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Monthly Archives: May 2009

From the Field: Hoops Collector Picks Year's Best



In honor of a scintillating NBA Playoffs thus far, and since the 2008-09 NBA product season is all but over, we crashed the (Beckett.com) boards earlier this week to solicit feedback on the top hoops products of the year.

What follows is one particularly thoughtful response from Beckett.com member Josh Palmer (jpleazme805):

 I like 2008-09 [Fleer] Hot Prospects, too. I only bought one box and pulled the “Rose,” so I didn’t buy any more. I fell in love with the design – basic but eye-catching. The card shop I bought the box at is in Santee, Calif. It just opened a few months ago. I forgot the name of it; I’ve only been there once.

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Her interest in the hobby is a bit different …


Every once in awhile, we get an interesting email from a reader that stands out from the rest for one reason or another.

Here’s a selection of a message from Debby Johnson of Gaithersburg, Md.:

johnsonmug“I’m hoping that you may be able to help me. I was watching the video of the 2009 Bowman box break that [Chris Olds] and Brian Fleischer had on May 12. I watched because I was curious to see the product and to see if by some miraculous chance, I would actually get to see my son’s first Bowman card. My son is Tommy Johnson, a catcher with the Seattle Mariners organization.

“And miracles do happen! At about 10 minutes and 58 seconds into your video, Brian was opening a pack and he said something like “and here we have a nice Refractor card of Tommy Johnson ” he turned the card to the camera and it was, indeed, my son Tommy. We will be getting base cards only from Topps, but I would love to get one of whatever is available.  I know there will be a Chrome … didn’t know about the Refractor and certainly don’t know what others may be available in the set.”

I answered her questions about which cards he will appear on in the set, offering some details about scarcity of the various parallels and Refractors.

Then I offered her a trade — the Refractor for a few answers about the hobby and her son, perhaps a different look at someone who many collectors will find in their packs of 2009 Bowman.

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Inside the Box: 2009 Bowman Draft Football


Topps’ first football product of the new season, 2009 Bowman Draft, won’t be available nationwide until Wednesday (May 20). So imagine my surprise when I trudged upstairs this afternoon following my lunchtime workout to find two boxes of the product sitting on my floor.

I ripped through the 24 packs of one box quickly in an effort to provide those football collectors chomping at the bit with some early results. We’re going to save the other box for an episode of Box Busters that will air on Beckett.com early next week.

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Schulte Sports Launches Online Auction Site

Ray Schulte, the marketing agent best known for representing Cal Ripken Jr., Don Mattingly and Roberto Clemente, and for launching the Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest in 1991, has a new collectibles venture on his hands.

Officially launched today, SchulteAuctions.com is an online auction platform  promising collectors the opportunity to bid on vast and varied sports and entertainment memorabilia.

“Our intent is to provide all-level collectors unique and one-of-a-kind memorabilia to create memories for a lifetime,” said Schulte, President/CEO of Schulte Sports, Inc.

To that end, the inaugural sports-heavy auction — which closes May 31 — includes more than 125 items, featuring the likes of Babe Ruth, Tiger Woods, Alexander Ovechkin, Mickey Mantle, Joe Montana and Ripken.

View the first auction by clicking here.

Press Pass has a hit on its hands with KISS Ikons


We recently busted a box of the new KISS Ikons cards from Press Pass, noting that the Blood parallels — which have a layer of red gloss on the cards — were impressive.

Apparently some KISS fans agree as a 90-card set of the cards found one in every four packs sold on eBay for $352.87 on Thursday.

Not bad. The sale certainly backs up the fact that Press Pass has a genuine hit on its hands so far.

Oh, and here’s a tip — if you can’t find it at your typical card spots (and based on many reports, you probably can’t) try looking at Best Buy.

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.

News Flash: Troy Bergeron Signs with Falcons


In case you missed it (and I’m almost certain you did), former Arena Football League star Troy Bergeron signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons earlier this week.

The speedy Columbus, Ga., native burst onto the AFL scene with the Georgia Force in 2005 and earned Rookie of the Year honors that season on the strength of 105 receptions, 1,372 yards and 31 receiving touchdowns. He sat out the 2006 season while attempting to land with an NFL team and had brief stints with the Falcons (training camp) and Buffalo Bills (practice squad).

He returned to the AFL in 2007 and 2008 and boasts a downright gaudy three-year stat line: 329 catches, 4,375 yards and 97 total touchdowns.

It’s worth noting that the Force – idle this season with the rest of the AFL as the league attempts to reorganize and return in 2010 – is owned by Arthur Blank, the same man who owns the Falcons.

Why do you care about any of this? Here’s why: If Bergeron – 6-2, 195 – gets a legitimate chance in camp with an ideal situation like the Falcons have (great, young QB . . . power running game . . . talent and experience in the receiving department with Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez) and you’re the kind of football collector who’s into super sleepers, I think Bergeron’s your guy.

I’m just sayin’.

In case you’re wondering (and even if you’re not, I’m giving you this information anyway), Bergeron appeared on 16 different Upper Deck trading cards in 2005 and 2006, nine from UD’s 2005 and 2006 AFL sets and seven more from 2006 NFL products Hot Prospects, Sweet Spot and Rookie Debut. His Hot Prospects (#133) and Sweet Spot (#136) RCs are valued at $6 apiece.

But it can be argued that Bergeron’s two certified autograph cards – 2006 Arenagraphs ($30) and 2006 Arenagraphs Duals with former Georgia Force teammate Derek Lee ($60) – are his most desirable cards.

There, take that.

— Tracy Hackler

Inside the box: 2009 Topps Series 2 baseball cards


We’ve cracked the first boxes of 2009 Topps Series 2 baseball cards and it’s easy to say that the strong points of Series 1 — stunning and unique photography as well as a wide range of cards and variety in each box — are back.

While most of one other box’s contents (tragically, we ran out of tape roughly 30 packs in) will be revealed on Box Busters here on Thursday, here’s a sampling of what was found in a second hobby box. (For a little more background on the set, click here.)

There are key rookies to be found, veterans in their new threads, several insert sets — including a selection of World Baseball Classic releases — as well as some great photos that highlighted the first release earlier this year. (Not so great is Shawn Marcum‘s photo unless you’re into Jay Johnstone-style goofiness — but check out that baseball-inspired tattoo.)

See 20 cards from one box after the jump.

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Preview Gallery: Paul Lempa's 2009 Topps Series 2 Sketch Cards


The second series of 2009 Topps baseball cards are less than a week away from their official release date and we’ve got a sneak peek at 10 of the Sketch Cards that will be found in packs.

New Jersey-based artist Paul Lempa, who we profiled in Beckett Baseball issue No. 42 in April, has graciously shared all of his miniature painting cards that are just 2.5 by 3.5 inches in size.

(We hate calling these miniature masterpieces sketches as they are intricately detailed paintings the size of baseball cards that literally take hours to produce. Scans of these cards really don’t do them justice, either, as the texture and subtle shades of color in nearly every region of Lempa‘s cards are fascinating.)

And you’ll note we said all of his cards as each artist for Series 2 has reportedly only produced 10 Sketch Cards apiece for the product — expect an official announcement from Topps on that before the product’s release on Wednesday — meaning they just might be some of the best Sketch Cards ever seen.

See them all after the jump.

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Box Busters preview: 2009 Topps Series 2 baseball


The second series of 2009 Topps baseball cards doesn’t arrive in hobby shops until next Wednesday, but we’re busting the first boxes of the always popular set this afternoon for an episode of Box Busters coming your way later this week.

What will Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Beckett Media Publisher Tracy Hackler find?

You’ll have to wait for the video — right here — but we’ll give you a sneak peek of the product here this afternoon once the boxes are, well, busted.

Stay tuned …

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: 2009 Playoff Prestige football


Panini America‘s debut football set — 2009 Playoff Prestige – arrives in hobby shops today with zero redemption cards in the product and four game-used or autograph cards per hobby box.

It’s the first fully licensed NFL set of the year (draft picks’ professional teams are noted on the cards), so check ‘em out …

(Click for a closer look.)

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Business is booming with Yankee Stadium demolition coming


Steiner Sports announced its Yankee Stadium sales items on Tuesday with seats and, get this,  authentic turf among the offerings.

Want to own the sod with the Yankees logo from behind home plate as seen above? That’ll cost you $50,000 for the 20-foot by 20-foot section and comes “complete with a bag of peat moss, grass seed, and a flag stating its origin: Yankee Stadium”

stadiumgrass2But that’s not all … you’ll also receive a 16×20 photo of the final game, “a Joe DiMaggio Diary page along with instructions on how to properly care and maintain the sod, the official interlocking NY logo stencil and white paint.”

The sod will be delivered — and installed — free if you live within a 25-mile radius of the stadium, if not you have to pay a fee of $7 per mile.  (Darn shipping will get you every time.)

Also available are 4×80-foot patches between each base — $6,000 a pop — or patches from the outfield a 20×20 square for $10,000.

Single square feet are also available for $120 apiece if you can’t swing for the fences.

If that doesn’t do it for you, you can opt for the $80 3-inch square of freeze-dried grass that can be displayed proudly — and you never have to water it. It comes in a display case as seen above.

If horticulture isn’t your thing, stadium seats also are available — single seats for $749, seat pairs for $1,499 or your specific season ticket seats for $1,999.

If you’re more of a bleacher creature, never fear as those will be cut into segments as well for $399 and up.

Countless other items from the stadium can be found at auction through Steiner by clicking here. A mini fridge? $2,000. A section of stadium facade? $50,000. There’s apparently something for everyone as long as they love them pinstripes.

Obviously the demand for Yankee Stadium memorabilia is there as they have one of the richest traditions in all of sports, but it probably takes a pretty dedicated fanatic to want the sod installed in the backyard.

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 Bowman baseball


Beckett Baseball‘s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer ripped into boxes of 2009 Bowman baseball cards.

What will they find in this episode of Box Busters? Click here.

Sneak peek: 2009-10 NBA SP Game-Used Edition


Upper Deck released several images from its 2009-10 NBA SP Game-Used Edition basketball set on Tuesday.

A release date and pricing were not announced, but there will be one autograph and two multi-swatch memorabilia cards per pack.

In every box there will be one six- and one eight-swatch memorabilia card as well as one multi-signature card and one autographed-memorabilia card.

See more images after the jump:

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Win Matt Stafford's first Panini autograph card


We don’t have to wait until the NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere later this week — or for the arrival of Playoff Prestige on Wednesday — to help you get your hands on the first autographed Panini card of Detroit Lions No. 1 draft pick and former Georgia Bulldogs star Matt Stafford.

We’ve gotten our hands on seven Prestige promo cards that Stafford personally signed at the NFL Draft and we want them to be yours. We’re giving away two of them right here. Details on how to win one of the rest will be found in the July issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

How can you win one of the online cards?

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First look: 2009 Rookies & Stars football


Panini America released the first images and basic product information for its 2009 Rookies & Stars football set and one thing is clear — we may have a front-runner for the best football design of the year.

We’ll have more details on the product here soon, but until then here’s a look at several cards in the product:

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Surprises & more in store from NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere


The 13th annual NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere photo shoot begins Thursday in Los Angeles with a select crop of NFL rookies in attendance to pose for photographs in their new uniforms for football cards and sign more than a few autographs that will end up in collectors’ hands.

Panini America, Topps and Upper Deck will be there for the photographs, the autographs and for coverage. Panini is promising live updates from the event regarding Playoff Prestige short prints as well as player interviews, pictures and live interviews from the event. All of this and more can be found on the Panini/Donruss fan page on Facebook.

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Box Busters preview: 2009 Bowman baseball


We’ve cracked the first boxes of Topps‘ popular prospecting staple, 2009 Bowman baseball, which arrives in hobby shops on Wednesday. Here’s just some of what you can find inside.

We’ll have the 2009 Bowman Box Busters video right here Tuesday morning — but until then here’s a glimpse at some of what the set has to offer. We’re bot going to show off the autograph from this box — or tease you with the contents of a second box. You’ll have to wait until the video arrives.

Until then, check ‘em out …

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First look: 2009 Bowman baseball final checklists


While we await the Box Busters video processing, here are some quick (read: crooked) scans of the final 2009 Bowman baseball checklists as found in packs.

We’ll have some additional card scans here in a bit as well.

Check ‘em out after the jump.

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A very special episode of Box Busters … featuring the KISS Army


Forget sports cards … an Army came to Dallas and they were breathing fire, spitting up blood, throwing the goat and ripping packs with the dial turned up to 11.

That’s right, members of the KISS Army invaded Beckett Media for some Box Busters action with the new KISS IKons trading card set from Press Pass. Get the details on the set right here.

And see all of the box-busting action here.

Do you want to win a box of KISS cards? Watch the video to find out how …

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.

The prospecting eagle has landed … 2009 Bowman baseball


Beckett Baseball’s Chris Olds and Brian Fleischer will be ripping into the first boxes of 2009 Bowman baseball later today for the newest edition of Box Busters.

What will they find in the first Bowman product of 2009?

Stay tuned.