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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Panini releases Prestige Rookie Card variation list

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Panini America confirmed on Wednesday that the  following rookies have variation cards  in 2009 Playoff Prestige showing them in college uniforms.

112 Brandon Pettigrew Oklahoma State – White
116 Brian Robiskie Ohio State – Red
119 Chase Coffman Missouri – Yellow
122 Chris Wells Ohio State – White
124 Clint Sintim Virginia – White
127 D.J. Moore Vanderbilt – Gold
130 Darrius Heyward-Bey Maryland – White
134 Derrick Williams Penn State – Blue
135 Donald Brown Uconn – Blue
140 Graham Harrell Texas Tech – Red
142 Hakeem Nicks North Carolina – White
146 James Casey Rice – White
148 James Laurinaitis Ohio State – Red
153 Jeremiah Johnson Oregon – Yellow
155 Jeremy Maclin Missouri – Yellow
159 Juaquin Iglesias Oklahoma – White
161 Kenny Britt Rutgers – Red
164 Knowshon Moreno Georgia – White
166 LeSean McCoy Pittsburgh – Blue
169 Louis Murphy Florida – White
170 Malcolm Jenkins Ohio State – Red
171 Mark Sanchez USC – White
181 Nate Davis Ball State – White
184 Pat White West Virginia – White
187 Percy Harvin Florida – White
194 Rey Maualuga USC – White
199 Shonn Greene Iowa – White

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Six other cards have variations showing the rookies holding up their new jerseys at the NFL Draft.

Draft-day variations
101     Aaron Curry             Seattle Seahawks
114     Brian Cushing           Houston Texans
115     Brian Orakpo            Washington Redskins
158     Josh Freeman            Tampa Bay Buccaneers
172     Matthew Stafford        Detroit Lions
174     Michael Crabtree        San Francisco 49ers

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.

Now THAT is a loaded box …

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On the outside, the blaster box of 2009 Topps Heritage that Todd Neuman bought at a Walmart in Mayfield, Ky., probably looked like every other one that rolled off the assembly line and made its way to the shelf.

But on the inside it looked quite, quite different.

As in it had 51 of the set’s super-rare short-printed variations inside.

As in seven copies of Randy Winn.

As in seven Conor Jacksons.

As in seven Adrian Gonzalezes.

As in seven John Smoltzes and Hanley Ramirezes, too.

To top that, there were eight copies of the $200 “Thom” Glavine variation and eight copies of the Fred Lewis card featuring Winn on the front.

All told, that’s a $10,300 blaster box (high book) that cost just $19.99. There were just eight packs inside, but each and every one was loaded — that’s an average of $1,287 a pack.

“I have been collecting for a long time, but hadn’t bought any Topps Heritage this year yet. I bought the third box in the row and pulled 51 short-printed variations,” Neuman said. “I was just wondering if you had heard of anyone else having this luck on these this year?”

The answer on this is easy. That’s got to be the only one.

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi said: “Unfortunately, this is a major manufacturing error.”

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.

Ric Flair card touches independent wrestler

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Tim "Tank" Robertson (left) with Jerry "The King" Lawler.

As many of you know, Beckett Media recently gave away 15 copies of the first certified autographed card of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, a Donruss Americana promo card from Panini.

But what you might not know (we didn’t) is that one of the winners was Tim Robertson of Caruthersville, Mo., an independent wrestler also known as “Tank.”

Robertson, a 29-year-old father of two, died last week from an apparent allergic reaction. Here’s what his wife, Helen, wrote in an e-mail to Beckett on Tuesday:

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Box Busters: 2009 Topps Series 2 baseball

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The latest installment of the collecting mainstay, the Topps baseball set, arrives on Wednesday with Series 2 hitting hobby shops.

Join Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Tracy Hackler as they bust open a box of Topps.

What will they find? Click here.

The first two Matt Stafford autograph winners are …

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We’ve selected the first two winners of Panini‘s autographed 2009 Playoff Prestige Matt Stafford promo cards.

Oh, we forgot to previously mention that the cards are serial-numbered, so we’ve noted those here, too.

The first two winners are:

Card No. 1/7: Peter Epstein – Chatsworth, Calif.

Card No. 2/7: Steve Miller — Goshen, Ind.

Who will win the others, including Stafford’s uniform-matching 7/7?

It could be you. Find out how to enter in the July issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

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.

Card Gallery: Upper Deck's Inscriptions from the Rookie Premiere

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Upper Deck recently asked Beckett readers for inscriptions for players to sign at the NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere this past weekend in Los Angeles.

We collected them all from here and from Beckett.com and sent them in to Upper Deck for review. (And for the league to review as well as it had to approve all potential inscriptions.)

Here’s a sampling of what got approved and was inked on cards headed into packs soon. (We’ll contact the successful contributors as soon as we know how many made it and have prizes in hand.)

Until then, check out these inscriptions (and a few other autographs, too)  …

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.

He's No. 1 on the Baseball America Hot Sheet, who's your No. 1?

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San Francisco Giants pitching prospect Tim Alderson has been doing pretty well these days — so well he’s atop the current Baseball America Hot Sheet, the weekly reader of prospectors.

We found this Alderson 2007 Bowman Sterling Prospects autograph card of his (a $20 card) and want it to be yours.

We want to know who your No. 1 player is — who you collect — and how many cards you have of that player.

Give us a rundown of your player collection — and provide a photo or a link where we can find the evidence of your obsession  — and we’ll award the card the most impressive comment left here or on the Beckett.com thread.

Get on it. We’re giving this card away before the next Hot Sheet 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.

Topps reveals latest in American Heritage line

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Topps released the basic product breakdown and preview images for the latest installment of its American Heritage series, the American Heroes Edition, a 150-card set loaded with notable people — who it deems the “the most courageous, valiant, progressive and enlightened American women and men in our nation’s history.”

The product will arrive in early August with a combination of two autographs, cut signatures, patches, Relics or stamp cards in every 24-pack hobby box. It looks to be a product heavy on political memorabilia as well as NASA memorabilia for all you space fans.

The base set will utilize famous Topps designs from the 1960s and the 1980s — focusing again on Miltary Heroes (card Nos. 1-10), Political Heroes (11-20), Civil Rights heroes (21-30), “The Bravest” (31-40), “The Finest” (41-50), Heroic Groups and Movements (51-60), Heroes of Medicine (61-70), Humanitarian Heroes (71-80), Diplomatic Heroes (81-90), “Pen is Mightier than Sword” (91-100), Heroic Events (101-125), and finally Kindred Heroes — a 25-card set pairing Barack Obama and Abe Lincoln.

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Prospect watch: Jake Fox — LF, Iowa Cubs

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Every few years there’s a guy who comes out of nowhere to tear it up  — see Craig Brazell in the minors in 2007, Ryan Ludwick in MLB in 2008 — and this year’s version of that player just might be Iowa Cubs left fielder Jake Fox.

Fox, a 26-year-old converted catcher who starred for Michigan before the Chicago Cubs drafted him in the third round of the 2003 draft, is tearing it up in Class AAA.

Through 33 games, he’s hitting .426 with 16 home runs and 46 RBI  — totals that would be contending for the Triple Crown if he were in the majors right now. (As it is right now, he’s winning the Triple Crown in the Pacific Coast League.)

In his last 10 games, he’s hitting .515 with four homers and 15 RBI, a highlight-reel night coming on May 14 when he went 4-for-6 with a double, a homer, drove in two and scored three runs.

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Rapper Redemption: The Collectibility of Eminem

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The most anticipated release date in almost five years arrives tomorrow and the product dropping is quite literally music to my ears – even if it has absolutely nothing to do with trading cards.

Well, maybe it does.

After all, in a hip-hop “hobby” populated predominantly by retail-Score rappers, Eminem is more like National Treasures (and a national treasure) or Exquisite – but with none of the risk and all of the reward. He’s the rarest of relics, the sure-thing $600 pack that delivers the highlight of your musical collection track after track after track.

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Abe Lincoln's Hair Cut card sells for $17,500

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The 2008 SP Legendary Cuts Hair Cut Signatures card of Abraham Lincoln – a card that includes a cut autograph of the 16th president as well as a lock of his hair — sold for $17,500 last week on eBay.

The card, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal last fall and was displayed at The National last year, was sold through a Beckett Select Auction to a private collector who did not wish to be identified.

The collector did answer a few questions, though:

What cards do you collect?
I mainly collect a particular player’s tough cards and their historically significant issues, be it a challenging insert or certified autograph card.  I am a big Ken Griffey Jr. and Michael Jordan fan.

Why did you buy the card?
I initially was not all that interested in the Lincoln.  I had found the listing for a friend (who by the way is a huge Lincoln fan), who I thought would find the card interesting.  Seeing their reaction got me interested, so I did some research into his prior autograph issues, as well as the hair piece.  I realized just how unique the card was and felt it may be years before it showed up again, if ever.  Upper Deck did a superb job of maintaining the vintage look and feel to the card.  I have seen many cut signatures, as well as certified autograph cards; I feel this is one of the most visually striking cards ever produced.  Kudos to Upper Deck!

Is this the best card you own?
This card ranks right up there as one of the best cards in my collection.  I definitely do not have another one like it!

For more information about Beckett Select Auctions, go here.

Rookie Premiere Notebook

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By Jon Gold

LOS ANGELES — Some notes and observations from the NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere:

 … Most rookies I interviewed were moderate collectors as kids (see below). Matt Stafford and Rhett Bomar, two Texas quarterbacks, collected – who else? – Troy Aikman. But the main player of choice was Barry Sanders. These rookies have taste.

Mark Sanchez has the mental makeup to succeed as quarterback of the New York Jets. Does he have the physical attributes? Time will tell.

Donruss‘, er, Panini America‘s designershave outdone themselves. Many of the cards the company had to be signed – including the always-popular Pen Pals – were simply gorgeous. Also, Panini America is mixing up the markers a little bit, with some red pens and silver pens joining the boring old black-and-blue inks.

… As Minnesota rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin says: “600 autographs is a lot to sign, man.”

Upper Deck is making a big, big move toward innovation, having players sign out-of-this-world inscriptions. Some of the highlights from the upcoming Upper Deck Philadelphia set: Matt Stafford’s “Lion King;” Mark Sanchez’ “El Matador;” and Percy Harvin’s brilliant “See you next year Tebow!” Just awesome.

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Panini announces Prestige SPs at Premiere

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Panini America announced some of the Prestige short-prints during this year’s NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere this weekend in California.

They are:

#110 B.J. Raji
#114 Brain Cushing
#120 Chase Daniels
#140 Graham Harrell
#142 Hakeem Nicks
#144 Ian Johnson
#149 Jared Cook
#159 Juaquin Iglesias
#180 Mohamed Massaquoi
#199 Shonn Greene

Look for more post-Premiere news from Panini as well as Topps and Upper Deck right here 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.

Collectors can get Smarty in packs of baseball cards this fall

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Upper Deck recently unveiled that it will include DNA cards — hair cards — of at least two race horses in its 2009 Goodwin Champions baseball card set that will arrive in September.

One of them? Smarty Jones, the winner of the 2004 Kentucky Derby and more than $7.6 million during his career.

Do baseball collectors want these cards? Probably not — I’ve always thought past DNA/hair cards are a bit over the line on the creep factor — but someone out there will and that will give them incentive to buy.

And that’s all that matters.

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.

Over-His-Shoulder Catch: Sanchez Signing

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Here’s a bird’s-eye view — if that bird was perched atop Mark Sanchez’s shoulder pads — of the New York Jets QB and USC favorite son signing some of his Pen Pals cards at the Panini America tent.

Not a bad perspective, huh?

Stafford, Sanchez Autos Highlight Day One Gallery

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One of the greatest things about being on location at the NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere every year is being among the first people in the country to see what will undeniably be some of the most collected and valuable football cards of the year.

But it wouldn’t mean nearly as much if we didn’t have you to share it with. So, thanks to Beckett correspondent Jon Gold — and especially to our friends at Players Inc, Panini America, Topps and Upper Deck — for helping Beckett Media deliver the following photo gallery.

Among the highlights: New York Jets teammates Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene . . . Titans running back Javon Ringer . . . Vikings receiver Percy Harvin . . . Steelers receiver Mike Wallace . . . and some downright sweet autographs and inscriptions.

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Exclusive Pics: Panini, Upper Deck Premiere Autos

Beckett Media correspondent Jon Gold is covering more LA Coliseum ground today than Reggie Bush ever dreamed, capturing as many sights and sounds as he can during Day One of the 2009 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere.

It’s amazing what you can capture with the right attitude and an iPhone. In this installment, Gold has unearthed exclusive images of Panini America’s Pen Pals and School Colors autographs and some sweet inscriptions from Percy Harvin for Upper Deck’s new Philadelphia product.

Stay tuned for more exclusive pics as the day progresses.

Premiere Pics: Duals & Quads . . . Oh, My!

LeSean McCoy, the Philadelphia Eagles newest running back out of the University of Pittsburgh, signs some of his dual and quad cards at the Panini America tent:

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Every day at the NFL Players Rookie Premiere is a banner day:

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NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere Under Way!

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More than 30 of the top NFL rookies have gathered in the LA Coliseum to beign Day One of the 2009 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere.

Today, Panini America and Upper Deck will put the players through their paces in an effort to capture as much compelling football card phtography — and autographs and memorabilia and multimedia and . . . — as possible.

Topps will have access to the players on Sunday.

Stay tuned to Beckett.com and the Beckett Blog all day as we provide updates throughout Day One.

Inside the Box: 2008-09 Upper Deck Be A Player Hockey

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I walked down the hall this afternoon – like I do most every Friday – to give Senior Market Analyst Tim Trout a hard time. He was feigning being overworked when I noticed a mound of unopened hockey wax on his desk.

So I grabbed a box from Trout’s leaning tower o’ 2008-09 Upper Deck Be A Player Hockey, which released this week. I then grabbed Senior Market Analyst Brian Fleischer and we expeditiously unearthed the box’s contents for the express purpose of enlightening our hockey audience on the eve of the Stanley Cup Conference Finals.

I’ll be the first to admit that Brian and I aren’t the strongest hockey swimmers in the Beckett pool (or frozen pond), but we know a cool product when we see it – and we figured you’d want to see it, too.

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