Wall Street Journal writer Tim Marchman contacted me earlier this week to discuss the status of some of the most investment-worthy baseball cards of the 1980s.

The pleasure was all mine.

His requests sent me sauntering down memory lane, thumbing through one yellowing page after another of Beckett Baseball magazines from two decades ago to capture 1989 prices of key cards featuring Jose Canseco, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds and others.

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Battle Royal: Road Warrior Animal vs. Mel Kiper Jr.

We’re counting down the hours until the NFL Draft on Saturday and noticed this war of words waged in an AP story. The foes? Joe Laurinaitis (aka former pro wrestler Road Warrior Animal) and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. From the story…

Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis’ father, Joe, hasn’t contacted Kiper. But he thought about doing so after Kiper’s rating dropped for James, a two-time AP All-American.

“One day, you’re the next-best thing since skim milk. The next day, you’re supposed to go” low in the first round, Joe Laurinaitis said. “What did he do to fall off the grid? … The question is: OK, where has [Kiper] played? Where has he coached? What makes him a so-called ‘guru’?”

We here at Beckett Media really don’t care who anointed Kiper a guru, but we are all about seeing who wins the battle via this tale of the tape. Check it out …

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NFL Draft picks: What would YOU have them sign?

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What should Georgia QB Matt Stafford sign with his autograph? (AP)

With the NFL Draft just days away, there are more than a few collectors clamoring to find out which college stars will become their franchises’ new faces.

And that’s not lost on Upper Deck.

The football card manufacturer has offered to let a few lucky readers decide what this year’s crop of future NFL stars should sign along with their names on some of their Rookie Cards — custom inscriptions — which will end up in packs of this year’s products.

Perhaps the Matt Stafford fans will have some Georgia flavor for him to add to his cards, something like “Bulldog for life” or “UGA Rules.” Or perhaps something much, much more creative? Or something related to his new team this weekend?

All of the top position players in this year’s draft will be at the NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere — the annual photo shoot where the cream of the crop pose for their first football card photos in their new uniforms and sign more than a few autographs for inclusion into packs of cards.

Upper Deck will have the best players sign the best inscriptions that you submit right here (via a comment below) or over on Beckett.com. It’s that simple.

Be sure to tell us this:

1. Which player (Example: Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia)

2. What the inscription should say (“Bulldog for life”)

3. Your name and location (Jim, Dallas, TX)

Oh, and, we’ll make sure that the coolest entries get some cool prizes, too.

Note: If you’ve previously visited, Upper Deck’s Kobe Bryant custom inscriptions signing has been delayed. Once the signing is completed, you’ll see your custom inscriptions right here and in the pages of a Beckett magazine.

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.

Desperately seeking Cerrano

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By Chris Olds | Editor

One of the great things about the hobby of collecting sports cards and memorabilia is that there’s almost always a surprise to be found.

And, in my 20-plus years of collecting — and nearly a decade of writing about the hobby — there aren’t too many sets that I haven’t at least seen in passing or heard something, a nugget, about in the past.

Until earlier this year.

There’s one set firmly atop my want-list (I need a set, or two, or three …) these days — one that’s nowhere to be found in the inventory of any major dealer I have contacted, one that is nowhere to be found online (eBay, Beckett Marketplace or otherwise), one that’s eluded pretty much anyone who has a scanner nearby because even images of these cards are nowhere to be found. Anywhere.

It’s not an expensive set — in fact not one of the people pictured in the set have appeared in an official Major League Baseball game, yet they are all legends of the game, true Major Leaguers.

What? Keep reading…

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Upper Deck releases Priority Signings checklist for NHL Spring Expo

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Upper Deck revealed the checklist on Wednesday for its Priority Signings autograph cards that will be given away to fans at the upcoming NHL Spring Expo from May 1-3 in Toronto.

Upper Deck will hold a wrapper redemption program during the event — collectors who open a box of 2008-09 Ice, 2008-09 SPx or 2008-09 SP Game-Used Hockey at its company booth will receive a random Priority Signings card. Each card is sequentially numbered and the checklist includes some of the biggest stars in the game.

The promotion is limited to one card per person per day. Redemption hours will be 5-7 p.m. on May 1, 1-3 p.m. on May 2 and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 3. A checklist is below:

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American Idol set includes caricature cards

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Upper Deck’s new American Idol set includes a twist — a pair of non-Idol caricature cards pitting famous musicians against each other.

idol2One card pits “A child of Destiny” against a “Material Girl,” while the other card has “The Boss” and that one guy … on the card front known as “the artist currently known as … ”

Oh, and That Seacrest Guy is the referee …

Obviously we’re dealing with cards of Beyonce and Madonna and Bruce Springsteen and Sean Combs – but we’re not saying that since they’re not Idols.

The cards are short-prints, but the odds of finding them were not announced.

For more on the set, click 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.

Box Busters: 2009 Fathead MLB Tradeables

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Join Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer as they open four boxes of 2009 Fathead MLB Tradeables.

What will they find? Check it out here.